Category Archives: FINE FOLKS


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.


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.



It has become routine to take lunch at WIDE RIVER. I have even taken to eating the same lunch most days which is not something I have often done. I have toasted cheese, onion and avocado sandwich on white bread with a banana smoothie unless I feel the edges of a cold. In that case, I order a COLD REMEDY which is one of the most deadly juices I have ever drunk. It seems to successfully drive the potential swine flu germs back into hiding.


Since we have been in Ulmarra, Izzy has begun to allow his hair to turn white as he said he would at the age of 60. Kati B has come to visit and do the 2nd hand shops of the Clarence.


I also re-discovered FEZZ. We first had FEZZ when the Poppy was a baby and had a blocked nose and now I find that its available for adults as well. Some assistance with breathing is something I could do with.


The last Thursday of each month, we take ourselves along to the MUSIC CAFE at the EMPORIUM, SOUTH GRAFTON.
That is a pleasure in itself . Annie Dodd has had the EMPORIUM for almost a decade and it reminds me of the mystery of Sydney in the early 70s and of such adventures as the ANTIQUE SUPERMARKET on South Dowling Street. Its an evolving organism is the Emporium. This month, July, Peter Greeman, in the kitchen is doing PASTAS. The eclectic array of musos is expected and Iz looks forwards to emceeing.

We have already encountered the MULLANS’ at the June night and Karl and Sharon took the drive north to do ILNAM ESTATE WINERY with Izzy on July 26.  The crowd was well pleased and joined in the mayhem of Izzy and Co and the beauty of Shaz’ Irish melodies.  Karl and Izzy put in some powerful reheasring and Izzy was fully pleased with the day.

I was able to enjoy two magical little girls who came along from BUSBY FLAT to support their parents.

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There is a new dam someplace down here near COUTTS CROSSING. It is said to be  able to provide water to COFFS and GRAFTON for many years to come. I  haven’t found it as yet but will look for it soon.

Just out of Armidale is the DUMARESQ DAM where we picknicked with the Mad O’Briens. There is some unusual info about Armidale, electricity  and hydro-electricity.


Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

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Transition to a new home and community has uncertain elements – obviously. On  the weekend, we went north for the ILNAM gig. I haven’t been back since moving and have no desire to do so at this time. I don’t relocate easily. NOT EASILY TRANSPORTABLE, am I. I am easily confused by the overlapping worlds. I had promised Iz I would go with him this time for several reasons. One being that ILNAM and the Quinns have been very good to us and the other was to meet the MULLANS FAMILY. Karl has been rehearsing here in Coldstream Street but I hadn’t truly met Shaz or the Girls. It was , in fact, a pleasurable experience but after a night spent in a dodgy Tweed Heads South Motel for $75, I was in a deeply reflective mood. As deep as the light on a Fender Bass.

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I think it was occasions like Izzy’s 60th birthday at Ilnam’s with nice people, nice food, nice views which convinced me that it was time for me to leave the area because I just wasn’t content – even in the good places with the good people doing the good things.  So – now I am here on the Clarence and for this time in my life – happy.



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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.


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.


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.

I have read poetry at an Austlit Breakfast at the WORDSMITHS CAFE in the ST LUCIA CAMPUS of the UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND in BRISBANE.


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.


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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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 !