I spent two years in Kyneton, a little country town an hour or so outside Melbourne by train and home to sixteen thousand people, located on a bend in the Campaspe river, really no more than a trickle of a creek. Walking back into town from the train station was a strange journey back into the past – the blazing sun, the smell of fresh grass, the torpor of a town with little to do and nowhere to go in a hurry. None of that had changed.
The brick bungalows with their gardens of roses were still there,as was the hundred and twenty year old Catholic convent school in which I had once taught. And on Piper Street, the charming street of restaurants and boutiques for Melbourne weekenders were largely as I remembered them, with the large Stockroom complex in an old butter factory showing a surprisingly good exhibition of local art, like this piece by metalworker Martin Hodge.