a picture my son drew of a wave on a beach

MNC ­Revisited

tagged with: #travel #sawtell

I am nearing the end of a brief trip in which I revisited the Mid-North Coast.

Here are a bunch of snaps I took when driving through my old home. I sent them to my pal MJD to share in my bitter-sweet memories and cynicism.

an Australian regional supermarket loading dock in a rain drenched car park
This is a picture of the Coles Loading Dock.

I am sure MJD spent many an hour in the vicinity of the Coles Loading Dock. He eventually succeeded in working to escape the orbit of Toormina. Akin to avoiding a blackhole.

I often cycled past the same place on my way to work or Uni. A fellow I know once cycled his bicycle into the back of a parked car here whilst being attacked by one of our aggressive Aussie magpies.

The Backdoor
Toormina Gardens, the gateway to a bunch of shops.
Don't let the leafy exterior fool you, the doorway leads to a vacuum of life

I did my groceries here for 15 years. The highlight was watching some monks destroy an intricate mandala on the floor surrounded by bemused shoppers.

Nothing is permanent - A useful lesson at all junctures in our lives.

Bogan Bay
AKA Boambee Bay
A dilapidated bridge over troubled water.

Bogan Bay is populated by BBQ shelters which are exclusively named after by the men of the town. On summer days the grass is filled with oversized twin cab utes which are in turn filled with oversized people.

The BBQ’s are so popular they need to be booked in advance. The smell of burning meat often mingles with the sulphurous smell of decaying kelp. The beach is littered with small plastic bags of dog shit and occaisonal tangles of fishing line.

Sawtell RSL
An Australian Institution. The RSL in Sawtell
monolithic concrete bunker surrounded by spikes to prevent weary pedestrians from sitting outside

An alternate reality 1987 Reg Grundy induced brutalist motorway-furnituresque facade filled with greedy pokey machines and craven eyed addicts putting their lives into the slots.

Sawtell RSL looms over the high street offering the community nothing but a single darkened doorway into what could have been a community of businesses.

The frequently vandalised steel and glass RSL clock stands sentinel outside. A warning to the people entering. Do not go in! you will surely miss the school-pickup/doctors appt/the bus … your life.

Sawtell Bowlo
The Sawtell Bowlo when compared to the RSL is a kindlier place.
Another concrete bunker for beer, gambling and Nelsons Chinese meals - rich in syrupy sweet plum sauce

Nelson produces unassuming and wildly popular Australian/Chinese Meals. As is tradition the meals are heavy in sugar, MSG and cornstarch.

I had some pleasant times here. The forgotton beer garden around the back was occaisonally visited by the surviving smokers. It was a peaceful spot away from the piped music and gambling screens with a delightful view onto Chinamans Creek.

I once turned up with the fire brigade when a fire alarm had been accidentally triggered. On entering in full firefighter attire mask on, packing an air cylinder and heaving a hose.
I was greeted by the happy drunken crowd cheering at my expected entry. I pulled off my helmet, sweaty rubber face-mask and blushed as somebody shouted, ‘Are you the stripper?’ to uproarious laughter

Syntropic Agrofrestry
Bellingen much like my Mum’s home town of Totnes can be summed up by it’s community noticeboards
Bill Stickers has been at work here, a bunch of posters advertising hippy shit

Bello, as it is affectionately known, has a growing virtue signalling population who are rich in time and resources. They do not struggle to put food on the table or catch a bus to work but they will tell you how to Syntrope your Agro Frestry … what ever that means.

The wealthy hippies have all the time in the world to ponder such things.

Booksellers Association of Bellingen (BAB)
Bello is redeemed by books
A poster advertising a monthly book stall

Despite the superiority complex of those wealthy pretend hippies of Bellingen I cannot begrudge book-lovers. Perhaps in these electronic AI infested times this reveals my own middle-class/old-fart biases but I don’t care.

The monthly book stall in Bellingen markets has always been a delightful thing and not all market book stalls are. Booksellers seem to have become more about flogging crime/mystery/romance novels in their increasing desparation to sell. Not the BAB though, they prefer thought-inducing books, a rare thing indeed.

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