Just over a month since my last blog round-up. Last time I focused on a few personal blogs. I decided to continue that theme looking for blogs and stories that might reveal aspects of life across the broader New England.
On the North Coast blog Mountaingirl Musings, Pearl has been worried about income pressures. Money's Too Tight To Mention begins: The budget is getting stretched way too tight and something has to give. Pearl is not alone here. There are many people on the North Coast on benefits or other low incomes that are finding things such as rising utility prices hard to manage. Pearl's solution is to make things to sell at local markets. Here she wrote:
We have a number of markets here in town so that becomes an obvious option. The big one would be most ideal but I physically can't walk that far - no it isn't far - but it just isn't an option.
So I look to the smaller markets. They do have the advantage of being on twice a month and have just implemented a "car boot sale" type component. I need to find some more info but it would mean that the car is right next to me eliminating the need for walking.
Over the last twenty years, the type of markets that Pearl is talking about have spread widely across New England. They come in many forms and sizes. Part social, part commercial, they have come to fill an important gap.
This photo from What's On In Armidale shows the Armidale Farmers Market. It is held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month down by the creek in Curtis Park. It currently has a modest range of about 30 stallholders. There are some great veges, meat and local wine producers. Also the odds and ends of the car boot section.
Staying with farmer's markets, Little Eco Footprints is a Newcastle blog, one that I had not seen before, and a very popular one measured by the comments.
Introducing Emu, Flappy, and Duffa Dilly Bong starts this way:
And very attractive arrivals they are too. I hope that Daddy Eco wasn't too cross!
I see that Mummy Eco is a slow food exponent, and lists a number of interesting Newcastle sites that I had not seen before including:
- Slow Food Hunter
- Hunter Organic Growers Society
- Hunter Bio Dynamic Group inc
- Newcastle City Farmers Market
Staying with food, Sophie Masson's A la mode frangourou continues to offer some most wonderful recipes. For a number of years I have been main cook because that was easier from a family viewpoint and found myself getting most dreadfully stale. Bored with cooking, in fact. Sophie inspires me to explore new things.
I won't give an individual post because they are just so very good. Congratulations to Sophie as well for winning the NSW Premier's Award for children's literature!
It's show time around New England. This photo of the Bellingen Show comes from Lynne Sanders-Braithwaite's SIXTY EYES 2011 VISION.
This blog is a daily photo blog, and is but one of Lynne's blogs!
There was a time when it looked as though social change would destroy the local show. Too much other entertainment, pressures on the agricultural sector, simple changes in tastes. Fortunately they have survived and still form an integral part of New England life.
I think that the strangest thing I have ever done at a show was judging the Walcha Miss Showgirl competition! Now that, it seemed to me, was a dangerous task!
The shows themselves are but one element in the changing pattern of local events across New England.
This next photo from Mark's Clarence Valley Today shows one dance at the Clarence Valley Multicultural Festival. Mark comments:
The great thing about the multicultural festival is that you realise how many different cultures there are in the Clarence Valley and how proud they are of their cultural heritage. The stereotype of rural New South Wales is one of monoculture, the Festival of the Five Senses shows that that is not true.
It's actually never been quite true. A fair bit of my historical writing has been concerned with diversity and the changing pattern of life across New England and across time.
I fear that I have run out of time. That's all for now, folks!