The Mad Hatter's 'Folk' Party


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Beerwah
December 5th 2010
Published: December 11th 2010
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The following morning, Sunday, it still wasn’t very bright but at least it wasn’t raining. Graham chatted to the German couple again and, oh no, another disaster. The young girl wanted to go to the loo in the night but couldn’t undo the zipper on The Penthouse. It took her over half an hour to get out and, in doing so, she broke the zipper which then let in the rain!!! They seemed very despondent especially as they still had another month in Aus and were heading north where even worse weather was forecast. But after that they were off to Asia for several months and were sure they would have a much better time there.

At about 10.30 we set off for ‘The Mad Hatters Tea House’ where the local Landsborough Folk Club meet on the first Sunday of each month at 11:00am. We knew where it was as we had spotted it as we drove through Landsborough towards our caravan park at Maleny. We thought we would be early but, when we arrived, there were already about 6 or more people there who made us very welcome. Tables were re-arranged to accommodate even more people arriving and the number eventually reached about a dozen. There was a mixture of instruments – guitars, mandolins, melodeons, a penny whistle and a fiddle – and the ages ranged from about 18 to 80. The atmosphere was terrific. It was very easy-going and much of the first 20 minutes or so was taken up with introductions and general chat about folk music. After a while the music started and people took turns to do their stuff, progressing clockwise around the tables. Graham was third to go and he chose “Broom of the Cowdenknowes” as his opening song – one of his favourites which was extremely well received. Eventually he was to perform about 6 songs all of which fitted into the “mood” of the club perfectly. I was reminded of the two main clubs back home that Graham visits regularly – Frampton on Severn (FAF) and Quorn. Mad Hatters was extremely similar although a little different in one main aspect. As a popular café/restaurant, and the club being held between 11:00am and 2:00pm, most of the people there had ordered lunches which were delivered at varying times. We had ordered a pot of tea early on and then decided to order lunch for about 2:15pm. Alas, the message wasn’t fully understood as our lunches, together with another pot of tea, duly arrived at about 1:30pm!! Nevertheless, although Graham missed another opportunity to sing (mouth full of salmon cakes), we thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the occasion and would heartily recommend any passing “folkie” to call in for lunch on the first Sunday of each month.

Whilst we had been ensconced in the conservatory area of the tea house we were aware that it had started to rain and it got progressively worse and we even heard a few claps of thunder. The back end of the conservatory was open to the elements but no-one could sit there that day! When we left at about 2.15 it wasn’t raining quite so hard so we decided to go for a bit of a drive towards the Glass House Mountains. After a while we found ourselves in Beerwah but there didn’t seem to be too much there to look at so we drove on for some time hoping to get up into the mountains. We obviously missed a crucial turning as we ended up in Peachester. It was raining even harder by then so we decided to call it a day and head back to the caravan park. On a nice day it would have been a great little jaunt but it hadn’t quite worked out like that today. It carried on raining into the evening when another, different campervan arrived on the site next door – this time containing three poms. They seemed just as despondent as the Germans had been so we didn’t get much conversation out of them.

We’d had a relatively pleasant day despite the horrible weather and with it still pouring with rain there was nothing else to do but have an early night.




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