After a long, hard day cutting up and hauling a downed tree out of my in-laws’ driveway, I’m sitting down on the sofa with a lovely cup of tea and watching McLeod’s Daughters. I love this show. I got hooked during a weekend freebie of WE on satellite a couple of years ago. Lately I’ve been watching it on Netflix. It’s the most recent in a life-long love affair I’ve had with Aussie western type shows.
I grew up with The Man From Snowy River and Return to Snowy River, both of which I could quote verbatim by the age of eight. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I found out Tom Burlinson is actually from New Jersey originally. Of course my love affair at that age with those were entirely because of the horses. I was crazy about all things horse. Read every Walter Farley and Margerite Henry book I could get my hands on. I even adopted (from afar) a wild mustang with a year’s allowance. After those movies, I moved on to the Snowy River: McGregor Saga. Not as fabulous as the movie versions, though the love story with Matt and Kathleen was nice. That was, I suppose, a mark of my growing up that I watched as much for the relationships as the horses.
I loved the western but not western feeling of the whole series. Great period pieces. Then of course I like the more modern versions like McLeod’s Daughters. Cattle stations in the bush! Empowered women! More horses! I’ve read a bunch of contemporary American westerns, but I haven’t found any Aussie ones. Not that I’ve looked hard. But I adore this kind of story. I think partly because it seems sometimes like a less complicated life. No offices, no desks. Wide open spaces, riding fences, taking care of animals. A lot less of the bullshit related to corporate life. Not to mention all those cowboys in tight Levis. 😀
Anyway, can anybody think of a good Aussie based sort of western–movie or book?
I loved the works of RS Porteous; “Brigalow” and “Cattleman”. Sadly, they’re out of print and I’ve lost my copies (never loan books! Never!). But you can still get Mary Durack books (Kings in Grass Castles) if you like those sort of stories. Then there’s “A Town Like Alice” by Nevil Shute and “We of the Never Never” by Jeannie Gunn.
I wouldn’t call them contempory, but they’re damn good reads 🙂
I just found your sight from the Talent Trove link (I was checking out my own as it’s a new one). I really have enjoyed my visit, and will return again.
This post brought so much of my childhood back to me – all the horse books. Is this love of horses by little girls hard-wired into our psyche? Almost all of my female friends has had this horse-mad stage in their lives. I was as well, and a little still remains.
And besides, I really know what you mean in your next-to-the-last line. There’s just something about long legs in tight blue jeans. Yum.
I think there is something about girls and horses. Of course with me it wasn’t so much a phase. SOMEDAY when I can afford it, I’m going to have a few. 😀