Category Archives: WORKERS' COTTAGE

SUMMERTIMES ON THE BELLINGER

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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.

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LAST WEEK OF 2010

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.

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VIEW THROUGH THE VENETIANS AT 56 COLDSTREAM STREET, ULMARRA ON 29 DECEMBER 2009.

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.

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2009 NEW YEAR’S MOON IN ULMARRA.

29 JANUARY 2010.
Baby was born on January 8, 2010, in Coffs Harbour Hospital.  That gave me three little girls as grandchildren.

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 BELLO HOSPITAL FB PAGE.

SAVE BELLINGEN HOSPITAL

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29 JANUARY 2010. THE BABY IN NORTH BELLO.

END OF FEBRUARY 2010.
We had a family circuit trip planned for February and the beginning of March 2010, going South as far as BasinView down near Jervis Bay and back through Armidale and down the Waterfall Way . The day before we left, a Cottage came up for rent in Raleigh and we took it. I had been going between Ulmarra and Bellingen for weeks, but this occasion proved to be my last. I rented the Cottage, headed South for the Family Trip and haven’t been back to Ulmarra at all.

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END OF FEBRUARY.

THE POMS’ LAND IN PORT MACQUARIE.

29 MARCH 2010.
I moved into the WORKERS’ COTTAGE at Raleigh. That gives me a view to the East and a view to the West. It gives me the sunrises and the sunsets. I rather like Raleigh now that the Highway traffic takes the new Freeway and the Old Pacific Highway has become a good quality local road with mnimal usage. Its similar to Brunswick Heads Area – in that way.

The other pleasure for me in homecoming has been the access to North Bellingen via NORTH BANK ROAD.

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SUNRISE ON MARCH 29 2010 AT RALEIGH.

29 APRIL 2010.
Bellingen remains a town of Babies and children. We were able to introduce our Little Lady to the Street. Hyde Street, that is. And Church Street.

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.

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29 APRIL 2010. THE YELLOW SHED OMN HYDE STREET.

29 MAY 2010.
The one thing Izzy left behind which hasn’t yet found him here was his music. On the Tweed and Clarence, he was playing at least once a week and generally several gigs per week. Things are different here so far. Then again, he has a project in mind and good things take time to form.

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.

 

 

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29 MAY 2010. ON THE KAYE BASS IN THE NEW MUSIC ROOM.

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BALI AND SCOOBIE.

29 JUNE 2010.
As well as sunrises, I see the moonrises from the Workers” Cottage. The River is about 1km East and the Ocean about another kilometre from there.  I hit the wall with telstra once again and switched to WESTNET and the laptops and wireless networks  were all working just fine. That gave me access to the sites I love and researching which is one of my passions.

http://bellingenmuseum.org.au/

http://www.bellingencourier.com.au/

nellibellingen FB

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29 JUNE 2010. MOON AT RALEIGH.

29 JULY 2010.
My kids grew up in the Valley and so did my sister’s.  They are now in their 30s and late 20s and have travelled and worked all over.

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.

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29 JULY 2010. OUTSIDE KOMBU.

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.

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29 SEPTEMBER 2010.

Birds and more birds. Birds coming for food and birds just coming.

BIRDS COMBO
29 OCTOBER 2010. SPRINGTIME brought the beauty of the Valley right to my front door.
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29 NOVEMBER 2010.

THE BLACK BEAR where we take coffee and juices. It has been a year of cafes and baby.

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29 DECEMBER 2010.

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NAMBUCCA HEADS.

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BELLINGER RIVER AT URUNGA.

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RALEIGH.

ANTS IN THE LAPTOP

SEAT FOR TABLE

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

BELLINGEN, Monday.

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.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15166762

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.

 

 

BABY AT TABLE

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.

URUNGA ON TROVE. 

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A WEEKEND ALONE

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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’.

http://lynnesheritage.wordpress.com/

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.

MAP OF UK

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.

NEW GARDEN

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.

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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.

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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.
Seems to be BY BUS that I need to contact for this journey.
http://www.bybus.com.au/
That’s done. BY BUS were spot on. $90 return Bellingen to Armidale. Pay the Driver. Leaves Bello at 6.15pm on Monday night and gets into Armidale app 9pm. Then back Friday Morning. Not bad at all.

 

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.

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PUDDLES AND HORSES’ HOOVES

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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.

Twice in the last week, the days have started with heavy fog. One of the WURMS on Facebook calls it SEA MIST which is an expression I like. It usually leads to a hot sunny day but today is staying a little cool. Hang on while I check the verandah temperature.

URUNGA WHERE THE RIVERS MEET THE SEA.

Make that 22 degrees C at 9.57 am.

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I have a kingfisher here at the moment. It sits on the wire at the side of the house. My Fujifilm is a bit stretched trying to get a good pic of it but I shall post what I have. Yesterday, I was up at the Old Butter Factory in Bellingen and in the Windsong  Shop they had a number of bird carvings including the one to the right – the Kingfisher.

http://www.windsongchimes.com.au/

My WINDSONG chimes are at the moment in pieces. My mother gave them to me way back in 1991. I will be taking them up for restringing and re-tuning.

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Its been a busy week for me and I like having a day at home – alone. Alone has turned out to include the farrier and the plumber and the farmers.  It also includes  three kookaburras.

I have been looking for a poem about a kingfisher. most of them tend to gush. There seems to be a very narrow ridge between really exquisite beauty and the Gush.

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Mary Oliver writes this poem. Wouldn’t say I am terribly fond of it but it has elements.

http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/MaryOliver.html

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.  : 
http://www.facebook.com/Northbank.Community.Garden 
    • 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.

AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

As tumbled over rim in Roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

       

Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

Í say more: the just man justices;

Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;

       

Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—

Christ—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

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.

KINGFISHER

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.

http://www.kingfisherpress.com/April2004edition.htm

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THE LAST YEAR

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http://thegemcollection.wordpress.com/

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.

October 2009.

I was living in Ulmarra for my 60th birthday which went precisely as I had envisioned but not thought possible.

Reunions. Laughter, music and celebration. Spring weather with bushfires and  enormous bunches of roses, a new camera, a crumpler bag and a precious moment in time. Pregnancy, siblings, grand children, friends. Old family and new. And of course the Wide River Family.

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  ULMARRA OCTOBER 2009.

November 2009.

Wondering whether there would be enough musical outlet for Izzy here on the River.

Turned out there is plenty of music but his focus has been on a day job so far.  That wasn’t happening on the Tweed or Clarence but down here he has a day ‘gig’ tailor made for him.

Now for the Music. One of his old Zarsoff soundmen lives here and a 69-ers drummer.

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  IZZY FOREAL AND ANDREW HEGEDUS AT WIDE RIVER CAFE ON SUNDAYS.

December 2009.

It was one relentlessly hot summer.
Leaving Ulmarra would mean leaving the GCountry People and art work, the bookshop and Jack-a-Dandy. I liked the Village Life and I liked the architecture of the Historical River Port.

I have learned, however, to obey the Call – when it comes and Home was calling.

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  GCOUNTRY CERAMICS IN ULMARRA.
January 2010.

The Baby came. Born in Coffs Hospital and a whole new era started.

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February 2010.

We set off on our pre planned Southern Journey.  I left Ulmarra early to spend time with Mother and Baby in Bello before Iz joined me for the trip. During the week, I came across an ad for  A COTTAGE IN RALEIGH. Outcome – I have not been back to Ulmarra. We took the Cottage on, did the Southern Trip and relocated to Raleigh on the Bellinger River.

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  GIFT FROM  H IN INDIA FOR BABY.

March 2010.

The first 2 weeks took me South to places I haven’t seen since the 60s or 70s. As far South as Bateman’s Bay, we went and included a special insiders’ tour of Jamberoo Fun Park, I have now seen Jervis bay and Dapto amongst other sights.  Throw in a drive from Nowra to Armidale and then settling into a new home and a life where LUNCHING OUT WITH BABY has become the theme for 2010, and life remained colourful.

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  JAMBEROO ACTION PARK

April 2010.

Saw a platelet scare and flight to Sydney for tests inc a bone marrow biopsy and 2010 was showing its true astrological face.  2 pieces of very hard news came I found myself in Classic Libran Balancing Act between “the best and the worst of times.“

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  NORTH BEACH RIVER POOL

May 2010.

The nearest shop is the Tip Shop.

May – well, i settled in. Lifestyle began to form its patterns. The cold came which was a buggar. I got to know the horses and dogs and a black cat. I think that I have perhaps lost any sense of a stable lifestyle or ongoing home.

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  THE TIP SHOP

June 2010.

Nearby is McBaron’s herd of cows. Huge herd of cows. I find I don’t have a great deal to say about the year after all.  What is to be said about homecoming ?

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  MCBARRON’S COWS.

July 2010.

We did do a trip to Armidale fair smack in the middle of Winter. I don’t usually do that. 2 1.2 hours and a good deal colder than it ought to be. Perhaps it was school holidays and I had a visit to pay. Its an element of the relocation which I expected to fall into place but which hasn’t done so. I have had the privilege and pleasure of being with my daughter during the first year of her daughter’s life. Now for the son and his family.

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  ARMIDALE.

August 2010.

Pretty much every 2nd weekend, we do the GROWERS’ MARKETS at Bellingen Showgrounds.  We have breakfast there, stock up and buy odds and ends. We meet up with people and chat. Third weekend of the month, its MARKET Day in Town.  That’s this weekend coming. Rather more hectic than Growers’.

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  GROWERS’ MARKETS AT SHOWGROUND

September 2010.

The beautiful sunrises returned and rainbows. It was looking good for Spring for a bit there.

The Baby was growing and I took a trip to Sydney on the XPT to see my siblings.

 

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And that brings me dully to this evening. I shall return to the Online Calendar I am making.

http://thegemcollection.wordpress.com/