Federal Hotel Bellingen –

Located centrally in the picturesque township of Bellingen NSW is where you will find The Federal Hotel. Fully renovated in 2005 and again in 2012, the hotel has kept all  the charm of the original Federation building whilst creating it’s own stylish version of “old meets new”. Now with outdoor decks, an award winning bistro, our newly renovated beer garden, entertaining areas, and updated accommodation, The Federal is a great place to catch up with friends for a quiet drink or a superb meal in a stylish but relaxed and friendly environment.The Federal Hotel Bellingen is located just west of Coffs Harbour on the North Coast of NSW Australia.

Source: Federal Hotel Bellingen –

Bellingen Seed Savers

A heavy but short southerly change and shower dropped the temperature from the 40 plus temperatures we had been sheltering from most of the day and made the garden walk much more pleasant.The Cherimoya and Rollinia (flowering) were of interest as were the flowering and fruiting Carambolas. We gathered for a quick stroll through the food forest then enjoyed a presentation on edible perennials – some surprises there. A Longevity Spinach (Gynura procumbens) cousin of the Okinawan spinach flourishes in the Bellingen climate.Then we shared a supper till late. Elaine’s herbal punch (lemon myrtle and lemon verbena tea base) was popular.Noticed on the sharing table: tamarillos, Giant Russian garlic, eggplant seedlings, seeds of mustard, celery, bunching shallot and cuttings of Okinawa and Surinam spinach.

Source: Bellingen Seed Savers

Bellingen Gelato | The best gelato this side of Sicily

Artisan GelatoNatural, real ingredients and strong, distinct flavours are the defining features of our gelato (nobody ever mistakes one of our flavours for a different flavour).  We develop our own recipes from scratch and our range includes both traditional flavours and flavours created by us.We also make gelato-based desserts (gelato cakes, banana splits, waffles, smoothies etc), and can custom-make flavours to meet your requirements, or using your ingredients.  We can supply bulk gelato for events and parties or to caterers and restaurants.We have two shops and make gelato in both.  The original Bellingen Gelato Bar (established 2006) is in Bellingen, northern NSW – and now also in Rozelle, Sydney (established 2014).

Source: Bellingen Gelato | The best gelato this side of Sicily



Mind you, it takes some doing to get a view of the Ocean . I think I would have to go upstairs now and take a look from the verandah up there. Its a grand verandah, wide and deep with rooms opening onto it via French Doors. I think that would give a view across the Caravan Park and River, past North Beach and out to the Ocean. Downstairs is where most of the drinking and eating go on. The hotel is still delightful and the food is good. One can buy brains there. Crumbed brains with $3 buying an extra brain. The OVH has a beer garden and , bars, an old telephone box, statuettes and eating inside and out. Dale Wrd came visiting from Sydney the other day with her Blues PLaying man, ROSS S WARD of WARD’S EXPRESS. We took our lunch out the front where we had a breeze on a hot day. Terrific pub meals and the Visitors Guide to the Bellingen Valley and Waterfall Way.



We are somewhat short of Eateries that are right on the water in Bellingen Shire. ANCHOR’S WHARF in Urunga is one. Friday Nights they have TAPAS with Local Musos playing. Well worth a look. Specially with the River right there.  I surely wish the Boathouses from Chinatown weren’t being demolished – one at a miserable time. When I first started coming to Urunga and then when I moved here to live in the early 70s, we had boathouses and jetties and boats for hire and plenty of deep water swimming round at the Lido near the Caravan Park.

Anyways – nowadays we still have Anchor’s.



We took a trip to Coffs Harbour. That’s not something I do a lot of but its only a quarter of an hour or so up the road so we headed up there to look for a gift for our little girl who turns 4 next week. It started out moderately warm and became rather hot during the day. We did the big BUNNINGS hardware experience and followed that up with the centre of the city. One slight spat and we were up on the top floor eating Indian Curry and looking out over the Growers’ Markets and the main street.

Bellingen, NSW @ Not Quite Nigella

Bellingen, NSW @ Not Quite Nigella.

“Oh look over there! That’s where I made Araluen eat that chilli when I was nine years old!” Mr NQN points out excitedly to me. We’ve just arrived in Bellingen, a town of just over 2,700 people and of Mr NQN’s former homes. It’s a picturesque town with a population a curious mix of hippies (aka Mr NQN’s family) and farmers. It is said that in the 1970′s the hippies moved into town and helped to revitalise the town. Now, decades later, it has evolved to have  some of the best food you can find on the Mid North Coast area.

… Bellingen Seedsavers …

… Bellingen Seedsavers ….
Some seedsavers attended this march which was organised by Bellingen locals.

Check out what happened around the world.

Here is the FaceBook page link

Jude and Michel Fanton, founders of Seedsavers, were unable to attend. They sent an apology which was read out to the audience.

“We are unable to attend as we are in Albania. We had the huge privilege of hearing Vandana Shiva in person at a free seed festival in Greece 10th to 13th of May. Let’s continue to exchange freely and abundantly.” Jude Fanton

Here are some pics from the day. Marguerite and Annabelle, with supporters, organised an inspiring event.

Carol Vernon read an apology from Jude and Michel Fanton


Marching to the park.


Bellingen Memorial Hall was the wet weather venue




Founded   2010

Location   Bellingen, Australia

Description   Weekly fruit and vegie boxes filled with fresh, local, quality, organic produce.

General information    Bellofoodbox Launching April 2011
A North Bank Community Garden Inc initiative.

Mission   To provide a local, cost effective, food source that contributes to a fair, connected, sustainable and resilient community in the Bellingen Shire.




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This week has erupted with stories from GURU FOODS. Seems  they have fallen on hard times. Next thing you know, Heart Tribe has started a Facebook Support Page and then the next thing you know the Support TAKES OFF. For a glimpse of bello Culture, take a look at the page.  KOMBU wiped all debts. People can be so DECENT and they are this time !


The rent is $550 per week. Get a Grip !
Guy Saddleton: Hi Amy – sorry to hear about this situation and happy to pledge $50. If I move into ‘business mode’ from ‘humanitarian mode’ I have to say that raising $4,000 to pay outstanding rent will help in eliminating debt for Guru which is important but it’s from that point on that needs to be considered too. If Guru doesn’t do enough trade to pay people and overheads it could be in the same boat in a few short months. I’m sure none of us wants to support you into another financial hole down the track – so the real challenge is making Guru profitable after clearing debt – no doubt there’s other outstanding bills in addition to rent and Kombu (who have offered to ‘clear the slate). Anyway not wanting to be negative but keen to see a an economically sustainable outcome to go with this fantastically environmentally sustainable business


Ava: yes its good to have a level head on the business side for sure! It is also important to see that the increasing of rent in the CBD needs to be curbed and advised against by intelligent Property Managers who are in touch with the ground level economic situation. What is the use of empty buildings for months on end? It’s just bad business. It is also important to acknowledge that the winter period is terribly slow for many businesses in Bellingen and it is ridiculous to base rent on summer money swell. In the case of Guru Food there has been a non-monetary contribution to the community not to mention that Guru Food seems to have provided Bellingen a heart again amidst its identity crisis.
I think that the Chamber of Commerce’s should consider that losing Guru Food will have a negative effect on tourism in the attractiveness to the alternative sector. And it that it could lobby the council that a change needs to be made to stop situations like this occurring on a regular basis when it doesn’t have to. It should also be noted that Guru Food is the only place I know of where the youth of Bellingen feel they are accepted for who they are and has done a better job as a youth centre than any other during a hard period. While the community is now focused on the new youth centre it is important to note that the first youth management committee meeting was held at Guru Food last week with a turnout of 18 kids from diverse sectors of the community and that Amy donated her space and free soup and free chai to all. The next day the locks on her doors were changed. The business people, real estate and property owners need to take a good look at what they value in this town and see who is doing the real work, the work that really comes from the heart, and the hard work that keeps a community together. I have no doubt the people of Bellingen can come up with the means to help Amy keep up her good work, and it should come from all levels of society.




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DSCF1351 Tomorrow it will be Spring. The Jabiru has been down at the dam and there is a hint of bush smoke in the air. Kombu the Organic Food Shop in Bellingen has expanded.

Kombu Wholefoods – Your Online Healthy Living Store

"An Aladdin’s cave of affordable and sustainable organic produce" – The Australian

Welcome to the Kombu organic grocery and healthfood store. Thanks for coming to visit. We run Kombu as a social enterprise where environmental and social impacts of the business (including the products we sell) is considered equally as important as the usual financial considerations. To that end we also run the business along not-for-profit lines with any profits at the end of the year going back into the business and into the wider community.
A new feature on this site is the inclusion of independent feedback. All the feedback and reviews you’ll find throughout the site are managed by an independent feedback organisation. You’ll find our current rating on the left hand side of this page – click for detailed information.
We pride ourselves on only selling quality products at affordable prices – keeping healthy food and associated products available to as many people as possible. We hope you enjoy browsing our store and shopping with us.
With best regards
Lowanna, Kevin and all @ Kombu

I buy my muesli there in a brown paper bag. Sometimes, I get my shampoos and conditioners and Cell Food is cheaper than any other outlet we have found.





I took the train south as planned and I enjoyed it. 8 1/2 hours  from Urunga to Sydney Central.  I took shots of almost every station on the way and much of the countryside.  First Class didn’t seem greatly different from Economy. We were segregated and no Economies were allowed into our Sanctum. I think that’s in order to keep them thinking that there actually is some elusive Class One filled with wonders and elite service. If they were allowed in – they would KNOW.


DSCF0992 Brunch was pretty good and so were the snacks but LUNCH was a little dodgy. CANNELONI RICOTTA AND SPINACH. I wasn’t foolish enough to consider doubling up on that one. I was given a blue COUNTRYLINK carrybag for my meals. I don’t know whether or not Economy has them or whether they are restricted to FIRST CLASS. I have personally only ever had cardboard foldable on my economy adventures.


DSCF1343 I also took some shots in the ‘bathroom’. Pretty sad really, even though I did enjoy the travelling. Its still a pretty sad and inelegant people-mover. Coming back North, I was sitting opposite a Grafton acquaintance, a gorgeous German man who was a virgin to the first class XPT and I watched the shock process work on him. He had boarded the train ready to enjoy it but someplace beyond finding out there is no power for laptops, that we were expected to empty our own rubbish several times as they attendant came around; that the last few hours would see only a reflection of self in the tinted windows and nothing of the view – well sometime around then – he curled up and SLEPT.


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DSCF7838 Today was Growers’ Markets at Bellingen Showgrounds. In a week where the big Woolies crops were poisoned, it was a pleasure to shop as we do.  I am glad to be back in my home territory. When I first went to Tweed in 2001, I hadn’t shopped at the big supermarkets for a long time. I use the two little Suprettes in Urunga or the IGA in Bello. When I am lazy or for the things I can’t get elsewhere but mostly, I like roadside stalls and neighbours and the Markets.

Whilst I was there with the family, my niece was at the Port Macquarie Growers’ Market and then walking one hour home on the walk Of Many Hills, her friend in Orange was at another Growers’ Markets buying Tom Yum Paste. and Steven Guy was at a huge Westfields in Sydney. Follow this lead to Steven’s World.

DSCF7848 Meanwhile, back at growers’ we were chatting and shopping and meeting people. 2BBB has its outdoor broadcasting unit there.

An old friend, Julie, has a stall there with 2nd hand goods – clothes, books etc. Inside one of the pavilions, the inhouse hairdresser was at work and over near the grandstands, the shiatsu tent was set up. Regular as, so he is. The storyteller wasn’t there this week. He had a big audience last time. Well he had an audience of little people but there were a lot of them hanging on his fiendish tales.

DSCF7858  Today’s music was a solo artist reminiscent of Crowded House. He had people up dancing.  Well – one granny and one littlie – but I enjoyed his music. Played near the food outlets which is a good idea. I got some herbs for $2 a tube and we did our fortnightly vegie shop.

DSCF7857 Its becoming a tradition with us and that’s reassuring after a few years of variable lifestyle. In Ulmarra, it was Sundays @ Wide River Cafe. Down here, despite its being home for so many years (perhaps that, of itself is an influencing factor) routines and rituals seem to me to have been slow in coming.

Except for the lunches with Baby.  Lunches up and down the Streets of Bellingen.  That has truly formed into a routine and a ritual and we have had some happy times since January when she was born. Touchstones.

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The Gloom continued today. It isn’t even really cold in this area but the Gloom does me in.
Its 15 degrees C at 4.52 according to WILLYWEATHER which is not really complaining weather .

Went to North Beach Bowling Club for lunch. Its only a few kilometres from here. A village of several hundred. There are TWO restaurants in the Bowling Club.  One PIZZA and one CHINESE. Chinese it was today. Lunch for under $10 a head for us and app $14 for the meat eater.  I am not a big Club person but Its a pretty sweet little Club with a verandah over the river and good people and food as well as a chocolate machine. We even joined up. For the year.

Map picture

North Beach Bowling Club is a little club on the Bellinger River. I spent the Years on the Tweed and up there the Clubs are BIG. Originally, so I have been told, the size was connected with the gambling laws being different between the two states of NSW and Queensland.  I shall put a couple of links in there – to show you the comparisons.


The little Club is just fine for me.


Urunga Bowls Club was trashed last year in the Floods. It has Chinese as well and so does the Urunga Golf Club.
The GOLF CLUB also has


Croquet is played both as a recreational and competitive sport which involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a mallet through hoops embedded into the grass playing arena.

C.ex Urunga has the two largest croquet courts in NSW. For bookings please call C.ex Urunga on 02 6655 6161.

Mylestom aka North Beach is on the Northern  Side of the river entrance to the Sea. The Kalang and the Bellinger Rivers meet and flow out to the ocean with Urunga on the South.


TUG REPTON STRANDEDThe Sydney Morning Herald  Friday 3 February 1933, page 12


The Sydney Morning Herald… Friday 3 February 1933


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Clouds have passed over again. Its a bit muddy and my memory about a life lived in gumboots makes sense.

I am in a mental Laze at the moment so I shall simply check links to other sites and see what they have to offer us. Might rummage around my Online Photo Shoebox as well. Perhaps I shall emerge with some intelligence or inspiration or a combination of both. Izzy is attempting to fit new strings to his bass. He chose to order online from the U.S.A. and has ended up chopping big quantities off the ends because they sent long necks and they have glitchzes in them.  So much for convenience and saving money.

We have been fitting baby car seats to the StarWagon. Bizarre contrivances those. Lunched at HearthFire today and shopped in the IGA which is proudly boasting no PLASTIC BAGS – except for fruit and the usual product wrappings AND vast quantities of cardboard boxes and paying 20 cents per potato fibre bag which feels very much like the bags we were using up north for free.  I guess I am in one of my not amused with the 21st Century moods.


So I shall just meander somewhat.

One blogger has done some bird shots in the Bello area. That was around about this time last year.

I have been able to get some pics of the birds which live here with me. I have my trusty little Fujifilm camera which I was given for my 60th and a yard filled with trees. Up on the Clarence where I was living in 2009, I saw brolgas – a thing I had never experienced before and which remains to me , a PERFECTION in my life. Jabirus were along the Coldstream. Remarkable stuff.

Now I am back on the Bellinger and attuning my eyes and mind to finer details. I shall add a few of the bird pictures I have here. I have little idea what noises they make and have referred to my brother-in-law for identification of the images. Once again I hold high the Libran Banner I found online once – LIBRA – INTELLIGENT BUT SHALLOW. Damned if I know how I can have lived here so long and missed so many subtleties.

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Ok then – next on my net sitings.

Some FLICKR shots from 2008. They say Misty Glen and Bellingen. I am not sure where they are but the photos are good.


BIKELYs have a map of the Coramba Bike Path.


Seems there are two forms of the freshwater turtle in the Bellinger River.

Two species of freshwater turtle coexist in the Bellinger River: Elseya georgesi is common but limited to the Bellinger River, whereas Emydura macquarii is widespread but rare in the Bellinger River. The Bellinger River population of E. macquarii has been proposed as a distinct subspecies, so it may be endangered. Survivorship, fecundity, growth, size and age were determined for El. georgesi and the finite rate of increase (λ) was estimated by a life-table analysis using mark–recapture data from surveys between 1988 and 2004. These parameters were compared with those of well studied populations of E. macquarii to assess whether modelling the demographic parameters of El. georgesi could serve as a surrogate for estimating the influences of these demographic parameters on λ in the Bellinger River population of E. macquarii. We estimated that ~4500 El. georgesi inhabit the study area and, despite a size distribution strongly biased towards large individuals, the population is increasing (λ = 1.15) in the best-case scenario, or slightly decreasing (λ = 0.96) in the worst-case scenario. Comparing El. georgesi with E. macquarii from the Bellinger River and elsewhere suggests that E. macquarii grows faster, attains greater maximum size, has a greater clutch size and a higher fecundity than El. georgesi. Hence, El. georgesi does not serve as a good surrogate to determine demographic influences on λ in E. macquarii.

This Doc is written earlier but has good graphics and probably better detail.


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In 1912, A geography of NSW was written. GEOGRAPHY OF NEW SOUTH WALES.

Bellingen was mentioned in it 8 times. Well, the Bellinger. Here’s a sample.

The Macleay Range quits the New England Range a few miles north of Guyra and runs towards the coast for about 80 miles, forming a watershed between the basins of the Clarence on the north, and the Macleay on the south. It consists of a tangle of terrifying sunless gulches, winding through wild precipitous granite masses and basaltic ridges, whose sides are clad with dense forests and wreath- ing jungle. Its chief elevation is Chandler’s Peak which towers about 5,130 feet above sea-level. A spur from the Macleay Range, called the Snowy Mountain, runs south-east to Trial Bay, forming the western boundary of the Bellinger basin and the western and southern boundaries of the Nambucca basin.

RIVERS OF EASTERN SLOPE. 85 The Bellinger (60 miles), and the Nambucca are two small rivers about nine miles apart between the Clarence and Macleay. Both have their source in the North Coast Range. Ironbark railway sleepers, tallow- wood, box, and other timbers, together with butter, potatoes, and maize, are the chief products of the surrounding districts, but the nature of the entrance to each of these streams confines the shipping to vessels of small tonnage. The Nambucca is navigable for vessels of light draught as far as Bowraville, 30 miles from the sea, and its chief tributaries are Taylor’s Arm and Algomera Creek. The primary feeder of the Bellinger is called the South Arm.

farmhouse pig pen bend friesians raleigh


"Official year book of New South Wales" 1905-1906.

The district drained by the Bellinger and Nambucca Rivers, two small streams, each about 40 miles in length, is rich in agriculture and timber resources, but the nature of the entrances is such that only small vessels trade there.




When the previous census was taken in 1871, Bellingen did not number 100 people and was therefore not listed at all.















officialyearboo09econgoog_0149CEDARThe INTERNET ARCHIVE has retrieved many texts from American Libraries. I have found some texts on Australian Matters which I have not been able to locate through Australian Sources. Well worth a search through.

Welcome to the Archive

See recent additions in RSS

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.


Gateway to Gleniffer.


Today involved a doctor’s visit. Not something I do often or willingly. I headed to the North Bello Surgery and was thinking back 30 plus years to when I passed the big red-headed doctor standing there with not a patient on his books. In I went, parking the Suzuki out front. I am not monogamous in my medical relationships but I have been to North Bello Surgery many times. It is the only place in which I have ever fainted and I wasn’t the patient. I would, perhaps,  have done better to not watch the stitches being taken out of my girl’s leg.

I like this house in the pic. Up on the Hill above the Prov.


Doctors done, we took lunch at the Providore en Famille. Good shop, the Prov. I heard it called ‘the Gateway to Gleniffer’ on 2BBB the other day.

Good thinking. We filled in a nice hour there between Docs and blood tests. The Prov has a top range of brooms and brushes – better than I was able to get in Tweed Heads. It also has Worts Organic Drinks ( 4 for $10) . Thur, Fri and Sat nights – freshly cooked Thai Food is available. There’s liquor and food and drinks and fruit and vegies – in fact a GENERAL STORE. I miss GENERAL STORES. With Take Aways.


I wonder why TWEED has the monopoly on BAIT. I have just lived on the Tweed from 2001-2009. I like the Tweed but I wonder abut the Bait.


I wonder about the ICE as well. Does anyone know where the ICE is made now? And how?

After lunch, we took the Valery Road back to Raleigh. I haven’t been on that road for quite a long time and had forgotten the breath take of coming out into the bowls of the Valley.


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 Memory itself is an internal rumour. George Santayana, The Life of Reason.




Sometimes, THEY say that Country Living is  too quiet, too slow. Sometimes, says I, Country Living is Hectic. Mind you, I have a low Hecticity Threshold. Only a week ago, I was watching Woodchopping at the Show. Sunny and warm. A week has passed and I shall use images, as I do, and a quote from Douglas Adams to explain myself.

“Reg, as he insisted on being called, had a memory that he himself had once compared to the Queen Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly in that it was colourful, flitted prettily hither and thither, and was now, alas, almost completely extinct.” – Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency



The night of the Show saw Peter Inglis call in for a visit, guitar and suitcase in hand. Pete has a long and exalted musical history – inc early Captain Matchbox days and later with Izzy Foreal in Heartbeat. He was heading for Sundays@widerive4r in Ulmarra without knowing that we had moved South. Andrew Hegedus was playing there today with Tony Rendell in the DROUGHTBREAKERS so if you are in Ulmarra on a Sunday, do call in. Plans are afoot for further DROUGHTBREAKERS Gigs down this way.

Last Weekend, however, was musically a non-event on the Foreal  Enterprises Front and offhand we couldn’t think of a venue to grab on short notice so Izzy and Pete settled in for a good vegie curry from the Bello Ateliers down at Fullers Fruit and Vegie and a Musos’ Rave that went into the early hours before Pete and the Gold Merc headed South to Sydney.


Throw the Raleigh Tip into that Mix and Country Life becomes even more interesting. For some reason, the Council doesn’t collect our garbage. No wheelie bins – nothing. That means Tip Runs for us. Its only 1-2 kms from here and I rather enjoy the Tip. I was once a licensed 2nd hand dealer in Urunga and did a lot of tip scavenging.  Last Sunday we were out there looking for treats for the Mini Me who turned 6 last week and was coming for a visit this weekend. We resisted the lure of the 2 caravans for sale. Still looking for the spare bedroom but solid advice has suggested we ask R.R. up on the Highway near the former Brigalow so we left the Vans alone for a day. There’s some rather fine old furniture out at the Tip at the moment. Worth a look. Sunday,then, we tossed our minimal garbage out and headed home.




Monday, I decided to spend a day at home alone. I lived alone for a long time and now and then I like a full Shabbos day.  Shabbos of my own designing. The kookaburras are plentiful here at the Workers’ Cottage and a variety of little birds emerge as they become more accustomed to me, from the trees along the fence line.

At this point and in relation to the Trip to Port Macquarie which came about towards the end of the week, I insert this link which is an NLA Newspaper Article from 1914 describing a trip from BELLINGEN to Port Macquarie.

The Sydney Morning Herald… Saturday 10 January 1914, page


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Week before last we went to Bowraville – rejuvenated as it is and scored these wee dolls for $2.50 each from the PO Store. I was intending to give them to the little girls but have decided to keep them for myself.

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In the same easily distracted manner, I am popping in some mention of the coming weekend as well. Saturday 29th May sees Action at The FEDERAL and at the BELLO BOWLO.

The Federal is featuring THE NINTH CHAPTER. Izzy recommends this band after hosting them at the FLAME TREE FESTIVAL in Grafton a few weeks back.

Over at the Bowlo, 3 bands are on. Muddy Turds, The Clap and a local band whose name is escaping me at the moment. Pete Bufo can fill you in on that one.

Meanwhile, the bell from Ulmarra hangs at the front door and I return to memories of the Hectic Country Week. At one stage a yellow robin was caught inside. It escaped. Three dogs make this their second home and joining them is a wee black kitten. There are, of course, also the Chooks.

Many of my days involve a trip to Bello to visit with Kati B and the Baby. We do the shops and we walk and talk and when I’m lucky, Kati B or IMM do some cooking. Both of them are fine cooks.

Izzy tells me he is Buddhist. He is certainly vegetarian. He is, at this time, digging out photos from his Vault and I have the sensation of Western Suburbs Phobia coming back upon me after all of this time.





I am in the middle of a flurry of birthdays. The Young Lady from the deli at IGA turned 30 as did T.G. from Brierfield, fresh back from the U.K. Former Mayor Gordon Braithwaite turned 80. Etc. Etc. I don’t engage at any depth with Occasions. I see the world from one step back in an electronic witness mode and I Tire.

Nonetheless, I enjoy watching the dynamics of the Communities in Bellingen and Environs.


Later in the week, family matters took me South to Port Macquarie. En route, we stopped in at Kempsey Museum to take a brief look at the Sanders History. Its only an hour or so South of here so I shall be able to return and do some deeper looking.


Frederickton is another family location for me inasmuch as there are graves of ancestors in the cemetery there that go way back to the mid 1800s. My ‘Assisted’ Emigrants.



Monday allowed me to settle in a little further to what is my New Normal. New Normals take some time to form and I have had rather more than what I like to have over the last few years.  Sometimes, the place on the beach in the Far NorWest of Australia where Grey Nomaders go to escape – well sometimes it appeals to me.

Most of the time, the Coming Home to the Valley is precisely the thing I have long desired. And so I settled in a little further. Me and Charlie and Bali and Scoob. Me and the Birds and the ornaments and doodads of my world.



Staying home nowadays also means internet access and that means a wider world than ever was available to me before. Newly online is the BELLOBARDS set up by Pip Wilson of the Almanac  for the Bards who meet once a month – the last Friday.

Bello Bards

We’re poets and lovers of poetry who, since Bello Bards was founded by Marti Guy in March, 2007, have met in Bellingen on the last Friday of every month at 6:30pm, at varying venues. We are, perhaps it might be said, a ‘moveable feast’ as well as a travelling band of troubadours and their audience. We always dine together and anyone who wants to get up and have a go reading their own or someone else’s poetry, is as welcome as those who just like to listen. Welcome to our online home.


We had the doings of grandparents to finish as well The 6th birthday gifts for the anticipated visit from the Mob in the Mountains. Partway through that the Black Kitten turned up and took to Lurking. I am not so good with cats due to my fondness for bird life. I rather think the kookaburra is slightly larger than the Black Kitten.




Heading Home, we stopped again at FREDO’S PIES.

Its a legendary place for good reason. Soon, the Highway will deviate around it. The pies are cooked fresh daily. There seem to be 100s of varieties. The people are friendly and efficient and expert. They even sell Gramma Pies with real cream and that’s rare.


Port Macquarie is a town I once liked visiting. I don’t think I shall feel that way anymore.  It has plenty of beaches and was settled way back in 1821 by Whites.  That leaves it with some colonial buildings standing. My Great Grandmother, Granny Bell, was a midwife a little further south at Laurieton and has on her headstone “ A LEGEND IN HER OWN LIFETIME “.

Years back, Fantasy Glades was there. I liked Fantasy Glades. I have been seriously ill in hospital there. Have had a tentative romance and faced several serious health issues in loved ones. I am not sure that I can feel warmly towards Port any more.

The visit means a great deal to me.


Saturday, I ventured into the 80th Birthday Celebrations of Councillor Gordon Braithwaite at North Beach Bowlo. 100 or so guests and true country community cooking. Great Salads.



Wrapped the week up with the BUTTERFLY HOUSE and MAZE on the way to Coffs Harbour.

29 degrees and Butterflies settling softly. They were two places I have long wanted to go. The Maze. The Butterflies.





Its actually Labyrinths which interest me. That and the Labyrinthine walk. I do not , however, know of a labyrinth around here so a Maze substitutes. The containment of the Labyrinth appeals to me. That and the journey to the Centre to locate the Small Thing and to return to the outside with it and changed. The Coffs Harbour Maze might lack a little of the mystery and allure of the Labyrinthine Experience I envisage but I didn’t mind at all. I have a Libran Imagination.









Today, the Little Ladies and me – we were back in Guru Food. For me, I am guaranteed a top class vegetarian meal. That’s harder to find than one might expect. I am also greeted by the Girls. Today it was Amy and Courteney. Amy is one fine cook. And Courteney not only makes the BEST ginger drinks but also offered to mind the baby while we ate. I took the Lunch special of the warm brown rice salad and Kati B went for the Guru Burger with Satay Tofu. They also operate from an ethical viewpoint as stated in the Code of Ethics shown below. Down the end of Church Street towards the River. Open Lunch and Dinner. Not for dinner on Sunday and Monday Night.

Its a great venue for hosting music etc as well. Bards of Bello met there last month which suited Izzy and me. Once again, it meant we could eat without negotiating meat free solutions or the common “vegetarian option”.



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Amy tells me there is an update on the way due to some changes in suppliers.





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This way to the Guru Food.

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