MONDAY 20 TO THURSDAY 23 JULY TOWNSVILLE
John had to be at the Land Rover man at 9am.
It was a cloudy day, with a strong breeze. I wondered if it would rain. Took a chance, anyway, and washed the bedding, then sent some emails.
John was back before too long. The man didn’t have the part Truck was found to need, but would have it in tomorrow.
Townsville was so well served, compared to many other places we’d been. The old saying that we got used to, during our time in the NT, came to mind – the NT: not today, not tomorrow, not Tuesday, not Thursday, next train, next truck…..very true it was too.
After lunch, drove to the Aitkenvale shops, where I’d discovered there was a bowls shop. There was also a sewing supplies shop nearby, which provided me with good browsing, whilst John was making decisions in the bowls shop. Not that I had any ulterior motive for directing him to this one…..
I bought some threads for my Hardanger sewing. John ordered himself a set of bowls. Not a cheap exercise! He wanted them colour yellow, so they had to be freighted up and should arrive on Thursday or Friday. I decided that, when he was picking them up, I would go back to the sewing shop and indulge some more, having shown great restraint today.
John’s thinking was that yellow bowls would make it easy for him to see where his efforts were, from the other end of the green. I had two thoughts – neither of which I shared with him: that they would be an easy target, and, the way he’d been bowling lately, they could stand out as an embarrassment. Sometimes, I really did need to censor myself!
We had a quick look at merchandise in the Rivers clearance centre, but were not tempted.
John went to the bank and withdrew $500 cash to pay for Truck repairs. There was a big dent in the bank account, after today.
I extended our stay here, for Thursday night. Cost $31.50.
Cooked the continental sausages bought on Saturday, for tea, with mashed potato, bacon and eggs. Later, they gave me fearsome indigestion.
TUESDAY : John was off to the Land Rover man for 9am.
It was another cloudy but windy day. I did our clothes washing, and sewed some quilt blocks.
John returned with Truck fixed – I hoped! A new vacuum pump had been fitted, with double gaskets this time. It had an oil change and some other oddments fixed too. All up – $520 for repairs.
John phoned the bad mechanic back in Melbourne. After some discussion, he was told that the warranty on the pump that had been installed just three months ago, would be honoured. I would believe that when we actually saw the money, I’m afraid.
After lunch, drove to the Strand again and did a fair walk. Then it was to the Castletown shops, so I could buy a small but good chef’s knife, to replace my good one that the handle had broken off, yesterday. That cost $50.
Grandson phoned to tell us that he’d read the fifty books for the Read-a-thon. Not bad for a six year old. So we would now have to send his $10 donation, plus the surprise Sodor train wash set.
We need to go back to the bush – haemorrhaging money in Townsville!
WEDNESDAY: We had a quiet start to a day that was not as cloudy, but was more humid, strangely enough.
Walked to the local shops and spent up big on postage. Sent postcards to various family and friends, a Hinchinbrook Island brochure to each of the sets of grandchildren, telling the story of our day there, and despatched the train wash and $10 to grandson. Australia Post was $25 richer.
John phoned his cousin M, who was still in Cairns. It might be another couple of weeks before they began to head south again. I was now quite certain that we were not going to get that far north, this trip. It was going to be an accomplishment just to get away from Townsville!
Son phoned me about a new job he’d taken. Sounded very exciting: in a new field for him, traffic management, but doing the familiar role of business development. Bit of a growth industry, that.
Friend M phoned – from Halls Creek. The trip up the Canning Stock Route had gone well, and she’d had a great time. Only had one flat tyre on the Troopy, and that was just as she was driving into Billiluna Community, not on the CSR proper. Yet again, the Dunlop Roadgripper tyres that we swear by, but others look down on, proved they can really handle the rough stuff well.
She reported that they’d had no rain over the three weeks. The fuel drums they’d ordered from the Capricorn Roadhouse were at the drop point, as arranged, and hadn’t been raided by other travellers. The couple she was tagging with had no vehicle issues, either. So she reckoned that she was now an experienced sand dune driver!
The diary I’d requested she keep for me was more a book than notes, apparently. She would mail it to home. The plans were now to go to the Bungles again – the other couple had not been there before, then on to Kununurra.
I was so happy that the adventure had gone well for her. But given the events of this year, I was so thankful we hadn’t tried it too.
THURSDAY: A quiet morning, followed by early lunch. Then we hit the shops – what’s new?
At Aitkenvale, John collected his new bowls. They were the ordered bright yellow – and the symbol on each featured a smirking crocodile. Very satisfied looking it was, too. (Every set of bowls has to have a unique symbol). This one couldn’t have been better than if he’d specifically chosen it! Yellow crocs…..
At the sewing shop, I bought a metre of my special embroidery fabric and some patchwork quilt pieces, for future projects.
To the Fish Co-op to stock up on barra and threadfin salmon.
There was a nasty accident at the corner where the V8 track had been. A truck and a 4WD ute had collided. Flashing emergency lights and vehicles galore.
Grocery shop at Castletown and at the butcher.
Getting all the meats and fish into the little freezebox was a real exercise in fitting things in gaps. The real challenge would come when just one frozen portion had to be extracted again, from the mass. The fridge ran for ages after all the additions, making me think all sorts of worrying thoughts.
I phoned Forrest Beach and booked us into the caravan park there, for three nights. John wanted to play in a big bowls tournament that was on in Ingham over the time, and had listed himself as an emergency, in case someone dropped out. If he was not called up, he could go fishing.