Sleeping in, eating brekky (which I do not consider ever including Vegemite in any meal of the day but I guess I’m not a native) and then hopping in the Land Rover to make our way from Maitland to Newcastle. After reading about some things and being completely confused on the difference between New South Wales, Queensland, Sydney, Maitland and all the things in between, Occy gave me a brief run through as to how Australia is broken up. New South Wales is one of the 5 states (I think?) so my confusion when I was continually asking, “Let’s go to New South Wales!” was justified when I realized I’ve been in NSW all along, and I could drive 14 hours west, several hours south, north and east and be there all along. My history lessons are slowly but surely helping me comprehend things and not make too much of a fool of myself. But then we reached the beaches, and they’re breathtaking. Even though the rain was fogging up the horizon in the distance and the drops were crowding on the windows, it was easy to see that the beaches here are to die for. Nobby’s beach, Bar beach, the beach for the younger crowd, the nudist, and the families, all were broken up simply by the landscape and they went on for miles. It was picturesque even though the rain put a damper on what a setting it really is!
The drive along the beaches was topped off by the great houses lined up looking out onto the water. I’ve always wondered how privileged the individuals who own such homes really feel as they stretch out in bed, kick off the sheets, and slowly sit up to look out on the water crashing into the rocks and the sun rising to cast a warm glow on their floorboards. That would be the day, maybe some day. I’ll just sell my life away and move to Australia, hoping and praying I can find a way to make that dream a reality. Wish it was that easy!
But then it was time to grab a chai latte, splash through puddles and go shopping for the perfect attire for the upcoming Gum Ball festival. So what is an Op Shop? I asked the same question, it’s a thrift store of belongings that people have traded in over the years. But on a serious note, how come no matter which store it is, big or small, even half way across the world, these stores all have the same smell. As Occy said, “it must be a few people who have smells that just take over all the other clothes…” Strange but true. No matter the scent, there are always some incredible finds at these stores. Retro button downs, patterned wrap dresses, ruffles, studs, and shoes that I’m surprised people actually wanted to walk around in. The competition at the Gum Ball festival is to see who has the most entertaining and finest outfits on, but they must be purchased from an Op Shop, no ifs, ands or buts. All day on Saturday (this is a two-day festival from Friday evening to Saturday… all day, of about 20 or so bands that will play throughout the extravaganza) the judges will be perusing around, admiring the creativity of all those partaking.
Occy and I bustled through about 5 various Op Shops and even though there seems to be far more options for women, I think Occy’s wool accessories will keep him warm and looking dashing. Pictures will be taken to unveil the magnificence of creativity and enjoyment as all of Occy’s mates (including Dave and Jonesy- the trio is reunited!) cook out, drink, and warm their souls with some good tunes and camp fires. Camping out is underrated until things like this come along.
But after a busy day of searching through mass amounts of clothing, we headed home to anticipate the big footy match (Rugby) that evening between New South Wales and Queensland. Pizza’s were consumed, bets were placed, and I won’t lie, the game keeps you on the edge of your seat as the quick paced movements and rough tackles are always surprising. In the end, the Maroons beat the Blues (NSW lost and the Murray’s, and me, were not pleased) but there are still two games left in the series. Thank goodness Occy once again cleared up all confusion with my constant questions, but I am now an avid fan of rugby, Triple J radio and drinking at pubs.
It’s another big day of exploration and whipping out the camera to document everything along the way. If you have any suggestions on key pieces of clothing that could add to any outfit, I would LOVE to hear them. Miss and love you all, hope I can keep you somewhat entertained through these posts, but big things are yet to come…