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 Post subject: Maryborough.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2022 1:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:46 pm
Posts: 1914
Location: Masterton New Zealand
More from my past!)
A bit north of Brisbane is the town of Maryborough. A nice little town on the Mary River near the sea. We were, as usual, looking for a job and it had the added attraction of being near the sea which usually provides a beach to sleep on. The usual procedure was we would throw our sleeping bags on the sand and check for the usual collection of Australian bitey insects , light a fire, and after a brew of half tea leaves and half water or beer if we were a bit flush, we’d fall asleep. If it was raining I’d sleep across the front seat, Ian would sleep in the back and Tony would sleep underneath the Landrover. He learned after a while not to bang his head on the diff or gearbox, they weren’t very forgiving. The canopy of the vehicle seemed to keep most of the rain out and anyway it was always pretty warm at night.
The first night in Maryborough , we arrived a bit late so we pulled up near a park and kipped down in the car. We were pretty knackered and didn’t look around much and were soon asleep. About midnight we were awoken by stentorian voice saying the Australian vernacular for “ ‘Ello, ‘Ello, ‘Ello! What’s a goin’ on ‘ere then”.
Yes, it was the constabulary.
“What ya doin’ here?” he inquired.
“Well we got here a bit late and just thought we’d kip here and find our way around in the morning”, I said.
“Well you can’t sleep here in a public place ya know” The tone of voice dropped dramatically, “but there’s a really comfortable band rotunda in the park!”
“Is it ok to sleep there?” inquired Ian.
“What I can’t see, I don’t know about.” he said tapping the side of his nose.
“Ok. Thanks. We’ll move on then”
“Good lads” said the copper and climbed back in his car. As he drove off we legged it through the park to the large band rotunda he had indicated, carrying just our sleeping bags. It was indeed a comfortable edifice. It even had sort of vinyl cushions on the seating for the band and a draught proof surround that concealed us from prying eyes. That cop knew his stuff!
Next morning we checked in for our weekly payment of 27/6 traveller relief and to see if there was any work going, but it wasn’t too optimistic. A fellow at the pub suggested we try inland a bit around Biloela, so we took off in that direction. As we drove along we saw on the opposite bank of the Mary river a field of pineapples. We’d bought the odd pineapple as we travelled along, they were dirt cheap and were usually the small or funny shaped ones that didn’t suit the cannery where most of the crop went.
We looked at each other and wondered how we could get over the river to assess the quality of the crop. The Mary river meandered a bit and had little beaches here and there and we spotted a little rowboat beached on the sand. I jumped on the brakes and we looked around. There didn’t seem to be a soul in sight- not even a house. The boat was quickly pushed out into the river and the couple of oars were all that we needed to get going, after all we weren’t pinching it , just borrowing it. We’d be back in half an hour. As soon as Tony started the Oxford crew bit, we realised that something was wrong! The bloody boat was sinking! It wasn’t pouring in anywhere in particular. It was pouring in everywhere! There was nothing to bail it out with and we would never have kept up even with a fire pump such was the inflow. The pineapples were the last thing on our minds as we paddled frantically for our recently left sandy bit as the Mary took us slowly but surely down stream. We watched as the parked Landrover went slowly past and aimed for the next oxbow in the river and the next bit of sand. When the boat had about 2 inches of freeboard we abandoned ship and swam, dutifully towing the submerged hulk by it’s painter rope. As we gasped and struggled onto the sand and the three of us tipped the boat on it’s side to empty the water out, a figure appeared nonchalantly smoking a cigar on the bank.
“See any crocs out there?” he said pointing vaguely out in the river.
CROCS! We’d never swum with anything more menacing than a trout!

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Civilisation is a veneer- easily soluble in alcohol!


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 Post subject: Re: Maryborough.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2022 3:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:42 pm
Posts: 2245
Location: Devon, England
Great story Michael, what an amazing life journey you've had! So well documented. Great stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: Maryborough.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2022 11:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:04 pm
Posts: 4511
Love it! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Maryborough.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2022 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:06 pm
Posts: 900
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Maryborough.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 8:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:56 pm
Posts: 5895
Location: Solihull, UK
Your life makes my younger days look very tame!

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Blessed are the crack'd - for it is they who will let in the light.


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