Luckily, I was invited to go to Bundaberg as a guest of the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, a little over a week ago.
I launched a cool new initiative – The Craft Crowd – with the gallery and also did a couple of really fun workshops over the weekend too. We had a PomPom Party and a Wishing Flowers Make-A-Thon with a bunch of lovely women. Much chatter, giggling, snipping and shaping ensued. Not only did we get to make stuff, but the gallery provided a delicious selection of sweet treats AND cups of tea (served in their ultra cute tea-cup collection!)
I was pretty stoked because a) I got to drink out of a beautiful cup with wattle on it and b) I made a bunch of new friends who like the same kinds of stuff I do. They made me feel super welcome, even though I was VERY far from home. Nice-ys!
The gallery has a little apartment they offer to visiting artists and creatives, so I got to spend a couple of nights soaking up the quietness, eating toast (my fave!), working with the gallery team and taking little jaunts out to explore Bundaberg.
It really is a lovely town – dotted with gorgeous old architecture, excellent food (because everything grows so, so well up there) and a lovely river AND beach.
From where I was staying, I could see not only the river, but the RSL. Granted I did not go there, but there was something about the not-too-far away cane fields and the neon RSL sign that made me feel very comforted.
After Saturday’s workshops, two adorable people (Nicole and Hannah) showed me around Bundaberg and helped me buy some delicious things from Nana’s Pantry. We took in the Bundaberg Sugar place and the Bundaberg Rum place and the Bundaberg Ginger Beer (and fancy soft drink) place. No joke, Bundaberg Ginger Beer is actually my fave drink. I’m not just saying that..!
We also had the best kind of gelato – blood orange… served from a shop in a WINDMILL! A windmill! Gasp! So good. That pretty floor up there is the windmill-shop floor. We went to the beach and I found out about the old roller skating rink – and we checked out the thrift shopping situation too (of course, in country towns the op shops close at lunchtime on Saturday, but I know where to go for next time, right?!) Basically we had an extra fun time and it was lovely to hang out with such friendly, smart, hospitable gals.
Marlies had just won a prize in the local art show so everyone was pretty excited about that. I have it in good faith that Marlies is now addicted to pompoms. (Sorry Marlies, but at least your house will now be happily fuzz filled!)
On Sunday morning I flew home – but not before Bundaberg gave me a through soaking with a sudden downpour as I ran into the terminal at the airport (and by ran I mean lurched – due to heavy bag now full of olive oil, jam, chutney, fudge and other excellent Bundaberg produce!) My dress was totally soaked, but by the time I stepped onto the (quite small) plane it had dried and I settled in to watch The Missing and wing my way home.
Thanks so much to Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery – and especially a super huge epic thanks to Rebecca McDuff who invited me, to Wendy (for just being ace) and to the back of house gallery staff who put up with my slow responses to their requests as we organised the trip. SORRY! (I bet Akira Isogawa will be MUCH less tardy with his emails about HIS visit!)
Also… thanks to gorgeous Jess for her generosity and dedication to delicious.
Have you been to Bundaberg?!
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