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Cairns Botanic Gardens Festival

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‘Tis time for another offering in my series on thankfulness.

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As I canter (and occasionally limp and hobble) down this final straight of the Three Score Years and Ten Stakes, I carry in my saddlebag a full measure of thankfulness for my good health, the contentment that I feel with my place in the universe, and also for the privilege and gift of life itself.

Every day is precious, but if I had to choose one extra special day from the year it would be Fathers Day, the first Sunday in September.

At 3 am I drive down the mountain to civilisation with Mrs GOF asleep in the passenger’s seat, and then we set up our little ‘one carpark’ sized market stall on Collins Avenue, a location which must surely have one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world. (photo above by Mrs GOF)

My enjoyment and appreciation of Father’s Day is multi-faceted.

Firstly it ceremonially marks the beginning of Spring, my favourite season which recharges me with all the energy lost trudging around in the driving rain and cold ankle-deep mud of Winter.

We really do derive great satisfaction from growing potted plants in partnership with Mother Nature, despite the bad words I said and wrote about her after recent cyclones Larry and Yasi.

Icing is added to our little cake of productivity by being able to sell our products directly to the end users at local community markets like this one. There are rewards for both parties in this time-honoured trading relationship that transcend the simple commercial transaction which takes place, and many of our customers have, over the years, also become friends.

Fifteen thousand people flock to the carnival every year, including dads enjoying precious time with their children and families.
Musicians perform throughout the day in the street, restaurant and the garden’s natural amphitheatre. This is the one day of the year when I actually tolerate and dare I say it, enjoy, being part of a large crowd of human beings.

Finally, my own kids, chips now dispersed far from the old block, still choose to stay in touch with me regardless of all the parenting experimentation I carried out on them…………all in all it’s enough to blow the cork right out of my bottle of Chateau GOF Life Satisfaction Vintage 2012.

Long live Father’s Day.

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Garden stage, Louarde Thomas performing. (link below)

Louarde Thomas is a local singer/songwriter who possesses a unique musical gift.  Here is her song Superman’s Lullaby.

Girls, four, attractive, striped, puckered.

One of several orchid stalls

Dog, crouching, duck-mustering.

Butterfly, blue, female, apparently.

Sheep, mortified, being shorn with a less than perfect view of the world.

About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

26 responses »

  1. the curtain raiser

    Sounds like a great day. Will be heading to Canberra to celebrate Spring’s arrival with Floriade shortly. Viva Le Carnivale!

  2. Great post. Great pictures. Poor sheep.

  3. This looks like so much fun! I would be in heaven with all the plants! Lol at that butterfly…what the ???….
    Louardes does have a beautiful voice!
    Happy Father’s Day!

  4. The butterflys have grown since our visit. Looks like another lovely place up there.

  5. How can you tell the butterfly is fema … oh … never mind.

    • I think it might be something to do with the extensions on the legs, or the black wing markings……oh…I don’t know…there was a lot of stuff I was never taught at school.

  6. Oh my…..all is SO beautiful & looks like such fun! I want to come back to Cairns again some day! 🙂

    • I’m thinking that Cairns might resemble your part of the world in many ways, including climate. I hope you do get the opportunity to revisit our little town one day.

  7. Loved seeing your bit of Father’s Day, GOF! It’s good to read good things, too. I appreciate it and hope to add more good to the world (but I tend to do that at RealMeWP, not MTWP).

    My one point on contention is from my relationships with sheep (save it), they’re not mortified. It’s like, ‘MehWOT?Erm,Okay,Belch.’ Just watch for the back legs somewhere around ‘WOT?’

    • Thank you MT….it amazes me that so many people I talk to in Australia just whine and carry-on about how BAD things are in this country, and in their lives, without ever mentioning or considering what might be GOOD. Perhaps it should be compulsory for every Aussie to visit a third world poverty-stricken nation.

      Re the sheep….I notice the one this guy is shearing is a puny little submissive lamb. The two I attempted to shear during instruction courses at Ag College were the size of elephants and as compliant as Hulk Hogan. 🙂

  8. “when I actually tolerate and dare I say it, enjoy, being part of a large crowd of human beings.”
    WHAT?!? And I thought I knew you…

    Duck Mustering is the name of my new band.

    Poor sheep! Where is the Humane Society?

    • “WHAT?!? And I thought I knew you…”
      Sorry for being such a disappointment Kim…..I must avoid getting carried away by uncharacteristic moments of joie de vivre in future…..I’m letting myself down here.

      Kimmy and the Duck Musterers…….I’m off to start up your fan club web page.

  9. I’m no ornithologist, but aren’t those geese?


  10. PS. Diggin’ the old bloke having a perv behind the orange ladies 😉

  11. What a wonderful combination of celebrations. The orchids are gorgeous. I also feel deeply connected with our region – our thoughts of moving to another region have really made me think about how attached I’ve grown to this place. And festivals are one of my favorite ways to appreciate our communities and yes, even being around all those stinky people is tolerable if just a few gems turn up and I get to meet some really special characters. 😉

    • You’re right Amelie, regional festivals do engender a sense of community pride and ‘belonging’. Cairns has the perfect climate for growing tropical orchids….most of the spectacular ones are hybrids.

  12. I read your sidebar when I am on a ‘real’ computer 🙂

    • Thank you Brad…’re the first one. 🙂 Actually I was also guilty of not reading sidebars, but I’ve recently found a lot of interesting links in the sidebars of my blog friends.


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