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As we near Narrabri, mountains seem to pop out of the acres and acres of farmland.  The cotton fields are empty (apparently they are planted in September) and the canola is coming into flower.

We are surprised to find Narrabri is quite a large town.  I guess I was expecting it to be about the size of Gilgandra (4,000 people) but it has around 12,000.  This is another town on the Newell Highway which I passed through back in the old days and didn't notice.  It's on the Namoi River.

We are going to spend a day or so here.


  1. When I was in Year 6 (6th Class), I loved Social Studies. Each week we would get out our plastic template of NSW and trace a map on the blank page of our botany boo, (mega pages). Then the teacher, John Curran, would help us to place "things" on the map. One of the features we did was highways. Another was rivers. So much fun. Then we could label them by putting a fine-nib in our holder and using our precious (home bought) individual bottles of India Ink. When that was dry, we used a corner of a blotter, to load up a colour (me being a literalist always used green), and colouring our map by rubbing the blotter back'n'forth.

    Your post, using the words Namoi and Newell, brought this vividly to mind.

    1. We did that too -- in fact I found my old mapping book the other day when I was doing some spring cleaning. Namoi and Newell were not in mine, we were more focussed on Queensland rivers and the biggies that the explorers followed, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Darling etc. Me and India ink were not a good combo … you should see all the blotches. I'm thinking of doing a timeline of all of my school books one day, I have then from Grade 2 right thru to university - nothing from Grade 1 because we used slates. Crikey I found hand written Maths lecture notes from Uni (we laboriously copied down all the stuff the lecturer wrote on the blackboard unimaginable today) and it reads like hieroglyphics, I have no idea what it means any more!

    2. Ahhh ... alas, all my exercise books have gone to their maker. We had very little at home, and as soon as school finished for the year, the boys and I would joyfully tear out all the unused pages for other projects. I have no ideas what happened to the school pages.

  2. In case you were wondering: Denman, 1960.

  3. Enjoy your stay in Narrabri. I hope you don't get hay fever from the lovely yellow canola if it is coming into flower at the moment! You may be in luck and a bit early. Just been browsing your recent posts. What an interesting trip you are having. Such character in those buildings. Makes me want to get out there.

    1. I get hay fever but have not noticed Canola making me sneeze, which is good because I love the sight of canola fields in flower.


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Is that a Coolibah tree beside the abandoned house? Every Australian knows about Coolibah trees because the bush ballad Waltzing Matilda is nigh on our unoffical national anthem but most of us live nowhere near the inland where they grow. Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong, Under the shade of a Coolibah tree, And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled, You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me. Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me, And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

The end

I retire from the workforce this week and to celebrate have decided to retire my current blogs and start afresh with a single consolidated blog -  My Bright Field  - to record the delights of my new life adventure. If you are interested follow me over there.  I will still be Sweet Wayfaring and collecting Royal Hotels.  The delights I discover along the way will appear together with my gardens and towns where I live.

But then the grey clouds gather

Mostly there was sunshine but sometimes rain. The long drought is still too close a memory for us to not welcome rain even on holiday. We are still at Shellharbour here, you can see the steelworks at Port Kembla in the distance. Musing: From The Storm by Theodore Roethke "Along the sea-wall, a steady sloshing of the swell, The waves not yet high, but even, Coming closer and closer upon each other; A fine fume of rain driving in from the sea, Riddling the sand, like a wide spray of buckshot, The wind from the sea and the wind from the mountain contending, Flicking the foam from the whitecaps straight upward into the darkness."