Enjoy

How large is your footprint?

Real Estate Agents are reporting a marked increase in enquiries and sales from Melbourne residents wishing to relocate to regional areas.  The image of the bush block and rolling plains, clean air and easier lifestyle that has been lurking in the mindset of many is now manifesting into firing up the moving van. The country idyll is something many aspire to and there is a lot to recommend it, but there is more to consider when moving to a country area than first meets the eye.  How big is the footprint going to be on the land?  What about bushfires?…

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 ARE HERE

Castlemaine State Festival announces $15,000 in commissions for regional Victorian artists To celebrate regional Victoria’s diverse and forward-thinking creative community, Castlemaine State Festival’s COVID-19 artist relief project will offer respite for vulnerable artists as well as provide a platform to showcase new art forms, ideas and attitudes. WE ARE HERE will provide grants for a suite of bold new works by artists living in Mount Alexander Shire, Macedon Ranges, Hepburn Shire, Central Goldfields Shire and the City of Greater Bendigo, or projects created within these regions. Four new performing/live works artists will receive a grant of $3,000 to bring their…

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…

A box full of beauty

The Pink Heart mounted on the front of Beauty in a Box salon in Creswick says it all really. Sisters Carla Preston and Casey Leaghan love what they do and there is no mistaking their enthusiasm for their business, their clients and their community.  The girls grew up in Donald and inherited their innate work ethic from their parents, together with their affection for small towns, both saying, “we are falling more in love with Creswick every day.” Carla set up Beauty in a Box from a repurposed shipping container two years ago to fulfil her desire to get back…

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…

Your horoscope for Winter 2020

Editor’s Note: Although we haven’t been able to produce a print magazine for winter, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Lyndall McQuinn’s insightful predictions for winter. In a year that has thrown up more challenges than most of us have ever had to face, with more uncertainty as we move forward in a very turbulent world, some guidance never goes astray. The winter months of 2020 are equally as interesting as the autumn months, but with a different flavor of course. GEMINI /SAGITTARIUS.The major new comer into the picture is Gemini. The nodes are now moving in…