The Travels of Mouse: Spring break #1

Humans are funny old creatures.

I tend to leave the arrangements to Mum, on the basis that if she does it all, I don’t have to lift a paw. So far this policy has worked very well. I watch her ‘anxiously’ while she loads up the caravan, wiggling my eyebrows and looking as pathetic as I can manage. This generally results in extra pats, frozen chicken necks, meaty treats and extended belly-tickling privileges. But sometimes, it can be a bit hit and miss.

Yesterday was fine. We got away on time and reached Bowen at early lunchtime, so that Dad didn’t have to stand too long in the queue at Jochheim’s Pies. We got to our usual bench in the shade at the beach, and my offers to quality test both pies were accepted – I do like to make sure my humans are being properly fed and there’s nothing nasty in their lunches. On from Bowen to Townsville, and this time we’re staying at a different holiday park, closer to the centre of town and a bit smaller. Mum says she thinks it’s OK, not too noisy or cramped, and Dad feels the water pressure in the showers is acceptable, if not quite as good as our normal place.

The plan was to have a lazy start, a bit of lunch for the humans and then head up Hervey’s Range to the Heritage Tearooms for a Devonshire tea. Dogs are welcome, humans attendants may also visit. Trouble was, this Covid-thingy had changed the opening hours and when we got there, it was shut already. Pity. I was looking forward to my puppacino. Never mind, it seems we’ll try again tomorrow, and book this time to make sure.

Then, we thought we’d drop in at GAP, where I was adopted, so I could say hello to Miss Gail and the other doggos. But somehow we missed the turning off the highway. So that was a washout too. See what I mean about human arrangements? I’m sure I’d have managed better if I’d been in charge. Still, Mum got some good shots of the view from the top of the range (709 metres, or 2,300 feet, Mum says). She also says she’ll take photos of the Devonshire tea tomorrow… if we ever get there, of course.

Left, Magnetic Island; Centre, Castle Hill with Cape Bowling Green beyond it; Right, Mt Stuart. From Hervey’s Range. Click to enlarge

Oh, and I did get a really excellent run in Sanctum dog park off leash area. I got to play with Ruby the golden retriever and Athena the Rough Collie puppy, who is going to grow up into a Lassie look-alike. Of course, I was faster than both, but Athena especially was lots of fun, she was only 17 weeks old and still very rolypoly, with her puppy coat and huge paws.

Right now, I’m zorsted, and Mum says as soon as I’ve finished dictation, she’ll prepare my dinner so I can snooze the evening away while she and Dad sew and read and watch a movie. It’s nice that we (by which I mean they, naturally) don’t have to pack up for another whole day.

I am looking forward to getting to Cairns, though. My most favourite caravan park!

Floribunda, holidays – and we’re off

Miz Lizzie the caravan is packed.

And that includes the coffee machine, important food groups like chocolate and potato-based travel snacks, and of course, my sewing kit. While the majority of the handwork in it is hexies for the Days for Girls prizes, I’ve cut two sets of blocks for Floribunda.

First, a reminder of the colour scheme.

Is that not a lavishly luscious pair of colours? I’m so in love with the combinations! Having narrowed down the options from the full range in the two Bali Pop packs, I’m happy I have fabrics that will work beautifully together.

And here are the two blocks I’ve cut and packed to take with me. I do hope to have them ready by the end of the trip, but if not…. well, it just means we had a really, really good time!

Mouse is wandering around anxiously, watching us disrupt his peaceful existence and moving his Important Stuff. I feel doubly guilty because he had to visit the vet this morning for necessary immunisation shots, which he always finds very stressful, and a pedicure. But I’m willing to bet he’ll hurtle out of the house and into the car like a rocket tomorrow – he LOVES road trips! And he’ll be able to visit Miss Viv and his friend Bear the wolfhound at doggy daycare in Cairns, which he loves too. We’ll be in Townsville for a few days before that, and I plan to see and do lots of things we haven’t done before because we were always just passing through.

First stop tomorrow is Bowen, and the famous Jochheim’s Pies. I’m drooling slightly already….

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #6

Well, it rained off and on all day yesterday. I can’t imagine what the Staff were thinking.

I mean, the point of the holiday was winter sunshine, so rain was very inconvenient and not well arranged. Still, we did manage some enjoyment. I got a few walkies in, although no big runs in a dog park on account of “not getting himself completely muddied up”. I was a Very Good Boy and held still while Mum got an ouchie out of my eye, which was all mucky. And as a reward, we went back to Vines and I got another puppaccino – and it wasn’t even my birthday!

The Staff made a huge sacrifice and forced down some coffee and cake whilst we sat in the shade area outside, surrounded by enormous tropical stuff. It’s all leaves to me, but Mum made a big song and dance about the flowers, ooh, aaah. The little trickling fountain was nice, though, even if I wasn’t allowed to have a drink there…

I did a lot of snoozing. Dad stuck on some headphones and pawed at his black plank thing. Mum messed about with fabric and took me for walkies. And then the final outrage: she baked and there was None For Me. Apparently, she’d been inspired by the cake she had at Vines. She made cupcakes with pineapple and banana and chocolate chips. I offered to help lick the bowl and the spoons – you know, the Mouse Pre-Wash Cycle – but my helpful offer was refused. I also didn’t get any bits once they were baked. I just don’t understand… They had banana in them. Obviously they were for Me!

(Note from Mum: I had to make do with what I have in the caravan pantry: 2 cup self raising flour, 2 eggs, 1 small very ripe mashed banana, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 x 445g/15 or 16oz can crushed pineapple with the juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Mix it all just enough so there’s no visible flour left, dollop into a well-greased muffin pan – I use silicone in the caravan because you can roll it up to fit in a small space – and bake for 20 minutes at 160°C/325°C)

Mum says she’s assembled the two rows of hexies she committed to at the start of the trip, and now just has to sew them onto the main piece. Whatever. It all sounds like blah blah blah to me. OK, that’s mean, but sewing is time she could have spent stroking me… Anyway, she’s bustling about now opening and closing lockers, which can only mean one thing.

We’re on the move again.

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #5

Hello again. Today, the report is about the day off I gave the Staff yesterday. I’ll let Mum do the talking…

Mum: We knew at the start of the holiday that there would be a few things where our lord and master would not be able to join us, sadly. Ahem. I have joined an organisation called Mad Paws, which brings together pet sitters and pet, er, owners. This enabled us to find a lovely lady called Vivien in Cairns, one of several people who offer doggy daycare. She has a large and exceptionally dog-friendly house, a big back yard and several doggos in residence, either her own or on long term visits. We booked a day for Mouse and brought along his medical records, his lead, quilt, snacks and some tightly crossed fingers. This is the first visit he’s made without us along, so we hoped he’d be OK. He was, of course. After demonstrating his running skills and seeing off another dog who wanted to boss him about, he settled right down, to the point where she was texting us photos showing him asleep, all through the day.

So, what did we do on our Staff Outing? We wanted to have coffee and cake, to buy cheese and chocolate, to have a good lunch, and to revisit the 900m/3,000ft high Atherton Tableland, one of our favourite areas when in Far North Queensland.

On our upward journey, we travelled south out of Cairns and turning inland at Walsh’s Pyramid, taking the Gillies Range road, 19km of 263 bends offering spectacular views of the valley below. It passes from sea level through dry to wet rainforest on the upward climb and it’s amazing how suddenly the type of vegetation changes. First stop was Lake Eacham, one of the Tablelands’ Crater Lakes. The area is volcanic, and there are several deep, deep lakes in the area. Local legends say they’re bottomless; of course, they aren’t, but being so high up and deep they’re always cold and refreshing for swimming, and blessedly free of crocodiles, unlike the sea-level waterways in the area.

Mungalli Creek biodynamic dairy has been a very enjoyable pitstop on previous journeys. They have a viewing area for the dairy at work, and serve coffee, cakes and light lunches. We had very fond recollections of memorable Devonshire Teas with clotted cream and a particularly squidgy chocolate torte. Sadly, we were disappointed, so much so that we won’t be going back, and I’m not bothering to provide a link. There was no torte, and despite the fact that they make a range of lactose free milk, yoghurt, etc, they didn’t offer lactose free cream so I could have the scones, jam and cream instead. It was perhaps just as well, as the Husband’s scones were dry and hard in the middle and the cream was a bit scanty and aerated to stretch it further. I had a soggy cheesecake of which the less said the better. The one I make myself is distinctly superior. Our coffees were terrible; his was bitter and far too strong, and mine was so weak it was like drinking hot milk. And there was no cheese for sale. We were offered Covid-19 as the reason, but couldn’t see why that would affect cheesemaking. Oh well….

Moving swiftly on, we headed for Gallo Dairyland, another cheese destination. We arrived to find it closed; at present it’s only open for half the week and of course I hadn’t checked, being used to seeing it open every day. I was beginning to feel rather despondent; I’d hoped to buy some of their hand made chocolates as well as cheese, to make up for the cake disappointment. The chocolates are reliably fabulous, and I’ll know to ring and check next time we’re up here.

And then it was time for lunch. Our favourite is the Gateway Hotel in Mareeba; I’ve posted about it before, and despite being much less busy than usual (all the tables are much further spaced, there was no crowd at the bar, etc), the staff are still warm, welcoming and attentive, and the food was, as always, magnificent pub grub.

The beef is locally produced and the steak in front of the Husband was tender and perfectly cooked. I wanted something a bit different, and had a salad of pearl couscous, roasted red capsicum and pumpkin, toasted macadamias and grilled halloumi, dressed with grilled garlicky prawns and a honey mustard dressing. I scoffed the lot, and it was a big plateful!

We took the scenic route home, descending the Kuranda Range, 11.5km of more wiggly road, coming into Cairns from the north this time. After laying in vital supplies (a hot roast chicken, chocolate, etc), we went to fetch His Majesty. He was pleased to see us, but slightly grumpy at having been left out of the fun. However, walkies, belly tickles and rather a lot of chicken scraps later he recovered his normally sunny disposition…

And that will be quite enough of that, thank you, Mum. A little respect if you don’t mind!

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #4

First things first: Happy Birthday to Me!

Mum says it’s my 4th birthday today. She has the papers to prove it, so she must be right. I must say, I don’t feel 4, although I’m not sure how it’s supposed to feel… The Staff are putting in extra effort to make the day special for me. I got treats at breakfast, which never happens, and Mum let me dawdle around a bit instead of the usual brisk walkies.

Then they took me to another two dog parks. The first was, well, nice, but not terribly interesting. It’s very large, not a lot of shade for the humans, and unfortunately I made Mum walk the entire length of the field to pick up after me. I didn’t do it on purpose, honestly… The other was lovely! There were two wolfhounds, a small white fluff of some description, a beautiful ginger and white collie, and an old and rather blind cattle dog. I raced the collie for her frisbee – she was great at retrieving, which doesn’t interest me at all, I just love to race!

Mum and Dad had lovely talks with the other dogs’ Staffs while we all ran around and socialised. I must say, the dog parks in Cairns are rather superior, very well supplied with poo bags, very clean and well fenced and there are lots of them. We’ve bookmarked them all on the satnav. When I say we, I mean Dad. I can’t be doing with all that poking about with my paws… Mum says she is also reviewing all the dog parks we visit on Google, to help other dog families choose somewhere nice for their doggo to run and play.

After the dog parks it was brunchtime. We went to a place in Freshwater which is a garden centre called Limberlost. It has a very nice café there, with tables outside in the gardens, and doggos are welcome and humans are allowed too.

Now normally I don’t have anything in the middle of the day, but today, there was a lovely big warm puppaccino to enjoy. Mum tried to take a photo of me with a white milk moustache, but I have to maintain a bit of dignity and managed to lick it off before she could take a photo. The Staff both had really delicious Eggs Benedict with a salad of baby leaves grown on the premises and lashings of hollandaise. I managed to cadge bits of very tasty ham off the bone from both of them – not a lot, just enough for a taste. Mum says she should have taken a photo, but she was hungry and halfway through by the time she thought of it.

Back home then, for a snooze, followed by a walk around the park and then more snoozing. Mum and Dad are passing the time in their usual strange way. Dad is pawing at his black plank (I think he means laptop – Mum), and Mum is messing about with bits of fabric.

I was shocked and offended to be told not to walk on the attractive multi-coloured rug she had laid out on the concrete. Surely this was for me to lie on? But no, it seems it is too precious for My Paws. I ask you… So I retired in a snit righteous indignation and went to lie on her bunk instead of my own bed. She says she’ll try to get two more rows added by the end of the trip, in case you speak Quilt. Whatever.

It’s Sunday evening, and new people are beginning to arrive at the caravan park. I wonder if there will be any nice doggos to say hello to… So far it has all been either the strong silent types or noisy white fluffballs with delusions of adequacy. Never mind, there’s always my own reliable Staff to provide cuddles and affection.

More soon,

Mouse

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #3

Hello, peeps, Mouse here again.

Yesterday’s visit to Miss Nikki at GAP Queensland was lovely. I remembered her, and Miss Gail, and rushed up to say hello and dance about a bit, wagging my tail. Since I’m normally rather reserved, Mum was very pleased to see how happy I was. We stayed for quite a while, then headed back to the campsite because the Staffs’ friend Uncle Spanner was coming for a visit. I like Uncle Spanner, he knows exactly how to scratch behind my ears and rub my face. He can come again any time. Mum made cookies for the visit, human ones with chocolate and raisins, which I’m not allowed, and others made with peanut butter, almond meal and an egg, which I am! So that was another reason to be happy 🙂

Supervisory duties…

Well, Mum and Dad packed up this morning while I napped. Mum took me for a last circuit of the campsite, and then we were off, on our way north to Cairns.

The Staff are pretty good at trip logistics, but sometimes you just need to keep an eye on them to make sure that they have their priorities right. I take my supervisory role very seriously on these trips…

It wasn’t long before we were heading into Ingham, and time to fill up the coffee travel mugs. Mum and Dad aren’t precisely coffee snobs, but they do like good coffee, and it can be a bit varied on the road. We turned off the main drag and into Cartwright Street, where we found Fiori with Love, a combined café and florist. Mum took me for a quick walk while Dad ordered the coffees, and we got back to find he’d scored a slab of lumberjack cake too! For some reason it appears this is unsuitable for dogs, but Mum really appreciated the crispy caramel edges on the topping, to the point where she’d eaten the lot before she thought to take a photo.

Hinchinbrook Island beyond the Channel

On then to Cardwell, on the Hinchinbrook Channel, and the Staff’s traditional pie-stop at Jesse’s Pie Van in the park.

Mum says they’re still the second-best pies she’s eaten in Australia…

And yes, I did score some bits of the filling this time!

Correct social distancing was maintained….

We managed to get ours just before the lunchtime rush. Lunch out of the way, it was wagons roll again, and we got to Cairns mid-afternoon. It’s my first time here, and so far, it looks nice!

We are staying at a really lovely caravan park, filled with huge old shade trees, lush vegetation, birds and green, green grass. There are lots of people here, but it doesn’t feel crowded, and I have already been admired by lots of passers-by as I stretched out comfortably on my bed, in my roomy enclosure. This is definitely camping in style (it always helps to have Staff to wait on you – Mum).

The Staff say they’ll take more photos tomorrow so you can see what it’s like in Cairns. They have also promised to take me to the dog parks in the area so I can stretch my legs properly. I love going on holiday, but the only thing I miss about home is doing zoomies in the back yard. If we go to fenced dog parks I can go off-leash and really run!

More tomorrow. Right now, I have a lot of napping to catch up on.

Mouse

 

The Travels of Mouse, north to the sun #2

Hello, readers, Mouse here again.

Well, yesterday was a bit dull from my point of view. After an initial bustle about, the Staff pulled out of the drive yesterday at about 9.45, a very late start compared with the usual 8am, but we weren’t in a hurry. I settled down to snooze in the back, my usual occupation on long trips. By lunchtime, we’d reached Bowen. Mum says it’s where they shot the movie Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. From our point of view, it’s where Jochheim’s Bakery is, source of (so far), the best meat pies in Queensland and northern New South Wales. And meat pie there was. And a sausage roll. Even I got a bit and I’m normally not allowed pie because of what pastry does to my insides, but we’re on holiday.

We had lunch sitting at the beachfront, overlooking the harbour. Nice memories for me, because it’s where Mum and Dad stopped when they’d just adopted me in Townsville, to let me stretch my legs and, ahem, see to other needs.

We got to Townsville mid-afternoon and got set up. Dad likes the caravan park here, the showers in the en-suite sites are good and hot and strong, and there is plenty of room to walk me without needing to leave the park.

They have set up my private enclosure so I can move around outside the caravan without needing to be tied up (a barbarous requirement as far as I’m concerned, but there are some very noisy, yappy, grumpy small dogs here, so I suppose it makes sense).

Today, we are going to go and find a fenced dog park or two where I can stretch my legs. After a day in the car and no long (ie, over 2km) walks with Mum, I’m feeling the need to do some zooming! After lunch, we’ll visit Miss Nikki, and perhaps a motorbike friend of Mum and Dad if he’s free.

It was cold last night, and was a bit fresh this morning when Mum took me for my constitutional at 7am, but it has warmed up considerably now. The sun is warm, the sky is clear and blue, and it’s going to be a good day.

More tomorrow. Mouse

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #1

It’s happening again.

The Staff are taking liberties with my possessions and schedule. It’s an Outrage. For the past day, they have been bustling about with stuff in their paws, scarcely taking a moment to give me strokies or a treat. I grant you that meals and walkies arrived on time and up to standard, but it’s upsetting to have this stuff going on behind my back.

Later: Well, all is explained. They are loading my fence into the back of the car, my travel water bowl and a large bag of kibble are sitting on the bench, the Quartermaster (Mum) has put all my stuff into either the car or the caravan, and only my bed (currently occupied by Me) has not been whipped out from under my nose and taken away. Dad says he has bought extra fencing so my yard is now twice the size, which will be nice.

A solitary lead still hangs from the hook, so I expect there’ll be walkies before we go… Mum says we’re going north, even further north than Townsville, where I was adopted, but that we’ll be taking time out to visit friends at GAP Queensland in Townsville so I can say hello to Miss Nikki and the other greyhounds at the kennels. After that, we’ll go up to Cairns for just over a week, then home again.

I like Miz Lizzie the caravan. My bed is comfy, meals arrive at the usual time, Dad’s bunk is perfectly placed beside my bed for strokies whenever I want them, and there are fascinating new walks and smells to enjoy when we go out. Mum and Dad find fun places for me to run around like a maniac and stretch my legs along the way, and we all enjoy trying out all the dog-friendly things to do when we get there. Mum has printed out a list of cafés in Cairns where dogs are welcome and people can come along too. She says there will be beaches too, in case I should feel like a spot of cautious paddling (well, jellyfish, saltwater crocodiles and sharks permitting, of course, this is Far North Queensland, after all). I’ll have to think about that one…

Now, if only the Staff would hurry up and finish packing stuff, we can be on our way.

The Travels of Mouse, Part 9

I think this is going to be my last post. 

We’re one day from home now, and it’s a long and not very exciting trip, according to Dad, who drives a lot of it every day for work. There have, however, been a few interesting things to report and Mum has been fiddling with her phone camera almost non-stop. OK, I exaggerate somewhat…

Yesterday, we went from St George (bye bye, Uncle Jim) to Roma, where we had a not very fun stay in a not very good caravan park. Mum is going to name names on Tripadvisor, which she says she doesn’t normally do, but we wuz robbed, and all that. I won’t steal her creative thunder, but I think she’s right.

There was a colourful old Shire Hall in Surat, on the road to Roma, worth a photo, but most of the journey was rather uneventful, being the shortest leg of the journey.

We did, however, have one rather exciting moment before coming into Roma when we had to drive through a flooded creek. it looked worse than it was; a wide brown expanse of flowing water. All 22cm/9 inches deep of it… We took it steady and all came through with dry paws. That Dad is a good driver.

On our route today, there was lots of clickety-clicking of the phone camera, and visits to a couple of alternative caravan park options between Roma and Emerald. One of them, at Rolleston, was very pretty, and the people were kind and smelt nice and the grass was green, and the man knew the correct technique for tickling under my chin, so I told the Staff this was the one we’d stay at next time.

After that, we crossed the Carnarvon Range. I was asleep for a lot of it, but Mum took endless photos. She didn’t get any really good ones because we didn’t get close enough, and the road was bumpy, but she says the link will give you a very good idea what it’s like. Here’s one of the start of it…

…one looking back at the central basin of the National Park surrounded by rocky walls, from Staircase Range Lookout…

plus one of an interesting commemorative plaque (click on it to enlarge). Glad I wasn’t travelling in that car…

Also, on principle I turn up my nose at the Carnavon Gorge. It’s a National Park and therefore doggos are not welcome. I ask you… However, protection of sensitive and endangered native species, and all that, so I suppose I should be understanding.

The last one is of Mount Zamia, just outside Springsure, and that upright section is called the Virgin rock because viewed from the right angle it slightly (in my opinion) resembles the Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus. Mum said she could just about see the reason for the name, but it was a stretch unless you were very devout and inclined to see sacred images in unlikely places. If you want to read more about it, this is a very good article with great pictures.

Today was a good drive. Not too far, and we’ve arrived at Lake Maraboon Holiday Village on the Fairbairn Dam, just outside Emerald. There are plenty of dogs here but most of them are rather rude and barky so I am staying aloof and ignoring them. It would be a lovely place for a family, as you can hire boats and kayaks, and pedal-karts, and there’s a pony club, swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and the facilities are all really nice and well-kept.

I think the Staff may be getting a bit weary as they seem to fall asleep earlier each night. I’m getting dog tired myself (did you see what I did there?). I must say, it will be nice to get back to my own house and my own bed, and meals served in the proper place and my own back yard to zoom in. Dad says it has rained a lot while we were away, so everything will be green and smell good, but I expect he’ll attack everything with that smelly lawnmower. Mum says she has unpacking the caravan and cleaning it, and doing the laundry to look forward to. I don’t know, you just can’t get the staff… What’s a little domestic servitude against the honour and delight of serving Me?

Just off to sharpen my claws – aka running spikes – in readiness for tomorrow evening’s zoomies on my own turf!

Mouse

The Travels of Mouse, Part 8

Well, here we are in St George.

It was a short and fairly boring trip here. It was raining when we left Glen Innes (no surprise there, then) and there was a slight risk of encountering a flooded road outside Moree, but Dad decided to proceed; the car is tall and 4WD and Miz Lizzie is even taller and her subframe is built for off-road. I told Dad to forget any idea of me getting out to lend a hand if we got stuck in water, though, and I think I made my point….

In the never ending quest for the Perfect Pie, Mum got Dad to stop at Annie’s Bakery in Moree, which was modestly signed ‘Bloody Good Pies’. Mum said hers was “up there”, but Dad wasn’t so impressed because he didn’t get the flavour he asked for. He couldn’t fault the flavour of the Wrong Pie, though. They also got enormous bulgy sandwiches for lunch, which the Staff later ate almost as quickly as I deal with my own dinner… Definitely one to remember, apparently.

And then it was miles and miles and miles of almost nothing. I did a lot of snoozing. Finally, the Staff made a racket as we crossed the border at Mungindi, back into Queensland, and Dad ceremoniously reset the car clock back to Proper Time. Mum cheered; she’d been keeping her watch set to Qld time so I could be fed at the time my tummy said was Mouse Dinner Time, and it made things a bit complicated when making arrangements in NSW…

One final stop before we arrived was a photo-visit to the painted silos at Thallon. Mum took some nice photos, but strangely ignored my advice about lighting and angles. She actually called my directions ‘photo-bombing’! The ingratitude! The misunderstanding of my creative input! I was forced to sulk maintain a dignified silence until we reached St George in mid-afternoon.

I was introduced to our hosts’ companions: It the cat and Ruffy George the red cattle dog (rather elderly and lame). The cat and I have an understanding; we will ignore each other in a dignified fashion. But old Ruffy follows me around everywhere, incessantly poking his nose into my privates, which is disconcerting, and while the attention is flattering, a chap wants a bit of peace and quiet to snooze without the sudden arrival of a cold wet nose to startle one unpleasantly awake. Dad and Uncle Jim have had a really good time reminiscing about Dad’s time in St George, 30 years ago when he and Uncle Jim were just pups. Mum has been listening peacefully, doing fabricky stuff with bits of paper and sharp pointy things in her paws, and says to tell you that you’ll see the results in 4 days or so. She also cleaned up the caravan, did the laundry, baked banana muffins (without giving me one – an outrage!) and prepared meals for me for the next few days. She says it’s been a nice rest, but that didn’t sound too restful to me; I insist on absolute inactivities during my snoozes…

Today we took a drive around Dad’s old haunts in St George, and he showed us a few places he’s lived, the golf course, and the bridge over the Balonne. That’s a river, which has been dry for years. Actually, six months ago, they got a grader and bashed flat a cricket pitch in the river bed and held a game there. You wouldn’t believe it now; since the rains, it’s filled bank to bank with brown, surging water, and they’re actually releasing some from the weir.

There’s a small park beside the bridge, and they’ve put up a sculpture of a Murray River Cod, made of all sorts of tools and bits of hardware. It’s very clever, if you like sculpture. They wouldn’t let me pee on it. Mum took a second, closer shot in which you can see the tail of the Cod, and behind it, water spilling out of the weir with some force. Hence the need to pee, you understand…

We’re here for another night, and then tomorrow we have a short journey of only 200km or so to Roma, our next stop. We don’t need to check out of anywhere or set off very early, so the Staff have arranged to pack up in the morning and I won’t have to spend an hour in the car waiting for everything to be put away. Hopefully Ruffy will be tied up for a while so I can leave with my dignity intact…

More from Roma.

Mouse