Hello all

We arrived yesterday at Cabarita Beach. Prior to arriving, I pictured brilliant sunshine and lazy days on the beach just as it was when we were here last November.

But, as I have said before, we don’t always get what we want! We arrived to overcast skies which led to showers overnight and now it is simply pouring with rain – constant and unrelenting! Oh well, Plan B will now go into action; not that I am in any hurry to get into ‘action’ either. It’s more a case of getting under the covers and reading.

My friend and neighbour loaned me a book “Murder at Pemberley” which I started reading last night. I have to confess I loved ‘Pride and Prejudice’: the book, the TV series and the movie and I’m sure I am going to love this book. It is written by PD James who you may know as a crime writer. From reading the cover I learn that she “combines her passion for the work of Jane Austen with her talent for writing detective fiction.”

Yes, I share her passion and I love watching TV detective fiction also so we have a lot in common. Who knows I might write crime stories one day myself! I continue to read “Murder at Pemberley” today the as rain pours down and I have become lost in the beautiful grounds of “Pemberley” the estate of Mr Darcy (remember Colin Firth playing Mr Darcy in the series: how gorgeous was he?)

Anyway, I will move on to other things but I promise that I will share some great quotes another day, so you can get a feel for the book. You will find out what happened to all the Bennet family after Lizzie married Mr. Darcy. If you’re not a fan, just skip it!

In the meantime, we have been getting things in the van ship-shape since we arrived yesterday and low and behold, I found some newspaper clippings from last year that must have been of interest to me. What a treasure trove I found. The local paper – the ‘Tweed Shire Echo’ (don’t you love that name?) is full of strange and interesting information some of which I will share but first, let me explain about this area for my overseas followers so you will understand.

Cabarita Beach is about an hour’s drive south of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. I live in the state of Queensland and Cabarita is just over the border in New South Wales. It is part of a shire which is on the Tweed River called The Tweed Shire and it is a beautiful part of the world with the waves of the beautiful Pacific Ocean rolling in on white sandy beaches.

Jealous? You should be, because it is beautiful here (as are the beaches of the Gold Coast in Queensland and even closer to where we live). But, the difference between the Gold Coast and the Tweed Shire is the type of people who frequent this area. The Tweed is made up of small beach communities and adjacent country towns’ further inland, whilst the Gold Coast is more upmarket and glamorous.

Photo taken at Yukitophia Festival last year at a town called Yuki where hippies were in abundance.

Over the years, The Tweed has attracted hippies, artists of all kind and some big name stars such as Paul Hogan and Olivia Newton-John who hide away in properties nearby. And there is a lot of alternative medicine practised here too. Therefore, you should never be surprised at what you experiences when you visit! So the local paper reflects this environment and thus my clippings were pure Tweed Magic. It could only happen here! I will dot point a few for you just to give you the feel:

  • • Become an expert cheese maker in your kitchen! ‘Mad Millie’ showing the whey with home cheesemaking kits. (This area is full of cottage industries so why not?)
    • Local Pottsville teenager has been crowned the Nightowl Pottsville Brain Chill Challenge Champion. He won by devouring a Frozen Coke in the quickest time before placing the empty container on his head! (What in the name of goodness is THIS about?)
    • An ad for Master Lui De Ming, 5th Generation inheritor of the Liu He Zi Ran Men lineage. (Oh dear, some sort of yoga or Kung Fu type thing perhaps?)
    • A column called “Dying to See You” in which ‘Mandy’ writes about The Carnivale of Life and Death at Mullum (a little town called Mullumbimby) Civic Hall on Friday and a ‘Dying to Dance’ live event with the Annual Day of the Dead at Heritage Park on Sunday. (What a thing to celebrate but the article IS hilarious).

Well folks, I hope this has given you a feel for what Geoff and I are experiencing here at Cabarita because I will be writing live from my camper van for the next week and I am sure there will be some interesting times ahead (that’s if it ever stops raining! Not to worry: the three local papers and Death at Pemberley will keep me amused anyway).

We have managed a short walk to the beach (clutching our umbrellas) where the waves were turbulent and the beach deserted except for a lone fisherman. Perhaps I can feel another poem coming on about rain?

Anyway, I must go and put on the kettle for a nice pot of leaf tea. See, we are not slumming it even if we are in a caravan. The teapot goes with me wherever I go but definitely not on board ships like our friend Carmel!

Picture the scene here: Geoff and I with the brandy liquor laced fruit cake I made yesterday and the fresh hummus Geoff made recently, drinking our leaf tea.

Until tomorrow