libra full moon april 06 026

Lets sit a while and yaan. Its raining again and the weather is cool again. I was enjoying the heat and the sunshine. Fleeting.

This picture is set in Bilambil in 2006. Up on the Tweed at Linden Lea. When I first moved into the little cottage on this property with the Discerning Owners, I was intimidated by the verandah and the pool and the art gallery and the Main House but by the time I left four years later, I had sat many times on that bench with various people – yaaning and thinking. I loved the heat and the warmth of the tiles on my feet. I watered flowers and sat with Doug talking of many things. One day he bought ice creams for my little girls and we were all happy.

Map picture




What: You start at the beginning and write the entire thing in sequence.


Then back down to the coastal plain, with cane fields green and lush
And all along the roadside edge, was stinkin’ boggy slush.
And on the hills, bananas grew, and mangos by the roads
And in the evenings all you’d hear, was the mating call of toads.


Brian Langley  June 2004

An end to end of 500 words. ONE TOE IN QUEENSLAND.

My natural and usual habitat is located in Urunga on the mid north coast of NSW in Australia. Now and then, something calls me away for a time. Back in the year 2001, the mountain city of Armidale called me but before long the Drunken Buddha appeared and the cold weather began and I followed him north on the train to the Tweed River.  The Tweed is the very border of NSW and Queensland.

There is a street called Boundary Street which is NSW on the Southern Side and Queensland on the Northern. The first night I stayed in a motel in Tweed Heads and then into the cockroach infested, abestos ridden flats of Coolangatta. Sister Towns on the border, those two are.  I taught at a school there. Tweed Heads Public. If you leaned on the playground fence, your head was in Queensland and your body in NSW.

I stayed there a time delighting in the Sodom and Gomorrah decadence of the Gold Coast. Noise and Lights and the Coral Sea but after a time, I returned to village life just south of the border. This time I went to the 7 street town of Tumbulgum. Into a cottage near the River. Inside the Caldera of an ancient volcano. Mt Warning sits right in the middle of the Tweed Valley Caldera. The core of the old volcano.

Tumbulgum took me into the cane fields. 3 things I love – sugar, fire and water – and I had them all. When the cane was ready for cutting, the fires were lit and burned hard and fast sending a black ash across town. We called it Condong Snow. Condong was the next village along the river.

Some days were so hot, we would walk the block and a half to the river along the flat flood plain of road and straight into the river, regardless  of sharks or spectators and once a movie was filmed there. The buildings were converted into Hawaiian scenes and we all came along and refused to drive round the back streets or be bossed about by movie people. I bought a lot of props from them. I had visions of how to line the walls of the space underneath my cottage but I didn’t get it done. The floods started to come the next year and it became very clear as to why the houses were up on stilts.  We would park all our cars over the far side of the Tumbulgum Bridge and then wade home through the water and settle in.

One New Year’s Eve, the local pub let off illegal fireworks. They went in all directions. Across the river, into the audience and up into the sky.  Summer of 2002, one day was so hot that the entire village gathered in the pub just to stay cool in the air conditioning.

Years later, I discovered that Tumbulgum was the home of my ancestors, the Bells and Mcleods back in the 1800s when they came over from Scotland. Now I have old photos and old stories to go with my own. Stories of three sisters riding their horses across the river to get to a wedding in Brisbane.

And I thought I was daring wading across the bridge !

Copy of Matildadale, Tumbulgum Mrs John Bell

Matildadale, Tumbulgum.

My Granny Bell.
12  Fawcett St, Tuymbulgum.

Road to Tumbulgum from Bilambil. Mt Warning in background. Canefields below.


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Describe your dream vacation.