I am a Sydney girl and knew very little of Brisbane till 2007. I grew to love it. I can do cities on foot and on public transport which is my preference. Kati B came to visit and we did the city centre and a cruelly long citycat ride on which she was sunburned and trapped.
I had a particular fondness for the Inner City and Southbank and for the River. We moved to a wee flat in Auchenflower which meant my taking the train to CENTRAL STATION to get to lunchtime meetings – here at the Church on Ann Street. My favourite place was the basement of that church. We are usually put in basements and this one was a good one.
One enormous project that has been underway at UQ and several other Halls of Academia is one by the name of AUSTLIT. The site tells us this:
I am not actually writing about them either. Not in any Intellectual manner. I am inclined to honour them instead for their baking abilities. Dr Djubal arrived at The Cottage on The Hill one fine day all the way from Brisbane and supposedly for a hard day’s work with Peter. He was, in fact, bringing SCONES. With cream and jam. The lads did appear to deal with some degree of business activity but the highlight was MORNING TEA. Peter is a BAGEL baker but failed to produce any on this occasion. BRAINY, BEAUTIFUL and gifted BAKERS.
Originally founded in Armidale (NSW) as S.T.D. Music, Hire and Promotion (1983) by Clay Djubal, Have Gravity Will Threaten (HGWT) is an independent specialist publisher of music, plays, poetry and images from writers, musicians, composers, bands and photographers who emerged out of the New England region of New South Wales during the ‘pub rock’ era of the 1970s and 1980s. After being based in Sydney during the mid- late 1980s HGWT was re-established in Stafford Heights (Brisbane) in 1993.
Last year, in August, Izzy had a cardiac incident which put him in the BRISBANE WOMENS AND CHILDRENS HOSPITAL. Was once called the GENERAL – so the taxi cab driver told me. He told me also of living in Europe in a room with a landlady and having access to city lanes and cafes and cobblestoned life. That appeals to me.
In August of 2006, I took a drive up to POINT DANGER to watch the dredge PORT FREDERICK coming in at the mouth of the TWEED RIVER. I am done with this area so I am and wish myself gone to the next good place. But for the moment , I am here so I RE-COLLECT.
Re-collect and gather my thoughts and memories as Izzy and I come to decision-making about our next moves. Izzy had a brutal SMS during the week – it left me once the wild winds had settled with one message : THIS IS A SMALL TOWN AND WE WERE HERE FIRST.
Ah now there’s a loving thought.
Not a very small town. i am used to very small towns or the heart of very large cities.
My Old GentleMan was bringing me lunch on the lawn of the Gallery in August of 2006. Neither of us knowing what was behind my being given those days of Art Gallery work. He has taken very good care of me and I am very fond of him as I am of my wee daughter in law.
Now what happened in August 2005 ?
We all went West and up the mountains for the 50th Birthday of Kate and Mad O’Brians father. That was cold. Armidale IS cold. Jolene said snow was predicted yesterday for her birthday. Here in Bilambil we were in singlets and jeans and only one sleeping bag for bedding. Mind you it is one fine sleeping bag purchased for Izzy’s wintermoon experience. I am staying here for 16 days to watch the Olympics and read old newspapers and then I plan the next ARMIDALE experience. it could be the $2.50 train ride or it could be a CHARADE ride. I would prefer the STAR WAGON but finances might prevent that. I am waiting for September and signs of SPRINGTIME unless one of the job applications comes in first.
My mother JOYCE BELL SANDERS passed away in August. August 28th 2001. 74 years old. Suddenly in Coffs harbour hospital. I got clean in August . August 12th 1987.
My sister Susan Sanders married MARK POMROY a long time ago at the end of August. At Bellingen Courthouse.
I,myself, was married in August at the Church near the Roundabout and then had a reception at BELLINGEN BOWLING CLUB – there are some low points in one’s life. AUGUST seems the wrong word for this month to me. Usually Dis-Gust-ing.
SOUTH THAT IS.
Life here in Bilambil borders on the insane. Borders on Queensland as well. This week we have been to a cafe in SURFERS PARADISE where Phil E Berg was playing. To a wake at BILAMBIL SPORTS CLUB and then up to a farewell for AUSTLIT members at UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND and back to the Cottage to recover and look at 19th century Australia and the FAMILY TREE. I still do not like living at a distance from my children and grandchildren but am doing so for now. So be it. I read a year or two back when I was doing the one year Ignatian online retreat about a deep willingness for things to be as they are. A passionate surrender. So I stay with that.
The winter days here in the North of NSW and South of Qld are sweet. Singlet and jeans weather with the occasional wearing of the Brogan. A heater at the feet of a night and a couple of doonahs and all is well.
Went to UQ yesterday for Cathy, Jim and Stephanie’s farewell to AUSTLIT. PIzza at the PIZZA CAFE and Life Water from Rosalie on the way home. More on the PETER KNOX website. Peter being Izzy’s alter ego.
For me – Home for the day. Once I lived very much more eremite than I do now that I live with Izzy and am drawn out into the world amongst personalities and philosophies with disquiet and confound me at times. A day out here with birds at the window and the deep silence of the Valley suits me very well before I engage again with the world into which I am not greatly inclined to indulge. I re-located my HERMITARY website and am deeply reassured by that. Izzy is a good man to live with for peacefulness and ease. Behind me is the Dell and the Forest with the winter birds – subtle they are. It is at this time of the year that the owl is in the pines on the drive when we come home at night. The wee wren is in the tree behind the Cottage and the two willie wagtails rouse and babble while we eat bagels on the porch. I think its a porch. It could be a patio or a verandah. Izzy will be out there today. Down at Stokers Siding rehearsing with Phil E Berg. Me I ain’t leaving home. I have had it again. I would rather be riding in a STARWAGON with 2 little girls or talking to my son and his lilttle lady. I would rather be eating good food in a Kalang living room with my daughter and her IMM and watching Izzy at open mike night at the FEDERAL HOTEL in BELLINGEN but I am not.
So I shall stay home. Its been 3 years since my father died and it would have been his birthday this last week had he lived. So I put as much of his family tree as I was able on the heritage website and now I stay home all day and consider things As they are now. Standing before the situation and waiting for an internal response to emerge. Joan Keating, Peter Knox and me with Roger in the background. PIZZA CAFE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND. The very same cafe that Kati B and I retreated to after our marathon CITY CAT ride . On that occasion Kati B required a fortifying ale to recover from the hours in the sun with fumes , tourists and sunstroke. On this occasion AUSTLIT provided the pizza and sparkling water. Hi Joan !
ARMIDALE MIGHT BE COLDER BUT HEARTS ARE WARM. We took the little girls to breakfast at Maccas and then on to ice cream in the new ARMIDALE Centro. That means little to other people – but to me its as meaningful as Ralph Waldo Emerson. As meaningful as a gigantic pumpkin on a Scottish beach at Findhorn. Which did turn out to be meaningful for me – because its from Sutherland Shire that The Mackays and the McLeods came to marry James Bell in the 1800s preparing the way for my own entrance into this world. I do not know what is being prepared now in these years away from my loved ones but something is.
SO- a day at home making family trees – sorting out affairs. Hanging washing on the line stretched along the back porch. Looking over the 2nd chapter of izzy’s thesis. Wondering how close Durham actually is to York and whether or not that was a Catholic Chapel Carol discovered under the Institute Hall in York. Same as Dempsey’s in Sydney. A day reading more about Henry Kendall who is a classic progressing alcoholic and a right dick and dodgy as well. The whiskey grass is red along the front drive here and the lawn is getting a wee bit long because the DOS has been away with family in Newport.
That’s winter in Bilambil. Singlet and shorts. Barefooted winter days.
Late it is. Nearing dusk and the Star wagon is packed and ready to go for the last time. Izzy is sleeping in preparation for a night drive back down the M1. Beryl Mortimer has been farewelled. Very fond of her we are. The Shuggle has been swept and mopped and everything is in there and ready to go. We are going to Rosalie on the way out to get Life Energy water if theyre open and to eat dinner if we can find a seat where we can keep an eye on the StarWagon and our possessions.
Last 2 days officially in the Shuggle. Yesterday was the brisbane of Legend which I had not encountered this Summer. HOT with bugs crawling on me while i tried to sleep and the ceiling fan whirring. I have a lingering image of long fans made of cloth and pulled back and forth on white fellas by an Indian holding the rope in his toes. I saw it in a movie a long time ago. Last night I lay in the heat – window closed against the neighbours’ noises. Fan turning instead of being leisurely fanned back and forth by a toe pulled rope – listening to a squeaky dog and thinking to myself – ” one legendary Brisbane night before I leave. ” One is probably quite enough and a 1000 far to many. Today is however my accustomed Brisbane day. Cool and damp. Birds and tropical gardens. Iz works today and tomorrow at Aust Lit and then it is done and he comes to live with me in The Cottage on The Hill. As an AusStudent and me a Disabled Pensioner. I wonder what my disability really is.
Today I am commissioned to go into the City and find Allens Music Store in the Queen Adelaide Building in Queen Street Mall and buy 3 sets of strings for an 8 string mandolin. Thats Izzy present to the Bloke for his 61st birthday. I have the internet printout to show them. I shall add a meeting at St Andrews Church at noon. probably take the train from Auchenflower station 3 stops into the City. Then I am almost done with that as well
I listen to ClassicFM here in the Shuggle. When I am down South, I listen to Coast FM. The Shuggle is beautifully set up with Bookcases and wardrobes . Down South we are making our bookshelves from planks and bricks as we did way back in the 70s.
Izzy is accustomed to fulltime work and plenty of pay. As from March 31st hes AusStudy and full time PhD. Now this will be interesting.
And Me I am accustomed to living alone and running my own households for 20 years . This could be very interesting indeed. This could be very good.
Here in Auchenflower in this Thursday before we leave, the rain comes. I borrow a blue long sleeved shirt from his wardrobe and wiht my Lynx sandals on prepare for another rainy Brisbane outing.
A last few days spent looking through louvres. A last few days watching the ghekkos come out to hunt from behind the bookcases. And dreading the slope of the Rossmere Lane Hill. I am yearning for the big farmhouse in a valley near my children but life might not go that way. So I keep packing up the Shuggle ready for the next Student from UQ who will come to live here. And wondering how JB is doing in the Royal Brisbane Women and Childrens Hospital. Iz was in there with his cardiac incident but I don’t quite know where it is. I haven’t QUITE mastered Brisbane and for now I will not be doing so but :
I STILL LOVE THIS CITY !
Jai and Kate with Izzy at the Old Butter Factory in Bellingen.
I went to town. That means COOLANGATTA for me. 15 kms app. Did a meeting and then went to Tweed Centro. Bought some incense and some spiritual sky essential oil while I’m on the early 70s retro trip. Which with the Stars as they are for the next couple of decades ( inc EQUINOX and full moon this week) Might see the rest of my earth days fitting me rather well just as the forerunner did in the 1970s. So I chose NIGHT QUEEN for some ancient reason which I cannot recall and then I hit the Bagels , Goats Milk , lentil patties, greek yoghurt in memory of Tony Bahles, and other odds and ends. From the Woolworths in Centro. I do not like supermarkets but decided to do it anyway for the things Izzy likes. Doing things for my men has not been a major facet of my life. Thats why I did it. Cause he’s a good man and does many things for me. Now I’m home again. Home is for sale mind you. Over $1 million. Not my $1 million.
I have added this Armidale foto. Haven’t put many up from the Armidale section of the trip. will do so. It was a good week. I love My Kids’ homes. When I go to Armidale they have a big queen size bed for me same as Kalang does. In Armidale they give me 5 pillows and 5 doonahs because they know I love that. I sleep in Maddy’s playroom and am treated marvellously as I am at Kalang. We take walks in Armidale. This one is outside O’Connor Catholic college. Every single one of these vehicles has a P Plate on it. Draw your own conclusions.
In the Meantime I am in the Cottage. Cool Breezes blowing and windchimes chiming. Grass growing. Me watching the new Minister for Science etc at the Press Club and considering the new Government. Wondering when and how Dept of Housing disappeared and why it rarely is suggested. Life is a LOT easier when one has a HOUSE to live in. My rent has been more than 50% of my income for a very long time. These are the easiest financial days of my adult life – but I have years and years of what Margaret Jakob called GRINDING POVERTY and I have often been ground down. Still am eroded probably. Going shopping like I did today and spending about $50 still causes an allergic reaction in me. A surge of fear and trepidation.
I drive the Charade my father passed on to me when my mother died in 2001. I have their ashes in the wardrobe and am considering a plaque at Urunga Cemetery. I used to take Odin the Staffordshire Bull Terrier there to walk early in the morning and late in the afternoon when the roos came out. We got on well – Odin , the roos, the birds , the ghosts and me. I built a cairn there of rocks. Just out of the official boundary of the cemetery. The cemetery is near Urunga lagoon. The smell of the salt water and the waters meeting the sea. I taught school there and have 20 or so ex-pupils on facebook writing to me. I am glad of that. Sometimes its difficult to anchor onto worlds which are gone now.
IN THE Shuggle for 4 days, Only a few more weeks and then this is done. Then I am going to live with a fulltime PhD student and do research. Today it seems the rain is actually taking a break. Crisp and clear and fresh. All manner of birds come to the garden now. The wet summer has brought new life apparently.
Mornings I go down and kick the engine over wile Izzy hits the starter motor with a hammer and stick. To go off to UQ. We will be able to live together in 4-5 weeks. Next week we go south to Kate and IMM in Kalang and then I go over the mountains to TheKids in Armidale. 2 weeks away is not what I really like but I am malnourished in the area of family contact so off I go. Mebbe one of them will know how to fix the iBookG4 Mac which freezes midstream all the time.
Beryl Mortimer is up and about in her garden and one loud crw is dominating on the front wire. I have a Premier coach ticket on which to get a refund. Mebbe I will mail it in and get the cheque refund after all. Or go to Roma Street and get cash at the counter. Best do that today en route to UQ this afternoon.
Been researching MELINDA KENDALL all week till my mind is lost someplace in the 19th Century and muddled at that. Today I shall begin on My own long lost family which is now making more sense to me. I remain proud of the Grandmother Hannah Hitchens who was described as A LOOSE WOMAN – on a convict ship. One of only 6 to be so described on the ship -BROTHERS- 1823-24. Go for it grandma. Then she went to live with Thomas Benson – Grandfather – equally dodgy – in Sussex Street – right near where Melinda and Basil met in 1835.