Drink

Lock Up Your Ostrich

The media is full of doom, gloom and vitriol, so we thought it was time for a little levity, with thanks to the VicEmergency App. A notice came through yesterday warning of an outbreak of Avian Influenza in two poultry farms in Lethbridge in the Golden Plains Shire. The advice was quite extensive and informative, especially when listing the birds most susceptible to infections. These included domestic fowl, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pheasants, quail, turkeys and ostriches. Can’t remember the last time I saw an Ostrich in a chook shed, but if you have one, make sure you lock it…

Breathing Life Through Art

The word retirement usually conjures up images of lazy days sitting in the sun, reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in hand – not so for artist Alison Parkinson.  Alison has enjoyed a very full life as a portraitist, landscape artist, sculptor, jewellery maker, French polisher and teacher, however when asked about retirement. Alison says, “I’ve never been busier and I’m loving it”.  Alison has had exhibitions, both solo and collaborative, in various commercial galleries around Australia.  Most recently she had a very successful show of portraits at the Backspace Gallery – operated by the Art Gallery of…

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Just when you think you’ve caught the ball, the rules of the game change. The only constant in life is change, but when change seems to happen hourly, there is a collective cry going into the ether – “Give us a break!” There is a silver lining – or is there? Whilst the throngs of Melbourne travellers are on hold for awhile, we are being told that we should encourage visitors from other regional areas. We are fortunate where we are – we’re not called Central Victoria for nothing – and our towns are easily accessed from around the rest…

We were told

So the doors opened and infections rose dramatically.  The Department of Health experts can be excused for saying “we told you so”.  At the moment, infections seem to be confined to particular Melbourne suburbs, some of which are very nearly bordering on our region.  Considering the influx of visitors to our towns over the past few weekends, we can only hope that those visitors respectfully practice social distancing.  We spoke with the Mayor of Hepburn Shire, Licia Kokocinski about the Council’s response to Covid-19 in the Shire. Read her comments here https://wp.secretsmagazine.com.au/2020/06/the-mayor-speaks-about-hepburn-shire-covid-19 Shout out for Swiss Mountain Hotel Our hospitality…

The Mayor speaks about Hepburn Shire & Covid-19

We asked the Mayor of Hepburn Shire, Licia Kokocinski how the Council felt the businesses and communities within the Shire were coping with the Covid-19 lockdown. She said, “The impact has been very mixed across three sectors – farming, tourism and retail and because retail is divided between two sectors, tourism and local, the impact has been very mixed.” According to Ms Kokocinski, farming has been affected in varying ways.  Covid-19 came in right on harvest time, especially potatoes, which meant adjustments were needed in dealing with the harvest.  Other farmers experienced problems with the supply chain and travel restrictions. …

People, people everywhere

It didn’t take long for people to throw off the traces once Covid restrictions started to ease. It was abundantly clear in towns like Bendigo, Ballarat, Daylesford, Creswick, Castlemaine and others that the ‘starter’s gun’ had been fired. Each town had more than their fair share of visitors over the past two weekends, with not a lot of evidence of social distancing. Great for business, but the jury is still out if it is wise as that damn virus is still around. How are businesses coping with Covid Over the next few weeks, we are speaking with businesses and key…

Brothers together

Brothers Joban and Raj Singh are so close they often finish each other’s sentences.  They have been running Creswick’s Smokey Town Café, for the past five years and have become an important part of the town’s foodie scene.  When they started, they were pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome they received from the local community and it didn’t take long for them to build a rapport with their customers.  That warmth and acceptance has been reinforced during the Covid shutdown.  As soon as the lockdown was announced, Joban and Raj didn’t hesitate to decide to remain open, providing take away…

They may be creaking, but they are opening

Now businesses are slowly opening, albeit cautiously, it will be interesting how quickly the public embrace a revived freedom. Personally, I dropped into Smokey Town Cafe in Creswick for a take away coffee today, but decided to enjoy it and a muffin sitting at a table. I had no idea how good it would feel to have that option again and how good that coffee tasted in a mug. We still need to practice social distancing as we still need to get through winter, but our towns rely on our businesses, let’s support them. Speaking of support Regular readers to…

Will this be you on Monday

As the drawbridge lowers, will you be in the frontline of those rushing out to sit down and enjoy that coffee in your favourite cafe? It is pleasing to know that we can slowly start to move about, but cautiously. Enduring the past three months clearly indicate that as a society we are looking at a lifestyle reset in our working lives, living practices and socially. We can do it! Here’s a few things to look forward to … ‘Peaks, Wetlands and Rivers’ Part One – Mount Greenock Time travel back 180 years to three seldom visited environments and events…

Remember When?

This is how the MCG looked when Western Bulldogs won the premiership in 2016 – alive and vibrant – now with the shutdown it is looking very sad and lonely. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before life returns to the ‘old lady’. Story of the Week Escaping Persecution for a better life. This story is about Della Vreeland’s family and of their journey from their homeland Iran to escape religious persecution, to a life of peace and freedom in Australia. Can’t eat out? Bring the goodies in. We can’t dine out, but we can order in and there are…

New Pop Up Farmers Market

Have you been missing Farmer’s Markets and all that wonderful fresh produce?  You’re not on your own, but relief is in sight. Allendale Nursery is hosting the first Pop Up Farmers Market in Allendale on Sunday 26th April. The market is supported by the Shire of Hepburn and is classified as an essential – it is food after all and fresh regional produce.  You can’t get better than that! No entry fee – No early admission – No amenities on site – Strict Covid 19 rules apply. Please share with everyone you know.  We are all here for the community. …

We’re still hanging in.

Do you feel like your stuck in a basket with nowhere to go? News reports are indicating that the drawbridge may be partially lowered in the not too distant future. That is hopeful, but it will still be difficult to recover, especially for eateries, as it appears that they will be the last to reopen. Our towns and the region as a whole needs those businesses to remain viable as they are the lifeblood of our communities. They bring in tourists and tourists bring in business and business is what we all rely upon. Two new stories online at https://wp.secretsmagazine.com.au…