Category Archives: CLARENCE

SUMMER COMES AND SO DOES MY 10,000th HIT.

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How good is the  Internet ? A few years and a few tears back, I could no more have accessed a public forum for journals, images, music, videos, genealogy than I could have knitted new clothes for my coming grandchild. My father, Bruce Sanders, wanted his 2/3 Pioneer Battalion Story published but we simply didn’t have the resources. Now – here it is! How good is that ? This Particular Blog  of mine is about to hit 10,00 and I thank you all.

The mutual sharing is another dimension that works for me. I am not always able to travel and sometimes I don’t get out much at all. I also have a tendency to be overcome by what I like to call Acedia – in various forms – and NOW – I am no longer locked in at home alone. This is truly the Global Village for me.

Now – as we come into an Australian Summertime. and the closing of 2009 – I shall take a look at 2009- as it has been.

It was the year in which Izzy and I both turned 60 – 1949 children. I think I had best rephrase that. We were born in 1949.  2009 was the year in which we moved from the Tweed to the Clarence, in which my daughter newly turned 30 became pregnant with her first child. My granddaughters  turned 5 and 10. A most interesting time it has been.

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Last Christmas, we, as a family,  were to meet in  Kalang on Boxing Day for Kati B’s 30th birthday and Christmas Day, Izzy and I were to spend alone at Bilambil Cottage where we were living.

We were out and about in the morning and received an impromptu invite to Lorraine’s for lunch with a dozen or so guests. Plenty of good foods and good company. A sober affair so it was and I enjoyed it up behind Scenic Drive in Tweed Heads  West.

Spent the rest of the day at home with our swimming pool and tennis court. 

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The next home for us was already starting to be listed on realestate.com.au.  I didn’t realise then that it would become a place of rather deep emotional and mental impact. 2009 is the last year of my 50s and time seems to have wrapped itself around me and curled into the core of me. Memories of 20 years of Addiction and 20 years of Recovery were waiting for in this 100 year old house as well as the history of my family and my childhood.  I intended entering my 60s  consciously and cautiously, knowing this – IT WILL BE DIFFERENT. And it has been a gentle, explorative time with a good deal of ‘ thinking’ going on.

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MT WARNING OVER BILAMBIL.

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THE TWEED RIVER NEAR TUMBULGUM 

Briefly this is my locational history.

1949-1950 – CANTERBURY ROAD HURSLTONE PARK SYDNEY. SANDERS FAMILY HOME.
1950-1970 -  27 PAXTON AVENUE, BELMORE. SYDNEY. HOUSE BUILT BY DAD.  
1970 – TUMBARUMBA . TEACHING AT ROSEWOOD.  
1971 – QUEANBEYAN SOUTH. TEACHING.
1972 – PAXTON AVE.  TEACHING IN LAKEMBA.
1973 – DRUMMOYNE, BALMAIN , CHISWICK, PORT DOUGLAS – CAMPING ON 4 MILE BEACH – YAHT UTIEKAH III- URUNGA.
1974-1977 – URUNGA IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS, INC WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY.
1977 – SYDNEY – GLEBE AND TAYLOR SQUARE.
1978 – 1987 – BELLINGEN AND  URUNGA – MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN.
1987 –1994 – SYDNEY. DRUG REHAB. BONDI. SOUTH COOGEE AND BACK TO TEACHING.
1994 – 2001 – URUNGA AND BELLINGEN.
2001-2009 – TWEED RIVER INC TUMBULGUN, BILAMBIL WITH SHORT TIMES IN TUGUN AND BRISBANE.
2009 – ULMARRA.

 

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In January of 2009, the Armidale Mob came to Bilambil Cottage for a Summer Holiday. That was a ‘ classic’ summer holiday. I must have had some sweet stars shining on me this year because, despite the transitional turmoil and my own inclination to distress, I have had a goodly share of Sweet Moments, Classically Good Experiences and of events turning out just as I had planned and hoped for.

The Summer holiday was one of them as was the 30th birthday of Kati B.

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We took the Poppy to the beach at Pottsville. They have been living in Armidale for years now and she hasn’t been beaching since she was a baby. We also continued our cafe experience which is rather extensive . The EATZ CAFE at Pottsville featured real Beach Food. None of which I can now recall but they had tropical names and strange drinks – a 60s flashback which I enjoyed after one too many trendoid, generic eateries such as the infamous Blue Frog in Toowong, Brisbane.

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I lived in Bilambil Cottage for 4 years and in deciding to leave, we took our time in choosing where we wanted to go and when and why and how etc. The Cottage was tiny but exquisite with a view over the Bilambil Valley and out to the Coral Sea, During the Mob’s Holiday, we sat outside of an evening and watched the bats fly over and the long nose come out to feed from the long grasses.  The Poppy learned to swim and discovered the wonder of being a Mermaid.

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We also visited the beach at Kingscliff. The Mob had lived at Kingscliff before going up the mountain. I thought that when we moved south we might miss the exotic birds and plants of the Tweed. Tweed is on the NSW/ QUEENSLAND border.

Are these baobab trees ? I like the word and haven’t checked to see whether these are baobabs or not.

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One thing I knew I wouldn’t miss was the BILAMBIL SPORTS CLUB.

I enjoyed it for a goodly length of time but things went amiss and the decor was never a good look. The Club is set in the Valley. A lovely setting with a creek beside it and playing fields, paddocks with horses and the hills rising on either side.

The Bilambil Village is tiny and part of a loop drive enjoyed by Many. However, the Club doesn’t open till  3pm, serves food only a couple of nights a week, doesnt cater for vegetarians AT ALL and is decorated as you can see on the left. The music scene which thrived there has shrivelled to nothing. Lots of potential going unused.

SOUTH GOLDEN BEACH 001 Leaving blue skies and palm trees took some serious decision making.

SPRINGTIME ON THE CLARENCE

Life remains hectic for me on the Clarence.  I yearn at time for more Eremitic days and on others I simply gather in the breadth and depth of these experiences.

FOR SUNDAY IN TUCABIA FOLLOW THIS LINK.

http://whiterosetrading.ning.com/photo/albums/squatters-rest-markets-tucabia 

The expectation this morning was that Phil the Sax Player would be coming for  rehearsals in the music room. Didn’t  best please me because I had visions of SQUATTER’S REST Markets at TUCABIA on my mind and the 3 garage sales I know are on there today. A Sunday at that. One of them is at Eileen’s Place opp the Tucabia Store. I don’t know who Eileen is but I still want to go to the garage Sale. The Clarence is the Home of the Garage sale.

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After some calm negotiation, Phill was relocated to a slightly later time slot and we headed East to Tucabia and SQUATTERS REST. I had not been there before. Izzy has done two music nights there and as part of my habitual information gathering, I knew a good deal about it. Weather is perfect. Springtime on the North Coast. Tucabia is app 10 kms from Ulmarra along a winding back road through paddocks and alongside wetlands. The Rest Markets – well, precisely what I was hoping for. Under gum trees. I scored a $100 pair of Dianna Ferrari shoes, new for $7. I bought home made soaps – made from goats milk and perfumed with essential oils. For $20, add a chopping table with knives for the kitchen and I am well pleased.

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Then throw in a little gem of a museum and the day is fulfilling all the promise of a country Sunday. Squatters has a wee village of Collecteds. I am struggling to find the words for it. It was if I could almost smell and touch the eagle’s wings of Uncle Jim in Laurieton in some barely recalled childhood time.

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SPRINGTIME ON THE CLARENCE

 

As part of my Clarence lifestyle, I am involved in a  group which meets in the CWA rooms in Grafton.  Everything is as it should be in the CWA Rooms. Picture of the Queen. Piano. Books. Recipes. Paintings of Flowers. I find a good deal of comfort in the CWA Rooms.

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We took a drive West the other day. Out to Jackadgery along the Gwydir Highway and then back into town and out along the Armidale Road to Nymboida. General scouting trip it was.  Jackadgery is just across the Mann River Bridge and about 50 kms from Grafton.

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Its difficult to picture the rivers in flood. I am glad I was here for the May floods. The signs I once presumed were useless and placed in obviously dry lands, I now know to be valid, needed and realistic as is this bridge over the Mann. The debris from a few months back is still there , down the banks.

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I found the self-composting toilets an interesting experience as well. I hadn’t realised how daring an expedition they were until this sign about gases.

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The Gwydir was closed last year. Interesting concept. I saw a sign when I was driving along the Pacific Highway. GWYDIR HIGHWAY CLOSED. That’s the main road they’re talking about. Up to Glen Innes.  Where’s the spirit that build the Old Glen Innes Road through the ROCK. Be that as it may, the short drive was pleasurable. Jackadgery still has a store and caravan park. I was thinking about the communities which were once out there and wondering about the ones which exist now – unseen to the casual traveller.

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We came back into town, speculating and theorising on villages and village stores. Almost into Grafton South itself, we came across this vegie patch. RING THE BELL ! said the sign. For broccoli and silver beet and other delicacies.

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We then took the Armidale Road out through Coutts Crossing to Nymboida. I was inclined to visit the Coaching Inn – with some trepidation. Reason being – I haven’t heard anyone locally mention it casually in conversation. Hadn’t heard anyone saying – ‘that was a good night at the Coaching Inn’. No “ That’s an interesting museum they have there at the Coaching Inn.”.  The internet advertising and the Tourist Pamphlets tell me its good , but I lean towards  the ‘overheard in casual conversation’ recommendations.

As we approached Nymboida, Izzy had his nose on track for COFFEE. I am not a coffee freak but he is and the Jackadgery Instant hadn’t satisfied the craving at all. The signs as we approached Nymboida  were leading him on like Hansel and Gretel through the woods.  In fact, he refused to continue to the Coaching Inn until he had stopped at the End of The Signs for Coffee. We took one wrong turning past the brightly coloured hall but fairly easily located the ST JOHNS COFFEE STOP.

HIs assessment was accurate. The St Johns Convenience Store has been operating 5 weeks. Stocking the basic groceries as well as an outdoor courtyard with good eating. There was a lineup of people for meals and goods. Atmosphere was excellent. Another diner recognised the long lost Zarsoff and the Cocky spend the whole meal chatting to Iz and sharing his food. We spent time talking with a young couple from St John’s River, further south, and Greg the Waitperson perfected our meals.

 

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We then proceeded to COACHING INN. Asked about the Museum of Interesting things and were informed that it had been opened that morning for a coachload of tourists but was now SHUT and wouldn’t open again till Wednesday or later – maybe. Hmm ! Instinct serving me correctly again.  One’ overheard conversation’ we had caught a snippet of in Grafton had said that the COACHING INN “ had been a happening place – ONCE. “. It was not happening for me the other day despite the view and my obsessive curiosity about the history of places. Noone was opening the door to a pair of locals. Noone greeted or chatted and the sign in the main bar which said “ HIPPIES USE SIDE DOOR” with the obvious lack of said side door was a trifle unnerving for two people with a long haired background.

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I shall go return to St John’s Convenience Store but will need some convincing to revisit the COACHING INN – I rather fear that it has become a ‘VENUE’.

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HOT AUGUST DAYS Pt 2

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One of the wee buildings in Small Park. Seems we can’t have our River Festival with all the wooden boats and street activities but surely we could have a show or a festival in Small Park.

In one of my whingeing moods, so bear with me whilst I get it down onscreen and can return to BEING EASILY PLEASED – which is ,perhaps, a wiser default position for me to take.

I went for an Ulmarra walk one morning this week, before the heat came, and took a look around Small Park which is just next door and past the tennis courts. There are large signs directing people to use the public loos there while some kind of work is going on in the wee park down on the river. I could see the former glory days of SMALL PARK. Rodeos and Shows and other community gatherings. The wee sheds are there and the grandstands but – BUT – noone has emptied the 44 gallon drums of rubbish since the Floods in May. Funny that – since the Council is directing tourists to the loos and the Bushfire Brigade does its exercises there on many a Sunday.

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Last night was a blisteringly hot night with assorted bugs and restless sleep. It was also somewhat of a shock after using a heater and wearing my MacGregor overcoat only last week. With windows opening and breezes cooling the air a little, we heard a call from the West and it was clearly ‘LET’ . “Let” – what a lovely sound. The Tennis Courts were back in action . Hadn’t been a game since the May Floods when the courts went under. I had been watching people at work on fences and surface all week and it was a very good thing to hear the Let Call and see the night lights shining.

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Crazy Day was on last week in Grafton. I lost my car and house key at some stage of that day and held little hope of locating them. Not to be found in Ulmarra. Not be found in the car nor on the ground nearby. Sunday we took a trip into the splendid new SHOPPINGWORLD, noticed the office open for a moment. Iz took the chance to ask the young security man and there they were listed in the Lost and Found Book. I was very impressed. Still am, as I was by the sight of Robbie from Coffs dressed as a clown and singing his way around SHOPPINGWORLD  with his amp on wheels and by the boot scooters in the main street.

Izzy is a rock muso who has been playing jazz with a blues band. I am pretty sure that country music is his next step. He is resisting but I don’t know that country music can be resisted indefinitely. SQUATTER’S REST on Friday Night.

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Here, in the Attic, at the edge of sunset, the days of the Inland Sea look appealing. So does the Ulmarra Pool down beside the Commerical Hotel on the River Bank. It is , however, closed till the “official” summertime and then only open for a couple of hours in the afternoons.

I was recalling the Sydney pools of my childhood in the Harbour and Rivers. Net pools  Hollywood out on the George’s River and Carr’s Park. Nielsen park at Vaucluse and of course Manly.  I Love swimming.

   

BIRTHDAYS, BABIES AND CIRCUSES

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This weekend, Charlie came down from Armidale for a visit.

For me, its working well, being near the Family.  Izzy is battling a little with the music which is still mainly situated further north. This weekend was circus and celebrations. That’s a fine thing, that is.

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I had concentrated on our black and white cows all week , wondering what on earth the four black and white cows at the CIRCUS ROYALE were going to do as TRICKS.  My cows didn’t appear with anything specially impressive but the cows at the circus surely did. They stood on hind legs with forelegs on small podia while a miniature white horse danced and ducked under and between their legs. Marvellous!

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The day before the Mob came, a mist settled on the area and stayed there till almost lunchtime. The BookMan said that on his way down from Maclean, as he turned onto the Pacific Highway, he couldn’t see whether or not there was traffic coming at him. Must be the river flats, methinks, that let it sit so low for so long.

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We located the CIRCUS in the park in SOUTH GRAFTON.  We had phone booked for four adults and two children and picked the tickets up from the Circus Office. Circuses haven’t featured greatly in my life so each step was a ‘learning experience’.

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They say its a million dollar big top tent and are advertising for clowns. There were no photos allowed at all inside the Big Top and there were enough heavies to make it look a wise idea to be obedient to that one.

The two things I liked best were the Cows and the men in black running back and forth with ropes pulling up the rigging. Hadn’t seen anything like it since being on the UTIEKAH III in 1973.

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We were also inspired to create a SLEEPOUT. One of the things which had attracted us to Grafton months ago was the advertising in the real estate sites of homes with SLEEPOUTS. Under this inspiration and despite the plentiful supply of spare rooms, we took ourselves to RIVERSIDE Centre in South Grafton, acquired a single bed, brought it home and bolted it together  ready for the Sleepout for Granddaughter No 1.

One problem – the bed was longer than the sleepout area was wide.

THAT DID NOT STOP US.

   

W.W. JACOBS

http://www.online-literature.com/ww-jacobs/

Today we did garage sales. Grafton garage sales are A1. Amongst such finds as a $20 lawnmower, we came across a box of books and in that box  were nine books by W.W. JACOBS. All date app 1902-1912  and cost us $1 per book. This is a little ripper, so it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._W._Jacobs

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Monkey%27s_Paw

http://www.lhup.edu/jwilson3/Newsletter_37.3.htm

A VERY WEALTHY WOMAN

 

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In my own way, I am a very Wealthy Woman. I now have the Fridge. That’s the two lads delivering it a week late and refusing to carry it up the 8 steps unless we paid another $15 which Izzy refused to pay. Fortunately, we seconded our next door neighbour and Izzy and the neighbour brought it up the stairs. So, we now have a fine fridge.

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These are the signs at the intersection of COLDSTREAM STREET and the PACIFIC HIGHWAY, ULMARRA. Andrew from WIDE RIVER says – SEE ULMARRA – IT WON’T TAKE LONG.

Well, theoretically it shouldn’t take long but in practice, we have been known to take hours in the Village.

THINGS WHICH MAKE ME WEALTHY  
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Include the many mandarines on the trees beside the house.

may 2008 006 A lot of laughter and gentleness and no violence at all. Lots of music as well.
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I have read poetry at an Austlit Breakfast at the WORDSMITHS CAFE in the ST LUCIA CAMPUS of the UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND in BRISBANE.

 
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I lived for many years in the small town of Urunga and over the last year have eaten there with my daughter at the BOARDWALK CAFE. We have wonderful breakfasts at the BOARDWALK and are served by young men whom I once taught.

KATHMADNANA My Grandchildren learned to swim in my own very excellent swimming pool, way up on the Queensland border.

THE WASHING MACHINE IS A WHIRLPOOL

washer 009 Yesterday we followed up Andrew’s suggestion of  Bob, the washing machine repairman, who has a shed on Lilypool Road. That’s where we purchased ReBertha the Fridge so we took a drive out there. No sign of Bob but Izzy tracked a shed, checked the note on the door saying Bob was out and we left a note of our own.

7 a.m. this morning a phone call comes. Its Bob. He has 2 machines for sale. But they’re expensive says he. $130 for the big one and $120 for the small one. Its a small one we want so we take the small one. and Bob delivers it to the door by 9am and sets it up for us. I LOVE CLARENCE !

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BOB’S DOG- “FRANK”.

THE WASHING MACHINE IS A WHIRLPOOL

Yesterday we followed up Andrew’s suggestion of  Bob, the washing machine repairman, who has a shed on Lilypool Road. That’s where we purchased ReBertha the Fridge so we took a drive out there. No sign of Bob but Izzy tracked a shed, checked the note on the door saying Bob was out and we left a note of our own.

7 a.m. this morning a phone call comes. Its Bob. He has 2 machines for sale. But they’re expensive says he. $130 for the big one and $120 for the small one. Its a small one we want so we take the small one. and Bob delivers it to the door by 9am and sets it up for us. I LOVE CLARENCE !

AND ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE

Exploring a new town is really an adventure. For me there is something elusively attractive about exploring a town only 100kms or so from where I have lived most of my adult life. Today we took a look at another section of South Grafton. It wasn’t as uniquely ‘old’ as Skinner Street and environs and yet we enjoyed it. We enjoyed the small details. The storage sheds on Lilypool Road where 2 washing machines sat outside Bob’s shed.

We chatted with the Appliance repair man who is also the agent for WESTNET internet. He gave us a sliver of hope for brighter times ahead. He also berated the other providers for their service to this area. Told us of a satellite connection needed right there in town due to no other service being able to connect. Reassured me that we were not simply paranoid. How insane is this country? Meanwhile on the brighter side, we then walked into the general store next door. Thats on the Armidale Road. It was a fine general store. I LOVE GENERAL STORES. Then on to the Little shopping centre next to it . it houses a hotel called the GOOD INTENT. Great Name for a pub. It also houses the RIVERSIDE CARE OPSHOP which had a desk for sale for $75. What a beautiful desk it is !!!!

Bargain prices. Clean. Really helpful.  Lunched at the takeaways. Home made vegie patties and REAL Scallops and my favourite pineapple fritter.  The bakery looks good as well and opens at 4.30am.

We crossed the BENDY BRIDGE into town and shopped at Woolies wonderworld in the new SHOPPINGWORLD and home we came. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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LAST WEEKEND IN JUNE 09

REFLECTIONS ON THE LAST MONTH. THE FIRST MONTH HERE ON THE CLARENCE.  IN FACT – LETS MAKE IT REFLECTINS IN GENERAL.

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I drove this driveway for four years. Its the drive from Bilambil Cottage up to the Main House of Linden Lea. When the rains turned it slippery and sloppy, the DOS had this load of rocks put in so that our vehicles would not slip and slide. He is a true Gentleman is Mr Douglas Bulpitt.

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AT the back of Ulmarra, we have a SHED. Its a fine shed and VERY old. We have now discovered that the house was built in 1908 by W.B. HAFFENDEN. Out past the shed is the wetland area which fills with birds and where I watched the brolgas dance.

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The attic appears in early photographs of the house. I didn’t expect that. I thought it were a recent addition but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Its from the attic that I look above the sheds to the wetlands and this first month in residence, they have been wet in the extreme.

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In SOUTH GRAFTON is the EMPORIUM. It was once the CITY STORES. I am finding some tales from South Grafton in earlier times.

http://clarenceandulmarra.wordpress.com/

I eat at the EMPORIUM and go to the MUSIC CAFE. This weekend, The Emporium hosted harp and vocal workshops. They do a fine curry as well as being open long hours 6 days a week.

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I thought, after my early investigative visits to Grafton, that our usual Cafe Way of Life might be extremely limited on the Clarence but that was a needless worry. I have far more variety and far more pleasant venues here than I did on the Tweed and certainly on the Gold Coast. I am simply not your GC Woman.

Give me the EMPORIUM any day !

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Or our WIDE RIVER CAFE just down the road in COLDSTREAM STREET. Lizzy and Mum make the pies. Andrew turns out a wicked COLD REMEDY juice and Sundays there will be music in the courtyard (as soon as the water dries up and the pavers can be laid). Next door Robin and the girls have their artwork and miscellaneous etceteras including beautiful ceramics.

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One effect of so much wet is that I have become very familiar with the view from the back windows. Coldstream Street features some fine old fences. The Recreation ground is just beyond the one in the picture. Its been too inundated here to find out what happens at the Recreation ground in SMALL PARK. The park is not SMALL. Small was one of the first settlers on the Clarence and his name is on the Park.

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The fence on the left is part of the COLDSTREAM STREET fencing network. I feel that I ought to know the name of this type of fencing. My father who was a carpenter of integrity would most certainly have explained it to me in years gone by. All I know is that I like the old wood and the shadows cast. This fence leads to home for me.

ANOTHER DAY IN ULMARRA

ANNIE PUTS HER NAME ON THE BOARD FOR A DUO WITH LYNNIE.

113 Last night was the 3rd MUSIC CAFE at the SOUTH GRAFTON EMPORIUM in SKINNER STREET. Peter was serving curries this time and the vegie one which I had was fiery indeed. I enjoyed last nights MUSIC CAFE even more than the first one. Its cold now and we were all rugged up.

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Lights were on when we got there about 5.30pm. Tables booked for 60 or so and the blackboard ready for the musicians. I had always thought South Grafton a dangerous and violent place Thats the publicity it used to receive when I lived in Urunga. Now I find it to be a delightful gem of a place. It reminds me of inner Sydney suburbs as they came into their glory. Newtown and Balmain and Redfern et al.

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It is reminiscent also of the early 1970s for me and of the Good Food Shop in Bellingen and our own WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY. The pleasure of the bedouin tent and exotic decor is still with me.

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Izzy was acting as MC. and Wendy made the signs to help the Musos identify him.

ANOTHER DAY IN ULMARRA

ANNIE PUTS HER NAME ON THE BOARD FOR A DUO WITH LYNNIE.

113 Last night was the 3rd MUSIC CAFE at the SOUTH GRAFTON EMPORIUM in SKINNER STREET. Peter was serving curries this time and the vegie one which I had was fiery indeed. I enjoyed last nights MUSIC CAFE even more than the first one.

AFTER THE FLOOD

http://northernbelles.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/may-31-remember-the-entrance-door-to-the-sanctuary-is-inside-you-rumi/

I AM looking for the big birds this morning but they are not there. The waters are still there a little but that’s splendid. Wetlands it is. Traffic is back on Coldstream Street. I rather liked the boats and the young newspaper boy delivering on his pushbike through axle deep water.

Time for some reflection.

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Its less than a month ago that the Quinns from ILNAM ESTATE WINERY were in the garage of LINDEN LEA helping us to load the ALPHA TRUCK for the move. Lachlan and Mark proved to be as good at packing as they are at being friends and that’s rather good.

The rain is back this morning. I seem to be suffering from post flood traumatic stressed syndrome.  Overreacting to the slightest drop of water. The empty cattle trucks are heading east this morning. I don’t know whether they are planning to bring the cattle back down onto this grazing land or not – as yet. Flocks of birds are flying over. Hundreds of water birds. 

 
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Soon as we had moved in here, I was off to Armidale. This is part of our intention to embrace this area. The autumn trees were in full colour up there and the nights were cold.

Armidale also has a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre which seems to work very effectively. I think that by the time people find themselves in that situation, they begin to take it very seriously indeed.  Cold and Detoxing are not easy companions.

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Fortunately, I was there for celebration – not for detoxification.

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Celebration did mean KidsWorld. That was an experience. It did keep the Kids busy for 2 1/2 hours.

   
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Driving back down the Mountain was somewhat more intimidating even than Kids World. At the time we didn’t know that we were driving into the prelude to the next flood. The roads were mist and rain obscured. It was cold and bleak. Within the week, the Dorrigo Mountain Road was again closed due to flooding and landslides. A few years back I drove through the Tallimoble Fires not knowing that just behind me the Highway was being closed and this was similar.

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We wrapped that trip up with lunch at URUNGA before I caught the train back to Grafton. URUNGA is our HOMETOWN. We eat at the cafe in the arcade and IT IS GOOD.

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ULMARRA

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BROLGAS IN THE BACKYARD Commercial Hotel beer garden Ulmarra

The floods have receded.2 black cows are munching on grass over the way where only last week the inland sea covered the paddocks.  The BIg Birds are about as well. I do not think I have ever seen a  brolga before but the grey birds on the water back and front of the house certainly seem to be brolgas. 8 of them. Almost as tall  as Kate and me. There is a pair of jabiru as well.

The clearing of the water has meant we could walk to the Village and take coffee at the COMEMRCIAL HOTEL. Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch with dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. We joined the recovering flood people at the huge wooden table on the bank of the Clarence. The Chef was out of vegie patties following 3 days closed due to floodwaters but whipped us up a vegetable pasta as easy as and it was delicious. Main Course app $16. Coffee $4.

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To date, my favourite shop has been the RATHGAR OP SHOP. It has opened in the opening hours advertised – floods or no floods and has an excellent array of goods.

I don’t think much of stores not being open without good reason or in erratic hours. Tony Bahles taught me that way back in the 7os when we had the WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY in URUNGA. He crossed flooded waters to get food in for customers and we opened – regardless. In the same way that Izzy does with Music now – he plays whether there is one person there or 1000. You just never know which of those possible 1000 is the one you were meant to play for, sell to or listen to.

EMPMUSICCAFE 096
Sandbags at the Commercial.

The town had been sandbagged and attempts had been made to evacuate. Ulmarrians sanely appear to have resisted those attempts. The sandbags are available near the Bushfire Brigade – I’m still fond of the Bushfire Brigade due to the helpful lass who was there and their allowing me to leave the Charade there for the duration. Many thanks to you !

EMPMUSICCAFE 007 EMPMUSICCAFE 009
The traffic on the Bendy Bridge has gone nuts with the Highway being closed all week and traffic diverted along SUMMERLAND WAY. One catamaran sat at ULMARRA WHARF.

 

 

 

THE WATERS HAVE BEGUN TO RECEDE

FLOODS RECEDE 026 Now that looks hopeful doesn’t it? The water has cleared the 8th step back and front. The white marker on the front fence is cleared and many water birds are finding dry-ish spots to rest awhile. Over the road, the working man took a moment to choose between boat and truck. Boat still won – but I do believe the waters are receding.

FLOODS RECEDE 025 

I am not sure it is WATER remaining under my house. It looks sinister.  Scrubby tells us his lady is stuck in Yamba and Jenny reports the same of her daughter. Today helicopters have been passing over low all day with big bales of what I presume to be hay or somesuch.

Late afternoon and the road is reappearing at the front. 

Flickr Tags: ,,

A softness of light is on the  countryside and a quietness with very little traffic about.  Izzy rang Andrew down at the shops and he says the Charade is fine parked out front. Perhaps tomorrow I shall be able to leave the house – albeit with a reluctance to re-enter “ the world out there”.

DAY 6

FLOODS MORE 025The water is still up and had risen during the night. A young man passing in a boat has informed me that the Coldstream is flowing. That appears to be a very good thing. I am weary of looking down our tumbledown steps into black and slow rising waters.

I am however, still delighted to be sitting at the attic window watching boats on the street and a vast lake before me.

FLOODS MORE 001 

Its been a funny way to arrive in a community and to become familiar with it. It eliminated many of the tentative introductory “getting to know yous”.  An old fella bagging sandbags the night we got the cars out told me that the waters would be a couple of days coming up behind here and he has been right.

FLOODS 6 037 

Today Izzy has walked out along Coldstream to Ulmarra, taken the Charade and checked the Starwagon at Swan Creek and gone via Centenary Drive into Grafton for supplies. We have been very lucky. Power and Phones stayed on. Water didn’t reach hoiuse itself and the cars are OK. He has exchanged numbers with the  lady in the house at Swan Creek. Decent people about.

MADDY 5 026

Its only a week and a half back that we were loading the Alpha Truck and farewelling 4 years of Bilambil life – Alpha was a bargain at $150 for 2 full days. If you are in Coolangatta, I recommend them to you. Cars and trucks. Mega Helpful and great vehicle.

MADDY AND MOVING  IN 025

Then I headed up to Armidale with Kati B. It is cold in Armidale but we were gathered en famille and celebrating so we had a splendid time.

I guess I am having a splendid time even now, looking out the dressing room windows on WATER. WATER. WATER.

izzy on truck

Today, Izzy went to town. A few hours later I looked out the window and there he was – returning ! He had bags of shopping and had been picked up by another neighbour. Good Place, Ulmarra.

floods7 005 floods7 006
floods7 001 

We have boxes still to unpack but being rained in for a week has driven us to home work which would have otherwise have been put aside while we adventured.

MADDY 5 148 

Armidale included breakfasts at MacDonalds and Hungry  Jacks. Kati B is 30 years old but has  maintained her appreciation of playgrounds. Hungry Jacks was an agreeable surprise in a family pledged to never allow HJ’s food past their lips. Due to larger kids in Maccas for the Poppy’s birthday brekkie, we had abandoned the playground and dared to try HUNGRY JACKS. Noone told us how good it was. Great Service and mega fun.

MADDY AND MOVING  IN 004 

While I was in Armidale, Izzy had been trying out Ulmarrian Life and LIKING it. Sunday he had been to live music at Wide River Cafe further down Coldstream.

We took a walk on the Tuesday morning, planning our week and weekend. Sighted this fine sign down near the river. Took coffee and cake at Wide River Cafe and generally relaxed – not knowing what was ahead.

ULMARRA FLOODS 009  The MOB from Armidale are bringing a lawnmower. Looks like we won’t be needing it for a little while. 
FLOODS3 004 

We were gone under way before the rest of the street and town. I guess I thought this was about as bad as it would get.

floods ulmarra 017 FLOODS 4 025

FLOODS DAY 3 or is it DAY 4 ?

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1257850

(From the Clarence and Richmond Examiner, April 5. 1864)

Rain, rain, nothing but rain, rendering the
noble and useful Clarence into a most formidable
sheet of water-overflowing its boundaries, and
converting immense areas of land into large
lagoons, destroying the crops and sweeping all

before it.  Such has been the Clarence River of late.

FLOODS MAY 23 031
FLOODS 4 026 FLOODS 4 009

INTO another day. I woke with the yard water free. Now, as the day passes, it comes  at us from the South and has just crossed the road. An inland sea of water.

FLOODS 4 023

Thank God for next door neighbours and local villagers, once again. I watch their faces and their actions.  They tell us about 2001 and I tell them about Bellingen and Iz watches and learns. Water has been one of his “things” he tells me. Today he is the one down there in cold water and getting provisions in.  He has a large stick to flick off the power if the water rises that high.

Iz replaced the letterbox on the fence post. No mail today due to its being Saturday. Yesterday a wee lad on a pushbike delivered the papers. Undeterred was he. After the Iz fixed the letterbox which we found underwater yesterday, he took a walk down to the Village to see what was happening and to check on the Charade.

FLOODS 4 002 FLOODS 4 003

The house above is just over the road and to the left. Morning of May 23 2009.

Morning May 23 2009.
FLOODS 4 012 

5.08pm. Dark and flooded. Fire Brigade went by a moment ago in the big truck. The road is under and it is eerily silent. Piles of cow dung are floating by.  The power has stayed on and there are lights , dim spots of light here and there in the houses which are standing in this inland sea.

FLOODS MAY 23 057 
Should have bought the gumboots at Bunnings. Or even better the Classy Gumboots in South Grafton.

The cars are still in their parking places at Swan Creek and at the Firies. The levee didn’t breach during last  night but now the water rises silently and steadily across the paddocks.

I have found records of other floods in the NATIONAL DIGITISED NEWSPAPERS of the NLA.  See Below. Old Floods from other times. 

Kati B is again trapped in at Valery and one elderly gentleman was found dead in his submerged car at Raleigh.

7.19pm Dark now with waters lapping. They don’t seem to have risen much since dark. Still lapping 8 steps down – back and front.  Winds have risen and it is eerie. We thought for a moment we would be sleeping and retreating to the Attic.

FLOODS MAY 23 007
FLOODS MAY 23 066 FLOODS MAY 23 069
These are the front steps earlier in the day. The water is a lot dirtier now.   
FLOODS MAY 23 033 FLOODS MAY 23 052
FLOODS MAY 23 012 FLOODS MAY 23 067

Wonder whether there will be live Music at the Wide River Cafe in Ulmarra tomorrow?

 

FROM RTA NSW.

OVERTOPPING THE LEVEE AT KEMPSEY 12.04 PM SATURDAY

Started at 22/05/09 6:55am

UPDATED 10:39am

PACIFIC HIGHWAY – VARIOUS LOCATIONS

ADVERSE WEATHER – FLOODING

Initial report

Lanes closed:
Both directions – All

RTA advice:
Exercise caution

Other advice:
The highway is closed between Ballina and Grafton and at Frederickton, north of Kempsey.

 

Started at 21/05/09 10:36am

UPDATED 7:18am

DORRIGO – WATERFALL WAY at DORRIGO MOUNTAIN

ADVERSE WEATHER – FLOODING

Initial report

Lanes closed:
Both directions – All

RTA advice:
Avoid the area, Use alternative route

Other advice:
The road is currently closed between Bellingen and Raleigh. There is no access from the Pacific Highway.

Started at 21/05/09 6:35pm

UPDATED 6:48pm

LAWRENCE – ULMARRA AND BLUFF POINT FERRIES

ADVERSE WEATHER – HEAVY RAIN

Confirmed

Lanes closed:
Both directions – All

Impact:
Significant

RTA advice:
Use alternative route

____________________________________

OLD FLOODS.

article1257850-3-001 1864 flood

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1257850

The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 13 April 1864,

 

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3162000

Courier (Brisbane, Qld.) Thursday 12 March 1863,

THE" FLOODS- IN-THE- CLARENCE

AND RICHMOND DISTRICTS.

Tub Clarence and Richmond Examiner,

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3463181

FLOODS IN THE CLARENCE AND RICHMOND. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) January 28.

The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 9 February 1887, page 6

 

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3462763

The Brisbane Courier Saturday 29 January 1887

Further news from Grafton respecting the  
floods in the Clarence River is to the effect that several houses were swept away at Ulmarra
and Copmanhurst.

 

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3515295

The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 18 March 1890

The Presbyterian Church at Ulmarra was shifted bodily and placed in an unsafe condition, necessitating rebuilding

 

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3561450

The Brisbane Courier Friday 16 June 1893

On Saturday a resident of
Ulmarra lost seventeen head of fat cattle by one stroke of lightning.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4554172

Northern Territory Times Friday 24 February 1928

Ulmarra
A third flood in the Clarence within a
week occurred and our huge pastoral
and agricultural lands again covered
by floodwaters. Boats under police
supervision and manned by voluntary
crews have been out daily removing
families from flooded homes and
taking food to people who are isolated.

 

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3913082

RECURRING FLOODS. THIRD IN CLARENCE RIVER. Rescue Work in Boats. ULMARRA.

Argus (Melbourne, Vic.) Friday 24 February 1928, page 16. News 458 words

The Canberra Times Wednesday 31 March 1954

MACLEAN, Tuesday. I

"Floods can be prevented on
the Clarence River," Federal
Minister for Health, Sir Earle
Page, said to-day.

Sir Earle was addressing a
meeting of the Clarence Valley

women’s flood-control committee.

He said a dam could be built
at the Clarence Gorge to hold
any flood likely to sweep down
the river. ‘

"The dam proposed by experts is a dual purpose dam,"
Sir Earle told the meeting.

It would prevent floods, and
the water stored in it could be
used for power production.

The continual run of water down the river would tend to keep the channel clear and lessen dredging operations.

"With the completion of the northern breakwater and other port works at Iluka, expert opinion is that many of the present shallows will be permanently deepened," he said.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2785972

The Canberra Times Tuesday 27 June 1950,

Frederick Ayres, 35, -was drowned at Ulmarra

_______________________________________

FLOODS MAY 23 012

BELOW: 1948.

FLOODSarticle2751325-3-001 (1)

___________________________________________

MAJOR FLOOD WARNING
FOR CLARENCE RIVER

Issued at 4:05 PM on Saturday the 23rd of May 2009
Flood Warning Number: 15

 
The Clarence River at Grafton peaked near 7.4 metres around 5:30 am this morning
[23/05/09] with major flooding. The Clarence River at Ulmarra peaked near 5.8
metres around 10:30 am [23/06/09].  Major flood peaks will occur at Maclean
later today.  

 

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Maclean   - peak near 3.3 metres around 7:30 pm (23/05/09) with             
major flooding coinciding with the high tide.
 
 
FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au
 
For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500. 
For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.
 

Weather Forecast:

For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw

Next Issue:

The next warning will be issued by 7:30 pm (23/05/09).

Latest River Heights:

Nymboida R at Nymboida            8.51m rising   03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Boyd R at Broadmeadows            4.72m falling  03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Clarence R at Tabulam             5.85m steady   03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Clarence R at Baryulgil           7.39m falling  03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Mann R at Jackadgery              7.76m falling  03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Clarence R at Lilydale            14.04m falling 03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Orara R at Glenreagh              9m falling     03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Clarence R at Grafton (Prince St) 7.24m falling  12:15 PM SAT 23/05/09
Clarence R at Ulmarra             5.68m falling  03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09
Clarence R at Maclean             3.04m steady   03:30 PM SAT 23/05/09

ANOTHER DAY

FLOODS3 034 FLOODS3 019

Just on dark we got the cars out. That meant one to Swan Creek and one in the yard of Ulmarra Bushfire Brigade. There have been high and low points today.

And the Tabus – to criticise our Volunteers. Now – I like Volunteers well enough – although I prefer Unofficial Locals – but I am not really delighted with today’s doings.

We called SES as instructed, concerned about evacuation when we couldn’t get the cars out. We were then informed that there was nothing they could do about CARS . Not much later the sirens  began on local radio and an evacuation order for Ulmarra,   Brushgrove and Grafton was  issued. We didn’t follow it for various reasons and I am glad I didn’t because I now hear on the radio that the Evacuees were sent to Ballina, which sounds good, but the Highway is CUT going north. Duh!  We didn’t do real well at all with SES today. I shan’t make much more comment but give me the local couple filling sandbags who explained the water dynamics of the area in detail for me, any day !

I rang the SES and the gentleman was pleasant. He said Evacuation was a matter of choice. That they had to put people’s lives above Cars, which I understood. However – I was not prepared to leave on those So we chatted to the neighbours who have lived here for 21 years. Get the vehicles out as soon as you can – said they! They told us some tales of other floods here and we listened  well. Tonight we sleep without our vehicles. We wait for the Midnight Levee overtop. A little fearfully and question the SES advice from an SES Woman who said “ she didn’t  know the Area” and who directed Izzy to go down the pub and ask the locals.

Our thanks to the Locals and to the Fire Brigade Lady who spent time directing us to Swan Creek and filling us in on the details of the Area and its aqua eccentricities.  Were this Bello I would not have spent such a distressing day, its being far more familiar to me. I was better even in Tumbulgulm. The single biggest mistake I made today was listening to Officialdom.

Now at bedtime, the rain comes again, the waters are said to be coming down from the mountains, the cars are not with us and the yard is flooded. The doorknock Evacuation NEVER DID COME TO OUR ADDRESS, and we are going along with neighbours and other Ulmarrians. Looks like being a restless night as we wait to see whether the levee holds and whether the Charade survives in the carpark at the Firies where Scott told me to park it. We have the attic but don’t know how to turn off the power with the box accessible by standing  knee deep in water.  Timid we may be our own 1949 ways, but we are new to this area and a little fatigued after months of moving etc. I do believe I have had enough !

FLOODS3 032

MORE FLOODS

449 millimetres of rain fell last night at Dorrigo last night.

floods ulmarra 017 floods ulmarra 027

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales
RENEWAL
MAJOR FLOOD WARNING
FOR CLARENCE RIVER
Issued at 9:44 AM on Friday the 22nd of May 2009
Flood Warning Number: 6
Up to 330 millimetres of rain has fallen in the Clarence Valley during the past
2 days to 9 am today [22/05/09]. Very heavy rain has fallen over the central
valley with up to 112 millimetres being recorded in the 6 hours to 3 am
[22/05/09].
Rain has eased in the past 6 hours to 9 am [22/05/09], however
further heavy rainfall is forecasted over the next 12-24 hours which is expected
to produce further river level rises. The situation is being closely monitored.
At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of
uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.
Predicted River Heights/Flows:
Grafton – reach 7.8 metres around midnight(22/05/09) with major flooding
Ulmarra – reach 6.1 metres around 1 am (23/05/09) with major flooding
Maclean – reach 3.3 metres around 6 pm (23/05/09) with major flooding

ULMARRA

LYNNE HEADER6

I don’t know a lot about ULMARRA as yet. With tomorrow seeing me resident, I shall soon be learning more about it.

I am checking out obscure links.

http://www.cathchurch.net/nsw/parish/Cowper.htm

http://familycompass.com/

http://www.broomshead.com/local.html

http://www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch/061010CyanideWalk.html

http://cs.nga.gov.au/Detail.cfm?IRN=177259

http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=242957&search=steamships&images=&c=&s=

http://www.clarence.nsw.gov.au/cmst/cvc009/lp.asp?cat=246

http://www.clarence.nsw.gov.au/cmst/cvc009/view_doc.asp?id=4322&cat=246

http://cemindex.arkangles.com/cemetery-inscriptions.php?id=361

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rwjau/photos.html

http://www.clarencetourism.com/attractions_heritagetrail.htm

http://www.members.westnet.com.au/randall.art/

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/Aus2003

http://www.flotilla-australia.com/crrsnco.htm

MAY HOLS 08 008

THE DAY BEFORE MOVING

THINGS I MIGHT POSSIBLY MISS AND THINGS I MOST PROBABLY WILL NOT MISS.
ilnamscrub 024

I will miss Scrubby Pete and Mark Quinn and days at ILNAM ESTATE WINERY.

jarrarumba 046

I could well miss my driveway. It, however, has been sprayed with roundup and covered with rocks to avoid bogging so I shan’t miss it as I once might have.

jarrarumba 059

I shall miss my Gentleman – the discerning owner who has been a true friend to me.

FEBBILMUR 012

I am unlikely to miss the Murwillumbah Community Centre which is grubby and neglected.

knox girls 4 001 

I might miss the NSW/QLD border games and the crazed months of daylight saving.

SEPT HOLIDAYS 008

I do not think I will miss Friday Nights at Luffley Cafe. I do not know why I won’t but I don’t think I will.

DOUGS DINNER LOSJAM 008 I think I will miss the elegancies and dignities of Main House Life.
bagels 003 

I won’t miss bagel making because we will actually have a kitchen and perhaps a stove and therefore be baking more. The Kidz gave Iz finances for a kitchen appliance so we will be a –cooking.

KIDZ LAST DAY 063 

I am NOT going to miss the BILAMBIL BLUES CLUB at all.

THE BLACK BEAR CAFE IN BELLINGEN

 

MAY HOLS 08 003

I am moving South. I woke this morning and thought of the changes coming. Then the BLACK BEAR CAFE came to mind. Our local cafe in Ulmarra will be the MULBERRY COURT CAFE. That’s me in the Gazebo at Mulberry Court last year. I shall show some more images of Ulmarra later. This morning its the BLACK BEAR CAFE on my mind.

kalang 2 may 08 001 

Back to Bellingen. That’s app 100 kms south of Ulmarra. I married in Bellingen and my kids were born there. Years back, my daughter, Kati B, did her work experience at a wee cafe there. BOILING BILLY it was called. Last year we took Izzy there. Boiling Billy has now become the baby of Sophie and Dave. Kate worked with Sophie in BADDE MANNERZ in Glebe.

kalang 2 may 08 002 

The BOILING BILLY is now re-named THE BLACK BEAR. The morning thinking was that I shall be in range of BLACK BEAR visits. That’s the Church Street Cafe strip. My sister married Mark  at the Courthouse opposite back in the 1970s. I have many memories of CHURCH STREET. When Tony Bahles and I opened the WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY in Urunga early in the 1970s, THE GOOD FOOD SHOP opened in Bello and was in CHRUCH STREET till quite recently. The HIPPIES we were.

I also note that the Re=Mains are playing at BELLO BOWLO on MAY 15 prior to a CANADIAN tour.

kalang 2 may 08 008 

That’s Sophie in the background clearing the table after an Izzy Meal.  Izzy is a specialist in eating out and mugoccino drinking.  Wish I had a menu to put up but that will have to wait till I am moved South. I shall look for a picture of the Bear itself. I have some hidden in my hard drive.

 SEPT HOLIDAYS 058  

There we are.

THE BLACK BEAR.

 

SEPT HOLIDAYS 054  kalang 2 may 08 006
SEPT HOLIDAYS 059 SEPT HOLIDAYS 055
  Next week I am expecting to be there. 

 

 

MOVING HOUSE

 

GRAFTON AND ULMARRA 002

Re-locating in all its dimensions remains an interesting process. The house is now chosen. The details are to be attended  to.

GRAFTON AND ULMARRA 004

Heading South in search of Home, we stopped in at NEW ITALY for lunch and coffee. There was a residence there for $160 a week and that appealed. Izzy could have sat with hat at feet and guitar in hand to supplement our income.

GRAFTON AND ULMARRA 006 

We stayed with the original plan and proceeded down the Pacific Highway. NSW No 1 Road. Through the Cane to the Clarence.

GRAFTON AND ULMARRA 024

After some scruffling and confusion we chose the house.

POST PARTY WEEK

Had an email today from the CLARENCE and that’s an extract down below.  We are planning to head down next week for the First of the MUSIC CAFES. 

jarrarumba-088

Hi everyone,

Due to popular demand the SOUTH GRAFTON MUSIC CAFE is
back.

Look out for the last Thursday of each month starting 6.30pm.

Local muscians, dancers, singers and poets, in fact anyone that’s entertaining, is invited to perform at our relaxed and friendly South Grafton Emporium.

An entry fee of $3.00 (children under 18 free) includes a lucky door prize donated by the
Emporium.

Not for profit organisations and groups are invited to raise money, help on the door and run a raffle or 2. The door takings will be donated to the charity or group of the night.

There’ll be the usual fantastic food from Peter’s Emporium Cafe plus the Music Cafe Night’s Special such as a curry night at no more than $10.00. B.Y.O.  bring your own glasses (a surcharge if Emporium glasses are used)

Come and enjoy this great evening, bring a crowd, book your special table if you want on 6643 3524 (Emporium Cafe) or 6643 3525 (South Grafton Emporium).

This night will be fabulous with a great audience and our talented local performers.

See you on Thursday 30th April at 6pm at the South Grafton Emporium, 31 Skinner Street.

jarrarumba-091

http://www.emporium31.com.au/cafe.htm

IMAGES OF MARCH AND APRIL 2009

MARCH AND APRIL 2009

I have just spent a few days on the Clarence. Before we went we did a BEECHMONT TRIP and Izzy did a gig there on the Saturday night. 

It seems years since I slept in a house outside the electricity grid and it was a beautiful experience. 

DAY 2 NOV HOLS GRAFTON

NOVHOLS 2 GRAFTON 030

ITS the CROWN HOTEL MOTEL in Grafton which is accommodating us this time. $85 per night and the Clarence is flowing past my window. Breakfast was served this morning on the balcony overlooking the river. A short walk through the old buildings and into the restaurant where continental and/or hot buffet  was set up. We were there before 8am and 20 or so people were there with us. Grafton is a place I have always laughed at and about if not weeping on a hot summer’s day passing through seeking food relief and arrival at destination. 

Now after years on the Tweed and Borderline Gold Coast watching the world disappear overnight and tops shaved off hills to build new housing estates, I am wearied of ALTERATION and deeply relieved to sit by the CLARENCE and walk amongst old bricks.

 

Iz has a full day ahead of him with the Drama groups at the Conservatorium. That’s in Villiers: just down the way a bit.  Yesterday in the late afternoon we went walking in the rain. Iz says it rains here the way it does on the Illawarra. Old couples were walking in the rain. Seems to not worry any of us. We came upon a wee hotel which seemed more like a 19th century inn and stopped in for a coffee. We seemed to startle the Coffee Makers but soon has 2 large mugocinos to eat out in the cool dampness.

I just took a look along Fitzroy Street. Past ROCHES FAMILY hotel and to the ART GALLERY which I didn’t like as much as I like SCHAEFFER HOUSE home of the HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

 

RIVERS  

The many-voiced song of the river echoed softly.  Siddhartha looked
into the river and saw many pictures in the flowing water.  The river’s
voice was sorrowful.  It sang with yearning and sadness, flowing towards
its goal … Siddhartha was now listening intently…to this song of a
thousand voices … then the great song of a thousand voices consisted of
one word: Om — Perfection …  From that hour Siddhartha ceased to fight
against his destiny
-   Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

____________________

He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before — this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and
chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook
themselves free, and were caught and held again. All as a-shake and a-shiver — glints and gleams and sparkles,
rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he
trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when
tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories
in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

NOVHOLS 2 GRAFTON 045

NOVHOLS 2 GRAFTON 043
Rivers
Rivers hardly ever run in a straight line.
Rivers are willing to take ten thousand meanders
and enjoy every one
and grow from every one.
When they leave a meander,
they are always more
than when they entered it.
When rivers meet an obstacle,
they do not try to run over it.
They merely go around
but they always get to the other side.
Rivers accept things as they are,
conform to the shape they find the world in,
yet nothing changes things more than rivers.
Rivers move even mountains into the sea.
Rivers hardly ever are in a hurry
yet is there anything more likely
to reach the point it sets out for
than a river?
James Dillet Freeman

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"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING– absolutly nothing– half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats. "Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down
the river together, and have a long day of it?"                      
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river
and he’s not the same man.
Heraclitus of Ephesus

We grow up hearing so often that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points that we end up thinking it is also the best way to get there.  A river knows better–it has to do with how it dissipates the energy of its flow most efficiently; and how, in its bends, the sediment deposited soon turns into marshes and swampy islands, harboring all manner of interesting life, imparting charm and character to the whole waterway.   I would defy you to find a river on this planet that prefers to run straight, unless it has been taught so by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Tom Horton, Bay Country, 1987

……  but as it is I am only a ferryman and it is my task to take people across this river. I have taken thousands of people across and to all of them my river has been nothing but a hindrance on their journey. They have travelled for money and business, to weddings and on pilgrimages; the river has been in their way and the ferryman was there to take them quickly across the obstacle. However, amongst the thousands there have been a few, four or five, to whom the river was not an obstacle. They heard its voice and listened to it, and the river has become holy to them, as it has to me.
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

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The day draws to an end with clouds and rain a coming. They don’t have the 3G network in Grafton but I am online with GPRS.

Iz has finished his day with the young drama groups and is  well pleased with the experience. They have 2 plays in rehearsal for December.

A river, though, has so many things to say that it is hard to know what it says to each of us.
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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