Behind the Back of Beyond, in the Land of the Never Never;
a land that bewitches her people.
Called the Never Never because those who have lived in it , and loved it, Never Never voluntarily leave it.
But those who do leave know that their hearts will Never Never rest away from it.
We headed down into the Never Never under a pall of smoke. Down into the "Woop Woop, Way out back, Beyond the black stump, to the Red Center.".................... but which ever way you say it its still a long 3,033 ks down the middle of Oz from Darwin to Adelaide. The fires went before us leaving only termite mounds as tombstones in a blackened landscape. We found another Eden at Mataranka, birthplace of Jeannie Gunn's great Australian classic novel We of the Never Never . Having a hot bath was taken to another level, as we floated serenely downstream on our noodles with the steam rising gently from the thermal springs amid the lush tropical vegetation and bright blue kingfishers. We were only going to stay for a day ......it turned into a week of baths.
On the road again we had a pitstop at the famous Daly Waters Pub. it was started in the 1930's to service the crews and passengers of Qantas as a refuelling stop. Its walls are festooned with anything the weary traveller can leave as a memento after that ice cold "stubby" Bras, panties, T shirts, foreign currency and more are pinned to every surface. We had a delicious "snag and bum nut toastie" aka sausage and egg toasted sandwich, very tasty. The curio shop across the road was doing a brisk trade in real kangaroo paw "back scratchers" and stuffed cane toads.......NASTY! Then it was on to a quick detour round the Devil's Marbles, bum nutts of a more generous size. Huge granite boulders which the local aboriginals claim are the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.
I came upon the prison ship bowed down by iron chains.
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I'm a settler.
I'm a farmer's wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man I became Australian.
I'm the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the depression
I saw the good times come
I'm a bushy, I'm a battler
I am Australian
I'm a teller of stories
I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira
I paint the ghostly gums
I am Clancy on his horse
I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed Matilda
I am Australian
I came from the dream time from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shore
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I'd been the first Australian.
I'm the hot wind from the desert
I'm the black soil of the plains
I'm the mountains and the valleys
I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky
The rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land
I am Australian
We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian
I am, you are, we are Australian.
Soul Food Kitchen
Red Center Soup. This is a quick and easy recipe to keep you warm on those cold outback nights.
1 x410g tin of Tomato soup
1x210g tin crab meat, drained
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper
dash of Tabasco
Prepare soup according to directions on tin using milk not water as the liquid. Heat through then add the crab meat and dill. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and a dash of Tabasco. Swirl through the cream before serving with some warm crusty bread or damper.
"It will warm the cockles of your heart, it will!"