J Ward and Gum San

J Ward

A look through Duncan’s “diary” that he writes at school each Monday was a bit of an eye-opener: most entries, barring the weekends we went to Mum and Dad’s, consisted of him talking about Minecraft, Terraria and Trove. Uh oh, that was a bit of an embarrassment during his Teacher Student Parent interview!

This weekend we decided to do something we’d often talked about: going to check out the J Ward asylum in Ararat, so this morning we shipped out in the Commodore. The trip out there was smooth, barring some idiot in a Range Rover who really shouldn’t have been driving. They were doing about 95km/h, so we used an overtaking lane to get past them, then I set the cruise control to 100km/h per the GPS and we sat comfortably just behind a Honda SUV doing about the same. At another three-laner, the Range Rover blew by us in a hurry - probably at least 120km/h. We watched him weave from the fog line to over the centre line, and I was considering calling the non-emergency police number and reporting him when he pulled into Stawell at the McDonalds. Perhaps low blood sugar?

Upon arriving in Ararat, we needed tissues so we popped in to Aldi. Got to J Ward just in time for the 11am tour, which had quite a few people. They don’t take EFTPOS, but luckily I had enough cash. The tour was enjoyable, conducted by a gentleman who’s name escapes me. He was a bit long-winded, but had a fair few interesting stories to tell. Unfortunately, much of it couldn’t be heard because some geniuses decided to bring what looked like a two or three year old who was obviously bored as shit. They left about halfway through.

I think we got a few good photos of the asylum, but I haven’t yet gone through them. I’ll update the post later with a couple. The tour lasted about an hour and a half, after which they let us wander for up to 30 minutes, but we just snuck back to the west wing for a couple of pictures then decided that lunch was overdue.

J Ward Duncan wanted McDonalds for lunch, so out there for the (not so) usual. While there, I looked up the Gum San heritage centre, but couldn’t see if they took EFTPOS or not so we slipped around to the bank to pull some cash out. It turns out they do have EFTPOS.

The little boy enjoyed this one much more, because there was much more visually interesting stuff. We even convinced him to try on some Chinese clothing and take a picture. He brought his own camera which helped keep him occupied - we really should have remembered to bring it into J Ward. He panned for gold (they salt it, but we didn’t manage to find any), then tried his hand at Chinese calligraphy with surprisingly good results.

Unfortunately there was a function on in the great hall upstairs, so we couldn’t see that. The roof was certainly interesting though. After that it was time for a thoroughly uneventful drive home.

Ararat, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Ararat, VIC, Australia

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