Sorry for my late appearance, but the drive home took a little recovering from, given that I drove most of it. The Lovely Partner in Crime, Sarah Carroll, saw fit to debrief at the local pub after the festival ended. Details are hazy, but I do know that it involved a jukebox karaoke performance of Sailor's Glass of Champagne, four drunken Irishmen, and very large quantities of honey.
She was a little the worse for wear the next day.
I, on the other hand, spent a quiet night with the sleeping children under the solid roof of an old farmhouse, listening to the howling wind, watching ghosts come through the back door, and trying to work out how to get the water to flow through the pipes of this
so that I could have a hot shower after 3 days of sitting, sleeping, singing and eating red dust.
I never did work it out, but the stove provided me with a lovely hearth fire to warm my feet on, and I settled for a surprisingly enjoyable hot sink wash. After so many days, what joy there is to be found in a hot flannel.
Nymagee has no water left. Hasn't had for a long time now. Once upon a time, the festival was held at Lake Nymagee. These days they don't even mention the lake, which looks like this:
Anyone in any doubt that Australia is in a state of advanced drought, take a stroll up the Kidman Way, and think again.
All water is brought from hundreds of kms away. We had a 20 litre tank between 4 of us to last 4 days, so it gives you a whole new perspective on water consumption. Amazing how little water you can use if you really think about it. It's all a question of respect. I was so shocked when I arrived home and turned on the taps. Not only did it gush water, but it gushed hot water, about as much in 30 seconds as I had used all weekend. I may never recover.
Anyway, we had a great time. They're not kidding about the outback bit. Anyone considering this experience is cautioned to take strong boots and maximum weight pants; I'd suggest leather. The gorse is thigh high and feral beyond description. The burrs rise at night and walk the earth, getting in your pants, your feet, your sleeping bag, breaking into 100 tiny pieces as they hit the skin, and are almost impossible to remove (so tweezers are advised also).
It's scorching hot in the day, and freezing at night (heavy coats, and cowboy hats also essential). The dust is awesome (not a word I use lightly), and blows up without warning in red willy willys that fill crevices in your body you didn't even know you had.
We all melted down at some point, because, unlike you guys, we didn't have the benefit of prior warning and were badly underprepared in certain respects. (ie. not enough warm clothes, wrong shoes, not enough milk, my kingdom for a dust cover), but we all got over it, and settled in for a weekend of dusty, happy, friendly, music-loving country.
And, in retrospect, we had a ball. Especially the kids, who thought being that dirty was totally cool anyway.
Anyone wanting the slide night experience can find it here. No kid shots, you know I'm superstitious about that, but it gives you the lowdown. I'll post music shots as I get hold of them, there were people there who are much better at photographing bands than I. I tend to just listen. But if you want pictures of ancient fridges, I'm your man.
Just a couple of quick highlights before I sign off and go back to trying to turn red linen back to white. They're going to need soaking for a week, I think.
The CWA food shed (Mym called them the 'Kwa people') God bless them, they did this thing with sausages and gravy and bread that made me want to weep with gratitude. I'm seriously considering joining, if they'll have me.
and the 1st prize in the raffle (Australians just love raffles)
For those of you outside Australia, Slim Dusty (RIP) is a legend in Australian country music, roughly equal to that of Elvis. This coffee table had been hand crafted by one of the local women, whom I had the pleasure of meeting. 9 coats of lacquer, she told me, and she can't do it anymore, what with the lung cancer and all, and I had no reason to doubt her. There'd be nothing like it anywhere in the country, it's a one off. I wanted this table very badly indeed.
And finally, especially for the ladies at hml,, Kapinny, and Sherridan, I met the Australian Air Guitar Champion, who did a performance with the now legendary Lonely Horse Band, involving stage diving 15 feet into thin air. Darren from Dubbo is Poetry in Motion, and also has excellent fashion sense.
Fancy seeing Sharukh so far from home. I nearly had a conniption.
Nymagee. The Real Thing. I highly recommend it.
But bring everything.