Paris and Sunday Ambrose at the North Coast National in Lismore on Saturday, October 20.
Paris and Sunday Ambrose at the North Coast National in Lismore on Saturday, October 20. Liana Turner

Shake off world stress at Lismore Show

I TRY to be optimistic, I really do. It's in my nature.

But sometimes the news is too awful, the fires too scary and the climate denying policies of the government too depressing.

When the Minister for Natural Disasters David Littleproud said 'he doesn't know if climate change is manmade' you have to think sometimes the irony is too rich.

No wonder people from all walks of life are taking to the streets increasing numbers, demanding action.

My good friend and accomplished South African writer Eben Venter wrote this powerful piece about what's happening on the world, stimulated by an image he saw of a wolf grieving the loss of its mate.

With fire season kicking off in grand style, arsonists on the loose and politicians wondering if there is a link between humans and climate change it's hard not become really angry and frustrated. As well as despairing.

Eben wrote this after a trip overseas:

"I cried so much about this image on the Emirates Flight, Dubai - Amsterdam: a wolf staying behind to mourn his dying mate. From a BBC documentary shot in the French Alps.

"But I know I also cried about my mother, left alone now back in South Africa, I cried about everything, about life. About the armies of people at Dubai Airport, you could literally feel the earth buckling under their weight.

"About the carefree consumerism; more flights, more cash. About the never-ending needs created by Piaget, Tom Ford and Apple. Karl Marx has said it all way back in the 19th century.

"And outside the docking stations, the Filipino workers waiting to clean aeroplanes of all the single-use plastic.

"And yet, no real alternative exists to drive our economies.

"The bees, the rhinos and the orang-utans, the ancient Amazon jungle, the Papua New Guinean bird of paradise - they don't stand a chance. 10 years, 15 at the most.

"Words are what we're left with. And they too are scant, inappropriate.”

Eben's concerns echo those of many.

What can we do to cheer ourselves up?

Well, there's the Lismore Show and its is, as always, a highlight in my calendar.

Here we see what is happening down at grassroots level, far away from the arguments in Canberra and the chaos on the world stage.

I adore the show with all its down-home delights including the racing pigs, the magnificent livestock, the Dock Dogs, the woodchop, the pickles, cakes and orchids and the ride on mower racing.

The poultry pavilion is my favourite place of all.

Here is where I get to see the beating heart of our town and its surrounds.

At the show I see strength, resilience, resourcefulness and creativity and more. No BS.

Long may the show reign.

It's the best.


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Praying for rain just doesn't cut it

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Places are burning that have not burned in recorded history

Financial support for fire victims

Financial support for fire victims

Financial support on offer for fire victims