oh what a night!

30 November, 2013 ·

I have this lovely friend called Jo and if you say things like, “I would like to learn to play the harp. Do you know anyone who knows about harps?” she says things like, “As it happens I know a lovely harpist and she will be at my knitting group on Thursday. Come and meet her.” And if you say things like, “I saw a beautiful scarf the other day that was a sort of beetrooty red”, she says things like, “Why, how odd, I was just about to dye some things beetrooty red. Come over and I will show you how”.

So yesterday, when I had nothing in particular to do, Jo rang me up and said, “I am driving up into the mountains this evening because my friend Mirakye is celebrating the opening of her newly expanded shop. I don’t suppose you would like to come?” (Epoche, the shop, is one of my favourite places ever – a little wonderland of felt, wood, beeswax and handmade goodness and magic.) So of course I said, “Yes! Yes, I would!”

Then Jo said, “The only thing is, I am telling a story at a church beforehand. Would you mind listening to me tell a story?” (Jo is a proper storyteller and I’ve heard her tell quite a few times before and I really love her stories.) So of course I said, “No! No, I wouldn’t mind a bit!”

Then Jo said, “Also I might need a bit of time before telling my story to think quietly about it. But there is a twilight market on at the church so maybe you could have a little look around.” (Twilight markets are one of a few of my absolute favourite things.) So I bet you can imagine exactly what I said.

The twilight market was the very best sort – small, with homemade things and plants and knitting and jars of  jam and marmalade. I bought lots of things including some beautiful cards and advent calendars

twilight market
and some lucky dips wrapped up with silver stars.

twilight market

Then there was just time to buy a couple of raffle tickets before Jo began her amazing story and filled everyone’s minds with magical golden basins and lions with manes of snakes and irresistibly delicious lark pies. She had us all eating out of her hand (and slightly wishing there were some lark pies in there…)

Next the raffle was drawn and, well, perhaps you have guessed the lovely thing that happened? I won something! And not just anything…

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 10.11.45 AM

but a wonderful wooden Ostheimer angel, of just the sort I have wanted ever since I knew Ostheimer was a thing but could never begin to justify actually buying for myself…


and a beautiful Christmas book, The Holy Night, written by Swedish children’s writer Selma Lagerlöf and illustrated by Ilon Wikland. I especially love these wintery little angels on the back.

the holy night

I think the prize was donated by a lovely shop called Honeybee Toys where, funnily enough, I put in an order for a Christmas gift just a week or two ago! But if there wasn’t a bit of magic involved somewhere on its way into my hands, I will cheerfully eat both my Selma Lagerlöf book AND my wooden Ostheimer angel. And we both know I am not about to do that.

After that we went up to Epoche which, instead of being tucked away like a precious jewel behind the main road in Kallista as it used to be, is now resplendent like a jewelled crown at the top of the street! I think a lot more people will get to see its new incarnation and experience what an incredibly special space it is. It was all lit up with candles and full of lots of people, grown and small, who had also come to celebrate the opening. There was wonderful, soulful singing and champagne and at the centre of it all, Mirakye herself, radiant with the happiness of her new creation. And rightly so.

I fear she will wake up today to find nothing left in her shop but a few wisps of wool and a drip or two of beeswax, because everybody wanted everything they saw! I did some more Christmas shopping including this heart-melting little doll…


and some more cards and some snowflakes to put in my windows.


When we were driving home in the drizzle, Jo said to me, “Did we just party together?”

And though I really, really don’t do parties (or anything that even slightly resembles them) I had to say, “Yes, Jo! Yes, I think we did!”


  1. Marie Wonderful, cheers Marie
    November 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm ·
  2. Jo What a wonderful wonderful evening it was! The best kind of party crawl really! Thanks Anna, your account is spot on! And so glad you enjoyed the story of Perronick!
    November 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm ·
  3. Line What a magical night! Now I feel like coming to Australia to see those places and meet all those people! :-) I love both Selma Lagerlof and Ilon Wikland (who you probably know have illustrated most of Astrid Lindgren's picture books!) I grew up with Ilon Wikland's illustrations and picture books. Your life is truly magical Anna :-)
    November 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm · Reply
  4. Margaret B. wow! may I come along next time? xo
    November 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm · Reply
  5. Sharon You definitely won't have to eat anything unusual, there is definitely magic afoot, I could feel it as I read your post. :)
    November 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm · Reply
  6. Sonya Woods Hello, sounds like a wonderful evening. Where and when is this twilight market? I would love to go. I love epoch, it is a beautiful shop.
    November 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm ·
  7. k So many wonderful things in one day! xx
    November 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm ·
  8. Jeanette Wow, what a lovely time you had. The doll is just beautiful - do they have any more like this at Epoche? Want to get there one day (haven't had a trip back to Melbourne for years).
    December 1, 2013 at 8:58 am · Reply
  9. Lois Wadelton-Blackie oh poor Anna..what a trial for you..all that fresh air, story telling, gorgeous craft and them thar tall trees up in them hills. oooohhhhh poor thing...NOT .. Alright, so it sounds like heaven.. Thanks for sharing cos now I have a lovely vision in my head and a smile in my heart because you two wonderful people had the very best time. :)xxxxx
    December 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm ·
  10. anna Thank you for these lovely responses! Such nice friends I have xx Jeanette, yes the doll was from a basket of others similar. And Sonya, I just sent you a message!
    December 4, 2013 at 8:55 am ·
  11. Shaye Hardisty I really really loved this post anna. I am having an intetesting recovery from a surgery in hospital at the moment and was feeling quite sad and lonely away from my beautiful little family, then I read about your magical night and now I feel so happy! There is no reason why my hospital stay shouldn't have a degree of magic too. My mind space has shifted. Thankyou so much!
    December 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm ·
  12. anna Thank you for your kind words Shaye! I hope you're feeling much better soon and that a little magic might creep in to help with that x
    December 8, 2013 at 9:09 am ·