I am excited to announce that Wedding Bells by The Creek – the fifth book in my Coorah Creek series, is a finalist in the Aspen Gold Readers Choice Award, presented by the Heart of Denver chapter of Romance Writers of America. So very very thrilled. There are more details here.
The Australian Ute
When I wrote my first Australian novel, an English friend asked me what I meant by a ‘ute’. I was shocked. Utes are such an intrinsic part of life in Australia – particularly in the bush, that it never occurred to me that anyone would not know what a ute was.
Ute stands for utility – a utility vehicle and I doubt there’s a rural property anywhere in Australia that doesn’t have at least one… or possibly more than one.
Classic utes are generally white, and smaller than what the American’s call a ‘truck’. They go on forever – and it’s not at all uncommon to find a very old ute still in everyday use.
I think I drove my first ute when I was about 13. (On a sheep farm, of course. Not on a public road – that would have been illegal.) Utes are what all young men, and quite a few young women, drive in the bush – often with a working dog in the back.
Cars are a status symbol everywhere – and the Australian bush is no exception. Sometimes a ute becomes more than just a workhorse. This is where ute shows come into the picture. Often held with Bachelor and Spinster Balls, the shows give proud ute owners a chance to show off their prized possessions and compete for coveted trophies.
Not every ute is polished and perfect… take for example the feral ute…
… which must be covered with stickers from as many B&S balls as possible.
There is the chick’s ute class…
…and competitions for big shiny new utes.
The important thing about utes is that they never die. They just sit in a shed…
…and wait for someone to come along and love them.
- Return to The Bachelor And Spinster Ball
- View a mud map of Farwell Creek
- Visit the town of Farwell Creek
- Take a look at the Queensland Rural Fire Brigade in action
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