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Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Outback in a Heatwave

The new number one on my list of really, really, tremendously bad things to do is visiting the outback in a heatwave. Just say no, kids, just say no. After doing very little in Moree, we left for Charleville. I can no longer remember which day we did this because without the TV to educate me, the days all turn into one. It was very, very hot. I believe the air conditioner was lying to me because there is no way it was on during that drive. I'll have to get it to sign a stat dec. The morning tea break at St George turned into a most of the morning stop thanks mostly to the old bloke who accosted us at the Unique Egg. Not a sentence I ever saw myself writing, really. The Unique Egg is actually about 150 eggs. Emu eggs. Hand carved emu eggs. That are lit by an ever evolving array of lights (they're on LED now, but I have it on good authority that many other bulbs have been tried in the past). I'll pause the cynicism for for a moment to tell you that the eggs were actually pretty cool. Very pretty and all that. Putting the cynical cap back on now to tell you that the rest of it was hilarious in that way that only strange small town tourist attractions can be. The eggs are carved by Stavros, eccentric, hunting store owner and tireless self promoter. Incidentally, I know of a great place you can get a fluoro safety vest to stop your pig dog from getting mauled. He did one for Quentin Bryce, he did one for World Expo '88 (together we'll show the world), he did one for Barack Obama. It's all very impressive for a guy who charges 3 bucks admission for a dark room at the back of what is loosely called a sporting goods store. We spent the next hour or so listening to Stavros' old mate telling us stories about every town in the outback. I'm not sure I can take much more of this country hospitality. St George was followed by Roma and by followed I mean we ate sandwiches then got the hell out of there. Roma has 'The Big Rig'. It's an oil rig that looks like, well, an oil rig. Nothing to see here. More exciting was the memorial stone in the park beside it. A memorial to a class reunion. Yup. Then we got to Charleville but I'm too lazy to tell you about that now so, laters!

Visual Proof

Some of the frolicking at the vineyard. Don't I look the picture of joy? 

Kangaroos engaging in frolicking of what looks like a very wrong kind but 
I assure you is completely innocent. 

The campsite at Repton. Only a marginally better view than 
Gin and Paul's place. So very jealous. 

The jealous-making view. 
Can you thieve a view?

Friday, January 4, 2013

We Didn't Even Get Robbed

We were under warnings of high crime, wire fences and general mischief on our way into Moree. Happily the worst that happened was having dinner in the RSL with the saddest menu in the land. The drive from Coffs was a lot longer than planned thanks mainly to a grey nomad with his caravan and no idea how to tow the bloody thing. Seriously, I think he decided to take the thing for its first tow on a long drive over some windy mountains. On the plus side, I didn't road rage him, so I should probably consider it a victory. We stayed in a motel in Moree to treat ourselves. I understand that motels don't normally count as treats, but there are no hotels once you hit this far west, so it's as good as it gets. I was quite impressed because they had a modern bedspread rather than one with strange pastel swirls from 1992. I think that counts as 5 star. Dinner was pretty early so we could get back to the important part of the night quickly- watching tennis and drinking wine. We did a quick circuit of the town centre, quick by virtue of the fact that it is three blocks long and decided on the RSL because we couldn't work out which one was the good pub and, quite frankly, Thai food in the outback frightens me. The menu was tremendously sad, not for what was on it, but just because it had been typed up on somebody's home computer and they were too lazy to put a description of the dishes, a list of sauces, or tell you what the sides were. I thought I might try and be healthy which was probably an overshoot and asked if I could replace the chips with vegies. I got such a blunt "no" back that I'm convinced I was served by Barbara from bank land. "Computer says no." Wednesday was our Moree day. Really, Moree was only a stop because it broke up the drive, so it was really a bit of a 'sleep in and do very little' day. We found the nice pub for lunch and a cute bookshop where I bought even more books to add to the pile that is taking over the living room. We mostly wandered around town and checked it out. It was actually quite nice- something I was not really expecting. I'd guess there is more money there than you'd think- there were boutiques selling designer clothes and homewares. Originally I had planned to go to the Artesian baths. Note that I said 'I', Gray has very little interest in this planning stuff. Although it would have been nice to see the sight one of the freedom ride moments, I think that bathing in 37 degree water when that is also the air temp is a bad idea. My book was great, though. I'm still promising photos but the net speeds out this way are just too poor for it. I know you want to see me frolicking, but you'll just have to wait.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Next Migration

On another move to the tropics now, but very late in starting the travel diary I promised myself I'd do. I'm too much of a slacker to ever build a media empire. So far we've stopped at Newcastle and Repton (20 min south of Coffs) and are now in Moree. The first two stops were for visting, the current one is just because Newcastle to Charleville is just too long for sanity. After I finished hiding from the movers to avoid freaking out about how they were touching my stuff all wrong, we headed up the coast to Newcastle for our first stop: the brother-in-law's new deck. Okay, there was a house attached, but Rob did build a pretty good deck, so that's the part I choose to focus on. We had some of the best BBQ food ever along with a fantastic salad, although Rob would surely argue that the BBQ took the real skill as that was what he did all of Friday night. We ditched Rob and Katie after only one night in anticipation of the shitfight of holiday traffic that awaited us on the Pacific Highway. It was as shiteriffic as we had expected. On the way North, we stopped at Cassegrain winery just outside Port Macquarie for lunch, photos and carefree frolicking. It was good. We got into Repton pretty late, but still had enough light to get the tent up. Our stop in a town none of you have ever heard of was to visit my friend Gin who was also lovely enough to organise her baby shower for the Sunday afternoon I'd be there. The baby shower was the main reason we got up there a day early. We had planned to do a straight drive through on Sunday morning but 23km traffic jams don't lend themselves to punctuality. Coming a day early meant that Gin had other plans Saturday night, but she popped down for a quick visit to gossip and admire the lake while Graham set up the campsite for me. More proof that I am lazy. I threw Gin out at 8:15 when we realised that we had to move soon if we wanted dinner that didn't have a 'Mc' in front of it. Aussie pizza from the North Beach Bowling and Recreation Club. Does it get any better? I stole a coaster. I'll do the rest of this later because I'm getting all bored and hungry now. You have a great rant about grey nomads to look forward to. You might also get some photos if my mobile modem decides to upload them at more the 5kbps.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Gah! Why did I commit to NaNoWriMo? I'll never do 50,000 words by the end of the month.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not Much Scares Me...

... but this does.

Stacey-Lee, I do not want a group booking.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I ordered these from Modcloth on Saturday.

Gray needn't return from Timor, I've found me a new love.