The Old Bar Clams are worthy rugby union champions of the Lower Mid North Coast, having won a thrilling grand final 29-22, from the Forster Tuncurry Dolphins at an unforgiving Old Bar Reserve on Saturday. Too physical up front and too penetrative out wide, the Clams led 29-0 after just 53 minutes...
Slept at Jacki's in the "green room" - meshed-in sleep out that runs right across the back of the house. The first night was warm but windy. There is a small forest outside and the crashing trees in the wind woke us up periodically though the night. The dawn chorus was volcanic - the fauna may as well have been sitting on my shoulder. After that I went off to sleep. Was finally woken for good when I realised Marcus and Malachy had hit it off brilliantly, and were playing soccer in the green room with me as one of the goals.
I walked to the corner shop in Smiths Lake a few times while we were there. On my last visit I noticed at the back of the dairy fridge, a keg of Heineken and a few scattered stubbies.
Jacki and Tim both work at the Pacific Palms Recreation Club, a licensed gaming venue. In the pokies room, there is a large glass cabinet of odd things. Curling tongs, champagne flutes, sheet and pillowcase sets, coffee machines. If you win on the pokies you are entitled to a certain number of stamps. For 210 stamps, you can have a coffee machine etc. Jacki had been keen to get the sheets (100% cotton) but someone beat her to it.
Brin is 17. He was the youngest for many years until Malachy (6) came along. He has a marvellously strange sense of humour, which is welcome or not depending on how tired everyone else is feeling. It was he that named the rabbit "Frederick the Octopus That Lost 4 Legs In A Car Crash". Tim sent him to bed one night because he wouldn't stop saying "Hazam El-Masri" (famous bald rugby player with an addictively sonorous name).
Jacki's is a "TV on" household. They have Pay TV and are frequently pausing, forwarding and rewinding what seems to be live TV. Quite often the Weather Channel is on with no-one in the room. I sat and watched it for ten minutes - amazed that the hosts could perkily repeat themselves over and over: going around the Golden West one more time, having another little peek at the Northern Rivers, and here's a photo of fluffy clouds (again) sent in by Greg McBiscuit of Orange - thanks Greg!
Jacki drove us to Taree to catch the train to Canberra. On the way we were passed by a large police van and two 4WDs, all with Riot and Public Disorder Unit signage. Sometimes the mainland is just scary.