I have written before how Goulburn is somehow stuck in the 1970s, with its masses of Chinese restaurants and residents taking time to talk to each other.
Our nearest village, Parkesbourne, is lost in the 1940s. The cumbersome christmas carols night, in their alcohol-free hall, is coming up shortly. I have sworn never to attend again, but Allison feels that we should make the effort to sustain their traditions. Apparently there will be an old-time dance for New Year’s Eve too — they finish up at 10pm!
We live in Yarra, which doesn’t have a hall or a church (it burnt down in 1984). The main community facility at Yarra is the fire shed, and we locals are the firefighters.
The fire shed is on the grounds of an old school, which closed many years ago. It is now a community reserve, with some tennis courts that were restored by the local landcare group. There is a new covered picnic table too.
It was the Christmas lunch for the landcare group on Saturday: they like to be pro-active and get in ahead of everybody else. So I went down with our wwoofers and we did some maintenance on the gardens there.
The landcare group has inherited an old brick building from the defunct Yarra Rural Youth club — all the youth in the area have grown up. They brought in some furniture out of storage, and found some old plates and cutlery. There’s an overwhelming sense of the 1950s. Yarra is rather more modern than our Parkesbourne neighbours, but still tracking behind Goulburn.
It was a lovely day, and we fired up the old wood barbecue there. Steak, sausages, rissoles. Great salads, then fantastic desserts like my grandmothers used to make. Allison sent along some red jelly yoghurt slice, from an inherited recipe where the original proponent has left the district. My favourite!
The landcare group are the most gorgeous people, many elderly but all fun. So we had a delicious day.