Tag Archives: NORTHERN RIVERS NSW

SUMMER COMES AND SO DOES MY 10,000th HIT.

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How good is the  Internet ? A few years and a few tears back, I could no more have accessed a public forum for journals, images, music, videos, genealogy than I could have knitted new clothes for my coming grandchild. My father, Bruce Sanders, wanted his 2/3 Pioneer Battalion Story published but we simply didn’t have the resources. Now – here it is! How good is that ? This Particular Blog  of mine is about to hit 10,00 and I thank you all.

The mutual sharing is another dimension that works for me. I am not always able to travel and sometimes I don’t get out much at all. I also have a tendency to be overcome by what I like to call Acedia – in various forms – and NOW – I am no longer locked in at home alone. This is truly the Global Village for me.

Now – as we come into an Australian Summertime. and the closing of 2009 – I shall take a look at 2009- as it has been.

It was the year in which Izzy and I both turned 60 – 1949 children. I think I had best rephrase that. We were born in 1949.  2009 was the year in which we moved from the Tweed to the Clarence, in which my daughter newly turned 30 became pregnant with her first child. My granddaughters  turned 5 and 10. A most interesting time it has been.

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Last Christmas, we, as a family,  were to meet in  Kalang on Boxing Day for Kati B’s 30th birthday and Christmas Day, Izzy and I were to spend alone at Bilambil Cottage where we were living.

We were out and about in the morning and received an impromptu invite to Lorraine’s for lunch with a dozen or so guests. Plenty of good foods and good company. A sober affair so it was and I enjoyed it up behind Scenic Drive in Tweed Heads  West.

Spent the rest of the day at home with our swimming pool and tennis court. 

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The next home for us was already starting to be listed on realestate.com.au.  I didn’t realise then that it would become a place of rather deep emotional and mental impact. 2009 is the last year of my 50s and time seems to have wrapped itself around me and curled into the core of me. Memories of 20 years of Addiction and 20 years of Recovery were waiting for in this 100 year old house as well as the history of my family and my childhood.  I intended entering my 60s  consciously and cautiously, knowing this – IT WILL BE DIFFERENT. And it has been a gentle, explorative time with a good deal of ‘ thinking’ going on.

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MT WARNING OVER BILAMBIL.

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THE TWEED RIVER NEAR TUMBULGUM 

Briefly this is my locational history.

1949-1950 – CANTERBURY ROAD HURSLTONE PARK SYDNEY. SANDERS FAMILY HOME.
1950-1970 -  27 PAXTON AVENUE, BELMORE. SYDNEY. HOUSE BUILT BY DAD.  
1970 – TUMBARUMBA . TEACHING AT ROSEWOOD.  
1971 – QUEANBEYAN SOUTH. TEACHING.
1972 – PAXTON AVE.  TEACHING IN LAKEMBA.
1973 – DRUMMOYNE, BALMAIN , CHISWICK, PORT DOUGLAS – CAMPING ON 4 MILE BEACH – YAHT UTIEKAH III- URUNGA.
1974-1977 – URUNGA IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS, INC WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY.
1977 – SYDNEY – GLEBE AND TAYLOR SQUARE.
1978 – 1987 – BELLINGEN AND  URUNGA – MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN.
1987 –1994 – SYDNEY. DRUG REHAB. BONDI. SOUTH COOGEE AND BACK TO TEACHING.
1994 – 2001 – URUNGA AND BELLINGEN.
2001-2009 – TWEED RIVER INC TUMBULGUN, BILAMBIL WITH SHORT TIMES IN TUGUN AND BRISBANE.
2009 – ULMARRA.

 

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In January of 2009, the Armidale Mob came to Bilambil Cottage for a Summer Holiday. That was a ‘ classic’ summer holiday. I must have had some sweet stars shining on me this year because, despite the transitional turmoil and my own inclination to distress, I have had a goodly share of Sweet Moments, Classically Good Experiences and of events turning out just as I had planned and hoped for.

The Summer holiday was one of them as was the 30th birthday of Kati B.

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We took the Poppy to the beach at Pottsville. They have been living in Armidale for years now and she hasn’t been beaching since she was a baby. We also continued our cafe experience which is rather extensive . The EATZ CAFE at Pottsville featured real Beach Food. None of which I can now recall but they had tropical names and strange drinks – a 60s flashback which I enjoyed after one too many trendoid, generic eateries such as the infamous Blue Frog in Toowong, Brisbane.

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I lived in Bilambil Cottage for 4 years and in deciding to leave, we took our time in choosing where we wanted to go and when and why and how etc. The Cottage was tiny but exquisite with a view over the Bilambil Valley and out to the Coral Sea, During the Mob’s Holiday, we sat outside of an evening and watched the bats fly over and the long nose come out to feed from the long grasses.  The Poppy learned to swim and discovered the wonder of being a Mermaid.

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We also visited the beach at Kingscliff. The Mob had lived at Kingscliff before going up the mountain. I thought that when we moved south we might miss the exotic birds and plants of the Tweed. Tweed is on the NSW/ QUEENSLAND border.

Are these baobab trees ? I like the word and haven’t checked to see whether these are baobabs or not.

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One thing I knew I wouldn’t miss was the BILAMBIL SPORTS CLUB.

I enjoyed it for a goodly length of time but things went amiss and the decor was never a good look. The Club is set in the Valley. A lovely setting with a creek beside it and playing fields, paddocks with horses and the hills rising on either side.

The Bilambil Village is tiny and part of a loop drive enjoyed by Many. However, the Club doesn’t open till  3pm, serves food only a couple of nights a week, doesnt cater for vegetarians AT ALL and is decorated as you can see on the left. The music scene which thrived there has shrivelled to nothing. Lots of potential going unused.

SOUTH GOLDEN BEACH 001 Leaving blue skies and palm trees took some serious decision making.

SPRINGTIME ON THE CLARENCE

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.

FOR SUNDAY IN TUCABIA FOLLOW THIS LINK.

http://whiterosetrading.ning.com/photo/albums/squatters-rest-markets-tucabia 

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.

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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.

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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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AUGUST REFLECTIONS

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I am sitting here today in the Attic with smoke from the timber mill and the cattle up close to the back fence. The transitional effect of the moved from Tweed to Clarence is beginning to ease like the May floods receding after the inundation. Last week, I was out at Minnie Water where the debris is still piled and a little mouldering as it is on many of the North Coast beaches.

For me, a quietness is returning and I continue with reflective  imaging.

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I have lived close by beaches for much of my life. North Coast beaches at that. Its a 40km drive out to Wooli from here. That seems to me a long drive, along a narrow road which is rather hectic.

I lived much of my adult life in Urunga which is also known at the town WHERE THE RIVERS MEET THE SEA and I am accustomed to the beach being closer than this.

The MOB lived for a few years at Kingscliff. Also right on the beach. That’s the Armidale mob in the foto, touching sand in mid winter near the Queensland border at Kingscliff.

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I put this shot in because it sums up some of the things which troubled me up North. This is the ‘planned resort’ up the back of Carool. It didn’t come to anything, so far as I know. Scattered through the Tweed and the Gold Coast are abandoned ‘resorts’ and derelict ‘dreams’.

I heard a Professor speaking on the radio one evening and he spoke of the Great Dreaming , the Greed of the last however many years. And he referred to some of the things we would find when we ‘woke up’.

What I know, is that I greatly prefer being amongst buildings which STAND. Made of stone or bricks or wood rather than the fabric of temporary dreams.

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The lady on the left is my Great Grandmother, Julia Ready nee Jackson.
http://lynnesheritage.wordpress.com/
I have some info to write up about Julia. It was given to me by PHIL READY who put years of work with his good lady wife into gathering  family information together and putting it together in READY OR NOT. This year I asked Phil whether I could write it up and put it on the Net and he sent me an email saying – PERMISSION GRANTED,.

   

FOLLOWING UP ON PAST IMAGES

These are simply images and thoughts arising from the imagery.

This is the price of petrol in  Ulmarra on the last day of July 2009. coast 002

Each day I take my lunch at the Wide River Cafe. Not on Mondays due to its being closed on Mondays. I take the Cold Remedy , read the newspapers, chat with the Andrew and the girls and generally enjoy a daily routine which I don’t recall having before. Its not hectic in Ulmarra at lunchtimes although the BUSHFIRE BRIGADE REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS are there and were doing an “exercise’ yesterday to make sure that we were all firesafe.

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Last weekend, two girls rode past on their horses and each girl carried a red rose. KATE VISIT 1 073

While I am in the Village, I spend some time in ULMARRA BOOKS and BRIC A BRAC, chat for a while with our GentleMan BookMan and, in general, just indulge in the sheer pleasure of a book shop of this size and nature. This one is a treasure trove. I always enjoy being in the hands of an Expert, no matter what field it is in. In this shop I am guaranteed EXPERTISE in its most agreeable form.

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I have lived for four years in a tiny cottage. Exquisite with wonderful views of the Bilambil Valley – but tiny. Now I live in a HOUSE. A house which my family come to visit.  Last weekend, my daughter, Kati B and I spent the evening at the card table from Dolores, playing YAHTZEE. A ruthless game night it was.

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THE FIRST WEEKEND IN AUGUST

http://newenglandaustralia.blogspot.com/2009/07/different-textures-of-new-england.html

FOR A BROADER, DEEPER AND WISER VIEWPOINT OF NEW ENGLAND, TRY THE BLOGSPOT WITH JIM BELSHAW.

_______________________________________
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I am familiar with the last blast of cold in a North Coast Winter. It ‘should’ arrive in a week or two and, as usual, we will all be surprised by it because of the present warm golden weather. Nevertheless, this IS a weekend of the warm golden weather and I am enjoying it. Sunlight in the kitchen and mown grass in the yard.

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Took a drive today along OLD POST OFFICE LANE. That led on a labyrinthine adventure through cane fields and paddocks and alongside oxbowlakes and creeks and the COLDSTREAM RIVER itself. There is still a lot of rubble from the floods , piled and stacked beside the roads and the water, even in the river, is thick and dark. Brown at best and in places an evil sludgey black.

30 days of Labyrinth Love and Wisdom

Dedicated to spiritual pilgrims everywhere

By Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok

THE SACRED LABYRINTH ~
an ancient meditation tool

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The labyrinth is not a maze. The roads here all seem to lead back out and back home. Narrow byways and twisting tracks. Today we reached Tucabia by Lower Coldstream Road and then over the white one lane bridge.

THE WASHING MACHINE IS A WHIRLPOOL

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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BOB’S DOG- “FRANK”.

THE WASHING MACHINE IS A WHIRLPOOL

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 !

LAST WEEKEND IN JUNE 09

REFLECTIONS ON THE LAST MONTH. THE FIRST MONTH HERE ON THE CLARENCE.  IN FACT – LETS MAKE IT REFLECTINS IN GENERAL.

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I drove this driveway for four years. Its the drive from Bilambil Cottage up to the Main House of Linden Lea. When the rains turned it slippery and sloppy, the DOS had this load of rocks put in so that our vehicles would not slip and slide. He is a true Gentleman is Mr Douglas Bulpitt.

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AT the back of Ulmarra, we have a SHED. Its a fine shed and VERY old. We have now discovered that the house was built in 1908 by W.B. HAFFENDEN. Out past the shed is the wetland area which fills with birds and where I watched the brolgas dance.

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The attic appears in early photographs of the house. I didn’t expect that. I thought it were a recent addition but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Its from the attic that I look above the sheds to the wetlands and this first month in residence, they have been wet in the extreme.

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In SOUTH GRAFTON is the EMPORIUM. It was once the CITY STORES. I am finding some tales from South Grafton in earlier times.

http://clarenceandulmarra.wordpress.com/

I eat at the EMPORIUM and go to the MUSIC CAFE. This weekend, The Emporium hosted harp and vocal workshops. They do a fine curry as well as being open long hours 6 days a week.

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I thought, after my early investigative visits to Grafton, that our usual Cafe Way of Life might be extremely limited on the Clarence but that was a needless worry. I have far more variety and far more pleasant venues here than I did on the Tweed and certainly on the Gold Coast. I am simply not your GC Woman.

Give me the EMPORIUM any day !

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Or our WIDE RIVER CAFE just down the road in COLDSTREAM STREET. Lizzy and Mum make the pies. Andrew turns out a wicked COLD REMEDY juice and Sundays there will be music in the courtyard (as soon as the water dries up and the pavers can be laid). Next door Robin and the girls have their artwork and miscellaneous etceteras including beautiful ceramics.

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One effect of so much wet is that I have become very familiar with the view from the back windows. Coldstream Street features some fine old fences. The Recreation ground is just beyond the one in the picture. Its been too inundated here to find out what happens at the Recreation ground in SMALL PARK. The park is not SMALL. Small was one of the first settlers on the Clarence and his name is on the Park.

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The fence on the left is part of the COLDSTREAM STREET fencing network. I feel that I ought to know the name of this type of fencing. My father who was a carpenter of integrity would most certainly have explained it to me in years gone by. All I know is that I like the old wood and the shadows cast. This fence leads to home for me.

THE DAY BEFORE MOVING

THINGS I MIGHT POSSIBLY MISS AND THINGS I MOST PROBABLY WILL NOT MISS.
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I will miss Scrubby Pete and Mark Quinn and days at ILNAM ESTATE WINERY.

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I could well miss my driveway. It, however, has been sprayed with roundup and covered with rocks to avoid bogging so I shan’t miss it as I once might have.

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I shall miss my Gentleman – the discerning owner who has been a true friend to me.

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I am unlikely to miss the Murwillumbah Community Centre which is grubby and neglected.

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I might miss the NSW/QLD border games and the crazed months of daylight saving.

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I do not think I will miss Friday Nights at Luffley Cafe. I do not know why I won’t but I don’t think I will.

DOUGS DINNER LOSJAM 008 I think I will miss the elegancies and dignities of Main House Life.
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I won’t miss bagel making because we will actually have a kitchen and perhaps a stove and therefore be baking more. The Kidz gave Iz finances for a kitchen appliance so we will be a –cooking.

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I am NOT going to miss the BILAMBIL BLUES CLUB at all.

MOVING HOUSE

 

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Re-locating in all its dimensions remains an interesting process. The house is now chosen. The details are to be attended  to.

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Heading South in search of Home, we stopped in at NEW ITALY for lunch and coffee. There was a residence there for $160 a week and that appealed. Izzy could have sat with hat at feet and guitar in hand to supplement our income.

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We stayed with the original plan and proceeded down the Pacific Highway. NSW No 1 Road. Through the Cane to the Clarence.

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After some scruffling and confusion we chose the house.

POST PARTY WEEK

Had an email today from the CLARENCE and that’s an extract down below.  We are planning to head down next week for the First of the MUSIC CAFES. 

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Hi everyone,

Due to popular demand the SOUTH GRAFTON MUSIC CAFE is
back.

Look out for the last Thursday of each month starting 6.30pm.

Local muscians, dancers, singers and poets, in fact anyone that’s entertaining, is invited to perform at our relaxed and friendly South Grafton Emporium.

An entry fee of $3.00 (children under 18 free) includes a lucky door prize donated by the
Emporium.

Not for profit organisations and groups are invited to raise money, help on the door and run a raffle or 2. The door takings will be donated to the charity or group of the night.

There’ll be the usual fantastic food from Peter’s Emporium Cafe plus the Music Cafe Night’s Special such as a curry night at no more than $10.00. B.Y.O.  bring your own glasses (a surcharge if Emporium glasses are used)

Come and enjoy this great evening, bring a crowd, book your special table if you want on 6643 3524 (Emporium Cafe) or 6643 3525 (South Grafton Emporium).

This night will be fabulous with a great audience and our talented local performers.

See you on Thursday 30th April at 6pm at the South Grafton Emporium, 31 Skinner Street.

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http://www.emporium31.com.au/cafe.htm

MARCH AND APRIL 09

IZZY IN THE BUNKHOUSE.p4025956

A week of flooding rains. We started up the driveway on Monday morning after a night’s rain and the Starwagon bogged before we reached the top. After a second attempt, we sat on the lounge on the Porch and sank into despair. Iz approached our DOS; and they tried a couple of bush remedies and ended with the tractor towing the Starwagon out and onto the  top gravelled area.  Then we were off down the Pacific Highway heading for the Clarence for an investigative few days. It rained all the way.

We are back now and very well pleased with the trip. We met and spent hours and hours speaking to Simon and Robin. Sat up till 1a.m. and  slept in a solar powered house with our water heated by wood fire. Wallabies and possums were up near the residence and despite the rain – which led to major flooding a little further south in Coffs and Bellingen, the Clarence worked its usual seductive charm on us as well as adding two companions of the human variety who treated us like family members. 

THE EMPORIUM CAFEWe were also introduced to the EMPORIUM in SKINNER STREET, SOUTH GRAFTON. The Cafe there has a bedouin tent and we ate curries and vegie bowls. Its open long hours and is planning to bring music in in the near future.  The Emporium reminded me of the ANTIQUE SUPERMARKET in SURRY HILLS way back in the 70s but the Emporium is not restricted to antiques and has THE CLARENCE ENVIRONMENT CENTRE

tucked away at the back. The CEC as well as Environmental Issues is THE CHEAPEST OP SHOP in town and has masses of books and clothes , candles, incenses etc. 

IMAGES OF MARCH AND APRIL 2009

MARCH AND APRIL 2009

I have just spent a few days on the Clarence. Before we went we did a BEECHMONT TRIP and Izzy did a gig there on the Saturday night. 

It seems years since I slept in a house outside the electricity grid and it was a beautiful experience. 

LENNOX HEAD AND BACK

p3205754In recovering from Centrelink and JObSeeker Shock, I shall take a look at the weekend newly passed. Lennox Head Weekend was indeed a pleasure. I have been there only once before other than a quick swoop through a few years back. Lennox has good eating and smiling people.  p3205756The 7 mile beach was as impressive as I had hoped. So was the Lake and the LAKE AINSWORTH CARAVAN PARK was HUGE! We were allocated a Cabin which was a half kilometre from the entrance. It was tucked in amongst Trees and Birds.  The park was immaculate and reminiscent of childhood dreams of summer holidays. THREE amenities Blocks.  I loved it. If I am taking this North Coast Path, and I am, then I shall also embrace THE CARAVAN PARK. I had thought them dead and dying. Long Live LAKE AINSWORTH. In fact the Byron Bay one whose name seems to have been obliterated by the trauma of it, is the only dud we have struck. Happened to be the most expensive as well and the rudest and the most security conscious with minimal success. Apologies to all the GOOD Byron Resorts and if I can recall the DUD I shall list it here. 

Grafton has been accommodation friendly as was CASINO. Cheap. Clean. Friendly with character and personalities of their own.  p3215796p3205764Izzy likes the LENNOX HEAD BAKERY and I like the salad and fruit shop. Yesterday we ate at CAFE BELLA. The Pub  is a little raunchy of a night for my taste but thats where the banditz Play and this time we met up with Lynne Komidar and her family as well as other Convention Friends. Social Experiences for a loner like me.  That’s 

 

the Cabin. No 4. Top Marks the more I think about it. White Linen and cooking gear. Even a DVD player and internet wireless access. We coulnd’t get it but we tried. The surrounding cabins housed fellow conventioneers and we shared brekkie and late night capuccinos and tales of this and that. p3215781Sitting at breakfast on our own porch, we heard a sound which soon 

translated into the rising of  a balloon over the trees.  I’ve not been near enough to actually see the flames before. Off they sailed and we were into the day. The ti-tree lake was precisely the correct colour. I met old friends and initiated the elements of some new relationships. Next week we begin the mud map exploration of our potential new home. CLARENCE.  p3225833

ONE HOT DAY AT HOME

byron-na-conv-038Today  stayed home all day which is something I truly enjoy. Fighting a renewed Vodafone slowdown but neverthless – enjoying myself. Thoughtlessly. 

Yesterday when I entered the day wearing the Friesian shorts from Casino – Beef Capital of Australia – I was not expecting the MOOBALL trip. I did, however, take the opportunity of posing beside the sign they had erected for me beside the now unused railway line opposite the presently to be unused MOOBALL CAFE and just to the North of the rarely used automatic LOO. 

DAY AT BANGALOW.

Took the chance to DO Bangalow today. byron-na-conv-014

I finally made it to ABRACADABRA. Now that’s not something you will understand unless you have raised flocks of small children during the 80s to the TV advertisement – THE BIGGEST BUNCH OF BASKETS UNDER THE SUN and had said children leaping and singing in a strange Northern Rivers Manner along with the ABRACADABRIANs on the Ad.  I didn’t look at the baskets but they had some nice stuff there. Floaty clothes. I almost bought one of the floating garments for next week’s wedding of Izzy’s nephew at Nerang but erred on the side of sophistication. The Wedding is a wedding planner job so methinks the yellow silk pants and other Chez Elegans 2ndhand garments are more in order. Joanne’s mother mostly provides me with that section of my wardrobe. I think I would be less uncomfortable in the yellow silk up there at Nerang than in the slightly faded hippy floater. Mostly I am black on black with a tinge of purple or faded black. I have a pair of blundstones which I have had since 2001. I almost renewed them last year in Dorrigo but was hesitant. a) because I am really NOT a new clothes buyer except the Blundstones. and b) because I heard that Bludnstones had sent their business to China – and despite the Rose’s delight in having all her clothes come from overseas, namely China( she is only 9) I don’t fancy my Aussie Boots being made there then sailed across oceans wide for me to pay for them to travel more  and further than I have travelled in 60 years.

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I have been to Bangalow only a handful of adult times. One was as I returned from my mother’s funeral. I turned off the highway and into this small town where she had spent a lot of time in her youth.40-13-bangalow-1947

When I was standing behind the A and I hall today I glanced up and felt a flash of recognition. I think its the same place as the shot above. Mum used to stay in Bangalow with her cousin Maisie. Johnston as was and became Beckinsale. We had a fine time today and lunched with Jo and Sherif at the cafe on the corner. Then headed north. Got off the freeway and took the leisurely Burringbar Ranges. I was wearing my Casino MooCow shorts which I thought a daring move in Cool Society. I believe it was very hot today because people were wilting en masse. That sort of weather suits me well. We stopped in Mooball where they now have one of the Automatic Door closing toilets which play Muzak while one is in there.  I didn’t enter it at all but Izzy informs that the tune was WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE SWEET LOVE – but hurry up says he because the door’s about to open.

We moved on to the VICTORY HOTEL where we heard a stompbox rhythm and caught a few minutes of SLIM PICKENS which was a real treat. Slim gave us a CD . The new one he has done with Dr Baz. NEXT TIME its called.

A truly hot day. I took a swim when I came home and here on The Hill its not too bad at all. I shall be looking out for the crescent moon right there beside Venus shortly. byron-na-conv-032

Before I return to work on my NORTHERN BELLES Calendar of DAILY READINGS

I add and leave you with this split slab construction at CRABBE’S CREEK. CRABBE’s is another tiny village up here in the North. Between Mooball and Burringbar. The Store was manned bya beautiful young Englishwoman who loved the heat and loves the country. Next door was this very interesting construction. Along with wheelbarrows of bottled wine and lots of local vegies and fruit.  We do not have anything like this in Bilambil as far as I know. Then again, I have not yet made it to Ray and Norma’s Slab Hut just down the road and across the street.   

 

 

 

TWEED REGIONAL ART GALLERY

Today we took a trip to CENTRELINK to hand in additional papers. We met one young lady handing in her fortnightly form.  She works fulltime but receives family payment and each fortnight in she goes to hand in the same details as the fortnight before. What we seem to have in common is CENTRELINK SHAME. The FULL MONTY remains in my awareness. We do need something to restore the self esteem. A CENTRELINK CLIENTS ANONYMOUS group perhaps.

The MURWILLUMBAH staff were again friendly and courteous and hopefully efficient. That brings me to today’s gripe. We then proceeded to the TWEED REGIONAL ART GALLERY in South Murwillumbah. I liked the old ART GALLERY in an old house on the banks of the Tweed near the new car parking lot which looks much like the new facade at TWEED CENTRO. One day in the future, perhaps they will try to draw conclusions regarding these fortress like constructions. The grace and elegance of the old ART GALLERY appealed to me. Now the artworks are housed in a multi million dollar establishment much resembling the KEMPSEY MUSEUM. I don’t mind the corrugated iron effect and the setting of the new Gallery is very lovely albeit  beyond the scope of the walkers. I don’t however see the need for the noise and visual indignity of air conditioning units, rubbish bins, exposed pipes and the ilk to be the first encounter with the Gallery when alighting from our vehicles.

It was a pleasant enough experience for us to visit but it was disconcerting to find the staff of CENTRELINK to be friendlier and more courteous than the Art Gallery Attendants, who didn’t exchange one word or one smile with us. What is this ? The era of COOL? There were similar comments in the Visitors’ Book as well.

The great pleasure for us lay in the Exhibition which was just opening when we arrived. GREAT COLLECTIONS it is called and is on NSW REGIONAL TOUR.

GREAT COLLECTIONS, as per the blurb;

is a landmark exhibition that brings together iconic treasures from the eight premier cultural institutions of NSW.

The pleasure for us was in one particular section which was the THOMAS BARKER silverware and plaque. Not at all what we expected on a Murwillumbah Morning. There it was – 1830s-1850s artefacts from the man who had BASIL KENDALL tried for his dodginess. The man who employed PATRICK McNALLY and probably my own ancestor, or step/ancestor, HENRY SAMUELS. A great pleasure to be within one sheet of glass from actually touching the history we are seeking. Thanks, ART GALLERY. Perhaps next time a smile and a chat could accompany the Viewing. Next to us was a fascinating couple making some interesting observations on a piece of furniture. They would have been worth talking to as well.

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On HomeComing, DOS informed us of a visit he paid with some friends to the Gallery last week in which they encountered a similar reception and don’t intend returning. They were even more unfortunate than us in that the Exhibition was closed and so was the Cafe when they were there. No matter. Lovely views, Thomas Barker and a fine cake and coffee. Enough complaining for today.   

LIVING IN THE NORTH

Whilst acknowledging that its not the North to those further up the Australian map, for me this is the NORTH. Coming across JIM BELSHAW’s NEW ENGLAND Blog put a match to a few wee sticks of smouldering resentments which I have been allowing to burn softly. “Resentment” isn’t applicable to all of the issues. Some are simply observations. They are, however, wee sticks on a fire which flares now and then.

 

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One of these wee smouldering sticks is this. Peter Knox, BCA Hons. MA. Hons. PhD Canditate through University of Wollongong, interrupted his  PhD Candidature for 2 years, 2006/2007 to participate in the research and development of the huge AUSTLIT PROJECT

AUSTLIT.
AustLit is a non-profit collaboration between twelve Australian Universities and the
National Library of Australia providing authoritative information on hundreds of thousands of creative and critical Australian literature works relating to more than 100,000 Australian authors and literary organisations. Its coverage spans 1780 to the present day.

On completion of his contract with AUSTLIT and having become enamoured of the NORTH, he decided to continue his PhD in this Region and proceeded to apply to the Universities of New England and the Southern Cross with the intention of transferring from UOW. Both establishments found themselves unable to take on this candidature for various reasons including lack of anyone capable of supervising this particular thesis. None of these included verbal or personal contact. Simple email responses with one exception.

I have no intention of fighting Peter’s fights for him. He is able to do that.

My burning sticks are these:

Peter’s thesis is about Melinda Kendall, a poetess born in NSW in 1815 and one of the very early settlers of the Clarence.  I, myself, would like to see her story emerge from the heavily forested rivers of history but it appears it won’t be done with the support of UNE or SCU. Odd! One element of Peter’s request for transfer was “the very fact of her presence in this region and that  the University of New England, like the University of Wollongong, doesn’t seem to be situated philosophically and academically in the area of its physical location.”  

Is there not a simple basic  courtesy in the way we deal with one another academically? 

Are there so many PhD Candidates applying for transfer  that personal interviews would exhaust the valuable time and energies of the prospective supervisors and institutions?

In the meantime, UOW continues to support this project at a distance whilst leaving the Northern Universities unruffled by Southern Invasion.

And in a less rankled way. The NEW ENGLAND STATE BLOG, aroused in me a desire to see the area which has been home to me and mine for generations , truly retrieved from the shadows and not only by the Genealogists and Volunteers who work hard to keep safe the fragments of a barely examined past.

In the ARCHIVES in ARMIDALE, we were really shown the ropes and I was MOST IMPRESSED. It even smelt sacred in there.

 

The CLARENCE RIVER HISTORICAL SOCIETY was equally cooperative as was the TWEED RIVER MUSEUM and the CAMDEN HAVEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Nevertheless, it seems to me, as a NSW Northerner, with a passion in particular for the RIVERS, that the next development in historical maturity would do well to involve far more  tertiary level involvement.

 

http://www.austlit.edu.au/

SOUTH GOLDEN BEACH ON A SUNDAY

Last week included Guy’s passing and Kati B’s hitting a tree on one of the backroads of Bellingen. She’s OK. The Magna isn’t and IMM says she ringbarked the tree. She tells me people were very good to her and there is one of the advantages of a small town community.

Mind you I have met with many kindnesses in City Life as well. Be that as it may ( good expression that one), we therefore chose a SOUTH GOLDEN BEACH drive ON A SUNDAY. As the Property in Bilambil comes nearer to being sold and my own Clarentian Dreams fade a little, we are looking at SOUTH GOLDEN BEACH a wee village which I had not previously explored. It looks, smells and feels my childhood. I was raised in Belmore, a Sydney suburb and holidays we came North where the grapes were exceedingly black and perfectly sweet and the sand gritted the floorboards and the beds. South Golden streets remain unpaved and overgrown with the exotic plants I dimly recall rather than the trimmed and orderly gardens that came into being when the InComers began to migrate north.  The creeks are flowing with Ti-Tree and dogs are allowed on the Beach.

I am coming to some sort of surrender about the North Coast of NSW. Looks like I might be here FOREVER so best continue to become expert on the subject.

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MARSHALL’S CREEK NEW BRIGHTON BEACH. Opposite the Store. A proper, old fashioned store with a BYO Restaurant next door. PIPPI’s. Pippi’s was closed at lunchtime on a Sunday but I am going back. The Gentleman who went in there to work smiled at me as do a lot of people down there.

Just had a link from NEW ENGLAND BLOGSPOT and I like his ideas. He is a NEW ENGLANDER with the many historical, present and future  implications of that. I’ve lived from Urunga to Tweed since the 1970s and the Mad O’Brians are up in Armidale. Last year we took a 2 week swoop down to Sunshine on Lake Macquarie and back up through Armidale then back to Tweed. Its part of my determination to embrace this area consciously and investigate the subtleties. 

SOUTH GOLDEN BEACH SUNDAY 021

 

AUSSIE DAY EVE AT ILNAM

CHECK IZZY FOREAL’S SITE

http://izzyforeal.wordpress.com/

 

BACK FROM KATI B’s 30 BIRTHDAY

Following a Christmas which was surprisingly pleasant – I took off South to Kati B for her 30th and for Xmas with The Kids. I live on the ‘glorious’ Gold Coast/Tweed. Gateway to the Tourist Destination of Australia. Foto to the right is said Gateway. The Portal. A few years back, the astounding decision to close the railway line from Murwillumbah to Casino was taken and now we all hop onto assorted petrol consuming coaches and hurtle through the countryside, in an out of wee villages and along narrow roads to meet at Casino Railway Station and take the XPT to destinations South.  I have a curious addiction to Public Transport. I have even been known to willingly purchase and consume the Railway Hot Meal option.  The last one I had was labelled – BEST USE BEFORE 2011. Now, there’s a comfort.

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KATES 30 TH BIRTHDAY 08 002 
WAITING FOR THE  COUNTRYLINK COACH AT TWEED CENTRO. SALUBRIOUS INDEED.

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KATES 30 TH BIRTHDAY 08 007

Once on board the Coach, the economic sanity of the coach use is evident. Wedged in,we were. They didn’t even show us a video this time. In fact they didn’t do any of the usual friendly greetings. Ah well ! Casino saw me on the train and in the Day Sitter. First Class on my pensioner voucher. The Gentleman at Murwillumbah Railway Station has specially booked me into the DaySitter. He is truly a GentleMan, the Countrylink Man at Murbah. I like to get my tickets there. The entire station sits there immaculate and unused except for his small booking office. Be that as it may, he takes time to make sure the seating suits me and is without fail courteous . I do not however think I will take the Day Sitter again. 

KATES 30 TH BIRTHDAY 08 009  
KATES 30 TH BIRTHDAY 08 011  

 

 

Quote of the Day:
Houses should be more like ovens. Self-insulating and self-cleaning!
–rdude
(while cleaning room)

LAND OF THE RINGS

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THE CREATION OF THE ROSE’S 9TH BIRTHDAY CAKE.

Meanwhile – Back in BILAMBIL and the rain is also here as it was elsewhere. More like the SCOTTISH mists I have been reading of than sub-tropical Australia.

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And in a previously Meanwhile, Back to the ROUND TRIP. One of the places we ventured into as we took more than a week to cover several hundred kilometres was KARUAH.

I wanted to do that. It is another BY-PASSED town. I am interested in the effects of Highway By Passes which leave us now driving through the GREEN DESERTS.  The day was hot – reminiscent of summer holidays and Karuah Pauses en route from Sydney to Urunga. The difference was in the absolute quietness of the newly by-passed. Eerie. With it came a slight fear that we would not find food of our variety and this did seem likely. I had seen the Pool – netted in the Saltwater. That was intact and looking good. But the main street was hot and High Noon in character.

MANNING WALLAMBA FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY INC.

Then we came to the Cafe shown above left and it was EXCELLENT. Bravo indeed! Courteous. Great Food. Friendly people. The Chef who was not only beautiful but also generous of spirit , sent me through to the household’s own private Loo and sent the lads in the living area skedaddling to give me privacy. How Good is that !

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TAREE is also another By-Passed town. I went there with my Father not long before he became too ill to travel. In fact he was too ill to travel the day we went there. We had been to the Entrance to a Reunion of the 2/3 Pioneer Battalion and as we returned to Urunga in mid Summer heat he fell ill and we pulled into Taree. That’s when I found another of my derided North Coast towns has discovered a Grace and Tastefulness and Character of its own.  In fact it was in an Hotel in Taree with my father that I was introduced to caramellised banana. Had not expected Taree to know of something I didn’t. ( That’s because I am deluded and arrogant).

This time we stayed in the ALL SEASONS MOTEL just south of town. We tried another Motel Just before leaving town and considered it “ a bit dodgy”. The ALL SEASONS however was again a WINNER. Family operated and despite the near swimming disaster caused by the need to chemicalise the pool following some partiers – I liked the ALL SEASONS. A Lot.

karuah floodarticle710752-3-002The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, Saturday 15 July 1848, page 2, 3jpg karuah flood 2yesarticle710752-3-003The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, Saturday 15 July 1848, page 2, 3jpg

15 July 1848 MAITLAND MERCURY

MADAME SAHARY

BRAVO CAPITAINE !

THE ALL SEASONS MOTEL AND THE PIZZA CAFE IN KARUAH – PROUD WINNERS OF THE MADAME SAHARY SEAL OF APPROVAL. BRAVO MES CHERS !

____________________________

READ OF THE 1855 TRIP UP THE KARUAH RIVER TO PUMPKIN POINT.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article700097

The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 14 April 1855

Captain Campbell, of the ship Wharfield, has performed a feat which was considered impracticable for many years, in taking his vessel, deeply laden, and drawing 9 feet 6 inches of water, up the Karuah River to Pumpkin Point.

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ALL SEASONS MOTEL TAREE
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FLAME TREES AND JACARANDAS

PORT TO TAREE 060
 

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article811144

The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 7 August 1880

BANK HOLIDAY.-Monday, August 2nd.
There was a party organized by some gentlemen of Maitland and Newcastle to spend this day kangarooing and fishing, on the Karuah, near to Stroud. A party of gentlemen arrived by the Goolwa, and met a few sportsmen from this district. As far as kangaroos were concerned, we believe that few were seen. We have neither seen, or heard from the fish.

Stroud, August 4.

DAY ONE GRAFTON

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We set out despite the TICK induced LYME disease. The front porch this year has attracted large numbers of the virulent species and I do believe I am mutilated as a result. I need a Good Vet.

We continued despite Izzy’s need to stop at self gravitating toilets in rest stops with Welsh Names such as Tuckmobil or somesuch ( apologies to all who live near said Green Loo) . Of all nights to have success, LUFFLEY CAFE went off deliriously well last night which led to his not being home in time to complete his CLARENCE VALLEY CONSERVATORIUM work till after midnight and therefore sleep minimally and drive without his MOJO.

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Seeking a meeting in South Grafton, we came upon  a church fete and  the Old South Grafton Cemetery.

We had  previously paused at Mclean Ferry Park. I  know from the last few weeks that we descend from Janet Mclean from way back. Also McLeods , Mackays and of course Bells.

THE END OF OCTOBER

SPRINGTIME 2008.

DRAT ! I like October. it always passes too swiftly for my taste and then I am into the bedlam which can be my summers. The wild winds have kept up for most of this springtime as they are today. Last weekend Izzy’s son and his new wife came to stay. The winds dropped and we set them up in the Art Gallery courtesy my DOS.(Discerning Owner). Iz had 3 gigs on the weekend which was not a bad arrangement for a first meeting with a 40 year old replicant son. Could have gone any which way, so it could – but it became a very emotionally delightful experience all round. Despite the shellback ticks and the snakes. 

IZ has acquired a family of magpies who feast on our bagels and speak with him and wake us earlier than I intend to be awoken. It comes from all his years in Illawarra suburbs. I, myself, am many years on the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast and well accustomed to BIRDS. I am fond of birds. Very fond in fact but do not share my bagels with them.

We battled our way into my birthday. I am 20 years out of relationship and bring minimal skillbase into being in one. At one stage we had planned a night in WADEVILLE  with a party at Jiggi but matters of self esteem and mutual respect led to the plans being altered. We went to WADEVILLE a couple of days earlier and it is  great place. http://www.kyogleweb.com.au/wadeville/index.htm WADEVILLE WOOLIES they call it with brand new accommodation for only $40 a night  and LIVE MUSIC. We will be returning to show the Boss how to use his yAMAHA recording studio.

October then – hmm ! tense moments with PhD disputes and UOW. A tupperware party in Kalang. Train trips between Grafton,Urunga and Tweed Heads. Visits with kids in far off places. TOO MUCH WIND and an aching homesickness. Loyalty and steadfastness to which I am unaccustomed.

Village Blues Poster

Tomorrow we launch into November with a visit to Dunoon and some very old friends. Well not that old but very longterm and plans for Grafton next week then south and west. A housewarming on Lake Macquarie and perhaps one on St Georges basin.  November is to bring the Daughter back for early Xmas shopping. Its the Rose’s 9th birthday and a trip to Armidale is scheduled for week 3 of November. This time we might take the New England Highway and a brief look at family history . As for this last  day of October , let the ghosts haunt. Let the zombies walk. I am tired and troubled and frightened far more by the tangible than the in.

FROM MELINDA KENDALL

BELLAMBI’S LAKE

Tired out and quite weary; sick of the strife

Of this hard, bitter war, this fierce battle of life,

I wandered about through wood and through brake,

Till I found myself near Bellambi Lake.

It is true that the heart its own bitterness knows;

What stranger will care for its throbs or its throes?

Indeed, it’s a solace to some when they try

To hug their own sorrows, when no one is nigh.

I thought of my loved ones that were, and are not,

When we stood all together on this very same spot.

It was well we knew nothing of what was in store,

‘Twould have marred all the joys in those gone days of yore.

I felt quite alone, like an old withered tree,

With a leaf scarcely left that might shelter a bee;

My boughs have been gradually lopped one by one;

Thus, despoiled of my branches, I stand here alone.

Now a murmur came up from the blue looming sea,

And the weirdlike Gobburras laughed loud on the tree;

While a glamour unearthly seemed stealing around,

And broke up the silence, before so profound.

A strange feeling came o’er me; I felt something near,

And the winds were all whispering loved names in my ear;

I started, and trembled, I looked round, afraid,

As I fancied a hand on my shoulder was laid.

Pale shadowy phantoms stood round me in tears,

I knew them – the ghosts of departed dead years;

Ah! yes, we were part of your substance, they said,

But despised and neglected from you we have fled.

Now we dwell in the limitless spaces,

Far away in the ether sublime,

Where is no upward or downward,

Nor record or limit to time.

I stood up and looked round, there was nought to be seen,

It was only a part of a hideous dream;

I looked down at my dog, and saw with surprise,

There were tears in his loving, pathetic brown eyes.

This thought gave me comfort – his friendship is true;

And the true friends we find in this world are but few;

We could not exist on this earth without some,

So the love of a dog is far better than none.

I turned to the mountain, ‘neath which stood my home;

To this ghoul-haunted lake, never more will I come.

My dog understood, and walked briskly behind,

So I shook of this glamour, threw care to the wind.

(Illawarra Mercury, September 6, 1884)

1mermaid005
Quote of the Day:
Reason often makes mistakes, but conscience never does.
–Josh Billings

 

 

 

OCTOBER WINDS

62 belmore methodist church

BELMORE METHODIST SUNDAY SCHOOL.

People in the North talk of AUGUST winds. Here on the Hill, the winds seem to be taking up a lot more months than just August.  The Dos has taken the garbage down. We have been shopping Murwillumbah and I am looking for a wee pied a terre in Bellingen for access to Children and Co. This weekend there is a big wedding on down South as well as one in Dorrigo with reception in Coffs Harbour neither of which we need to attend but best wishes to all involved. We stand at one marriage apiece, Iz and me. Chidlren of the 40s. I had a very strange wedding as an idealistically non bride. Some of my friends had fine weddings like LEE and GAIE CONDON in Kalang in the 70s. A beast on the spit and sarongs and creeks. It was good. Chris Page and MARGIE MCGIRR had one even more strange than mine. I do have fotos someplace of Chris in thongs of different colours and all of us Drummoyne hippies at a lavish do at Watson’s Bay in the 70s. They went on to have twins called GIMLI and DANIEL and I believe they moved to ELANDS up back of Taree. My sister had 2 weddings. 2 marriages in fact. I am still planning a big wedding – bring your own – someplace delightful. I am no longer sure whether its a wedding or a funeral I am planning or an NA convention. But I am planning something. Not my birthday. That will be in 16 days and I don’t know quite what I wish to do this time.

My sister’s weddings were good. I had something more like them in mind when I decided to marry although I don’t mind the church bit – I would prefer a cathedral. I do not want what Pat Lamir’s brother in Boston had with the envelopes of butterflies which people accidentally sat on. My sister’s first wedding was to a boy who had been called up in the early 70s Vietnam draft. Married men were far less likely to be sent to Vietnam and it worked for them. He just cooked in Australia and they had to live at Liverpool for a time which is probably not an ideal start to a marriage anyways. The wedding actually was in a church which wasn’t easy for My Sister who had turned from any God following the deaths of her pets as a child and being told by the local Methodist Sunday Teacher that pets didn’t go to Heaven. Nevertheless – into the church for the wedding to the radical socialist soldier – I still don’t know where that Methodist Church was or why we went there instead of BELMORE METHODIST CHURCH where we attended Sunday School each week.

We wore CLOGS. Heavy wooden clogs as I recall and she had long mediaeval Camelot robes.Then we went back to 27 PAXTON AVENUE BELMORE – built by my father Bruce – double brick – for the reception which my mother JOYCE catered for and had a fine time. The second wedding was years later in Bellingen behind the Courthouse by the Clerk of Petty Sessions. That was a good one too and I have fotos of that as well.

Mine was in Bellingen Anglican Church with a reception at the BELLINGEN BOWLING CLUB. SAY NO MORE ! This weekend one of our children is marrying. The others remain – unmarried. My two remain in love and partnered but – inspired perhaps by the marriage of their mother and father – they resist the tempting lure of clogs in a church aisle. Be that as it may – we are not going to weddings this weekend. Jamie Laura Jacob and Bronte are. Kate and IMM are. Mad O’Brian and co are not.

For us it is Luffley Cafe in Murwillumbah tonight and a meeting for me up the Hill at the UNITING CHURCH which brings back the childhood memories of Belmore Methodist. There could well be dancing in the street as there often is although SCRUBBY is away at SCOTTS HEAD lolling on the beach. For me its back into the 19th Century where I am VERY HAPPY despite the 21st Century winds tearing at the Cottage on the Hill. For me its looking for the caravan, tent or wee flat in Bello to rent for my visits south. Its pointing the statue of Big Buddy who might well be the compassionate goddess Kuan Yin, across the Valley with a gardenia in her lap to reduce the impact of the world out there.

Perhaps I will do the washing. Last did it in Kate’s smooth machine in Kalang and hung it on the Hills Hoist – where later I hung the rat.

In the meantime I shall see what wedding fotos I do have and make a slideshow.

OCTOBER BEGINS

SEPT HOLIDAYS 046

Back in BILAMBIL after 10 days down south and less than pleased to be here. Seems to me I am destined to become a NORTH COAST NSW specialist whether or not I like it. Despite the endless green desert viewed from STARWAGON and train windows or roaring through the dark night from CASINO to TWEED HEADS in a fully crowded  COUNTRYLINK coach with a DVD of GARFIELD 2 hypnotising the Desperadoes of 21st Century public transport. Some people cross the oceans and some people do fine restaurants in the Cities – and I go up and down the North Coast crossing big rivers. Encountered major heat on day 1 heading south. Unexpected heat. School holidays has begun as well. The familiar Queensland NSW overlap and cars were hither and thithering just like a true Xmas time which it wasnt. We stopped outside the Big Pineapple in Ballina. Avoided the BIG PRAWN which is now a mere shade of pink.  I asked one thing – Iz says I – please don’t stop at TALLIMOBLE. So – with aches in his limbs he stops at BEEKEEPERS rest stop at TALLIMOBLE. With the gravity pulling Eco-Loo.

Why ? Iz ? Says I? WHY ?

Nevertheless , being one to learn from any circumstance – I looked for the Good in the Situation . I am still looking for the good in the situation. They did have a very well embedded table for picnickers and resters. Very strong it was.

I have been Looking for the Good in situations for a long time. I usually find something but its a DISCIPLINE to do so for me. I once knew a man – a young man whose name I shall not at this time use- and it was not a DISCIPLINE for him to LOOK FOR THE GOOD. It seemed to come naturally to him. It was a lovely thing to be close to.

Once when we were sitting at Bondi Beach – I said of a situation – ” I think this is worth a try even though it will be difficult “.

He said – ” Oh ! What  I was thinking was ‘ THIS COULD BE GOOD ! ‘ “

For me, 20 years later – I still expect the Difficult. And in consequence, I frequently get the Difficult.  However – sometimes I get the naturally joyful and unexpectedly good. Like the GATEWAY CARAVAN VILLAGE in Grafton West. 

We headed on down to  Gateway and took up residence in Van 255. Hot enough to swim so it was and I did so.

I am living in a place where I don’t wish to be. The Getting Away breaks that up and takes me back to my HomePlaces and my own People. Time in Kalang and Armidale and family around me. I wanted this time to go south to Laurieton and the Manning and explore there. But Izzy has music which is his passion and so he was back to Bilambil way before me. He had LUFFLEY CAFE in Murbah dressed as a jazz musician and then Sunday at Carool at ILNAM WINERY.

We did spend days in Armidale with my Kinfolk. Makes my step a little lighter and my heart brightens considerably. Then I myself spent more days in Kalang with my girl and her young man. We even did a Tupperware party – a matter which I will not discuss in this time of possible global depression. Suffice to say I do not like rip-offs and am anarchistically disinclined to Tupperware Parties and the people who dwell therein.

We ate brekkie at the BLACK BEAR CAFE in BELLINGEN where Kati B is cooking. Hello Sofi, Dave and Kate. IMM is building Bello houses and making Ortho Chairs from beautiful timbers. And me in sadness is looking for a wee pied-a-terre in my own world where they are. My Mum and Dad’s flat is for rent so i see on the REALESTATE.COM.AU. At a price I can pay – but there is familial complications there which could make things between me and mine more difficult and sad than they now are and I don’t want to risk further estrangement. Sure would like a home base however. And some new routines. I have never been able or inclined to STAY PUT and do the same things over and over. I have been here – stayed here- a wee bit too long.

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One more drive down Kennedy Drive to park in the same carpark and meet the same people and I am thinking of necking myself. As Pat the Rat Gelahar of the Langton Centre would say. Izzy said this would be an adventure requiring a travel blanket and I am ready to ride camels across the desert but this becalmed state is sending me feral.

X_130_camel

BACK FROM THE SOUTH

Been away for over a week.  Came home on the COUNTRYLINK train and coach last night and that was an experience.  Small country travelling is usually an ‘ experience’.

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Izzy outside Van 255 at the GATEWAY in WEST GRAFTON. He was almost put in an old people’s home by one of his girls but we think a van park will do for the moment.

We travel by STARWAGON. That’s a delight for the little girls and going visiting family is a  vastly improved ‘experience’ from going up and down the M1 to Brisbane in said STARWAGON.

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2008 SO FAR

THIS week we go south again. Izzy has a Sunday with the Clarence River Conservatorium. We are heading to Kalang and then up to Armidale. In the meantime – here is the year in fotos so far. Well – a little.

I have chosen the PUZZLE from slide.com to see whether I can puzzle this one out. Grandchildren and Children HERE I COME !

DAY AFTER FATHERS DAY

MY father has been gone  since 2005. I liked my Dad. He was a character . A true eccentric. When I taught at Rosewood School in 1970, way down near TUMBARUMBA, the little children called him Colonel Sanders because of his whiskers.

PA

My son is also a father and a very good father of two. He is way up in  Armidale so I didn’t see him  yesterday  so it was mostly Izzy’s fathers’ day for us. A wild one it was too. On child called early morning, then we were off to Tyalgum for a HILLBILLY BLUES BANDITZ gig at the TYALGUM PUB.  It was the annual classical music festival there as well. Scrubby, PJ and Izzy for a 4 hour stretch . Tyalgum is out back of MUWILLUMBAH. A tiny village tucked under MT WARNING, Knew how to feed vegetarians so they did. Something we haven’t met with in the Valley lately. MURWILLUMBAH doe it well. Friday night at LUFFLEY CAFE where Iz was playing with SCRUBBY and KEL , the food was astonishing. As for yesterday, I was a little out of place as I usually am in Pubs – due to being a non-drinking 58 year old woman whose man is playing in the band. I did a walk through town. Quaint. Over the oval a choir was classically gorgeous out in the open air. I passed the Hall – where the concerts are held. A few years back, Jim from Lightning Ridge , took me to the piano recital on the first weekend in September. The young boy who had won the Sydney Morning Herald Comp was playing. They say the accoustics of said hall are near perfect. I came on down past the TYALGUM store and the FLUTTERBIES CAFE and PADDINGTON shop. Just about did the town. Then into the pub again. The TYALGUM pub has a pool. Tyalgum and MOOBALL pubs have them. I didn’t swim but have been impressed with the Pools since first I came up here and did a drive around of the area in the early 2000s.

I hid for a couple of hours in the poker machine room which is something I don’t do and won $100 which is something which don’t happen to me so I came out and watched the lads do a few songs. PJ threw his drumstick inadvertently and broke a glass. Another Izzy fan approached him. I haven’t been out and about with anyone of renown till I met Iz. Curiously unnerving it is to have people do the cautious eyeball and the sidewise approach.  There is always the moment of uncertainty where – following the ” Aren’t you …… ? ”  we wonder whether the encounter is a friendly or unfriendly one. So far there hasn’t been an unfriendly one at all. Smiles break out and old times are discussed. Hands are shaken and children introduced and off we all go to our separate worlds. 

Happened again yesterday – a young man who himself is now a musician of renown – and his young daughter.  He remembered Narrarra from the 1980s. He did not look old enough to do so but there he was. And again smiles all around and good memories which is what happens when I am out and about with Izzy.

Wrapped the day up with Coles in Murwillumbah and dinner at the newly discovered MALAY THAI at the SERVO heading back to TUMBULGUM from MURBAH. Where the FRUIT SHOP IS. Right on the TWEED RIVER and perhaps almost precisely where the BELLS had their land in the 1800s. $8.90 for VERY good curries and plenty of smiles again.

Home we came over the hills to BILAMBIL to watch DR WHO and midway through the tense excitement of a standing watch of the Doctor – the phone rang. JAMIE. Fathers Day wrapped up very nicely thank you.

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