Easter Parade – no sign of Nick Cave

Easter Parade – no sign of Nick Cave
Warracknabeal, Australia

Warracknabeal, Australia


Singer Nick Cave was born in Warracknabeal. Not that I knew that until we came back, but it puts an interesting spin on things. I didn’t see it as a gothic town. Could it have inspired apocalyptic songs such as “Red Right Hand” or “Tupelo”? Is the town the equivalent to a mist-covered swamp in the American Deep South – a big part of Cave mythologoy. Began the morning by enjoying a good chat with some long-term locals at the caravan park. One older lady explained both her daughters had something like ten children between them. They expected her to provide free babysitting. She endured a few months of it and, obviously discontent with spending Saturday nights around screaming kids, hoinked on a caravan and made a run for it with her hubbie. “I haven’t seen my kids since,” she said. When I asked her how long ago that was (thinking she’d been gone a couple of weeks) she replied, “Almost two years ago!” She’d been in the caravan park a month and was going to stay a couple more. It’s a pretty hot place. It was easily mid-30 and there wasn’t much shade for the caravans. I wouldn’t want to be here in summer. We were disappointed that the hot spell had killed off the Warracknabel Easter Racing carnival. It had been moved down the road to Nhill. Still an hour away. So yet again my efforts to make it to my first racing meet had been dashed. Instead we watched the Easter parade on the Main Street. There was a lot of tractors and, thanks to a local classic car meet, some nice looking jallopies from yesteryear. Rosa was midly disappointed, even with the appearance of a giant sultana and some kids twirling batons. She was expecting a Disney parade, I think. The shops were functional affairs with a couple of art galleries thrown in. Three bedroom houses with air-con sold for $70,000. Not sure if it’d a good investment or not. The hardware store was the busiest place. We decided to have lunch in the bird park beside a sparse river. With the races cancelled and Warracknabeal largely explored by now, the afternoon drifted by rather aimlessly. “It was 40 all last week,” a lady in the tourist office told me when I complained about the heat. “Hottest March for a long time, but is still bitter in the morning.” That night I left the girls alone and went to the local pub for a drink. I got talking to a water construction worker named Dave. He had a shaved head, a few missing teeth and a very, very drunk friend who was celebrating a birthday. Dave was born in the town but moved to NSW for ten years. He was glad to be back. There was the footy, his mates, cheap living (except the petrol), a good house and good beer. I commented on the lack of water, and he told me his drunk mate was from the nearby town of Rainbow. “It’s got a lake that twenty years ago was full of speedboats and bumper to bumper with tourists. Go take a look at it”. I told him I would and left to spend a night with local kids shouting, dogs yaping and galahs dive bombing the campsite as dawn broke. Rosa slept through it all.


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