the key of tea
Waiting for my tea to cool at the stockman's camp. Some crazy old fart is strumming double time on a guitar. I'm suprised its still in tune.
Its warm outside today and my tea is still steaming in its green plastic mug. Boiling hot straight from the fire.
'Anyone with an instrument is welcome to come up here and have a sit. We're playing anything'. He says. 'Anything in the key of G' he adds as they begin another tune.
The only person on stage without a beard is a woman sitting quietly with a fiddle in her lap. Some kind of waltz is going now. There are 2 fiddles, 1 harmonica, 1 ukelele and 3 squeeze boxes. I want to sway in my seat. Mesmerised, as I write, by the vibration of the tent. 2 rooting flies land on my camera and shake me out of my head.
I remember my tea. It is cool enough to drink now but I'm reluctant to drain my cup for fear of altering the mood of the music.
Smoke rolls out between the pines from the spit. 2 sheep are squewered across the hot coals cooking slowly for tea. The smell is divine in a way that nothing bottled and sold for a fortune ever is. A kid bashes away behind me in the smokey pines on a 44 gallon horse. The music has picked up now. Almost merry. A melancholy jig that could only have its origins in Ireland.
The lone woman finally lifts her bow and contributes to the sound. A tin whistle is leading the way. 'A Tasmanian version of an Irish tune...' he says when it winds to a halt. Someone comes and adds their name to the blackboard completing the lineup for today.
My tea is cold. I sip the sugar waiting at the bottom. I need to pee but I will ignore it until it yells louder than the band.