SATURDAY 19 AUGUST DARWIN
We went to the shops at Casuarina. Got groceries and the weekend papers.
John picked up the two new pairs of glasses he’d had made. He was satisfied with them.
John wanted to have a look at African Mahogany timber. He had found a timber yard a bit further out the highway, so we all drove out there. Wandered about, looking. They had big stacks of the wood, but the man who handled all that side of things, in what was mainly a landscaping firm, was not there. We would have to try again another day.
African Mahogany trees are – as the name suggests – not native to Australia. They are a fast growing, shady tree, so were planted in large numbers around Darwin, after the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974 destroyed much of the existing vegetation in the town. Now they had become large trees with an unfortunate tendency to drop large limbs, and fall over in storms. So there was a removal program under way, with the result that the rather beautiful timber was available.
On the way back, John spied a Telstra tower in the distance, so drove down the track to it and parked. There, he had a fiddle about with the laptop and mobile phone and aerials, trying to sort out his connections and internet stuff. He had the laptop and bits arrayed on the Truck bonnet.
We were not far from the airport, where there were the usual Dry Season air force war games happening, based at Darwin Airport. It occurred to me that we could look as if we were engaged in suspicious, subversive activity, here! So I was happier when John abandoned his connecting up efforts.
We had a farewell dinner for M, who had decided that there was now nothing to keep her in Darwin. She may have wanted to get away before John coerced her into remote area work! I cooked a roast chook with all the trimmings. She bought a couple of bottles of wine and we had a little party.
I had a final attempt to persuade John that it would be a good idea if I went south, too. It did not work.