Monday, January 17, 2011

Strathmerton Standard goes International

The postal arrival in our house is always flagged with a lot of noise. 
Starting with the two tassie tigers barking ferociously with great enthusiasm, then child after child after child after child squealing in delight, a honk of the horn ...Thank you, seriously, I couldn't hear the dogs or the kids, so glad you alerted me to your arrival... followed by the putt putt of the postie-moped as he tots off back down the driveway.
I don't quite understand the excitement as I'm usually the recipient of the contents of the mailbox, and honestly I could go without seeing the electricity bill, the phone bill, tv license renewal, car rego renewal, insurance, the bank balance etc. etc etc. My reaction is more a roll of the eyes & a 'who do we owe what to now?'  
I do recall, when I was a child, some kinda of mysterious excitement about the treasures I imagined those envelopes contained. Would there be a letter from a far away land? A long lost friend that was looking for you? Perhaps even an inheritance from a distant relative, that I was the only heir to (even though I had two parents, three siblings, aunts, uncles and 22 cousins) 
Where has my imagination gone? I pondered as I watched the kidlets tear up the driveway to bring me what I'm sure was a tax bill from the government. 
When will they get it that the mail is never for them?
Bizarrely enough just as the words formed themselves inside that thought bubble popping out of my head, there was squealing - - 'It's for me! It's for me!' (visualize little girl skipping down the driveway) 
Sure enough, S clutched her treasure close to her chest, it was gold - well ok, it was encased by a large yellow envelope. With great care (?!?) it was ripped open to reveal a long letter from her Gran Jude & a surprise copy of the Strathmerton Standard
Gran Jude & Pordie (aka Jude & Ron - My outlaws) live in a little town on the border of NSW & Victoria. If you are ever planning on a road trip, this place is a must stop and visit. A little country town brimming with life. A place where the local still has it's meat tray raffle once a week and $10 dinner deals and parma nights (I've eaten there and must say...not half bad) Lots of farms close by to visit and purchase wares from Alpacca jumpers to handmade Jam. 
But the must stops to end all must stops (could it be a new Tina Turner song?) at Ruby's Rose (& I'm not biased here at all) a quaint shop on the main street, you will find the best coffee either side of the border and some amazing must haves in the antiques / old wares displayed throughout the shop - I want to buy everything when we stop in. Jude & Ron will gladly sit on the front porch with you and talk you through the highlights of Strathy and it's surrounds over a cuppa, you may even get some small town goss. You'll probably meet some of the locals too as they are not shy to meet any passing through.
Ontop of running the shop, Jude also publishes the Strathmerton Standard. The local publication that boasts a print run of 820 fortnightly. I don't know how she does it, it's about 20 pages long full of photos and stories, film reviews, School News, Sporting News, Birth/Wedding/Obituries, Past reflections of Strathy with really interesting historical reads, advertisements and the list goes on. She's even started a Facebook page for the publication! And I thought they moved there to semi-retire! (sadly I've just had word, the day after posting this blog, that Ruby's Rose is no longer :-( You can still drive by the building and wish you had known it when it was full of glorious treasures. Jude & Ron still live there so give them a holler from me.)
So... back to today. The Christmas/New Year edition arrived in Singapore! The kidlets were thrilled as it was brimming with pictures of Christmas, country town Aussie style and the schools end of year activities. Z was stoked as Santa is his new favourite person in the world (apart from Mum & Dad of course) J read it, S read it three times and L chose it as his bedtime story tonight (did I mention it was 20 pages?) 
So thanks Gran Jude & Pordie for the treasure you popped in the mail- we all loved it !

**I will return tomorrow with more confessions of a Partyholic - stay tuned for Old Dog Same Tricks Tour - the story of D's 40th**

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  1. I miss the magic of receiving mail.
    I am glad the kids enjoyed it and I am hoping you didn't have to read EVERY page to L at bedtime... haha :)

  2. I too miss the magic of mail in the post besides bills.

    I'm bringing it back. Look at your gorgeous cherubs reading it.

    B x