In 1974, Tony and I opened the WHITE ROSE TRADING COMPANY in Urunga. We had a very old house, a big shed, and 3 shopfronts. We had dealt antiques so we has an antique shop, a secondhand barn and a bookshop in the little tumbledown skilling.
Susan and her husband had the cafe. Her Tony had been a cook in the Army in the days of conscription. Hippies in Urunga. So they thought. We were actually of a sub caste known as FREAKS. A little meaner and more hard core than your average Hippy.
A massive storm hit in the April of 1974 with major flooding. Someone dared me to go into the Lido and I did so. Naked. They were exciting times.
TONY AND ME AT THE WHITE ROSE
OUTSIDE THE WHITE ROSE
THE CYCLONE OFF URUNGA
LYNNE DRESSED UP AGAIN, I seem to have had some fine bonnets and frocks. 1954 – Dad worked all week. We still went to Nana and Poppa at Rosebery on weekends and if we were lucky, visited the Carters in Lakemba. We also went on picnics to the outskirts of Sydney and swung on swings.
AND THEN AT THE END OF THE YEAR – it was time for URUNGA and sun, sand and sea. And the swing park out the front of the OCEANVIEW HOTEL where Mum and Dad had their honeymoon in 1948.
Among the rippling waters he sits without a move,—
It is Kantjia himself who is sitting without a move.
Moveless like a boulder he is sitting;
His hair bedewed with rain he is sitting.
On the fissured rock-plates he is sitting;
On rock-plates welling with water he is sitting.
Bedrizzled with rain he sits without a move.
Western Arrernte song recorded and translated by T.G.H. Strehlow.
Its night time now. Taking my seat on the e-Bench to Yaan about the day. I am ready for a bit more sitting. I am a definite Sitter. My favourite quote bears repeating. Its my mantra. Lois W speaking of her man, Bill W :
Bill never ran when he could walk. Walk when he could sit. Sit when he could lie down “
It’s a comfort to me that one. I find passion in sitting still. I think great things can happen in Stillness. 2011 is rushing around with me in its tailwind and I am not getting a lot of sitting in. I wonder how great the contribution of the Sitter has been to the World over the years. Bill W was a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and played a part in the sobriety of millions of people. That’s not bad. Buddha seems to have SAT – a LOT. I hear tell the Findhorn Elders are sitting there on the edge of Far Northern Scotland and spreading powerful energy throughout the world. Perhaps, Sitting re-directs energies which would otherwise jumped on their horses and galloped off in all directions. Might take a Google Look and see what I can find.
SITTING MEDITATION is a big one of course.
I hadn’t thought of the possibilities of the SITTING CUSHION.
Consider also the SITTING SWING.
And for me, I like the KITCHEN TABLE WISDOM. Another SITTING Process.
Well, I didn’t think of CHIEF SITTING BULL .
He might have met a sad end but he is said to have sp0ken some wise words. e.g.
“If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, and in my heart he put other and different desires. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows.”
Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away: yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.
She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them.
Whoso seeketh her early shall have no great travail: for he shall find her sitting at his doors.
A GALLERY OF FAMOUS SITTERS
MORE FAMOUS SITTERS
AND OTHER SITTERS OF THE POSED VARIETY.
Years back, in the land of Useterbe, Urunga had a railway station with stationmaster and benches and real toilets and many other amenities, including a platform which was as long as the train and didn’t require 2 stops in order to board and alight.
Nowadays, we have this wee station as shown above. Like a lot of other places I see about, the loos are dodgy, the benches are dirty and often damaged and the pleasure of a Good Yaan is greatly diminished by the perching position to avoid grot. I’m a jeans wearer when I travel so I am not overly pernickety about what I’m sitting on but I am beginning to become disgruntled at lack of maintenance and beautification and treatment of travellers as ………. well I haven’t as yet formulated words for how travellers are treated.
The track is covered in cans and rubbish. The toilet including seat is metal. I don’t even want to hear the twaddle about the anonymous vandals who do the damage.
Paint it. repair it. Clean it up. Urunga is not exactly sin city. Pay someone to be the attendant there if needs be. Grow some plants. Treat us like people again and then we can get back to some sitting on benches and yaaning to other travellers. They could even let us book our luggage in and not have to lug bags up and over the gap between platform and carriage. I shall locate some pictures of some railway stations as they once were when People were People.
(1927, November 14). The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Railway Commissioners have been requested by the Urunga Progress Association to erect a gantry and new goods shed at the station, owing to increased traffic, also to run an excursion train at least once a month to Urunga Beach from Kempsey and intervening stations.
Now that was a classier time. Useterbe a lot classier.
Even the MORTUARY STATION was more elegant. This is the one at Rookwood in Sydney.
They used to say “ I felt as crook as Rookwood”. Well, when I go to sit on our modern railway stations, I feel as crook as.
Memorial Plague for 100 years of Belmore railway station. That was my local when I was growing up. I don’t know what shape its in now. Haven’t been back since the late 1960s.
CASINO RAILWAY STATION 2009.
THE FISH CLEANING BENCH in besser blocks and concrete.
This bench is not actually designed for sitting on despite the boy reclining on top of it. Its another tabletop bench. Note the downward angle towards the river and the tap at the top. That enables fish gizzards and blood to run directly back into the water. One of the risks is that it attracts sharks as well but it is a practical bench. Solid. Able to withstand tides and flooded waters. It adjoins the boat ramp and barbecue area.
This Fish Cleaning Bench is in Urunga on the Kalang River. Despite its being unsuitable for neighbourly seating, to does encourage casual cross generational conversation and still retains the “people facing in one direction” instead of facing one another effect and so, like other benches, it leads to a more relaxed interchange.