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41. Art & Collecting Cackleberries and Thank you Balaklava

(continuing blog from Tree Change to Sea Change , see story below)


There are other things we will miss very much and appreciate about living in the country too.  In this painting called “Collecting Cackleberries” we are of course collecting the eggs, the four of us and every one of our chooks had names, boy they were hard to remember!

Can you imagine sometimes I wrote birthdays cards with everyone of the chooks mentioned by name and not to forget the ducks, parrots cats, dogs and horses, cows and sheep.

That soon wore thin and now only us and the dogs names gets on the cards!

contemporary naive artist Marie Jonsson-Harrison's painting called Collecting Cackleberries is her family collecting eggs on the farm

Collecting Cackleberries - Collecting Eggs of course!


We were so lucky to have been made so welcome in this little town that is so supportive of the arts as well.

They have the cutest art gallery which used to be the Courthouse, entirely staffed by volunteers where they have exhibitions all year round and also run an art competition called the Balco awards, with entries from artists far and wide, which I have been lucky enough to have won the major ART price one time and minor prizes quite often.


The whole town have come out in support for the different art projects and sculptures and they have a first class theater group called the Balaklava Community Arts.

They put on at least one major show each year such as Oliver, Wizard of Oz and Jesus Christ Superstar, with amateur actors some whom could get a professional gig if they wanted to pursue it further.   It is also so endearing to see the local teachers, shopkeepers and people around town strutting their stuff on the stage!

Our children did most of their schooling here and I think they were very lucky to be able to go to a small country school that was still able to provide nearly all the facilities and support that you get in the city.

However what we valued so much was the personal attention and interest the kids got both from the school and sporting organizations but also from the local community.  Smiling faces and caring people who look out for one another that is something that we will really miss.


I am happy too, that we had a chance to experience the farming life (although we had a share farmer do all the heavy work) we understand now the changing of the seasons and the heartbreak when the rain does not fall and you watch your crop whittle and die on the paddock.   I get it now when the farmers complain when the drought sets in and the animals have little to eat, and the devastation when your animals contract a disease, when you have done everything in your power and there is nothing else that you can do.

Whenever I miss you Balaklava, I will try to think of the things I did not care for; such as the flies and dust and the scorching hot days when you can’t even take a breath without burning your oesophagus in 47 degree Celsius heat.

But I bet you my thoughts will center on the laughter of the kids playing and running around our big farm house and yard, how they were chasing after chooks and dogs, and their surprised faces when the rooster turned around and chased them.

How can I forget riding our beautiful horses around the paddocks, rugging, feeding them together with the kids and then taking walks along the river on a moonlit night and seeing the starry sky, so chockablock full of bright stars like nothing would ever prepare you for?

So THANK YOU BALAKLAVA you will be forever in our hearts.

I will have to remember in the coming days this quote by Boethius (statesman and Philosopher)

“Nothing is miserable unless you think it is so”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting, and for you farmers happy farming too :)

Love Marie xx                                                                                 (c)

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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