Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Mr Five and the Big "E" had been with us while it rained for the week before Trev arrived, so if he was expecting to settle back and relax for a day two while his jetlag subsided he was sadly mistaken.

Perhaps it was because the temperature in Bristol had been a balmy minus three when he left, and we were now, just two days later dragging him off west of the Range, in temperatures approaching forty degrees, that he seemed so spend a goodly part of his time in the front seat with matchsticks propping his eyes open.

On our way out we'd seen all manner of things foreign to a Pom; empty roads, flood markers, utes with testicles and we'd even heard bellbirds.   It had been quite a tour, but we'd promised much, much more.

During previous visits to the Jondaryan woolshed we'd been shown the place by ex-shearers or jackaroos with names like "Bluey" or "Curly" who had dogs called "deefer" and rollies hanging from the corners of their mouths or unlit behind their ears, and we'd been regaled with tales of the good old days in the sheds.

We had made no small point of explaining to our guest that he was about to leave a lot wiser than he already was, indeed, the best was yet to come we insisted. Perhaps we should not have painted such a vivid picture.

Today we were introduced to "Ken". I have of course no disrespect for those with that moniker, after all my own brother stands tall among them, but this particular "Ken" had clearly left his gabbing equipment in the crib room before he set off.  When, just one sentence into his patter he apologised, informing us that he'd had a week off and hadn't got all the necessary stuff back into his head yet, we may have been wise to have backed slowly away there and then.

But we didn't, preferring instead for the benefit of our Pom, to fill the gaps with our own formidable repertoire of anecdotes and lies.

The highlight of Ken's entire discourse and perhaps the day if not the year, arrived during our tour of the wheelwright's shed, when pointing sternly at the brick hearth in the blacksmith's corner he turned to all who were still listening and remarked, with words that will ring in our ears for ever:

"That's an original concrete, thing."


Thursday, January 05, 2012

A final touch-up

With the echoes of the scruffy horde still faintly audible along the hallway, and half of them returning within the week there seemed that there was no time like the present to get the last of the walls sanded and sealed before hanging up the handyman tools for the year. 

 Given the choice between doing nothing and continuing to work on the house for the next few months it doesn't take a giant intellect to work out what I'd rather be doing, and with "visitor season" fast approaching, we have concluded that it's time for "pencils down, hands away!" 

By now though, all the walls have a new sealer coat, ready to be finished once the ceilings are done, and really only detail work will remain for the new year. 

 So on with life it is!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year - Backdated!

Happy New Year to all, backdated of course to make it look as though I didn't forget. In a number of European countries, nothing is more important than time away from the "office" in the peak of summer. 

How we've chuckled as we've walked past restaurants in resort locations closed at the peak of the holidays as the family concerned take a well earned break, seemingly oblivious to the fact that their businesses could be seeing record turnover due to the influx of holiday makers. We thought we might even go hungry in Paris one summer evening last year as we walked from one establishment to another unable to find one that didn't have a hastily written note wishing us well while the owners frolicked somewhere else. 

It's those "this would never happen at home" experiences which make travel worthwhile, and there's no point in grumbling, after all it's all kind of quaint if one thinks about it. 

We didn't rise till well into the morning on New Year's day, and on the spur of the moment we both decided that we'd start the year quietly sipping coffee, with perhaps a toasted something while sitting beside the beach at Moffs. It's not something we do often, and as we walked in the bright mid morning sunshine, we could almost smell the coffee being roasted before our very nostrils. 

But it was not to be. Moffat Beach you see, can now be ranked as a truly international destination, vying in the quaintness stakes for a position among the best Europe has to offer. 

The evidence? 

 On every door a handwritten sign which read: "closed for the holiday".
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