Thursday, February 5, 2009

BORN FREE

As free as the wind blows.......was telling my younger sibling that I had put David's bike on the web....What about me, he said one of the most self contained, and private persons, OK Paul I will get the bl....y camera and put your bike up TOO.


He goes for a ride every now and then with the wind in his hair. I do not share my brothers' passion for fast and mean bikes, I like the air conditioned comfort of my vehicle. With the petrol prices through the roof some months ago I could only afford to drive about two k's a day....ha ha



Note the jar of Vegemite near my father's foot. Goes nowhere without his tea, rum and vegemite and he was saying Crikey a long time before Steve Irwin's fame and wearing kakis.
This is Paul some years ago when he lived and worked on his own, on remote cattle stations as a fencing contractor usually on his own. That is my father visiting with him. My father died not long after this photograph was taken, he had suffered bad burns and shrapnel wounds when Darwin was bombed and apart from that drank rum every day and lived hard and fast. This is a photograph of my father when he was running bush pub at Mt. Surprise in the Gulf country of Queensland. Access to SP bookmakers, and all that alcohol, and his droving mates trucking cattle from there, no one paid for drinks much, did not do wonders for the bank balance, but he sure enjoyed himself.



That is my father, second from the left, who had a rule, he did not drink on the serving side of the bar, so most times the serving side was empty only when he went for refills and he would go with his mates on the "wrong" side. Go figure... Thse fellows were not the drover mates but the railway maintenance gang. Oh yes a typical Sunday, all aboard and a fishing we will go, no trains today, I might add plenty of liquor on the railway maintenance vehicle....sometimes when they had not returned when the trains were due someone had to go out in the "section" car that had to be manually operated, up down up down, like a see saw with one person on a handle either side. Had to get them off the tracks usually all a little worse for wear before the train ran them down. Did have a couple of accidents with the trains resulting in death. I remember one particular man who had been crushed between the wagons while attaching them and the two steel pieces crushed him across the midriff. What stays in my memory is the blanket covering his injuries while waiting for the aerial ambulance, and him smoking, drinking and laughing. I guess it was evident that he would not make it and if he wanted to drink and smoke for the last moments of his life so be it.


My brother's last big fencing job was assisting a friend who had a contract to build yards on Laguna Station, located on the coast near the Northern Territory and West Australia border two years ago. I must share a couple of photographs of territory farming life as depicted by a friend Paul met on the Station and he e-mailed these to my brother a couple of days ago.



This is a little "freshie" as opposed to their mighty savage cousin "Salties" . The differences between the two croc species is that the salties tend to want to eat you where as the freshies at best can give a nasty little bite but in my experience mostly do not bother. This fellow the photographer said was curiously watching activities and wondering how come there is so much water about and where they intending to farm fish when he would definately be interested.


Another ambitious attempt at farming in the north of Australia on the vast marine plains. They come and they go
I have been jumping about like a rabbit with this post...which reminds me


Oh yes and while I am at it do not go out much and did go to a barbecue the other night....eeer eeer....live hard and fast I think is these fellows motto...truckies and bikies...and me so refined......


Not to worry my mother came too... in fact she was invited not I.......

11 Comments:

Blogger Artoholic said...

You have the most wonderfully absorbing tales to tell! And they seem inexhaustable - keep 'em coming!

That's a nice bike. When I worked in food, all the Exec Chefs seemed to have big bikes. They liked out cc-ing each other. Must have been an extension of their ****'s.

Your Dad was a character! My dad liked billy tea with the condensed milk that came out of a tube. Whenever we went out rabbit/duck/fox shooting, every night back at camp, the last thing we di was have an enamel mug of that sickly sweet, but delicious tea under the frosty stars.

Looks like a wild time was had by all at the BBQ!

February 6, 2009 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Artoholic said...

Meant to say that swimming tractor looks like Ingham today!

February 6, 2009 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

I have fond memories of tubes of condensed milk.

My Dad had black sugared tea, he spent a lot of years travelling stock with tough old men including his father "Ole Hell Bent" and they told him no milk in their camps and if he wanted milk he could go catch a "scrubber", so he opted for black tea. The enamel mug all chipped I still have.

February 6, 2009 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Tazar said...

Great tales and photos Elizabeth, and some wonderful history in your family.

Some of the most absorbing characters of the North seemed to have lived their lives pickled in rum or such like, no doubt many still do!

February 6, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger diane said...

The others have said it all. Wonderful characters and tales of real Australian life. You people are the salt of the Country while I'm a blow in but I am a passionate Aussie.

February 6, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Tazar said...

Diane, Australia is made up of "blown ins" such as your own good self. That is what makes us all such wonderful passionate Aussies!

February 6, 2009 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Terry da Grump said...

Great stuff Liz.

Read it from start to finish. It was gripping,and the photos (as usual) are great too. Thanks for this post.

February 7, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

Thanks Cindy, your Dad would have been interesting...similiar to my father, I could have done without some of the jobs I had to do, plucking chooks, ones that I had known for all their lives...can remember vomiting when the head was cut off ......scraping the hair off the hung up pigs with scalding water, stoaking the smokey fire to rob the bees after their tree being felled...fond memories not...but I guess the realities of life were in our face and had no illusions from whence food came...

Tazar, I find living on a boat with your beautiful dog so different, interesting and an adventure. I have never negotiated beyond these shores with the exception of one little jaunt to New Zealand which I enjoyed enormously. and so many in the north are pickled or were.

Diane,
We are all immigrants in this country. In the north the tribal people around Boorooloola were fine upstanding men and women with malay, chinese, and island blood contributing to their magnificent coordination, physique etc.
You are not a blow in we all are.....your ancestors were probably upstanding citizens wheras mine could have been convicts....
Terry,
Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read my scribbling with incorrect grammar all over the place...sorry Diane

February 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger mandy said...

When I was with my ex we did a lot of bush adventures and came across many characters like you have mentioned....
Back then we did a lot of gold prospecting, i didn`t like it much but loved meeting the fair dinkum aussies of the bush....
They have not a care in the world and would be the first to lend a helping hand expecting nothing in return...
Great post Lizzie...It brought back some great memories...Oh and the flies....lol

February 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

Mandy,
Interesting looking for precious metal....

February 8, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
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February 12, 2010 at 6:37 PM  

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