Summer is just around the corner! How I love the long evenings, lazy swimming, watering the garden with a glass of white wine (if there isn’t a drought and we have plenty of water) and looking forward to some holiday time. Yes, I know I have a dream of a life and could take a break anytime, but there is something special about the summer holiday break….
While November (and summer) is really shaping up to be a good one, at least in Australia, I do feel for those in the parts of the world that are currently overwhelmed with the virus. I feel for my children and grandchildren who live in England and long to see them in person but thank goodness for modern technology! We’ll do our best and hope for a vaccine and new therapies to come on board soon.
So what’s happening?
The Open Studios – Ballina, Byron and Beyond! For your summer diary – two weekends – 28/29 November and 5/6 December. There are 34 studios open to the public and I am one of them along with my fellow artist, Narelle Bretherton at my home studio 21 Fig Tree Hill Drive, Lennox Head. We’ll be open 10 – 4pm and can take cash or card..
This summer, Lennox Arts Collective (2/72 Ballina St. Lennox Head) will hold our annual Christmas exhibition, with prices set between $5 – 300 – a great place to buy your Christmas gifts. Starts on 11th December.
Now I’ll fill you in a bit with what has occurred in October, just to bring you up to date!
I had a week in the Kangaroo valley with the wonderful artist, Tim Allen – generous soul who shared his Mixed Media art making practice with us. Organised by Beryl at Artworkshops Australia, what a beautiful place – we stayed at Barranca which overlooks the amazing escarpment – it was right in my view when I woke in the morning – what a treat! A steep walk to the Barrengarry Creek made it feel like it was ok to eat the incredible meals from our caterers – especially the uphill climb back. It was a great group and some excellent networking and art making came about.
Afterwards I caught the train back to Sydney from Bowral and treated myself and my sister to tickets to the Archbald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes. It was all well organised for Covid, with ticketing for each person at a specific time, QR code check in and social distancing. It actually made for a better viewing than usual as the crowding that usually occurs was not an issue! I love the NSW Art Gallery and although the Members Room was not open for lunch, we were given 10% off our meals at the Gallery Cafe. Fascinatingly, there is now a ‘seagull patrol’ to shoo away irritating birds! A young woman and a dog.
After lunch we had a lovely early summer wander through the Royal Botanic Gardens which is looking gorgeous and visited the art exhibition ‘Cultivate’, before it closed.
Flying home to Ballina was no problem – I wore a mask all the time I was with the general public – on trains, in the gallery, in shops and in the airport and plane. I noted that maybe 50% wore masks, although that percentage was probably about 90% on the aircraft – there were packs of masks and sanitiser for passengers.
Sydney Airport was an amazing sight – I have been on the 10.25 flight from Sydney to Ballina on a Sunday, hundreds of times. This time was surreal. Only 15 flights on the departure board, no significant queues for bag drop or security, space everywhere and I was the only occupant in the cafe I like to frequent for my latte and fruit toast.
Looking outside as we taxied off – hundreds of Qantas aircraft parked – such a lonely sight. I love flying around the world – who knows when I can do it again? It was so good to fly again, even if it was just domestic – made it feel as if life is coming back to normal just a little! Come on Summer, I am looking forward to you!