Walkabout 19 – A Gem of a Time

The Rocky Swap, was what it is, nothing really dramatic to tell about it.  We arrived on Sunday late afternoon after the Rockhampton Arcade market, reported on in the last post, started to set ourselves up and continued to set ourselves up until Friday by which time lots of other swappers had arrived and we sold a bit.  Then the big crowds came on Saturday and we sold a lot.  Including the cinematograph and lots of other bric a brac.  Few tools went which was disappointing for Alan but we made the same amount of money as we did in 2011.

Bella had to be barricaded in the caravan for the day… no dogs allowed on site!  but she found a way to be part of the party! For me the big and best thing was catching up with old friends, Sue and Pete and Jack and Robyn in particular.  I have missed knowing a few people at the markets to debrief with and be human and ordinary.  It is quite isolating not to have friends in a place.

We moseyed on on Tuesday after that towards Sapphire and the GemFest at Anakie spending a night at Bedford Weir, another jewel of a spot, beautifully kept and on water again.  To be highly recommended, not expensive either, they asked for a donation.

The landscape changed as we went further north and west…

The gums got bushier and the mountains more in evidence.

This sign was typical of those at other small towns and for us signalled the start of the Gemfields.

Arriving in Anakie on Wednesday we saw all the signs of a huge market starting to happen on the School of Arts ground. (I must just mention for those who wouldn’t know, Schools of Arts are in most towns and are in fact what we in SA would have called ‘trade schools’.)  Over the road from the big setting up scene was a small setting up scene so we stopped by and had a yak.  Turned out it was a ‘counter’ market.  The woman running it was in dispute with the GemFest organisers and had decided to set up her own show at a house she owns! She is our new best friend Glenda who along with her daughter Shauna made us very welcome in Anakie by giving us an insight into life in the region and how adaptability can be both financially and intrinsically rewarding. We will meet them again for sure.

We were given a generous space which of course we filled and Al spent a happy 4 days making as much money as we had made at the Rocky Swap!!  I wasn’t with him for most of the time because I was labouring over the dreaded Proposal Defence due in on the next Monday. Glenda had another house under renovation about 500 meters from the market where she invited us to put the caravan.  This was bliss, electricity and water and fully fenced so Bella could roam as she willed. What a happy lot we were.
The pic of pick, sieve and shovel is a huge sculpture outside Sapphire (closest ‘real’ town to Anakie.) where we did some essential stock shopping on Sunday morning.
The Gem Fields were good to us although we didn’t stub our toes on a fortune! as one of the Emerald notices suggested we might do, we have rested here and built up some reserves  of energy and hope again.
We stopped in Capella after Anakie and these pics on the pole and of Alan grinning behind the boy scout… are what we saw there… There was other wonderful public art also on the public loos like Maclean

Next stop is the Gold and Coal Fest in Clermont this coming Friday and Saturday and then on to the market at Charters Towers for Sunday if we can get a site there.  We will be missing the Detecting Competition on Sunday when they all go out with their metal detectors and compete… I would love to see that but we plan to go to Charters Towers to do the market there.

They call this area the Peak Downs area because there is a small range of peaks hovering elusively in the distance most of the time.  Clearly depicted in the picture of Alan.  It is also known for its largest open cut coal mine in the world,  Blair Atholl it’s called.

Sure seems that the angels are on our side.  They only have to get the houses sold now.  The extra cash from Anakie meant that we could have the houses advertised in the Boettcher’s flash letter box drop brochure!  Here’s hoping.  And we are able to buy two new tyres for the van… much needed.

We came from Anakie to Theresa Creek Dam outside Clermont, another cheap stop, $10 a night with hot showers and composting toilets.  We spent yesterday doing the washing and distributing the ATO refund (Tax Refund) that arrived on Monday.  Although we still have the dreaded Ipswich properties we are now “flush” with all other niggling debts. As there is no connectivity or phone reception beside the dam all of this was done in Clermont. we then spent the rest of the day happily birdwatching and chatting about how to manage our lives in future.  Too good.

A couple of pics I liked follow this…

Water or sky?  Theresa Creek Dam.

Feeding time – Theresa Creek Dam

These pesky critters while destroying the Norfolk pine also dropped dirt onto our stuff – at Glenda’s – Anakie.

The following link is to the picasa album with more pictures… you know me I can’t help myself but didn’t want to overload you!  I have annotated and this post will give you bacckground.




About retrocentricaussie

We are a pair of ageing 'gypsies' who find junk and sell antiques, especially objects from the art nouveau/art deco years and old and well-loved tools. We also occasionally buy antiques as well!! We haunt clearance sales, garage sales, charity shops and sometimes dumps. Lately we have even been to a 'proper' auction. The thrill is in the chase for good stuff at prices we can afford and still sell the items on at a profit sufficient to support us. We recycle what other people don't want anymore, we find new homes for nice things. We sell at markets and antique fairs, swap meets and wherever else we can find. Our clientele are mostly ordinary people who want something they can afford that will enhance their quality of life. We are especially pleased when generation Y buy from us. It suggests that appreciation of quality and good design is still part of our modern aesthetic.
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