Sunday, July 4, 2010

Beaufort homeschool excursion & Eltham heritage walk

Good evening, all you uber-sexy cosmonauts surfing the Aspergian highway!
No, I'm not on drugs nor have I opened a bottle of vino.
PhotobucketHad a brilliant couple of days with my boy; flittered off on Friday to Beaufort (near Central Victoria) for a homeschooling excursion on my Dad's, my grandmother's and my great-grandparent's old home ground.
We didn't let the family know we were in town as we wanted to kick around the place anonymously and explore for ourselves (besides several of the older ones have been quite ill and it was easier if they didn't feel they had to have us out to visit, if you get my drift).
The Aspie teen researched as much as he could on Beaufort before we set off and when we hit the community centre we found a fab heritage trail already printed with a map.
Many rural towns are now providing these printed heritage/history trail/walks/tours and are a great resource for visitors; not only are you able to wander about at your own pace learning fascinating bits of history but sometimes these trails lead your off the beaten track and you get to see things you may not have found if you'd stuck to the main thoroughfare.
We explored to our hearts content, found the cemetery and were amazed at the age of the burials; we found an original wooden grave marker, Chinese graves, an Aboriginal grave and some sad forgotten unmarked graves that were only lumps in the dirt.
The heritage map found us the old woollen mills, primary school (where my dad was a sometime pupil with his cousins and where his mother sometimes taught), my great-grandfather's blacksmith forge, the old Primitive Methodist Church which is now a lovely gallery and the fab architecture throughout the town which has been preserved by the sensible recycling of the buildings.
Aspie geek kid had a ball, learning how to use the DSLR, putting his map reading skills and time keeping skills into good use, not to mention him explaining to me how Beaufort came to be founded from his research.
He was totally enthralled to actually eyeball the blacksmith forge, albeit slightly altered, and the large number of original buildings that have survived the wreckers ball/developers.
Then yesterday we toddled off on a heritage walk in Eltham with the Eltham Historical Society; was a lovely time.
We saw Alan Marshall's old home, some great mudbrick houses (one which was designed by Alastair Knox, the Periwinkle House, that now has heritage protection) an old gold reef mining attempt, some fabulous views from the top of mountainous hills we didn't know we were climbing and a few sprinkles of rain that kept us out of mischief.
And a lovely, relaxing day today, spent baking GFDF goodies!


DQ said...

This sounds like another brilliant adventurous learning expedition. In my previous life (Life B.C. - before children) I was a cultural heritage education officer in many locales about Canberra. I did my uni degree in Cultural Heritage Management and fell more deeply in love with architecture through my studies, including my elective environmental design study stream. I think your Aspie Teen might like this area of study, by the sounds of his interests.

Ro said...

Actually, DQ, one of his uni subjects was Introduction to Visual Culture at Curtin Uni which was a study of architecture/art/history and political influence over Chinese/Indian/Greek/Islamic cultures.
He loved it :)