What a lovely time we had in Melbourne! Christmas was simple and quiet, just J, his sister and me. Don't you love our table setting? Nothing like a gold Holy Family and a reindeer with a bit of a feather boa!
The rest of the stay was spent resting, walking about a bit, watching a movie or two, shopping just a little and visiting some places.
I really wanted to visit Heide after reading three-and-a-half books about some of the significant players in it's history. The half a book was Albert Tucker's autobiography. I didn't take to it and/or him but I may try again later. But the other books were The Heart Garden, Sunday Reed's biography; Joy Hester's biography; and Dear Sun, letters between Sunday and Joy. It was interesting to read about the intense relationships between the Reeds, their friends and lovers.
It was fascinating to see the original property Heide I, where Nolan painted 25 of the Kelly paintings, which he left behind with Sunday when their affair ended. And the cow shed where the paintings were stored! I think Nolan's biography might be next on my reading list.
Cubism & Australian Art is being exhibited in Heide II and III. I love a bit of cubism, with some excellent cut-and-paste work. You should see my visual diary! When I don't feel like drawing I cut up all my collected brochures and postcards and do some pasting work.
It turned out to an eventful day, well worth the visit and to walk around the grounds and see the sculpture park. We travelled there by bus, only 10 minutes from where we were staying but we missed the stop. I wasn't exactly sure where to get off so we winged it. We ended up walking in the wrong direction, under the bridge and along the Yarra and found ourselves on the Artists' Trail. So in fact we relived some of the Heidelberg boys favourite spots for painting.
We made it to Heide, though I have to say signage from the main road was poor. And who knew the 'helmet' sculpture was what we were looking for? (Don't worry. I'm big on giving a bit of feedback to public institutions.) We were bemused to find the Heide cafe was booked out (every day!) and the only sustenance we could buy was some 'freshly squeezed juice'. ($4 for a small bottle. Everything was a bit pricey.) We weren't impressed. We bought the bottles home for SA's 10c refund. Cheapskates!) So we didn't have anything to eat.
As the day progressed, I suddenly felt very faint so laid down under a tree. In retrospect (or even at the time), I think it was many things: no breakfast (I know, I know...), no lunch, walking/lost on a warm day, a toothache being heavily controlled with supersonic analgesics, small juice but lots of water. You can see where this is going... I couldn't see myself walking and bussing home, so J called a taxi (champion!) and we got home in time for me to vomit up my empty stomach.
I can highly recommend Heide as a great place to visit with families. It's free if you don't got into the exhibition. Lots of grounds and sculptures to explore. Information boards given some insight into the Reed's life at Heide. Just don't rely on the cafe. Bring your own picnic. The facilities, as we call them, were super-duper! Brand new toilets and there are Aesop products to wash and moisture your hands.
J had the thickest and richest hot chocolate we'd ever seen. I finally got to taste a macaroon. Decadence.
Lot of walks around town, requisite visits to Melbourne lanes.
Two gorgeously cheeky buskers, playing livey, French, gypsy music (assumptions on my part).
It was a lovely, quiet holiday. I took lots of photos as reference material for this year's work. (Ha! My photography skills are crap but handy for other projects. My excuse for not doing any real work!)
The only bad bit was the toothache. Well, I wasn't in pain every minute of the day, but off and on. But, boy, did I swallow a lot of analgesics. Strangely, once we got home the pain was less and less. Who knew!
All of a sudden we were flying back home on a half empty flight, which was good for us. We got ourselves seated way up the back with lots of empty seats (rows of them!). I can recommend it because we were served with drinks first, dinner plus offer of seconds, and the entertainment of the crew chit-chat.
My sky pics are pretty crap but I was interested in the patterns and textures in the landscapes.
And then we were flying into Adelaide.
Still looks a little bit green too.
Landing in the middle of the suburbs.
We didn't really go wonky, just my camera angle.
There we go.
Ready to touch down. And home.