Monday, 29 September 2008

Wednesday 7.00 pm, sorting, packing and wondering how the hell I am going to get out with the stuff and the people on board for our trip to Alice. Thelma McLean drops in to say hello and to bring her latest painting. A lovely work, she asks if I will take it to Alice, no I tell her, no room and no time for documentation and I think it can go somewhere better, the market place has a ceiling of 200 dollars, this work of Thelma's is better than that.

I decide that I am not fit to do anything more, I phone Toby and ask if he will get up early in the morning and help me load the freight rack on the top of the troopie, that is the only way I can get the mob and the art work on board.

4.30 am Thursday, I head to the art centre, finish consigning the work and printing the certificates, Toby comes up and he dust proofs the artwork, loads it all securely on the top of the troopie. 8.30am and I am ready to gather the mob. I had wanted to be out by 7.00 am, but with Leroy driving, I knew we would be OK for time.

First, get Leroy, can not find Leroy, after waisting some time, I am advised that Leroy went to Kalgoorlie last night. Bugger! Go to get my art centre working team, the husband will not get out of bed, he is a little jealous letting his wife loose in Alice and is refusing to budge. I am worried because his wife comes from Alice and this is a chance for her to see her family, there is no way that he is going to let her come .... Oh well!

The Mitchells, Angilyiya is worried, there is a second funeral at Wingellina, Anawari will not be coming or has gone to Wingellina already, so I say I will go to her house and ask what the story is, Winston tells me that Anawari has changed her mind, she is going to Wingellina, OK I tell him and head back to Angilyiya, who clearly does not want to come but who is not game to tell me so, good! I think and gather Shirley as well.

I have a huge load on the top of the car and two women sitting in the front seat with me, an empty back .... Christ! I could have left at 7.00 am with the load in the back, as it is we are heading out with me driving and it is after 10.00 am.

I am very worried about getting to Alice and since I had a small accident in the art centre, I have a gammy leg and have difficulty driving.

I had supplies for 7 people to make sure that there was not excuse to stop before Mt.Ebenezer, so the ladies were happy with juice and fruit and cheese and meat and so on. I applied myself to getting through the lands as quickly as I could, the road was quite good until we hit Kanpi, then it went severely downhill. We struggled on to Mt Ebenezer and I was hurting like buggery, it was 4.00 pm and I was worried about driving in the dark to Alice. We took a good break, I thought if I walked around and rested, I would be OK. The next 50ks to Erldunda convinced me that I would not be OK. The leg hurt more and I decided that we would spend the night at Erldunda.

I was tired and sore and I know the ladies, who did not complain, were tired also.

Angilyiya had wanted to go into Amata to get some minklepa I had refused because of the time and the size of the trip, when we pulled into the car park at Erldunda, she leaped from the car, grabbing bits of foliage from the ground, very gleefully, popped herself cross legged on the white gravel and proceeded to light a little fire to process the valuable find. She had her minklepa. I wondered if I would have the police, but we seemed to have fire and get inside without notice. Just a little black/grey patch on the otherwise pristine white gravel.

We all slept well and headed on our trip at 7.00 am, we breakfasted at Stuart Well and were at the Diplomat by 9.30. Some muddling with our bookings, took a while to sort and then we were in our rooms.

Thisbe was chasing the women for the Dance Site, some rehearsal and mostly to keep them in sight and ready for the night to come. I was glad to unload my troops, had some banking and shopping and galley hopping to do, but was also glad just to take it easy for a bit. I was tired and very sore. I understand the grading of the Docker Road is complete, 200ks extra to travel that way, but for the return trip I think it will be worth it.

I hate driving around Alice, lucky for me, my friend Jennifer Loverock has come to Alice and she is doing the driving.

The dancing ladies arrived back at the Diplomat from the Dance Site higly pumped. Angilyiya had sung the Kuruala song, having relearned all the verses and the ladies danced for those seven sisters and their experiences at Kuruala. The joy was unmeasurable and there were flowing happy tears, sometimes what ever the effort, it is well worthwhile.

Angiliya went on the Bush Bus to Docker River on Saturday morning, so she was able to get to Wingellina for the second funeral.

The market place on Saturday went well, the best we have done since we started attending. Jenny and I headed over at 8.00 via the supermarket for some odds and sods. I told Freda an Shirley that I would pick them up and to say near the room. Of course when Jenny and I went to get them at 10.30, they were nowhere to be found, after some checking likely haunts with no luck we decided to head back to the market place without them. The thing opened at 11.00 am. On the way, we saw the women walking down Larapinta Drive, right where we could not stop and pick them up. Well should not have stopped to pick them up. Jenny drove the troopie on to the cement medium strip, cars pelting past us on both sides, the ladies braved the speeding cars and jumped on board, with the big garbage bags of shopping they had collected that morning. It must be time for me to get done by the police!!!

Sunday morning there was an opportunity for us to preview the exhibition, we picked Cliff up from Stuart Lodge and checked it all out. Our work was better presented this year although some of it was hung sideways. My mob were quite proud of their work and so was I.

The opening of Desert Mob was full of the usual hullabaloo, big crowds and to our excitement, good quick sales for us. Cliff, Freda and Shirley were very excited to see the red dots go on their works.

I put the ladies on the Bush Bus this morning and I am sorting out parcels, writing a little talk, arranging pick up of stuff at my own pace. No one but me to look after.