Category Archives: EATING OUT

wondering on wednesday

At Coffs Jetty, an enterprising couple has a KIOSK. TREATS it was called. I bought an ice cream sundae there , with nuts and caramel thereby duly honouring the Mr Whippy of my childhood in Belmore and occasional encounters throughout my adult life.

Kati B and I bought one years back as we walked to the Art Gallery in Sydney. She told me they were made from pig fat which was relatively distressing but not enough to turn me off.

Dreams and likewise Memories are not made from pig fat alone.


Throughout the Winter here, we have had enough rain for the water birds to come in. Some only appear once or twice and then are gone. Others are here almost all the time and down in the paddock to my right beyond the Orchard, I can hear loud squarking noises which I think come from the Jabiru who stays out of sight.

The Winter had involved my calling  on the resources of my children’s father and my sister’s husband. Each of them is rather expert on the bird life of this area.

I still have to ask them about the one on the right.


Today is the Eve of my Recovery Birthday. I take time almost every year to go Contemplative on that Eve and I am doing that now. Some bad things could have happened to me in those years if I hadn’t changed. I have seen them happen many times to many people.

A friend is in hospital now with injuries which he is unlikely to completely recover from. I had another very handsome male friend, brilliant, gifted – a yoga master – beaten to death, so I heard.

Another friend relapsed and turned to prostitution and was beheaded someplace in Queensland.

That’s the world waiting out there for my people and for me.


The world I have had instead is an intelligent world. I am very fond of intelligent. And of Kindly.







Today, the Little Ladies and me – we were back in Guru Food. For me, I am guaranteed a top class vegetarian meal. That’s harder to find than one might expect. I am also greeted by the Girls. Today it was Amy and Courtney. Amy is one fine cook. And Courtney not only makes the BEST ginger drinks but also offered to mind the baby while we ate. I took the Lunch special of the warm brown rice salad and Kati B went for the Guru Burger with Satay Tofu. They also operate from an ethical viewpoint as stated in the Code of Ethics shown below. Down the end of Church Street towards the River. Open Lunch and Dinner. Not for dinner on Sunday and Monday Night.

Its a great venue for hosting music etc as well. Bards of Bello met there last month which suited Izzy and me. Once again, it meant we could eat without negotiating meat free solutions or the common “vegetarian option”.



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Amy tells me there is an update on the way due to some changes in suppliers.





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This way to the Guru Food.



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I am not successfully ‘ doing’ Christmas this year. I successfully DID my 60th birthday and that’ has been a fine satisfaction – but Christmas has me ‘stonkered’. The MOB from Armidale have gone South to the family of the daughter-in-law – way up back of Eden.  Kati B and IMM are in Bellingen and within one month of the baby’s coming. 17th January its due. And We are in Ulmarra.

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Living within some health frameworks determines a fair percentage of my lifestyle and sometimes I forget about it and when my body doesn’t come on the ride my mind and dreams want to take it on,  my Spirit sits down in a corner, discouraged. Internet life is SO good. When I find going out a bit tough then, the electronic door opens and I have the world right here with me.

I haven’t done Christmas Cards. I would be lucky this season to ‘ think my way out of a paperbag’. The mail today, however brought two cards – one from my very old and legally blind Auntie Jean, whom I have loved since I was a baby and still do,  and the other from ‘Your Old Postie’.  Took me all the way back to childhood in Belmore. A card from the Postie. That’s why I LOVE villages.

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When I woke this morning and entered the FaceBook world, My niece, Cassandra Pomroy, was online on chat and while I was here in Australia with friesian cows and galahs, she was in Brixton, London with SNOW all about her. CP is off adventuring in Europe – in love with London. She was working in a cinema but the work visa is run out and now she is at a vego co-op.

She sent me the backyard snow photo on the left.

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The Leader of the MOB once set a thought off in my mind. Well, actually , he sent thoughts off in my mind most of his life and still does and this was one of the ones which has helped me in many situations ever since. I don’t recall the words but what it said to me was that all the ingredients of Christmas were a part of the process and all of them were needed for the memories.

That being so, then it doesn’t so matter what I FEEL about today or Xmas Week – I just put it in the Mix and it will one day settle into whatever it is meant to do.

The white egrets across the road with the black cows and our trip to Iluka. Izzy and I went to Iluka – and liked it. There were pelicans at Iluka I like pelicans. I guess I won’t know what this Christmas is about till all the parts have been added up and the Whole becomes greater than the Sum of its Parts. Pelicans with a new Camera in an hitherto unvisited North Coast Village.  We also have the background theme of WAITING for the Kati B’s new baby. Her first Baby.

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And 50 Scrabble Games on Facebook going at all times with people from all over the World – excluding Canada and the USA.

I took myself down south to Bellingen for her Baby Shower. I had never been to one before. I was from the Hippy and liberated Feminist era and we didn’t DO baby Showers. Kati B is much the same but the Good Friends  she has made since she came home to Bello wanted to hold one and they did. Kati B and IMM lived for years in the middle of Sydney and liked it . Now they are back in a Country Town and have some Good Friends.  We did baby Shower in the afternoon.

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Next day, Hannah had organised Barefoot Bowls at the Bello Bowling Club. Babies and Children and beautiful young parents and pregnant girls. Much as it was when we first came north in the 70s in the  Hippy Train – but now integrated and solidly part of the community. The towns are coming back to Life. It was Hot and just as Summer in Bello should be.

Little ones with names like Echo and Jet.


Its 1 1/2 hours from Bello to Ulmarra and its 80kms back to Coffs Harbour which is what we did the next day or so. Izzy is a Mac Man and the Mac Shop is on the Pacific Highway in Coffs. He has had his little Mac G4 for 5 years and it had begun to resist the latest internet advances so we hopped into the Starwagon and now he has the latest Mac.

Already, it seems to have re-ignited his academic interest in his Melinda and research is back on. Suits me – I find myself very peaceful back in the 19th Century.


We turned into Red Rock and Corindi – 2 more villages i hadn’t visited before. I have lived on the North Coast since the early 1970s with a brief break to return to Sydney from 1987-1994. These villages are the ones I have seen signs to for many years but not turned off the Highway to explore.  Now that I seem to be North Coast ‘ doomed’ for the moment, I am Exploring.

I think I spent one night in red Rock in 1973 with Tony Bahles. A sleep in our Commer Van when returning from Brisbane but that memory is just a flash. Then, gentle English Tom at Brigalow once asked me to come for a ride on his motor bike for a pie at red Rock- that’s about 10 years back but I was too timid and didn’t go.

Now my interest has been re-awakened by the Red Rock Stories that the Hegedus Family tells me when I am down at the Wide River Cafe.

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Izzy was booked for 4 gigs in a row and I decided to go to just one – my favourite – the Wide River on Sunday. Good idea – however , Sunday Rained and it was a washout. That’s the sort of Xmas I am having so far. “Almost but not Quite” sort of a season.


However, in this adding up of the parts to discover the greater whole , I am driven to treat my naturally depressive, eremitic nature very consciously.  Humour is one of the elements. The POST CHRISTMAS SALE at RETRAVISION in the week BEFORE Christmas was pretty funny.


For Beauty and Sheer Pleasure, there is Summer Fruit. Izzy won a tray at the SQUATTER’S REST JAM NIGHT. We have also discovered the NORTH STREET FRUIT MARKETS under a house in North Street near Carr’s Creek. Good fruit and vegies and excellent prices. The fruit looks good on Andrew’s wooden table that he has lent us.

This could well be a retrospective Season of Joy for me.


We found the VILLAGE GREEN HOTEL RESTAURANT yesterday. Someplace in the back streets. I found their site on Facebook and it looked like a good crew and so it proved to be. Kati B likes beer gardens and counter lunches and the Clarence excels in them. I have more to try. I did like the Crown Hotel  on the river in Grafton but last time we tried to eat there we encountered very poor service and the ‘cannot feed a vegetarian’ treatment. We actually left and went round the corner to ROCHES’ FAMILY HOTEL which fed us very well and was busy. Then there is our own ULMARRA HOTEL which has a beer garden right on the River, top cooking and great service. Brekkie and lunch 7 days a week and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.


I have 4 round balls from JACK A DANDY. That’s Ulmarra’s gift shop with Paul in charge. They are Xmas balls even though we don’t have a tree this year. There is one white bear for the baby coming in January. Danged depression.

I hang in one day and then another and the emotions will make sense again soon for me and the white bear.


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The couple on the left take the honour of being the first  to experience the new ULMARRA ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, as Andrew and Izzy like to call the Breezeway between SHELLBOUND and WIDE RIVER.  Today saw the first Live Music on Sundays. Izzy invited Karl and Shaz (KSM) down for the day from BUSBY FLAT and off we went.

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Just last Monday we were watching as Andrew , Robyn, Brett and Sandy bent their backs to the paving and today it was ready with umbrellas and stage. All in place for one of the sweetest little performing areas on the Northern Rivers.

I am finding the walk into 60 years of age to be rather odd.  I don’t think I ever had plans or a vision for this age.

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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.


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.


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.


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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The MOB from ARMIDALE were down for the weekend. We lunched both days at WIDE RIVER CAFE just down the road in COLDSTREAM STREET. Long meandering lunches they were too – with food and talk and music.

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All the food is prepared locally and home made. From APPLE PIES to Kangaroo. Juices ,  Coffees and GOULASH from an old Russian Recipe. Sunday we encountered the music arvo in the courtyard and Izzy had his bass out with Andrew Hegedus Prop. WIDE RIVER has been a real bright spot in our Ulmarra life.


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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


There we are.



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  Next week I am expecting to be there. 




Following the weekend discovery that we are connected to EAT MY FISH in DAISY HILL, I decided to re-locate the Fotos from May 2008. EAT MY FISH is situated in a simple neighbourhood shopping centre and is simply EXCELLENT.  We ventured into it because it was the only cafe open when we found ourselves in the Belly of Just off the M1 Land en route from Brisbane airport to Bilambil. Seeking only Vegetarian Food we were intimidated by the sign but hunger won. There was some trepidation in the waiting despite the reassuring conversation with the Chef. And then – BRAVO !