Having finally hung up the chalk after a very long teaching career, my new career is: travelling, blogging and writing from the beautiful northern end of the NSW coast.
You can read about my progress at www.maureendurney.com
Life is Good!
Published July 7th 2016
Update July 30th 2018
Please note this venue is permanently closed and no longer trading
Shed a Little Light In Your Darkness
If you are in the market for a chandelier, lamp, sconce, or anything else that will light up the darkness in your place, then The Grainery in Murwillumbah is the place to go, but you'd better be quick.
The Grainery would have to be the area's best kept secret, and Michael, the owner, is nothing short of a 'character' in every sense of the word. While you are scanning the floors, ceilings and walls of the large building that houses everything illuminative, and more, you are likely to hear a soprano voice accompanying a country and western song playing on the portable sound equipment. A search for the soprano will lead you to Michael, singing beautifully in a voice that seems strangley as if it should belong to someone other than the man standing in front of you. And if he isn't singing, Michael will be entertaining you with stories from long ago, or telling jokes, or making funny quips about whatever might be happening in the world at the time. It seems that Michael has an opinion on, and an answer for everything.
But most of all, Michael knows about lights, and every inch of the available floor and wall space is utilised to display lights of every colour, shape, and material that you could imagine, including brass and leadlight. But be prepared to dig deep to find some real gems, or use your imagination to think beyond the shade that adorns that quirky base. Michael is happy to help you mix and match the fabulous base with the orange striped shade to something more in keeping with your pastel decor, if orange stripes just don't cut it for you.
Did I mention that the floor space spans a huge area, and that when you think you've covered every inch, there's more upstairs? You might need to allow a couple of hours, and bring a cut lunch and thermos of tea or coffee, especially since there are no cafes within an easy walk of the store.
No shortage of lights
And if you get tired of looking at lights, there's a room full of old books and toys, as well as beautiful old furniture scattered throughout the building. If old frames are what you are after, then make sure you venture upstairs where you'll find not only hundreds of light shades, but a whole corner of art-work and frames as well.
There are both new and old items in the store, and if you have any questions about the price, or how to change that fabulous ceiling light to a table-top lamp, then Michael will have the answer.
When you arrive at The Grainery the first thing you'll see is the huge 'Closing Down Sale' sign on the wall, which is why I mentioned earlier that you would need to be quick if you want to find that rare chandelier or lamp. Having said that, the sign has been there for a while, and Michael has had the 'make me an offer' dialogue going since I first visited the store over six months ago, so I'll leave it to you to decide how urgently you need to make the trek to the northern rivers area to check out the lights for yourself.
The Grainery is at 32 Charles Street, Murwillumbah, NSW, just 20 minutes south of the Gold Coast, and is open every day except Sunday. If you are planning on driving a long way to get there, it might just be worth a phone call before you leave to make sure they are open, just in case. You'll find opening hours on the website at www.thegrainerymurwillumbah.com.au.
If you can't find it at The Grainery, you probably won't find it anywhere.