Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Building Excitement

I  have completed the second book on the Tiger Williams series (There will be one more after this) and I am excited now that it is in the hands of my long suffering Publisher and Editor, Fiona Gatt.

I  have about 14 characters in the second book (No title yet) and they all link up to Rosemore, the property of the first novel. So it is suggested that if you wish to keep up with the three novels, you should buy the first one "The Life and Loves of Tiger Williams".

I am a 100 pages into the third novel, and then I will have to think of something else to write about, that is where you lot come in: Give comments on the Book if you want to, and suggest a theme for future use.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Bit more about tourists in the Outback

Having been in the Outback in a time when things were changing, I must confess I was not in the deep hardship times of times before my time, which I considered rather timely.  However, there came a time when there were folk that wanted to experience the Outback, or as the advertisers would have it, an Outback experience, as though experiencing the Outback was one singular feature, rather than a combination of features  that happened to be in the Outback.  Ifn' ya' know what I mean.

What happened is that the tourists, especially the "Grey Nomads" in their several hundred thousand dollar fuel guzzling, fully insect proof, fully air conditioned, fully fitted with showers, microwave ovens, and often foolishly driven where no RV was meant to go, arrived in numbers, wishing to have the Outback experience.  I mean! Did they open the fly screens...No!  Did they cook in a campfire in a camp oven in a sudden downpour, No!  Did they fore-go the latest TV drama, No! not on ya' life Nelly.  But, back home in the local bowlo',

 "We experienced the Outback experience."
"Oh,My goodness!  how brave of you...I could not stand the deprivation."
"Aw! It's all right, if you set your mind to it, like we did."

Now, again , being Fair Dinkum, the drovers of today have caravans, TV's, washing machines, and the like, and of course, they point the finger at a 'Fully,' as explained, RV, and say "Bloody tourists."

Me' I never worried about TV in the early 50s, maybe 'cause there weren't none in this country then.

I worried about the flies.  You have your horse whisperers, and dog whisperers and those old women that whisper over the back fence, but I was a professional fly worrier, I didn't worry them but they sure as all get out worried me.

I could sleep under the shade of a barb wire fence, if the need arose, and often did when I was too overcome with another Outback experience, call being  'pissed', and couldn't climb over the darn fence anyway.

So, the Outback doesn't change, people do and what they wish to whisper about, and what they want to experience is only relative to the amount of money and brains that one may have at any particular time.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fishing - Outback Style

Although no one would ever dare fish this way these days, there was a time when catching Yellow Belly Perch was a boring and fly pestered occupation.

Occasionally the fish would rise to the bobby cork, but line fishing would most often bring turtle after turtle and that 's about all.

So, the equipment needed to assure yourself of a feed of Golden Perch from the muddy brown water holes along the water courses was: Take one empty golden Syrup tin, some news paper, a bit of scrap metal and some carbide.  Carbide was use for the carbide lamps, and came in rock formation in sealed five-gallon containers.  Some folk use carbide to ripen bananas as well.

The method: Place metal scraps in the bottom of the tin, which has had a small hole pierced in the bottom as well as the lid. Put 'some' carbide rock in the tin,pack down with shredded news paper, not too tight, but sufficient for water to leak in the small hole and through the paper to the carbide.  Then solder the lid on solidly.

Take a few tinnies of barb wire, and a bag to put all the fish in, and then, "Cast the lure" or toss the bomb into the river.   It may take a tinnie before the bubbles start and then shortly after the "Kaboom" and the water lifts and settles, then the fish float on their sides, but only stunned.

Stopping the dog from swimming out for a free feed, you wade out and get hold of as many of the bigs ones that you need for a dinner or two, and head home after consuming the rest of the tinnies.  The other fish floating around will soon come alive and go back to what ever they were doing.

You will have the fish in the bag, which you have soaked in the water while you had a drink, so the Yellow Belly will survive until you get it back to the main station.

In dry times, Yellow Belly go into the mud, and a torpor, and may survive in this pocket of mud for considerable time, or until the next rains.

Take the fish home and release into a previously half filled water tank of fresh water.  It can be muddy water that has settled, but not bore water as it is too harsh for the fish and they will taste funny.

The fish will exude the mud from their guts in the fresh water environment, and will serve up a lot better than straight from the river.

Make sure you cover the tank with wire netting or you will  only provide a free diner for the pelicans, storks and kingfishers, like the Kookaburra,  which is Australia's largest Kingfisher.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tourists in the Outback

Although the local communities in the Outback of these days can see some benefits of the tourist trade, there are still the 'your in my space' attitudes.

In my time in Queensland, tourists were treated with disdain, and made fun of at every opportunity; however this was because of the lack of understanding that the travellers had, and lack of respect that the tourists showed for our country.

The Outback, of course, is not clearly defined, and sometimes is considered "A bit further out than the Black Stump".  The Black Stump being of dubious location itself, but claimed by the township of Blackall in Queensland.

Anything beyond the Black Stump is further out into the dry harsh Outback.  If you are travelling in the Outback you are on "The wallaby"  taken from wallaby track.  But again, with the influx of the 'Grey Nomads' in their fully self contained RVs, this phrase is used by them to describe what they are doing; "We are on the wallaby" they say, as they sit at the beach side in Coffs harbour, or Noosa, or Surfers Paradise....So another good old Aussie phrase has been downgraded by 'bloody tourists'.

I can remember from way back, when  discussing a couple of tourists that had bogged both vehicle and caravan to the axles, how one bloke said "Bloody tourists...They come out here with a white shirt and a twenty pound note in the pocket, and don't change either of them."

You could be out near the main road, working on the boundary fence, and you know that the road has been impassable for three days, and you look up to see a bloke in shorts to his knees, a floral shirt and a straw hat, heading your way.

"I say old chap, I wonder if you could lend a hand?"

Now, what he would expect one bloke to do to get him out of the black soil quagmire of the wet season, one could never fathom.  But you would climb into your four wheel drive work vehicle, allocate the passenger to the back so that your dog doesn’t have to give up its favoured position, and go have a 'decko' at the bogged tourists accommodation.

"Sorry for laughing, mate, " you say, not feeling the least sorry, "But this looks like a job for bloody Superman."

You would not be the least surprised if the man said "Does he live near here?"
But he doesn't so you ask, "Didn't you see the sign "Road impassable...four wheel drive only."

"Well, yes we did...but we thought...."  And that was always the problem, they hardly never thought.

It got better over the years, and a good number of the tourists were prepared for what lay ahead of them, and the more prepared they become the more the numbers of tourists came...So the towns built more motels, more fancy pubs, more places to extract the tourist cash as much as possible that could be extracted.  a tube for a trailer tyre could cost up to twelve pounds, which would normally retail at three pounds....But take it or leave it.

Even now, after the tourists in the Outback have contributed to fading local rural economies, and have become much more "Bush Smart" we still stand  on the side of the road and mutter...."Bloody tourists."  But we know this ain't gunna stop the flow, hey?