“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





04 March 2017


Bloody Marys for breakfast: happy days in the bar of the Blinman pub ... Cheong Liew, yours truly and James "The Sheriff" Bourne at George Grainger Aldridge's famously successful Cook Out Back Camp Oven Cookoff in January 2012 ... photo©Milton Wordley

It's very bad news that both the Hawker and Blinman pubs closed their doors in January. Shut. Dry.

Both these Flinders Ranges watering holes have been central to the vast region's culture since the earliest days of bush tourism.  Not only did they precede tourism, but they were reasons for its occurrence. 

They were very important tourist attractions in themselves.

Since I first whinged about these invaluable thirst emporia closing, there came a wave of comments about there being plenty of resorts surviving in the north, but to me these missed the point: the outback cannot be gentrified. 

Both these historic public houses were essential resting places for those on a budget, which of course includes all the permanent residents of those wild and beautiful Ranges.

Not to mention hungry, thirsty, stone-broke writers. And artists.

There's talk of a consortium of locals taking the old joints over, but so far it seems this is still just talk. I'll attempt to keep you informed.

George Grainger Aldridge spends a lot of his time painting the Flinders at his old farmhouse on Druid Range, between Hawker and Blinman. Where's he gonna sit with a beer, pondering, chewing the fat, and making delightful portraits of those who wander in? ... photo©Philip White 

... and here's an example of George's Flinders work: The Flinders Granges, a big landscape that hung for a year in The Exeter until a wise British Grange collector fell in love with it and bought it for another Grange-loving mate ... I for one can vouch that George's meagre artist's income has never stretched to afford him a bottle of Grange on the Range ... was he subconsciously channeling the notion that you can't gentrify the outback?


Anonymous said...

These is a disaster. i heard the Cradock pub in the Flinders ranges and the Wanbi pub in the SA Mallee had finally closed. Pub-less towns really do go to the dogs very quickly

Philip White said...

Cradock has opened again under new management; apparently going well.