Braidwood really is one of those ideal little towns where you can feel like you are living in the pages of Country Style magazine, or other romanticised vision of country living. Full of boutique shops and cafes, Canberra’s well-to-do & hipsty crowd can feel quite at home here. It reminds me a lot of Bellingen up in Northern, NSW and it might be headed in that direction. Like Bellingen it has resisted instating many of the chain stores and this adds to its charm and ‘authenticity’ (though when a Mill goes from being a Mill to a guest house – well, the only thing authentic about it is its architecture).
Being a Canberran, I love Braidwood with all its quaint stone buildings and expensive stores, not that I can afford much of it these days, but it’s nice to window shop, my husband, coming from Country NSW does find it a bit trite and inauthentic as a country town, but there can be no denying its picturesqueness and beauty as a place to stay for a few days.
And so stay we did, my family and I, we managed to get all bar two (which is a good effort when there are a total 19 heads to round up) into the Braidwood Mill, which ended up being a great base for our venue and it worked out well this time around, but is realistically just a tad too small for our large family.
Braidwood proved the perfect wind down post Christmas, where we could spend time eating good food, walking off our Christmas indulgences, patronising our favourite Braidwood bakery, and carousing over a late night game of Articulate – which is just the funniest game to play with my family.
We made new discoveries like an exercise park which was as good for the adults as for the kids, a new swimming hole where we found (but did not take) large, freshwater mussels and spend a good couple of hours and I roamed the back streets of Braidwood discovering pokey old cottages at 5.30 in the morning.
I have a deep love for my family and investing in times like this is just so good. Of course my sister-in-law and her new little one were missed, but as we all grow and stretch out into our own paths coming back together now and again cements our place and who we are.
I keep coming back to the photo of me and my siblings, it amazes me how who we are is so different to who we were, we have all chosen such varying paths, in the mix we have a Horticulturalist, Photographer, Artist/Apprentice Chef, Accountant, Textile Artist/Children’s author/designer and Soldier. Some are frisbie mad, others into the family way, most of us are mad about traveling and if we haven’t yet traveled far we at least want to. Lovers of language, history and philosophy, books, art and music, good food, wine, beer, cider and every single type of cheese you can throw at us, board games, nature, good architecture. When we come together we know we can indulge in the things we love.