SIMPLE PLEASURES: John Leadbeatter, pictured with his granddaughter Serena Allen, entered his almost 600kg pumpkin into the Lismore competition on January 20.
SIMPLE PLEASURES: John Leadbeatter, pictured with his granddaughter Serena Allen, entered his almost 600kg pumpkin into the Lismore competition on January 20. Samantha Poate

Thing about Lismore, we know how to have a good time

IF THERE'S one thing you can say about Lismore, is that we know how to have a good time.

I was at the farmers market on Saturday and there, to my delight, was the giant pumpkin competition.

There is absolutely no stopping us here in Lismore when it comes to a having fun.

From the tropical fruits party to the Speedway we are inclusive and unabashed.

We love a party, a street, a protest, a big truck parade, a food fair, a Viking village and of course, a giant pumpkin competition.

These pumpkins and melons were ginormous. A forklift ever so gently lifted them and weighed them. One was over 300kg. That's a few rugby players squashed together! Some of the giant pumpkins look similar in size to a VW beetle!

A TV crew captured the big moment. The crowd hung around and oohed and aah-ed. We cheered the winner. It was a wonderful a sight to behold.

That's the thing about Lismore. Uncomplicated, ordinary, tolerant and easy to live in.

Occasionally people from Byron Bay ask me where I live and when I say Lismore, they can barely contain their shock. It's clearly an affront to their delicate feelings.

I smile and pat their arm. "Don't come to Lismore,” I say. "You'd hate it.”

They walk away relieved and drive back to their expensive coastal dwellings and their expensive shopping and congested roads.

You stay over there, I think, Try and find a park while you're at it. Try and do some easy local shopping. Off you go.

You see, we don't want them to know about all the great stuff that goes on here, the art, the theatre, the ease of parking, the farmer and car boot markets, the green initiatives that make our council a national leader in worm farms and recycling, the supportive and friendly community.

They'll come here and try to change things, to gussy things up, make us "hip”.

They may even take pictures of themselves next to the giant log!

But we are better than that. The giant pumpkin competition brings me to my senses when the world appears too awful. Here is everyday goodness. Here are simple realities. A bloody great pumpkin and a crowd of admirers.

That will do me.


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