Mar 2021, Melbourne, Vic
Oh, what a crazy world we live in. So many people are still in lockdown and we all live in fear of this damned virus. Here, in Australia we do our best to live normally (with masks and social distancing) but every so often the virus seems to break out of a quarantine hotel forcing a snap lockdown and yet another eradication. Thankfully, the vaccine rollout is now underway and being oldies who’ve been through this before we can’t wait to get our text to line up for the jab. Funnily, or perhaps not so funny… I was talking to my neighbour about such things and she said that her school netball team back in the 50’s lost a girl a year to death from disease. With only 9 girls in a netball team, it’s no wonder they couldn’t win the comp!
Pandemic aside 5 days of torrential rain on Australia’s east coast has caused widespread flooding from south of Sydney as far north as the Gold Coast in Qld. The worst bushfires on record, a pandemic and two severe floods since Xmas 2019 in those regions. How do you bounce back from that?
To be a little cheery I thought I’d take you on another trip to the tropics, this time to a place called Rollingstone although we did happen to have our share of droughts and flooding rain.
Like a Rollingstone, Day 1 10/5/2016 Tuesday Home to Boort
Melbourne is cold, wet and miserable and by the time we stop for coffee at Kyneton it is down to 10 degrees. Grist artisan bakery is a newcomer on trendy Piper Street but it has Woody grinning behind a big glazed fruit bun. He reckons it’s the best he’s ever tasted. The bakery is in a wooden building that feels old English. The ceiling is low and the timber floor uneven and patched. While Woody chows through his bun I wander off to the loo and get locked in. The ill-fitting old wooden door gets stuck on the uneven floor. Luckily, a gentleman comes along, yanks the door and I fly out into the hallway.
In Boort there are old gnarly peppercorn trees in the Main Street and bracts of pink peppercorns are crushed on the pavement. The air smells sweetly of pink pepper.
Simply Tomatoes and Aussie Wool Quilts is 15kms north of town, down 5 kms of good dirt road. Owner Ian directs us to a park near the dam which is home to a flock of geese. VeeWee arrives having taken the dry weather road by mistake, she had to put the Tuareg into 4WD to get out of a bog. We then discover that our stove isn’t working. Gas is getting through to both the fridge and the hot water service but not the stove. We roll about on the floor squeezing our fingers into nooks in cupboards trying to find the source of the problem. Meanwhile VeeWee is running circles around her van trying to get a half decent satellite signal. To make matters worse Tillie the poodle keeps running through the cables and tying them up with her lead. Eventually we ring the stove manufacturer Swift Group and they suggest that we return to Campbellfield for a new solenoid. Damn, having to return to Melbourne after only one day really is a disappointment.
Over at the homestead Ian’s and his wife Marilyn are busy preparing tomorrow’s lunch for 27. We share a drink by the open fire with a couple from Albury then heat our dinner on VeeWee’s stove as it is too cold and windy to cook outside on our BBQ.
The bed is as warm as toast, but we are woken hourly by honking geese. That’s a first.
Towing Kms: 310kms