297. Sunday 27th January 2013. Country Music, Sneezing fits, Australia Day and Rain…

Yes! Lots of photos this week!

Monday 21st January

Yeehar! Yeehar! Yeehar!

It is time for the annual Country Music Awards at the Tamworth Country Music Capital of Australia and the Country Music 10 Day Festival is in full swing.   http://www.tcmf.com.au/

Tamworth Town and one of the hundreds of Lee Kernaghan flags around town.

Tamworth Town Hall and one of the hundreds of Lee Kernaghan flags around town.

Mention must be made that we are not country music fans as such. OK we do like some country music. We also like some jazz, folk, blues, rock, classical and so on.

In the morning the weather was overcast and quite cool. In fact the ground was still wet from overnight rain. We dressed for cool weather but packed shorts and TShirts in case the weather turned hot. It did. We drove the 150 Klms to Tamworth to experience the country music festival for ourselves. On arrival at the outskirts we stopped at the toilets and stepped from an air conditioned TERIOS into one very hot day. It was a good opportunity to change into our lighter clothing.

It seems that part of the attraction of Tamworth CMF is the streets are closed off and hopeful buskers do their “thang” in the hope of being voted “peoples choice” and getting their start in the CM Industry.

Young country music hoeful Jessica Ellen who sang her heart out. One of the few singers who was at the end of the line and only had one nearby competitor.

Young country music hopeful Jessica Ellen who sang her heart out. One of the few singers who was at the end of the line and only had one nearby competitor.

Being a Monday we thought it would be quiet. Our first difficulty was trying to find a parking spot within a block or two of the action.

Slow pickin' guitar player.

Slow pickin’ guitar player.

It turned out we found a spot four blocks ffrom the action but we need the exercise anyway.

A real travelling gypsy.

A real travelling gypsy.

Next we joined the crowds moving up and down the makeshift mall.

Tamworth Country Music Festival Peel Street.

Tamworth Country Music Festival Peel Street.

Buskers set up in allocated spots about every four metres and compete to out-perform their neighbours.

Talented Jared the singing, guitar playing future star of country music. On his guitar case he has written his name and his age...6, which is crossed out and replaced with a 7 which is crossed out and replaced with an 8 which is also replaced with a 9.

Talented Jared the singing, guitar playing future star of country music. On his guitar case he has written his name and his age…6, which is crossed out and replaced with a 7 which is crossed out and replaced with an 8 which is also replaced with a 9.

They do this for most of the 10 days, at least until THE BIG DAY, Saturday when the awards are held. Big name stars perform at large venues around town or at smaller stages set up outside enterprising stores.

Hogster Stage

Hogster Stage

This study of indifferent steely bodyguard keeping an eye on the pretty singing guitar player in the Hogs Breath Hogster Stage.

This study of indifferent steely bodyguard keeping an eye on the pretty singing guitar player in the Hogs Breath Hogster Stage.

It all seemed like a great deal of organised chaos. There was music everywhere. Did I mention LOUD? Of course amongst all this loud music were the comedy acts, the stuff set up for kids, the quirky tents selling souvenirs and so forth. All trying to be louder than everybody else, all trying to get your attention and or your dollars.

All the children enjoyed the camelo rides...except the two in the centre of photo.

All the children enjoyed the camel rides…except the two in the centre of photo.

This boy inside the ball waiting for it to be inflated and tipped into the water. I know a couple of older people who wanted to have a go on these mini Zorbs.   (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorbing

This boy inside the ball waiting for it to be inflated and tipped into the water. I know a couple of older people who wanted to have a go on these mini Zorbs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorbing

Kids just loved being inside these clear balls floating on the water.

Kids just loved being inside these clear balls floating on the water.

Had we planned better and had more time it would have been fun to book into a venue and pay $20 or so dollars to see a name act in relative comfort. Today all we got was a feel for the festival and a headache to take home with us. Even if country music is not your thing we feel it would be worth a couple of days to get out there and enjoy the atmosphere. Big national businesses such as Toyota and Telstra really get behind the festival and push their products and have lots of giveaways, promotional material and competitions.

This cute directional sign was outside the Toyota Fan Zone tent.

This cute directional sign was outside the Toyota Fan Zone tent.

People watching became an easy pastime at the festival as most people, us included, wear cowboy type hats.

This is the Chookman. He roams around the streets on his battery wheelchair, strumming the guitar towing a night pot for people to throw coins into. Yes that is a real, live chook at the front and yest it also was asleep.

This is the Chookman. He roams around the streets on his battery wheelchair, strumming the guitar towing a night pot for people to throw coins into. Yes that is a real, live chook at the front and yes it also was asleep.

Then there are the real hard core fans who dress up in their boot skootin’ gear and dance in the streets or sit and watch a hopeful performer.

Would we go again? You betcha! Next time we would go for longer and be a bit more organised.

An artist places all his paintings on the street. Not sure why he has an indian headdress on display.

An artist places all his paintings on the street. Not sure why he has an indian headdress on display.

This man walks tall. Its a strange pirate type costume to be wearing to a Country and Western event.

This man walks tall. Its a strange pirate type costume to be wearing to a Country and Western event.

Many temporary shops were set up like this one.

Many temporary shops were set up like this one.

Before leaving Tamworth we went to Oxley Lookout

Scenic Public toilet at the top of Oxley Lookout.

Scenic Public toilet at the top of Oxley Lookout.

View from Mens at the Oxley Lookout.

View from Mens at the Oxley Lookout.

Then along the highway we stopped to look at another Captain Thunderbolt location. Unlike inj the US of A many of our historic sites are in out of the way locations and do not get maintained but they do get vandalised.

Thunderbolts Rock. From a distance Donnis thought this historic site was reminiscent of a brain shape. it's a pity the brainless graffiti umm err persons (no way could I call them artists) could not have taken some brain inspiration from the site.

Thunderbolts Rock. From a distance Donnis thought this historic site was reminiscent of a brain shape. it’s a pity the brainless graffiti umm err persons (no way could I call them artists) could not have taken some brain inspiration from the site.

Tuesday 22nd January

The CO-PILOT has been suffering from… the best I can describe it… hay fever but it’s more than that. Her resistance to things the rest of us take in our stride she is simply not coping. The house is 100 years old and is dusty, musty, mouldy and just inhaling dust sets her off in a fit of sneezing which wears her out. She has a tightness in her lungs and has trouble breathing, she coughs, her nose runs, eyes water and itch. We moved into WWWGO to sleep and although that helped, coming back into the house for meals and reading or any other activity sends her sneezing again. I decided she is better off elsewhere while I complete our housesitting agreement. This afternoon I put her on a plane out of Armidale airport and she arrived at Corrimal near Wollongong after 10pm. She will return a few days before we are due to leave and help pack up WWWGO. That will give her almost three weeks visiting two granddaughters and recovering from whatever is aggravating her allergies.

Wednesday Thursday and Friday were just days where I mooched around the house, cooked my meals, had visits from Greg, harvested beans, looked after Toto and…nothing exciting really.

The days were hot or cold and wet. One day I was in summer jammies the next I was in winter jammies.

Saturday 26th January

Australia Day.

The day started off overcast, drizzling with moisture and cool. By the time I reached Armidale the sun was making a losing struggle to break through the clouds. It did win the skirmish long enough for the following.

The Armidale and Dumaresq (pronounced Doomareck) Shire Council had an Australia Day activity at the local showgrounds. The day included citizenship ceremonies, local hero awards, some bands and various other activities.

The Arfmidale City Band sits quietly waiting for the boring stuff to finish so they can do their thing and they too can finish.

The Armidale City Band sits quietly waiting for the boring stuff to finish so they can do their thing and they too can finish.

The local band

The local band

I am not sure how much this young man contributed to the sound but he was plugged into the amplifier and his hands and fingers moved appropriately on the strings.

I am not sure how much this young man contributed to the sound but he was plugged into the amplifier and his hands and fingers moved appropriately on the strings.

Mull of Kintyre

Mull of Kintyre

The Lord mayor, Councillor Jim Maher gave speeches and presented certificates and other awards.

Armidale Lord Mayor, Councillor Jim Maher in his robes of office.

Armidale Lord Mayor, Councillor Jim Maher in his robes of office.

I did a bit of people watching but only saw a few worthy of photos.

In November 2010 while at Redcliffe the finishing touches to this potato van was being put in place. The owner offered me work to follow the van from town to town preparing potatoes and other veggies and selling the famous baked potato. Hmmm! Wonder if the offer is still open.

In November 2010 while at Redcliffe the finishing touches to this potato van was being put in place. The owner offered me work to follow the van from town to town preparing potatoes and other veggies and selling the famous baked potato. Hmmm! Wonder if the offer is still open.

The banner carrier had to stand quietly while the pipes band did aqll their numbers. At the end he led them away.

The lonely banner carrier had to stand quietly while the pipe band did all their numbers. At the end he led them away.

Hmmm! Is this the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland?

Hmmm! Is this the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland?

Drummer in the Armidale Pipe Band

Drummer in the Armidale Pipe Band

I rather enjoyed a display of dog training, obedience and jumping by a local organisation called Back Track, (http://backtrack.org.au/about/general-information/  )

set up to aid troubled youth. Each youth is teamed with a sheepdog for whom they are responsible. Incorporated in the programme is something called Paws Up   (http://backtrack.org.au/programs/paws-up/   ) where dogs are trained to jump a fence.

Border Collie climbing a fence at 8 ft 6 inches. Enlarge the photo to see the measurement.

Border Collie climbing a fence at 8 ft 6 inches. Enlarge the photo to see the measurement.

I watched one dog jump a 9 foot 2 inch fence. Take a look at this promotional video and you will understand why I was so impressed.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH1DFmsiMgo&feature=youtu.be

and

http://backtrack.org.au/programs/paws-up/

After the Australia Day events it was back to Guyra and the drizzling rain turned to soaking rain with heavy falls predicted for tomorrow.

Sunday 27th January

Rain, rain, boredom, rain.

I watched a movie called Dying Breed an Australian movie set in the Tasmanian Wilderness around the Pieman River. I gave up around halfway as I was fed up with the inane plot and the gorey scenes.

During the day I laminated some of my favourite photos taken over the last three years. I wasted three photos learning how to use the laminator.

Sigh!

Then it was back to rain and boring.

But wait!

All this rain could bring a bonus later in the week. The waterfalls along The Waterfall Way should have good to amazing falls of water.

Hmmm!

Time to plan a few waterfall trips when the rain stops.

2 Responses to “297. Sunday 27th January 2013. Country Music, Sneezing fits, Australia Day and Rain…”

  1. placestheygo Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful week filled with some good music. Glad the sun cooperated at times.

    Sorry to hear about the ” co-pilots” allergy. They certainly can make life miserable. Hope she feels better soon.

    Yes, the advantage to rain is waterfalls. We had a night and day of heavy rain which is unusual for the desert. We are excited to hike to the Seven Falls now. Should be very pretty.

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Thanks RRD, the co-pilot is in a healthier place. The predicted strong winds and heavier rain arrived during the early hours of this morning. I will not be going anywhere today. The roads will be too dangerous in these conditions. Perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday will be able to get out and visit the Waterfall Way.

      Like

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