Big Day Out

Initially I had just planned to go to the Ekka (Queensland Royal Show) on Friday.  My usual plan, if I am on my own is to spend about two hours there - looking at animals, craft, food, and heading home.

This year I was interested to see how the site is developing as it is undergoing some major changes.
However, at 8 am I received a phone call from a friend, to tell me that one of her guests for a Queensland Rural Women's Network was unable to attend and there was a free space.  Would I like to go?  I had to be there in the Emporium Hotel (not far from the Ekka), at 9.30 am.  I said yes, and then scrambled to find some clothes suitable for the event.  As I took off my Ekka clothes I put them in a big plastic bag, and chose to take them with me.  Perhaps I might find somewhere to change, somewhere to park my car, and save myself some time.

I made it just in time, and had a wonderful morning with interesting speakers, good network and great food.  The speaker was Helen Gluer, the under treasurer of the Queensland Government.  You can see a photo and read about her here.  She was a hilarious speaker, and shared information about the state's financial situation, which I think many of us found enlightening.  We know our new state government is desperately and unpopularly trying to get the state's financial situation on the right track - and upsetting so many who have lost their jobs or their government financial assistance, and it was good to hear an non-political explanation.

After the event I chatted with Bev Ryan, someone I hadn't seen for a while, though we were connected via online communities, and I hope to attend some of her events - she has networking and educational events for women writers.

Then I had to make a decision or two.  Where do I change into my Ekka gear?  Where do I park?  I chose to head back towards Manly and change at my daughters place at Hemmant, (thus saving me a few kms) and I caught the train from Lindum.

It was at the station that I met a man who turned out to be quite interesting - we were sitting on the seat waiting for the train, when a feral family (sorry to use that description, but I have seen them many times, and just feel for the children as the mother seems to be completely crazy and the kids yell and scream frequently), and one feels quite sure that the family are under the care of one welfare program or another.  The man said, "I am phoning my wife, so she can hear the screaming and remind her why we don't want any more children."

It turned out that he was doing business nearby when his car broke down, and I presume it was towed away, and he was catching a train into the city.  Clearly NOT a train traveller.  But we got talking and chatted all the way into the city.  He offered me a job too - which I will explore later.  He runs seniors accommodation and is often on the look out for relieving caretakers.   Would this be me?  I don't know.  Still, I will investigate.

Soon I was at the Ekka - around 2 pm.  Much later than I had planned, but still I made it.  I arrived in time to see a parade of cattle, and made my way to the quilt displays.  I must say they are awesome.  After having just two lessons, I really am a novice, and in awe of what others are doing.

Really, there are some wonderfully talented folk around - I wonder if I will ever get mine finished, or if I, one day, will be able to produce work as good as this?  I doubt it.

Next stop was in the Woolworths Food Pavilion.  Wonderful local produce.  I had a chocoate coated strawberry, and a white chocolate Licks icecream, and bought some cheese from a Kingaroy display, and bread, olives, and olive oil from another.

A short walk through the fruit displays to see Girl Guides and Scouts, side by side, with fruit displays.  Had a great chat with a Guide who had organised the display and glad to see "Girl" has returned to the name of the organisation which I loved as a young girl.

In all I spent less than two hours there, but I had my Ekka fix.  Maybe next year I can spend more time there.  I am happy that I went.  No regrets.


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