Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heading Off!

Many of Savoir Faire’s followers are aware that I grew up in Australia in a very small country town in the middle of nowhere. A small village of 1500 people nestled in rolling countryside with a strong historical past.

The town is a virtual time capsule which attracts tourists (luckily not too many), wine lovers (great vineyards in the area), historians, artists and just the curious. The main basis of the town as we know it today was the fact that gold was discovered in 1870, and at one time the town boasted a population of over 20,000. The gold petered out, the people left and the town settled down to become a farming community based on sheep and wheat.

Another claim to fame of the town was that it was the home for a time of one of Australia’s noted authors, Henry Lawson. Images of the town during the gold rush and Lawson were featured for many years on the Australian $10 bill. This has led to the dubious distinction of being known as the Ten Dollar Town.

Not much in the town has changed thanks to a very strict conversation policy which has preserved many of the town’s older buildings including the 5 pubs that cater to the small population. Walking down the main street is like going back in time.

Wonderful colonial Australian architecture still abounds and it is still a pleasure to go and admire the details and spend some time under these cool verandahs in summer, when the temperature can be over 100.
The town even boasts an Opera House called the Prince of Wales Opera House.

Mind you growing up in the middle of nowhere is not easy for teenagers, and one could not wait to escape the confines of the town and head for the big smoke and bright lights of Sydney.

Now the tide has turned and one always looks forward to visiting one’s home town, which Savoir Faire will be doing on Saturday. After a marathon flight from Toronto, via Shanghai to Sydney, Savoir Faire then boards a train, and then changes to a bus, to then be met by one’s mother at the old railway station and then home!

The purpose of the trip mainly being to attend the wedding of one of my nieces. This particular niece’s fiancé, proposed to her on top of the Rockefeller Centre in New York last year one evening while they were on vacation. How romantic and full of style is that?

So Savoir Faires for the next two weeks I will be incommunicado enjoying the relaxation of home!


  1. Have a nice wedding and a wonderful trip!

  2. had no idea of your fascinating backstory.
    happy trails!

  3. What a picturesque setting! I can understand how a young person would have the urge to escape, and how the mature person would want just as much to reconnect. Your photographs are beautiful, and your heritage is a rich and strong one for sure. Have a grand vacation!

  4. Is the town called Gulgong?

    I love the photos, so interesting. I grew up in Mayberry RFD, literally--my hometown was the basis for the show and they now market it to all ends, but it's still fun to go home.

    Also, I remember the wonderful huge awning, in NZ more than Oz, and they are effective indeed.

  5. Hello David:
    How strange it is that as we become older we yearn less and less for the bright lights of our youth and more and more for the simple pleasures of life as, so clearly, are to found in small, pretty towns such as you show here with its wonderful, eclectic architecture.

    We wish you a pleasant journey, a happy time and a safe return.

  6. interesting place!
    have a great time and wedding!

    JK |

  7. Some of the old Australian town atmosphere has brought to my mind Peter Carey's "True history of the Kelly Gang" a wonderful book.
    About your niece, her fiancé should have proposed her at the top of the Empire, the classic thing to do,
    but no need to mention this to them, lets leave it between Savoir Faire's :-)
    Enjoy the trip.

  8. I love this architecture. Its very unique.
    Love these home.
    Have a great wedding.

  9. Wow, looks super charming, I like that their are strict rules to conserve things. Have a wonderful trip David!!
    Nancy xo

  10. Two weeks?? That is a long time.. You better not cheat on me with another Australian out there! Haha that seems like long journey with the planes, train and the bus! I hope you have a blast out there!

    Kiss! ~Angel

  11. It looks like a movie set! So cool.
    Have fun down there!

  12. wow david, hope you enjoy your trip home and that hte qantas strikes don't effect you! hope it is a lovely trip.

  13. have a great trip and enjoy your time off. still, i can't wait for you to come back and write some new posts, cause all of your articles are great!
    ps: i've added your blog to my blogroll :)

    All best wishes,
    Costin M. |

  14. Wow, so much history in your little town! I would love to visit, it looks quite intriguing and I love exploring little unexpected places like this. I like the strict rules to preserve the architecture... I think we are too quick to destroy much of the time in this modern day. .. and yes, what a spectacular and fantastic proposal!! Have a wonderful trip and please do share the details with us!


  15. Hola, te acazbo de conocer, muy buenas fotos. Un abarzo desde Murcia...seguimos..chao...

  16. i love the scenery, david! those old photos are really cool, like straight out of a western.

  17. This was really interesting!! The first photo is lovely too :)

  18. Such a great place for a pleasure trip!.Great pics and editorial. Enjoy.

  19. Wow, that's a lot of history packed into one small town. Enjoy your trip!

  20. Thanks for sharing your lovely and rich heritage. What a beautiful town. Of course, if I were to grow up there, as a youngster, I'd have found it slow and small.

    But am not young any more, and I love the setting. Enjoy your visit!

  21. Enjoy your time off. The sky looks incredibly clear. I love your history lesson.


  22. Enjoy your visit home! A friend of mine has been holidaying in Sydney and I am envying all the fun she's having there. Also loved your note about your niece's engagement at the Rockefeller Center. That's where my husband and I had our wedding reception -- at the art deco Rainbow Room at the top of the Rock. Unfortunately, it was the victim of the recession in 2009 and shut down, after glorious Astaire-Rogers type supper clubbing from the 1930s ...


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