With the wedding done and dusted, it was time for a bit of sightseeing and relaxation.
We’ve camped at Edith Falls before and loved it. It’s approximately 90kms north of the farm, and as Nikki hadn’t as yet been there we figured it’d make a good day trip. It’s in a National Park, so Mr Tilly had to stay behind. We figured he’d be okay inside the house with the air conditioning running (how wrong we were – more on that later).
There’s a camp ground, a day use area, a kiosk, the lower area and another top area. The top area is accessed by a hiking track and has a beautiful swimming hole to cool off in after the hike I seem to remember from our last visit. This visit wasn’t about hiking though, it was about relaxation, so we stayed at the bottom pool.
Paul managed a quick dip, Kelvin dipped a toe in the water proclaiming it too cold, and Nikki (a non-swimmer) stayed clear of the water altogether. I though, couldn’t resist a chance to freshen up with a good cooling swim, and set out for the water fall. I’m not the swimmer I used to be so took it slow, with a few little rests on the way.
There were lots of birds and lizards including this little wavy lizard – if you’re quiet and can get close enough he lifts his front leg and seemingly waves at you. I loved the little Zebra Finches too.
On the way home we called into the Katherine Hot Springs, a favourite place for locals, tourists and backpackers.
Theres a lot of work being done in the surrounding areas of the Katherine springs to upgrade the area, so I look forward to seeing how it all turns out on my next visit to Katherine.
It was nice to get out and relax after such a hectic week. Clearly though, Tills hadn’t been happy at being left behind. He had tried to get out, ripping the floor vinyl near the door in the process. Oh dear! In fact, he wasn’t very well behaved on the farm at all. He ran wild chasing birds and butterflies and wouldn’t respond at all when we called him – and now he had destroyed the flooring. What to do with him! I don’t know – clearly some serious training is needed. He needs to be adaptable in the different situations our future planned travel is going to be taking us. Mmmm – wish us luck on that one!
As is often the case, nerves made it difficult to get good photos during the service. As is also the case at most weddings, some time was set aside away from the guests and pressure of the wedding just to have some fun and try to get some good photos. Paul was the photographer.
We arrived in Venn, 25kms south of Katherine on Sunday afternoon, five days before the marriage was to take place. Initially the only people that were going to be in attendance was to be Kelvin & Dara, Paul and myself, and the celebrant. I think Kelvin was concerned that if he started inviting friends to a wedding, then a wedding was going to be expected, and a wedding means money, an expense not wanted at this point of time in the newly-weds lives.
Katherine is a small town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It’s located ‘just down the road’ from Darwin, that’s ‘just down the road’ by Australian outback standards, which can mean virtually any distance you can get to on a full tank of fuel.
If you’ve read my last blog you’ll be aware that I’ve stolen a new word from Jonno and Jo-anne who write a great blog called Jwalking. They invented the word Missmas for their Family Christmas celebrations, which for various reasons, aren’t usually celebrated on Christmas day.
When we lived in Perth we always celebrated Christmas Day with our Perth family (all four of them).They celebrated Christmas with the other side of their family on Christmas Eve. I’m sure it was always a bit exhausting for them, as it is for most people who have two sides of their family all wanting a share of their time during the festivities. Alice, Paul G and the two grandees always spread themselves around without complaint, but I’m sure it became easier for them when we hit the road back in 2014.
We’re no longer on the road and have re-settled approximately three hours south of where our daughter lives. They spend their Christmas day however they choose, and a day or two later come down this way. We get to have our family celebrations a little after the 25th December, which thanks to Jonno and Jo-Anne, will from now on be called our ‘Missmas’ celebrations.
We start off with drinks. This year Paul treated us all to pre-dinner cocktails. In case it gets confusing – There’s two Paul’s. My Paul who is just plain Paul, and Alice’s husband Paul G (Green).
Then onto the gift opening ceremony.
We did justice to the grazing table with repeated visits to replenish plates over several hours. In between times we told the usual corny Christmas cracker jokes, and played a couple of new Christmas games.
The first game this year was one called, Fake News. Two news events are read out, one is real, the other fake, and the contestants have to choose which is the real news item.Then with replenished drinks we moved outside for a game of Jenga. What a great game that is. I think the photos will be self explanatory.
Some people love Christmas, some people don’t. We’re lovers of Christmas and everything that goes with it. All of the Commercial and hedonistic practices, all of the glitzy and tacky decorating, all of the shopping for pressies and feasting….. Our house is always decorated as soon as we reasonably can, usually around the 1st December. Menus are decided, and the food lists made well in advance. Whether we celebrate Christmas, or Missmas together with our family, the effort put into preparing for the day is never to much trouble. That’s how it is in our household, and I know it’s the same at Alice’s place. Fortunately, the grandees are now young men, and guess what – they love Christmas too. How lucky are we! What’s Christmas like at your place?
Our friends, Kaye, Brian, and Ken, as well as Paul and I, have all recently had, or are shortly going to have our birthdays. Additionally, Beth is going to be celebrating a milestone birthday in September whilst we’ll be away. What better way to celebrate birthdays that fall in autumn (and spring) than to share a picnic amidst the tall trees of our favourite Boranup Forest.We found a lovely private spot in the campground with a fire pit still warm from the previous occupants. It didn’t take Brian long to find some twigs and get the fire burning again. There’s a fabulous wood heap provided only a short walk away, so once the twigs were flaming away, a few logs were added. Although it wasn’t cold, the day was overcast so the fire added the perfect touch.
We all shared the catering bringing a share of the picnic fare – Hot beef rolls with coleslaw, a glass or two of wine, and coffee or tea with cupcakes for after.
After lunch the walk track beckoned. A quick stop at a local tavern for a drink on the way home topped off a perfect day. Good friends, Boranup Forest, a shared meal, a couple of drinks and birthdays to celebrate – what a pleasure!
You may remember previous posts in relation to Perth’s up and coming band, Raksha, (our youngest grandson is one of the founding members). Several of the members of the band stayed with me early last year whilst they were competing in the Busselton Battle of the Bands competition. They won.
Since the Busselton Battle of the Bands they’ve added several more accolades to their name. The competitions I’m aware of that they entered and won last year are:
Good Shepherd Battle of the Bands
Flyrite Band Comp
Last year also saw the release of their first EP titled Emerald. They’re going from strength to strength on the Perth music scene, and are now topping the bills at some events.
Last week a new single was released, ‘Feel it again‘, which is now available on Spotify, iTunes and Google play. It’s good – I do hope you’ll have a listen. Shortly they’ll be releasing another single,my favourite of all their songs ‘Mindless Consumption’. And a further EP is due for release soon.
Tim from timgreenfilms.com.au considers himself lucky to have been asked to make a couple of videos of the band surrounding this latest release. There’s some footage in the videos on Tim Green’s site taken in the recording studio. The band clearly enjoyed the recording, and it’s worth taking a look to see some of the recording process…..
For this blog post on the band I’ve decided to predominantly focus on the Bass player, Clint Barrett.
Following a gig on the week-end Clint posted the following on social media,
“Yet again another gig that tops the lot. The view from the stage last night was simply incredible. Being able to see the smiling faces of friends in between the blinding phone torches, to the fist pumps and whistles……..
Then he goes on to state,
“A night I will always remember. Seriously I’m going to be doing this for as long as I possibly can! Nothing can ever beat the feeling of being on stage with these beautiful people.
Then Clint thanked all of Raksha’s supporters, and stated that, It’s changed his life!
So much enthusiasm from a such a dedicated and talented young musician was enough to inspire me to add my own praise and acknowledgments of this particular member of Raksha.
Clint started playing guitar at five, but Bass is his passion. He plays to his audience by experimenting with certain beats, and finds he can get the audience dancing in different ways. He also played sax for eight years, but admits to not having picked that up in a while. Myself, being a lover of jazz, hope to one day see Clint introducing a bit of Sax, or/and double bass to Raksha’s repertoire. Indeed, there’s already a little bit of jazz that often creeps into their songs.
He’s currently studying for his final year at Uni for a degree in Mechatronic Engineering. I believe that’s his fall back plan – Music is his first love.
Apart from studying for his degree, and giving his all to Raksha for rehearsals, gigs and recording time, Clint also plays in the Metro Big Band on the WA circuit. Additionally, he does some blues shows with a few of the oldies around Perth. Some of the names that have come up you may be familiar with: Roy Daniel and Ace Follington, (rhythm section – Dave Hole, Richard Clapton)…
The Metro Big Band consists of several honours graduates from the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). I believe that they, along with Clint on Bass, will shortly be doing an Ella Fitzgerald tribute night at the Ellington Jazz Club.
So, as you can see Clint is no numpty. He’s enough ‘smarts’ to be studying for his degree, and he plays a variety of instruments in a variety of styles. He plays well. He’s talented, and dedicated to his music, but as all successful musicians will attest, a bit of luck is also needed to hit the big time. I do hope that bit of luck comes Clint’s way.
I’ll be adding some more posts soon on Raksha. I’m not quite sure what their style is – they’ve entered and won competitions in all sorts of styles from folk to gozzy rock (whatever that is). They write all their own music and lyrics. They’re a talented bunch who sometimes include circus tricks in their performances (the band was originally formed by three members attending a circus school). Their lead singer, Amber Skates, has a passion for musicals, and can include playing the lead of Maria in a Perth production of, The Sound of Music amongst her resume. Several of the members have been accepted into WAAPA, so their musical talent is by no means ‘garage only’ stuff.
I think they’re pretty good. I hope you’ll take the time to have a listen to their latest release, Feel it Again, by Raksha on spotify, iTunes or google play. I know a lot of my readers are from an older generation, and Raksha’s style may not be to your liking – in which case I hope you’ll introduce your youngsters to them. Let me know what you, or they think?
Our little Summer House was bursting at the seams as the year drew to a close. Our three bedrooms were full. The garage was turned into a makeshift fourth bedroom, we had a tent for two in the side garden, and two swags in the back garden. Including ourselves, we had twelve people staying here during the peak, which may not sound a lot. In a small, apartment sized house though believe me when I say, it was definitely a full, full house.
The first arrivals from the UK were the Moase Clan patriarch and matriarch – Margaret and Geoff, (Margaret is Paul’s first cousin). Next to arrive were the Aussie branch of the Moase clan. Christopher, (Paul’s first cousin once removed) with Clare and their two children, Luka and Emma, who, if my research is correct, are Paul’s cousins twice removed.
And after Christmas dinner the obligatory charade games.
Boxing day and the rest of the family guests started to arrive. Firstly, Alice and Paul (Green), and shortly after, number 1 grandson Tim. Number 2 grandson, Josh, couldn’t make it till the next day – (he, along with the rest of his band, Raksha, were concluding the recording of their second EP)
With us all together, the beach seemed the obvious place for a big family day. So, with canoes, a beach shelter, chairs and a beach game loaded into the cars we headed down to Sandy Bay.
It was whilst we were out to dinner one night that Clare made the mistake of asking what relationship everyone was. Clare doesn’t know me well enough yet to know that such an enquiry will result in yours truly (me) researching the topic to find out. It’s very complicated…….
Alice and Christopher are (if I have this right) second cousins. Tim and Josh are, I think, third cousins to Luka and Emma. Luka and Emma are cousins twice removed to Paul (Riley), and Tim and Josh are cousins twice removed to Margaret. And if you understand all that, you’re doing damned well……
I think I speak for us all when I say we all had a wonderful time. Everyone pitched in and did their bit to help. It’s the first time the two younger generations have met, and they all seemed to enjoy getting to know each other, and seemed to get on well enough. I’m sure it won’t be the last time they get together (especially now they have had their place in the family tree explained to them….)