Being Victorian (of the era, not the State!)

IMG_2020I learned a lot yesterday – about appropriate behaviour for Victorian ladies and where they could and couldn’t go; about how much your cheeks hurt when you spend a good while each day smiling for photos with visitors from all over the world; and most of all how uncomfortable, dry, dusty and hot life in the 1850’s central Victorian goldfields would have been! And I didn’t even have all the layers that the unfortunate ladies of those days would have been bound by, plus it was a comparatively mild day.

IMG_2014My first day in costume caused a surprising amount of nervousness. Surprising because I’d already spent a fair bit of time in and around Sovereign Hill, and acted as a tour guide for a large group already, so I thought I would be fairly confident taking on the main volunteer role I’ll be doing in the future. But somehow “wearing my clothes” added another layer and I found I didn’t really know how to play the part. It probably didn’t help that my ears and nose are playing up, so that my hearing wasn’t fantastic and I felt drained even before I started. But never mind – I survived the day thanks to the guidance of two experienced volunteers, and will be happy to do more to find my feet.

IMG_2028What I can tell already is that I’m probably not going to be very happy just wandering around talking to staff/volunteers and visitors, which is mostly what I did yesterday. So I’m looking forward to following up on my introduction yesterday to the respected Musicologist of the museum so I can get a list of suitable music that I can play and/or sing to pass some of the time. The ladies parlour in one of the hotels has a piano – a bit clunky and badly out of tune in the upper registers, but its something. And who knows, maybe I’ll even learn to do needlework or some other suitable pastime for a Victorian lady? šŸ™‚ who’d have thought it…

Or it may even be possible to take on a different outfit and therefore play some different roles? e.g. if I want to join the street bands and join in with folk tunes on my tin whistle I would have to dress up as a (male) miner.

So – lots to learn, and more long days ahead of me at this extraordinary open air museum. It is a special place, and I’m looking forward to getting to know it better.



About Yvette Hollings

Writer, born-again cricket tragic, rookie cricket player, occasional musician and songwriter. I love inspiring stories that empower everyday people.
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7 Responses to Being Victorian (of the era, not the State!)

  1. CatherineB says:

    you look great!! They will be very lucky to have you playing music in the parlor room XX

  2. CatherineB says:

    I don’t know how I lost my follow to your blog, but I am back on board the Sweetie express just as she has thought about putting down roots for a bit. I’ve idled away Sunday afternoon catching up on previous editions and loved them all. Walter is happy to hear how well Sweeite is going. XX

    • yvetteh73 says:

      Glad you enjoyed it so far, but I’m a little embarrassed how behind I am still! Lots of love and best wishes to you both from Sweetie and I, and all the best for a happy and fulfilling 2013.

  3. Yvette, you’ll have to fill us all in on what sort of NYE celebrations they had in the Victorian era! Outrageous fun, I’m sure! Thanks for keeping us filled in through 2012 and look forward to more in 2013.

    • yvetteh73 says:

      Hmmm, I was at the Hill (as I’m now discovering the initiated call it) today and didn’t even think to ask! Next time…
      Hope you are keeping well, and that you have a great start to 2013 Andrew. I look forward to catching up with you sometime soon.

      • “the Hill”…makes me think that someone will write some epic ‘faction’ (new word I learned yesterday) novel about “life on the Hill”. Catch you soon, Yvette.

      • yvetteh73 says:

        Hmm, funny you should say that, I might just be that someone! It’s an idea that has certainly been running through my mind lately as a likely outcome of this next phase of my life… šŸ™‚ Bye for now Andrew!

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