Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Here we go!
Brisbane


Nothing says we’re underway more than parking the rental car under the freeway near midnight in a dark airport carpark.

Well maybe a week of partying and family time and frenetically catching up with friends (or not, despite our best endeavours) and having actually left the house half a week ago should have been a broad hint.     Now we have nothing to do but put our feet up and settle in for what will surely be the longest day of the year, or at least one of them.

But first we have an hour or two to while away in slightly brighter surroundings than those we left  our car to suffer.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Conversations with Miss Eight.

With the big “garden gate” on her birthday cake perhaps one should have expected that conversation would rise to a whole new level, but how could one expect this on the morning before her birthday?

Me (in enthusiastic description of the proposed new car): “And it’s got a gadget that will make it impossible to hit anything in reverse.  Even if we don’t see it, the car will and it will stop before it hits.”

Miss Eight, (with a somewhat quizzical countenance):  “Well that’s no good.  What if we want to rob a jewellery store?”

Any hope of she and I becoming a modern day Bonnie and Clyde lies dashed, apparently. 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I may not be cheap but at least I'm slow.

It was Brisbane by train actually, or trial by train to be more precise.   On weekends for people of a certain age, public transport is a hideously slow but quite economical means of getting about. In our now carriage-less state it seemed like the only way of getting about really if we wanted to be present at our Miss Eight’s birthday bash more than a hundred kilometres away.

In our other life are very used to commuting by train.  One of our simple pleasures is derived from monitoring our GPS when we do, watching in awe and fascination as the speed drops to two hundred kilometres per hour as we slow through stations, always arriving to millisecond perfect time.  It came as something of a shock therefore that not only was the train more than ten minutes late when it arrived, but at no time during our several hours aboard did the speed exceed a thrilling maximum of forty-six kilometres per hour.   To rub salt into the already weeping wound, as soon as we boarded there was an announcement to the effect that the toilets were out of action, so if we could all please hold on, we’d have a toilet stop in Caboolture.

Astonishingly, that we did.   All those who felt the need to go, went.  This was of course with a polite warning to get a bit of a wiggle on as they did, in consideration of those left waiting on the train.   Who knows whether heads were counted on and off, but eventually we did get going again and no one seemed to have been left behind.  Miraculously, our connections must have been similarly delayed and we were able to join each leg of the journey without further obvious hold up.

Four hours later, having travelled about one third of the distance that we will be travelling next week in France in a little over one hour, we arrived relaxed and happy, in the knowledge that public transport in Queensland may not be efficient, but at least it can be had for less than a dollar per hour.

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Well perhaps just one last road trip then. (Wednesday 2nd May)
Aratula, Allora, Clifton, Toowoomba, Crows Nest, Toogoolawah, Beerwah


Well perhaps just one last road trip, Wednesday 2nd May

Aratula, Allora, Clifton, Toowoomba, Crows Nest, Toogoolawah, Beerwah

The car has been sold and booked for it’s safety check on Thursday, and by carefully cancelling all our commitments, we discovered we had more than enough time to join our mates on one last (very brief) road trip before becoming carless.

Still hampered by the post-op lift limit, there didn’t seem to be any point in making our life more difficult than it needed to be by camping for one night, so while the others slept in the grounds of O’Shanley’s pub in Clifton, in motorhome and caravan respectively, we oversaw the whole process from our not entirely salubrious first floor window in said establishment.  The vague excuse for this trip was to visit an exhibition of models of da Vinci’s machines and other inventions on display in the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba, and we had just enough time to do that and to complete our little circuit before the sun went down on the second day.  The others, without as many places to go, people to see and things to do as we did at the time, stayed out in the wilds for just one more night.

Of course we had a wonderful time, the trip evoking memories of many just like it in days gone by.  

Perhaps it was a fitting farewell to our little car, the company of good friends and the wonders of da Vinci and the National Carriage Museum made the effort well worth it.

Now though we have an even greater wonder: 

How will our friends from other parts of the world pronounce the names of the towns on our itinerary?
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Farewell old friend (Monday 1st May)


When it happened it seemed as though it was a spur of the moment decision, although one can hardly call eleven years of thinking about what our next car might be “spur of the moment”, but we advertised it for sale over the weekend on the off chance that someone may see the potential we did, and by Monday someone did.

If it had been a horse perhaps we’d say it was off to spend its retirement in greener pastures, for it has many years of life left before any thought of having to put it down, but it’s a car in which we have shared 180,000 kilometres of good times.   That’s technically enough for a dozen or so circumnavigations of Australia although we haven’t actually done that yet, the drive “around the block”.   We have been through and across and up and down this continent though, far enough from the beaten track to have bits of every coloured dust imaginable secreted in its inner-most workings, and a bit of mud and sand to boot despite, concerted efforts over the years to get to them.

It will soon be gone, but the memories have been excluded from the sale.  

Perhaps the next one will be the vessel in which we complete that circumnavigation, but at the moment it is hard to imagine life in the outback without our little silver beast.

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A chap to call our own. (A Friday in early May)


In a few weeks we will be gone.

Our time at the place we call “home” seems to have flown, consumed almost entirely it seems by taking care of the sorts of business that once we thought was solely in the domain of those we considered to be old.  A never ending round of repairs involving teeth, and eyes and ears and actual re-arrangement of body parts has been mashed into the slots we have left in our lives after chasing our little ones, who are just far enough away so that some weeks we wonder whether we actually live on that six lane highway. 

It’s not that there hasn’t been progress on the house, there has, but the crescendo happened last year, now it’s down to something less than a dull roar, an endless list headed “things to do” not unlike the one on the boat, where the invisible sub-title happily reads “but probably not just yet.”   The garden of course did suffer from neglect while all this otherwise occupied-ness was taking place, and the consequences of all that body rearranging made their presence felt.

Rather than “bust a gut, to use a euphemism that in a manner of speaking had already been done, through a small miracle we found our John, who seems just as happy to cut and snip and chainsaw his way through our tiny jungle as we are to watch him happily doing it.  

What a joy it will be to return in six months to a garden in better shape than it was when we left!

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