If you were wondering where everyone was this Easter, it’s safe to assume they were in Beechworth at the Golden Horseshoes Festival. This festival celebrates an important moment in Beechworth’s history and just so happens to be held over the Easter long weekend, when I tend to visit the parents. It means crowds, even more tourists than normal, people doing odd things on the road and general mayhem. It also means I avoid it like the plague when I’m up here, except for one year when I actually went to the parade, purely so I could take some photos (some of which you can see here).
My mum said it best as we were driving past the chaos on the way to my parents’ house (which is thankfully on the very edge of town). She turned to my dad and said: “Why were we born without the gene that makes people want to go to things like that?”
It’s not that I don’t like going to interesting events; I just prefer it if fifty million other people aren’t there, too.
When you’re this way inclined, the trick to visiting Beechworth over Easter is to avoid Beechworth, so we started in Wangaratta when the parents met my train and then promptly drove around to see if any op shops were open. The Vinnies was closed, in outright defiance of the ‘Open’ sign on the door, but the Salvos was open. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of Salvos stores – they’re too neat and regular for my tastes – but this one came up trumps in the sewing and knitting pattern department and the ma and I both found some amazing treasures. (There’s a photo in the gallery below, in case you missed them on instagram.)
The Beechworth region is absolutely gorgeous in Autumn. There’s colour in the trees and there’s a crispness to the morning air, followed by a lazy warmth in the middle of the day.
Followed by rain.
That was my fault, though. It’s only polite to bring a gift with you when you go visiting and mine just happens to be precipitation. Mind you, it goes down quite well in country areas that haven’t seen rain since some time last year.
I do love Autumn, in spite of its tendency to rain at you when you least expect it. There’s something so cosy and welcoming about this particular season. The air smells like smoke and the mornings are full of mist and it all makes me want to hop in the car with a picnic lunch and head off on a rambling roadtrip, destination optional. It also makes me lament the necessity of going to work, but then I run into the inevitable dilemma of being unable to finance said random roadtrips without said work.
Luckily, the parents are also fond of a roadtrip for no particular reason, which meant we headed out on a generous circuit on Easter Sunday, stopping first at Yackandandah to pick up some pies for lunch, then rambling off via Myrtleford just for a good old look at the prettiness. We had a longer look than anticipated, thanks to our encountering a Morris Minor convoy that appeared to have a top speed of 80kmh. That sort of thing doesn’t matter too much when you have an overload of beautiful scenery to admire and a small band of cute little cars in front of you.
When we weren’t doing our best to avoid the Beechworth crowds, I spent my time fighting with the cat for the right to sit in what she considers to be her chair and knitting. This meant the cat shifted her attention to the knitting, challenging its right to sit in my lap. Mostly, the cat won.
I love that this is as intense as things get when I’m in Beechworth: there’s no pressure to do anything much at all. So you have an hour or two to spare this afternoon? Why don’t you just sit there and knit while we do cryptic crosswords… That sounds alright to me. Of course, I do occasionally get up and do other stuff, especially if the cat has just won a fight for the right to the chair. The garden is well worth a wander or two and ma always has interesting things lying about the place. You can see for yourself the things that took my photographic fancy in the gallery below.
The only problem with holidays in the country is that I eventually have to head back to the suburbs. I do like being back home with the Chef and the cats, but I can’t help longing for that rural escape, especially after such a lovely weekend.