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Lost arts and found treasures – and an idea you might like to try at home

A money free Festival- What an excellent idea! Great weather too

Back in the Hills, it hasn’t taken long to feel as if Broome was just a mirage. However, I did have an unexpected pleasure on Saturday. Since my daughter was at home this weekend, she took the little girls and I to a small local event – The Festival of Forgotten Skills. Apparently it was to have been held in May, but the bad weather had led to its postponement.  Now the weather was perfect and it proved to be  a most enjoyable day.

Held in the community garden, there were pizzas being baked in a big clay oven and you could watch all sorts of things being made - jewellery, rugs, mosaics, spinning and weaving. You could also try your hand at many of them including nature crafts, fabric painting, making lagerphones from bottle caps, fairy pendants and other things. Produce and seedlings were being given away to the musical accompaniment of a young girl playing an accordion. The atmosphere was that of a small country fair but without the hoopla and the expensive showbags. In fact, everything here was free which was a most refreshing change.Perhaps the greatest lost art was having fun without having to spend a fortune.

There's pizza baking in the clay oven at the back, all sorts of things to try and a lovely time was had by all
 While trying to decide between several books on a bookstall, the lovely woman behind the table said, “Just take anything you want.” She then insisted that I  try on an orange peasant top from a rack of clothes. Though it made me feel a bit like an Iceland poppy, it looked so cheerful I left it on and wore it all day. Orange is the new black. Pleased with the results of her efforts, she also tried to give me a skirt and a scarf, but I resisted the urge to pack rat, knowing full well that I was already in danger of having excess luggage on the way home. We did however, exchange phone numbers with the sincere promise of getting together again one of these days. Definitely a kindred spirit.

 I would have happily spent the whole day there and really wanted to make a fairy pendant, not to mention picking up a bit of rainbow chard, but the girls were giving me that  eye – rolling, “been there,  done that” look and saying things like,” Aren’t you finished yet, Grandma!” so I had to give those a miss. 

Undeterred, as soon as we arrived as Chez Peche, I started looking through my newly acquired books, especially Jekka McVicar’s Good Enough to Eat, which was all about edible flowers. Edible flowers are all the rage in expensive restaurants at the moment and Perth has a whole company devoted exclusively to supplying them with same. 
Though I had always used nasturtiums, rose petals, calendulas,  borage flowers, lavender and the like, here was a wealth of flora as yet untasted and unexplored. I had no idea for example, that fuchsia flowers and their fruit were edible or that marjoram flowers go very well with baby beet. With the honeysuckle here going gang busters, I just had to make some honeysuckle sugar to use in some cakes on Friday. Next up chicken curry with citrus flowers or maybe pears with pansies and I can’t wait to make some rose petal confetti with which to shower the next bride that crosses my path! There’s a whole new world of possibilities out there, all thanks to the Festival of Forgotten Skills.. 

Behold - the sweet -scented honeysuckle
HEALTH WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: Not all flowers are edible. Stay away especially from bulbs, gladioli, lilies, oleander and the like. In fact, don’t use anything you aren’t sure of. No responsibility taken.