On the weekend of the 4/5th May we drove out of Parkes, along the Bogan Way (for a laugh, we strongly encourage you to click on the link and watch this video) to the small town of Trundle, NSW for the ABBA Festival.
The Rhonda Burchmore/Lara Mulcahy concert kicked off the weekend which was superb and a great start to all things ABBA.
The local vicar, Rev Brian Schmalkuche, dressed in the fashion of the 70’s, held a Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony for anybody attending the festival. As it is our 12th wedding anniversary on the 27th of May, we decided to take part and renew our vows. It was a lovely, moving, quirky ceremony and we all sang along to the ABBA song, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do!
Approximately 5000 people attended on the Saturday and we were entertained by a wide selection of ABBA/Swedish/70’s costumes. The oldest participant and winner of the women’s section of the catwalk competition was the most beautiful 85 yr old lady. She also joined us and 2997 others in the world record attempt of the most number of people dancing to Dancing Queen, what fun that was! The finale of the evening was a concert by Bjorn Again – World Famous ABBA Tribute Show who were superb.
Trundle – is a very interesting town and unique in the way the local community try to protect their town from decline. The ABBA Festival is just one project, if you are interested in knowing more, there is a video series you could watch. When its population dipped below 400 in 2010, Trundle announced it would rent vacant houses for $1 in a bid to entice young families to the town. Click on the following link if you would like to watch the documentary – Trundle Tree Change.
STONED CROWS – For the second year in a row, over Easter, we attended the Stone The Crows Festival in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. It was an action packed 8 days and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had perfect weather and met some wonderful people. The event is held on the grounds of the Australian Clay Target Association. Ray was fortunate to join a group who were given the opportunity to have a go at shooting the clay targets. This was a sport of his in the UK and he managed a respectable score of four out of five.
Each evening we went to the main hall for the entertainment – wow, did we see some amazing artists! Simon Gillespie sings Peter Allen, Monique Montez singing as Shirley Bassey and Liza Minnelli , Lucky Starr – legend of Australian Pop music, The String family – an amazingly talented Mum, Dad, son and daughter, plus bush poets
Melanie Hall and Susie Carcary from Lightning Ridge.
ABSENT POLITICIANS – We left Wagga Wagga and headed east to Canberra, capital of Australia and the seat of Government. Canberra is a purpose built capital city, located in the Australian Capital Territory in the south-east of New South Wales. It is a planned city, with national monuments, museums, and galleries all built around the large, man-made, Lake Burley Griffin. We were there for two weeks and stayed at the EPIC showgrounds which were just a few kilometres out of the city.
One of the things we were really looking forward to doing was going to Parliament House and sitting in on Question Time – this is when members of the parliament ask questions of government ministers (including the prime minister), which they are obliged to answer. – it takes place on sitting days in both the House of Representatives and the Senate………………HOWEVER………..Parliament was NOT sitting for the month of April!!! We were so disappointed, but we still thoroughly enjoyed the two public tours of both Old Parliament House and new (30 yrs old) Parliament House.