Well, so today is Xmas Day - not an event here really, but it was great to be able to chat with Craig, Crystal and the kids, and then Errol too. Thanks guys!!
Late in the morning, I had a message from Jane, to see if I would like to have dinner with her tonight. I told her I was already going somewhere else, and asked her if she would like to join us. She was thrilled to do that, and I gave her directions to get there, and meet us there.
Later in the day, I headed out to meet Melrose, to take a look at the old Inkstone Village precinct. I got a #4 bus from here, and let Melrose know I was on it, so she could wait and get the same bus.
We actually made a mistake, because the #4 actually terminates just before the inkstone village, but it was not too far to walk to get there.
There was a building that I understand was to be a museum to the inkstone industry. It was already there before I left here in 2011, but there is an amazing complex of buildings now. It looks like the ground floor is all shops, and outlets for the carved goods, from tiny right up to huge pieces. We did see a sign in one section that seemed to indicate a hotel upstairs, so perhaps there is accommodation there, for tourists.
They do seem to be trying very hard to promote the local artisans, and the traditional craft work that is very localized to this area.
After wandering for ages through the new complex, I took Melrose down to the back alleys, where the preliminary work is still undertaken. It was good to see the people, still sitting over slabs of stone, chipping away with small chisel type tools, and also with electrical grinding tools (a little like a dentist's drill) that they use to do the finishing off.
As we left, we had to cross the main road, in order to get to a bus stop, to get back into town. As we walked along, we were passing Meyer, which I have known about for years, but for the first time today, the front door was open, so we went in for a look.
What an amazing array of stainless steel cooking utensils. All very high quality stuff, and the prices are really good. There were two separate racks of kitchen tools and utensils. One range was a mere 15rmb ($3) and the others were 29rmb (just under $6) So much cheaper than in any of the supermarkets, and a far better range too.
I also found a shelving unit, filled with towels, and got myself a lovely, big 100% cotton bath towel for 55rmb. ($11) Fluffy, soft, thick and large!
We did eventually make it to the bus stop, and got a bus back to Melrose's house, for a rest before heading out again, to go for dinner.