Remembering the Little Things

When you are getting on in years it’s hard to remember details. We know a bloke who’s a farmer and who’s also fond of tattoos. When a few of his cattle went missing a while back he found them on a neighbouring property. It was easy to settle the ownership dispute because their ear tag registration number just happened to be tattooed on his arm. He also has his kid’s birth dates on his leg and heaven knows what else or where. Some would call him organised. Continue reading Remembering the Little Things

Fate and Mate’s Mates

By chance we are staying in a town that up until a week ago we’d never heard of. We’re camped at the Bowling Club enjoying the sun and the company of good neighbours. We join them for dinner and it turns out that they hail from West Rosebud, on the Mornington Peninsula and not far from us. The food by the way is great. We spend four days at the Kandanga Bowls Club, soaking up the sun and chatting happily with our neighbours and it takes that long for any of us to realise that one of them went to … Continue reading Fate and Mate’s Mates

Tit for Tat

The chap next door seems so nice and we’ve shared jokes as we’ve pottered about all arvo, so we invite he and his wife to join our group for happy hour. His wife a sweet looking senior quickly morphed into a most depressing, loud mouthed master of one up manship and the conversation went something like this: “Oh, you read Lee Child, he’s light. I read history, Ken Follett.” We suppress a giggle. And she hits us with a left hook. “A recent death in your family?” she asks. Instead of treading gently and with respect she wades in with: … Continue reading Tit for Tat

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