Gravel drive next to the lagoon. 'The lagoon is a naturally-occurring water hole. It was important to both Aboriginal people and European settlers as it provides a permanent source of fresh water for humans and animals'as stated on the plaque displayed next to the lagoon
Freshly made pumpkin and lentil soup (for the 'commoners') bubbled away busily, and by the bucket load, and hollered out "how do you do" through the tea rooms. 'Twas Tocal Homestead's 'Peek into the Past' open day, and, didn't the 'maids' know it.
The sprucely, sprawling and stately front lawn - bequeathed to its guests the pompous platform of which to play the day's befitting games of lofty croquet on - romantically shaded by the phenomenal figs.
Those with the knack (colonial musicians) plucked jovially away at their sweet sounding instruments, propelling pleasure in the way of bush dancing melodies, way out onto the crisp, at times cow dung scented, placid breeze.
Splendidly co-ordinated bits and bob activities (too many to list all) dreamily charmed and cheered alike: sheep were shorn, Clydesdales ridden, history talks fascinated as did the vintage machinery display. Straw broom makers demonstrated and the blacksmith did too (the blacksmith hard at work in what could quite possibly be 'one of the oldest blacksmith shops in Australia' as stated on www.tocal.com/visits/guide05.htm). Not one single gimmicky plastic show bag in single sight. Not required. The tiny tots instead - saturated with wonder and intrigue and fresh farm air - their tums filled with golden syrupy 'demonstration damper' (or scones or sandwiches or a little plate of cake).
This is just one of several events that this historic homestead hosts throughout the year (check out www.tocal.com.au for more information). Should you choose, however, to visit this 'vintage wonderland' on a normal weekend (open every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday from March to November) - Tocal Homestead encourages you to: 'enjoy the tranquillity of this heritage site at your leisure with our innovative audio guide'.
Thanks Kristy, I am not stuck until the weekend ends now, before having great ideas at my fingertips, up and away, you make my days fuller with these prompting ideas and great photos, not to mention the thought of food when I get there. M M geoff.