Location: Manning Valley/Hastings District
Date: April 2012
April 26, 2012. The new Taree courthouse has caused quite a bit
of controversy, for quite a few reasons. You can read
the local media had to say about that.
When I started photographing the early renovations in February 2011,
I had no idea what to expect. The 130-old courthouse had always appealed
to me as an attractive legacy from Victorian times, and I suppose I subconsciously
anticipated some kind of architectural tribute to that era; an extension
of the current facility in keeping with the style of the original.
Yeah, right. What I witnessed emerging over the next 14 months was a $5M
monstrosity. But as it grew, I kept hoping that what I saw was somehow
not indicative of the final design...that we were being misled...that the
ugly duckling would be magically transformed into something that complemented
the original courthouse.
That didn't happen. The Ugly Duckling persisted and eventually became
the Ugly Swan. Everyone I spoke to agreed that the new building was a monstrosity;
totally out of keeping with its immediate surroundings, and not the slightest
bit compatible with its adjacent relative. Well, there was one bloke who
spoke to me as I photographed the almost-finished building. He asked what
I thought of it, and I replied, "The same as everyone else." He said, "I
think it's very good. In fact, I think it will win quite a few awards."
I agreed, "Oh yes, I think it will win awards." "Oh, so you agree with
me then?" "No...it's just that I think the people who give out awards for
such things are all mad." He laughed, wished me a good day, and went on
his way. I was pretty sure I detected an American accent.
here for the photo album.
April 15, 2012. After my final blast of radiation therapy for
mouth/neck cancer at Port Macquarie hospital, I checked out of the
Rotary Lodge on Saturday morning and drove south. I turned east off the
Highway about half way back to Taree and headed to Crowdy Bay National
Park just to take a look around and grab a few pics. Once I get my
slide-on, I'd like to spend an overnighter or even a few days at the camping
ground there for a bit of Odyssey "practice". It's a beautiful spot, and
the weather was absolutely perfect.
The road from the highway into the park is atrocious, half dirt, half
gravel, potholed and grossly neglected, and I suspect maintained (?) by
local council. But once inside the park, the road is maintained by National
Parks and Wildlife, and is in great condition despite being dirt (compacted
clay). There is an alternative route via Ocean Drive, which runs along
the coast between Harrington and Port Macquarie. The park is pretty extensive,
and I didn't get to see all that much of it, but what I did see is impressive
(if you prefer the quiet life). The place is 'Crowdy' in name only... pristine
beaches stretch for mile after mile with hardly anyone in sight. Mind you,
the weekend before was Easter so there would have been a few more people
around, but even so, no more than a few score at most.
After a wander around the park camping ground and local beach, I drove
further south to Crowdy Head where there's a village and a surf
lifesaving club. I stopped there to take more photos but my Fuji
S7000 developed a problem with the zoom. I'd spotted a most cooperative
kookaburra in a tree and got a bit excited with the zoom, which stuck,
and I couldn't free it. Fortunately, I managed to get a couple of good
pics of the kooka before the camera bit the dust.
Ten minutes further south is Harrington but I didn't stop because the
camera was out of action, so I rejoined the highway and drove back to Taree.
By the way, the cancer treatment seems to be coming along just fine. I'm
due back at Port Macquarie in six weeks for an assessment. Hopefully, before
that I'll have the stomach tube removed. I'm desperate to get back to eating
NORMAL food! I've included two pics at the end of the Crowdy album of the
special mask that I had to wear during the radiation therapy. Talk about
claustrophobic! But that's all over now, and I get to keep the mask as
a memento. Click
here for the photo album.
← Older posts
Newer posts →
Return to Home Page