Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up
Vintage, $34.99 pb, 342 pb, 9780143789284
I have only been to Harden-Murrumburrah once, the small town where journalist Gabrielle Chan moved in 1996, leaving the Canberra press gallery to live on a farm with her husband. It was on the way back from a football match in Cootamundra, in the middle of another grim Canberra winter. After a tough win, we all jumped on the team bus and pub-crawled our way through various country towns, arriving in Harden during its Saturday-night peak hour. The evening was magnificent. Although initially suspicious, the locals seemed to enjoy it too. While my memory is hazy, the highlight was watching a local drinker perform the town’s unofficial ballad (I think it was about a dingo). By the third chorus, the entire pub was singing along.