Sunday, 19 May 2013

March Memories – Cumnock Show

Our Historic Car Club were invited to attend the Cumnock Show back at the beginning of March.  It is about an hour and a half from home.

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A few of us thought this would be a good excuse to get out the bikes and have a weekend away.  In the end there were only three bikes, including two sidecars, but we had a great time.   We took Snubby the silver sidecar and camper trailer. We had visited the showground for our lunch break on the Orange Classic Motorcycle rally in February.

We love visiting little shows. They have such a community spirit, and Cumnock was a beauty.  There was a very strong horse section, as this is the last show in which you can gain points prior to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.

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The pavillion entries were strong, with lots of craft.

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I loved this picture.  The patchwork is created from cut up children’s artworks.

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The school kids had obviously been very involved.

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There was the woodchop.

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We noticed that there weren’t any food stalls.  It turns out that the school caters for lunch, pretty much the same as when we attended on the bike rally.  What a well oiled machine.

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If anyone went away hungry it was their own fault.  What a wonderful spread.

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Apparently, the local footy club does a barbie for dinner.

After lunch a few of the locals adjourned to the bar – a true country classic version.

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There was a good collection of old cars on display, including some from our club.

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Of course, no show would be complete without kid’s entertainment.  There were no rides, but the clowns were a hit.  I think it was a case of “every child wins a prize”, as most kids seemed to be carrying around something.

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After lunch there was the kids games, run by the local teachers.  It was like a massive birthday party with lots of games.  All the kids really got involved.  Our favourite was the marshmallow eating competition.  Six marshmallows were put on a plastic plate on the grass and coated in chocolate topping.  The kids were in teams and  had to run to the plate, eat the marshmallows off the plate, with no hands, and then run back to a finish line.  There were some very messy, chocolatey faces.


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By now we were keen to head off for the rest of our ride. It was a lovely day for riding and the area was looking a picture.

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Mick and I had an agenda for our route.  Last year we had ridden in this area on the Dice Roll Run and had passed a deserted old church.  We wanted to return and take some photos.

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It was a lovely day for photos.

Our ride then took us on to Guerie over a pretty bridge.

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To the pub……… was very hot riding along.

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I think the locals in the bar thought I was a bit odd taking a photo of our beers, but they looked so cold and refreshing.

Our stop for the night was at the Wellington Caves caravan park. We have stayed there on several occasions before.  We decided on a civilised breakfast the next morning so found the local bakery.

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We had a fantastic couple of days away.  We were never far from home, but still had a nice long ride.  We should do it more often.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

February Flashback

I know that it is well into the month of May, but even though I didn’t get around to blogging for a couple of months it doesn’t mean we weren’t doing things.  As this is firstly a record for me of our goings on  I’m just going to do a few catch up posts, starting with the second half of February.  Thank goodness for taking lots of photos, or I would have had know idea what we were doing back then.

February was when our solitary plum tree was ready to be picked.  All our other fruit trees bore no fruit this year, as we had a severe frost in October, which knocked most, and then when we had the extreme temperatures in January our apple tree shed all its fruit.

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It is only  a spindly tree, but had a surprising amount of fruit.  It is the “President” variety.  They have a green flesh and the stones come out clean.  Perfect for cooking, as it also comes up a nice rich deep plum colour.

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I had lots of helpers with the picking.

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The final yield.

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I gave lots away, ate some straight out of the bucket and didn’t get to do anything with the rest.  Life just got in the way.  Mum made sauce and put some on the church fete.  I went and bought it.  She doesn’t know that, but it was a win for everyone.

I did get a little domesticated on one front.


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Much better.  I just have to keep it tidy.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Ulysses Rally – Anzac Day – Our Final Day

We spent our final night away from home at Coonabarabran, where the disastrous bushfires occurred earlier this year.

Even though we were away from home it was important for us to attend an Anzac service and we learnt that there was a dawn service held at the war memorial clock tower in the centre of town.

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The service was well attended and we then adjourned to the little RSL Club for breakfast.  Numbers were boosted by the Blaze Aid Volunteers who are still fixing the many miles of destroyed fencing.  I overheard a local chatting to one of the volunteers and saying how the best thing to come out of the fire was the sense of community and the Blaze Aid volunteers.  Our own Chookyblue can take a bow here for her wonderful project of providing a quilt to all those affected by the fire, with over 200 quilts to distribute.

After we packed up our little camper for the last time we headed out towards the Warrumbungle National Park to see the firegrounds.  There has been quite a bit of publicity requesting that people don’t stay away, but visit and see all the rock formations that are normally hidden by the trees.

The first thing we noticed was the incredible amount of regrowth that is already taking place.  These trees still had some of their original leaves attached. 

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As we went further the fire had obviously been much more intense as there were no leaves and the timber was severely burnt.

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We only went as far as the Anglo Australian Telescope.  How they saved it is incredible,  Thank goodness they had mad good preparations in the couple of years beforehand.

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You can see here just how intense the fire had been on the hill leading up to the observatory and nature regenerates.

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It was still a stunning area to visit.

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The other overriding thing we were amazed about were the houses.  About 50 houses were lost. While we did not see any we take our hats off the fire fighter who saved so many houses.  As we rode along there were houses with no visible damage right in the middle of the burnt out area.  It could have been so much worse than it was.

After we left Coonabarabran we just headed home.  As we came to each small town we had to make a detour due to Anzac Day services with large crowds, so there had been no fear of us missing out on attending a service on the day.

It was nice to get back to our local area and to see more colourful autumn trees. However, we noticed how much drier it was the further south we went.

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And finally, down the dusty road we know.

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In summary it was a wonderful couple of weeks away.  We visited some interesting places and caught up with lots of people who are special to us.

The weather did the right thing, with no interruptions due to rain.  While in Queensland I only had to put on a light jumper one evening for the whole time. Bliss.  However, I can do without the humidity.  We are just not used to it.

The bike went well the whole time – just needing the new tyre in Toowoomba, and our camper trailer worked really well once again.

Now we are back in the cooler weather and back to work and our usual life.  All is good.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Ulysses Rally – Heading Home – It’s All About the People

After the Grand Parade on the Saturday of the Ulysses Rally we started heading home, even though the event didn’t finish until the Sunday.  Our plan was to spend some time with people who mean a lot to us but rarely get to see.

It was lovely riding through the cane fields.

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Our first stop was only a couple of hours down the road visiting some friends that Mick first met when he was working in a mine in Western Australia in the early 80s.  We have always kept in touch, despite the geographical distance between us.

We had to travel up a minor road.

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Our friends live on a small property which adjoins a state forest which has remnants of old rainforest, with some rather rare plants.

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We had a lovely wander.

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There were some lovely little water spiders.

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Also, lots of butterflies, which were rather hard to photograph.

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We had to be careful not to walk into the orb weavers.

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Dragonflies were both blue and red.

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The grasses looked stunning in the late afternoon sun.

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However, there are also snakes and plants that sting.  I’m not sure that I’d be comfortable there without a local’s knowledge.

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The following day we visited a waterfall with a deep swimming hole.

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The photo doesn’t give the true effect of how deep the waterfall is.

The gorge down stream is really pretty.

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After we said our goodbyes our next stop was at Toowoomba. Our first job was to find a bike shop to replace the sidecar tyre.  Oops!! I wonder how long it had been like that?  We were lucky to find a friendly mechanic with a tyre in  stock, so we were ready to finish our journey.

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The reason we called into Toowoomba to visit my aunt, who is also my Godmother and my uncle.  We really enjoyed our time with them.  We were given a great tour of Toowoomba. 

The gardens are not at the peak at the moment, but they were still nice to visit.

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A hidden gem we would never have found was the Japanese Garden, looking a picture.

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No tour of Toowoomba would be complete without visiting Picnic Point with its stunning lookout to Table Mountain and on to the east.

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A couple of the locals kept an eye on us.

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After lunch us girls hit the shops and the boys headed off to secret men’s business.

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The expert (my uncle) show how it is done.

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Mick took like to it like a duck to water, under the eye of an old hand.

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He had a lovely afternoon playing croquet, something totally different to what he normally would do.

There was another little bonus with this visit as Kris from Tag Along Teddies just happens to work at the retirement village where my aunt and uncle live.  It was lovely to meet another lady I’ve never met, but know so well.  Like all bloggers we’ve met, Kris is just as lovely and bubbly as she sounds on her blog.  We even remembered to take a photo.

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As our visit was on a Tuesday we were unable to visit Kris’ favourite patchwork shop nearby. However, that may have been a good thing, as I didn’t have much room to carry anything on the bike.

All too soon it was time to say our farewells and keep on our way home.  Hopefully we will be back before too much time passes.