Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cherry Pip Spitting Trophy Revealed

The big news from Manjimup is the Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting Championship Trophy.
Made by two local artisans - Lui Arcaro and Bert Angus - the trophy stands almost 10 metres from the ground up.
All right, not that high, but high enough to make folk stop, look, stay a while, and marvel at the intricacies, the delicacies and the sheer audacity of the craftmanship.
Almost 200 people gathered for the unveiling, in Peter McGinty's cherry orchard, a few ks out of Manjimup on Graphite Road, where he laid on the very best marron the south west can offer.
The Cherry Kings and Queens were also presented for the first time and two Lui Arcaro jarrah items were auctioned with proceeds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Lui reckons the Flying Doc Service is in much needs of funds and he himself is in much need of the service.
I visited him on the afternoon of the day before and I reckoned he looked in pretty good shape and there was no need to build an airstrip at the back of his house in readiness for the Docs on an emergency call.
While all this was going on people took liberties with wine from the barrels of the Manjimup Wine Association.
As for the trophy itself, that's it above.
(The hands belong to Pam Bodsworth, local identity, local hustler and bustler, local organiser of everything from an icecream to the Southern Aurora. )
Look at it!
Revell in it's comlexity.
Want to own it.
Hang on, even if you win, it'll never be yours, but you will get a replica.
It is proposed that the original be on permanent display in the Manjimup Tourist Bureau.
It will be costly.
Insurance will be needed.
Security is a necessity.
The mystique surrounding the trophy grows by the day and already it has been said that the owner, simply by being in it's presence, has been curred of a life-threatening complaint.
Others living nearby have reported sudden rises in share-holdings, the return of lost loved ones and crops appearing where there has been no rain.
It looks like a miracle!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Not another Cherry Festival?

The bloke on the left is the Leader of the Opposition Liberal Party in the Western Australian State Parliament. His name is Paul Omodei and he can spit. So can his son, Paul Jnr. Paul Jnr is the local champion and he's spitting to make the international scene.

Yes, another!
Yes, there is one in the Brda region of Slovenia. In June.
Check it out on this web site: http://www.gonomad.com/destinations/0410/slovenia_by_the_sea.html
Apparently Brda means rolling hills and the place is west of the Soca River.
Look it up on a map.
Then go there, spit cherry pips and represent Europe in the Great GlobeVista Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival World Championsips of Cherry Pip Spitting.
Ok, laugh, but it will happen.
In Brda, according to Katreen Hardt, the New York writer and actress who wrote the copy on the above web site:"Brda’s annual Cherry Festival is, in short, a weekend celebration in the charming town of Dobrovo, with a parade, including Italian groups from the Friuli region, and the sale of homemade cherry jams and pies in praise of the season. It is the pleasant Mediterranean climate, and the regions close proximity to the Adriatic Sea (on a clear day you can see Aquilea and Grado), that enables Brda grape growers to produce high quality wines to be found on the menu of any high-end restaurant in Ljubljana."
Wow.
Reads just like Manjimup, with it's Italian sausage makers, Greek and Macedonian clubs and its high quality wines.
The major exceptions being that the river is the Warren, the sea is the Indian Ocean (it's a big shire, the shire of Manjimup, runs all the way to the coast) and from a hill you can see Bridgetown, the Blues Music capital of the West.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Big Launch for Cherry Pip Spitting Comp

The annual Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival has been launched in West Australia's deep south west.
OK, there were no cherries, but there were blossoms, not much, because we left the launch a bit late in the season, but there were cherries, lovely cheeky little green buds - and hundreds of them.
Which means this year's crop with be a bumper, all other things working climatically in favour.
Among the big announcements: the New Zealand Central Otago town of Cromwell will send us the New Zealand Cherry Stone Spitting Champion.
This is no idle threat.
Them New Zealanders can spit. Expecially those raised in the high country on fresh fruit and veg.
The Cromwell Promotions Group is organising the Big Spit on the south island and they only have two requirements for entry: the spitter has a current valid passport and is ready to leave on a jet plane.
Why?
Because the Manjimup spit-off is the very next week: December 16th.
And when in Manjimup there will be no idle spitting.
The pips will fly to determine the winner of the GlobeVista Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting Championship.
Yes, it's another TransTasman rivalry and it all begin in Manjimup: Big Timber Country, Big Caulie Country and Big Broccoli Country.
What's more, I have been in contact with folk in the town of Ficksburg, in South Africa's Eastern Free State, home of a 39 year old cherry festival, about an even bigger spit-off next year. Ficksburg is nestled at the foot of Imperani Mountain and on the banks of the Caledon River, right up against the border with Lesotho. (Goodle it and check it out.)
Who would have thought the simple and primitive art of chery pit spitting could reach such a wide audience.
Saliva has long been thought of as having healing properties, in the future, it could bring nations together.

Courtney "Cherry Intern" Monahan, Jon "Blow Hard" Doust, and Ian "Radio Man" Blackley, on MMM, Bunbury.