(two days ago)
It wasn’t exactly a marathon drive, or even really a marathon day, but it seems to have been action packed. Hung around Bega until 2ish, first with morning meeting concluding workshop, then various fieldwork in Bega, then drive to Cooma to pick up hire car, after which I was on my own, then drive to Bombala then drive on to Orbost, which is where I am right now.
Bombala has a wonderful cinema, called the Olympia, which seems to be in fairly original condition (and is also for sale!) It looks like someone lives there. They also have a great looking pub which is also for sale, and the front part’s covered in birdshit. Why don’t we all buy the pub and the cinema, and go and live in Bombala? I would so like to do that. We could show French cinema in the cinema, and make the hotel into a macrobiotic commune. I wish I was joking but I’d love that. Plus I wouldn’t have to blog anymore because you’d all be there.
A few choice moments from the day, with the names (of towns) removed to protect the guilty:
One of the places I visited today had a break in recently. What did they take, I asked. ‘Grog,’ was the reply, ‘so you can tell what colour’. (i.e. you can tell what colour the burglars were).
Went in to a CWA. It was decked out not exactly as if it as still 1921, but certainly it was oldened up, right to the piano on a little stage at the end of the room. Called out hello a few times, no-one there. I bought a teddy by leaving $5 in the place it had formerly occupied. Later on seeing the teddy some of my colleagues also went to the same CWA. The lady who ran it had retrieved the money and explained her absence by saying she was either asleep or had been watching her serial out the back.
Went in to an art gallery, council-operated apparently but all the art was for sale. I was actually there because I was told the man who ran it had a photograph I wanted a copy of, but he wasn’t there. The lady who was looking after it said, do you want a list of the prices as you look around. I said no it’s OK. She was really insistent though, and said ‘I think you’ll be quite surprised’, etc. I looked around most of the art was pretty awful though there were a couple I really liked – so, like a lot of exhibitions really. The prices were from the high hundreds to the couple of thousand, and the prices didn’t really correspond to the quality, in my opinion, but that’s OK. Anyway I was done in about five minutes and took the list back and she said, ‘were you surprised?’ and I said, well, my wife’s an artist etc. And she said something like, ‘I can’t believe what they’re asking some of them – it’s ridiculous. My daughter’s a ceramicist, I’m amazed by her prices too.’
So, folks are funny in the country, I guess.
On the way between Bombala and Cann River I saw a dingo (unless it was a Tasmanian tiger) and a wallaby. The dingo/tt was running across the road, and the wallaby was standing by the road just being street. Also I saw a lot of unidentifiable roadkill. The carrots I bought in Bega went brown after two hours in the car (!!) so I wanted to give them to a horse, but do you think I could find a horse between Cooma and Orbost? No, I could not. No horses between Cooma and Orbost. Tell your friends.
Now I am going to watch Diamonds are forever. I don’t feel I’ve seen enough James Bond films in my life. And I am going to drink the last of the red wine.