Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Long Way Round

Blogging has fallen by the wayside a bit lately, given the twin competitions for my time of family illness and work.
Nevertheless, I’ve found time this morning, before things arc up again….. During the last two weeks I’ve done trips to Augathella, Charleville, Quilpie and Cunnamulla.

Once again, I’ve used the Q Health charter aircraft to get around which has saved about fifteen hours on the road all up. I don’t mind the driving – in fact I enjoy it – but it’s essentially unproductive time, and the people I work for get much better value out of me when I’m not sitting on my backside traversing the countryside at 100kph.

Flying’s only disadvantage is that you don’t have a car when you get where you’re going, but that can be turned into an advantage. Rather than relying on a lift from the hospital to the schools I’m working in, I’ve chosen to walk. In this weather, and burdened only with my laptop, it’s OK. You wouldn’t however, want to be doing this in the forty degree temperatures common out here in the summer.

Apart from the exercise, walking gives you the best possible feel for these towns, and armed only with my mobile phone camera, I usually manage to get some good shots.

One here, of the drowsy Cunnamulla guard dog, captures the atmosphere well.

Cunnamulla was interesting. After listening to a ten minute diatribe from one of the hospital staff about the dreadful behaviour of the Murri kids at the school (when he discovered that I was working there) I had to ask for directions when I was walking into town from the hospital to buy lunch. (Anything is better than the food off the hospital trolley – which I could have pre-ordered and paid for – been there – done that – never again).

The only bods about were three young Murri blokes – one with a full compliment of tats. They gave me considered and comprehensive directions using a level of courtesy I would have been proud of in my own kids. So much for the uncouth locals I’d heard so much about. Whilst listening to this bigoted character at the hospital, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’d spent all morning at the school, where again, I was treated with courtesy (and curiosity – not many white-haired itinerants out here – they’re all young) by the kids I’d encountered.

Cunnamulla architecture is an engrossing mix of shanties and substantial old Queenslanders.

At this time of the year the air is fresh, and the light almost incandescent in its clarity.

I really enjoyed the day.

1 comment:

"Grendel" said...

I worked out there for some time - it was a fascinating place and like you I found that the Murri's were frequently more courteous and helpful than many of the whitefellas since the Murri's didn't seem to share the "oh but you are not from around here" bias.

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