11 January 2018
We’re into 2018 and CJ returns but not to Canberra. We are in Ballarat to look after a friend’s house and dogs. Ballarat is a stunningly beautiful town, perhaps with the dark underside so common with wealth and beauty, or past wealth and beauty. Its buildings certainly display past wealth even if there seem to be plenty of discount stores amongst the impressive stone of the golden past. It was, for 2 years, the richest metropolitan area in the world but that’s ~150 years ago now. And the dark side we’ve been hearing of through a Royal Commission. The fence and gates outside the Catholic cathedral had been festooned with ribbons. I’m told they were taken down by the church at the end of the RC but they reappeared within days. More dark side maybe, and not particularly hidden. It’s heartening that some are not for forgetting even in this era of forgetfulness. To bide our time, we are attending the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields festival, so expect a string of (short) reports on various classical and related concerts around the area, many featuring local pipe organs. Ballarat is rich in them (18 in Ballarat and lots more around the area). Just more remainders from the era of wealth.