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 Post subject: Tasmania
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:46 pm
Posts: 1259
Location: Masterton New Zealand
(I seem to be monopolising this bit of the forum)

The broom millet fiasco was over! 75 Quid between the three of us after our grocery tab was paid up, after 2 months work! The hourly rate was abbysmal. It was even abbysmal by comparison with the 'Travellers Relief" we got from the Queensland government, while we were looking for a job. 27/6d a week, only once in each town to encourage us to travel around Queensland to look for work. And what did we find? Bloody broom millet! When we collected our relief money each week, the first thing was to fill the Landrovers tank and check the oil, then we would wander into the nearest feeding place and in unison say "Steak, eggs, onions, tomatoes and chips!" That'd be the end of our money till next time.
"Go down to Tassie" they said, "pick apples! Bloody good money!" So we headed south. Ever the optimists, we took this advice to heart and wandered down the big continent towards Melbourne where we cashed up the Landrover and boarded the Tasmanian Ferry. The Empress of Tasmania was large as ferries go and a lot of people came on board before sailing to farewell their friends and relations. At the appropriate time of departure the PA system announced "All visitors ashore please- we will be sailing in 10 minutes." At this point in time we all turned around and waved to non-existant friends on the wharf - Ian wandered off to spend the night in a toilet, I found what appeared to be a ticket and commandeered a kind of reclining airline seat and Tony, with his usual canniness, spent the night in the crews quarters swapping stories of his mispent youth with the crew.
Tasmania appeared in the morning, The Empress docked at Devonport and 3 intrepid apple pickers dis-embarked and headed towards the local equivalent of the labour exchange.
"G'day! I believe you need apple pickers? Where should we go?"
The rotund fellow behind the counter mumbled round his cigarette, "You wanna head down towards Hobart. Head down the main road to Deloraine and see if you can hitch down from there. Over the central plateau"
"Thanks mate" and we turned towards the door,
"By the way! Take your time they won't need you till March!"
It was currently November!
The last we saw of him was his fat bum shaking with laughter as he went into his office.
We got to Deloraine and noticed that it had a Youth Hostel there and a really nice bloke who had once been treated kindly by a Kiwi let us stay for nothing and I took lots of photos of his kids, promising to send copies when we got somewhere,(or other) and we did odd jobs around the attached ‘Old Mill Garage‘, emptying rubbish bins and washing cars. After 3 days we took off in pouring rain hoping to hitch our way south. 4 hours of walking inside some big plastic bags we had found, carrying a pack, we had adopted our usual mode of going at our own pace which meant that Tony was about a mile ahead of me, and I was a mile ahead of Ian. About lunch time, if we had had any lunch, Ian waved to us as he passed in a two seater sports car on his way to Hobart. No other cars passed that whole day!
As dusk settled we arrived at a place called Liawinee by the Great Lake where the intake of a hydro plant was situated. Our wonderful map of Youth Hostels told us that here was a hostel. Made up of what was once workers accommodation when they built the dam back in the 1950’s. Long rows of small two occupant huts, each with a chimney and two bunks. It hadn't stopped raining all day and we saw the YHA sign with considerable joy. As we walked to the office door we passed an old Landrover parked outside with the back seats covered in beer crates. We knocked on the door, and were greeted , eventually, by a drunk only just capable of staggering from the table to the door and from the door to the table. It turned out that this was the YHA warden! His name was Jim, or it might have been Stan , ..or perhaps Charles- I dunno- he was almost unintelligible. In one corner of the room was a huge heap of beer bottles and on the table was a large roast , possibly of wild pig. complete with hairy butt, and a multitude of flies. We had never been known as fussy eaters but we declined his offer to partake of the delicacy on the table.
"Where do we sleep?" we said, several times. We got the feeling that Jim, or Stan or.. wasn't really listening. It took us half an hour to get him to point at a small hut. We entered and there was a small but lovely pot bellied stove and two bunks. Outside there appeared to be nothing burnable but long, tussock grass so we asked The Warden, what we could use for firewood. He pointed blearily at the hut next door. Over the next week we fed the next door hut into the pot belly, kept warm, cooked 'gookies' in an old soap strainer. 'Gookies' consisted of rolled oats, milo and water stirred to a thick paste and cooked through the door of the stove. Fortunately we had a lot of tea!
After week we were offered a trip back to Devonport and we aimed at returning to New Zealand as soon as possible.

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Civilisation is a veneer- easily soluble in alcohol!


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 Post subject: Re: Tasmania
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:56 pm
Posts: 5273
Location: Solihull, UK
Hi, Monopoliser, you are telling some very interesting stories that none of us can match.

We stay-at-homes just bumble along without such tales to tell wondering why we didn't leave home and have exciting lives like you.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Tasmania
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:46 pm
Posts: 1259
Location: Masterton New Zealand
LOL! Paul, I have found the U3A Writing group absolutely inspirational! It encourages us all to button down and write so that in 50 years time (or more) somebody will know a bit about us. I do so wish that my grandparents had had a similar motivation.

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Civilisation is a veneer- easily soluble in alcohol!


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 Post subject: Re: Tasmania
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 2930
Nothing better than a Michael Monopoly! !! I'm enjoying the respite from our rather grim reality, i.e. the Donald. Carry on good sir! And Paul, never underestimate the power of us stay at homes' stories....I'd love to hear yours as well. We all got rich lives and I've loved hearing yours so much over the years. More please, anytime.


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