After the peace and quiet of Ocean Shores we were ready for the stimulation of the city and on the way to Canberra we stopped off for two nights at Balmain. This was a former working man's suburb now gentrified but lively with varied shops and restaurants. It's very close to the centre just on the other side of the harbour bridge and by the water so you can travel to Circular Quay by ferry in 10 minutes or so. The B&B we stayed in last time is no longer operating so DH booked us in at The Grange, a large old house with a fair sized (for this area) enclosed garden. Imagine my surprise when as I walked into the long narrow hall there was a log cabin quilt framed on the wall and racks of antique quilts in the adjacent room. DH felt he had miscalculated. It turned out our hostess was Jennie Burton who deals in antique quilts. Upstairs were shelves of books available to guests including lots of state quilt documentation titles and books on collecting old quilts so I was reading madly while were in our room. What a treat!
In Sydney itself the highlight was the state Art Gallery with lots of lovely pictures though we were sad that two Sidney Coopers including a view of Canterbury our home town in the UK were no longer on show. But it was good to see favourite Australian artists - Tom Roberts, Hans Heysen, Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith, Margaret Olley and many more once again.