Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Driving My Sister Mad

No seriously, i was driving her.  We went home for the wedding last weekend and i drove her vehicle which she had only had for a couple of weeks.  I'm sure that by the time we reached home, after 6 hours of my singing, she was more than just a little mad (as in crazy, not angry). Mind you, the only reason she didn't join in and make it a 6 hour duet was that she had a chesty cold, and breathing was her limit.

This is not a picture of Glenda but if you click on the opening photo of the Territory and blow it up, you'll see her in the front passenger seat covering her face with her hands so that i cant take a photo from where i was standing on the other side of the road.  Being photophobic (is that a word) is another family trait.

After reaching the border of NSW we stopped in Tocumwal for lunch.

The mighty Murray River at Tocumwal.  So many family days were spent on the beaches just around the bend from this bridge.  

Ah Ha, i did get one of Glenda while her back was turned.  Now i can blackmail her that i'll remove the block.
  This Murray Cod (they really do grow this big, NOT) used to be a wishing well when we were little.  We were not well off and I was more interested in looking at all shiny money in the well than at the fish.  Who threw away money?  
 We then made our way to the next small town called Finley.

So what's the relevance of this sign?  We were both born here (all six of us actually).  When we lived here the population was 3000 so i guess after we left there was nothing left to stay for.  Ha Ha.

We had a deadline to get to Mum's before 5pm so we were making a list of things we wanted to do and see on the way back to Melbourne.  By the time we reached this spot the list had grown so big we would have needed a week to do it all. It had us laughing at the "IN" joke all weekend.  Several times we had to explain what we were laughing at when we said "we'll do it on the way back".

This is the main drag of Finley.  Its very wide because this is the Newell Highway which links with the Hume out of Melbourne, Victoria and snakes its way across the country all the way to the Queensland border before linking up with The Gore & Werrego for the run into  Brisbane.  Its the main trucking route from South to North which is 1700kms long and takes about 20 hrs to drive.  I've done that trip so many times i could do it with my eyes closed.
Half way between Finley and Jerilderie i pulled over again to take yet another photo.

So whats so fascinating about this sign? Which by the way i had to stand in the middle of the highway and dodge B Doubles to take.  My maiden name is Cartmel and this is the lane that ran along one of the boundaries of our family property.   All along this section of the highway are lanes and roads named after the families who lived there and its like a roll call of the local school classroom.  Driving this section of road always makes me sit up a little straighter and look for what, i don't know.  Do i honestly think that Sandy Close from Kinder is going to be standing there waving from the end of Close Lane as i go past?

Onward and forwards.  Its a long drive and Glenda was shaking her head wondering "What The" each time i pulled over and jumped out to take a photo of something.  As i told her, i must feed my blog, there are people out there who want to read all about our trip.  "Really" she says "Who"?  "Someone," i said!

So just in case someone wants to see an Australian Emu i told her she was on animal watch across the plains.  I don't know why i bothered because despite having to pay attention driving at 110km/hr on a rural highway it was me who spotted them in a paddock beside her.  I must admit i did pull over a little suddenly for this one but there i was once again avoiding trucks to get you, my reader, a photo of a wild Emu. Anyone can go look at one in a Zoo.

That's as good as it gets people, because for some reason they don't seem to want and say Hi to this strange being that slams her brakes whilst travelling at light speed and pulls over on the gravel, jumps out the vehicle and starts approaching holding an Iphone (even Emus know what they are) in front of her.  They were really big.

Since I'm stopped already and Glenda's patience is being tested, i took one of the other side of the road, just to really annoy her.  Look at the difference in the sky colour.  Also note how flat flat flat it is.  Is it any wonder having grown up in this land that anything over a few metres high makes my ears pop.  
I managed the last 70 km without stopping for pics and we made it to Narrandera where i spent my teenage years.

Narrandera is situated beside the Murrumbidgee River and so after crossing the plains (110km) you come across an abundance of trees. The Municipal Councils of old had some great forward thinking and lined most of the streets with Plain Trees.   100 years later and those trees are massive making great canopies of cooling green in Summer and mountains of golden leaves in Autumn.

You can see by the town population that I'm well and truly a small town girl.  That sign reads 5000 which is pretty much unchanged from when i lived there.  After a quick check in at Sam's (sister) we drove over to Leeton where Mum lives.  No photos of signs here.  We never lived here and the rivalry that exists on the sporting fields between these two towns means that its of no relevance to me and no photos will be taken.  

Unfortunately the local Koalas think that the highway bridge over the river is a pedestrian crossing and try to cross at night.  Its really awful to see them squished by the trucks the next day.  There is not much anyone can do except try and avoid them but trucks are just too big to swerve or stop.  Cant move the road, cant move the bridge and the Koalas are wild.  
I will however take show some pics from Mum's place which is For Sale if anyone is wanting a very nice home in Leeton, NSW.  I inherited my green fingers from her and her garden is lovely.  Its a bit big for her now and so its gradually being scaled down.  She did say that she would like more flowers but there is the problem of George.  Who?  Yet another family pet that went to Mum's for a "holiday" and never left.

Yes there is a dog in there somewhere.  He can see fine when he needs to locate his football.  He can play with his ball for hours and the only way to stop him is to hide it.   He's due for a groom in a few weeks but its still mighty cold at night so Mum is putting it off.  
I'm on the look out for some tall containers that George cannot excavate.  Wine barrels would be ideal but too expensive.  I'll think of something......

Look at the size of this grass tree.  Cant imagine how much it would be worth.  

These are just a few of my brother Steven's budgies.   The baby will be mauve when it has feathers.  

The things you see in the conservatory.   This is from my Dad's headstone.  Being brass it kept tarnishing so after many years Mum had it replaced and so it now lives among the orchids.  

You know all that Berri Australian Grown orange juice you find in the Supermarket.  Well it comes from here.

The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area is one of Australia's food bowls.  All your SunRice products come from this area and much is exported to Japan.  You know that pickle in your Maccas that you throw out (which technically stops it from being confectionery it has so much sugar), it comes from Griffith just down the road. So many Australian grown products come from here so keep buying that Aussie product.

There was only really one more sign that i took on the way to the wedding last Saturday.  As we passed i jumped out in my wedding finery, yet again parked on the roadside gravel leaving Mum wondering "What The" (though I'm sure she's never heard of that expression).

This is where i worked for the first 5 years of my working career at the Pig Improvement Company.  Yes, intensive pig breeding.  I worked in the office people, not the sheds which were 5km out of town in a quarantined area.
So, after the Wedding Sat night, a much needed rest and a Farewell Big Breakfast, Glenda and I made our way back to Melbourne on Sunday.  Yes, I drove again, but was surprising not so vocal and no photos taken.  Did we do anything on our big list?  Nope, we just laughed and said we'd do it next time.  Maybe in November as we head back for Ashley's wedding.  I think we should allow more days.
Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz


  1. Tell Glenda that you grew up neighbouring the stomping ground my my mum and so I want to see the photos. Mum was born in Hillston (well, dunno if that is literally but she and her twin brother, and younger twin brothers, all lived there til Mum was 6 when they moved to Griffith for 6 months (Mum hated it) before migrating a little further to Ariah Park. She then moved to Melbourne to be married. They spent their wedding night in Narrandera. :)
    I love seeing photos from up that way. Reminds me of every set of school holidays and every second Christmas when I was young. Heck, I can nearly smell the peppercorn trees, the hot baked summer dust and well, the Bidgee. I've crossed the Bidgee hundreds of times, although usually at Wagga. :)

  2. Great photos Lynda! Where will your Mum live when the house is sold? My Dad would be envious of her lovely orchids. Sounds like it was a top weekend.

    1. If (and thats a big IF) it sells then she will buy a another home in Narrandera where she is close to family and our church. Steven lives with her so it will need to accommodate him as well.

  3. They are interesting photos, Lynda. As a child I used to travel to Melbourne by bus every couple of years in the 1950s to visit my sister. I am not sure what highway we would have travelled on from Queensland. I love the first photo of your sister in the car! She probably doesn't understand a Blogger's need to take photos of anything that moves (or doesn't) LOL!

  4. Great post Lynda. Sounds like it was a nice trip down memory lane.

    I get teary when I return to my old stomping ground, but I am a big sook :)

    I know what you mean about taking photos for blogging. I do this a lot! I don't always get to do a post though to show them. I am amazed at the photos I want to take these days, things that would never have gained my attention before blogging came about. I know I appreciate the very simple things in life now, and always take photos :)

    I am guessing George's breed may be a spoodle as my daughter has one just like him. She keeps him clipped which makes him appear very different. He looks so cute with all that fur :)


    1. Im not sure about the breed either but my mother keeps telling me its wool not fur so he must be a spoodle. I would have like me to be clipped early and have a coat but my mum is a pensioner and $50 groom is a lot. I offered it but she said that he was booked in next month and that it was too cold at night to be clipped. Glenda & I filled her freezer instead (secretly, she wont find out till she goes to get something out) and a few toiletries and laundry items. She's so frugal that this will last for ages.

      I sometimes wonder whether my simple photos are of interest to anyone else.

    2. LOL George should be clipped not ME. I already had a hair cut the week before.


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