New beginnings in a pre-loved rig
March 5, 2019
After almost three years on the road, I’m onto my third motorhome â€¦ as of today!
I am now the proud owner of a 2008 Ford Transit Kea Endeavour. It’s 6.8 metres in length, giving me and the mutts lots more room to move about freely.
They’re still not sure of the whole thing, switching from one motorhome to another, particularly as I still have Rambling Rose Too; it’s parked just across from us in the showground at Toogoolawah, in south-east Queensland. They’re still deciding where they’re going to sleep in their first night in the new rig.
Unlike our previous motorhome, I’m not sleeping above the driver’s cabin in this one; I’m on ground level so there’s every chance I’ll wake up to a three-dog night, but hey. It’s comfortable and it’s home – and a girl’s gotta sleep somewhere.
Toogoolawah is the beautiful little town that healed me. Well, I reckon it did, anyway. Last year I was staying here when I had a burst appendix and I was in all kinds of strife. Pain like I’d never experienced. No idea it was my appendix as it was not just in that area – it was over a large area of my lower to middle stomach.
After a week in hospital my sister Carly Rose brought me back here to the showground and to my puppies, which had been looked after by my dear friend, Debbie Parlby. She and her hubby Al arrived at Esk Hospital on day 2 of my stay, then went directly to the showground and collected the girls for a week’s bed and board in the Lawnton Hilton for Pooches.
There’s something about this town. Maybe there’s something in the water â€¦
Perfect start to the day
That first morning after my hospital stay, I woke early, about 4.30am and knew that was it for the night. I got up, let the girls out for a wee, then sat down in my chair outside the van and watched the beautiful colours changing in the twilight sky.
It was to become a ritual, even though I’d not previously been a seriously early riser. That sunrise and the hour or so immediately preceding it is certainly worth getting up out of bed each day for. There’s nothing like it.
Even though physically I felt as weak as a kitten from the anaesthetic, the antibiotics, the painkillers and the surgery itself, I was on a journey of healing and it all started right here in Toogoolawah.
A place to revive and create
That’s why I’m back. I wanted to return to the place that felt fairly much like home ever since I arrived. It’s where I’ll write my next book on a fellow called Daryl Mitchell. Most of you don’t know him now, but you’ll know all about him by the time we get finished in a couple of months’ time.
Like most ordinary, everyday people Daryl has an extraordinary tale to tell. He contracted polio as a two-year-old child and it has changed his life – for the better, hence the title Polio To Paradise. This will be a great read, even for those who’ve never heard of Daryl Mitchell. Trust me, he’s a gem.
Terry’s about to be pressed
In other book news, the biography of Gold Coast promoter and entertainer Terry Gordon OAM is about to go to press. If all goes to plan, it should be printed in early April.
If you enjoy a laugh, you’d better get hold of a copy of Terry Gordon OAM: The Highway Of My Life. There’s a belly laugh on every page, just about. Talk about a funny man. The things he has got away with over the years – and never locked up once!
There will be an official book launch and roast at the sixth annual Clarence Valley Country Muster in October this year, but if you happen to strike TG on the road prior to that, I’m sure he’ll have a copy to sign for you.
Ray’s still out there telling tales
The first book I had published, Ray Essery: One Hell Of A Ride, is now in its second print run. Ray, aka The Mullumbimby Bloke, had to urgently restock 10 months after his hugely successful book launch at Brunswick Heads Bowlo.
At 76 years young, Ray can be seen reciting his very own blend of bush poetry and Aussie yarns, ex-dairy farmer-style, at most festivals around the countryside.
When he’s not telling tall tales, Ray likes to keep busy in his back shed restoring antique furniture, and purchasing exquisite lamps and other interesting collectibles and taking his staffy, Charlotte for long morning walks.
The grandfather project
Still on the book front, I’m very excited to have another book now available, Hugh Robertson Corpe: Letters from the Boer War. It all started when my dear friend Clelia Adams’ husband, Rowly Taylor asked if I’d be interested in having a look at his grandfather’s old letters.
You must realise that for close to 30 years I was paid by The Northern Daily Leader to be a professional stickybeak, and report on it, so I was in like Flynn on this one!
The letters were written by Hugh to his mother and father back home in Adelaide after he enlisted in the South Australian Mounted Rifles in 1899 and went off to fight the Boers in South Africa.
It’s simply the most extraordinary document I’ve ever been involved with. Collating and transcribing the letters, initially for the benefit of family members, became so much more when the contents of the letters was revealed.
Hugh was an amazingly gifted writer. I believe he would have made a great journalist, as he captured the essence of every moment of his service to King and country.
The National Library and the Australian War Memorial will each receive a copy, as they hold the original letters for safe keeping.
The book, just a small publication, but extremely significant, will be launched later this year at The Press in Tamworth. Stay tuned for updates on this event.
That’s it for now until next time, whenever that may be …
That’s a reasonably up-to-the-minute report on this marvellous day in March. Every day above the ground is a good one, don’t you think? I’ll turn in and spend my first night in the new dog kennel on wheels, which has yet to be named.
I called the first one Rambling Rose; the second Rambling Rose Too (as in also); now what? Surely not Rambling Rose Three. We’ve got to come up with something more exciting than that.
Put your thinking cap on and send me your suggestion/s to name the new rig. I’ll see if I can come up with a prize or two for the best responses.