Hamish and Annie Say:

Treat the earth and all that
dwell therein with respect.

     

      Pam's Journal For January 2008

     
 

Tuesday 1st January 2008.
Still in Tamworth. Pete Mate's birthday today, he is the grand age of 66. We walked up to town and took him out to lunch which was all very nice. We then walked home again and had a sleep. No Happy Hour tonight, I think everyone was still recovering from the late night last night.
Wednesday 2nd January 2008.
The weather here at the moment is perfect; sunny and warm during the day and cool at night for sleeping. We walked into town this morning and did a few chores and had our first Tamworth Gloria Jean's. In the afternoon I read and watched something I had on video whilst Pete Mate played computers. We enjoyed a very nice Happy Hour with our neighbours.
Thursday 3rd January 2008.
Another lovely sunny day here in Tamworth so we decide to have the day out. We had a 'blue day' at the railway museum in Werris Creek. Poor old Werris Creek, once a thriving railway town but now lifeless except for the museum and one or two shops. And of course the pub. We enjoyed the museum, Peter more than me, then we had a very nice sandwich at the only café/takeaway place in town. We then returned home for Happy Hour. The countryside out to Werris Creek was very picturesque and it is so good to see so much green this year. Last year everywhere was dry and dusty.
Friday 4th January 2008.
We went for a walk in the morning, had a Gloria Jean's and then walked further on to the railway station. As we have time on our hands here whilst waiting for the festival to start we had this crazy idea. If we could travel on the train for $2.50 each we would go to Sydney for lunch. Well, we found we are out of the $2.50 area so it would cost a lot more so we decided to give it a miss. We then walked home had some lunch and Pete Mate played computers whilst I knitted.
Saturday 5th January 2008.
It was a funny old day weather wise. It rained a little and we had some sunshine but at least the howling wind had dropped. By evening it was pouring down with rain but we still had Happy Hour in someone's annexe. During the day we did the shopping and again I was knitting and Pete Mate played computers and read.
Sunday 6th January 2008.
It rained for most of the day. We didn't do very much at all. Happy Hour went on for hours with a lot of frivolity.
Monday 7th January 2008.
Bloody hot, so much so we didn't go for our walk. That's our excuse anyway. In the evening we had a big Happy Hour. A huge circle of people, the women on one side and the men on the other. A couple of the women were knitting; Heidi knits so fast she was making me feel dizzy.
Tuesday 8th January 2008.
We went for a walk in the morning. In the afternoon I made a soccer player doll for tonight's raffle. Tonight is a fund raiser for a Ronald McDonald House in Tamworth. We all went over to the barbecue area around five where the music was playing. There were many items raffled, all donated by the people in the park. An Ansett Airlines umbrella was auctioned and raised $200 with a husband and wife unwittingly bidding against each other. The entertainment was mainly provided by a group of West Australians who performed 'skits'. They were so funny, it was a fabulous night. We'd not had such a good laugh in ages and the evening raised $1,000 for the charity.
Wednesday 9th January 2008.
Another very warm day in Tamworth. We had quite a few things to do today so we were out and about by 10.30am. Once back at the caravan it was on with the air conditioner and out with the knitting and reading books. Happy Hour was a lot quieter tonight with just four of us spending a very pleasant couple of hours.
Thursday 10th January 2008.
We had a bit of a rush this morning as we had to walk up to town for our eye tests. It wasn't the walking that made us rush but the fact we had to be there for 9:20 a.m. Someone is not an early bird! We both need new glasses so we will be sending begging letters out later today as they cost an arm and a leg. After our eye tests we went for our Gloria Jean's and then had a wander around town. The place is much busier now with the Festival only a week away. In the afternoon we did our usual knitting, playing computers and reading. The evening saw us up at the barbecue area for a free concert. Most of it was good but some of it was just plain awful, we came home once the 'awfulness' got too much to bear. Only trouble was we could still hear it in the caravan.
Friday 11th January 2008.
We had a lovely 'pink' day out. We went to a little quaint village called Nundle. On the way we stopped at a lookout across Chaffey Dam which was beautiful. Nundle is famous for its working woollen mill but alas, when we went the mill wasn't working. We had a wander around the place and looked at all the merchandise for sale. To say it was expensive is an understatement, hence we didn't stock up on knitted garments. But they were beautiful. We ate our picnic lunch in the gardens of the mill before checking out 'The Patchwork Cottage on the Hill'. Only trouble was the patchwork lady had gone into town and we didn't know how long she would be so we decided to continue to our next destination of the day. It was a short drive to Hanging Rock, the lookout there showed quite spectacular scenery. The small village of Hanging Rock was very pretty, one garden in particular was a mass of colourful flowers; it was so pretty. Once we had looked at Sheba Dam just past Hanging Rock we had pretty much finished our itinerary for the day so we travelled home via Bowling Alley Point which was along a gravel road. Again the scenery was glorious; we never tire of looking at our beautiful country. Once home we needed our nana naps, then before we knew it it was time for dinner and to open a bottle of red wine.
Saturday 12th January 2008.
We walked into town, had a wander around and a coffee then walked home again. By this time it was really hot so when we got back to the caravan we did our usual thing, air-conditioner on then we read and played computers. I went over for happy hour but Peter was busy on the computer.
Sunday 13th January 2008.
We spent the afternoon at the Oasis Hotel listening to some pretty awful music and some very good stuff too. It was all in aid of raising funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter; it was well supported so hopefully a good amount was raised. Not being unkind but some of those singers need to be told that they cannot sing. In the evening, after dinner, we were entertained at the caravan park by an excellent singer called Matt O'Leary. We had a very enjoyable day; all this fun is very tiring.
Monday 14th January 2008.
It was hot all night and all day. We didn't do very much apart from read and go to the supermarket. Late afternoon we had a knock on the door. It was Lorraine whom we had met in Cairns; she is now staying in the park for the Festival. She had a chap in tow; apparently she met him recently in Gilgandra. We saw them again in the evening at the concert in the caravan park. The concert tonight was good but the performer didn't have the personality that Matt had so therefore it wasn't as enjoyable. It was a lot cooler though which was much better for sleeping later.
Tuesday 15th January 2008.
We went for our usual walk and Gloria Jean's then read and knitted until Happy Hour. It was a small group for H.H. tonight but quite pleasant. Later Pete Mate and I kinda walked up for the concert. He went up first, I couldn't see him so I sat down then he decided to go and look for me but didn't see me sitting there and walked home. (Did I mention we are both getting new glasses). He didn't come back so I went to look for him and found him at Happy Hour which was still in progress, so that is where we stayed. We could still hear the music from where we were.
Wednesday 16th January 2008.
Well, what a day we had today. It all started last night when we received a phone call from friends Greg and Marilyn whom we first met in Cairns in 2005. They were very kind to us when Peter's back was bad. We have kept in touch and frequently nearly caught up with each other but for some reason we kept missing out. The call was to say they were 200 kms away and would call in at Tamworth on their way home.

We went to greet them and Marilyn fell over! I kid you not, one minute she was walking towards us and the next she was on the ground. We managed to get her to our caravan where we applied an ice pack to her swelling ankle before deciding we should take her to the hospital. So we got her into Billy and off we all went. We hadn't been there before so it was a bit of an outing.

Greg has a wicked sense of humour; we arrived at the hospital and he asked the nurse for two gin and tonics and if she hadn't got any, did she have a bullet to shoot Marilyn. I have never laughed so much in a hospital. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after the X-rays the doctor declared that Marilyn had either broken two bones in her foot or it was a bad sprain - the swelling was too great for him to decide. They strapped it and off we went to the pub. I mean, what else was there to do but get some alcohol into her for the pain?

We didn't want her to drink alone so we all had one. Okay, two. All this time their caravan and car were parked on the road outside the caravan park so we went back and got them booked in to an unpowered site for the night. Once they were set up we went off to another pub for dinner before returning to the park for the entertainment. Phew! We did have tickets for a concert at the Town Hall - never mind we can hear plenty more music over the next ten days. It is now pouring with rain which is Greg and Marilyn's fault as wherever they go it rains. People just do not realise how tough caravanning is.
Thursday 17th January 2008.
It is still pouring with rain. We didn't go anywhere apart from walking to the gate to say goodbye to Marilyn and Greg. It was lovely to see them and a shame it was only a short visit. We should see them again in Adelaide later this year.
Friday 18th January 2008.
It is still raining so the washing had to be dried in the dryer or underneath the awning. The trials of caravanning! We did the shopping and then later in the day walked into town to soak up some music and atmosphere. The town wasn't as busy as I expected, we saw plenty of buskers, some really good. After we had eaten we went down to the park to have a look at the free concert. It was loud and not very 'country' so we headed off to the tavern which was our planned destination. Not for the wine but the music. Michelle Little was performing, she is one of our favourites and she didn't disappoint us, we had a great time. We crept into the caravan park just before midnight; everyone else seemed to be in bed. We are such party animals!!!
Saturday 19th January 2008.
It is still raining, not the best weather for a festival that is held mainly outdoors. We went to a lunchtime concert today at one of the pubs on the outskirts of Tamworth. 'Those Gals' are a trio of ladies who harmonise beautifully. They played for three hours from the back of a huge trailer which had one side open to form a stage. We sat outside until the rain got too heavy and then we devoted fans all crammed under the veranda of the pub. It was really a very good concert and again was all for free. We then went home for a sleep, we cannot take late nights. It was still raining so we didn't venture out again.
Sunday 20th January 2008.

It is still raining but again I had to do some washing so I used the dryer and the awning again. We walked into town late morning as it had stopped raining by then. On the way there the sun came out and we were hoping that the rain may have gone for a few days. We walked amongst the many buskers on Peel Street and listened to some good music and some pretty awful stuff.

There were two little girls of around ten years old dressed in boots with heels, black dresses and cowgirl hats. They also had make up on and looked like little grown ups. They sang the song most little girls sing; If I had a Pony, made famous by Kasey Chambers. They were good but it just seemed unnatural to see these little girls all dressed up as little ladies and singing about having some guy's baby.

We called in to see the girls at Gloria's - as we do - then wandered down to the Coca Cola Tent where all the unknowns are given a chance to perform. We heard some really good music and then the awful stuff started so we departed for Diggers next door. Maybe something to do with the fact they have a bar. The music there wasn't bad but not our taste; we did, however, bump into a couple we had previously met at Emu Park, Cardwell and again at Midge Point. By now we had had enough so started to wend our way home, passing by the buskers again. The buskers are given an appointed place and time so you can pass the same spot at different times of the day and see a different act. Pat and Terry Crowe, friends we met three years ago (and each subsequent year) in Cairns, have arrived in Tamworth.
Monday 21st December 2008.

We walked into town and met up with Pat and Terry. We listened to some good music along the street and then made our way to Diggers for a concert which was excellent. Pete Mate and I then left P and T to wander back to the caravan for a nana-nap before our evening out. After dinner we walked back into town for the Michelle Little concert. Terry, Pat and Pat's friend Betty met us there. Michelle was again very, very good and we all had a good night. In the tavern a group of intellectually disabled people arrived. They had a really good time dancing and talking to people. One took a particular shine to Terry and a few of them delighted in Peter taking their photos. We walked home after the concert but didn't encounter any young ladies doing the Haka. On a previous night whilst walking home we did and Pete Mate joined in. Yes, he had had one or two reds.
Tuesday 22nd December 2008.
We walked into town and met up with Pat and Terry again. We listened to some more good music, wandered down to Diggers to buy some tickets as P and T were attending a concert there in the afternoon. Pete Mate and I had a couple of drinks while watching the Australian Open Tennis on their big screen and listening to some American guy sing. A woman who was doing the same reckons it must be like being in heaven, having all three at once.

We saw Pauline Hanson (pictured right) in the club with her boyfriend, Chris Callaghan, who is a country singer. Pauline seems to draw more attention than her boyfriend who is actually a very good performer. She was very happy and nobody we speak to has a bad word to say about her. Quite the opposite, in fact. She's much loved and admired as somebody who was prepared to stand up and fight for what she believed in but was gaoled on trumped up charges by the 'establishment' to discredit and silence her.

His band performs everyday of the festival and it is always packed. We left there and were walking past the Coca Cola tent when we heard a very familiar voice, we diverted into the tent and yep, it was Michelle singing We are Australian. She must think we are stalking her. We walked home had a quick wash and freshen up before heading out to the Southgate for a 'Rockabilly' concert. It was different and we enjoyed it very much. Gleny Rae, the star of the show, lives in Karratha so we hope to see her there later in the year. In fact she invited us to stay at her house as long as we don't drink all her red wine. The original reason we were at the Southgate was to see Michelle Little, but we enjoyed Gleny so much we want to go back there.
Wednesday 23rd January 2008.
We had a bit of a rest today; I did some washing and cleaning. Peter did some reading and then we went shopping. Then I did some reading also.
Thursday 24th January 2008.
We left early and were at a concert by 7:45 a.m. It was The Jim Haynes Brekky Show and, boy, was it good. The variety was great. We saw a comedian, Melanie Dyer (only 14 but she has a beautiful voice), Sunny Cowgirls (a duo), Carter and Carter (a husband and wife duo), Darren Carr (a ventriloquist and comedian) plus Jim Haynes himself. We met Pat and Terry there and all four of us had a really good time.

From there we went over the Leagues Club and saw an excellent group called Horse. Then it went downhill a little as we watched a group who used to be called Treacle Line and were a particular favourite of mine. Well the band has changed and is pretty poor. A big disappointment as I had recommended them to Pat and Terry. Anyway we went over to the Southgate and saw Gleny Rae again and thoroughly enjoyed her.

We dropped Pat and Terry off at their camp for dinner as they were going to the Lee Kernaghan concert in the park. We went last year and didn't really enjoy it. Anyway we took Billy back home then walked into town and had a look around, listened to some more music, had dinner, walked some more, had a Gloria Jean's coffee then walked home. We then read before turning in for the night as we were very tired little bunnies.
Friday 25th January 2008.
I awoke this morning after a really good night's sleep, all ready to go again. We made our way to the Imperial Hotel for a free show but it was just finishing as we arrived and what we heard didn't impress us so we didn't wait around for the second half.

We were wandering about, listening to different music when the heavens opened and rain bucketed down - an ideal time to call for a coffee at Gloria Jean's. After about 30 minutes the rain cleared so we checked out the music inside the Fitzroy Tavern but found it a little too loud. We had now been in two pubs without drinking! Outside the Fitzroy we bumped into Pat and Terry. We all went to the Tudor where we did have a drink or two whilst listening to the music and chatting. As the music was in the next room, the noise level was acceptable.

By now it was time to eat so we wandered down to Diggers where they used to have a good Mexican restaurant. After recommending it to the others, we found it had changed and is a roast dinner type of place but it was still good. On the way to Diggers, Pete Mate and I were waylaid by a street performer surrounded by a huge crowd. He was a magician and gosh he was good. We kept a close eye on him to see the 'sleight of hand' but never saw it. He gave me three balls to check out and we played a trick on him and kept one.
"Come on,"
he said, "give it back".
Pete Mate took off his hat and produced the ball. Without missing a beat the magician said,
"My father, Ladies and Gentlemen. They just let him out of prison today".

We thoroughly enjoyed his show so gave him a few dollars. We then had to hurry to catch the others up. The noise in Diggers was above and beyond acceptable; it was so loud it hurt your ears. Pete Mate went to the Gents and came out with toilet paper stuck in both ears; it was so funny. We then said our goodbyes to the others as they were going to a Kasey Chambers concert and we are 'over' Kasey. We wandered through the town and bumped into another couple we know before heading home for a reasonably early night.
Saturday 26th January 2008.
AUSTRALIA DAY - How did we celebrate it? By going to some more wonderful shows. We thoroughly enjoyed three hours of listening to 'Those Gals'. The only problem was it was pretty crowded by the time we got there so we had to stand for a while until some more chairs appeared from somewhere. Terry and Pat joined us and they also enjoyed the show. We went from there to Diggers to catch a little of Alby Poole as we had heard he was good. What we heard was good but we had to dash back to two buskers who was going to sing Bobby McGee for Peter and Terry. When we found the buskers again they were packing up as their power had been turned off. They said they would be there again tomorrow at noon and would sing it for Peter then. Alas Pat and Terry leave at 6.30am tomorrow so Terry will miss it. We said our goodbyes to Pat and Terry as they were rushing off to get back to camp for dinner and then off to the Golden Guitar Awards.

We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the festival with them and look forward to the next time we meet up. We wandered back through town and caught the tail end of Those Gals who were again performing, this time outside K Mart. It doesn't matter where you go in Tamworth during the festival there is music everywhere. We then decided we had had enough for today so made our way home. After all, The Bill is on TV later tonight.
Sunday 27th January 2008.
We walked up to town to listen to some more music. Amos Morris, a balladeer, was performing on the stage outside K Mart so we went there first. He had won a Golden Guitar for one of his songs and had it on show. He was very good and we enjoyed his concert very much. Next was Wanita who had a voice like Loretta Lynn; she was okay. Then Those Gals came on and they were excellent once more.

We walked over to the Fitzroy in plenty of time to get a seat for Michelle Little's final concert of the festival. It was lucky we went that bit early because all her friends had arrived in town and were wearing Michelle Little's Groupie T-shirts. Michelle was as good as ever and she even had Pete Mate dancing. We were having such a good time, then it all ended abruptly with me being carted off in an ambulance. I had one of my attacks and was very unwell. The paramedics were great as were the hospital staff but again no one can tell me what causes it. It comes so suddenly then leaves after about three hours. What a way to end the festival!
Monday 28th January 2008.
Rested all day.
Tuesday 29th January 2008.
I am now feeling a lot better. We did some shopping and then I had another rest. I started another baby cardigan this time in blue, these babies keep coming, I wonder what causes it? Later, just in time for Happy Hour, our friends Fay and Ken arrived. We hadn't seen them for twelve months so we had a lot of catching up to do. Our Happy Hour was extended to many hours and we had a really good time.
Wednesday 30th January 2008.
We spent a lot of the day chatting to Fay and Ken; we all walked into town and visited Gloria's. Pete Mate and I went in search of a battery for Alice as she is feeling a little under the weather. Before we knew it we were back at the caravan in time for Happy Hour. Happy Hour was again extended and then we all walked over to the Chinese for dinner. Again we had a really good day and evening.
Thursday 31st January 2008.
In the morning I went to the hairdressers for some purple hair and a cut. I was very pleased with the result. I then walked into town and met Peter at Gloria's for some lunch. We wandered home, had a rest, then it was time for Happy Hour with Ken and Fay. We again had a lovely time with two lovely people.