via Daily Prompt: Exceptional
On our recent trip out bush, we stopped in Gwalia for a time and had a look at the museum. Steam engines, steam locomotives, ancient motor vehicles of all types. And there were graders too, as shown above. They were amazing pieces of machinery, tractor or horse drawn, but those who operated them must have been exceptional given that they were working in very demanding situations in the bush. Making those dirt roads and maintaining them must have been bloody hard work in those harsh and unforgiving conditions. When you look at the sophisticated machinery of today (computerised, gps, airconditioned cabs) and the fact that it is still hard work, it makes me wonder how much harder it was with flimsy, basic machinery like in this photo. It would have required strength and patience, wisdom and commitment, and for months on end.
Every time I see or hear the word fashion, I go straight to that old hit by the Kinks, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” where the band poke fun at the culture of which they are a product, art imitating life. The song suggests that what is in fashion is not real, and is in fact unatainable.
Fashion is fickle, here today, gone tomorrow, back around in ten (well, sometimes). The photo shows the main store in Gwalia, a mining town, still inhabited, but the store became a center-piece museum long ago. It was fashionable in its day, claiming to be a one stop shop in four segments, covering every need (and by all accounts it successfully lived up to its claim). Now, the town of Leonora, just up the road has grown around Gwalia and become the main center where people shop. Not only that, the roads south having long been bitumenised made travel quick and easy. More recently online buying has become fashionable for those out in the bush. Somehow I doubt that this delightful family store will come round again in ten or a hundred years. And I wonder too if online buying will be the last fashion, can anything replace lounge room shopping? Local farmers and craft markets are back and they’re a huge hit, they’re fashionable, so who knows?