4 Nov 2010

Daylesford's delights

You probably heard my whoop of delight from there, did you, at about midday on Saturday? We were on a short break in Daylesford, as you may be aware, and as you didn't know, but would, no doubt, be unsurprised to learn, I was in a bookstore. A second-hand bookstore. Not a surprise at all, is it? You can see me there in the piccy above, see.

My kind of store, the Bookbarn@Daylesford - books and coffee. Perfect, really.

Well, actually, it was more than perfect, because I am now the deliciously delighted owner of Doris Chadwick's John of the Sirius. Yep - moi. For $5.00 as well - much better than the significantly overinflated $125.00 asking price on Abe.

So do you get the idea that I'm excited about this? Because I am. I actually did yell, but only quietly so that my hubby and daughter looked to see what was going on, but nobody else looked concerned that I had suffered some serious medical event. I would have been a bit embarrased then, so I'm glad that I was a little restrained. It was sort of loud though. For me.

I've been looking for John ever since I started haunting bookshops. The first in a trilogy, John of the Sirius tells the story of the First Fleet through the eyes of young John, a fictitious lad who always happens to be in just the right place when anything historically important happens. Of course, this is my first look at the book, and it looks good, although a little forced and jolly - life is always happy for John and his family, even in a penal colony.

Still, it looks excellent for use in next year's AO4 Australian History. Which is now only a few weeks away. That's what I wanted it for, and why I was so excited. Woo Hoo!!

We were in Daylesford to celebrate a dear friend's 50th birthday, a protracted affair over the entire four days of the Melbourne Cup long weekend. In between eating, which we did an awful lot of, and drinking champagne which we equally did a little too much of, we explored this pretty town situated west of Melbourne in Victoria's Spa region. This is the place to indulge in Rolfing, the Alexander technique, esoteric astrology, Tarot reading, spiritual healing reiki, shiatsu, ear candling, bipolar therapy, chakra realignment, traditional Chinese therapies or acupuncture, if you're that way inclined. Which we're not, for obvious reasons. We do lurve a massage though, and the Daylesford region boasts the largest number of natural mineral water springs in Australia and a huge number of spas and places for a seriously good massage. An hour and a half spent with the massage therapists at Salus Spa was another of the highlights of our delightful break.

The rambling maze that is Paradise Books was obviously high on our weekend agenda, and proved to be hiding a copy of AO4 free read Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight in its eight rooms of laden shelves. Lassie's now mine as well. Hee Hee.

Daylesford is also the real life home of online store, Lark, a very dangerous thing indeed. I left there with copies of Pip Lincolne's new book, Sew La Tea Do as well as Cath Kidson's Stitch! (I can justify those as Jemimah's Handwork projects, can't I?)

You can also spend a great deal of money in David Bromley's A Day on Earth. (Make sure you stay in the Childhood areas of his website - he also paints nudes...) Alas, the budget does not extend to a delightful picture book style portrait of Jemimah, but we did purchase some of his sublime pottery bowls...

Finally we visited Purl's Palace, home of all things covetable to purchase more yarn for Ripple. She's half-way done now, and I was running out of colours.

So that's about it. Old friends, food, champagne, massage, bookstores, long rambly walks and a stay at Lake House and Alla Wolf-Tasker's sublime culinary creations. Isn't that about the perfect long weekend getaway?

Well, when you find John of the Sirius it is anyhow.

Here are some pics.


  1. Hip Hooray, as my 2 year old loves to say. There's really not much that beats finding that hard to get book is there! Especially when you find it tucked away in some second hand book store for a gorgeous price! Love the pics too...love a road trip...love the lilac. :)

  2. How delightful for you all to have a nice break like that! Love the pictures and gardens, so beautiful! Love it too when you find books on your list! xxx

  3. It sounds like a great weekend.

    I will be putting Daylesford on my list of places to visit one day.

  4. I was right there with you sharing your excitement as I read this:)
    Loved the beautiful pictures too!

  5. Hoorah for a bonus pic with you in it!
    What a very beautiful weekend and my, such striking people. Oh, I would have loved wallowing about in those books with you.

    Thanks to you I broke my media fast. Our weekend was MUCH different than yours :)

  6. Jeanne

    Thrilling!!!! So very excited for you!! I found JOhn of Sydney Cove at our local opshop for 20Cents! My reaction was yelling in the inside and a 'quick lets buy it before they realise what they are giving away'.
    Oh happy dancing:):):)

  7. oh that honey, i love that honey!

  8. I discovered John of the Sirius when I was around 6 years old. It introduced me to a love of reading that still continues some 55 years later.
    Like you I had been searching for a copy for years. Unlike you I couldnt find one in any book shop...but I am the one that paid the $ 125.00 to Abe books. I now have a first edition that I intend to give to my grandson on his 6th birthday
    and I hope it starts him on the same journey and ignights a love of books and reading just as it did his old grandad.
    enjoy Greg Murphy


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