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/
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.
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.
It turned out we found a spot four blocks ffrom the action but we need the exercise anyway.
Next we joined the crowds moving up and down the makeshift mall.
Buskers set up in allocated spots about every four metres and compete to out-perform their neighbours.
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.
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.
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.
People watching became an easy pastime at the festival as most people, us included, wear cowboy type hats.
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.
Before leaving Tamworth we went to 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.
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
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 Lord mayor, Councillor Jim Maher gave speeches and presented certificates and other awards.
I did a bit of people watching but only saw a few worthy of photos.
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.
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
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.
Then it was back to rain and boring.
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.
Time to plan a few waterfall trips when the rain stops.