Christmas fulfilled the usual promise of a bit of everything. Indian Jimmy from Port Macquarie told me once that LOVE stood for : LOTS OF VAIRED EMOTIONS.
I don’t know what Christmas stands for but I do know that a Capricornian Saviour has created a pretty wild festival. We had flooding rains and waters rising in the paddocks. Temperatures were “cool” but we managed one beach trip and several pool swims. Masses of gifts, tents in the rain and plenty of family members.
A rambling lookback taken on a summer day with sea breezes and blue skies. We have had very little of that this season. There’s guitar music coming from the music room and BayWatch is on the television. Strange – but somehows soothing.
Well, things were soothing until the sirens started down on the New Pacific Highway. A stream of them racing past.
Now to see what was happening on the 29th of each month of 2010.
29 DECEMBER 2009.
I wrapped up 2009 still living in Ulmarra in the big old house on Coldstream Street. Across the Street, the cattle ran in the paddocks. The village was west about 1km or so and on Sundays, Izzy played with the Droughtbreakers at the WIDE RIVER CAFÉ.
Ulmarra was HOT. Very hot. The Grafton area is that with the Coast 40kms or so to the east. I liked the Clarence Valley but there was a baby coming down here on the Bellinger and I was homesick.
The New Year of 2010 came in with a fine moon and random fireworks which I thought were somehow organised but turned out simply to be crackers at Fred’s party for his buck’s night up the road.
29 JANUARY 2010.
This new one is the daughter of my daughter. I found it increasingly difficult to remain at a distance from Bellingen which is where she lives and the others up in the New England.
Bellingen was hot in January 2009 and the bats were about. My children were born 30 years ago in Bellingen Hospital. That is no longer a common practice.The Hospital became an issue for me throughout 2010 as I thought more about the reduction in services. Here are some links to Pages about the Bello Hospital.
SAVE BELLINGEN HOSPITAL
END OF FEBRUARY 2010.
THE POMS’ LAND IN PORT MACQUARIE.
29 MARCH 2010.
The other pleasure for me in homecoming has been the access to North Bellingen via NORTH BANK ROAD.
29 APRIL 2010.
The YELLOW SHED is still filled with surprises.
Bellingen turned out to be a very fine place to live with a new Baby. People greeted us and food arrived at the house as well as clothes and toys and gifts. Just a walk along the street and through the Supermarket could take an hour or more as a result of ‘ encounters’ with well wishers.
This Baby is 4th or 5th generation Bello as well so there has been a goodly amount of recollections.
29 MAY 2010.
Raleigh brought us some good neighbours including critters. Birds are in abundance and two dogs spend their days with us. There are still cows about – mostly dairy cattle down here so the chances of their being eaten are reduced greatly.
We also have horses and wallabies and other odds and ends.
May felt rather chilly. I have been away on the Tweed since 2001 and haven’t had a lot to do with Winter so I am rather maladjusted in more ways than one.
BALI AND SCOOBIE.
29 JUNE 2010.
29 JULY 2010.
In July, some tough news in our family brought my niece back from the U.K. and she met up with my girl. Cousins in the first degree.
KOMBU was high on her list of places she wanted to see again, which we did including the EDIBLE STREETSCAPE. We lunched at the Gelato Bar. My homecoming was voluntary and to do with a Baby coming. Some homecomings are a little more complicated than that.
29 AUGUST 2010.
A jabiru came to visit our dam. Up in Ulmarra, I had been lucky enough to see many brolgas after the big 2009 flood. One jabiru might not equal many brolgas but it was a fine thing to see.
|29 SEPTEMBER 2010.
Birds and more birds. Birds coming for food and birds just coming.
|29 OCTOBER 2010.||SPRINGTIME brought the beauty of the Valley right to my front door.|
29 NOVEMBER 2010.
THE BLACK BEAR where we take coffee and juices. It has been a year of cafes and baby.
|29 DECEMBER 2010.|
BELLINGER RIVER AT URUNGA.
Took the Baby to the Library today in Urunga and bought the first Xmas present ever for her. I am home with the 7Mate HD TV shows. In the afternoon, that means a run of series from the 70s and 80s. Nostalgic and rather odd.
Its raining a little and the temperature is soothing. I wonder when and where libraries first came to the Valley.
From the NLA NEWSPAPERS:
The Sydney Morning Herald. Tuesday 7 February 1911
At the ninth annual meeting of the Raleigh School of Arts, Mr. R. Scott was re-elected president, Messrs. J. Sullivan and A. Craig; vice-presidents, and Mr. R. Napier secretary,| treasurer, and librarian. During the year a new library and reading-room were erected, the main ball lined and ceiled, and a stage erected.
The Raleigh School of Arts is just down the way in the now tiny village of Raleigh on the Bellinger River. The actual area covered is quite large but the heart of settlement is gone now. The School of Arts is just called the Hall and still stands as does the church nearby but the railway station is not used and many houses are gone. No timbermills are left or wharves.
The Norco Factory is still operating and the School. The truckstop is gone but there is a Winery, Wilair Building Supplies, Harfield’s 2nd hand goods and round the back on Shortcut Road is the Industrial Estate inc the Council Depot.
Urunga Library is hexagonal. So is the PreSchool behind it – methinks. AND the Information Centre up on the Highway. They were all built in the same era so there must be a common theme or a common architect of the time.
NOVEMBER 11 2010.
I have several days at home to myself this weekend. The day is coming over clouded and just a little cool. Its 22 degrees C at the moment. Pleasant is the word.
Lets think about things. My brother gave me a map of the U.K for my 60th birthday. He got it from the British Museum and has labelled it with as many of the names and places of our ancestors as we so far know. We have a heritage based entirely in the U.K. and the last ancestor to come out to Australia did so way back in the 1850s. Quite a few of the families were from Britain’s most remote places. Highland Scots and Devon and Cornwall. There’s a clutch of convicts. Quite a large clutch. Another of ‘assisted emigrants’.
I framed it. Well, Izzy bought a frame in Sawtell and we framed the map and at the moment its resting on a cupboard while we look for wall space on which to hang it.
The Workers’ Cottage is colorbond. I think that’s what its called. Its not my favourite substance and has a bare nudity to it. This week, Iz dug a garden bed and planted some plants under our windows. Two of them are passionfruit vines which could go a little hectic. I bought them at Spring Plant Fair following a chat with a lady at Kethel’s stall. I wondered whether there had been something go wrong with passionfruit here on the North Coast. The reason I asked was the high price. $1 or more for one passionfruit.
She told me that passionfruit still grow wild and rum amok as they have done since the day of the outside loo. The pricing is entirely an artificial construct caused by Government regulations etc. We bring them in from Queensland. I didn’t even attempt to enter the mazed Govt reasoning. I just bought the vines. We will see what happens.
Now, Izzy has gone South to his son and grandchildren for the weekend. I have a phone call to make to my sister who is ill. My brother is in Paris and London for a fortnight. Next week, I plan Armidale for a grandchild’s 11th birthday.
And – in the meantime – in the meantime – home and the family in the Valley. Baby has now been swimming twice. Once in North Beach Pool and once in Bellingen Swim Centre. I thought it was just Bellingen Pool but discovered the fancy re-name. I haven’t been there since 1999 when I taught Urunga kids to swim there.
Bellingen Swim Centre was a good deal easier with one baby and her mum than it was with dozens of schoolkids. I was quite impressed. $3 entry and hot chips for sale. Irene had just finished her aquarobics class and there were lifeguards a plenty. Not quite Southbank but a lot of fun.
I believe that KEAN’S COACHES no longer service the Bellingen – Armidale route. Bummer because I liked their theme – WE ARE KEAN TO HAVE YOU TRAVEL WITH US.
I went to Coffs Jetty this week. Checking the Jetty Markets. They were on underneath the Shopping Centre which used to be called TREASURE ISLAND. Never underestimate the Power of Tacky in Tourism. There were also markets down Harbourside. That’s the one where Izzy and John Turbill played one Sunday.
We also went to lunch at Ocean Noir and took a look at kerry Penrose’s art exhibition and I ate Philadelphia Pie. I recommend doing that.
And I spent time with the boats and trawlers and shops.
Tuesday in the Cottage . Out the side, the farrier is attending to the horses and out the front, the plumber is trying to locate the break in the waterpipes. A bit later, the famers whose cattle are grazing in the bottom paddocks, are coming to graze them on the drive and do some mowing. The rain is holding off which is something it doesn’t do much of this year. The weekend was WET again and we had the Girls up from Down South.
Mary Oliver writes this poem. Wouldn’t say I am terribly fond of it but it has elements.
Mary Oliver – The Kingfisher
The kingfisher rises out of the black wave like a blue flower, in his beak he carries a silver leaf. I think this is the prettiest world--so long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness? There are more fish than there are leaves on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher wasn't born to think about it, or anything else. When the wave snaps shut over his blue head, the water remains water--hunger is the only story he has ever heard in his life that he could believe. I don't say he's right. Neither do I say he's wrong. Religiously he swallows the silver leaf with its broken red river, and with a rough and easy cry I couldn't rouse out of my thoughtful body if my life depended on it, he swings back over the bright sea to do the same thing, to do it (as I long to do something, anything) perfectly.
Mary Oliver is an American Poet so I shall search a little further and see what’s been written in Australia. I shall avoid Henry Kendall who haunts me mercilessly.
While I am looking for what I want, consider this from Facebook this morning. :
Northbank Community Garden: well this aint right!!!!there has been a spate of gear going missing from the northbank community gardens.This is a non profit group who work hard to provide the peopel of bellingen cheap oganic food straight from the garden. we dont expect much, IS AINT RIGHTnow people are thieving shit from our refuge.about a minute
Northbank Community Garden : 2 pair
ofbolt cutters worth about 50 each, a hand carved sign which was loving
carved and donated to the gardens by a local artist, as well as a few
other pieces. THIS AINT RIGHT!!!!!If any one has any clues tell me.lets helps each other live healthy organic live without this shit.
The Welsh Poet W.H. Davies runs lyrical. A touch of the Kendall inc the doss house lifsetyle.
The Kingfisher by William Henry Davies
It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues;
And, as her mother’s name was Tears,
So runs it in my blood to choose
For haunts the lonely pools, and keep
In company with trees that weep.
Go you and, with such glorious hues,
Live with proud peacocks in green parks;
On lawns as smooth as shining glass,
Let every feather show its marks;
Get thee on boughs and clap thy wings
Before the windows of proud kings.
Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;
Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;
I also love a quiet place
That’s green, away from all mankind;
A lonely pool, and let a tree
Sigh with her bosom over me.
Now to Gerald Manly Hopkins : I think I like this one better. it has a bite to it.
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
Ok. I shall wrap up this Kingfisher diversion with the Kingfisher Journal and a poem by Wagoner.
The blunt big slate-blue dashing cockaded head
Cocked and the tapering thick of the bill
Sidelong for a black eye staring down
From the elm branch over the pool now poised
Exactly for this immediate movement diving
In a single wingflap wingfold plunging
Slapwash not quite all the way under
The swirling water and upward instantly
In a swerving spiral back to the good branch
With a fingerling catfish before the ripples
Have reached me sitting nearby to follow it
With a flip of a shake from crestfeathers to white
Bibcoker down the crawhatch suddenly
Seeing me and swooping away cackling
From the belt streaked rusty over the full belly.
I say that as a Libran. Its almost one year since I turned 60 and began the serious consideration of coming back to live on the Bellinger. The decision to do so has been a good one for me and mine.
I’m going to try for a 12 step take of the last year – one comment for each month.
And that brings me dully to this evening. I shall return to the Online Calendar I am making.
The rains have passed for now. They say there’s lots of it in the West but for today its a Doonah Washing day. Plant re-potting day. Lying on front porch kind of day.
Its hard to find fault with a day like this – unless you’re a Year 12 student, of course, with exams starting this week. I am gloriously aged now and rapidly ageing into 61 Earth Years next week. That has some major side benefits which include sitting here on a day like this. with doonahs on the lines and fluffy towels and a lot of birds flying about. Cool feet on Tuscan influence floor tiles and one white rose blooming.
The new WINDOWS LIVE WRITER 2011 is available free of charge – a Blogger’s delight. I LOVE FREE things from the internet. Always have. Like FREE fonts. They say that people don’t appreciate FREE things and ‘things they haven’t earned’. That’s not true for me. I seriously appreciate free things. Along with millions of other people, now that I am sitting and thinking about that. Facebook appears to be doing just fine whereas the greed of NING is delivering its death blows.
I enjoy quite a few free programmes and apps. PHOTOSCAPE and SCRIBUS, GIMP and BLOGGER. WORDPRESS and IRFANVIEW. I LOVE the expertise and brilliance of the Innovators as well.
I potted a white rose today. That doesn’t sound much to the average potter, I suppose , but gardens and me, well we don’t get on. I like looking at them. Love eating from them , love perfumed gardens and ponds and statues. But I don’t like doing the gardening. Nonetheless, I have, today, potted a plant.
This post has NOTHING to do with lions and elephants other than the pleasure of the previous article and the smile it brings to me. I live near Raleigh Railway Station and I do fancy seeing a lorry filled with lions being towed by elephants and passing my cottage. Puts me in mind of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books and the world being carried on the back of a giant turtle.
In the 1970s, when I lived in Urunga and owned the WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY ( where the Vacant lot beside the OVH is) I was fortunate enough one morning to look out of the windows of my house and see a lion and a camel and motley other critters. The circus had come to Urunga.
Here, in the 21st Century, it seems to be necessary to look for more subtle pleasures and apparitions. That brings me to the Birds. I would have liked to see Brolgas again as I did last year in Ulmarra but that is a truly rare thing. What I did see this morning was a KINGFISHER. That’s my sister’s favourite bird. All my other years living here, I haven’t seen a kingfisher. Then at Christmas when we stayed the night at BELLINGER RIVER TOURIST PARK, I saw one. As I did ‘last year in Ulmarra ‘ for my 60th birthday in October and now, now one comes to breakfast on my front fence post.
Spring was looking good – briefly and will surely look good again. Just last week we were frolicking under the Hose in true Australian tradition and picknicking by the Lido as Urunguans of long standing. I was whingeing about the cost of the Global Carnival as befits my complaining nature and Hot Rodders cruised past with their tops down. It was looking just dandy for the Long Weekend. Ha! The rains came. The Valley flooded. The Carnival was evacuated. The river broke its banks and came into the caravan park. Now, we have a memorable Long Weekend. I rather think there was some affray involved in it. I didn’t see any due to being AT HOME with water all about.
I did hear rumours of feelings running high and sniffer dogs at the Carnival, of outrage over refunds and non-rescheduling of events. I did hear all manner of things. I believe the BELLO BOWLO hosted some of the Global Bands and was totally filled to capacity. I have also forgotten to mention the ART PRIZE at the Memorial Hall. I know very little about it. Will see what I can find.
As for me, it became a weekend at Home. That suits me well.
FLOODING IN RALEIGH
AFTER THE LONG WEEKEND.
A week ago the waterfowl came up form the bottom paddock. They’ve only done that once before since I’ve been living here so I haven’t been sure about what motivates them. I am guessing now that its to do with rain coming – because they surely did come – for the long weekend.
During the week, the BELLBOTTOM mag mentioned in an earlier post came out.. Its Maggie Quirk’s baby and looks good. Its also school holidays and the local kids are doing the things the local kids do. That was before the weekend when the rains came and the brink of flooding. After last year’s BIG floods, it takes a bit to freak people out and yet, at the same time, the edginess remains.
I hear he’s improving – physically he’s better than he’s been for a long time but brain trauma is a bit of an unknown..
Last night the river came over the bank at BELLINGER RIVER T0URIST PARK.
They seem to have emerged unscathed but the waters were up as they have been here. Hear tell the highway up north at Ulmarra has water on it as well which means that our old house down Coldstream Street will be sitting in its usual lake.
I looked up some NLA HISTORIC NEWSPAPER Stories as I do. This time I just entered – BELLINGEN OCTOBER - to see what has happened here in other Octobers. Try this one : ELEC The Courier-Mail Monday 30 October 1933,
It doesn’t have anything to do with anything in particular but it caught my eye.
I guess it could have been the story of the GLOBAL CARNIVAL if the police hadn’t evacuated them all out on the Saturday Night – leading to a cancellation of ALL Sunday acts etc. I haven’t seen the Showground since the rain started but it is legendary for Mud even without 1000s of campers and punters.
Back in 1954, there was some pretty good stuff showing at the Soldiers’ Memorial Theatre. Wish I could locate the 2 movies. I shall take a look online.
The Sydney Morning Herald. Wednesday 13 October 1954
And here is the Poster.
And here is THE BEAST poster.
I can read these newspapers time after time and wonder why I am bothering – and then comes a gem of an article like this one. Global Carnival might have thought they had trouble this weekend and we might think the Shire is a pretty exciting place but in 1935 – WOW.
This shot is the Perry Circus in 1920. We could do with some elephants based at the Showground and along the Pacific Highway. They might not go astray along Waterfall Way either.
Those images will sustain me nicely through the Day. From what I hear of the condition of the NEW Marx Hill ‘upgrade’ today, we could easily lose a load of lions in the Potholes.
One of the other things which tickles me at these wet times, is the advice for alternative routes – like – the PACIFIC HIGHWAY is blocked so take the NEW ENGLAND. That’s Radio Land advice I heard this week. Noone fills in the details of what the roads to get up to the NEW ENGLAND are like nor how long they are.
What doesn’t tickle my sense of humour is reading stories like this one in the CLARENCE DAILY EXAMINER. It would be so easy to take the Gwydir, the Waterfall Way , the Oxley, the Bruxner – any of them, without being at all prepared for the conditions especially in wet.
Having shopped carefully in KOMBU and examined the edible streetscape, I headed back down Hyde Street and took a sharp left into the GELATO BAR where I ventured into the world of the BANANA SPLIT. I don’t recall ever having one before. I probably won’t have one again – but it was SPLENDID and there was an umbrella sitting right on top.
Having recovered from the Split, I turned my attention to the rice grower who provides the KOMBU rice.
I had been looking everywhere for Aussie Grown Rice after discovering that the seemingly familiar packaging of the once Aussie Rice actually contained NO homegrown and was all imported from strange and far off lands.
Birdwise this week, we have had the wee lorikeet who was left behind, kookaburras, butcher birds, blue wrens, finches, satinbirds, pigeons, wongas, car bird, one magpie and today – a kingfisher joined me for breakfast.
There also seems to be a catbird over in the bushes. It sounds like a cat anyways and I recall tales of them.
That explains a good bit. We have female satin bower birds and a couple who don’t look quite like them. Now I know that they are the Catbirds.
kookaburra taking off
I also took a walk out to the end of the extensions of the footbridge in Urunga
|It was a week of sunrises and full moon.||
Finally, I find Bundagen. I looked for it often when I taught at Repton School and didn’t find it. This time the path into there opened like the Mists of Avalon. In addition, Kati B was driving – not me and she doesn’t seem to get tempted by narrow side roads in the same way that I do. Its beautiful there.
We also had lunch at the Oceanview Hotel in Urunga. OVH we call it.
Spring Equinox Full Moon.
Bull at the gate.
The totem at Bundagen.
The 2 new cabins also went in at THE BELLINGER RIVER TOURIST PARK in Repton.
After all the years of being black haired and black bearded as a Zarsoff Brother, Izzy determined to let the dye grow out. He began that on the day he turned 60 in 2009 and last Tuesday was checking the progress of the ‘growing out ‘ .
AS THEY SAY.
THE NEW BELLBOTTOM . Keep your eyes out for one of these in bello shops or check the contacts below.
just a glance over the week. Its GLOBAL CARNIVAL WEEK. I am not saying anything about it. Let it speak for itself. Restraint of Tongue and computer keyboard for me.
I am NOT going. Probably won’t be going to visit the family in North Bello either. Read their spiel. Check their FACEBOOK page, talk to the people of the town and lets see what comes out of it all.
I was rather stunned by the scale of preparations. Went, as usual, to GROWERS’ MARKETS last Saturday only to find it moved along to the town end of the Showgrounds due to the Global Carnival constructions. Massive and each day adds a little more.
Bellbottom Media The first issue of bellbottom hit the streets of Bellingen today. Find your copy at: Hearthfire, Kombu, Geckoz, Alchemy, Vintage Nest, The surf shop, The video shop, Federal Hotel, Amelia Franklin Coffee Roastery, Heartland Didgeridoos, The Prov, Guru Food, Sis De Lane, Big Skye Gallery, Nexus Gallery… plus more.
Amongst interviews and reviews etc, is the lift out BELLBOTTOM EVENT GUIDE. Very neat. All on recycled paper and coming out monthly.
I am including a sample of the EVENTS Page.The graphics are excellent. I like the look of this one. Then again, if you have been served by Maggie Quirk, you will know what a sweetheart she is.
SKIES OVER RALEIGH THIS WEEK.
Good looking world this week. A little cool still. Just heard from Stacey Hearps-Johnson in Melbourne ( former Urunga girl) and she says its chilly there as well and she, like me, is staying in tonight.
I am using WILLYWEATHER as my main source of weather tracking because I LIKE them. It tells me its a high tide just now ( 1.4m) and 13 degrees C. Today’s range 9-20 degrees C.
I have spoken to a few people about the fox and the fireflies and the sunset last night.
The fireflies come in the first part of September, if conditions are right and they have been this year.
Noone has seen a fox come so close to the house and take a chook in daylight. The MOB think it might not have noticed me till too late. Out at Brierfield its 25 years since the O.G. had one in her henouse and that was at night and not with people about.
As for last night’s sunset, people were well pleased. it was a stunner.
I have been up for sunrises most of the week too which is not a common occurrence. I don’t care for rushing into my days – nor out of them.
There was a double rainbow as well. Out front. It appeared to land in my own front paddock which opened up a lot of end of the rainbow thinking for me.
I am still looking for local info about RAINBOWS in the Shire but I haven’t found anything yet despite being very close to the Rainbow Region of N.S.W.
William Street is preparing for Jacarandas to bloom. Well, the Jacarandas are preparing. The valley is blossoming. Azaleas are rampant. Magnolias and many more plants whose names I don’t know.
William Street has some fine old homes and within a month the purple flowers ‘should’ be everywhere.
Last year, I was in Ulmarra and Grafton for the Jacaranda Festival.
|WILLIAM STREET, BELLINGEN.
Bellingen also has SEEDSAVERS. I didn’t know about that till the SPRING PLANT FAIR last week.
We bought some seeds and acquired some free aloe vera plants as well.
The Little Dog has suffered the indignity of the SUMMER SHAVE. They have left his head with a ‘mane’ but the rest of him is a no. 4.
SUNRISE SEPTEMBER 16 2010.
Best do a little thinking. i was up early this morning, before dawn. to catch the sunrise. Took a walk out onto the front verandah and next moment a fox flies past, seizes a chook and takes off with her into the front paddock. A startling way of starting a day.
The Big House tells me there is a lot more mess in the henhouse. I haven’t seen a fox that cheeky before.
I’m back in my grandparents’ garden
gathering almond husks to throw at the chooks.
Jan Owen also writes of the fireflies. Fireflies in other places.
I choose the spirit green of fireflies,
drifting afterthoughts at the river’s edge,
ghost shuttles, elf breath, nimbus of limbo.
Think of a light left on past any hope of return,
oblivion underwriting desire;
they are heart space from the void,
round trips shifting the dark
with the simplest argument,
I shine therefore I am.
Such crosslife clues for stars,
these perfect strangers do no harm.
As for me,I have fireflies here in Raleigh this week. I haven’t seen them before. Neither the fireflies or the fox on the porch. Not here in the Bellinger. My DIL tells me we saw them in the cave up at Natural Bridge in Numimbah valley in Queensland, but I have never seen them “at home”. This week, I heard a voice at the front, just after dusk, and the Canadian Neighbour called us out because the fireflies were coming up from the bush. He also told us that the Lemonades are still on the trees and to go pick any that we wanted. I like lemonade squeezed into water. The fireflies took me aback and they did so again last night. Right up to the house they come , flashing and dancing all about me.
Truly Springtime it is.
IN THE WORKERS’ COTTAGE AT RALEIGH.
Sitting about with our laptops, thinking and talking. I do like Internet. Facebook exchanges covering the world and roaming researches into many things. It started tonight with a GNOME and has involved a Devon Reader, people from North and South of here and ventures into Bellingen Alternative accommodations.
Steven Guy who has become a very dear virtual friend, has written a rock opera : take a look
Steven Guy Bad Dream – rock opera, you know you heard it hear first. I just made a submission deadline for new musicals. Fingers crossed and maybe this sucker might fly. Excuse me but after almost all day banging away at the computer I am going to have a glass of red wine and try to remember how to blink !!
I feel good !
We could get the BELLINGEN HIGH SCHOOL’S Band to play the Opera for him. And we are sitting here with the heater on and the black cat asleep on the horsehair chair and chatting on Facebook with more and more people about the gnomes. Izzy has tackled the NATIONAL LIBRARY AUSTRALI’S HISTORIC NEWSPAPERS ON LINE and there is a lot more about GNOMES in the Australian Culture than I would have expected.
And then there is the AUSTRALIAN GNOME CONVENTION.
Follow these links to GNOME poems and stories.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), Saturday 17 August 1946, page 3
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), Saturday 8 April 1933, page 5
The night passes and the info on gnomes begins to wear me down. I have come across and ADVENT OF SPRING PICTURE. Lets put her up ready for tomorrow.
ADVENT OF SPRING The Argus Saturday 15 October 1932, page 8
And so – to sleep. There have been hints of better things to come. Hints of Hope.
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.
THERE IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE.
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.
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.
THE EASTERN SPINEBILL OUT FRONT.
Its JAZZ Festival weekend in Bellingen and Markets tomorrow. Izzy is up north doing gigs at Harwood and South Grafton all weekend. And the gas cylinder which has lasted all winter has now run out. I had just showered – a mega shower – and washed my hair and henna-ed it and it lasted through that so, continuing with my BLOODY MARVELLOUS theme, I was able to say B.M. It could have been worse
It will mean a trip into Urunga tomorrow to book a new one from Hickey’s. Tomorrow is also voting. Best check with the Daughter and see where she wants to vote. Likely to be madness up at Bello with the Jazz and the markets on.
RALEIGH AUGUST 20 2010.
Its quiet here of a night. Just the lights of vehicles passing down on the road over the front paddock. Sometimes one turns up our drive. Signs of Winter’s passing are showing. The colours are warm. I haven’t seen it like this before. It must, I think, have been like this but now I am seeing it softly. Today was a gentle day. I shall take a look and see what the temps were. Ah ! 14-20 degrees celsius.
Yesterday, we ventured into Sawtell. That’s ‘just up the road. ‘ GOOGLE MAPS say its 22kms and 21 minutes but the roads must have altered, methinks because it doesn’t take us that long and doesn’t seem that far. Toormina which is a kind of offshoot of Sawtell features the nearest CENTRO shopping centre. in Woolworths and Coles etc.
And then, there is the Water. The creeks and the ocean and the Bath built in the rocks just a wee reminiscent of Maroubra and Bondi Days.
In my AT HOME ALONE TRAWLING THROUGH BLOGS, I just came across this site. Very Nice.
‘Kurungabaa’ is a Dharawal word for the Australian pelican, a handsome bird with a peculiar way of gliding low over the waves. We have chosen it to express respect for the Dharawal country where we love to surf, to celebrate the continuing culture of the Dharawal people, and to acknowledge the memory of the Dharawal people’s ancestors.
Kurungabaa is a not-for-profit volunteer publication, and is published bi-annually (June and December) as a hard copy by the generosity of subscribers and donors.
Kurungabaa publishes diverse genres including poetry, fiction, reflective and scholarly essays, memoirs, review essays, and interviews. Four pages each issue are made available for a photo essay or series of art reproductions by a single photographer or artist.
Emerging writers from coastlines around the world are encouraged to submit their work. Several pages will be dedicated to emerging authors in each issue. Editorial and writing assistance can be arranged, if requested.
Indigenous surfers are encouraged to join in Kurungabaa’s production, both as members of the editorial collective and as contributors. Every issue will contain material on surfing-related Indigenous history, culture and politics.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE SHIRE.
VIPASSANA MEDITATION RETREAT AT BUNDAGEN.
Look at the Kangaroo.
A meditative Roo.
BUNDAGEN is just over the way from the Cottage but in a different world entirely. Or perhaps just subtly.
Now I come across BERANGHI.
- The objects of the Co-operative are:-
1. To acquire land for the purpose of providing low cost rural housing for members.
- To promote the development of a community of artists, musicians, artisans and craftspeople
- To promote the production and disposal of agricultural products of members and other persons
- To promote the principles and methods of permaculture in agriculture and horticulture.
- To promote and encourage a community where members and families can become self sufficient
- To provide a setting where rural re-settlement in hamlets and village clusters can evolve.
- To preserve and protect flora and fauna on land for such purpose
- BY_LAW enacted 1999 states –
a) Dogs cats and firearms not permitted on the property
b) Physical violence, or threatened physical violence against any person or property shall be deemed conduct detrimental to the Co-op and be grounds for expulsion from the co-operative.
LINKS TO SAWTELL BLOGS.
LINKS TO URUNGA BLOGS ETC.
AND SLOWING DOWN. The internet has slowed down this week. Reasons unknown to me.
I had just found a new trail to follow, a golden thread connected to the OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE at Windsor. That requires fast internet to trace the different clues – but not this week. It started the day of the Wild Winds and hasn’t yet returned to normal.
This 2nd or 3rd week in August is when I expect the last cold snap of winter’s ageing teeth. I married on the 12th August in 1978. That doesn’t sound very significant except that I had never intended to marry and found myself dressed in full regalia on a truly cold August day engaged in activities I had not intended to engage in. At St Margaret’s with a reception at the Bello Bowlo. The point of that story is – IT WAS COLD. Guests from afar were appalled at the Frost and Fog. Even my Uncle jack who had lived on Long Island when he was Comptroller of Esso thought it the coldest place he had ever been. (it wasn’t but it had an Edge to it. ) Local Lad marries Hippy Girl ( in disguise ).
Tuesday looked like being the day for 2010 that saw the Last Hiss of Winter . The winds came in wild and the temperatures dropped. It lasted only the one day. I am expecting a week or so of Cold Snap still. We will see.
I have mentioned the Old Cedars Caravan Park on an earlier occasion. It was once a luxuriant well cared for place but now is run down and neglected and on Tuesday, the branch of a big old tree came down on top of a young mum as she put her two littlies into the car after singing group at the CLC Church. Take a look at the Courier Sun for a Pip Wilson Photo.
Wild Day in Dowle Street.
I heard the sirens but didn’t realise they had crossed the bridge to the North Side where sirens are pretty rare. I heard them once before in the 1990s when a young girl crashed her car out on the Gleniffer Road but this time didn’t compute until I went down Dowle Street and saw the hectic EMERGENCY SERVICES activity. It was pretty impressive.
JULY 2010. WHICH HAS BOGGED DOWN TWICE.
Its my writing that has bogged down.
Its actually not a week long reflection. Its a reflection upon a long week. Last Friday I was at home. Living near to the ground as stated in the last post. Reason I like that is my difficulty with KNEES and therefore steps and stairs.
I have acquired the Black Cat. With a garden filled with birds I am even less inclined to feeling affection for a Cat than I usually am. However, Bill the Black Cat has moved in and I am calling him William. William the Conqueror for conquering a mass of my tabus in only 2 weeks.. It chills me to the bone to be behaving like an elderly cat woman.
Friday included curtains drawn and early darkness. Winter here is not savage and yet the emotions of Winter still slide across the Shire. One heater lit only at night is enough to warm the house. I have a huge lounge suite but have never mastered the Art Of Lounging. I have read widely on the topic. I have observed Loungers. I have practiced Lounging but I always find myself back at a window, sitting in an upright wooden chair in front of pen and journal, typewriter or blissfully these days – a laptop. UNLOUNGED. I even have recliners this time. and they haven’t touched the inner essence of the non-Lounger very deeply at all.
Now, I have located a Blog by the name of THE IDLER.
One more link to an Art of Lounging site and I shall return to the week.
I can do IDLE. Its not a bad theme for an old dropout and chronicler.
Saturday was the day for GROWERS’ MARKETS and the SAVE BELLINGEN HOSPITAL RALLY. I spent that day in the 3 generations of women outing mode I have come to enjoy with my daughter and her daughter. I went from Raleigh where I live in the Workers’ Cottage up around the North Bank Road to North Bellingen
I have said enough about the Rally for the moment so I shall leave it be with the Blitzwagon bringing up the rear of the procession.
I don’t engage easily with other people and have spent long periods in almost Eremitic Solitude. Now that I live with someone and mingle amongst, I take the Days Off to disengage. Bruised easily by other people said Old Flo in Bondi. That gave me Sunday at home and close to home. The Old Pacific Highway crosses the Raleigh Bridge not far from here.
Nov 1935 – Old Raleigh Bridge over Bellinger River at Raleigh.
One that I like best of all is of Swaggies waiting for the punt at Raleigh. The Year is not given.
That’s the NSW STATE LIBRARY with a rather sad new Logo.
I have been wondering when the Friesian Cow became so dominant in this area. My Mother, who spent a good bit of the war years in Bangalow, was an advocate of the Jersey cow as a milker and my memories as a child were of gentle brown cows. In 2010, the black and white Friesians are EVERYWHERE. There is an image on the NSW State Library link and the cows there don’t look Friesian to me.
Izzy had a gig at the Harwood Hotel last Saturday and stayed over at Woombah. I am throwing the names in for you to look up on yr Funk n Wagnall. Coming home he picked up a few things from Ulmarra. They included a box of handcrafted Chocolates from the Ulmarra Newsagency and included pre-ordered vegetable pies baked by Lizzie at WIDE RIVER CAFE. At the end of August, there will be a big opening of the new National Park at Nambucca.
The new Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park is Aboriginal land that the Aboriginal people of the Nambucca Valley want to share with the rest of the community.
Lizzie’s brother, Andrew Hegedus, along with Izzy Foreal, Tony Rendell and renowned local drummer Keith Longman as well as Roy Geiger on guitar from Byron, are tentatively down as the band to perform at the end of August for the opening of Gaagal Wangaan. Looks good so it does.
Monday, we took off South to Port Macquarie where I have family. Its about a 1 1/2 hour drive. The trees are different and the town is different from where we are here. There are KOALAS in those trees. I believe there are koalas up behind us here but I have not seen one. My sister has seen Many Koalas down in Port. We stayed out at Lighthouse Beach. Me, I like the Old Core of Port Macquarie. Bit of a 19th century afficionado. They do however have camel rides on the beach at Lighthouse. I didn’t go the extra half kilometre to the Lighthouse and I didn’t ride on the Camels. I didn’t even see the Koalas. Seems i don’t see a lot of things.
After months during 2009 and the first half of 2010 of staying in overnight accommodations, we found ourselves back in a ‘CABIN’. Good value for $60 per night – ensuite. Nevertheless, it took me some gulps of sea air and a girding of the loins to enter yet another ‘container’ with the intention of sleeping an entire night in it. We had more serious business than overnight accommodations on our mind and knew we only needed ‘ a bed to sleep in’ but I surely do prefer a view of the river and boats and ships. Travelling on the XPT years back, a woman seated over the aisle described it as a ‘people carrier’. The Cabin was something similar except it wasn’t moving. Then again, perhaps there was something there that I wasn’t seeing.
I lay very still and slept all night. I had hoped a koala would wake me but none did. Next morning, I was out of there and back to the more important business of talking with my sister and her family.
Heading home with Cassandra in the back of the Starwagon, we stopped in at Fredo’s Pies in Frederickton. All manner of pies inc crocodile and camel. Cassandra is newly returned from 2 years in the U.K. living in Brixton.
Vegetarians all, Fredo’s has a wide selection for us as well as for the carnivorous.
Some of these stats look dodgy to me. How could yahoo possibly be dodgy ? They say Dorrigo’s coldest ever July temp was –3.2. Doesn’t sound right.
Wednesday brought the rains again. A lot of rain. A flat battery for the Starwagon and Day at Home. Suited me fine. Didn’t seem to suit the horses so well.
Wrapped the week up with a clear day and lunch at the Gelato Bar. Iz was off to Grafton for the Emporium Music Cafe Gig and I passed they day en Famille. All in all, an interesting week in the country.
HAPPY CAMPERS ALL OF US.
Friday to Friday. Its 21 degrees right now. Not bad for middle of winter. The rains have passed over again and the skies are blue. I am taking a day at home after a busy-ish week. One day in the middle of this week looked like flooding rains were setting in again. I saw some nervous shivers but it didn’t have the feel of flood to me and sure enough, it passed over during the night.
RANDOM LINKS for BELLINGEN and URUNGA.
inserted by Random Link Hunter.
BELLINGEN EYE. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649007784
I went south briefly this week for family reasons. Down to Port Macquarie. I returned with a Niece who has been in the U.K. for a couple of years. She was born in Mt Tom Price to Urunga Parents and they brought her back to Urunga as a baby and she grew up right here in the Shire.
Meanwhile – here in 2010 – I bring her back to the Valley and the rains come. A lot of rains. Again. I am sitting in the Workers’ Cottage on a rainy day and taking a good look at my Historic Newspapers. I am choosing between 3 major topics today.
a. swimming in URUNGA – due to the Sea Lido Issues.
b. rain in the Bellingen Shire – due to the RAIN.
c. surnames of present day fans as they appear in the Historic Newspapers.
SWIMMING. URUNGA CARNIVAL. URUNGA, Tuesday.
The Sydney Morning Herald… Wednesday 29 December 1926
Now that’s way back in 1926. They were able to swim a 100 yards championship and play water polo. I wonder where EXACTLY the Carnival was held.
How does a BOXING DAY SWIMMING CARNIVAL sound to you ? With WATER POLO. Looks to me like there is something to be decided between Urunga and Bellingen ( as usual).
Below are some more stories of URUNGA and SWIMMING.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Friday 15 January 1926, page 12
OCEAN VIEW HOTEL. URUNGA, Tuesday.
The Sydney Morning Herald.. Wednesday 13 October 1926
OCEAN VIEW HOTEL. URUNGA, Tuesday.
The Successful tenderer for the erection of the new concrete Ocean View Hotel at Urunga (with 64 rooms, Is Mr F. C. Schmitzer, of Taree. The new building overlooks the ocean beach, the swimming baths, and the Bellinger River,and is close to the golf links and tennis courts,The contractor Is a returned soldier.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Wednesday 13 July 1927, page 14
The Sydney Morning Herald. Wednesday 6 June 1928
A boatmen’s cottage Is to be built at the Urunga pilot station at a cost of £888.
The footbridge is approved and so are dressing sheds.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 10 November 1951
THE NORTHERN RIVERS. SECOND SERIES—VII. A NEW COASTAL, TOWN. COFF’S HARBOUR UPRISES
the country lying immediately north of the Bellinger northern watershed,and , stretching easterly and, somewhat further northerly, is a mad melange of mountains and hills and valleys. When It¡was first melted and mixed In a prehistoric cauldron it was badly stirred with the potStick, and being allowed to cool too rapidly with a Jagged surface, and the waters when they were poured on It afterwards rushed around in a blind hurry and flowed in all sorts of unexpected directions.
And there is war at my place. Birds at war. Satin Bower Birds and Butcher Birds. The horses are up near the wire fence but not close enough to touch now that a solar electric fence has been attached.
A stream of cars is again heading towards Raleigh Raceway. I know its not DRIFT Racing. That was last weekend and due to the trailers which went up on Friday, I am assuming its GoKarts of some kind. I am taking today a little quietly. A meeting at Raleigh Hall, only a couple of kms from here. Tomorrow I am going to Port Macquarie to visit family and bring back a niece who has been in the U.K. for a couple of years. Izzy has been away overnight playing at Harwood Pub. So today can be local. I managed to do a non-intentional walk through on the NBN News last night.
This morning is clouded and a little cooler. Its 13 degrees with the chance of a shower according to the WillyWeather.
As for me – i shall take a little time and consider matters. The black cat, William, remains resident here in the Cottage. The chooks are roaming free and I have been here in Raleigh for 4 months or so. Some routines have formed in that time. Some things, we have tried and discarded. Some of them have discarded me. Things I thought might work out, haven’t all done so and others have surprised me. One saying I like and whose creator I have forgotten is : YOU GO FOR ONE THING AND FIND ANOTHER.
That gives me the Growers’ Markets and the fortnightly routine of meeting up with my family having breakfast at the Showground, gathering in fruit and vegies, grazing on the stalls of 2ndhand goods and listening to music. My return to the area has coincided with the birth of the baby so each month has been a little more vividly landmarked than usual.
Coming home has also meant starting the FaceBook Page for SAVE BELLO HOSPITAL. I was shocked when I came back and realised that the Hospital had actually been pulled down. The old parts, that is. The historic section. The elegance and beauty. Demountables stand there. Shameful. I also received the shock that mothers were not being given the option of having their babies there. Bello has been known as a fine birthing unit and maternity ward but as of December 31 2009, NO BIRTHS. Then i found out that Dorrigo Hospital was long shut and now sits on top of the mountain under some euphemism which means a drive down the collapsed mountain road to Bellingen for any Hospital needs and most often onwards along the ever treacherous Trunk Road 76 section of Waterfall Way and into Coffs Harbour. In the days of my innocence ( March and April 2010) , I thought it was a joke but its not.
Before ‘progress’ took over, Bellingen Hospital had a children’s ward where little ones often had a doctor who knew them and family could visit with ease. AA and NA meetings were held at BRDH. Surgery was performed. Xray was available. Food was cooked in the kitchen on the hospital premises and not imported from Grafton Gaol.
When the doctors informed us that they were bound by a confidentiality clause that made it almost impossible to secure any information about what was happening for the Public Edification, things looked even sillier to me. Then I learned about the removal of such objects as the ice making machine and foetal monitor.
It was, therefore, a relief as the year went on, to see people begin to protest, to display some sense of entitlement. Yesterday, that was in COLOUR. Banners and beautiful clothes and humour and people refusing to accept what they have been told is ‘ for their own good’.
As one kid wrote to me – what is going to happen when we get ‘maggoty’ on a Friday or Saturday night ? ‘ Maybe they ‘ shouldn’t ‘ but they do.
The Map shows the area of Coast we are covering this week. Harwood is North. Up near Yamba and Maclean. Port Macquarie is south of us. Round about the same distance.