Pinky's Book Link

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pinky Returns from the Dead

Pinky stands under a tree with her hand pulling down a branch to conceal her naughty, capricious face behind some leaves.

“Hellooooo…” she peeks out sheepishly. “Sorry about making you all think I was dead. It was a dreadful display of attention-seeking, wasn’t it? I promise I’ll never do it again. Really, I mean it. I was a disgrace.”

The thing is, when I was going through the emotional stress of leaving my home town after five decades, I did feel as though a part of me was dying.

As I backed out of the driveway of the family home that final time and watched our real estate agent, Nettie, clutching the keys, ready to pass them over to our buyer, I began to sob. Big, heaving sobs.

The relentless, over-dramatic sobbing continued until I reached Bowen (200 kilometres down the highway) when I suddenly realised there is NOTHING on this Earth more depressing than Bowen (what with the salt pans and dreary landscape),… nothing… so I ceased my self-absorbed snivelling and braced myself for the remaining 500 kilometre drive to Rockhampton.

I had company. 

Celine the Fox Terrier and Pablo the Chihuahua were tethered on the back seat and the Cat was nestled in a travel cage on the front seat. I drove in convoy behind Scotto who was able to call me on Blue Tooth if; I lagged behind too much, big trucks and caravans overtook me, or if he lost sight of me and feared I’d crashed into a creek or something.

Scotto had Willy, the Silky Terrier strapped into his passenger seat. Scotto said Willy sat up in a highly alert fashion and licked his (Scotto’s) arm continuously for 400 kilometres and it was really annoying, like water torture, really. “Then he went to sleep for three hours and just didn’t move at all. I was pretty sure he was dead,” Scotto told me later. It would have saved kennelling fees, I suppose.

We were running very late to book Willy and the Cat into the kennels in Rockhampton and Scotto became a bit sweary at me and scolded that I needed to speed up because I was a danger on the road and then I had to put my foot down and we just made it before the kennel guy shut shop.

The next day’s drive was worse and we had a fight on the Blue Tooth because of my timid driving and at one stage Scotto yelled at me and then I silently sobbed from Gympie to Brisbane. We were far too late for the kennels when we arrived on the Gold Coast (apparently my fault) but luckily my Mum and Dad said we could bring ALL the animals to their place for the night even though they also have two dogs and we suspected there’d be quite a bit of animalosity between them.

There was.


Jetstar delivered Borat, the German shepherd the next day. He’s settled in by the way and seems to have given up barking so much, which is fabulous and bizarre at the same time. 

Pablo still detests the sight of Borat but they seem to have reached a kind of truce where they now just ignore each other completely (which is an improvement on the Borat attempting to eat Pablo scenario). 


The Cat loves it here and is the ONLY cat in the neighbourhood so she doesn’t get bullied by random bastard cats anymore like she did at the old house. 


We stayed in our new house on the second night, but until three days later (when the furniture was to arrive), all we had was a mattress, a bar fridge, a couple of camping chairs and a table Mum and Dad let us borrow… but it was magical. The temperature ranged from about 18 degrees Celsius to a pleasant 27 degrees and much of the time we sat in the middle of a cloud up here on the mountain. Clouds literally pass through the lounge room if you leave the windows open. Heavenly.

I’ve spent a lot of spiteful time on my lap top comparing the cool mountain temperatures to the muggy conditions the poor suckers in Townsville are experiencing, gloating in a particularly nasty manner.

Each morning we wake up to laughing Kookaburras and magpies, singing in a chorus of piped warbling.

I’m a country girl now, almost a farmer really. We have a passionfruit vine, an olive tree and a smallish tomato plant. I’ll probably learn to press olives and make my own oil. Or maybe just put them in martinis. Do they need to be cooked first?

My Olives

NB: When I say we have an olive tree and passionfruit vine what I actually mean is that the neighbours have them but they stick out over our fence so they’re sort of ours.

People up here are really friendly, probably because they’re country folk… or they just don’t know me well enough yet.

Two neighbours from across the road called in on the first day and said they’d planned on bringing a plate of ‘welcome muffins’ to us, but they didn’t have any muffins with them. They never actually explained why they didn’t. Bit disappointing really because I don’t mind a muffin now and then. Maybe they were fibbing and they just wanted to know the cut of our jib. Naturally we were drinking at the time. I was scoffing champers and Scotto was drinking beer and nicking passionfruit from next door in case you were wondering.

I don’t know if it’s the crisp, alpine air but since moving to this picturesque, verdant and lush environment on Tamborine Mountain, miraculous things have begun to happen, and when I say miraculous I mean mystifying and not a small bit weird. It’s almost as if we were meant to be here…

On the day after we arrived, the very first establishment we patronised was the local bottle-o.

Scotto began a conversation with the attendant whilst I swanned around the white wine aisle searching for a bargain. By the time we left the bottle-o, Scotto had a job as a computer technician. I’m not lying. He got the job the first day we were on the mountain via the bottle-o guy. Another reason drinking wine is good for you.

Then I felt guilty about being a lazy arse sitting around on long service, so I asked Scotto to drive me around to some local schools to put my name down for relief teaching work. Next minute I received a call saying that one of the teachers had broken both her arms so could I please come in for a day of relief work. Booyah!



I had nothing to do with the broken arms… but it just goes to show the power of prayer.

The wildlife up here is quite thrilling. We have a jungle in one corner of our garden which all of our neighbours, in hushed tones, refer to as the ‘snake pit’.

Fenced off 'Snake Pit'

Apparently there are Eastern Browns nesting in there and maybe a Red-Bellied Black snake or two (which is lucky because I think that’s better than having pythons which might attempt to swallow the Chihuahua). We’ve enlisted the services of a local landscaper to come and clear it. You should see this landscaper. He’s about nine foot tall and built like a Greek God. Scotto said he felt like a hobbit standing beside him. Same with our pool guy, he looks like the Bondi Vet on steroids. I think it must be that the mountain air is good for growing young lads. (It’s certainly increased my appetite, and the cat’s.) I just hope our landscaper knows first aid for snake bites because he’s too big for me to carry him anywhere.

We also have ants that bite. I forgot to wear my farmer-type gum boots the other day and an ant bit me on the toe. It’s still swollen four days later. The dogs kept getting stung as well. 

Icing Celine's stung paws

Naturally, we called in the local pest guy to come and spray the yard. He had to cancel his first appointment because there was an oil slick on the road leading up. The road leading up is so steep and scary I have to squeeze my eyes shut when I drive down it. Imagine driving down it when there’s an oil slick! It’d be like one of those roadrunner cartoons where the coyote gets slammed flat into a cliff.

It’s been really lovely spending time with Mum and Dad (who live ten minutes up the hill). They bought us a chandelier as a house warming present. Quite posh don’t you think?

Mum took me to her favourite library yesterday (she belongs to three libraries). I’ve always secretly derided my mother’s obsession with libraries but I think she’s converted me. It was like being in the monastery of a silent order of monks.

Bedraggled people sat around reading magazines and noiselessly turning the pages. Old, nun-like women padded around on the carpet with wistful smiles on their faces. No one spoke at all and then Mum bedazzled me with the technologically savvy manner in which she checked her books in and out via a scanner. “I never need to talk to anyone at all,” she confided gleefully. “I come here every week and haven’t spoken to anyone here for years.”

I’m joining the library.

We’ve been down the hill to Bunnings more times than I like to remember. Scotto fell through the decking around the pool (almost broke his leg) and it all has to be replaced because it’s rotten (we were warned about that when we bought it). 

Scotto has taken on the job of replacing all the boards himself and while he was looking at boring drill bits, I bought myself a little spade for gardening and for ferrying dog poo down the yard to poke it behind the Norfolk Pine in the back corner (I’ll stop doing it in November so we can use it as a non-smelly, authentic Christmas tree). I bought gardening gloves too, and some potted colour. One day soon I will do something with it all. One day.

We have water tanks and a sump system. There’s no pipeline up to the mountain or sewerage, so if you come and stay you can’t have really long showers or put tampons down the loo. Mind you it rains A LOT and we have three tanks so there’s plenty of water. 

You must check between your knees when sitting on the loo to make sure there are no Eastern Brown snakes poking their head up the cistern so I suppose that’s why you can’t put tampons down the toilet because snakes are attracted to blood.

What? No… ?

Scotto just said that’s sharks.

Okay. Look between your knees for sharks poking their heads up in the toilet bowl then.

Or just don’t put tampons down the loo.

We have discovered our favourite watering hole on the mountain which is guarded by a massive Saint Bernard who can be found lying across the threshold all day and night. The beer garden has amazing views across the valley. 

View from the Beer Garden

They’re very ‘doggy’ people up here, thank God. Every night at about six o’clock the dogs in the surrounding hills all start barking at one another. There’s barking coming from ten kilometres away. No one seems to care.

Finally, I’ve met my tribe.

Anyway, I love you and have missed you soooo much. I will have lots of meaningless stories coming up. Probably more than you could ever want.

Thank you for sticking with me xxx

Oh, clearly I’ve changed my banner up top which Scotto did for me and which includes ALL my animals 
(L-R: Cat, Willy, Borat, Pablo, Celine) not just the two spoiled bratty dogs. I think it fits in with my country farmer style life don’t you?

So thank you to Scotto for his artistic/geeky skills.

So tell me, what sort of farmer would you like to be? Ever cooked olives?