Sunday, May 27, 2007

Di - the camel woman..


Well yesterday was a special day..


..i walked into the city as usual for a saturday.. called into the bakery and took my croissant with me.. ..i sat at the city end of the Goodwill bridge and ate my breakfast and noticed that nearby, a group of Aboriginal ppl were doing the same..


..it was hard to identify them as a family, though they may have been, as they had no children with them.. ..it had rained here in Brisbane overnight and in the early morning.. and the Aboriginal ppl had made use of the bbq shelter they were sitting in to dry of their belongings.. clothes and blankets were strung up on most of the shelters cross beams..


..i couldnt help but wonder.. what earlier events in their lives had led them to that shelter.. ..and i realised again.. ..although we live in the same place.. experience is unique.. and opportunity is not universal..


..later on my walk, as i was sitting in the mangrove walk.. now one of my fav spots.. i noticed a young family climbing into their tinny.. mum, dad, a toddler and a boy about 8.. their main boat was a sort of ramshackle sailing boat, with a crab pot strung up one mast.. and a bicycle tied to another.. the cooking pots were strung up like lanterns.. what a delicious boat.. !!


..as it turned out, the young family wedged their tinny in amongst the mangroves and crawlled up onto the mangrove walk right near me.. but i chose not to talk to them or ask about their boat.. i had already build a fantasy that i didnt want dispelled..


..they were a modern version of a gypsy family and they lived on that boat fulltime.. :) ..i did not want to hear that they were both actually advertising exec's with a fabulous though extravagant week end boating hobby..!! ..magic..


now to the title of this post.. ..while i was out exploring .. Rasta received a call from an old mate.. and its seems that a woman from Rastas past is in town.. and we have been invited to dinner.. its been 15 years or so since Rasta saw this woman.. but everyone that knows her.. when ever she comes up in conversation, always says.. "Oh Di, the camel woman" .. i'm not sure why, but i'd like to try and find out.. !!_____________________________________________

.. we ended up going to Mandy's house at Redcliffe - a beachside suburb of Brisbane..


Mandy and Di had spent the day knocking down a wall in Mandy's house, ready to put in french doors.. they had had a lot of fun but were now neither organised or motivated to go out to dinner :) so we opened a bottle of wine and chatted for a while.. Mandy's house is a beach shack surrounded by imposing houses.. its quaint and charming..


Mandy enjoys gathering wood on her walks along the beach and sands it back - she has pots of interesting wood peices of wood all around the house.. when i said i loved mucking around with wood also.. i got a tour her wood collection.. nice..


well we still hadnt decided about food.. so we took our wine and glasses across the park to the beach.. a 2 minute walk.. we sat on the grass overlooking the waves - if we had decided to do that halk an hour earlier, the fish and chip shop just there, would probably have still been open.. but that didnt worry us too much.. it was a beautiful Brisbane night.. at the beach on a almost June night - wearing a sleeveless shirt.. the weather is spot on.. ..and by the way, i think we want to live near the beach (this week anyway :)

..so i turned the convo to camels.. as you do.. it seems Di used to catch wild camels in the Simpson Desert.. (i can only imagine that there was some sort of market for tamed camels at that time :) ..anyway.. she had a favourite that she called Percy and she used to ride Percy to the pub at Castlemaine where she lived.. and tie him up in the car park..!! ..what can ya say.. :)


..i already had some knowledge of Perce the camel from stories Rasta had told me (..there had been a particular night at the Castlemaine pub, when Di and Rasta were hangin' together.. Rasta drove a lil old convertible sports car then.. and when Di had had a little too much of a good time to ride Perce home, Rasta kindly offered to lead Perce home - alongside the sports car.. ..yep.. of course, the police came along, but it seems they couldnt do much.. there was no law against leading a camel home form the pub)..


...interestingly, Di travelled to Queensland last year in a horse and buggy.. it took a few months.. inland and using old stock routes.. ..i am sure there are plenty more stories there.. and hopefully more evening on that beach..!! ..i know you wont be surprised when i tell you that Di currently lives on a bus.. ..and when Rasta used to know her in Castlemaine, Di and Perce kept a very orderly tent by the river.. :) ..i like this woman !!

..wine finished and walking back through the park, our minds turned to food again... so many local pubs.. we hopped in the car and tried the Woody Point pub and the Paradise pub (apparently the first place the Bee Gee's ever performed) .. but the food had finished for the night.. we went to Hogs Breath.. sat outside.. overlooking the beach and a view to Stradbroke Island.. what a magic day..


a foot note on last night - as we approached Redcliffe and were crossing a bridge over part of Moreton Bay - a bridge famous for fishing from - i was reminded that Rasta often mentions, as we cross that bridge.. "this is where Ros loves to fish" ..Ros is a nun in an order that still wears the long black gear (Anglican order) ..so on my way to meet Di - the camel woman.. i had one eye out for Ros - the fishing nun.. yep, you guessed.. another of Rasta's ex's .. magic!!

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