I love Winton. It’s exactly what I hoped the Australian Outback would be like. Roads that come to a dead end and lead off into dusty wasteland, wind pumps, the occasional emu walking down the pavement, DIY dwellings and good old Australian blokes watching the world go by from their favourite pub. We even saw a kangaroo bounding across the plain this afternoon. It must be a pretty bizarre place to live, which probably explains the existence of Arno’s Wall.
Arno is a resident of Winton who decided in the 1980s to starting building a wall around his property made up of household objects and mechanical parts. TVs, ovens, WW2 helmets, even the odd motorbike, you name it, he’s probably concreted it into his wall. No one’s really sure why he did this, but it’s become a minor tourist attraction and was the perfect kind of bonkers item for our show.
Around midday, after a proper roasting from the sun, we were suddenly hit by a thunder storm, which caused a certain level of excitement in the town as it was the first rain they’d had in 18 months. It only lasted a couple of hours though and didn’t impinge too much on our afternoon, filming our song about ‘Waltzing Matilda’. We filmed in the ‘Waltzing Matilda Centre’ while the rain subsided (Winton really does milk its ‘Waltzing Matilda’ connection for all it’s worth), then headed down to the nearest “billabong” (or watering hole) a few miles out of town. Good job we had a 4×4 as the rain had turned the dirt track into deep sticky mud. Slid our way down to the water’s edge, where we finished off the song as I strode around in my traditional Aussie clobber whilst Naomi had to slop through the mud behind me in a pink ball gown and high heels, dodging piles poo left by some unidentified animals. Two elderly caravaners sat on the other side of the billabong observing us throughout, probably wondering what the hell was going on.