It’s been an intense two months since returning from our six week trip to USA, Canada and Alaska. After hours of work, the neglected manuscript has been re-written and self-edited, and the current version submitted to the agent.
Now all I can do is wait for her opinion. Time to turn my attention to other things while I wait it out.
I finished it the evening before hubbie and I drove to Batemans Bay, about a two-three hour trip south of here. He had organised a two-day golf “tournament” for about twenty fellow residents of our village.
Playing at being supportive wife, I agreed to go with him. We booked a “pay-three, stay four night” deal at a “resort”, which in reality was like a caravan park with permanent on-site self-catering cabins. I packed the laptop into my gorgeous red bag which was a parting gift from my staff in 2005, loaded it up with lots of stuff about our trip to Canada, and set off expecting to blog solidly for four days straight.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. The internet connection was so lousy I could barely receive emails, and only then if they were straight text.
On the first morning I suffered withdrawal symptoms. Seriously! Giving me new-found empathy for those poor post-millennials who have never known a world before the internet and can’t live without it.
Around mid-morning I joined another couple for a three-hour river cruise. As we putted out of Batemans Bay, their bridge over the Clyde River had to lift to allow us under. The engineering of this rare lifting span type is fascinating to watch. I was telling my companions that I had only ever seen one other, and I couldn’t quite remember the location, but thought it was up on the northern rivers somewhere, near a cute little historic town.
When the cruise arrived at Nelligen, it was the cute little historic town of my memory! So the reason the Batemans Bay Bridge looked identical to the other one in my memory was because . . . it was the same bridge. We’d been there in February 2015, and as the weather was actually better then, I’ve used a few of our photos from that day to illustrate.
Passengers are served an optional lunch of battered fish, chips and salad on the cruise up the river, so that when you arrive at Nelligen there is around 45 minutes to explore. The settlement dates to around 1850 and many of its early buildings are gone. Interpretative boards indicate where they stood. I thought it ironic that most of the churches had been destroyed by bushfire or termite infestation.
At the top of the hill leading away from the wharf, stands one that did survive. This Catholic Church built in the late 1800s closed in the 1970s and became a private home. It has recently gone on the market, and you can find lots of photos of its interior, and a video about the area, here. This church survived a 1939 bushfire which took out its Anglican neighbour.
Up and down Australia you will find war memorials. Nelligan’s is a white marble statue of a World War One soldier with arms reversed. According to the NSW Register of War Memorials, “of the adult male population of Nelligen at the time of World War One, 32% enlisted.” It’s probable they would have all known each other, as the entire population of the area would have been around 500. Thinking the grey skies make a suitably sombre background, I’ve used my photos taken last week.
A few buildings showcase the sleepy rural nature of this area. The courthouse operated from c1893 until 1940. Pretty, isn’t it? The Post Office, c1900-1982 is a typical Australian design of weatherboard (timber) and a corrugated iron bull-nosed roof over the verandah. I wish it was a design we stuck with. Very pleasant to sit out there on a hot summer’s night, and it’s my personal belief that no house in Australia should be built without a verandah and wide eaves. (With the popularity of McMansions requiring megawatts of electricity to cool them, clearly I am in the minority with that opinion.)
The weather for the remaining days of our break was superb, and our cabin DID have a little verandah, so I happily sat out there away from any wind, soaking up the sun and reading. I finished one book and started another, all the while listening to the carolling of the magpies, the rainbow lorikeets screeching and chattering, and the high-pitched whistle of the crimson rosellas. I made some recordings hoping to include them on this blog. I’ve spent about two hours trying to work out how to transfer them from my mobile phone to the PC without success. There are sites online which do have the calls if anyone is especially interested. It’s the magpies song I love especially.
Speaking of bird life, on my walk today I saw two purple-breasted swamp hens with three recently hatched chicks in tow. Tiny little bundles of black fluff, but already learning how to peck for food. Also busy pecking were two pink and grey galahs. These silly things were trying to push through a wire fence for more forage, until they remembered they have working wings, and decided to fly over it. Nearby I heard the sweetest songbird, and was surprised when a willy-wagtail took off over my head. The sound I am most familiar with is a constant chatter. In fact, one aboriginal group call them Djiti-Djiti (pronounced Chitti-chitti). So I checked it out later and possibly what I heard was its nesting call. I’ll see if I can spot a nest on my next walk. The last to get my attention were two wattle birds calling and responding. I found this video on the internet which demonstrates the sound, and it has some interesting educational content, so I decided to include it here. This video also features kookaburras, various other birds, and a brief magpie moment. Enjoy!