Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shacked up in Bridport

Today we loaded up kids, dog, wave ski and a few clothes, and hit the road. I am writing this on Monday night in a borrowed shack in Bridport. It's feels weird to be on the coast, but not the East Coast or Northwest Coast or even West Coast. We are on the Northeast coast, and it was a torturous drive. We didn't bring a map, and I decided to just drive in to Launceston and follow road signs to get here from Scottsdale, which turns out to be a very rally-driving way to go. Twists and turns. Even just getting through the centre of Launceston and onto the road to Scottsdale is an adventure in randomness. Quite a beautiful drive though. The view from Sideling Lookout over the valley is amazing.

 This is my friend Andrea's family shack. She lives in Perth now so doesn't get here often; her siblings and their friends use it but we managed to get a free timeslot in the school holidays. We are just going to dag around, reading and walking on the beach and maybe having a paddle if we feel brave. Poor Winston is ready to go home. We left him inside here while we went down to the pub for dinner and he practically turned inside out with his leapings when we returned. We have explained that we are here for 4 days and he will hopefully get used to it.

 We have a singing neighbour. He seemed to be practising a song called Thinkin' Bout The Way Things Used To Be, yodelling it across the hillside with a lyric sheet in his hand. When he's happy with his work he finishes with a bit of a "Yoooow!!"

 Good night's sleep generally, Winston had a bit of a prowl around inside but went back to his designated 'bed' (old sheet on the floor) when asked to. Our beds are soft and warm and after a busy day that's all I need.

 On the way here yesterday we drove through Scottsdale, and I told the family the story of the 1967 Scottsdale Magpies who won the NTFA premiership, and then the state final. That year there was a Championship of Australia held at Adelaide Oval. Scottsdale were competitive but were outplayed by Subiaco, then met Glenelg in the 3rd place playoff the next day and were belted mercilessly Glenelg 29.27 (201) d Scottsdale 10.8 (68)

After breakfast we went for a long walk with Winston through town along the sandy river flats at low tide. When the Visitors Centre was open we got some maps and had a chat about places to take the dog and the wave ski. The lady in there was on the phone when we arrived, taking advice on whether to fly the flag or not - apparently Governor Peter Underwood passed away overnight. This is sad news, he was a brave supporter of human rights and peace movements. He invited all Amnesty members to a reception at Govt House once, and shook every single hand.

 We came home to the shack for lunch and for me to spin a few more LPs from the collection; I'm really enjoying being reunited with Mad Not Mad by Madness (1985). Then we went off to try to find Adams Beach - we just missed it yesterday. Now fully enmapped, we were able to track it down. A magnificent deserted expanse of sand, with no rocks. Most of the beaches here are hemmed in with huge granite boulders. Marcus and I swam but it was beastly cold. Michael paddled bravely. We walked a pretty long way then turned back and were nearly back to our shoe-pile before we saw anyone else. The surf was too wild for us to put the wave ski in, so hopefully that might happen tomorrow.

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