Blackheath Rhododendron Festival

Desmond Bear 1RhodoDesGarden 001

Hello from  Editor Des

Oh dear, I had to put on my little  rain hat and gumboots for the Rhodo Festival…and it was their big Diamond Jubilee one too, just like the Queen of England is celebrating.

 

Diamond Jubilee Rhodo Festival

I seem to remember it  has rained on most of Her Majesty’s  parades as well!   There was  a special  tribute  float to the Queen called   the Royal Barge…and my word it  nearly WAS  floating!! – just like the real barge on the River  Thames.

Royal Barge Float

BLACKHEATH HAS AN ‘AWFUL ‘ LOT OF WEATHER!

Everyone still  talks about the festival a few years ago when it was so foggy we couldn’t even see the parade, so today was pretty good really.  But the man with the microphone was  really upset that people  weren’t  cheering and clapping enough . Of course they couldn’t clap because they were  holding umbrellas,  and  they weren’t cheering  because well,  Blackheathens tend to be a bit…shy.

We all loved some of the smaller, one man floats. Here is the ill-fated  Titanic and her Captain, still  bravely battling bad weather:

The Captain refusing to abandon ship!

 

Before everything started I spotted a local bird who had nabbed a good viewing spot. He’s a sulphur crested cockatoo. Dr Bob doesn’t like them because they eat  wooden window frames. (Yes, our ones  are wooden, even in the new house. Silly old  Bob!)

A good spot to watch the Parade!

A good spot to watch the Parade!

A Highland pipe band came from over the Mountains at Lithgow. My guardian  Pauline was listening to them as they played under the big oak tree near the library.  I knew this  was a  big mistake because she gets all emotional with bands. I thought she might be distracted by the pie Dr Bob bought her for lunch  but then they played Flower of Scotland and she cried into her mince. It was quite embarrassing.

Highland Pipers at the Rhodo Festival

We have very  funny events  at our festival. Other people have tug-of-wars  or three legged races   but we have a coal shovelling competition  and a roof bolting race…Ha ha ha!

Preparing for the Coal Shovelling Competition.

Oh crikey, I’m at the end of the story  and  I haven’t even mentioned the rhododendrons.  They are in flower all over the village in people’s gardens. Here are some of Pauline’s. VegiegardenDesPackingRhodos 007

Variegated Rododendron

Variegated Rododendron

 

 

 

 

 

A very fragrant variety.

However, the biggest ones  are  in Memorial  Park near our house ( The park was created in memory of the soldiers of WWI)   The rhodos  are as high as three  storey houses and are in pink, white, purple and peach. I love them.

'Tree' Rhododendrons in Memorial Park, Blackheath

‘Tree’ Rhododendrons in Memorial Park, Blackheath

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A MESSAGE, BUT PLEASE DO THE LITTLE SUM FIRST.  AM I GETTING BETTER  AT  THIS  DO YOU THINK? IF SO,  I MIGHT  TRY  MY HAND AT  A  TELL-ALL  BOOK  ABOUT  SOMEONE  I KNOW  QUITE  WELL,  TEE HEE!! ALL ANECDOTES  WOULD BE WELCOME…ED. DES XXX

POSTSCRIPT – The festival publicity officer summed up the character of Blackheathens when he  quipped: ‘I was actually quite pleased the weather turned out to be cold, wet and misty for the 60th anniversary because that is typical Rhododendron Festival weather. In fact, it would have been quite awful it it had been sunny like last year.’

Here is another little story about Blackheath, and Pauline’s own garden.

5 Comments
  1. Desmond
    I did not cry into my mince pie when the pipers played Flower of Scotland.
    Exaggeration is a dangerous and slippery road and you are about to hit a pot- hole!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful day! 🙂

    Xx

    • Yes, it was Vikki, apart from Pauline and the mince pie and the pipers! And do you know what? The sun in shining today and we are having a woodchopping competition in the village. I thought Pauline might enter but she only uses a wood splitter, not an axe so she doesn’t qualify.

  3. A lovely insight into an awesome festival. I am blown away at the size of those Giant Rhododendrons. I too get very emotional with bands, must be a family trait! We will have to come to Sydney one day, I would love to see where you live and the blue mountains.
    We have a Rhododendron festival in Whanganui, which we have talked about going to for many years but haven’t got there as yet either !!
    Love Margie xx

    • Pauline

      We would love to show you and Art around Margie. As with New Zealand, the scenery up here is very spectacular and a wonderful contrast to Sydney. Oct/Nov is a great time to vsit as the gardens are in their full spring glory. We were in the park today and the giant rhodos are truly beyond description. Editor Des WAS exaggerating about my reaction to the the band…. but not much!

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