17th July Sat.
Skyring Creek, Qld.
A marvellous night, mild and limpid under the moon. Undergrowth tangled & dark, mysterious, protects our quiet privacy.
Dawnie, our infallible thermometer, lies uncurled, a vast improvement (to her dog-mind) on Jindabyne where days and nights were spent in periwinkle curled sloth.
Which reverts us to our farewell to that transitory home. Thursday, I guess it was the 23rd June, so finally sickened and us sunk deep in despair by locals cheerful intimation that it’d be sloppy for a month or so to come.
Packed, sadly, & drove car round Weston’s back gate to Wooden Woman paddock and with spade and axe severed forever her connection with the earth that spawned her life. Slim she was but thunderous weighty. Not all my effects could carry her, so needs must ignominiously drag her, like a leaden drunk to the car onto which after ½ hours strenuous grunting & cursing managed to attach her. Whereupon the springs gracefully inverted themselves. Returned to trailer and in midst of manoeuvres almost followed it into the Snowy.
Boiled our way steadily into Cooma, dined with George & retired to lounge until 1:30pm. Had ham & eggs down the street and pulled off the road 12 miles out of Cooma. Seeing as how, the b—- caravan was full of logs & canvasses we decided to sleep together, which after taking off boots and nether garments did. Woke to the clanging of picks and shovels outside the window and perceived a gang of road men blithely at work. I hope we didn’t look too damn silly on that 2 foot bed.
Got to Brighton about 9 o’clock PM after an unpleasantly wet run from Marulan and a spot of high powered bother with some of Howard Couch’s bright(?) brainwaves attached to darned head light.
Frittered a week away in Sydney. The longest and dullest week I’ve had since leaving work. Sheer boredom. Had a few sad drinks with boys & visited all who should be.
Left again on Monday. Jess must go and lose the filling out of her tooth again. Hence John Brooks, dr. to W.E.Pidgeon. Discovered two broken leaves in trailer spring and had same fixed.
Arrived at Wyong & stayed night with brother John. Slipped the car off bloody bridge over gutter next morning but after 1 hour’s rupturing effort with railway sleeper got out right. Attended meeting of shareholders of my gold company. Didn’t say a word.
Stayed outside Singleton overnight. After pleasant run up the best part of the New England Highway paid visit to the Browns at Currabubula and remained 2 days leaving Sat. morning.
Apart from coming down the mountain on my bum nothing of any consequence happened, except maybe getting 3 or 4 broken down rums out of Alex. Christ, Nance is a tiny squirt! She made us quite at home & farewelled us with loads of home made biscuits and local oranges. For which many thanks offered. Alex now almost as fat as a prize Berkshire & getting more like Uncle Jim in manners, voice, face, etc, than ever. Out does any movie detective in the matter of hats on in the house! Still he’s much bitter company than he used to be. Quite human. The old folks away in Singapore. Jess very upset because deprived of joy of Uncle Jim’s company. Finally got past Guyra for the day. Damn cold too up there. Bad as Jindabyne. 5000 ft up in the heavens. Went to sleep with the angels’ chilly bloodless feet on our faces.
Least said about the trip on Sunday the better! What roads! Seemed as if a major earthquake had overtaken them. Crossed a cattle ramp into Queensland at Wallangarra & had my first northern beer. Better than the Sydney slush anyway. More good (according to the ignorant locals) roads to 8 miles of NSW side of Warwick.
Through the Darling Downs to Toowoomba thence down a Big Dipper Hell towards Ipswich & Brisbane.
Extraordinarily fertile looking country in Qld. Well grassed and cared for. Houses surprisingly neat & tidy after NSW hovels. All curiously stuck on stilts.
And the toy tram lines.
And PUBS OPEN TILL 8 O’CLOCK!