Only in Melbourne!

I make a flying visit home for my Aunt’s 90th birthday and on my way back to the airport I swing past Springvale (a Melbourne suburb known for it’s Asian groceries) and pick up a couple of pieces of Lup Yook (cured pork that resembles a skinny brown cricket bat) for Woody’s traditional birthday feast. I shove it in the side of my backpack and forget about it. At airport security the ‘fertiliser guy’ (the bloke who wands you for nitro or explosives or such) happens to be a young Chinese Aussie. “Lup Yook!” he shouts in excitement to his … Continue reading Only in Melbourne!

Beachcombing

This nomadic life can be so serendipitous. While wandering along a beach I meet a couple who were originally from the Mornington Peninsula and who now live on the north coast of NSW. They’re encouraging the littlies to find flotsam and we’re all picking about looking for interesting things from the last tide. It turns out that he is Bill Silverstein and he wrote a book called Down Under Magic about the early days of skin and SCUBA diving in Port Phillip Bay. Bill was in the diving search party for the body of Prime Minister Harold Holt (a keen … Continue reading Beachcombing

A Surprise Connection to an Old Mate

Driving around the Corryong district we can’t stop reminiscing of the times when we used to come up here to visit a farming mate, way back in the Seventies. I make an appointment at the hospital medical centre to have some stitches removed from my leg and I’m greeted by a cheery nurse who suggests that leg stitches should be kept in as long as possible as there the wound is more likely to be ‘stretched’. About to lurch into a tourism spiel (these locals are well versed) she asks if we’re familiar with the area. When I say that … Continue reading A Surprise Connection to an Old Mate

Should’ve Gone to Specsavers

We’re soaking in the artesian bore at Lightning Ridge when I notice a man waving. Is he waving at me or my friend Vee? Neither of us can see all that well, especially when the glasses are in the beach bag but we can see that he has a flowing bushman’s beard at least a foot long. He swims slowly across the pool then stops next to the bloke beside us. We both breathe a sigh of relief. “G’day” he says “when ya want to know the news (around here) ya come to the bores.” Continue reading Should’ve Gone to Specsavers

Damper John

Around the campfire in Skipworth, Vic we are all a chatter when we are joined by a genial bloke who calls himself Damper John. John Fozard is a retired copper who lives on the road these days and winters in Exmouth WA at Bullara Station cooking damper and entertaining the tourists with his poetry and stories. And just in case you are wondering Exmouth is about 4,500kms away from Skipworth, that’s a bit more than a Sunday drive. Continue reading Damper John

Loose Ends

It’s 2014 and we are camped in the Coopernook State Forest in NSW. We chat with our neighbour who is from nearby Port Macquarie. Our neighbour and his wife have sold their house and have several months to wait for the new one to be built. They intend to go north in their camper trailer but have a few loose ends to tie up before they hit the road. Thus here they are 70 kilometres south of home waiting. One of the loose ends is our neighbour’s dying mother in law. Continue reading Loose Ends

The Bold and the Beautiful

It’s 2014 and we are camped in Port Douglas, Qld. We have neighbours who appear not to be all that compatible. She sits outside smoking and he can’t drag himself away from the TV inside. We refer to them as “The Bold & the Beautiful” and wonder how long they’ll last on the road together. We drive up to Cooktown and are thrilled that we have three whole days to spend there as it is an unusual town. We run into “The Bold & the Beautiful” and they are having a puncture repaired. They are unsure of how long the … Continue reading The Bold and the Beautiful

Me Back’s Buggered

We’re waiting at the Mansfield hospital to see a doctor. Both full of a chest infection and coughing our heads off it is indeed nice to lie down for a few minutes and just doze. In the opposite corner of the ward a woman’s voice complains to the nurse “Me back’s buggered.” It’s funny how things are triggered in your mind and my mind suddenly lurches back to Christmas Day in the late 90’s when we took our sick friend to Cobram hospital up on the Murray River and we returned to camp laughing our heads off at someone else’s … Continue reading Me Back’s Buggered