Birdsville or bust!

The relaxed appearance belies the facts: still struggling through two weeks of unseasonal rain and unable to get where we need to be. So much mud, bogs and lack of internet contact. My passengers hate me so much right now.


And we may or may not make it down the remote dirt track tomorrow.  Enough supplies to keep us going if we get stuck, until we are rescued but more rain is forecast. Still, at least we made it to Birdsville!

(This picture was taken at Ray Station, yesterday )



And this was some of the floods we slogged through today.


We (my partner and myself) have just finished cleaning the bus and fixing all of the faults caused by the mud and water. I am so tired. We bought champagne for the paxs to celebrate actually making it as far as Birdsville, a feat we thought unlikely ten days ago, given unseasonal rain and road closures.


It is supposed to rain again tomorrow.



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Travelling to the remote arid regions

Except it is pissing down. The whole point of this trip is to go out to Birdsville and currently all of the roads are closed. Theoretically,  we might manage it if we drive 2000 extra kilometers and come in from the top end, via road that isn’t yet closed but there’s no guarantee that will still be the case by the time we get there.


And if your vehicle gets stuck out there and they close the roads, you are staying there until they reopen them, no matter how long it takes. Oh, sure: you could try and sneak out anyway but if you get caught, the vehicle is fined $5000 for each tyre it carries.  We have twelve, accounting for the trailer and our spare tyres.


So yeah, we dont currently know where we are going. Some of the passengers are okay with this, accepting it as the price of touring out here (deviations due to weather reports are specifically mentioned as a possible contingency at time of booking), but others clearly think that we are tour gods, rather than tour guides, and we are shirking our weather responsibilities.


This group seems a little strange anyway.  It normally takes me a few days to warm to people, and realise that they have other redeeming features that cancel out initial first (negative) impressions but I’m not so sure with this group.


Possibly I have been some2hat scarred by my experience on hour 1, day 1. A woman who couldn’t make the self checkin rerminal work got very frustrated and, thinking his dark suit meant important airline person,  summoned a totally random man over, obviously trying to go higher up the chain and complain.


Yeah, no big deal, you would think. Except he turned out to be head of security and she thought that telling him a bomb was in the machine might get some action.


It did. I did a hell of a lot of sweet talking,  citing totally spurious things,  such as senile dementia and appalling social skills, to allow her to fly but I think she still doesnt realise how close she came to being arrested.


Of the three things you shouldn’t ever mention at an airport, I think ‘bomb in the machine’ trumps ‘I have drugs in my rectum’, and even ‘I’ve been working abroad  when I got ill and want to get proper medical attention back home’.



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I hate….

…actually pretty much everything right now.

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So much more distress

There’s knowing the reality and experiencing the reality. I hate every moment I spend looking after my brother because it hurts so much contrasting the him before with the him now.


He can’t understand or relate to much of what goes on around him but he realised I was staying overnight (to give his wife a break) and he opened the linen cupboard and handed me a blanket.


And now I am in tears.


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I just blew off a sales rep

My insurance company has been pestering me lately with offers for this and that. So far I’ve shrugged them off but they keep calling.


Last night I frankly told one of them that it wasn’t a good time right now. She apologised and I hung up. This morning I had another call (onto my mobile, rather than landline so obviously pulling out all stops) and I again reiterated the ‘not a good time right now scenario.


I said that there was a family health crisis and I’d appreciate not being called again. And then he flabbergasted me by asking when was a good time to call for these amazing offers.


It’s like nobody listened to the words coming out of my mouth. I actually said “My brother is terminally ill and I can’t focus on anything else for a few months.”

He pushed and pushed for a better time to call me.


So I told him that I’d be happy to give him a date but, alas, even my brother’s doctors couldn’t give a precise date for dying so I was unfortunately otherwise distracted until that nebulous time.


And I added, “I will be sure to call you once he’s dead, though. Count on it; can’t miss out on these bargains!”.


Looking back, I am surprised. I am still apparently in the ‘anger’ stage of grieving. I would have thought that acceptance was a more appropriate stage right now. I DO accept it but I am so angry all of the time.

(Example: I have to cook tonight for the SES meeting. I need to be with my brother overnight so his sick wife can get some sleep and I resent prior obligations. I will do it but I am doing it quick and easy and when my husband asked about dessert, my response was that they didn’t deserve dessert.)


I can’t somehow wrap my mind around the fact that he is dying through random chance/fate/call it whatever the fuck you want, when there are so many, many useless contributors to society out there. It makes me a fairly shitty person t deal with right now.





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