THE BIG BAND That’s George Finney, Terry Walker, Vas Bros, Izzy Foreal, Woz and a Ukulady.
LAST RUMBLE OF 2013 COMING UP AND STEWIE IS COMING DOWN FROM GLADSTONE QLD TO JOIN US COURTESY OUR OWN SIMON.
INTERESTING MEAL AT KIRRA PUB
The day had begun clouded and cooler. Not as cold as Kalang say Kati B and her IMM who were up at Ivan the Cowboy’s place for the weekend. iZZY played at the RICHMOND HOTEL on Friday night with THE HILLBILLY BLUES BANDITS and we booked into the AZA in the middle of town. Expected Fiona and Sarah but they didn’t show. Did get to a Red Dove Meeting as stated previously. Back in Bilambil via Nimbin and the fruit and vegie shop at Sphinx Rock aka Mt Burrell meant I could go shopping with the Daughter because Cowboy has just moved up from Sydney and he has moved to BILAMBIL – just across the Valley. Almost within vision and 6 doors or so down from the Bloke. So we took ourselves down to the Coast and into Kirra Pub in search of Kati B’s perfect counter lunch roast. We didnt find that. we found a rather odd meal in a rather odd place. Then we came out to the carpark and the petrol cap was sitting on the roof of the car with the petrol thingo open where we had forgotten to close it or put the cap back on. Came from 2 people doing the job of one person. Kati B has her licence now and a registered car but they came in IMM’s 4 wheel drive so we were in the Charade as we have been for years and we took a good look around TWEED. Wish the MAD OBRIENS were still here but they are up the mountain in ARMIDALE so we went to RIVERS in search of the perfect shoe for me. I have the perfect bag. The BLACK WOLF BLADERUNNER. Now I need the walking shoe. Lightweight. WALKABLE. Haven’t found it yet but I will.
Picked Kate up for Jamoze – her being Izzy’s BIGGEST fan without doubt. And then the lads turned up as well which was not what I thought would happen. BIG lads they are too. Two of them made Jai look small and hes over 100 Kilos and BIG. Now they are gone South again and we are here and the day is a little grey.
KATI B AT KIRRA PUB FOR LUNCH
Home with the Blues on down the Road. Tonight there are 20 PASPALUM CDs ready to go. And they are going. I don’t know how many they have sold but there’s a few. That gave the Blues Club the pre-preview. Last year it was Izzy’s birthday down there and we had crowds. Tonight there’s just about 3-4 people and some of them are Bloke’s family. I am come home early.
I have already wrapped up Izzy’s present which is a chopping board. Jai made it for him from Bluegum . Local Bello Bluegum. He said it needs to be oiled as often as possible till it gets lustre and then doesn’t need to be oiled so often. I rang Jai after 7pm when the cheap rates were on to get some details from him. He designed it with a curved recess underneath where the plate can slide under and the food be easily slid onto it. Thats a very good idea for a man whose favourite food is grated salads. The Board has handles carved in as well and 4 rubber feet to make sure it is steady and doesn’t slip. the BlueGum is a red wood.
I wrapped it in pink paper and put some ribbony things on. And a card which I really like which looks like 19 th century and reminds me of Melinda. Then I made a sheet with details about the Chopping Board. I am not a natural present wrapper nor am I a natural cook-er. I have spent years building a life which fits me so it is with caution that I wrap gifts or shop in Coles. I wrap them for people I love and that needs caution and surrender in the sense of the Passione which is a surrendered life.
So the gift is created. I spoke with Kate and Jai when I was in Bellingen and we planned and discussed and then Jai who is a craftsman by nature made it and they sent it to me.
Tomorrow we dont have any plans. Izzy is disappointed because he wanted to play music. He will be playing music on Saturday night at the Lennox Point Hotel and we will be staying at a nearby Motel. Then on Sunday it is his birthday EXTRAVAGANZA at ILNAM ESTATE WINERY and Lachlan Quinn tells me its booked out already.
Izzy is going to bake his own cake. I am attempting to remain in the Wings and allow him to make his own choices in his own birthday. We went to Banora Point Coles this morning and he chose the cake mix he wants and tomorrow we will bake in our new TURBO OVEN. This week we have been eating curries cooked in the TURBO OVEN. Kate and Jai’s present might come tomorrow. Kate got it in Coffs the same day that she passed her Provisional Licence test. Its a specialised grater so I believe although I have not yet seen it and the Mad O’Brians are sending a cook book – perhaps two – vegetarian cook books and a knife – a Wiltshire. They all love kitchens and cooking so they do.
Mad O’Brian has his present already and Little Jo tells me he liked it. I told them I might not be there for the Poppy’s birthday and that I am considering going up there between the 2 birthdays. Suited them although I still have to check with the little girl. Izzy’s girls are coming on the 16th and staying till the 19th. The Poolside Cabana has been booked for them. We need one more mattress is all. iZZY is going North for the first week of May so perhaps I shall travel then. For now – I wait for the music to finish and for him to come home.
And the Blues begin to lift with fine weather and warmth and some resting from the year of transiting between two worlds.
This week we proceed with the partnering as well as inviting the populace to Izzy’s birthday party extravaganza at ILNAM WINERY in Carool on Sunday 20 April.
This morning we take the FORMS to Centrelink. The Glossy 10 x 8s as Arlo Guthrie called them. Izzy has put thesis level effort into filling in these FORMS. Three times I have rung the Centrelink Hotline for advice and three times have been greeted with affectionate and understanding chuckles. Seems that they are now all filled in and we will head to town in the Charade and hand them in. Being a Celibate Single since 1987 (pretty much) – I find this DAUNTING. I didn’t realise the level of commitment involved in a Centrelink form. The three chuckling telephone advisors have, with compassion , explained it to me.
I understand that we are now PARTNERED and have only recently had the concept of re-partnering explained to me by the DOS who is now De-partnered. Me – I will shortly be PARTNERED – in the eyes of Centrelink and before God and those gathered there at Tweed Heads Centrelink Office. This time of the year is significant for me. Mad O’Brian was born on the 22nd. My twin cousins Keith and Ross Carter were born 6 months after me on the 12th April 1950. My car rego is due on the 16th. Izzy is 6 months older than me – born on the 18th April 1949. I believe some of my grandparents were born around this time of the year and often Easter and the Easter Show are on as well.
And now it become OFFICIAL PARTNERING TIME.
We took off on a loop drive today. Its not so easy to Loop down at Bellingen. Most of the Valleys END. They go for miles and then they END. Except for Gleniffer which loops. Here they Loop. And Izzy is not experienced in the Looping Valleys of the Tweed and its been several years since I have done much of it. So we hopped into the Charade due to the Starter Motor Issue with the Star Wagon and braved the LARGE Spider and headed out through Tumbulgum . We took a turn into Leddays Creek so that Izzy knows where the Tip is. I think this one is called Waste Disposal or it might be Recycling Centre. I am not sure. Its a TIP . Smells just as sweet no matter what name its known by. Next door to the Pound which Izzy says should be called a Dollar.
We took the straight road through the canefields and along the canals and creeks , checked the tip then took the loop out on the sealed road back to the Old Pacific Highway. Which might now be called the Tweed Valley Way. Down South Trunk Road 76 is now Waterfall Way and the Raleigh Tip is known also by another name . I am pretty sure the word RESOURCE fits into the name of the Tips in both areas but don’t really understand quite how. At Kalang there is only a WASTE TRANSFER STATION. Open on selected days. The Road is still called KALANG ROAD. As I have said before , I have been told that the Guris used Kalang as an expression of – well lets say as an EXCLAMATION – I no longer recall who told me this but it sounds feasible. Perhaps a sign of impatience with WhiteFella questions. They still call it Kalang Road but IMM tells me that The Kalang Bus Driver is refusing to transport the children past the Sunny Corner Turn Off anymore due to the condition of the road. Parents have to pick them up – similar to the Waste Transfer Station only a kilometre or so away from the Sunny Corner Turn off. Could be true. Gary Sampson the Kalang Bus Driver who lives at the very end of the Valley has threatened many things over the years and the road certainly hasn’t been upgraded in the decade or so since I have been there.
Up here – however – roads are wider and garbage bins on wheels are seen way out on country roads. Well done Tweed Council. Not something you would see in Bellingen Shire.
Mind you Tweed Shire doesn’t get many WELL DONES. It doesn’t even allow any water sports. It pulls down buildings at random. It took the entire top of a sub tropical hill over the way from The Cottage and built the Great Wall of China. Money seems to talk very Loudly in Tweed whereas in Bello – they don’t allow progress to worry them at all. Urunga had a street sign saying clearly and proudly – THE LITTLE TOWN THAT TIME FORGOT. I am very homesick for Bellingen Shire and my own Kids and Grandkids but I am doing the shadowing of a PhD and allowing till I turn 60 to go home again.
Getting back to this morning , we went on the loop drive. South to Tumbulgum and then left at the big roundabout to the MURWILLUMBAH INDUSTRIAL ESTATE . The Slideshow will lead you through this one.
Its a more laid back Murwillumbahian experience than South Tweed. Then we ventured into the Wardrop Valley. How lovely was this ? Old houses and rainforest. Back of our minds is the Sale of the Property and Possible Further Relocation. Back of MY mind is the newly discovered Clearances of the Sutherland Shire in Scotland from whence my GGG Grandmother Wilhelmina McLeod came with her mother Janet Mackay and 2 siblings. So at the back of MY mind is burning and displacement and all the horrors of eviction. They haunt me still as they have done most of my life. Even with Beryl Mortimers email saying how much she appreciated us as Tenants and with my Discerning Owner saying he hopes beyond hope that the New Owners will want to keep us – still I have visions of burning peat and rafts on the Loch. None of which I know anything at all about but I do know a good deal about moving house and not having anywhere to go to.
Wardrop Valley then entered the realm of Possible Places to Live. We came across a property named ARALUEN. Of all things. Iz has only recently discovered his family ties to the Shantytown at Malabar – called HAPPY VALLEY it was.
Then we heard from TG that Basil Kendall had gambled away ARALUEN . So we looked it up on the Funk and Wagnall and ARALUEN means HAPPY VALLEY. And there it was in Wardrop Valley. Araluen.
Wardrop took us along to Fernvale Road and then on to Minnows Road and out onto the Pacific Highway just a wee bit South of Youngbutts Fruit and Vegie shop now called – FERNVALE BIRD SANCTUARY AND FRUIT BARN. We bought duck food for 50 cents a packet and accompanied by a very large hound we took a walk through the Bird Gardens and then back to the Fruit Barn for TRULY HOME MADE FOOD. Now this is a Great Relief after Brisbane City. I like Brisbane City. I like Sydney City – but they are NOT Young Butt’s Fernvale Fruit Barn with HomeMade HomeMade Food. I like Villages and country towns best of all.
This is some of what their Pamphlet says.
Relax and enjoy 4 acres of exhibition gardens with native birds and water fowls. Picnic in the Gardens. Drive up to the door. Plenty of parking area. Just 5 mins south of Murwillumbah on the Tweed Valley Way.
Quality local fruit and veg. If you want to ring YoungButts Fernvale Fruit Barn. try these numbers – 02 66 77 93 23 or 0419 623 697.
We had Zenvelds coffee from down near Bangalow and Pumpkin scones for me with local jam and some splendid sort of cream which brings back a distant memory of pure joy. Izzy had Blueberry muffins. Two of them because one would not have been enough and they were only $2 each. They also had home made ice cream and choc-coated bananas like Izzy had in 1980 when he was up here. Things which have now been pulled down or are not what they used to be.
We also picked up a pamphlet called DISCOVER THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED which is a wee tourist pamphlet for Burringbar , Stokers Siding , Mooball and Crabbes Creek. We were up at Ilnams Winery early this week and Mark and Lachlan Quinn were putting together something similar for our valley here – linking Jamiesons and The Bilambil Blues Club with the Ilnams Winery. Took a look at Burringbar and down to Mooball , over to the Coast and looking for Tanglewood which is what I thought the trip was about as a very PROBABLE Place to Live. That meant a left at Bogangar and then into Tanglewood. I do not know what Tanglewood used to be – it looks like the same situation as I have seen in a few places up here. Someone’s grand vision perhaps which has gone astray or failed. Over on the Hill facing The Cottage – is Terranora Resort – a grand and fine complex of Golf Course , Accommodation and ClubHouse. It is now owned so the DOS tells me by Koreans. The ClubHouse is a Ghost House falling down. The Accommodation is being rented as permanent furnished rentals in the way caravan parks once were and the ghosts truly wander. Tanglewood seems to be in the same condition although more eco-conscious. Many signs saying KEEP OUT and PRIVATE PROPERTY. Who are they written for ? What has happened in there ? There seems to be an empty hall or two . Down on Dry Dock Road is the Aquatic Club. Same sort of thing. Grand Vision. Fine Building and EMPTY.
I am back in Bilambil and wouldn’t be too Blue if theKids lived closer. Just assimilating the mixed experiences of a fortnight away. On the way Down Izzy and I stopped into New Italy for coffee and brekkie. I love New Italy. In my struggles to locate the non generic – non globalised – New Italy remains unscathed right on the pacific Highway. Then again the Pacific Highway hasn’t really allowed the 21st century to touch it either. New Italy has a telephone Museum ( not something you see everyday) An Italian Museum – again not the most common experience. In addition the food was excellent. The Service was delightful and the grape vines were growing along the verandah and curling down the polls. Just the way I like it. Izzy said it were the biggest cup of coffee he had had. Bravo New Italy. Fine statuary as well.
Then we headed South. It was a right adventure for me with Izzy along to show him My World. For me to go back to the place I left in 2001. Since then Both my parents have passed away and many things have changed. Right adventure too because Kate and IMM have returned to the Valley after 8 years and The Mad O’Brians are only 2 hours up the Mountains.
We sneaked around the back of Grafton. The Brother in Law showed me that one years ago. He’s RTA. Centenary Drive and we were South and on the way to Coffs. We passed through as smoothly as we were able with Southern towns on our minds. Wonder why they changed the original Macdonalds which was a fine and salubrious setup into a Caravan Sales Centre and moved the maccas down the way and into the Generic Globalised Mini that it is. Just drove right on by.
Driving right on by was a good idea too because the starter motor was still not working without being hit with a stick and the orange hammer. Each time we stopped it was the 2 person attack just to get going again. Having spent a night in Byron where we were looked at askance as if we were ageing and possibly demented Hippies ( which we possibly are) – we tried to keep moving right on along.
Years back, Lindy Lombard, who didn’t even live in Urunga, came over the Hill into the Bellinger Valley. THIS – she said- IS MY FAVOURITE VIEW OF ALL. The view is a little altered with new highways etc carving their way through but there it is. The Bellinger Valley. Someone else told me – and more than one someone elses – that the lie of the mountains to the West is seen as a man lying – black man reclines. It wraps round the back of Gleniffer . Haven’t seen it myself but I do try to. I squint and close one eye but it still don’t look like anyone reclining to me. And I have a pretty imaginative turn of mind.
We came to Raleigh Bridge. I dont like Raleigh Bridge. I liked the old one which was mighty dangerous as it crossed the river around a nasty curve. I was fond of the Old Raeligh bridge. The new one would have been OK but its CROOKED. I have an PCD turn to me and the slope of that bridge worries me. Nevertheless we turned under it and were circling to cross it when a nutter trying to do Trunk Road 76 at “After work I’m on my way home” speed tailed us so we pulled of near the Raleigh truck Stop for a moment. Let him make his way home. I knew a man once – he did a suicide drive down the Trunk Road 76. His passenger had his arm out the window holding his bottle of spirits so it wouldn’t spill. As they hurtled off the Trunk Road 76 , so did his arm. The story is now a legend and the mythical details are clear to me but not the earthly reality. I know he was hurt but I seem to have mixed the Arm Losing with the one who had it lopped off in one of the small Mills – probably Wills Mill. Either way – the arms are still on. Stitched back in some way which always fascinated me.
Later on after the suicide driver had died at a far later date- mysteriously and prompting a hunting down of junkies in Bellingen – propped up out the back of the Federal with a bottle of whiskey in his hands – another of his mates died on a Trunk Road Bend. Head on with a car filled with basketball girls. Its a tough road that one. Calling it WATERFALL WAY hasn’t changed that .
Izzy of course doesnt know any of the Trunk Road 76 stories and he is a little disconcerted when he see the 100kh sign on the narrow road but I am not. Thats the thread leading home. Used to be MY TOWN this one. And my Girl is at the other end. The Generic Globalised effect has not reached this road, just kissed the town on the cheek and definitely NOT even caught a glimpse of Kalang.Later in the week we went on down to Urunga – THE LITTLE TOWN TIME FORGOT- and as i have said before – That is TRUE. That used to be MY TOWN too.
I am however not there now. I am back in Bilambil. Izzy is in Brisbane. Coming back tomorrow. I don’t have the Tweed Head Blues this morning. I feel Blue for my beloved DOS who has been left on his own at 82. Shocked , bewildered and confused. The property to be put up for sale. I could live like this within easy reach of My Kids. Thats what I would like. But I have a good man in my life and his music is here . So for now I am in Bilambil. In The Cottage. Takin my time to sort this one out.
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