WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

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Terry
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Terry » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:19 pm

WHEN IT’S NOT YOUR DAY

This is a true story that’s written exactly as it happened

The heat had arrived a little earlier than usual that year, so Val and I had moved down to Eucalyptus to one of our summer camps. Eucalyptus is like an oasis in the middle of nowhere out on Yundamindra station. There are big river Gums and groves of Gimlet trees amid some Break-a-Ways and offers ideal campsites in the hotter months.

For the first time that I could remember for this late in the year, there was another prospector camped just down the track from us. I forget his real name but he hailed from Tasmania and everyone called him Cobber because that’s what he called everybody else. He was a nice chap and a bit of a battler who had faced some real tragedies in his life and getting away by himself was how he tried to cope.

His mining equipment was really antiquated and it surprised me that he ever managed to find anything. So he supplemented his meagre finds with the dole which he’d go into town 100 klms away to collect when it was due. He’d do his shopping while there, including getting just enough fuel for the trip back to camp and for the next trip back into town.

Cobber was to play an important and somewhat unfortunate part in this story, as this particular day was dole day.

Working part time at the station and doing a bit of Roo shooting to earn a few extra bob, was a young bloke who we’ll call Ron (can’t remember his name either) and he was the main character in this Yarn.

Ron set off bright and early out to the lake country about 30 klms from the station to try and shoot some roo’s and as usual took a two-way handheld radio with him (station rule). Right near the edge of the lake he spotted a big Boomer, but couldn’t get a clear shot at it. So he carefully backed his ute onto the lakes edge thinking it would be solid, but immediately became hopelessly bogged. He spent several hours trying to get the ute out, but eventually realized it was hopeless, so climbed the highest hill to summon help. But alas the radio was either out of range or on the blink and he realized he’d have to leg it home and as he only had a litre bottle of water with him and that was already half empty, he decided to cut across country via a well about 10ks away.

He made it to the well, (just) rested for awhile, then filled his bottle and set off again. He somehow managed when near the end of his tether and almost collapsing through sheer exhaustion to stumble into Cobbers camp. He was totally worn out and desperate for a drink, but the only water he could find was a bucket full of soapy water which made him violently ill. Little did he know that about 300 metres up the track was our camp with plenty of clean water he could have helped himself to. It was stinking hot so he more or less collapsed in the shade of a tarp that Cobber used to park his car under.

Late that afternoon Cobber arrives back from town and reverses his car in under the tarp as usual without seeing poor old Ron and promptly ran over his foot which caused considerable pain. But that wasn’t the end of it; when he asked Cobber to run him out to the station, he was told that if Cobber did that, he wouldn’t have enough fuel to get back into town on his next trip. He remembered then that I was just up the track and suggested that Ron should hobble up and get me to take him to the station; eventually he relented and drove him to my camp.

Naturally I was happy to run him home, but made him open all the gates as is the custom if you’re the passenger. Besides he was twenty five years younger than me. He did a fair bit of grumbling, but I put that down to him having a sore foot and being a bit tired after his escapade. It was sometime later that I found out he’d had a broken foot or something and they had to cut one his new real beaut boot to pieces to get it off his foot. (I still feel a bit guilty for making him open the gates)

I guess this goes to show, you just can’t help bad luck can you.

© T.E. Piggott
Last edited by Terry on Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Neville Briggs
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Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:32 pm

As Oscar Wilde might have said, to have one disaster could be regarded as misfortune, to have five starts to look like carelessness. :lol:


I hope you don't mind an observation Terry. For my old brain I can read prose like this more easily if there are double spaces between the paragraphs. And shorter sentences help my old head from getting too easily confused.
Last edited by Neville Briggs on Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Terry
Posts: 2766
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Terry » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:27 pm

G/day Neville
No problems mate I was thinking along similar lines myself.
I've chopped it up a bit more now so hope that helps.

Cheers Terry

Heather

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Heather » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:15 pm

Poor Ron, it just wasn't his day was it? Had me in from the start Terry. I enjoy your tales.

Heather :)

Neville Briggs
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:14 pm

That looks good terry. I don't know why it works, it's the same words, the setting out somehow seems to relate to how we scan a page I suppose.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Terry
Posts: 2766
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Terry » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:00 am

Hi Heather,

Another mistake Ron Made was having so little water with him; I'm always the opposite. Even when out on my motorbike I take enough water for whatever I'm doing and an extra ration in case the bike breaks down and I have to walk back to camp and I never get further away than I can comfortably walk home or back to the vehicle.

We're about to have an adventure here in October; My daughters going to bring our two grandsons (Charlie 7 and Oscar 5) over for their first visit to WA for the school holidays, could be exciting if somewhat exhausting times ahead.

Cheers Terry

Terry
Posts: 2766
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Terry » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:07 am

Hi Neville,
I think it's just looking at a big block of words crammed together, it's enough to turn you off and decide to give it a miss.

I'm a bit like that with a really long poem; I look and see stanza after stanza scrolling down so the poem has to really grab me from the beginning or I'm out of there. But i hasten to add that's just me, others enjoy long poems.

Terry

Neville Briggs
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Neville Briggs » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:09 pm

Fair enough.


Your story reminded me of an old mate of mine who worked on a sheep property on the Ninety Mile desert in SA. He and his offsider arrived at a bore tank on a hot day to get some water only to find that a group of construction workers had used the tank as a bath and fouled the water with soap. He was most annoyed.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Terry
Posts: 2766
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Terry » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:43 pm

Hi Neville
Yes I've seen the same thing.

I've once or twice on a very hot day jumped into a tank to cool off,
But never soaped up while there.

We often would have a bucket bath alongside a tank when on the move but that's all.

I was thinking, you with your past career in mind, must have a swag of yarns to share.

Terry

Terry
Posts: 2766
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR DAY

Post by Terry » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:50 pm

Thanks Matt

I often wonder whether these sort of stories are worth telling and whether people will enjoy reading them.
I think you're right though; the setting for the stories seems to help.

There's something about those isolated areas that holds an interest of their own.

Cheers Terry

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