Thursday, 18 July 2013


Reflections - a word with multiple nuances, many of which have been in evidence in the past few days as I've visited family in my old home town. (Funny how I still call it 'home' though I've lived in my own home for over 30 years, several hundred kms away - and the family left the house I grew up in at about the same time.... Do I digress or does that count as another reflection?)

There were many opportunities to reflect on the passage of time and the changes  to our lives and lifestyles as we looked over old photos and revisited the district and rediscovered how our lives are connected to others.

For starters, there was the trip my parents, one brother (newly licensed to drive) and my sister took up through central Australia to meet up with my husband and me at Uluru (then known as Ayer's Rock). The photos, though grainy, brought back so many memories as three generations pored over them - the changes were easy to see - the trip took place in 1976!!!!!

I was lucky enough to go to Wangaratta one day and see several of the main exhibitions of the "Stitched Up Textile Festival' which provided much more food for thought on many levels. The festival has become one of the biggest in Australia in terms of prizemoney ( so I was told) and attracted entries from some of the biggest names in Australian textile art. There was some fabulous work on display in the main exhibition space and at various venues around the town.

The outing also brought two significant highlights, again loaded with causes for reflection. One was catching up with a colleague from 1976 - 77 (when the above trip took place) and marvelling at how, when there is a shared interest or pathway, that a few minutes into conversation it seems possible to pick up where you left off all those years ago. (Hi Kerryn if you're reading this.)

The other was seeing a number of quilts and pieces of textile art by Susan Matthews in various exhibitions.( See here) The significance for me is that she is one of two Australian textile artists - the other being Gloria Loughman (See here) -whose work ignited my obsession or passion for all things textile - as opposed to just an interest - and opened up a whole new world to me..... and so it goes on unabated.....

Then there was a sentimental journey for my Dad to revisit places where he stayed with relatives and went to school when he was young while his parents both worked in different places to afford a home and I suppose stay afloat in difficult economic times. This is usually quite distressing for him to reflect on but it set the path for a secure and loving home for the four of us (and nine grandchildren plus dogs) as he was quite determined that any children of his wouldn't be an only child or be put in the same situation.

Coupled with that was time spent sorting through two boxes of old 78 records (looking for one in particular which gave rise to my sister's nickname - no, it wasn't there). Many were wrapped in local newspapers dating back to the late 70s, so there were references to people known, the political situation at the time and ads to pore over. Interestingly some things were around the same price as you can find them today - though possibly better quality - like an electric frypan for $29.99 - but as Mum said, "You still had to save up for them".

A morning walk along the river bank and through the local wetlands is also a great time for reflection......

                  (Could you make this with hand-quilting on silk, do you think?)

               (Some free-motion zigzag?)

..... and the starting point for this post. Something to think about til next time,
Sue xxxx

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