pinerolo children's book cottage

Saturday, 14 January 2012

I'm a dragon when it comes to travel. There's no schlumping around hotel rooms for us, no no - we are out and about and exploring and discovering and DOING. Unless you're taking some serious R&R, why travel if you're going to sit inside and watch tele?

We've just come back from three days away, travelling 1025km in a round trip from Canberra to Katoomba and Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, then onto Wollombi in the Hunter Valley, out to the coast at Avoca Beach . . . and back to Canberra.

Phew. There was a lot of driving, but boy was it fun. We had lots of highlights, but I had two mega personal highlights - the first of which (will reveal other soon) was finally meeting the doyenne of Australian children's literature - Margaret Hamilton - at her exquisite children's book cottage outside Blackheath - Pinerolo.

Not only is Margaret wise and lovely and welcoming, she has a fabulous sense of humour. Here is a a peek at a mini modelling shoot we did, with Ella as the photographer - it was such a laugh.

Pinerolo was a thrill to visit. If the cottage wasn't so warm and welcoming, you'd probably be stunned into reverent awe at the priceless artwork on display - original images from some of Australia's best-loved books and well-known authors.

Margaret has a clear love of children's picture books, and despite retiring from the publishing world, her passion and intensity for this industry is well apparent. I loved hearing about Margaret's love of owls, her favourite book images, stories behind her publishing journey, and her plans for the future.

Pinerolo, just outside Blackheath, is currently open by appointment. The venue hosts wonderful events including author visits and workshops. Ella and Riley had a glorious time taking books from the shelves and finding the original artwork on the walls.

Margaret also sells original artwork by some of Australia's best known artists - I had my paws on an original piece by Stephen Michael King, desperate to buy it (and still plan to!) and there is the work of many others for sale, including the prolific and mult-talented Dee Huxley.

I also got to see Margaret's personal collection of picture books - well over 3,000 - stacked in shelves in a back room (incidentally, a room that can now be hired as accommodation . . . I doubt I'd get a wink of sleep with those bookshelves towering over me!). This was an overwhelming experience, least of all because the books span many decades of Australian literary splendour. Yes, there were goosebumps.

Pinerolo was a gorgeous experience. I'm looking forward to another visit down the track - not that you need any excuse to visit the stunning Blue Mountains, east of Sydney. On that note, check back tomorrow for a peek at our Katoomba adventure.

Thanks for having us, Margaret! It was love at first peruse.

1 comment:

Sheryl Gwyther said...

Pinerolo is on my list to visit next time I'm in the Blue Mountains, Taz. What a wonderful idea to showcase Aussie picture books - I want to stay there!!! ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...