Back at the van it was business as usual. We started to take a walk every day to help with Adrian’s back. Just round the showgrounds to start with but as everything seemed to settle down the walks became longer. We walked into Maitland one day to visit the art gallery. They were displaying the works of Susan and Peter O’Doherty ‘Moving House.’ Interesting and something different.
Of course in every art gallery there is always that one piece that leaves you scratching your head with the thought ‘What were they thinking?’
The gallery also had a nice collection of black and white photos. Now this is more me. I can get lost in photos.
Out the back of the gallery there was a large area, which I would have thought the gallery would have filled with sculptures but no. There was a piece from the Artists and Students of Newcastle Art School, which was donated in 2013, and a couple of smaller pieces and apart from the big dog and that was it.
Ok the big dog does dominate the area. It reminded Adrian of the dog sculptures we saw in the Hunter Valley. (If I am not careful Adrian will want one to take home with us.)
On our way back we stopped to look at one of the old buildings Maitland has to offer. It was originally a bank but in recent years it has been turned into a lovely café. No, that seems to be the wrong word. Maybe a lovely teahouse is a better description. They are set up to offer a high class experience for ‘High Teas.’ High class indeed. All the waiters were dressed in dinner suits and wore white gloves. Nice, but I did feel under dressed. High teas have been credited to Anna, Duchess of Belford. She was one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting and believed the taking of a high tea in the afternoon offered a much needed energy boost. Soon it became popular and the tradition traveled the world with the English.
As we where sitting back relaxing with out tea I picked up a magazine to find there was an article about the building. The bank was built in 1887 closing in 1996 and for a short time is was a function centre. It has been renovated to now be known as the ‘Palm Court Tea Salon.’ They have kept the lovely old character of the building. In the article it said the Salon ‘will feature glistening silver teapots and cutlery, damask tablecloths and napkins, monogrammed English china and white-gloved wait staff.’ Sounded ever so posh and it was.
While we were staying at the show grounds we had to move twice for the markets, which are held once a month. I didn’t mind, as I love markets. Two days before we finally left, the second market was held. As we were on our way through the stalls when we met a man (as you do,) checking out the market with his pet Parrot sitting on his arm. He was kind enough to let me take a photo of the bird. Thank you for that. The bird was lovely and seemed to like the attention I was giving him.