On Sunday, my dear friend Lani and I enjoyed a relaxing Braidwood/Bungendore roadtrip. The itinerary is quite similar to two previous Braidwood roadtrips (May 2014 and June 2014). I guess I enjoy it as a destination, given that I had an undocumented journey there since then with the lovely Ms C too.
Dojo bakery had run out of bagels (which are vegan!) so I had bread rolls instead (not very exciting but I appreciate that they have an ingredient chart to say what’s dairy-free).
Our main motivation for this trip was to see Franki Sparke’s Pictographics show at The Left Hand. It alone was so, so worth the trip. It’s on for one more weekend (2 & 3 May). Sometimes I forget how uplifting it can be to see an exhibition, that it puts the joy back into art.
We loved seeing the carved erasers which are gorgeous objects in themselves and reveal “behind the scenes” (as owner Julian explains, all their shows aim to give an insight into process and making). Even the tinted stencils curled up on each other on a plinth like layers of skin pulled off a healed wound, different depths of the paint outlined the teeth of building windows and spattered at road edges.
It was just after Anzac day, so String still had a display of poppies and banners, it’s my favourite shop not just for their wares but because it keeps the same scent as my Grandma’s house (this was the exact reason I used to love Benedict House). In the adjacent Altenburg and Co, there was an interesting show on the environment of the south coast by Mirabel FitzGerald. “Among the trees the light permeates and displaces everything, a continuum of spaces, solids and fractured forms.”
We walked up the road to Longbarn, they have a wonderfully violent-looking wheat thresher thing with embedded shells. I like to touch it when I visit, it’s like a grown-up version of daring yourself to stick a finger in a lit candle. It hasn’t cut me yet.
There were lots of adorable dogs on main street as usual, a French bulldog and heaps of others, I hardly got to pat any. This cutie was outside the bakery. At the end of the day, Lea told Mr. Sonja that “She patted all the dogs in Braidwood”. I really wished I had. It was a very low #PatADay score.
On the way back, we dropped in to the Sugden/Hamilton ceramic studio and shop, which I’d been meaning to visit for a while. The miniatures in the window are so charming, they also have some nice brooches, but the inlaid coloured clay bowls are my favourite (particularly the MP homages).
Unfortunately the McLeod Gallery was closed and William Verdon jewellery had a mysterious carved stone display. Next time I’d like to try the vegan food options in Braidwood itself, as it was the wrong day for the market (so no pizza for me).
We called it a day and headed back through Bungendore. It didn’t feel as engaging as Braidwood, perhaps it’s because no longer contains the sense of being “other” because it’s gradually becoming more of the shoreline of Canberra (in recent years a government department grew there). I do enjoy the mysterious teddy bears on the trees along the way, though.
I patted the cat (dozing next to the fireplace, didn’t even wake up!) at Village Antiques and there was a really nice Japanese hand painted tea set, but I decided that I didn’t need a fruit salad decorated cup because people always try and make me eat salad, the rotten stuff. I don’t need a picture of it in my life too, no matter how pretty.
We tried to find some of my brother’s work at the Bungendore Woodworks Gallery (his name is Rolf! He has recently started his own cabinetmaking business). He might have a something there but couldn’t see the shelf for the trees. We checked out the Ken Knight painting show upstairs and were most entertained by some of the mischievous entries in the gallery diary.
Mercifully the Woodworks café’s soup of the day was unintentionally vegan so there was something I could eat. The waitress said I was the first vegan she had ever met there. I focused on looking normal.
We then drove back to Canberra and I said goodbye to all the bears nailed to the trees.
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