Saturday, October 30, 2010
What I’m grateful for in Kingaroy...
1. CAPTAINS PADDOCK VINEYARD: One of the areas local wineries, Captains Paddock was the most impressive place to wake up each morning and chill at the end of the day! I had a split level cottage with a ‘booie monster’ sculptured fireplace, digital TV and vineyards on my doorstep. I walked the rows of vines but the spider webs freaked me out so much I had to change my daily exercise routine by strolling to the Bell Tower restaurant each morning. My hosts at CP - Maryanne and Peter - were so hospitable it was like having dinner, coffee and an afternoon bevy with my own family. Their dogs Zell and Merlot were like siblings and made me feel safe by sitting by my door. I have to recommend a few things from the menu: sticky date pudding, prawn korma, scones with Shiraz jelly. As for the wines, try the rosetta (a blend of merlot and chardonnay) and for a real treat go the 2007 Last Syrah!
2. CROW FM: I’m grateful to Corky at Crow FM who welcomed me into the studio only to be grilled by three students from Kingaroy State High School – Brenten, Jake and Marlo. See pics below of us near the Crow FM van and outside the building. We had fun talking about books, writing, life, growing up and food!
3. PEANUTS: Of course, anyone who goes to Kingaroy has to indulge in what the region is famous for – the nuts! And EVERYONE will tell you the best place to buy your nuts is the Peanut Van I purchased the hickory smoke (the most popular nut according to the vendor), the Mexican delight (they apparently taste like tacos) and chocolate coated chilli nuts. I have to say that for a town that has had an annual Peanut Festival for the last fifty years, I was surprised there wasn’t a giant peanut to be found, like the Big Merino in Goulburn or the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour. All I could find was this peanut (see pic below) only a couple of feet high at the Kingaroy Heritage Museum. I like nuts so I’m grateful I got the best in Kingaroy.
4. MULTI-TASKING: I’m grateful for the ability to multi-task. As you’ll by the pic below, I seemed to have mastered the art while in Kingaroy. Here I am sitting on the veranda of the cafe at Captains Paddock (my cottage is in the background) on the phone, checking emails, drinking my morning coffee and eating scones with Shiraz cream, all at the same time! Don’t really need to do much else do I?
5. RELAXATION: I’m grateful that I found one of the few places where I can truly relax. I was given some tips by Zell the day I arrived. Check out the pic below where he is teaching me how to just lie back and chill. After intensive days in the classroom, I did just that. Just not outside on the grass of course! I was grateful to be able to relax so fully at the end of every exhausting day.
6. KINGAROY STATE HIGH SCHOOL: I’ve saved the best till last, and I want to say now how grateful I am to the dynamic Narelle Knapp and the staff at KSHS for the invitation to run workshops, give author talks, yarn with teachers and parents and meet the local community. I only got to travel to Kingaroy because of the school’s invitation and it was an enriching experience for me and hopefully, also for the students.