Thursday, August 06, 2009

small town blues...

Sometimes living in a small town makes me frustrated. I grew up in Sydney and really had absolutely no concept of the country- and I mean none- until a year before I moved here. So its no surprise that sometimes I find the smallness - well... small.

this is Bellingen from the air pretty huh?

I look at things that are happening in the city- movies I want to see, plays, Cirque de Soleil (which I swear the universe is conspiring against me to ensure I never get to see) even Brown Owls!!! ( I know - I have just sent an email out to friends to gauge interest), Ikea for all that cheap yet stylish storage stuff, restaurants that we read about in Good Living - salivating ... I could go on...

.....but then I remember why I live in a town that people visit and never leave. A town so pretty that when we are in Sydney and we tell people where we live they swoon... "I want to move there"... "its so beautiful"... it totally is... Sooooooooooo rather than complain about it I am going to show you how gorgeous it is and in doing so remind myself how much I love it...

When you feel like a swim in Summer or our very mild Winter we have the most breathtaking waterfalls and rivers and creeks and streams- the road into our town is called Waterfall Way and its beautiful... we have an area outside the main part of town called The Promised Land which the Never Never river runs through....( above left) , where there are waterholes that are so beautiful they take your breath away...

Because you can eat here and leave with a full belly having a had a great night with the gorgeous owners-there was that one time, many years ago, when I drank to much Kingfisher beer on my birthday and our friends from Sydney were up and we sang show tunes with the owners until 3am...

Because every year several thousand people come to this and it just the most amazing festival ... and everyone gets so excited and so many people come home for it... and I see these young people who were children when I arrived and they are now coming back with their partners and mates to take them to Global.... its so great I can't wait!

and this festival and this creativity in January!!
And once a month we have huge markets full of crafty goodness and organic food and everything you could possibly want or need...

Because of this amazing sight in Summer when one of the largest flying fox colonies in the world fly along the river and out across the valley and it is one of the most amazing things you will ever see!

And because in February 2003 during the Anti war demonstrations across the world I marched with my dog Zac - dressed in his no war cape- with 3000 others through the streets of Bellingen ( population 2700) and it was the most amazingly uplifting day... and we got world wide media coverage because it was the biggest demonstration anywhere in the world in comparison to population size...
Because when someone in our community dies the whole community gets together and raises money for the family... because when the most beautiful little 2 year old boy was diagnosed with leukemia and the family had to move to Sydney the community paid their rent for 6 months and held a fund raising concert and raised $20 000! ( David Helfgott lives here - he played at the concert which raised $10 000 and it was matched by an anonymous donor)
Because when we had Busy people we hardly knew left beautiful messages and gifts at Chefs work and were so excited and happy for us that it just overwhelmed me...
But mostly because I will never feel lonely - I can walk down the street on any given day and stop and chat to as many people as I like...I am part of a vibrant artistic creative community and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world.
So when are you moving?


  1. I'm living my dream job and you're living my dream place!! Looks and sounds perfect to me!! :D

  2. I agree that is a really pretty place to live. I think I would be happier just visiting though. I do love my shops being so handy. You probably have a much quieter lifestyle too, which has a lot of appeal.

  3. oh it IS BEAUTIFUL THERE! lucky you! do you have a spare room? I come with thread and buttons!
    x Pepper

  4. It does sound and look simply wonderful. Loved reading this blog. Makes me want to move!

  5. you have beautifully captured the up and down, love/hate of living in an Australian country town. But it sounds beautiful . And if you were in Sydney you would be cursing the traffic, the noise and the occasionally rude and pushy people!

  6. Oh, you're making me a bit homesick. Grew up in Armidale and every year we'd pass through several times on our way to the coast, or hikes or school trips.

    I do love Melbourne but I'm a small-town girl at heart.

  7. I have a friend who is moving to Bellingen in six weeks and you're not the only one to be asking that 'when are you moving' question...

  8. what a beautiful post! I spent late primary school and all of high school in the country (Albury/Wodonga) which I loathed at the time. I was dying to get back to the city and escape to university. Now, of course, I love nothing more than a weekend away in the country! (well the bits suitable for non-drivers that is!)

  9. I moved from the city to the bush almost 15 years ago and now dread even visiting the the city , take care .

  10. Belligen sounds postively bursting with cultural and epicurean delights compared to where I live (on a farm in western NSW 100km from the nearest small town)! But our family have decided to move on... But to where we have asked ourselves?? Well I know where I'd LIKE to go now!!

  11. Cath, what a beautiful post. I used to live in bellingen and you have just reminded me of how much I miss it.

  12. This so very much takes me back, to when we lived in Healesville, Victoria.

  13. Bellingen is special and you can trip it to Sydney any time.
    I live in Emerald Beach and recently went to sydney to see Pink. It's a mission but if their is something you really need to do or see you can do it, but then you get to come home again aggghhh!!! Fresh air.....


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