Monday, January 22

a moving story

So I packed up my car and moved to the Territory. The drive was amusing. I’d just bought a ford falcon station wagon from some back-packer who told me that it was fuel efficient and then burnt up shit-loads of fuel on the way. I had this bloke helping me I barely knew who was back home from London where he works as a tabloid journalist. The boot was filled with all the crap I’d somehow decided was useful for building a life in Alice Springs and then the bonnet flipped up on me in a dust-storm from the Mallee whilst the battery was slowly dying. That was friggin’ scary … one minute you don’t see anything due to your lights being low and all and the dust being dumped over the windscreen and then all you can see is black with a loud bang to boot which scares the blunnies off your toes. We pulled off and scratched our heads as barrows of red dust got dumped onto the engine and grit filled our eyes. Scrounging ‘round the back I found some rope and tied the bent-as-fuck bonnet to the bull-bar. Got to Mildura and some mechanic decides that we need a new battery … found out later the fan-belts were just loose. Bastard. Anyway we drove up the Stuart to see if we could get to the centre, go to Marla and filled up, the bloody thing wouldn’t bloody start y’see. Bugger me! Battery’s dead. Something fishy’s going on here. We pull the car round the back to the workshop and a huge slob of a mechanic with the brain the size of a gum-nut and the name of ‘Pig’ looks under the buggered bonnet and says the problem is the battery!
The car starts without a problem. But he tells us that when we rock up in Alice to call the battery company and tell them that this battery has caused nothing but woe for all concerned and that the Marla roadhouse does not stock this battery because they only stock products that they can stand by… and they can’t stand this one so they don’t stock this one … understand! So I wave goodbye to Pig and head for the border … keen to get out of South Oz … we get to the border and stop to take a picture of the sign that says ‘Welcome’ cos we’re still tourists I s’pose and thought it’d be funny. So we take a picture and trundle back to the beast that I’ve decided to name after my travelling partner. Turn the key and wouldn’t ya know it the fuckers dead!
So some bloke stops for us … he’s headed to Arnhem land to work on a mine … he’s got a flash car but can’t jump-start us because he’s got electronics in his beast but he’ll give me a lift to somewhere where we can get help. That’s fine so I jump in and Ilya stays with Ilya (some Polish name of something). And we zoom up to Kulgera up the road, the fellas got a killer CD collection. Always thought miners must be Cold Chisel fans … this bloke’s got all sorts of interesting musos in his book. Drops me off saying that we’re the third people he’s stopped for to help because he reckons if he does that then he won’t end up in the shit himself by some favour of fortune. Nice cars like that don’t arse-end themselves do they?
So some bloke points the phone to me and I call NRMA NSW and they put me on hold and I chuck more coins in and then I get told that I can get someone to come to the car from Curtin Springs or from … wait for it … Marla! Since I have to three bucks a kilometre after the first one-hundred I figure Marla since it’s only two or so hundred back down the road … so I hitch back down to the car and sit and wait for a car without electronics and a good CD collection to come and save me from the three hundred dollar bill for a jump that’ll inevitable come from my saviour, played soccer that the brit had left in the car, had a sandwich or three … ate some contraband fruit that shouldn’t have crossed the fruit-fly-free zone and who the bloody hell should turn up but Pig. Jumps the car, buggers off home telling us to drive straight to Alice and don’t stop. We drive North, then decide since neither of us have seen the rock we should turn left … and then head to Curtin Springs.
Rock was big and rocky. Took a while to walk around it. We figured since there was tonnes of cars and tour buses when we left on the walk, there’d be plenty of buggers to jump us when we came back. When we came back there was no one. So dehydrated as something that’s very lacking in water we walked up to the visitors centre and found some old Scot who’d been in the Territory longer than Europeans had been in Van Dieman’s Land who finished his lunch and drove us down and jumped us away. We drove to Alice … it was getting dark and there was roos all over the fuckin’ road and I was shitting my pants because the car wouldn’t go faster than sixty kilometres all of a sudden … which wasn’t so much of a problem considering the large bucks that were prancing around but the problem was more the fact that my headlights were not working very well … and every time I turned them on the car slowed down even more. I wasn’t really expecting to get there much in time for dark …
Somehow made it … found a phone … did NOT turn off the motor to make the call and got directions and drove to the other side of town, parked the car in the driveway of me mates and turned the key off …
Ilya didn’t move after that. The car, not m’mate.

Friday, January 19

talking to one's self

I am my own imaginary friend.

There are moments when I catch myself talking to the floor about some situation that I once was in … maybe I’m playing the situation out better. That comeback that must have been better than the crap I came up with at the time. Or some future conversation I could be in. ‘could’ being the operative word. It’s all bloody fantasy. Gets me into trouble sometimes.

Well, it’s a little embarrassing. Car parks always undo me. I’ll be happily muttering to myself thinking I’m all alone then I’ll look up and catch eyes with some husband sitting in his car waiting for some wife to finish work so he can drive her home talking about the nutter who works in the nut-house. Name tag swinging around my neck as bounce up to my car, I keep on bouncing to the song that I’d been singing the whole time … no not talking to myself – singing!

Of course if that bastard reckons I’m picking up habits from work that’s his bloody problem.

photo - Nadine on her wedding day drinking champagne

Saturday, January 13

2007 is already turning brown

Fruit-cake the earth is warm these days ... have you noticed?

Perhaps not in the North ... but I haven't been there lately.

I apologise for not having written in this space for some time ... but I have been ever so busy at work and preparing for upcoming nuptials. This week in fact, how bizarre ... can't wait.

Reading Steppenwolf by Hesse ... charming little thing he is - And in less than six months I shall be a fully qualificado nurse specialising in psychiatric mental health. These last two interesting pieces of information may appear to have very little to do with each other but let me ASSURE you that if someone who calls themselves the "Wolf of the Steppes" doesn't have a somewhat gradiose flavour to their presentation then I'm a little bunny rabbit about to be run down by a road-train on the Plenty Highway nearby to one of the remotest bunch of sand-dunes on planet earth ... so there.

Don’t you climb those tin-roof dunes
Don’t you fall -> suburban doom.

Don’t you keep that frame of mind
you just can’t live the wishing life.

Please don’t sew synthetic seams
Don’t believe those t.v. dreams

don’t fly too high your wings will melt

don’t bring it in too low you’ll drown.

photo - the garlic harvest at the Permaforest Trust, Dec '05