Day 04: Something that is part of your routine that you enjoy.

This is a real challenge. Catching up the Days of January before I heard of the Dana Creative.

IN my new Normal here in Bellingen Shire, I have routines which I really enjoy and one of them is the drive up North Bank Road to visit my daughter and her daughter. From their house we go into town and do the shops. Then I come home down Waterfall Way and past McBaron’s herd of cattle.  That’s the outline of the routine.

North Bank is a narrow country road through the dairy farms and the rainforest. It opens up onto a view of the Dorrigo Mountains and the Bellingen Valley.  I play the local Community radio station while I’m driving. 2 BBB. Can’t pick it up at home but its fine in the Charade. That was once my mum’s car, the Charade was. I like the winding road where once I taught my sister to drive. Way back in the late 1960s.

It comes in past the NORTHBANK COMMUNITY GARDENS and the Catholic Nunnery and the Sewage Treatment Works to the 50km zone and across the roundabout near the Providore to my girls’ house.

Most days, the Baby is asleep when I get there and when she wakens, she turns and smiles and reaches her arms up to me. Its been almost a year now, almost a full cycle of seasons. Of rains and jacarandas and cattle and cafes in Town.

And when the visit is done, I take the Waterfall Way back down to the Coast, past McBaron’s herd and along the River, where the dredge is, to my home at the end of the long driveway through the paddocks.

Day 03: Something with which you struggle.

I struggle with Acedia. Listlessness and Torpor and a great flatness of spirit. I could write a list of things I struggle with but I am trying to be obedient to the Topics and it says SOMETHING – singular. That brings my focus in to a laser point and compels me to define more clearly what it is that is going on with me. I am a recovering addict and I don’t struggle much with that but the sudden plunking downturn in spirits and thinking that still comes my way – after all this time – that I still struggle with.

The struggle is typically unsuccessful. The classic ‘don’t strangle the lifesaver’ type of writhing, panic and distress. Just before I woke this morning, I was dreaming of one of the Wide River Girls and in the Dream she was handling a difficult situation with aplomb and certainty. I thought to myself, “ That’s how I shall handle things today “. But along came Acedia and the emotionalism kicked in and breathing became a seemingly difficult task. 

The rain came and the weather cooled and I found myself struggling as I have for so many years. Trying to shake her off. Trying to escape her. I don’t think I can win in this struggle either. Best stop. Best just wait. Best let her lose interest in me once more as I know she does.

Best take a look at the things which are calling her into my life. Aha !

Day 02: Something you regret not having done last year.

Last year, I left the village of Ulmarra where I was living up on the Clarence River for a two week family trip down south and out west. When I left Ulmarra, the plan was that I visit Bello and the new Baby and then return in a loop to our house in Coldstream Street. What happened was that I found my homesickness for the Bellingen Shire and my family became overwhelming, then a Cottage became available and when I returned from the Family Loop, I moved into the Cottage and never returned to Ulmarra.

The thing I regret not having done is going back. Not straight away. I had a home to make and a daughter and  granddaughter to attend to. But I regret not going back a little later. To say Goodbye.

Its not a big regret because I don’t go in for REGRETS any more than I can help.

Regret is a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often expressed by the term “sorry.”

My Mother used to call it the DRUTHERS. Derived from I’d rather. If I had my Druthers, I would have gone back to Ulmarra and said Goodbye to the people I loved there. The WIDE RIVER CAFÉ and GCOUNTRY PEOPLE. The Villagers. It was good to me, that little town. If I had my Druthers, I would have visited RATHGAR OPSHOP one more time and watched Izzy play with the DROUGHTBREAKERS at the ULMARRA ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE on a Sunday and I would have been inside drinking Andrew’s double ginger fruit juice and yaaning with the Family.




Just outside Ryan’s BARBER’S SHOP.


I went into Urunga today. The footpath down near the SPAR Supermarket has been UPGRADED. In doing so, it seems they have taken away the bench. Many times I sat there – last century. Talking to my sister if we met while shopping.  Sitting with the Staffie, Odin. I was in no need of a bench today but I was observing the situation.

Reckon we could still do with one down on this corner.

Map picture


  The one outside the Chinese is popular.

And the Fish n Chips had a couple as well as a rough relocatable one. Well formerly relocatable but now bolted to the ground.

Ugly town, Urunga. Which is crazy when its location is so pretty and when once it was filled with buildings with personality, character and grace.


1990 LIDO JO



Day 01: Something you’re looking forward to this year.

I have a bit of sorrowing on me and a momentary  lapse in being able to think of the things I was looking forwards to this year. Its raining and the temperature has dropped in what is ‘ supposed’ to be our mid-summer. Up north from us are floods that cover an area bigger than Texas and down here the thunder is rolling and cracking. The little cat has taken refuge under a large lounge and the world seems to be a weeping for our own personal sadnesses.

Last year I came Home. I tend to be slowly nomadic. Walking Unseen Lines around the Eastern Coast of NSW and most particularly the Northern Rivers. This year, I came Home again.  Somewhere in that is hidden the thing I am looking forward to.

Its to do with walking into the local chemist, seeing his face unsure for a moment and then his mouth framing the word – Lynne – with a question mark following. I taught his boys here before I went North. My parents shopped there and my sister. Now my parents are gone and the Chemist has lost his wife and there is illness in my family – and I am home amongst it. 

I am looking forward to a Settling In.  To cupboards where cupboards are meant to be, filed with the things they are meant to contain.  To driving along and turning, as I have seen my daughter do and saying “ I love this place”.

My feet walk where they are meant to walk. I sit where I am meant to sit. I am wanting the incredible rightness of being.