|St Judes Church, Brushgrove|
After Sue had her obligatory visit to Main Beach, we made the 40 minute trip by car to the home of Jacaranda. Sue had shopping to do - presents for family and friends - and I caught up with Bill North. Bill and I met when he was playing for City United in Tamworth and this marked our second lunch since he returned from overseas and took up the position of Sports Editor at the Daily Examiner.
We spent time discussing the World Cup and cricket and the theatre and many other points in between and did so with the Clarence River as our backdrop at the Crown Hotel on the sad end of Prince Street.
Sue had lunch with her sister Rosemary, solving many of the world's major problems and several of the smaller ones as well. Some lunches out are like that.
Once we both had farewelled our lunch partners, Sue and I paid a return visit to the Grafton Regional Art Gallery. The special exhibition was artworks to do with horses: made topical by the proximity of the Grafton Cup. The other exhibition which caught our eye was a display of photographs of aboriginal people taken in the late 1800's. An attempt is being made to identify the people in the photographs and the public display is part of that process. Most interesting.
We finished our day in Grafton with a tea at the Purple Haze Cafe, who nomenclature was disappointingly originated in the purple flowers of the Jacaranda tree and not from a love of all things Hendrix. Had it been the latter, the pleasant ladies who served us would have been the most unassuming Fox Ladies of all time.
On the Pacific Highway for the return journey to Yamba, we detoured at Cowper and crossed the South Arm of the Clarence to Brushgrove. This is the southern most tip of Woodford Island and a just a few kilometres from Gibbens Lane and the site of the 86 hectare farm where Sue and family were raised. At Brushgrove, St Judes Church has been rebuilt, but the old church in which John Gibbens and Joy Thomas were married still stands. It a lovely story of courage and determination being finally bested by the economics of circumstance and even thought the farmhouse has migrated up the hill and the farm buildings are no more than memories and a few remaining pieces of rusty metal, standing there and retelling stories I know well, still enhances my wife's sense of place.
We drove back along the South Arm and crossed the McFarlan Bridge into Maclean and stayed by the river all the way to Yamba. A few beers at the Pacific Hotel, a dinner at home and then a rare DVD hire rounded out the day.
I spend the morning and some of the afternoon working on a presentation I am giving at Muswellbrook next week, on behalf of the Black Dog Institute. In between, we had lunch at Pippis Cafe.
Sue was shopping again this afternoon, until the sun made for the horizon. We went for a walk along Pippi Beach - me all bare foot and splashing in the incoming tide and Sue with her joggers on and up in the soft sand. A Pacific Hotel finish before dinner and then off to watch the football with Joel and Jack.