This theme has been running through my thoughts for the last couple of weeks. I so well remember Willie Scholtz, Rector of Good Hope College telling us comfortingly in the early 1990’s, on numerous occasions, that the only thing we could be certain of was uncertainty!
And so it is with us. Most of the offshoots of the uncertainty have not been bad… nor have the changes. Take the Taree showgrounds for example. What a different place. Not much obviously has changed but the showers were not infested with mosquitoes, the caretaker, (different from last year and a woman) was there and very pleasant and seen to be looking after the place and didn’t charge us for camping – we were there for The Hub Market organised by the Lions Club, also a very different experience from last year. Amazing how the changes in personnel have changed the experience for us. The people running the market were pleasant, looked after us, put us where we wanted to be, met us on Friday to help us settle ourselves and so on and we even sold few things. This hobby of ours is lots of fun.
Onwards to Laurieton where we stayed in the same spot, stood in the market in a different spot and had a meal in the same RSL with the same sort of delicious food! Except that this time we met an interesting couple and watched cricket with them. We had to stay for another couple of drinks because it was raining so hard we couldn’t walk back to the caravan! We are getting pretty slick at setting up in a rainy situation, two gazebos with a tarp between them and the van go a long way towards shelter.
Then on to Goolawah Beach. Those who read this blog regularly will remember that we went there last year and had a few adventures… left just as the huge rains were coming in and headed for Coffs and shelter at Angie and Kev’s. We met up with the same couple we had met last year, only this time spent more time with them and they told us of their adventures last year. They were rained in, the campground flooded in parts and the roads were cut off. Crescent Head stores all ran out of necessary stocks, the bakery couldn’t bake. They had to stay an extra week! We are finding ourselves reaching out towards other people more these days and making friends, exchanging contact details and life stories – we learn a lot about life and living from these fellow travellers.
This year it rained a bit but no drama and we stayed on as long as we could and loved it as much as before. A gorgeous bit of natural beach and ocean and bush and generally considerate neighbours. We are getting on top of our troubles with our power supply in the caravan, the two new batteries are helping a bit there! and the lack of internet and phone connectivity didn’t worry us much. Alan was able to go onto the beach and find the right spot to bring in the emails – enough for us. I was able to do lots of work on the PhD – Literature Review is what it’s at at this stage… and will take a while longer to complete… can’t even imagine what it will look like when that happens.
The little market at the CWA (Countrywomen Australia) hall in Sawtell was a pleasant experience although we sold nothing to speak of… and it rained again, so although we heard all sorts of stories about the various markets in Coffs Harbour we opted for Uptown which is under cover and which we were told had ‘died’ and had a very busy morning. This has never happened there before. Saw a couple of dealers who we always used to see and there too, little has changed. One of them always puts out some very good stuff but it is always dirty and displayed randomly all over his rickety tables… and the other is a very neat man with his stock tidily displayed but never has anything very interesting. Still they obviously do decent business otherwise they wouldn’t still be going there. People liked our stuff and complimented us on our display, the books were out and the chrome stands, so it looked good. We were concerned that our prices would frighten away the Coffs crowd who have a reputation for being stingy, but when they wanted what we had to sell they paid up.
What was very different though was the dry country we travelled through, the people on the other side of the ranges are doing it very tough at present. There are lots of feed trucks on the roads and the ‘long paddocks’ (the strips between fences and roadway) are starting to look grazed. Dams are very low or dry as are creeks and rivers. It all starts to look like the ‘sunburnt country’.
I have started to take lots of pictures of dead trees, somehow they resonate with my inner being. They are not green and leafy, productive, but they are beautiful and gradually are decaying back into the earth, but they are also home to some endangered species of cockatoos especially the Superb Parrot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superb_Parrot who prefers to nest in them… therefore still of use for the continuation of the species…The Wikipedia article proves my point that old and starting to decay I might be but am still potentially of great value to the world, metaphorically speaking of course! Those pictures are going to appear somewhere transformed into something meaningful… watch this space!
This link is to the latest pictures.