66 shades of grey

66 shades of grey
66 shades of grey ... this pic of me was shot by Kim, of Kim Thomsen's Photography at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Kim just wandered over and asked whether it was OK to get some character shots.


The cross is in front of the church in Karumba and it seems TV antennas have a greater reach for the sky.


I went fishing out of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We anchored in a bay about 10 hours from Nhulunbuy and went ashore. This poor fella had been snared in the locals' overnight net and then had a run-in with the resident 14-foot saltwater croc - named Nike by the local indigenous fellas - and came off second best.

the rock

the rock

oodnadatta track

oodnadatta track
What a tough place to live ... this is out on the Oodnadatta Track


My photo
G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When that little bit extra is unwelcome

Well, it’s 12.25 and that’s breakfast out of the way … OK, it was blunch. It was breakfast themed – bacon, eggs, mushrooms and a cuppa – but the time suggested otherwise, hence blunch. Reckon it’ll catch on?
The weather is pretty shitful … I actually put on a shirt this morning (yeah, over a blue singlet), such was the biting wind as I was enjoying the first cuppa and smoke for the day.
It was actually cold enough, and rain was threatening, for me to grab a tarp and spread it across the rear and partially up the side of the annexe. Now, it’s like being in my old lounge room but with the benefit of fresh air. After yesterday’s heat, this morning’s cold was a rude awakening.   
The sunshine yesterday was the perfect opportunity to do a job that has been bugging me for a while … draining one of the trailer’s two water tanks and giving it a bloody good flush. I know how much better I operate after a good dose of fibre. I reckon the tank flush became necessary when I started to notice little extra bits in my cups of tea. “That can’t be good,” I said to myself.
And given that I was having a guest stay for the long weekend, I had to clean up my act. So, out came the toolkit and I hit the horizontal i.e. flat on my back under the trailer and pretty soon I had disconnected the bottom-most pipe into the tank and placed it in my drainage hose, which runs, yeah, to the drain (gravity fed, of course.
After about 15 minutes of draining (yeah, it was draining for me too), it stopped running. Time to put the fresh-water hose into the tank and, running at full bore, I gave it a flush.
After a while, I did an extra bits check and they seemed to have disappeared. Job done, I thought, and again hit the horizontal (this time lying in a pool of water), replaced the hose and all was well with the world.
I went into the annexe to check the sink supply and Jesus wept, the extension cord on which I am running the laptop, fridge and lights was, like me earlier, lying in a pool of water. This can’t be good, I thought, and it was with some trepidation that I picked up a handful of wet plugs and then moved the fridge to dry ground. There was no shock, horror. Until, that is, I ran the tap over the sink. The extra bits were back, although not as plentiful as before.
Perhaps it’s just as well that my friend is now not coming for the weekend. I’m sure she would not have liked the extra bits. Anyway, that’s not a problem because I’m heading to her place in Melbourne for the long weekend.
It was time for a cooling drink of water (from a bottle, not extra bitsville) and to make a call to see how son Liam was getting on. He’s busy renovating my niece’s bathroom and not too far from finishing. But wait, there’s more. My niece, Lisa, and her husband, Shannon, are in Las Vegas and had been on the phone to Liam. Seems they were impressed with the large plasma TV screen recessed into the wall of their hotel bathroom and they want one. So, he’s back to the drawing board.
Liam was just leaving for the hardware shop to buy more supplies. He rang me, not long after he arrived, with welcome news. “There’s a product right in front of me and it has your name on it. It’s called Pour & Go. It’s for flushing out water tanks in vans or whatever.”
I thanked him and headed to the Apollo Bay hardware shop, where I now have two mates, Christos and Rohan, to get some.
“Sorry, we don’t have it, said a helpful girl. “I’ll check with the boys out the back and see if we have anything similar.” No go, it seems. Then another helpful girl had a check of the interweb thing. “You can get it at Mitre 10. The nearest shop is about a three-hour round trip.” Shit.
Then she tracked down a distributor, Farmers’ Warehouse, and a 1300 number.
I thanked her and rang. “Sure,” said Sam, the helpful girl, “We can get it delivered to your campground. It’s $49.95 for a bottle plus $15 postage and it will take about 3-5 days. There’s enough in the bottle to treat 22,000 litres of water.” “Done,” I said.
I pondered how long it would take to use 22,000 litres of water. Now, to put it into perspective, if I was to drink three litres of beer a day for the next 20 years (yeah, I know it means cutting down) that means that in those two decades I’d have consumed 21,900 litres of frothy stuff. That’s a lot of water and I reckon it was money well spent.
I was sitting around on the weekend (there’s a surprise) reading a book (another surprise) when I was surprised by a big cuddly koala wandering across the campground. I high-tailed it in pursuit and followed him up the steps that lead to the Great Ocean Road (not a good place for a koala). My main job was to stop him heading to the bitumen and to try to convince a woman who tagged along to stop trying to feed it bread. I thought about suggesting she try a gumleaf sandwich (without the mustard), but she was an English tourist and I’m sure it would have gone through to the keeper.
The little fella stayed away from the road and spent a good deal of time trying to climb a Lavazza coffee sign, at which point I grabbed my phone and snapped a few more pictures. Finally, he went bush and I returned to my digs. As I walked past my neighbours, the bloke (a truck driver) said: “They’re nothin’ but a fuckin’ nuisance on the road.” Nice, I thought, what a caring, sharing soul you are.
I was sitting in the tent looking at the pictures and I thought, why not send them to Lavazza to see if they want to use them in, say, a funny caption competition or something. For a fee, of course.
I finally snagged an email address and sent them off. The response was quick. Yep, the PR bloke was interested in buying one and asked me how much. I suggested it was his job to know stuff like that and that he should make me an offer. Now, I’m waiting.
My son, Joel, suggested asking Lavazza for a sign and taking it on the road and photographing it in all sorts of rugged, beautiful places or with odd things (there are plenty out there). I may just do that. For a fee, of course.
Dunno what the score is in Melbourne, but by my reckoning all its flies are holidaying at Skenes Creek. I’ve never seen so many. And they stick like shit to a blanket. There’s even a couple of dozen that are, like me, addicted to my tobacco pouch. Then there are the ones that have figured my cup of tea is the campground pool, so they join the extra bits.
I can tell that they’re holidaying because every night at about seven they give me a break and go home to bed. Or perhaps they go out to dinner.
They certainly would have enjoyed mine last night. Beef and burgundy snags, potatoes in their jackets, with lashings of butter and parsley, and steamed carrots, broccoli and bok choy … oh, and a none-too-small bucket of shiraz-cabernet.
It was the flies’ loss.
And speaking of dinner, I suggested a few days ago to a backpacker bloke that we have a barbie at the spot near my tent and a couple of jars. Done.
I spent some time late in the afternoon making a tossed salad and dressing and an excellent potato salad with spring onions, wafer-thin celery, boiled eggs and mayo.
We’d arranged to meet at 6.30. At about 6.45, one of the girls wandered by and said he has already cooked and he’s eating and that he was at the other end of the campground. Oh, that’s nice, I thought. I wandered up there and there he was tucking into a couple of barbecue lamb chops, some bread and about a pint of tomato sauce, all washed down with a litre of Coke.
I put my dead beast on the grille and offered him some salad as I poured myself a large glass of red.  
It seems the English have a different idea when it comes to having a barbie.

1 comment:

  1. Just so you know, I'm enjoying your blog. Cheers again.