Sherwood Diary: Beverley Choir Muster 2

I spent most of Friday gradually getting the Sherwood ready to leave in the morning on Saturday. I set up the second bed so that we didn’t have to worry about it later. It’s quite a faff getting the boards which make up the bed base out of the locker and setting them in place. Adding the extra foam cushion and making up the bed into a lounge area took time as well. We were happy with this configuration even though we didn’t have a dinette. It allowed for separation of sleeping spaces and it was much easier for getting up in the night.

We left home at about 10.30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Stephen drove most of the way from the beginning of Brookton Highway. We arrived after Marie and Geoff and they had already negotiated being able to set up before 2.00 p.m. The caravan park is quite nice, with trees, good ablutions and an open air campers kitchen. We made our lunch in the van, then sat outside. I didn’t want to be indoors with Marie and Geoff to minimise the chance of them catching what I have, whatever it is.

We were well placed for the location of the choir bash which is a short walk away. It has an open air stage and seating area with about three levels. Marie and Geoff went ahead and found a good spot for us with a tiny bit of shade. Although the day was partly cloudy we still appreciated being out of the sun.

Occasionally aircraft towing gliders went overhead, a slight distraction. The various choirs did their stuff to an appreciative audience. Mackie SS members I spoke with were surprised that I wasn’t singing, but looking in the mirror later I was looking healthy even if I didn’t feel it. Anyway, I didn’t want to get on stage and have a fit of coughing. In fact, I had quite a fit shortly after they were on stage.

The afternoon tea was as lovely as promised, though we had had a good lunch and weren’t particularly hungry. Home baked cakes are a rareity these days and the jam and cream sponge was a treat.

I managed to video MSS doing the My Fair Lady medly, which is our main showcase peice. It went extremely well compared with at Stephen’s 80th when it was still a bit ragged. Most of the choir was there, including Alida sitting on a chair at one side of the stage. Because she was behind I don’t know if she shows up in the video, but I saw a photo taken from the other side of the stage where she is visible.

We chatted with friends for a while after the show, then had drinks and nibbles with Marie and Geoff. Marie heated up our evening meal in her microwave, very handy, and we continued sitting outside until after the meal.

Then it was pretty much going back to the van and getting ready for bed. We read for a while until we needed to sleep.

In the morning we had thought of going to a cafe for breakfast, but nothing was open so we had breakfast brought from home instead. Stephen had asked for a later checkout and it worked out well as we didn’t have to rush.

Marie and Geoff then headed off towards Brookton because they didn’t feel like going straight home. We headed off to Avondale Farm, which is listed on the National Trust. Unfortunately it is closed and there is no information on the gate or online about when it will be open again.

We had a toilet break when we got back to Brookton Highway and decided to have a morning tea or lunch break further along. We pulled off at Christmas Tree Well. The last time we went there was in the Winnie. It isn’t very far off the highway, but the track in had water holes and we were glad to have the higher clearance.

Unfortunately it was noisy with lots of quite little kids on quad bikes, child size ones I think. We spent about 1.5 hours there despite the noise, enjoying toast and tuna for lunch and taking walks. It was mostly sunny.

Top things from the trip: I think it did me so much good to get away from the city that even though I wasn’t feeling well I felt so much happier. We enjoyed camping with Marie and Geoff – it’s more fun to sit outside if you have friends to talk with and share the experience. We get on well together. I was glad to catch up with choir members and have it reinforced that we have have quite a lovely community. Plus I really enjoyed our afternoon picnic at Christmas Tree Well.

It’s so lovely that our grandmother’s home town is beautifully kept, with restored older buildings. Some locals we spoke with didn’t seem to know the family names, which surprised me as the husband had lived in Beverley all his life and there must be a current generation of distant relatives. We think our Aunty Heather and one of our cousins still live there.

The Mackie Street Singers

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