So where did I leave off? Going for a day on the Islands I think….
Well I was once again v. lucky as weather dazzlingly beautiful, one of the hottest days since I arrived, must have been edging near 34 degrees C. But on the top deck of the boat the breeze kept me cool. It was pretty lush. For some reason there is bloody nobody about, I must have been one of maybe 12 passengers on a boat that could house 100. Subsequently the islands too were v quiet too – as you can tell from the view from my sun lounger – total bliss. The lunch was fantastic (didn’t opt for the $18 long island iced tea – no not a jug of the stuff – a small cocktail glass – talk about dining out on the name of your island!), and at daydream I lounged by the pool reading and listening to tunes… believe it or not – I really haven’t done much of that kinda thing, so it was nice to just laze around. Plus I was feeling super anti-social for some reason, having missed Simon’s call earlier in the morning, I was in a bit of a grumps – but where better to be grumpy than a deserted tropical paradise?!
By the evening I was over it, but as some kind of cruel punishment, I was sunburnt, (despite constant reapplication of heavy duty pommy sunscreen!). Wendy and Phil were super sweet, played me their wedding song, I cried! Ha! But it was so nice to come back to a home environment when having a down day – can’t imagine going back to some all-night-ravin hostel when you feel like that. So I opted for a v early night after some homecooked grub.
On Friday I woke feeling much more chipper – in a bid to stay out of the sun, Massimo and I went grocery shopping and cooked a great big chicken pie for dinner. Spent the evening listening to tunes, preparing for W&P’s gig at Dingo’s Pub on Saturday.
|Two Horse Town!|
We left for Dingo beach pretty early so W&P could get set up and then get ready for the evening. We picked up one of Wendy’s work colleagues, Helen, who I got on famously with. Whilst W&P had to be professional DJ’s and set-up-shop, we got shitfaced and checked out the local area (maybe a square mile with a few houses, a pub, the pub motel and a 2-pump petrol station).
Dingo Beach lies about 40km north of Airlie and is described as “a small isolated coastal community” – there are no resorts, no backpackers, no mobile phone network…. They don’t even have a mains water supply! The road to dingo beach is 28km long with nothing else at the end of it – so the only people who venture here are those who have planned a visit with a stopover in the motel, the locals, or some very very lost people! We were the former.
|Look at them pasty pins!|
The night was wonderful, filled with drinking, laughing, singing, dancing. A group of bikers where on their 21st national HOG ralley – Harleys in tow! And were stopping off on their way through. What a lovely bunch of chaps – hell raisers they were not! One bloke in particular latched on to me, Johnny. Exactly twice my age, and a good 5 inches taller than me and half my width, wearing the shortest shorts you have ever seen – with the best John Clease pair of pins – like knobbly flamingo's legs, with silly walk to boot! But a great dancer! We chatted and chatted. We debated about the aboriginals having independence (he thought they were incapable of it but wished the aussi government would let them get on with their own rubbish because they were below civilization, I questioned why they should have to conform to a society that is relatively very new and brought about by European settlers after some 60,000 years of them doing just fine by themselves), we debated about how the English feel superior to the Welsh, Irish, Scottish (he wasn’t a fan of us brits and thought we should release our grip on GB domination!), but he was very open to being challenged – and really listened to my arguemtns. It was brilliant.
Of course eventually he asked about my man situation, to which I explained all about Simon. He was very sweet, much more paternal than predatory. He told me he was requesting a mushy love song, and that we were going to have a slow mushy dance together, and before I could contest, his long gangly legs had wiggled him over to Wendy to request it.
“You are going to pretend I am Simon, and I am going to pretend you are Annie, my wife. And that way we are just doing each other a favor”
“But Simon doesn’t dance!” I objected
“He does to this fuckin’ song, so shut-up and dance!”
What a total gentleman. It sounds a bit sleazy, but all I can say is, if you are female, you will know yourself, that two men can say the exact same thing to you, but there is something in the tone, or the nature of how they say it, that signifies their intention – and that is what determines if it’s seedy. I can tell you now; Johnny had the purest of intentions, was clearly a loving husband to this Annie, and was the best company I could have asked for the whole evening!
We woke with v. cloudy heads early the next morning in the motel room the owners had provided us (at no cost!). After a group shot, we packed up the car, said our goodbyes to the wonderful locals, and jumped ship.
|Me 'n' Johnny|
A big Baker family gathering had been planned for the Sunday lunchtime – none of us were in a fit state to attend – but we did, and it was lovely to meet Wendy’s daughter, and phil’s sons and daughters in law and grandson. The meal was fab – but poor Wendy really did feel poorly (and I’m certain it wasn’t all self inflicted!), so we departed early. Wendy was in more and more pain until Phil decided to take her to A&E that evening. I was asleep by the time they got back, Wendy morphine up the eyeballs! But I’m glad to say she is well on the mend now.
Wendy’s son Bradey came home on Monday and it was great to meet him. Wendy made a delicious curry and we had a nice family meal and an early night as Massimo was leaving early to catch a flight.
There were tears in eyes as Massimo said goodbye this morning.
Me and Bradey dropped Wendy to work. Now I’m preparing to go on my voyage on the Solway Lass – 6 hours and counting! I look forward to telling my tales from the sea very soon! Until then – catch ya later!