First there was the getting up early to get ready to leave the house, then there was the drive across to the other side of town to Sylv's favourite patchwork shop. Having waved goodbye to Sylv and Giovanna it was necessary to do a sweep of said patchwork shop to identify an reprobates that may be hanging about.
Having started with the shops further away I slowly worked my way back down the road. There was the funky African shop filled with soapstone carvings, gruesome face masks and fiddly bead sculptures. There was the unbelievably groovy clothes shopped that only stocked black, white or grey clothing and where simple cotton shift tunics with nasty felt embroidery came with a $720 price tag. I meandered through two children's clothes shops were the jeans were nearly $90 dollars a pair and t-shirts over 30. My poor children are obviously neglected if these are the indicators of good parenting.
Still with no cackling crazy sewists in view it reached a point where I was considering walking through the paintshop and asking intelligent questions but at the last minute I veered away. Imagine me engaged in a discussion about the merits of acrylic vs eggshells for walls with some fella I had never met before and would never see again. Ten minutes of my life that would never return so I walked down a side street and photographed 1920s/30s Australian houses.
'Are you waiting for two women from Ballarat?'
Leading question I thought but yes I was.
'They have just rung and said to tell you they are bit delayed because of roadworks.'
I think she must have known it was me from their description - gorgeous, elegant, sophisticated, glamorous - you know, all the usuals.
Eventually they arrived bringing the sunshine and we laughed and photographed our way through the shop. After half an hour we engaged in what I had assumed was an English obsession but perhaps it is me is the odd one out, we had coffee and cake (apologies to Maria and Lesley).
A quick drive up to the far end of the shopping street and landed us in a good craft place. An old-fashioned haberdashers with racks and racks of buttons, ribbon, bias, lace, toggles and thread. A v. smart dress fabrics shop run by an extremely elegant Italian woman with a razor sharp grey bob and a large pair of cutting shears she menaced Jodie with after a small incident with a bolt of fabric, a slipping elbow and the front window display. Fortunately we escaped with our limbs still attached and so were able to look at a) the smart florists (Annie) and b) the funky toy shop (me and Jodie).
With a quick look at their watches it became clear one of them at least had to be a good parent and get home in time to collect children from school so we said our (temporary) farewells (seeing Jodie at Sew It Together) before I caught the bus into town to meet Sylv at her crafting group. So all in all 's been a bit busy today.