We just had the best weekend. Camping with a great bunch of friends – there really is nothing better.
It was the annual ABC Amateur Race Club Brunette Downs Races, Rodeo & Campdraft weekend. Brunette Downs is a huge cattle station in the middle of nowhere (of course it is!). About 3 hours from Tennant Creek and 6 hours from Mt Isa. Out here, in the sticks, our get togethers mostly revolve around horses. Races, Campdrafts and Rodeo’s. Now before you think I have turned into some sort of horsey horse rider …. forget it. I just tag along for the social factor. Even Mr Chardy left his horses behind and just took one for Tom to ride in the Gymkhana and Campdraft. So it was a fun family weekend – we actually saw him.
We camped with the good old neighbours – Mr & Mrs Sav Blanc and Co. There were heaps of us in our camp and we truly are like one big happy family. It doesn’t matter if you are staff, family or friends, it all feels like family. The kids just disappear and play together, and drink copious amounts of soft drink and harass us all weekend for money to buy useless items from the hawkers. By Sunday I gave into the begging and bought them the wallet they wanted. Not sure why they wanted them because once they bought the actual wallet they didn’t have any money to put in it.
Thursday night there was a lovely Wine and Cheese night and on Friday night it was the Rodeo. Check out this photo of Mr Chardy (on the left). Some old blokes just can’t handle the fast life. This rodeo watching business is very hard work!
On Saturday we all dusted ourselves off and frocked up for the races. The transformation is quite unique. We got ready in the dust and wind. But if you think we were roughing it then think again, we had a generator that could have powered a small town, so we were able to dry our hair AND use the hair straightener (which also doubles as an iron if you are ever stuck!). Now it just so happens that my first Governess – Sophie Allport – is now as brilliant Milliner so we were decked out with Flemington worthy head pieces. Soph travelled all the way up from Melbourne to visit. Such a talented young lady, she made her whole outfit and took out Fashions on the Field. I think she looked a million bucks. You can read more about Sophie here.
After 3 nights of camping we packed up and hit the road home. Every man and his dog followed. The convoy back to Chardy HQ was terrific – 18 vehicles long. Nothing beats a convoy on a dusty track. Of course there were a few stops along the way but the best one was 30 km’s from home – in one of our paddocks – and smack in the middle of the road – we had ourselves and impromptu bbq lunch. We all pulled up and before you could blink, and within about 5 minutes, there were tables set up, chairs out, bbq’s hooked up to gas and even a blender hooked up to the Generator whipping up a Japanese Slipper. Mr Chardy trots out the best slippers and hasn’t had a dissatisfied customer yet. So we put our slippers on and enjoyed some steak, sausages, soft cheeses, nibbles and of course great company. There were silver goblets but there wasn’t a silver platter in sight, but no one seemed to care. It was my favourite part about the whole weekend. We are so lucky to have such great friends & staff. Once back at Chardy HQ the Sav Blanc crew had to keep motoring as they had another couple of hours to go before they were home. It was a sad goodbye but I kept one of Mrs Sav’s sons as ransom. Now she will have to come back to visit and collect him. It also means my boys are entertained as it is school holidays. So now I have 4 boys!
Anyway, gee I can ramble on can’t I? I will shut up now and show you some photo’s!
So tell me, have you ever been to the Brunette Races? Is there anything better than a country race meeting?