Now For Something Completely Different

Trip Start May 09, 2013
Trip End Jul 01, 2013

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Where I stayed
Carpark Gregory Hotel
What I did
Helen's Music

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, May 23, 2013

  Seen all we need to see in Longreach, the skies have cleared and although it's a bit cloudy the forecast is for a good day.  Fred has had to re-hitch our caravan for the first time since leaving home.  It's gone better than expected, but I would like to make the point that in most places where you free camp it's not very often that you have to unhitch, that is unless you choose to.  But beware, we have heard stories of people unhitching in free parks and asking their very nice neighbours to keep an eye on their very new van, only to find that when they returned, their very nice neighbours had taken their very new van and left them with their very old van in it's place.  Bugger!

  To day we are heading off to Winton in search of dinosaurs.  Winton is dinosaur capital of Australia, in the next couple of days I will know everything there is to know about life on earth of dinosaurs in our neck of the woods.  In the mean time, I will be content about discovering the birth of our most treasured song Waltzing Matilda.

 As usual our first stop in town was the information centre.  Bazza had a feeling that the Gregory Hotel had a car park at the rear which welcomed RV's.  That was confirmed by the nice info lady, but she did advise us that it gets booked up very quickly and that we should go check it out as soon as possible.  We walked around to the back of the hotel where we were met by a very unusual lady by the name of Helen.  She told us to go get our vans, she then told us exactly where to park, she also told us it was free to park here but a gold coin donation would be appreciated, we had free use of a hot shower and toilet and she fully expected us to show up in the beer garden at 4.30pm for her free music show.  I suspected that Helen's former profession was parking jumbo jets.

 There was no way in this wide world that we would not have turned up for Helen's Music Show.  Fred & I were a little late for the first number which was On The Road Again, I love that song.  As we approached the beer garden the singing stopped and the whistling started, I don't think I've ever heard a woman whistle that well.  Helen was plugging her CD's right after that first song and because we were such a good audience we could purchase her latest CD On The Road Again for just $15 instead of $20.  She very cleverly interwove a quiz into her next 3 songs, sadly on the last song she was rudely interrupted by a truckie who had arrived in the car park and needed direction from Helen as to where to park.  She excused herself got down off her stool went out into the car park and sorted out the errant truckie.  It was probably the most unusual cabaret performance that I have ever attended.  Bazza expressed it as a casual performance.
 Not to detract anything from Helen, when she finally returned to her stool and continued with her cabaret we did learn how our most beloved song Waltzing Matilda came about.  A Matilda is the swag that a drover or shearer carried around his neck.  In the shearing shed a shearer would throw his swag over the rafters and then grab hold of the ends and dance with it as if he was partnering a woman in a dance.  The melody was written by Christina Mcpherson words by Banjo Patterson, it all happened one weekend at Dagwood Station, a very famous property just outside  Winton.                                                                                                                                                           The song was first publicly performed at the Gregory Hotel and quickly became the most popular song sung throughout the country.  Although the story of the jolly swagman is not strictly true, all the verses relate to individual events in the area which Banjo Patterson was able to bring together to create what has become our unofficial national anthem.                                                                            

 Another most entertaining day.      
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Caz on

When I scolled down and saw the pic with Helens Music on I thought oh bloody hell noooooo!!! But it sounded like a real entertaining evening - singing with a few parking instructions thrown in has got to be a winner!

curryinahurry on

Doris you would have loved it right up your street

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