Just flew in from Bilyana and boy! are my wings tired.
Much too tired to do anything but post pictures.
This was the most beautiful hair I saw at the festival. A festival where beautiful hair was commonplace.
And detail, because I just can't look at it enough. I have plans to do this to my own hair once it turns white (which shouldn't be too long, now)...
The girl herself was beautiful, too, but I didn't want to kill her high by sticking a camera in her face. I do try not to be an asshole.
The main stage area, where I sat (rather comfortably, crocheting) for six hours, spiritually willing Sarah to find me, because none of our phones were in network range, and I'd managed to lose all five kids...
A stilt-walking phoenix I know from Nymagee, who rarely flies this far south....
There was fair trade coffee, and fluffy chai, so it was always going to be alright...
And truly excellent, healthy, clean food. Ever tried a nutella taco? They're trippy.
My Godson, The Polly Man, in his first (official) public performance, in front, on drum. A big moment, this. He was working it. He was working it hard.
A beautiful boy I saw dancing in the sun. He was extremely relaxed. I ask you, just what does it take to look this damn healthy?...
There were excellent eco-toilets. Clean, fast, fantastic. Don't forget your lavender sprigs.
And there were miles..
of hippie crafts. I was born and raised on hippie craft, and I never tire of it. I love the whole Colour Pride thing going on.
But this is what we saw on the way out. Looks like beautiful morning mist, right?
Wrong. It's haze. Smoke. And lots of it. That means bushfire.
Six bushfires burning, I'm told, in various regions around the festival. As June Carter would say, a Ring of Fire. Come to think of it, I had noticed a shitload of CFA firemen moving in and out on the shuttle.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
However, The Goddess protected us all, and, as far as I've heard, there have been no reported sightings of barbequed hippies anywhere in north-eastern Victoria this weekend. She also sent us a double rainbow over the main stage to kick the festival off, so we all figured we were sweet.
Oh, and she spoke to me personally.
She told me to have a bath the minute I finish this post. And to pay special attention to my feet, please. Curiously, just like my own mother would have.
May She be with you always.
Peace and love.
(ps. The rest of the photos are here).
A number of people have expressed concern about the red eyes on the Po, thoughtfully informing me that he looks creepy.
Of course, none of said Thoughtful Informants have ever seen a possum, or know anything about them.
I have gone to great lengths to explain; in particular, what happens when light shines in a possum's eyes.
They go red.
Sort of like this:
(photo by tmcivor100)
Nothing creepy about it.
More information about possums can be found here, though what they won't tell you is that possums will eat practically anything not nailed down, exhibit a penchant for living in ceilings, and like to party all night long, making the most God-awful, gutteral sounds that are guaranteed to keep all but the most prescription-medicated reposers awake. And even them, sometimes.
Apart from that, they are very cute, and completely non-threatening.
Here endeth the lesson.
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.
Must be a full moon coming on.
I've got that Cowgirl Thing happening again.
12 hours north west.
No petrol stations for the last 200kms.
And no petrol station when we get there (Nymagee has a population of 150).
I'm carrying a tank's worth of petrol in the back of the ute.
And three kids in the front.
But I've got a hell-bitch new bull bar.
And a thermos full of espresso.
Wish me luck.
See you next week....
This week, at Chez Poppalina:
The Royal Melbourne Show
Lots of this:
not enough of this:
and far too much of this:
ending with a gig on the Town Square Stage in sub-zero temperatures that deep-froze the tush, and looked a bit like this:
only much, much colder, avec 3 sugar-frenzied, unsupervised offspring devouring the contents of their showbags backstage and running feverishly in ever-decreasing circles until they stopped, and vomited.
And although the word 'gig' does not have a 'Shhh!' in it, I think you'll find he word 'tush', does. See also: showbags, sugar, and shpeweverywhere, not to mention the names we called them when we discovered what they'd been up to.
And of course, we forgot our cameras, so all Show photos are courtesy of the ever-handy Tim Chmielewski (which may or may not be a 'Shhh!' sound. Who can say?)
Meanwhile, at home in Craft Land, after getting into Big Trouble from Mym for using her dolls as pincushions, (a reasonable objection, I decided, upon reflection), I finally got my act together and made a pincushion of my very own:
And last, but not least, this came in the mail yesterday, after getting lost for a week, and causing the elderly Prior Owner no end of grief.
In my opinion, (and I've been spinning since I was a child), New Zealand is hard to beat for hand-built, hardwood, vintage spinning wheels. This is a pipy wheel, made of rimu wood, probably crafted sometime in the 1970s, signed and stamped by "philip poore", and I CANNOT BELIEVE NOBODY BID AGAINST ME FOR IT ON EBAY. Idiots left, right and centre bidding like demons for cheap, pine, ashwood spinning wheels, and this little baby sitting all by herself in a corner, not a bid to her name. I almost had a heart attack.
Took me all night to put it together, and I haven't quite got the tension right, she's still overspinning, but I did manage to spin some cashmere, which, handily, provides me with the requisite (and, thankfully, last) 'Shhh!' sound.
So stay tuned for a fibrefest. This is hopefully the first stage of a little project I am putting together for Shhh! at Craft Victoria
My father died 12 years ago this week. He was only 51.
He was a writer, a columnist for the Sunday Herald Sun, and proud of it. He was known as The Working Class Man. His column drove me crazy, and we disagreed on almost everything he ever wrote.
Ah, family. I don't know about you guys, but almost everyone I know has difficult, precarious relationships with their parents. I was no exception. My father and I were estranged for many years, and there seemed no way to bridge the divide.
Then he became ill. And we became friends. It was astonishing. And quite wonderful. He opened up, like a lotus; all I had to do was let it happen. We parted on excellent terms, and I talk to him now more than I ever did when he was alive.
And I came, in time, to understand that people you love, and who love you, move on, leaving behind the very best of themselves for you to remember and draw on. The rest has a knack for just falling away.
You just have to let yourself miss them enough.
11 Things about my Dad
He sang beautifully.
He loved lyrebirds.
He told me not to follow leaders and to watch the parking meters (which dates him quite precisely)
He moved like a cat, and would cross his legs like a yogi on a chair, just like I do.
He would put in writing what he couldn't bear to say in person (which was almost anything personal).
He believed in putting the milo in (without stirring) after the milk was heated.
You always knew he was 10 sheets to the wind when the Clancy Brothers went on the turntable.
He always stayed up too late (something I inherited), and raged against the dying of the light.
He would have happydanced over the emergence of the Weblog. 'What, you mean everyone gets a column? Oh, YEAH!'
He truly believed in following your heart, regardless of what people might think of you.
He died bravely, smoking to the very last.
Strange concept, the modern townhouse. Ours has a roof over most of the backyard, which, although convenient in inclement weather, is a Light Killer in the living room and kitchen. Perhaps I'll be glad of this come Summer, but I have my doubts. I suspect it belongs in the What Were They Thinking category. And yes, I do rent. If I owned, it would be the first thing to go.
More pertinently, though, it means that our back yard sky is more like a hole in the ceiling, a sort of Proscenium Sky. Very, very strange. I sit outside smoking (insert lecture here.......) and am constantly amazed at the things I see through it. I try hard to be a Half Full sort of person.
Upstairs I run, grabbing my camera off the kitchen table on the way through to the (and here's the good news) upstairs balcony, where I was greeted by this.
The confusion in the cloudscape gives you some idea of the level of wind we were experiencing. My house sits on the edge of a plateau that stretches behind me for miles, and then drops down to the river at the front. I am right on the edge (in more ways than one). So we get Big Wind. And if the 2 storey house in front of ours fell down (I reserve the right to dream) we would also have the most breathtaking view of Melbourne you could possibly imagine. But then my home would be twice as expensive and I couldn't afford to live here, so there you go.
But it does have it's charms. I grew up on a river, and I have felt much more comfortable since moving here, having a river close by again. And let's not forget the studio (!), the remote access garage, the easy to clean surfaces, and the excellent feng shui orientation.
And this is my first double rainbow. Ever.
Dear God, let it be a sign.