Hello all

It was one of those glorious winter day’s in Brisbane today. The Sunshine State we call it when the weather is beautiful … but when it is overcast and cold as it was yesterday, we denigrate it and make fun of the so-called ‘Sunshine State!”

But not today dear friends.

The sky was the clearest of blues. It was cool in the shade but inside the car with the sun shining in on us, we felt as if we were in the warm bosom of Mother Earth as we set out for the Ukulele Festival on the bay, a 3o minutes drive from us.

You see, our grandson Isaac (4) loves his ukulele and plays like a champion but at the moment two strings have broken, so while he waits for Grandad to restring it, he has taken to  a new fangled toy guitar in the shape of a dog. I kid you not … a dog! see it here http://www.amazon.com/Battat-68643AM-B-Woofer-Guitar/dp/B004Z0VVEK)

Isaac plays both the ukulele and the dog guitar with such great rhythm that Geoff thought he might enjoy the Ukulele Festival. Unfortunately we forgot about it and so, on the spur of the moment, we thought that we would go and have a look for ourselves. Perhaps we’ll take him next year.

Oh, if only it was as simple as we thought it would be!

There were a number of problems, the most important being: where exactly was the location of the festival? Two hours and much frustration later, we had not found the Ignite Ukulele Festival!

We stopped and asked people walking along the footpath …. they had no idea.

We tried the festival’s website via my phone … the website was down.

We drove around to every park where we saw lots of soccer, tennis and football … but no Ukulele Festival.

Finally, we found a large sign saying “Ignite Ukulele Festival” giving a website but no address where it was being held! Considering their website was down, this was of no use.

The Circus

The Circus

We found a large circus at the Showgrounds complete with animals …. but still no music.

We found a hall nearby with noise emanating from it … but when I went in I heard a band playing, practicing for a Band Concert at 1.30 pm. We promised to come back if we didn’t find the festival.

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In desperation and realising that we were having an adventure that we had not planned on having , we saw some street markets in the town, parked and thought we’d look at the markets.

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As we ducked and weaved between stalls and into shops selling all manner of things including owls,  buying some vegetables  and tasting food at food stalls. our thoughts were as far away as they could be from music festivals. We’d long given up that idea … and then as we neared the end of the markets we heard music …


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…ukulele music in fact! There at the end of all the markets, was a very small area and a very small sign which said: Ukulele Festival. And gathered around this area was a group of very excited people enjoying the ukulele playing that was going on.   

Finally … two hours after setting out, we had inadvertently come across The Ignite Ukulele Festival!

Alleluia! We’d hit the jackpot!

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Geoff and I had no trouble in finding a seat … I wonder why? Perhaps everyone was like us and couldn’t find out WHERE the Ukulele Festival was being held! I ended up meeting a few of the ukulele players and as I told them about my grandson they offered to send me some information on where he can learn to play properly. And they were kind enough to pose for a picture for me.

We had managed to see the last 45 minutes of the Ukulele Festival. The last act was a coming together of all the ukulele players whilst they sang a couple of tunes. All of the audience joined in enthusiastically. I was pleased to see some children playing amongst all age groups of adults.

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When the Festival closed around 12.45 pm Geoff and I headed off to find something to eat. Fish and Chips at the trendy  hotel nearby were far too expensive so we headed for a pie shop across the road and were soon eating a chunky pepper pie with mushy peas outside the pie shop. Here is my pie with one mouthful well and truly gone! Yummy! I’m not sure if we were just starving from all our adventuring or the pie really was the most delicious pie we’d ever eaten, but it sure tasted good.

Oh well, looking for a festival that didn’t want to be found proved to be rather interesting dear friends. We even met a few people who we ended up having a wonderful chat to and we did go back to see if the Band Concert had begun but when we saw the entry fee, we thought better of it and headed for home for a cup of tea and a slice of the beautiful big Banana Cake I had bought at the markets …