At last the fleece wearing weather has packed its bag and headed off to the Northern hemisphere to torment the good folks up there. Gorgeous sunshine, cool breezes and stunning Karri countryside has been the norm for the last few days. It’s been wonderful.
Our trip to big tree country in the Pemberton area of southwest Australiawas delightful. In fact, more delightful than the most delightful contestant at this year’s ‘Most Delightful’ competition, by a delightfully large margin.
Lush verdant rolling hills, contented livestock grazing in white fenced fields and chocolate box rural villages. Certainly not the sights I would have associated with this vast and essentially desert country. Each small village boasted a pub and in many of these country taverns a licensed TAB betting office was operating in the public bar. Imagine the orders the bar staff must get. A pint of lager, a pie and chips (Ozzers love their pies) and $10 each way on the favourite in the three thirtyat Melbourne. The Dog and Duck in Margatewill never seem the same again.
And in these small villages, were the war memorials, prominent and lovingly kept. I stopped at some and scanned the surprisingly long lists of the dead for familiar names. I found many and noted with overwhelming sadness that so many young lads had fallen in European wars, as well as ones closer to home. There’s something pretty damned obscene about shipping young men half way round the planet to be bullet fodder in a spat between European aristocratic drama queens. What’s more obscene is that we, as westerners, make pompous and sanctimonious claims to be civilised and hold human life sacrosanct. Who’s kidding who here? I do get terribly confused with it all.
Bro’s Landcruiser (troop carrier version, not the wag driven SUV type so beloved by tasteless Estuary bimbettes) carted us about in convincingly Australian outback style. I became fond of the brute. Its battle-tank build is tangibly re-assuring when you’re being tailgated by white van man. You find yourself almost hoping that he’ll run into you and instantly turn himself and his vehicle into the subject of an accident report. If by chance the driver is the one who nearly forced me off the A2 the other week, then I hope that accident report would have the word ‘Fatal’ in the title.
That said, I wouldn’t want one. The 180 litre fuel tank capacity and rapacious thirst requiring said tank to be refilled far too frequently for a tight sod’s comfort, has quelled my initial urge to have one. Then again, what price vengeance on white van man?
We return to Blighty at the end of the week. Royal Bruneiis the lucky airline selected by my good-self to transport memsahib and moi. This choice was purely commercial. Their fare for a business class return (London/Perth) was one third of the BA offering. No contest there then.
Throw into the equation the smug self importance of BA cabin crew along with the trend to recruit those staff from the towns of Charmless-Lardarse and Limpcampqueen, and there would be no contest even if the fare had been the same.
Margatein November. I’m really not excited at the prospect. Oh well, at least we’ll be able to catch up with Drunky Nunky again and get the empty voddy bottles to the bottle bank. Perhaps I should get that Landcruiser after all.