We’ve been invited over to our caravan mate’s place for afternoon tea. They live in a seventy year old Queenslander housein tropical Mackay. Now I’ve been busting to see inside one of these houses forever so I’m just a little excited. The inside walls are of vertical timber boards that stretch up to a ceiling that is 14 feet above. The windows are shuttered and doorways are crowned with fretwork. We have tea on the wide teak verandah overlooking the garden and the rain that tumbles down unceasingly. This is the dry season. Our friends describe how they use the verandah as their living area most of the year and how they have to pack the furniture downstairs when cyclones are imminent.
Suddenly there’s a booming roar as a plane descends directly above us. “He’s missed the runway” says ‘L’ casually “He’ll go around again shortly.” And he does, about 15 minutes later to the same comment. “If he doesn’t get it next time he’ll go back to Brisbane.” We find out next day that L’s brother was on the flight and the plane did indeed go back to Brisbane and he missed that night’s family dinner in Mackay.