…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane - The Wide Brown Land 11

The Pimple Passes - (newly arrived?  You'll get more out of this if you go back to the beginning… honestly, you'll enjoy the ride!)

In Sydney we had first to make sure we got a place at YHA.  Having tried to book ahead, we were advised to rock up at 5pm - first come, first served scenario.  They are so busy, you'd think they'd need to organize it more, but I suppose the point of the youth hostelling system was to ensure anyone can get a bed without such requirement.

Anyway, it was concerning, for Sydney is a much bigger and scarier prospect than any of the places we had visited thus far.  Especially in that travellers' end of the city, which also attracts a lot of the less fortunate inhabitants.

However, we were fine.  We had to stay for two nights.  We arrived on the 17th December and on the 18th, we were to meet up with my parents.

Have I mentioned them yet?

Oopps.  So busy with the flying coaches I omitted that bit of info I think!!  At pretty much the same time as Aitch and the Sceptical Tourist Fishy (STF) were planning the big adventure, STF's ma and pa emigrated to OZ due to father's being required for project management and tender.  He was a senior electrical engineer with a large corporation which builds the pylons carrying power across the globe.  I grew up under those.  Which may explain a bit…

Anyhow. It was a matter of fortunate timing that we had somewhere to stay for our final two weeks - only it was not as straight forward as I just made it sound.

First, no mobile phones or internet;  these were the days of public phone booths requiring supplies of large multi-edged coins known as the 50c bit.  20c was okay for the local calls, but the folks were not in Sydney, y'see.  They were out in the back lots of New South Wales (NSW).  A country town by the name of Rylstone to be exact.   We had to let them know we were safe and make arrangements for connection

Whilst we waited for Tuesday, what do you suppose we did?

Yup.  Museums and art galleries.  Fabulous places.  Also lots of shopping and eating and going down to the sea.  My brother, Mac3, was going to be arriving on Tuesday morning, which is why we had the wait.  Parents arrived late on Monday night and collected him early from the airport. 

Google images
Then the long drive out west.  This involved going up and over the Blue Mountains, so called due to the haze which rises from the eucalypts.  STF was captivated by the countryside.  And the birds.  Oh the birds.  Mountain Lowry, Rainbow Lorikeet, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Galah, …… twitcher's Heaven!!  Being rurally minded (remember right back at the beginning?), to finally see sheep and cattle brought a flutter to the heart.  It turned out, too, that the parent's house was pretty much slap bang in the middle of a group of paddocks, so every morning there was livestock to view.
image copyrighted to Ms HMR - the home in the field

The Bridge Inn, Rylstone
Google images
I may have quipped about Proserpine, but Rylstone really IS a one-horse town!  Main street.  Half dozen side streets.  Scattered dwellings in bunches round and about.  It is actually very pretty, with the Cudgegong River passing by, lined with sweeping weeping willows, plus many heritage listed buildings.  Well over a hundred years old, most of them.

...what?  Well, that is old for Australia!!

The nearest 'big' town being Mudgee (where you may be able to find three horses), Rylstone is in the middle of a great tourist area - lots of wineries and olive groves and specialist food growers of various types have found the area productive.  That was all in its infancy when Aitch and I visited - but dad made sure we went to a winery or two.  Then there was Mount Conobolas, where they nearly lost STF from the top due to wind-force (flashbacks of the Uluru incident!); the Jenolan Caves and the Three Sisters look out; a day on a sheep farm for STF - (yaaay, I got to help with the clipping and dipping!!!!).  The Dunns Swamp  visit, (which is actually more like a reservoir), was memorable for a number of reasons:
  • It was idyllically placed in eucalypt forest ('the Bush') and had many cliffs along its sides.
  • The sound of bellbirds and parrots was about all to be heard - if you could get far enough away from the barbecue party, that is.
  • Voices carried forever on the still and secret air.
  • We were the guests of a local 'big man' who had a motor boat.
  • Not happy with that he also had water skis.
  • ............8{}
Dunns Swamp, Rylstone - Google Images
So picture this;  'big man' was a big drinker.  He liked to drive fast.  That included the stink boat.  He especially liked to drive fast with someone in tow.  And he liked to play chicken with the rock walls on the other side of the water.

STF?  Somehow she couldn't find her ski-feet.  Shame, eh?

The disturbance of the peace didn't last that long because most folk turned out to be water-phobics and unseaworthy.  Thus we settled down to quiet murmurings and watching the most amazing sunset.  There had been a few on the trip, but this one somehow stole the spirit away.

STF knew in that moment that she would be returning to OZ.

Stormy day at Terrigal - copyrighted to YAM
First though, there was the leaving of OZ.  Not directly from the parents as it happened.  You'll recall we began our trip with a visit to friends of Aitch's mother in Perth - and that there had been mention of other friends, also ex-Suffolk, on the East side of the island?  So it was that my parents ferried us back to Sydney to link up with the couple and their son who drove us up to their holiday home on the NSW Central Coast.  Terrigal is the land of the wealthy.  We were wined and dined and had a marvelous 'sleep-over'.  These folk had been fortunate in their farming choices.  Big land owners up in the Central West of the state, mainly wheat crops, but also cattle, life had been very good to them. 

Next day, they drove us back to the City and out to the airport.  It was time to let the pimple of the Earth fall behind us.   As the wide brown land passed away beneath, even at 30,000 feet  STF could make out the deep red heart and the ridges and deserts and felt its call.  This was not all.  There would be more.

Thus ended the beginning...

Oh one last thing.  All that stuff about hating water from Aitch? Well, it WAS Christmas Day!
image copyrighted to Ms HMR

Thank you all my dear readers who followed every day of this tale with me (and Aitch of course!)  This is a memoir blog after all and it has been enormous fun revisiting some of the hilarious and sometimes precarious moments from another century. 

Bits'n'bobs postings again for a wee while - so you can catch your breath!

YAM xxx


  1. The Blue Mountains look amazing. And I am remembering the smell of eucalyptus forests.
    Cheers, Gail.

  2. It's sure been fun.
    (I was never good at water-skiing, either, although I enjoyed it for a while before I fell.)
    Still looking forward to hearing about you emigrating to Oz, but now that I know your parents were there, I'm getting a bit of a clue.
    Luv, K

  3. I enjoyed following around our country it was great fun.

  4. Hari Om
    Bertie/Gail - oh yes, it's one of the most wonderful smells ever! the Blue Mts are amazing - you'd love them!

    Kay - you'll have noticed the love was forming long before we got to the parents - they didn't figure in decisions at all...and wisely made no arguments!! Hmmm - keen for more? Eventually...

    Merle - Thank you - I am glad that so many did drop by (even if not commenting) - it seems to have been popular. Magic of OZ I s'pose!!!

    Hugs all YAM xxx

  5. Hari Om, Yam! I've been dipping in and out of this (poor reading habits, I'm ashamed to say), so I'll have to go back and read it through. I saw the blue mountains on a very overcast day, but would love to go back with my camera and some sun! Indigo x

  6. Hari OM
    Hey Indigo! Indeed, mountains shine in the sun - but the Blues can be pretty moody in the cloudy stuff - some of my best times were in foggy bush. Best leave that story for late nights....


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