niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

holiday blurt (Monday January 3rd, 2005 - 12:02)

category: mmhuh?

On Christmas eve I realised a little of what the Christmas eve airport rush is like at 7.30 in the morning – lengthy queues, agitated people, trolleys piled up with way way too much luggage, parents talking of drugging their kids to make them sleep through the flight. My Regional Express line wasn’t going very fast and time was ticking by. They occasionally called people forward for flights that were nearly departing and 10 minutes before mine was due to go they called out Dubbo so I hopped out of my place, rushed along and was given my boarding pass.

The flight, as last time, was purely blissful. Sheep skin covered seats, a breakfast snackbar and a cup of coffee, just enough time to read a few pages of my book and look out the window daydreaming before descent into Dubbo.

At Mum and her boyfriend’s, 5km outside of Wellington (New South Wales, not New Zealand), the dogs happily hopped all over me and I put my feet up on the verandah to breathe in the fresh air. In the evening we went for a drive around town, dropping by various peoples houses and checking out the Christmas lit houses. The efforts they go to are stunning – full gardens made out in Christmas scenery with blinking lights and multiple Santa Clauses and reindeers on the roof. The regional TV channels have competitions each year for the best dressed house and it’s a real site to see.

Although we were itching to have a Finnish Christmas (which means unwrapping presents after 6pm on Christmas eve) we managed to wait until after midnight doing a halfway Aussie/Finnish Christmas.

On Christmas Day after a lazy start we went driving around nearby towns. From Wellington we headed to Gulgong, an old gold mining town, which I’m told is known as the ten dollar town because it used to be featured on the ten dollar note. It’s a historical town and all the shops and houses make every effort to be stuck in the 1800s.

Next we headed to Mudgee because we were low on fuel and Gulgong’s petrol stations were shut. Not many people around again, some cars on the road towing boats and caravans but most people were happily indoors or sitting on verandahs opening their presents. We found some houses with Christmas decorations out the front but I’m certain they wouldn’t beat Wellington’s at night.

Back through Gulgong to reach Dunedoo where I found a poster in a window about a documentary a girl I used to work with wrote and conceived called “A loo with a view”. There were plans a few years ago to build a giant dunny (outdoor toilet) with a merchandise shop to become a tourist attraction – some of the locals weren’t very happy about being known as the town with the big loo so the plans have been scrapped.

From Dunedoo back to Wellington where I played with the dogs, watched the Galahs flying about the yard and we ate plenty of Christmas food in high 30s°C temperatures.

A few days later we were joined by a friend of my mother and her boyfriend so off we went driving again. This time we stopped in Narromine, hit a lengthy dirt road that occasionally had locusts on it to splat on the windscreen to Tullamore, a short wander along the high street of Trundle, then through some dust storms over to Parkes for lunch. We decided to stop by and oggle at the hugeness of the Dish outside of Parkes where the dust storms were getting more intense and a dust twister was spinning along through the fields. We drove through Peak Hill and Tomingley for old times sake before heading back to Wellington.

The last few days were spent eating more, chasing the sheep and dogs around the paddock, shopping in Wellington and Dubbo, wondering at the clarity of the night sky and generally relaxing.

On the 30th, back to Dubbo airport to hop on my Rex flight home this time with a wonderfully scrumptious large white chocolate and macadamia nut Byron Bay Cookie and a cup of coffee and scenic views of Sydney and it’s shoreline.

Getting out in to the rural countryside is fantastic. On both of the drives we were on the road for 6-8 hours – these towns are hours apart, some are along dirt roads and generally lived in by 1-2,000 people. Parkes and Wellington are significantly larger with about 10-15,000 and Dubbo has a lot more again.

Part of the road we took from Dunedoo to Wellington (the Dunedoo-Comobella Road aka “Death Road”) has been in the local news lately because of the dangers it presents. At the start of the road is a sign put up by a local explaining that a white sign with a black circle is a sign of an accident – you don’t have to drive long and these symbols start appearing on both sides of the road along with white signs with crosses to show fatalities. Other signs along the road state that they’ve been trying to get it sealed for 30 years. Apparently it has now been approved to be fixed but most likely it will take a few more years and a few more fatalities to be completed.

These towns lack a lot of things, people on properties like my mothers don’t have water, sewerage or garbage collection, but they put their spirit in to things whether it be creating Christmas cheer by dressing their houses up each year or by causing noise to get roads sealed.

3 comments to “holiday blurt”
Wiseblood said on January 5th, 2005 at 3:47 pm:

“wondering at the clarity of the night sky…”

Cheers for that, ‘Candy girl. Thanks for helping me remember what’s important. Far too cold at the moment for any amateur astronomy. Too bad to since Comet Macholz is making quite a spectacle of itself as it slides sunwards on its silent celestial sojourn around the inner solar system.

May 2005 continue to find you enjoying the finer things in life in your warm Australian home.

“We have no image
We’re just called the good friends…
We never know, we never know…

We call to stillness…
We hear the one same name
As the darker the land gets…
We’re fuelling for the light
Cascading like the rain
In twilight

We are not asking
No favours from the dead
We wash with moonlit hands
On the shores of our island
We never know, we never know
We sleep in satin nights
Throwing energy in silver curves
In twilight”

Planet Rider: Transmitting

Dan said on January 10th, 2005 at 12:46 pm:

Yeah, but did your mum enjoy watching her CD?

niina said on January 11th, 2005 at 8:36 pm:

She did indeedly enjoy the Love Actually “CD” – at first I think she was a little confused but then she started piping up “Oh that’s the prime minister’s sister” and “Oh that’s… etc etc”. Although I squirmed while watching it with her and the nudie parts came on and I decided to leave her to her own devices to work the menus to watch the deleted scenes.

She was mesmerised by how good the quality of the Rod Stewart DVD was and chuckled along happily to the Northern Exposure DVD (I’ve kept but) I’d brought along for her to watch (except I forgot the 2nd DVD in my computer at home, hmf!).