RETURNING TO MCALLISTER
Hitching up the caravan without incident or a cross word, was always a good start to our day! We set off to Normanton feeling happy and positive.
Our first nostalgic stop was to The Burke and Wills Roadhouse, which we started with the Hickson family in 1975. It was pleasing to see the tall trees planted so long ago, still alive, offering the welcome shade for travellers. The Manager was reading my book and very interested in our story of the beginning of the Roadhouse. Some parts were familiar and it remains a busy hub for travellers. The addition of State-of-the-Art Camp Drafting yards was impressive.
Saturday was my Writing Workshop in Normanton following a meet and greet with many familiar, and new faces. It was great fun to be re-united with people we hadn’t seen for many years over a welcoming cuppa and home made goodies.
I was amazed at the stories shared by the 7 participants. I sincerely hope I inspired them all to record their memoirs. The people who live in remote areas are incredibly interesting and full of surprises. We had great discussions around the table, many laughs as we shared experiences. One of the funniest was, sharing our ‘first ever memory’.
Irene and Barbara have set up ‘The Shed’ at the racecourse. We were overwhelmed by the pottery, glass making, beading, card making and other crafts these ladies do. The work was unbelievably beautiful. I wish this had been available when I lived in the area.
Sunday we ventured down Memory Lane, visiting ‘McAllister’. I wasn’t sure how I would feel but braced myself for the changes. Driving through, looking at the beautiful Brahman cattle grazing contentedly beside the road made me realise how much I missed them, especially the adorable calves. Arriving at the house site, I found I was totally unemotional due to the fact it was unrecognisable. The garden was non-existent. I could not associate the buildings I was looking at as my beautiful home. This made it easy to move on and enjoy the countryside. I’m pleased we returned and I’m even more pleased I have written my story of 18 wonderful years developing McAllister from 1968-1986.