Month: October 2012

The festival and the mighty town of Dungog

God, it’s exciting descending on a town you’ve never been to before full of pre-festival jitters. It’s been so long since my last one, I’d forgotten what it’s like; walking up to the gates surrounded by people in lots of weird and wacky get-up, all itching to let the fun begin.

There was something just a little different about this musical spectacular, though. We were in Dungog for Mumford & Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road festival and it just so happened to coincide with an absolute scorcher of a day. Not a cloud in the sky, nor a drop of moisture in the earth and a balmy 38 degrees celsius all around.

Instead of walking into an arena full of bearded hipsters jostling for poll position in front of the stage they were all huddled quietly under trees. It was all very unexpected and very odd.

A sort of mollified silence had descended on the festival as people battled it out for what little shade there was. In a flash I was taken back to my days growing up on the farm, when I’d drive past a dusty paddock on a stinking hot day and see a cotton wool ball of sheep gathered under a eucalyptus.

Then, slowly, as the sun became less ferocious, the festival spirit started to wake from its slumber. The chatter became louder, the dancing more spirited and then, at the end of the day, this happened…

Mumford & Sons, going OFF!
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Mother Nature and her quirky blessings

Mother Nature gets a bad wrap, I think. We’re all so quick to use her name in vain when things get a little wild, but I reckon there’s a reason for the crazy stuff she does sometimes.

Yesterday, I think I may have discovered some of the method in her madness.

After what seems like weeks of wall to wall sunshine and warmth, a day of murky, damp weather finally descended on Sydney. The migration of beach-goers who’d crept out of hibernation a little early to make their summer nest in the sands of Bondi quickly fled back to their hiding places.

It was heaven. The beach was blissfully deserted.

Seeing my chance, I took advantage of the abandoned pavements and enjoyed a jog along Bondi’s coastal walk, free from dodging enraptured tourists stopping abruptly to take photos.

On the way home I hit a wall of wind. Not a gentle breeze that lets you imagine you’re in one of Beyonce’s music videos by gently tussling your hair, but a proper gale.

Usually I’d retreat to shelter as fast as my ASICS trainers and dodgy knees would carry me, but, for some unexplained reason, it was just so damn pleasant standing on the headland surrounded by grey skies, churning ocean swells and drizzling rain.

For a few glorious minutes, I stood facing the ocean quietly revelling in the sweeping gusts of wind that snatched all my cares and worries out to sea with it. Then, as if in reward for venturing out to appreciate one of her dodgier masterpieces, Mother Nature offered up an amazing sight – a pod of whales stupidly close to shore started fooling around and breaching all over the place.

It. Was. Awesome.

When Mother Nature turns on the sunshine we’re all quick to get out amongst it. But I think it’s when she’s having a bad day and just needs to get some things off her chest that she has some of her best moments.