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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
Rested all day.
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.
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.
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.