Flight of Fancy
As soon as I saw the magnificent painting of Pegasus
I knew I had to risk a flight with this winged stallion.
Perhaps I would be cautious in where I thought of flying to
Perhaps I should stay close to home
Perhaps I should view my beloved sea from the air
Perhaps this would be my once in a lifetime to fly
Perhaps I would not wait for technology to invent a flying bird
Perhaps I would be the first in my family to take to the air by bird
No more doubts said I confidently.
I drafted a message and sent it by Raven courier to le Enchanteur asking for a loan of Pegasus for just an hour or two (as I was not sure how long it took to travel 600klms across the sea) I would prefer to travel in daylight I said, but if not I have my little light in my purple back-pack I have carried for the past months.(Anyway birds can see to travel at night, why am I worried)
As I await my answer from Madame le.E. via the reliable raven.. I think.......
My choice of destination is Port Fairy a Heritage listed town that sits on Bass Srait coastline in Victoria. Formerly known as Belfast as it was settled by mostly Irish families who were fisherfolk.
I had camped there back in the 1970's for some 10 years at Christmas time with family relatives, friends including all our various dogs at the time.
With our cars loaded and trailer packed with tents etc we set off on the 23rd Dec(Christmas presents carried also) Early in the morning we travelled for most of the day... stopping for morning tea and lunch of fish and chips 1/2 way, we arrived late afternoon and set up camp. Everyone had a job to do.
Port Fairy was the most unspoiled part of the coast , perhaps because it offered nothing in the way of modern life....
Shops did not open after 5.30 pm the banks shut at 3.pm , there was no entertainment except a small film theatre and a once a year pagent called Moyneyana where every person could take a part in.
So we had dressed carts, horses, dogs, goats and of course children in all manner of home made costumes.
The local fire brigade , the pubs, the shopkeepers, farmers, the local hospital staff all took part decorating whatever was available...
Just about everyone gathered in the very wide main streets to watch the procession ... The brass band of the fire brigade was never in tune as it only practised now and again and I always smiled as those in the band grew taller, the trousers grew shorter.
We ate wonderful succulent fresh fish daily as this was one of the main ports for the fishing fleet .... They were moored in the Moyne River which was one of the most picturesque spots I have ever seen..... Timber homes owned by fisherfolk lined the banks of the Moyne as did the fish co-operative where you chose the fish whole and they would fillet it for you....( My Mother always bought the whole fish and filleted it herself)crayfish, oysters, scallops, crabs etc etc .... I would never taste their like again...
We cooked outside on our wood or gas b/ques sharing all evening meals with as many as 20 at each dinnertime meal....
I think back and wonder that such happiness was of a simple evening meal shared as the most important part of the day..
Swimming on a sheltered safe beach was wonderful.... an ocean beach about a kilometer away was not frequented until children were much older. But of course the most popular game at Christmas time was CRICKET, played by all boys, girls, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts and of course grandparents.
At night the young kids played scrabble, monopoly, snakes and ladders, cards with games like Happy Families , match the animals, grabs.
There was no Television !!!!!!!!!! Range was poor and only country reception was available unless you had an aerial that was about 60ft high.... So for us it was never missed... A big night out was going to the local pictures... never mind what was on, we went anyway.....
The local Baker, Ice man, fruiterer came through the 600 site camping ground 7 days a week.... so this was a big event.... Every morning kids rushed out of tents and caravans as the Baker came early, to buy fresh coffee scrolls, iced buns, vanilla slices, lamingtons ... they never bought rolls or fresh bread.
I could go on and on... It has been a joy to write of these times as they were bonding of families that lasted for a long time.
Not now, as life has changed most of that but some family relationships still endure and we talk about those holidays often, and wonder if our children will think back to them as some of the happiest times spent together....
I am having a cup of tea as I sit here and wait for the Raven courier to return with a message of when I can travel across the Bass Strait to that wonderful town called " PORT FAIRY".
Lois (Muse of he Sea) Port Melbourne 20-10-05