Thursday, 17 December 2009

It was in the 40s yesterday (110+*) and I had to go 400 kms to a funeral up in the Mallee.
The Sweetheart insisted I take his Cherokee rather than my aging Volvo which doesn't have air con and uses about a bucket of water every 100 kms.

His car died 250 kms into the trip...
The fuel pump carked it.
The car kept dying - specifically when I hooned out to overtake a semi. Some cracked tubing was sucking air into the petrol through a broken pipe and squirting petrol probably onto hot exhaust so I am lucky I wasn't barbequed really.
I spent 7 hours at Charlton until it was fixed (5 hours after funeral started) and then turned around and came home.
I cried a lot on the way home.
Jack Cook was our neighbour when I was growing up. He was the only person not family who had known me all my life...

Fortuitously, my quilty friend Jazy lives in Charlton with her DH John and kids (DH is the local
copper). So after the first three hours sitting in the backyard of the garage workshop, when the owner finally said it was going to take HOURS, I went around to Jazy's. But no lunch and I was too busy pretending to be upbeat to ask for some food.
Her home is lovely - old weatherboard that they have renovated heaps. Pale greeny blue walls with fine maroon trim, wonderfully ornate tin cornices, polished wood floors or coir carpeting. And air con of course - an essential in the Mallee.
Jazy does beaut embroideries, all very country, and she has a couple of Christmas trees with home made decorations, lots of Santa collections, wall hangings and Christmas quilts. It was a delightful place to spend time I didn't want to spend!
They live next door to the old Court House which was built in 1868. John recently got some funding to restore the building. It is the same design as all the Court Houses built in Victoria around that time.
High ceilings, polished timber floors and bench for His Honour to sit behind (with a drawer still with the Bible for swearing in), and in the back room a real treasure.
All the old Government Gazettes dating back to 1856. I could have taken the older ones home for bedside reading. Before the days of 'electric telegraph' everything from the Government was printed and sent out sometimes daily to each of the Government departments chiefly Court Houses and Police Stations.
All upcoming Court Hearings, Land Sales, shipping news - including arriving mail (and for whom), missing persons, tenders to be called for - 'removal of bodies from old cemetery in Castlemaine to the new one in Campbell's Creek', provision of food for prisoners ('16 oz bread, 4 oz meat, 1/4 oz salt'...), hay for Police horses; iron bars for Pentridge Gaol, impounded/lost/stolen or strayed horses and bullocks with detailed descriptions (this before the days of photographs in printed bulletins).
And each Gazette collected and then bound at the end of each year into an impressive volume with leather corners, a lengthy and detailed index at the end making it possible to find when mail had arrived for my great grandfather Morton in Castlemaine.
The Victorian Archives have them scanned and available to be read online (so I didn't need to sneak one of the great volumes under my shirt to read it in bed).
And this entry is one I held in my hand and read yesterday afternoon.
I had a search for George Morton who was one of the great great grandfathers - and he is there. He was Clerk of Court for Richard Colles who was the first Magistrate on the Goldfields (Mt Alexander ones - now Castlemaine).
Could get very engrossed paddling through those waters of history...

1 comment:

quiltinbysea said...

Urgh, Jas, Funerals always seem to drag bad Karma along behind sorry you missed a chance to say goodby to someone who was so important to you.
As I type this the Darling is playing "Christmas in the Sun" at full, that is FULL volume, so a big thanks from he and I for that.

Wishing you and yours a delicious.......oh my god, the third time and where did he drag that extra volume up from.........

Wishing you, Your Sweethear and all the Smellies a delicious and safe Christmas