Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever 2018

"Out on the wiley, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green
You had a temper like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy
How could you leave me
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you, I loved you, too..."
Kate Bush 1978     

There's a fabulous event that takes place around the world called The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever.

Each year on the 14th of July, Cathys all over the world gather together to dance to Kate Bush's 1978 song Wuthering Heights.This global event originated in 2013 by a group called Shambush in Brighton UK, as an attempt to have the most people dressed as Kate Bush in one place.

I had previously wanted to attend the Melbourne event but couldn't get anyone to join me. Then I saw on Facebook that many old friends and family attended and danced at the 1st Wuthering in my home city of Canberra in July 2017. I messaged my uncle Davids wife Libby who danced, declaring "Next year I'm coming up to Canberra to Wuther with you!"
Then sadly and very suddenly in August my Uncle David passed away. 
When I attended his funeral, one of the first things Libby and I agreed on was: "This is really shit." One of the things we later agreed on was that we would still Wuther together in Canberra at the next event in July 2018.

I ordered my costume from the lady who organises the Melbourne event. 
What do you need to Wuther?

A red dress (of course), red flowers for your neck AND hair. A black scarf for your waist, red stockings and black shoes. And if you're follicularly challenged or don't quite have Kates long, dark tresses then grab a wig. I decided to go a la naturel red. I'm one of those red heads that normally runs away screaming from red clothes, but this time I just thought I'd go with it!

I practised to the choreography videos created by Brooke the Canberra choreographer on Facebook in my loungeroom.

While Sonofagun No.2 made fun of me and tried to secretly film while I practiced in the loungeroom, I practiced the sultry shoulder move, the arm waving in the breeze (I've totally stuffed my rotator cuff), the zombie walk, the wuthering spin, the Heathcliff kick (after completing 250 of these, I need a hip replacement), and the soul hands flutter

music copyright: EMI

The Bear and kids came along and we had a lovely, but freezing weekend in the capital seeing the iconic Canberra sights.

First stop was the iconic Black Mountain Tower in the centre of the city. We arrived just on sunset. The Tower has an observation deck that you can walk all the way around. We couldn't see a good sunset as it was very cloudy to the west.
View from the Tower through the windows (thats why the image is a bit glarey) just before sunset.
View just after sunset.

The tower is lit up at night in different colours.

Then we drove into the CBD (called Civic) for dinner!

So it's winter here and Canberra is icy. Minus 5 at night but clear sunny days of 11 celcius.  Civic was set up for winter frolicking...
Ok. So although Canberra gets down to the minuses at night, it rarely snows. But they set up a skating rink in Garema Place anyway. Tonight it was Minus 4!
Sonofagun No.2 was thrilled to see giant penguins in Civic
Ironically we had delicious tacos and sangria at a bright summery themed restaurant called Beach Burrito!
Left to right: Crumbed fish taco, O.G. Chicken (whatever that is), and shredded beef. These were so unbelievably delicious and fresh, we ordered more. And the service was super fast!

On Friday we headed out to catch up with my best friend from high school Vanessa whom I haven't seen in 20 years at the nearby village of Bungendore. She was officiating at the Bungendore Dog Show.

Sonofagun No.2 decided to wear a cat onesie. A corgi growled at him, but these spaniels were merely curious.

That night I joined Libby for the final Wuthering Heights dress rehearsal. 

Saturday morning we woke to frost on the car and with the temperature hitting a balmy 1 degree, I donned my thin chiffon red dress, thick coat and we headed back into Civic Square.

Usually the wuthering takes place in a park or woodland, but this year marked the 200th birthday of Emily Bronte who wrote the novel Wuthering Heights, so the Civic Library requested that the event take place in front of the library. Money was also raised for the Domestic Violence Crisis Centre to aid people affected by domestic violence, because in case you haven't read the book Wuthering Heights (spoiler alert) Heathcliff was a bit of an asshole.

**FUN FACT: This year marks Emily Bronte's 200th birthday on the 30th of July. It is also the same day as Kate Bush's birthday! Kate will be 60. And my brother the Red Haired Raider will be 38 although that's only exciting for my family.**

First we warmed up to 'Rubberband Man' by Kate Bush with our squats, arm waves and right leg kicks. 

There were boy Cathys, girl Cathys, a little girl Cathy (who was absolutely adorable and danced wonderfully) and even some dog Cathys (who didn't really dance, but looked like they wish they could have and barked in appreciation of our efforts, then occasionally pee'd to mark their territory).

Brooke who organised the event and lead the rehearsals also had posted videos on the events Facebook page which were wonderfully easy to follow, so I felt super confident and not at all nervous!

We all did the sultry shoulder move, the arm waving in the breeze (a good dose of Voltaren meant I could no longer feel the pain in my rotator cuff), the zombie walk, the wuthering spin, the Heathcliff kick (Once the Voltaren wore off that night I totally knew I'd need a titanium hip like my Auntie Margaret), and the soul hands flutter
Bear filmed this little video on my phone. It's not front on but still not too bad. Would you like to watch us? An advance warning that you can hear lots of cameras clicking and puppies barking!

There were loads of other beautiful Cathys to dance with which made it much more fun.
All the Cathys post- Wuthering. My dress had gone all static-y and stuck to my stockings so they look like pantaloons. Btw, I'm the redhead on the right!
The Fatherdom and Mothership drove down from Mollymook to watch and my brother the Red Haired Raider brought along his beautiful little girls as well.

After the Wuther, we walked through the CBD to find coffees and to sit and catch up.
I love the statues throughout the CBD. 

The Canberra Times Fountain
The Other Side of Midnight by artist Anne Ross
 Later that afternoon, the Bear took the boys to the Dinosaur museum, whilst The Parental Units and I visited the National Portrait Gallery on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

I took loads of photo, but here are a few of my favourites.

Dr Brown and Green Old Time Waltz by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton
The Hon. Mary Gaudron by Sally Robinson

Actress Deborah Mailman by Evert Ploeg

Notorious bushranger Ned Kellys death mask. He had a really small head.
I forgot to note who this family was and the artist, but let's call them "Ye Old Timey Family playing Whist and conversing on topics of both sense and sensibility"!
Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark. One of our local girls from Tassie! I loved the detail of Princess Mary wearing the insignia of the Knight of the Order of the Elephant.
 The next morning we set off for the 7 hour drive back to Melbourne. 

Even though it was really cold, the days were bright and sunny. Sonofagun No.2 wanted to spend more time with his little cousins and there were many more things to see. Hopefully we can spend a few days there in Summer...

The Two Ls: Louise & Libby! Red-dy (HA!) to Wuther on the wily, windy concrete...

The Red Haired Amazona


  1. -5... We call that "Patio" temps up here! ;->
    We're into week-3 of +30 to 40 weather at the moment. And only had a bit of rain last night during the whole spell. All of the rain systems keep missing us! The closest I've gotten to -5 lately was at Costco's walk-in cooler today getting our milk!

    You know, I've actually been to the Bronte family house [1976]... Church graveyard in the BACKyard... Tall, gloomy trees, ravens cawing all the time... There's a "reason" WHY all of those girls wrote the way they did and that their brother was a drunk! -- Although, the village was rather charming with lots of quaint teeny shops. I still have a nice wool blanket that I'd bought there.

    Anyhoo, looks like FUN was had by all. Great pics!

    hmm... Record-breaking Crochet, dancing in Red... WHAT next??!!
    [insert: Twilight Zone music]

  2. I think you dancing with this group is soooOOOooo cool! Loved the whole story of it all. My condolences on your loss. You boy in the cat suit talking to those adorable dogs was priceless. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Wow you learn new things about the place you call home every day !! I've never heard of the Wuther dance - it looked great and would have been good to see. Thanks for the visit to the National Gallery - have never been there in all the years I've lived in Canberra. Hope you had time to wander around Bungendore - they have some amazing crafty type shops there. Loved your son and those Cavaliers. I also didn't know that Telstra Tower changes colours - that must be for special occasions as I live relatively close and have only seen it in the usual colour. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Canberra.

  4. Never heard of this event, but it sounds wonderful and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    Can't imagine the cold temperatures as we are in the middle of a heatwave (about 34°C and higher) but my head knows that it's winter where you are and summer overhere).
    Anyway, that sunofagun of yours sounds a lot like my daughter: secretly filming mother when she is doing things that they find funny ( like when I'm doing some exercises for my belly...) :-) Luckily she doesn't put it on social media!! Haha!
    Take care,