Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'll just go and have a little cry...

Between the problems with Blogger and the immense problems with TELSTRA Australia I cant post more than a few wor ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

She’s left home!

Isnt it amazing how fast they grow up and leave home?
After many years together my baby finally left home today.
When we first got together she was a little worse for wear…even though she’d only ever had one person in her life before me.
There was several months of intensive care before we could even be seen together in public with lots of new things to do and many old things to repair, but since then we’ve been inseparable and no one else has lit her fires since those trying days.

But today…with little fanfare, she up and left home with someone else.

I guess it was always going happen this way…but of course I’m feeling the pain just now.
She was born early in 1975 and that makes her a true classic now, and that will ensure she lives on, highly polished and much cared for.
She was in damn fine shape when I got her but I replaced everything that could be bolted on including a new motor and new gearbox and even had to hand build panels where none could be sourced, she’s 100% rust free and a fine example of Mr Fords best work.
Next week she will have her 185hp straight six and auto removed and replaced with a genuine GT351 with 450hp, four speed TopLoader and Locker diff. In a few weeks she will have a new look with bright red paint (Red Pepper) and black stripes, her tags will be replaced and her chassis number will be changed to reflect her pure breeding. Yes, she’s becoming a Genuine XB GT 351…and I couldn’t be more proud!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dads Coat

A couple of lifetimes ago we lived in an old house with an outside loo, it was way down a very long yard past all the trees and vines, way down among the long dark shadows and hidden spider webs. Of course you had to be really busting to use it after dark…desperate!

Going to that toilet after dark was one of my greatest fears as a very young boy, and one of my earliest memories.

By the back door hung dads old WW2 army coat, ankle length on an adult and made of leather it weighed a ton and dragged on the ground behind me as I struggled to carry it. But it made me feel safe.

Full of fear I’d look out into the swaying shadows and howling winds, full of fear I’d take the heavy coat from its place right next to the door and drop it over me, the thick collar sitting on my head, the broad shoulders enormous over my small body.

Then out the door I’d go, no longer scared because nothing could get me under dads coat, I’d weave my way around the shadows and under the spider webs to the loo and back.
I could barely push the coat off my head and up onto its hook then slide out from under it without it falling and pushing me to the ground.

Even now the smell of leather brings back those memories, that musty, earthy smell of leather that I find so comforting. I’d love to own that coat, I’d love to have it hanging on a hook by my back door…just to remind me, you understand!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Last Flight To Hell

Back when I was young and stupid I had occasion to fly to several important appointments 400km away. (I’m not young anymore) It was a rushed affair and I spent the entire day buzzing from one place to another to meet people and keep appointments. Toward the end of the day a friend picked me up for the run back to meet the last plane out. Along the way she stopped at her local watering hole and I bought us a couple of rounds, which is really not a good idea before boarding an aircraft.
As we drove toward the airport, clouds built up around the city and rain started to fall.
Once at the airport she produced a pipe of high grade dope and hurried me through it, (another bad idea) although we were running late I waited patiently as she emptied one herself then we staggered into the terminal. Once inside and out of the building storm I found a handling delay had choked the airport which was full of people in huge winding lines.
Paranoia started to set in..
As my flight got closer and it looked like I was going to miss it, several kind people let me through to the front of the line which only served to draw attention to us and increased my anxiety levels.
A quick check in and a rushed thank you to the people who allowed me to cut in on them and it was around the corner to the boarding platform…and straight into a high level security check.
Back then there were no security checks for flights within Australia except for very rare exercises; like the training exercise we had walked into.

Did she still have the pipe? Was there dope in her bag? Panic!

The dozen or so security staff ushered us through the metal detector and x-rayed our hand luggage. As we started to walk off a female officer stepped forward to stop my friend from picking up her bag.
“Hang on, I just want to check something!”
My heart beat was through the roof already and this just topped it off as I saw myself sitting in jail for the night.
She rummaged through the bag and produced a huge Bowie Knife nearly a foot long, I couldn’t believe it! It was just like the Crocodile Dundee “This is a knife” knife.
Surprisingly the staff just told my friend that she would have to leave it with them and pick it up as she left…
A quick goodbye and I could feel my hands shaking as I went out through the departure door and into the teeth of the storm, I was the last one to board and the ground staff were waiting in the rain for me, they did not look happy!
Head down and up the slippery stairs, I missed the little sign that said I should duck…WHACK! I walked straight into the top of the door and staggered inside, head spinning.
I turned down the aisle and stopped dead… the plane was full of really, really old people with gaunt looks on their faces, every eye on the bloke who had kept them waiting, every eye on the bloke that just walked into the door and interrupted the hostess’ briefing. I felt claustrophobic and the world closed in around me. The plane felt very small and I got an instant feeling of impending doom, if the door had still been open I’d have headed out of it again, but the door was up and the plane lurched as it started to taxi.
Now I've been known to have the odd premonition and the rushed day, the beers, the dope and the stress I’d just been through made this felt as real as anything Id felt before.
I settled into the only empty seat in the aircraft and started thinking about my life’s successes and failures and started thinking up excuses for St Peter, even on this cold day sweat beaded on my forehead and ran stinging into my eyes.
The hour long flight through the storm seemed to take forever and every bump and lurch had me silently freaking out.

No-one was more surprised than I as we taxied into the little country airport at the end of the flight.
It was only then that I saw the identically painted and very similar aircraft I’d flown out on that morning…identical but much larger, hence the feeling of claustrophobia.
Although they had remained silent throughout the flight the old folks outing had apparently been a great success judging from their chatter now they were safe at home, and their bus was waiting to take then back to their old folks home.

That was the day I gave up smoking dope…