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:: Monday, 22 November 2004 ::

219511 on the clock (major use of Mazda today. Driving from Buderim to Tamworth. What did we see?

- Yet another dinosaur (I neglected to mention the one yesterday used to advertise I think, if memory serves, a petrol station), this time advertising …a petrol station again. Yesterday it was a pale almost white brontosaurus, today it was one of the rhino-looking things with the frill neck. What IS that all about?

- Leaving Buderim was easy peasy, and the drive past Brisvegas on the Gateway Toll thingy was easy but for the sheer number of tolls - three in all - and the Monday morning traffic.

- Lunch in Tenterfield, the home of Oz, apparently, as well as the home of big gay Peter Allen, something to do with Barton? And Federation? And speeches? Whatever. What is in Tenterfield is a delightful town replete with foodie joints. I saw the ‘Famous Pies’ shop and had to stop. And get outta the car for a famous steak and bacon pie, which as close to being a piece of steak with bacon on top wrapped up in a pie pastry shell as ever could be – it was delish. Plus home made carrot cake and a halfwaydecent caffe latte, which was a pleasant surprise for this wog.

- To get to Tenterfield from Queensland you have to take the Cunningham Highway, which is fabulous, all windy and steep inclines to get you over the Great Dividing Ranges (Australian Naming Rules at work they....cos they divide...an’ all that). Gorgeous drive, very misty and rainy which is how I like my countryside. Mucho fun with a trucker – he was all bloot bloot with his big horn as I passed and I was all toot toot to say thanks – happened a couple times. Perfect.

- Drove by Stanthorpe or something like that. Didjaknow, if you take a right right there you end up in Texas! Not Texas USA, dummy. Texas NSW.

- Went through Armidale, University town with Cathedrals. Natch I visited the Catholic one...the niiice one. But no votive candles. Disappointed. Not very woggy at all. All Italian churches have the votive candles that you pay for and light to honour the you-know-whos of your life. So I had to settle for a li’l prayer for Blayer.

- God’s Own Country on to Uralla – which is not full of spazzes as Melbourne folk like me are wont to presume.

- Double word town of the day Boonaa Boonaa. Way cool.

- Excellent country radio – outta Warwick on the way to Tenterfield I got the Clash’s 'Rock the Casbah', Elvis Costello’s 'Oliver’s Army' and Blondie’s 'Heart of Glass'. Just like Satdy night at my house, fer goonnesssakes.

- Had a can stop at Warwick – most excellent, jumbo pub with a weird group of men in the back bar ladies’ lounge area. I was obviously in a nature-calls-and everything-stops kinda place cos as I entered and said ‘Good morning gents' to them all looking at me, and strode on purposefully one of them said ‘Don’t stop honey, it’s just through there’. A moment's relief later, wash of hands, flick of hair, and I was back out, to an embarrassing round of applause, presumably for my brevity. Thanks guys.

- Mock tudor mansions again today – what is it with this part of the world? In fact one tiny town I cannot recall had a rampant Scots dragon on a flag advertising the mock tudor ale house (yessss, ale house) in country NSW. Most odd.

- The New England Highway totally rocks. Excellent roadage except for small bits of bumpiness, and all poplars and Roman pencil pines. It is so lovely. And greenish – not so much as the coast but still a delight this late in November.

- Into Tamworth, home of notorious Tony Windsor and lovely country music. I happened past Windor’s office and let rip with a loud ‘Buggiardone’ – big fat liar in Italian. Made me feel good and got me outta trouble with the locals who I fear love their reprobate friendship-bridge-burning member. ‘Member’ being the word. What a knob.

More tomorrow a.m as an update to this post I think - before I depart – highlights from the local rag and my night at the Tamworth Hotel.


Forgot to mention that, somewhere on the Day 9 drive, I went past Ebeneezer, followed by (I cannot be sure by sheesh it sure looked like) Goebbel’s Street. Followed by some joint called Sugarloaf. Whoa, that is some weird naming activity.

Got into Tamworth late in the p.m, lovely mottled afternoon sunlight had started up in Armidale, where I found delicious Shell Optimax. Me being me, I had completely forgotten about NSW’s Optimax drought (too busy singing along to Wille Nelson’s ‘On the Road Again’) and I just pulled into the first joint I found to fill up the Mazda. When I went to pay the bloke behind the counter told me ‘You are a lucky girl, that might be the last tank of the stuff in NSW’. Lucky lucky lucky me. I swear the car seemed to make a happy ‘ptop-ptop’ sound with his happy yuppie fuel.

Cruising in to Tamworth on the New England Highway it took me no time to find a lovely spot - the Tamworth Hotel. Got me a pretty rank glass of warmish sauvignon-blanc flavoured wine (sorry to be mean but it was not the good stuff, not even at the third glass) made a call to the little man and enjoyed country news on the teevee and in the paper. The Northern Daily Leader paper that is. Terrific stuff. Some highlights (no linkys but):

- Lots of coverage, natch, all about the Tony ‘Windsor bribery allegation saga’ (get the he says/he says from some place else – it is just not that interesting to me) but the beauty thing is columnist Gary ‘Our Man About Town’ Ruddick who has done some sterling work of the ‘Brutus is an Honourable Man’ variety in the NDL. We get a “Fair Dinkum...Tony Windsor is an honest man....Greg Maguire is also honest...John Anderson and Senator MacDonald are also men of impeccable integrity...”. But he goes on to question the likelihood someone would offer another person a bribe in front of witnesses. Fair question to my mind. The editorial of the NDL sees something sinister in both PM John Howard and Dep PM John Anderson not calling for inquiries into the allegations. G’uh. Why should they? You can see the divide between Ruddick and the editorial folks. I am with Ruddick based on nothing more that than one column.

- The horoscopes are absolutely intriguing. Gemini Cancer Leo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius and Pisces, all of us are going to be busy in the pre-Christmas period and we are going to have a really good time Dec 4-7 and on the 10th and the 12th too...All of us. I kid you not.

- The Junior Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition has been won by a high school girlie in the category of light domestic meat. Which reminds me, this is Poll Hereford and Angus country, at least that was the meat I was judging on my drive.

- The Italian Jolly 1800 nut harvester is a standout successful bit of machinery that everyone should own.

- There is a clearing sale going on from a property which has been sold and where the vendors are retiring, getting outta town and therefore needing to offload some non-fixtures. Among the things available, 25 hens and a rooster. And a sheep dog....but no sheep.

- Just the one personals ad – the mobile phone of a man who met a girl in a pub recently and felt they hit it off, asking her to call.

Cable in the motel room - excellent. High rotation interview with Luca Montezemolo of FIAT. I am one happy Italian this morning. Time to hit the road. More later.

:: WB 1:12 am [link+] ::

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