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Published: September 3rd 2011
Day 6 Saturday 27th Aug
After packing and re-packing a few times, we were finally ready for our next trip. We got up nice and early to check out and make our way to the train station to catch the 10.05 am train to Tamworth. After checking in our baggage, we found our seats and settled down for the 7 hour journey north.
The change in scenery was fascinating as we travelled from the city and into the countryside. We passed through mountians and forests, passed lakes and farmlands and little towns. We even saw kangaroos at the side of the tracks at one point. With so much to see the hours slipped by and we arrived in Tamworth at 4.15pm in the rain. We met James who is a friend of Ifan's from his last visit here, and he took us back to his house to meet his wife Sharon, and kids; Thomas, Emelyn, Jessica and Henry, and Rosie the dog. We managed to talk for 4 hours until James gave us a lift to the farm where we were to stay with Robert and Julie. After a lot more talking and dinner we finally got to bed
Tamworth 2011 1331
here's looking at you kid!
at 11.00pm in our own room at the back of the house.
Day 7 Sunday 28th Aug
So our first day at the farm and Ifan decides to get up at 6.30 am and disappear for most of the morning! I got up at a more realistic 10.00 am, showered and had brekkie by which time Ifan came in, already dirty in his work clothes to explain he'd been out helping Rob with the cattle. We helped take some cows and steers up to the top paddock up behind the house on the motorbike, and this gave me a chance to have a look around the place. The farm and surrounding area is beautiful. Acres upon acres of land dotted with trees, stretch out far and wide until you get to the mountains standing hazy and blue. Apart from the calls of birds, bulls and frogs (at night) there is no other sound and, at times, I can even hear the ticking of my watch. The house is big too, like a rabbit warren, and has 4 or 5 bedrooms, office, lounge area, kitchen and veranda area.
After sorting the cattle out, we whizzed back down to
the farm where Julie had come back from running errands in Calala. She let us borrow the car so Ifan could show me around Tamworth. Tamworth is the Australian Country Music Capital and home to the largest Country Music Festival in the Southern Hemisphere, so there is a definite country feel to the area. However, the city/town is large and offers everything you could need for your stay here. It offers a nice mix of country and general stores, bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants, take-aways, fast food outlets and your general retail complexes and industrial estates. It also offers plenty of things to do, be it nature trails, adventure activities such as paragliding, canoeing and horse riding, fossicking - the region has a rich gold mining history stretching back to the 1850’s and food and wine where there is an abundance of top quality local produce.
Here's a good link for those of you who would like more information:
So after having a quick look round the main shopping street and grabbing a bite to eat, we had a quick look at the surrounding areas such as Dungowan and Nundle and also had a look up at
Chaffeys Dam, a little north of Nundle. This year the water content of the dam is pretty good and a few people were taking advantage with speed boats!
With the day passing slowly we stopped off at James's house again for a quick beer and chat and made our way home for homemade quiche courtesy of Julie. After a call from home and little bit of TV (which is quite terrible over here!) we headed to bed.
Day 8 Monday 29th Aug
Ifan started work with James today so was up again at 6.30 am. I spent the day catching up with emails and sorting out pictures (which took about 4 hours!) and then took a walk up to the top paddock to take more pictures. Ifan was home by 5.00 pm and so we took the motorbike up to catch the sunset on camera. Julie had gone out to see a friend and Rob was delivering hay so we had the house to ourselves. We ate spag bol in front of the TV watching Rhod Gilbert on DVD. By 9.30 pm Ifan was ready for bed but I stayed up for a while talking to Julie.
Day 9 Tuesday 30th Aug
With Ifan working it was time for me to start the hunt for jobs so I headed out to town with Julie and her friend Kath. I met Kath's 4 crazy corgis and golden retriever, and then we spent the morning car hunting (with plenty of haggling) and shopping. We had a bit of thunder and brief heavy rain at this point but it didn't last that long. The afternoon was spent trawling the local newspaper for job adverts, updating my CV (or Resume as it's called here) and writing covering letters ready to distribute the next day.
Day 10-12 Wednesday 31st Aug - Friday 2nd September
These few days were quiet and spent mainly job hunting in town and over the internet. Officially Spring has now started here - 1st of September is Spring Day and on this day we saw and heard a blackbird singing in Kath's garden :0) Apart from the brief thunder and rain on Tuesday, the weather has been lovely with bright blue skies and sunshine. It gets quite warm around 1.00 - 3.00 pm - enough to put the air con on in the car,
and it's always bright enough to need sunglasses.
Yesterday (Friday 2nd September) Rob was away delivering hay again and after doing the usual round of dropping Resumes in at places, Julie and I gathered supplies for the farewell BBQ for the 2 Swansea backpackers. We bought a huge piece of fresh 'blue eye' fish and a kilo of prawns from the fish man (who comes up from the coast on Fridays), bought steak and sausages from the butchers and a few other bits and pieces from the food store. After setting up some seed feeders in the front garden (we have 3 conifer trees full of nesting sparrows at the moment) we brought the BBQ up to the house and gave it a good clean. It was also my mothers birthday so as soon as it was nearly 8.00 am back home I sent a text to wish her a good day (Happy Birthday Mam!xx). I then prepared the fish (butter, garlic and dill, with fresh lemon all wrapped up in foil) and the salad, while Julie sorted out and started cooking the meat. By 7.00 pm, Ifan had come home and the 2 boys were knocking at the
door so we all sat down and ate and swapped tales until about 10.00 pm.
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