The Lost + Rare Trades Fair

Over the weekend, Liz piled into a car with some Friends of No Award and also Friends of Friends of No Award, and headed out to Kyneton (coincidentally the hometown of Stephanie’s most embarrassing celebrity crush) for the Lost + Rare Trades Fair (and also embarrassing celebrity crush sighting).

(Steph went to the National Steam Centre instead of Kyneton; she has this celebrity crush business UNDER CONTROL)

Lost Trades is about showcasing and promoting old-fashioned skills that are becoming either obsolete or uncommon. These ranged from the delicious (the extremely traditional art of frying curly potatoes on a stick) to the legitimately obsolete (blacksmithery) to the reborn-as-hipster-hobby (anyone need a customised penny-farthing?).

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It was a beautiful, sunny day, rather hotter than we expected, but luckily most of the fair was arranged beneath large, shady trees at the Kyneton Race Course.  We felt sorry for the few stallholders who were inside, although the indoors was probably better for the LIVE BEES and also the many bee-derived products in one building.

Highlights:

  • Penny Farthing Dan, creator of bespoke penny farthings. If I had a spare $3,500 … but imagine getting caught in tram tracks.
  • Castlemaine Honey, among the several beekeepers present. They sold a small pot of creamed honey mixed with cinnamon, which I put on hot crumpets with butter and INHALED. Sadly, their wares aren’t widely sold, and I’m not allowed to go to Bendigo just for honey. But they sell most of their honey to Capilano, so maybe if I add cinnamon to some Capilano pot-set honey, it will be an adequate substitute.
  • LIVE BEES.
  • Bridget Farmer, printer and designer, creator of lovely cards, jewellery and more. Many years ago, I made a linocut penguin tea-towel in year 8 art — suddenly I was sorry I never did anything else in that medium. I loved Bridget’s work, even though she is very strongly into the Put a Bird On It aesthetic. They are very pretty birds, after all.
  • Pinstripers and carriage painters — these were mostly exciting to me because I read Joan Aiken’s Black Hearts in Battersea at a very impressionable age, and really liked the bits where Simon worked as a carriage painter. (A pinstriper, if you were wondering, is an artisan who paints pinstripes. On things. Like carriages and vintage cars, for example. Not, as I first thought, men’s suits.)
  • TINY WOODEN SWORDS AND SHIELDS AND AXES FOR CHILDREN! That you can paint with your family’s sigil before sending the wee ‘uns off to re-enact battle scenes from Game of Thrones!
  • (I Am Not A Parent.)
  • Handmade longbows and arrows, which made me very sad Stephanie wasn’t with us.
  • BOOK BINDING. You can make your own book! From scratch!
A knitted penguin and octopus hanging out.
Actual portrait of the No Award bloggers.

Lowlights:

  • Spotting ultra-conservative Victorian Senator John Madigan, in his professional capacity as a blacksmith, and remembering that (a) it is 2016 and he is a blacksmith, and has the nerve to talk about how people today need to get “real” jobs; and (b) he was rude to my mum once.
  • Did not have $3,500 for a customised penny farthing, or $200 for wooden swords and shields for tiny niblings.
  • Wooden swords and shields not sold in my size.
  • Food options overall unfriendly to vegans and the gluten-intolerant.
  • Have not yet developed power to control the weather and make the day less hot.
  • Not allowed to find local bottle shop and buy cans of “Ned Kelly bourbon” — the ad said “it’s not bourbon, it’s better!” and I really think I need it for science.
  • Bendigo ginger beer not very gingery.

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Overall, it was a good day — I saw a town I’ve never been to before, I ate some fried potato, I peered at things, poked things and coveted things.

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One of my new things is keeping a journal. Saturday’s entry included some of the business cards I picked up along the way.

Event: Lost + Rare Trades Fair, Kyneton, held annually over the Labour Day long weekend

Layout: Mostly outdoors — not wheelchair accessible

Time and day visited: Saturday 12 March, roughly 11 AM to 1 PM

Purchases: Cinnamon-creamed honey, a card, curly potato, home-made lemonade

Rating: Three wooden swords out of five

Location: Kyneton Race Course. We drove, but there were signs indicating that a shuttle bus from the (V-Line) station was operating

Celebrity crushes seen, stalked and kidnapped: nil

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