The Travels of Mouse: Pie-lows and silos

Hello again, it’s me, Mouse.

What do you think of my pun, then?  Worthy of Mum, I’d say. OK, I do probably need to explain… The Staff made a quick and efficient job of packing up on our last morning on the Gold Coast, despite the fact that it was absolutely bucketing with rain. We won’t talk about the thunderstorm the night before, OK? I was very stressed, and the less said the better.

Anyway, back to yesterday morning. The Staff had arranged to meet up with old friends of Dad’s, Uncle AJ and Aunty Margaret. Uncle AJ suggested meeting at Yatala Pies! Mum was leaping for joy (hobbling is more like it – Mum). They have an extensive menu, a large premises, drive-through service and outdoor picnic area where doggos are able to share the meaty loot with their Staffs. It’s a historic pie-venue in the area and is also known as ‘The Pie in the Sky‘ because they have a giant Pie on a pole beside the road. Mum says her meat pie was barely OK. The pastry was good, but the filling was an oniony grey slurry. Bit of a shame, considering the place’s reputation.

(However, her dessert pie was outstanding!  They do a really good apricot pie, and it was so good she made Dad buy a family sized one for them both to eat later! But it doesn’t count in the pie stakes because it’s not an actual meat pie.)

Last night we stayed in a little caravan park in Warwick and the Staff had dinner with friends. I didn’t mind, as I had ensured I was fed and given treats beforehand. The park was great, lots of bushland round the outside, loads of great smells to enjoy. I made both Mum and Dad get up in the middle of the night so I could go for another sniff!  Today we went from Warwick to St George, which is a fairly long, straight and boring drive, but there was Another set of painted silos to look at!  I’ve talked about the really nice ones at Thallon before, but there’s more of them at Yelarbon, and the subject is different. Mum had obviously listened to my art direction tips last time, as I think she made a decent job of photographing them, don’t you think?

There’s a special viewing area where you can see the silos with minimal visual interference. There’s also an information board where you can read the story. Mum started to read it, but I was more interested in sniffing stuff, so she took a photo instead.

We’re here at Uncle Jim and Aunty Shelley’s for two nights. They have a new dog called Shorty, who reminds me just a bit of my mate Diesel Dog down in NSW. Shorty is just a young girl, who is nice, friendly and polite, unlike the previous dog of the house, who followed me around and wanted to interfere with me, which I couldn’t be doing with. (Poor Ruffy died and Mouse is being rather unfeeling, but Ruffy was a bit inappropriate, poor old boy – Mum). After this, we’ll be turning northward towards home, and will be staying in two new caravan parks we haven’t tried before, so it’ll be a bit of an adventure.

Right, that’s your lot for today. I can see my bowls are waiting and it’s that time of the day, so Mum has to stop taking dictation and start my dinner. I expect the humans will be doing endless yapping tomorrow, so I shall find a spot in the sun and instruct young Miss Shorty in advanced treat-extraction techniques…

Till next time.

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.