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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.