Two months have passed since I wrote a post in this blog. And much has happened. The ‘new’ car was fixed, new engine head etc and we set off to head East. As we left Perth the A/C in the car died a death and we knew that we could cook as we crossed the Nullabor Plain. We didn’t as the angels were on our side and it was cool-ish.
Crossing the Nullabor is supposed to be an epic journey but it wasn’t, we just drove and drove some more, putting fuel into the car and our tummies in between. We also slept a bit. What was interesting about the Nullabor?, well nothing much, the straightest stretch of road in the world must count for something and the advertisements for golf at every fuel stop, sorry Road House, along the way. Yes there were a few golf ‘holes’ at every Road house, and each road house has its own history as well. We just wanted to get to Adelaide so we didn’t explore the golf option.
It was wonderful to catch up with Christine, Al’s sister and do the Marion Market again and the Hahndorf market for the first time. Nice markets if not very profitable. Still too close to Christmas and too hot! So on to Melbourne for mid February to meet the Patels, my friends from Swaziland days who had come from London and joined up with old friends to watch the Cricket World Cup. We had two lovely days with them, amazing to think of how long ago it was since we first met. Our Ruth was a baby, just sitting up, and Bhaskar and Joe played cricket for Mbabane … 40 years ago!! I will write a Swaziland chapter some time. Also overnighted with other old friends, David and Pam Tucker, David I have known since before I was born. Our mothers were friends. And Tracy and Marc also gave us a night in their new home, Tracy is also part of the family, she’s been friends with my children since early high school days!
Then onwards Eastwards to Swap meets and antique fairs which helped keep us moving and now we are here in Heritage Park at Angela and Kev’s place, noticing the great humidity, a new experience! and looking forward to moving into our house in Safety Beach. We collect the keys on Friday morning and fetch Ruth from the airport on Friday afternoon, she is arriving from South Africa via Myanmar to start her big Aussie Adventure.
That’s the skeleton – now for a couple of bits of ‘flesh’.
At the Mandurah market (Perth) we experienced the most unique customer, he insisted on paying me more than I asked for some pamphlets, he thought they were too cheap. He returned several times and bought more each week and each time paid more than I asked… Then there was the S African/Zimbo who was so thrilled to meet another person with bi-polar disorder!! He couldn’t stop strumming his Kallimba and kept us entertained as we packed up after the market. A young woman picked up a Methodist Hymn Book, published in 1890 and especially aimed at Australia and New Zealand, and asked me what it meant – “Methodist”? Did they believe in God and that…? I gathered my wits and explained as briefly as I could and she followed up with “Do you have a Satanic Bible?” Oops. I couldn’t help her but mentioned that I had a few True Crime books, she had heaps of those already…
So we face busy and exciting times.
I am doing online tutoring again this semester, in the hope of maybe collecting more data for my research. Also hope I don’t lose all my pension because of doing this. We will be busy moving into the house and selling a bit here and there to finance the repairs to the house. And of course the PhD continues. Repairs to the house – well perhaps I haven’t mentioned them before. The floor in the one ensuite bathroom caved in and we are locked in combat with the insurance company who don’t want to cover the repairs… We are going to start on it ourselves and hope to be able to be effective while we battle on with the insurance.
Preoccupation with immediate matters has kept me away from the blog, it has also shortened my emails and caused me to neglect some of them too. Finances are always a huge worry and somehow I have not had the head space to be creative and upbeat and write lightly about our life. However my ‘waters’ are telling me that that is changing and lightness has returned. This Walkabout blog is now going to come to an end and the Life and Times one will come into play a bit more. We will still travel a bit at weekends but will stay put except for about 8 weeks in June/July/August when we will escape up North! for a bit of a circuit of swop meets etc, see some friends and so on. We are disappointed that there will not be a trip to South Africa this year, probably won’t recognise my grandchildren when we get to go again, who knows when that will be?
I have decided to become an Australian citizen so that I can vote and get involved in local politics. It is too frustrating not to be able to register any sort of attitude to what the idiots in power get up to! More about that later no doubt. There is an election in NSW quite soon and the parties are ramping up their activity. Hope they follow QLD and throw out the right wingers in the National and Liberal parties but no one seems to believe this is possible. We shall see. Rural constituencies are very powerful here – I am reminded of the English ‘rotten boroughs’ in the 19th century where sheep returned members to parliament because all the people had moved into the towns!!
All for now – pictures later, in the next blog – I haven’t had time to process them, lots waiting including a lovely little video of an echidna visiting our campsite…