Thursday 20th January 2022

Outside. 44/51. #LifeThisWeek. 88/2020.

Outside. 44/51. #LifeThisWeek. 88/2020.

We promised ourselves a NSW country mini holiday once I was well and  COVID was not a really big issue so away we went, on Monday 19 October 2020 on a trek to where we had met, exactly 50 years earlier.

We had literally had no trips away other than for my surgeries for well over 5 years so we both looked forward to a different scene from the coast and to be away just for us.

The laws in NSW do not allow for phone use inside a car. I found that a challenge as I wanted to record scenes from the car, so….on the wide and open roads…with me checking for cars…I did a few pics. No harm was done. I say anyway!

New England Hwy. North West N.S.W.

The trip from our home on the northern end of the N.S.W. Central Coast to our main destination of the major inland north-western centre of Tamworth took us 4 hours. This included comfort and coffee stops. Thank you Maccas. We shared the driving.

From the car, on the move, in the passenger’s seat. Loved seeing effects of some recent rains.

Where We Met. Literally!

On Saturday 17th October 1970, we met at a N.S.W. Teachers’ Federation Conference at a club in Tamworth. We found it, actually my husband did because he had lived around Tamworth for some years before we met. Outside for a selfie. No, we did not go inside.

Up To The LookOut: the view is spectacular.


Then we went to Barraba. My first school. Appointed in 1970. My husband, even though we were born in the same year, had already been teaching in his small (one teacher) school since 1968. His High School years ended with the Leaving Certificate in 1965 whereas “I” was part of the new 6 years at High School cohort. But to get to Barraba from Tamworth, it’s a one hour drive via Manilla. We stopped there for a photo – to Boggabri the sign says – and it was along that road my then boyfriend would drive wearily home after seeing me in Barraba. Ah love….

An addition to the entrance to Barraba: these silos have been painted. How amazing! Great tribute to the rural area that makes Barraba the town it is.


We stopped in town, which sadly, remained depleted of many shops. Sad because even before COVID, many country towns had suffered. The drought being for one reason. Nevertheless we found a cafe, and enjoyed some morning tea. Such a quiet main street.

I remember in 1970 there was a public holiday to celebrate 200 years since Captain Cook ‘found’ Australia. The school made a float and we were part of the celebrations. I cringe now, because I am not aware that back then we made any references to the Aboriginal community in the area. Now, as I saw when we visited the outside of the school where I taught, there was evidence of traditional owners and tributes to them. I am pretty sure there would be quite a number of indigenous students at the school too.

It was, and is, Barraba Central School. The High School section is now on a different site but when I was there, it was a K-12 school campus. Wonderful social experience at that school. The teachers and all of the staff were invited by my parents to my 21st in Tamworth late in that year. Still somewhat embarrassed  by that, and as I had already met B, “we” knew there would be a wedding coming up in the New Year!

For a visit to a special place for us both in Tamworth we went here: it is called Tamworth Base Hospital but we couldn’t find a sign which said that. However, this one was close to the carpark where we both remembered my husband meeting our then week old daughter for the first time. That’s how it was back then.

There are a few chapters in Telling My Story related to our years of meeting, marrying and having our first child.

Here they are:

Telling My Story. Chapter Four. 1970. 2018.68.

Telling My Story: Chapter Five. 1971.2018. 79.

Telling My Story. Chapter Six. Becoming Mum. 1971. 2018.100.

Thanks for joining me OUTSIDE today!


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  1. I LOVE that you went back to where you met. That’s SO lovely!! How sad however, that the shops can’t survive in a town that is big enough to have a separate High School. This country is a mess and people have been blind to it for too long.

    • Thanks so much Lydia. We had talked about doing this as a distraction when I had the surgery mid-year, so when the weather warmed and days lengthened it was the right time.

      The school, at Barraba, remains a Central School but the off-site establishment of the 7-12 part meant specialist buildings too I guess. It now has, from what I gathered a higher number of indigenous students too.

      Back in ‘my day’ there were many graziers’ kids too. However, I am sure there are far fewer farmers like that now as diversity into other production such as coal, gas and growing cotton have been established further up the north west. A contentious topic for many locals.


  2. What a great way to relive those special days. And recording it here means we are able to share your memories. You both look tickled pink at being back in your old stomping ground again.
    Beautiful clouds photos…..and you saw painted silos, they are a treat to see aren’t they……..we’ve seen a few here in Victoria and with more and more of them being added to the Silo trail it’s an incentive to travel……when we’re allowed to go more than 25kms from home.
    Just a quick question about cars and phones in NSW…….does your ‘law’ apply to passengers as well as drivers?

    • Thanks Cathy, glad to see you here again! Nice getting to know you too.

      It was our first foray back to the country in quite a few years. I too loved seeing the painted silos and saw some via Heather Ewart’s show on ABC BackRoads.

      Your comment re the phone and another’s prompted me to re-visit the issue and it seems that if the passenger’s screen is not being shown to the driver or is a distraction it is OK. Every state, of course, has a different set of rules and guidelines.

      Hooray for the good news for many in Victoria.


  3. What a trip down memory lane you had Denyse. Looks like a great holiday. Those silos are lovely and a great tribute. As usual your photos tell a great story, beautifully

    • Thanks so much Jennifer. We both really enjoyed it. Mind you, we miss our physical home comforts these days so much that longer than a few days away means we can’t really enjoy a break. This was just right.


  4. This is a wonderful, happy and memorable post Denyse! So lovely to share in your road trip and it would have been a lovely getaway for you both. Your photos show love and happiness and beautiful smiles. Thanks for another great prompt!

    • Thanks Deb. It was super. We spent a lot of time remarking on the beauty that is our country. We were lucky in our choice of time to visit too as the next week Tamworth was attacked by rain and hail.


  5. Ah so many happy memories! I have always wanted to go to Tamworth – did you see the Big Guitar? When we were in London a couple of years ago, we went to the place where we met – it was such a fun trip down Memory Lane. Great pics of you both!

    • Thanks Sam. We really did enjoy our trip for our emotional memories. How lovely that you and David did something like this too.

      To be honest, the Country Music Festival element of Tamworth was not even happening back when we met. We are glad that Tamworth has this as one of its focal points. It is well set up for it now. Drove past the Golden Guitar.

      What I loved about Tamworth this time round was the place was buzzing with people and this, in a COVID year, must be helping the place to re-generate.

      We are planning to return too!


  6. Denyse, What a wonderful getaway to celebrate the 50th anniversary of when you met! Looks like you had nice weather for the trip, too. Thanks for sharing. #lifehisweek

    • Thanks so much Natalie.

      The weather gods smiled on us as it was perfect weather for travelling and sight seeing.

      The next week brought rain and hail and that would have not been fun at all.


  7. Hi Denyse – what a lovely trip down memory lane for you both. I’m so glad you got to rekindle some old memories and I’m sure you both felt refreshed for having gotten away for a few days. Interesting about the phone use in the car – in WA the driver isn’t allowed to touch their phone but it’s okay for the passengers.

    • Thanks so much Leanne. We had talked about doing this for some time so once I was all healed, I was ready for it too.

      The trip was very pleasant for us both. Relaxing and as we shared the driving not too tiring.

      The phone thing got me re-visiting the regulations after posting this. It appears, in NSW, that as long as the passenger is not using the phone so the screen is a distraction for the driver it is OK. The case where the person was fined as a passenger was apparently face timing someone and the driver could see it.


  8. I really enjoyed reading this and the photos, thank you. How cute are you two in the spot where you met?! And yes, I cringe about things too now (like dressing up for ‘Colonial Day’ for bicentennial celebrations) but it’s good that we’re learning, and right that we cringe.

    Love seeing that gorgeous smile of yours x

    • Thanks my lovely friend!

      Cute…70 and 71 year olds respectively. We shall take that for the win!

      I know you get what I mean about heritage. I know there would have been kids at that school who were Aboriginal but we did not even mention anything like that then. Cringe.

      At least the Aboriginal flag was flying at the school now.


  9. Hi Denyse, how lovely that you revisited your romantic beginnings. Congratulations on reaching that milestone – it’s a wonderful achievement,
    regards Christina

    • Thanks so much Christina. It’s very sweet that we could do this 50 years later alright!

      And, yes we are both starting to appreciate that 50 years together is worth celebrating.


  10. What a fabulous walk down memory lane!

  11. How romantic…getting away to the place you met! And you met at a teachers’ conference. I didn’t know your husband was an educator too. It sounds like a wonderful getaway!

    • Sometimes, even us oldies need to remember the romance, right?

      We were very young teachers: him in his 3rd year and me in my first, but back then we were older in some ways!

      It was a good trip and one we hope to do again.

      Thank you, Laurie.


  12. So I’ve never been to Tamworth. A friend of mine grew up there. Looks like a lovely trip for you both and a trip down memory lane as well! 🙂

    • Well, you are missing something Sanch…it truly is a lovely country city. It surprised me in its resilience over the past years of drought and COVID. We hope to return.

      Thanks so much, it was a lovely trip.