motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.



There’s this place about 7 or 8 clicks from where I live called Old Petrie Village. It’s a faithfully restored reproduction of the original Petrie Village of the early 1900’s.

These days, the buildings house arts & crafts, cafés, book shops and other similar stores and each Sunday there’s an out-door market, complete with bush poets, buskers, face painting, rides and other attractions for the family to enjoy.

There are also working museums scattered about the property. Each museum is a working example of life in the early 1900’s; there’s a fire station, boiler house, metal and wood working shops, a potter and a few other old-time trades.


One trade that always gets my attention is the blacksmith shop.

I don’t know what it is: Whether it’s the dirt floor, the sound of a hammer striking the anvil as it shapes the metal, or the smell of the coal as it feeds the fire.

Whatever it is, it always seems to draw me in to take a closer look.


The smithy at the shop at Petrie Village runs a two-day course that introduces people to the art of blacksmithing. It’s nothing too in-depth, and is only meant to give students a taste of what can be achieved with a hammer and a bit of heat.

On the Saturday prior to my arrival, the Smithy had taught his students the finer points of building and maintaining a fire and how to make a pair of tongs.

On the Sunday, the day I turned up, they were in the throes of making a cold chisel… No not that Cold Chisel… one made of steel.

I must have been there for some time, because The Pillion sent out a search party to look for me. I was so engrossed in what they were doing I totally lost track of time. This always happens with me and blacksmith shops.

Even though I haven’t picked up a hammer or stoked a fire in over 20 years, the nostalgia still gets me and I always reminisce about my time in the blacksmith shop.

*Sigh* Life seemed so much simpler back then.


Motorcycle content: Bluey is coming up to here 48k major service. She’s still on her original chain and sprockets. I wonder if they will hold out till 54K?

My First Place Of Employment In The Sunshine State

I’m the one with the smile 😉


15 responses

  1. For me the smell of diesel fuel takes me to the days I spent in Alaska. They were days to remember forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 7, 2015 at 1:23 AM

    • I must be weird then. The smell of Diesel reminds me of the old fuel fired furnaces I worked out of during my apprenticeship.

      I’ve heard a bit about the men and women who live and work in Alaska. A tough bunch but hearts of gold from all reports.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 7, 2015 at 5:43 PM

  2. Nice post buddy! Followed your blog! I’m missing out on some great content! Anyway, what are bush poets and buskers?

    The way you describe it, it makes me want to live life again that way… 😅 That would be so picturesque and beautiful! Blacksmith shops, bakeries with bakers that still made special bread for your family… *sigh*! It is as you say… Things back in the day were definitely much more simpler.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 7, 2015 at 1:23 AM

    • Cheers rider, and thanks for following.

      I guess hind sight is 20/20 right?

      It might explain why so many corporate types are dropping out of the rat race to find their sea change – or tree change, as the case may be.

      A busker is a street performer, usually only being paid by donations from passers by. Bush poets… now that deserves a post all its own 😉

      Stay tuned

      Liked by 1 person

      October 7, 2015 at 5:49 PM

      • Definitely! Unless some much needed change comes along, we’d be living in a world that we ourselves wouldn’t recognize…

        Liked by 1 person

        October 7, 2015 at 6:03 PM

  3. You are lucky to live close to that kind of history.

    When we lived in BC I remember touring the Kootenay Forge ( it was always cool to see what they were making. That and the broom making shop was interesting. I worked for the local visitor’s information at the time so touring them was a job requirement, an enjoyable one at that.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 7, 2015 at 5:36 AM

    • We can learn a lot from history. I’m a firm believer of that. Not just for nostalgia but to keep past crafts alive.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 7, 2015 at 5:29 PM

  4. Well done tucking in that motorcycle content, Ghost. 😀 I was able to push my dual-sport’s chain to 36k miles (58k-ish kilometers, if Google’s math is correct) before its front sprocket’s worn teeth began grabbing the chain when the bike was gear-laden and on a grade—a bike that sees quite a bit of dirt. So, I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t be able to hit—and maybe exceed—54k on a street bike. Then again, I was told that 18k-ish miles is life for an F800GS chain, and I’m no moto-mechanic, so what do I know.

    I love visiting such places—ghost towns, settlement remnants, living history museums—and usually I find myself thinking, “Ah, how easy it must have been back then…” Then I read or hear about the lives of the individuals, and I wander the cemeteries: For turn-of-the-century folk, life was hard, and physical labor wore out their bodies quickly; and turn-of-the-century cemeteries often are crowded with the graves of children under the age of 5. Modern machines spare us incredible amounts of labor, and modern medicine spares us immeasurable grief. Now, if we could merge modern medicine and machines with turn-of-the-century pace of life and sense of community (or as we imagine it)… That right there could be the sweet spot.

    I, too, am intrigued—now looking forward to the blog post about bush poets.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 8, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    • I’m certain that’s why so many people are dropping out of cities and heading bush. I know I’d like to do that some day.


      October 18, 2015 at 9:31 AM

  5. Bob

    Ditto, Ry. I too am drawn to the blacksmith shop when visiting such historic villages, but it is usually because I am freezing cold and it is the warmest place to be! (-:

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    • Thats fine in Winter but summer is a tad uncomfortable. Thats why I gave it way.
      As for history, we can learn so much from our ancestors bothe the pioneering ways and what we should never repeat again


      October 18, 2015 at 9:27 AM

  6. Pingback: The Bush Poet. | EXPERIMENTAL GHOST

  7. Hi from across the Ditch!

    Just discovered your blog – excellent writing! Your post on smithing struck a real chord as I’m all for keeping the old arts alive. Ended up putting my money (sorry, OUR money) where my mouth is by having a wrought iron rose commissioned for my wife’s birthday and later on, we had a Damascus steel carving knife forged. Long live craftsmen!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    • HI Geoff

      Yep, Blacksmithing is a dying art, much like Coopers and Stone Masons. They are very hard to find now-a-days

      Some of the old craftsmen and women are worth their weight in gold, they are very talented individuals.

      Alas, I’m not one of them 🙂 I’m too far out of practice and it would take quite some time to get back into it.

      Thanks for dropping by.



      December 4, 2015 at 12:50 PM

  8. Pingback: A World Of Yesteryear | EXPERIMENTAL GHOST

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