We are home again from our holidays. Actually we got home by lunchtime on Sunday but I have been snowed under with washing and house cleaning and even a bit of gardening. I must admit even though housework isn’t super exciting I did enjoy getting back into some sort of routine again.

Castlemaine was delightful as always.  We checked out the antique shops. Found plenty we liked but alas the budget said no… ; – (.

Feeding the Ducks - Castlemaine Botanic Gardens

Feeding the ducks is one of James’s priorities. He loves it and it gives both of us a chance to wander around the gardens. We picked up some acorns and are going to have a go at growing an oak tree from seed.


He insisted on taking my photo – possibly because I had been taking plenty of him….vbg. It’s not bad considering just how much I hate having my photo taken.

Elise hurt her ankle the second night we were there.  She slipped on a stone coming back from the toilets about 8.30 pm and by 9 pm Elise and I were  checking out the emergency department of the Castlemaine hospital, which I might add is delightful with the nicest possible staff, and we couldn’t have had better care anywhere. Luckily the Doctor thought Elise had only sprained her ankle and not broken (that would have meant a drive to Bendigo to the hospital there to get it xrayed – there is no xray department in Castlemaine) it so it was bandaged up and we were sent back to the bus.

Fierce Competition

This unfortunately meant that Elise was confined to the bus for the next few days as her ankle was too sore to move even though we bought her crutches to use the next morning.  It was all good though. The kids were happy to stay at the bus and play cards and read which meant Ashley and I had a morning out together checking out more antique shops and having a coffee together. I felt a bit guilty at leaving them but they all assured me that they would much rather stay put and relax than wander around.

We did manage a visit to the Chocolate Mill the day after Elise hurt her ankle.  Not even a sore ankle was keeping her away from all that yummy chocolate.  We did splurge a bit on chocolate – the best I have ever tasted – and enjoyed a coffee and drinks while we were there. Nicola had a chocolate milkshake (which I don’t normally like – far too rich for me) but this was amazing – just goes to show what using good (and by that I mean really good chocolate) can do to a drink.


Lots of relaxing was done and for the first time in months Ashley had time to sit and read some magazines. By the end of the week the weather was lovely – cool breeze and warm sunshine so he enjoyed sitting outside and taking it easy.  Just wish I had been able to relax as quickly as the rest of the family did. It’s been so hectic of late it took nearly four days before I could sit for any length of time and work on my crochet without jumping up to do something every five minutes.

The Boys and Old Toys

Saturday saw all of us wandering around a steam engine rally in glorious sunshine. Ashley and James particularly enjoyed it – with James telling Ashley that they really should start collecting these old “things”….lol. As if we need another hobby!!!

By this time Elise was managing with just one crutch so she was able to take photos (using my phone) of machinery that interested her….lol.


Lucky Nicola kept getting handed the drinks to hold while Elise and I were busy taking photos. I wouldn’t have minded but she kept drinking my tea!!!

Nicola - the Drinks Lady

Saturday afternoon saw us at Maldon (about fifteen minutes from Castlemaine) looking at the Maldon Vintage Machinery Museum and having a personal tour guide show us what there was. He was a delightful older man with the softest Irish accent and who didn’t mind the visitors asking questions. The Museum had only been up and running for about 2 years but they had a good collection of items and there was a lot of personal history told to us about the displays. The Museum is run by volunteers and the $15 it cost us as a family was worth it in the amount of information we were told and what there was to see.

Could have used this for Elise

We could have used this Wheel chair for Elise earlier in the week.

Motorised "scooter"

This would have been even more useful. A very inventive gentleman made this “vehicle” for an elderly invalid lady who was having trouble getting around the town shopping or visiting friends. It has a motor and is used the same as the motorised scooters you see so often now by the elderly to get about. Apparently this man made six of these all up for different people in the district.

Washing Machine

This washing machine intrigued me and I must admit I would love to try it out.  It’s just a tub with a large conical shaped plate attached to a handle that you move up and down to wash the clothes.  Just think – no electricity needed, very little noise, the chance of being splashed with soapy water and a work out all at the same time…..vbg. What more could a girl ask for???

Now that life is settling down to normal I have to begin packing the bus again as we are heading out camping – the same thing we do every Easter – and to cut wood.  It looks like I might end up having to work with Ashley tomorrow which means the job will fall to the children.  Can you tell how sorry I am…lol.


2 thoughts on “Castlemaine

  1. Looks like you all had a wonderful holiday but sorry to hear about Elise hurting her ankle. Fabulous picture that James took of you very artistic 🙂

    The chocolate sounds divine, we have a factory here in town and they have the most wonderful chocolate as well, lol, it’s reserved for special occasions.

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