Tag Archives: kate braithwaite



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.