In the encrusted green unwild – 1st December 1994

Well, are you feeling festive on the first of the Christmas month? I’m sure confused because Christmas time normally means cold days, long nights and sifting around with the heating on. I’m currently running around in t-shirt and jeans and mostly less than that! Not much snow forecast in Sydney for Christmas I don’t suppose.

Anyway, after coming back from cousin Jan’s we attempted to park the car in the garage and scraped the front, taking off some paint, which we thought might cost us some to repair if they pick up on it when we return it on Tuesday. Oh well, nothing we could do about it.

After all the excitement of the beach on Sunday we had to get Broni into the city for a job interview, it turned out to be a bit of a waste of time as it was pretty much earmarked for someone else and they were just going through the motions of interviewing people anyway. It was interview practice anyway, for her interview in Newcastle, which is where we headed after that, this road will be as familiar to me as the Poole-London motorway soon, at least this road is a sight prettier.

We hoped to hit the beach but the weather turned from boiling hot sunshine to a dull mist by the time we got there. As we drove through I figured Newcastle seemed like a cool place to live, not too far away from Sydney and a little more relaxed than there. We planned to stay with Broni’s friend Christa and after bumming around town for a bit we went to her house, a Victorian looking terrace house about a hundred yards from the beach (lots of beaches here!).

Inside, the house just blew me away, it was huge, kinda deceptive from the outside cos it looked kinda squashed in there, though it did remind me of something out of Chelsea, London. So, inside Christa shows us around. The ceilings are high which give the impression of space, the floors polished wood, furniture sparse and functional, all clean and tidy, as we go we get to meet the rest of the household, Michael, who actually owns the place, he’s a doctor, Jim, who’s also a doctor and practicing surfing, so we agreed to get down to the beach sometime in the future, and Cathy who’s a physio and gave me that deja vu feeling that I’d seen her somewhere before. Christa is an occupational therapist, so everyone in the house is well paid and they’re having a ball, quite prepared though they were to share their good fortune with their friends.

The house goes down one floor to the kitchen and a bedroom and outside into a yard where Michael and Jim were making some mighty fine home brew (checked some they’d made earlier and it was good). Upstairs to more bedrooms and bathroom that included a spa bath and a shower that hung down in the middle of the bath with at least a seven inch head. Through another bedroom that lead out onto a front verandah that was shut off with big yellow storm doors, and upstairs again to an attic room that just about had a view of the beach left between the buildings that had recently been constructed. What an amazing place to live and incredibly cheaply too, these guys had really fallen on their feet. They all made us feel really comfortable and relaxed.

After much chat, me, Broni and Christa headed into town, in what was a dull rainy old night, though still warm enough for only a shirt, we hit the Thai restaurant and deluged ourselves with red curries and satay sauces. The pace in the whole town seemed really comfortable and more to my liking compared with Sydney, so we hope that Broni goes well in her interview, in fact Jim’s girlfriend is a speech pathologist at another hospital and gave us some inside information which could mean well for Broni, let’s hope so.

Off to bed, Broni sits up and revises, especially in light of this new information, and when she eventually turns out the light we lay awake for sometime before hitting snoozeland.

Bright and early risers with much on our minds, fingers crossed and all that, we say our farewells and thanks to our new friends and drive up to the hospital, which is set around beautiful bushland, the birds screaming mad messages at the edge of the car park.

Broni comes out about an hour later with a big smile, knowing she’s done well and in with a chance, now the desperate wait ’til they get in touch and advise us. We grab a local paper with houses for rent and other jobs for me advertised, let’s force our luck, hey?

We drive up to Peter and Paula’s house, which is another stylish house with an incredible view over the beach and the town, must cost a fortune to live up here. They feed us, Peter decides to help out by painting the scrape in the car, unfortunately it doesn’t work too well in the short time we have to fix it and he comes up with this hail’ brained scheme of covering the car in dirt and mud which he then proceeds to do, a little bit of oxide thrown in for good measure, we have to dash to get back to Sydney in time but on the way we start to feel guilty and stop quickly at a jet wash and hose off the offending dirt, leaving just a small trace of oxide near the scrape.

Gunning for home, hitting 140 on the flat, that’s k’s now, not mph ok, we break the sound barrier and arrive with a half hour to spare, run in and pay and run out again straight to the train station and onto a train where we sit back and relax.

We get some beer and wine and celebrate the night away, exhausted after these five free days, free to drive anywhere anytime and boy, did we, nearly a thousand k’s.

Well, that’s as much excitement as I could stand these days so I’ve spent the next two calming myself down a bit. And today, I’m gloriously happy, content with life and my long term buddy, Broni, and happy at all the fun I’m due to have, come and get me!

25th Mar 2021 – I remember none of this except the scrape on the car. I’m thinking it’s a good job I wrote it down but then wondering if I haven’t bothered to remember it much because I wrote it down? It is a lot of beers ago now though.

Searching for images to use for some of these posts throws out some really nice old old pictures. 1924 or 1994 – it’s all getting old these days.

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