BEFORE THIS YEAR’S TRIP……
We had been asked to return to work at Adels Grove, where we worked for several weeks in 2002. But this year, we intended to see out the full tourist season there. I had been adamant that I did not want to cook, again, but was happy to take on the other roles assigned to the women. John would rotate over the various men’s tasks.
We were to be there a few days before Easter, which was mid April this year. Our original plan was to leave home as soon as the bowls season finished, in March, and travel a round-about route north, taking about a month to do some sightseeing along the way.
As usual, our plans were things made only for changing, or derailing!
The white patch of skin on an inner ankle, that had irritated me while we were at Doomadgee last year, turned into an open sore which was diagnosed as a varicose ulcer. As I didn’t even have varicose veins, this came as a considerable shock. According to the surgeon, her intervention was the only way to repair the area. Apparently the weakened vein valves causing the problem, were a legacy of my pregnancies, decades earlier.
So, instead of being up near Bendigo, in late February, helping daughter with her new born son, I was recuperating from surgery, at home. Daughter and newborn had to come and visit me! Infections hampered recovery time, and it was late March before I received the all clear to resume normal life, albeit wearing compression stockings for much of the time. That was not going to be fun in the tropical conditions at Adels Grove.
By the time I was ready to travel, John had been persuaded to make a very fancy blackwood cot and changing table for his first grandchild, due to be born in late March. The cot was to be a sleigh style, but able to be turned into a single bed when the child was ready for same. By the time the timber arrived from our favourite Tasmanian mill, the boy had been born and March was almost ended. John could have been spotted, slinking around stores that sold baby furniture. trying to surreptitiously take measurements and jot down design details, while I tried to distract staff by acting like I thought an intending shop lifter might.
We had Truck serviced and given a “really thorough overhaul” at a Land Rover dealer we’d begun to use as a closer option to the Frankston one where we’d bought Truck six years ago. John explained to them that we were going rather remote, and needed the vehicle to be reliable. These days, after our Kimberley problems in 2000, he insisted that the wheel bearings be serviced too!