First thing this morning we went up to the shops. The first for enlargements of some photos mum wanted, well, enlarged and the second to buy an avocado because I just have to have my daily dose of delicious green.
When I went up to the shops yesterday (with Denise) I noticed that the shelter that runs along the top edge (ie in front of the newsagent, hairdresser, kitchen shop and bottle shop) was being pulled down. We especially noticed because the hydraulic lift they were using was very, very loud. Or, rather, the constant beep it emitted was very, very loud.
Today I realised that these de-constructors had almost finished. Obviously mum wondered why. She asked me and, while I do confess to knowing most things, this one extremely important fact simply eluded me.
Mum even went in and asked the newsagent. I feel I need to clarify something at this point.
Mum used to dislike the newsagent A LOT. She refused to go in, even though the other closest one was halfway down Bulcock Street. I can’t remember why she disliked him so much but her dislike was so great that the rest of us weren’t allowed to go in there either. It was at feud level.
Then, one day, the lady from the newsagent saw mum struggling with a shopping trolley and offered to wheel it home for her. This altered things completely and the feud was completely forgotten. In fact, when we went in there to buy a birthday card last week and I expressed surprise at the fact, mum pleaded ignorance of the whole affair!
Anyway, that’s all by-the-by. Today mum went in and asked the newsagent what was going on with the shade being removed. He said he didn’t know, that the shop owners were the last to find out anything…except rent rises. And so, I don’t know.
I hope they are back by summer because it seems a bit ludicrous in a place that boasts wall to wall sunshine and stupid levels of heat, not to have shade. I have to hope that they are merely replacing it with a better shade.
We went back home, largely unconcerned with the slowly disappearing shade, and waited around for midday. Then, just before, we slowly wandered up to the Bowls Club to once more have lunch with Lorna and Bob. And it might sound a bit daggy but I quite like the place.
It’s easy to create a lo-carb meal from their offerings (the seafood is pretty good without the batter), the beer is pretty good (150 Lashes on tap) and the place is quite relaxed. The staff are all very nice as well. I guess they have to be given the general age of the clientele. Even so, I’ve actually enjoyed my two lunches there.
And, of course, it’s always an opportunity to hear a great Bob fishing story. He didn’t let me down.
Actually he told me a few today, laying down breadcrumb teasers as he led up to the main feature. Cute like tidbits about Lorna sitting in the bottom of his 16 foot boat, huddling with the kids as a cyclone approached them, threatening to vomit with every movement. He also mentioned that he never ate calamari because all of his life they’d catch it and use it as bait. (I have to admit that that wouldn’t stop me eating calamari but each to their own.)
Bob’s main story, however, concerned a fellow fisherman and all round bright spark called Ernie…but I’ve jumped ahead…
Bob had been chartered to take a bunch of city slickers out for a few days fishing one weekend. He took the big 30 foot boat out because it was a sizeable group and they’d probably fall out of a smaller one. They headed out towards the island then cut out to sea. They did a bit of fishing and then, off the bow, Bob noticed a fire on the water.
He immediately had everyone pull in their lines and set the sails to intersect the burning object.
As he drew closer to what was the smouldering remains of a boat, a plaintive wail reached him. A small voice calling “Help! Help!” intermingled with saltwater glugging. An eagle eyed someone spotted a black ball in the water. Straight away Bob realised it wasn’t a black ball but a blackened head and it was the head that was making the overtures for assistance.
The fishermen pulled the charred and wet man from the ocean and laid him down in their boat. Bob quickly realised, even through the thorough scorching, that he knew him. It was Ernie, a fellow member of the coastal fishing community.
“Jeez, Ernie! Whadya do, mate?” Bob asked in that languid way Queensland fishermen have.
“Aw, Bob, you wouldn’t believe me if I told ya!“
Actually, I’m sure anyone reading this would worry that poor Ernie wasn’t getting due medical treatment but don’t worry, Bob turned the boat towards the shore and, with all haste they made landfall and rushed him to the hospital where he lived to fish another day though minus quite a lot of hair.
The group of city slickers, once the excitement had died down, were a bit annoyed at losing good fishing time but they soon calmed down after Bob told them a few yarns about earlier groups who didn’t catch anything other than bait.
Bob grew quiet at this time, musing on his past life. He leaned forward and winked at me in his conspiratorial manner.
“And do you wanna know what the stupid bugger had done?” He asked me.
“Of course!” I almost spat out.
Apparently Ernie wasn’t known for his smarts. He’d been out in his boat but suddenly grew a bit concerned with the amount of fuel left in his outboard. Though using his sails, he might need the motor to get him back to the shore. I’m guessing he didn’t have a fuel gauge because rather than use some sort of engineered implement he used his trusty lighter to look down into the fuel tank.
Now, Bob assured me that Ernie was fine and whenever any other fisherman who knew Ernie sailed by him they’d ask if Ernie had any spare fuel. He also assured me that the story was absolutely true. And who am I to doubt him?
Oh, I almost forgot. Mum made me pose for a photo because she had an empty frame. This is it.