Barradale Roadhouse. Part 1
Updated: Oct 21
It was around 1966 I was 17 and thrilled to get a job as a booking clerk in the lovely old Beaufort Hotel in Highgate, Western Australia. Making accomodation bookings, handing out room keys, doing paperwork and answering the switch board. Each morning I would catch a bus into Perth from Nedlands (an inner suburb of Perth) and I would do what everyone else was doing, WORK.
Each day the greyhound bus would pull up in the bus bay out the front of the Hotel and pick up passengers, it was heading up the Highway going North. The people would have with them a bag and a pillow ready for the long hot journey and a few snoozes on the way. Thinking maybe that's what I would like to do, so the next day I brought a small bag to work and a change of clothes I jumped on that bus without telling anyone where I was going as I didn't know myself. The bus went via all the northern suburbs and as it started to get out into the countryside doing its usual route, dropping passengers off at small country towns or a front gate of a cattle station and or properties that were isolated. Someone would drive out from the homestead sometimes 50klms to the main gate to pick them up.
I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the scenery out the window, maybe one day it will become a piece of my art. The next stop was the Barradale roadhouse North of Carnarvon (it has since been demolished). A feed while we fuelled up was a good idea, I asked if there were any job vacancies and there I was working again feeding travellers, not doing what my poor Dad had paid for me to learn. Dad sent me to a private girls school and then to a full time Business College in the city, expecting me to do well in a nice profession. Do you call me a selfish teenager wanting to do something more exciting, or someone that is just very alert and inquisitive.
I have no idea what always drove me North, though I enjoyed the work and the people and the stories they told. I have always loved a transient population like in the mining towns with fly in fly out employment, a best friend today and gone tomorrow, always more aquaintenances or friends to be made, going back to the city was never on my agenda.
The painting above is a watercolour of some of the ranges you can see whilst driving North. More than often a dry river bed, as it is monsoonal country it is characterised by its reliance on the seasonal monsoon winds and distinct wet and dry seasons, so many changes of terrain and they are all unique and I loved them all. No doubt if you keep reading my blogs you will hear so much more about this beautiful country we live in and my art my life and my loves. To be continued somewhere down the track.