Aaaahhhhhh! I feel much better after waking from my little Nanna nap, a little two hour sleepy poo reclining in the chair with my embroidered blankie covering my knees. Nah I’m only kidding it’s too hot up here for a blankie over the knees. I’m also not the sort of person that regularly takes time out of my day for a Nanna nap but every now and again one does just need to stop and let the rest of the world catch up.
The first thing I did when I woke up was check my phone for messages, thankfully there was none. Sleeping through a ringing phone doesn’t happen often however the next time I wake up to Nick standing on the other side of the room making smart arse comments about me sleeping when I should be working definitely wont be the first time.
He’s pretty clever when he wants to be is our Nick. I’ve heard comments like the classic, “Wake up sleeping beauty, you too Dean,” or “Wake up, you wont make any money lazing around here all day.” or even “Hey Deano, if you can fit it into your busy schedule someone needs help.” But it’s the altered classics which make waking up to Sargent Nick such a joy, things like, “If you want to see something awesome wake up now!” (Don’t ask what it was), or my favourite “Wakey, wakey here comes snakey.”
But alas none of that for Dean today, no poor little Dean had to wake to just herself, well herself an a thick layer of sweat that had formed under the layer of clothes I was wearing. Did I tell you it’s hot up here?
It was just after 4pm when I awoke, the day still had a bit of daylight in it but it was too late to start anything substantial. Thanks to the large and hearty meal I had at the pub before arriving home I wouldn’t be looking for dinner for a few hours either. Speaking of lunch, one day I must tell you about my special parma, the one with bacon, cheese, secret herbs and spices and a runny egg, honestly it’s the best thing you find to eat this side of the black stump.
Speaking of the black stump do you know where it is? Do you know of it’s tale? No? Well lucky Dean is here to give you a run down on Australian history isn’t it. There is plenty of things in this country named the black stump, pubs, tourist attractions, monuments, all sorts of stuff but they are really just a name. Most people use the term black stump as an abstract marker or imaginary point in the remote outback, in other words it doesn’t exist other than in peoples stories when they want to express that something is a long way away. But they are wrong.
Yes that’s right, they are wrong. The black stump does exist, it’s in my back yard, down near the back fence, the fence that borders with the scrap yard. It’s about forty metres from the house and it was once an old gum, we’ll I suppose it still is, but it struck by lightning about nine years ago and is a bit shorter than it used to be. Before the storm of ‘08 the tree reached about seventy meters into the sky, it was a big’un and it was as strong as an ox. Actually that’s a lie gum’s are notorious for dropping limbs and they are quite a dangerous tree for that reason but they are native so the greenies love planting them beside highways. Greenies and common sense rarely go hand in hand.
Anyways the massive storm that hit the area in ‘08 brought with it flooding rains, more rescues than I could cope with alone, and a terrific electrical storm. A fork of lightning speared the big old gum splitting it right down the guts and almost leaving it as two separate trees, it was only luck that neither fork landed on the fence. I wasn’t at home at the time I was busy returning from a rescue about sixty kilometres south of town, but when I got home the tree was a burning ball of flame. The fireries were in attendance but like many fires around here it was put on the watch and act list rather than put it out.
Because of the driving rain and the way the tree was burning it was easier to watch it, make sure it burned safely and didn’t take anything else with it rather than have it half burnt and unstable. In the end they fireries controlled the burn and let it take all the limbs and heads, they would shift the burning limbs as they fell and controlled the fire down to the last flame.
Although they made it safe the remnants of the stump smouldered for nearly five weeks, it was deemed unlikely to start any other fires but putting it out completely was near impossible given that the heat of the fire had buried itself down into the large stump, which was every bit of fifteen meters in diameter, and gone into the roots. Now all that stands is what is left after the fire.
So there you have it when I say my parma is the best thing this side of the black stump you can see I’m not lying!
I know it’s not an exciting part of life but since it looked like I was going to get a few hours to myself and the day was way too long in the tooth to start anything substantial I decided it was time to catch up on some more paperwork. As I think I told you I’m a little lazy when it comes to paperwork and sometimes I really need a kick up the backside to get it done.
I do my best to get my invoices and receipts out on time because I understand that even people on holidays, or maybe that should be, especially people on holidays, need to keep their records update to date and me billing them for a service I supplied three months earlier is not only a pain but could see me not getting paid too. But that same understanding doesn’t always go the same towards those I am paying. People in town like Barry know I’m good for the money and don’t fret if a bill gets forgotten, even Nick’s been known to buy me time with bills from the police force I have forgotten to pay, but it’s the big companies like power and phone companies that get really narky about forgetfulness. They can forget to provide a service, they can forget to provide help but forget to pay their bills and they get all narky and start threatening to cut their service, it’s wrong I tells ya!!
Anyway I figured before dinner it was time to pay some of those grumpy mongrels who’d been posting me lovely neat little bills with the words “Overdue Pay Now!” written in red ink. What an exciting afternoon, stick around and this evening we can watch the grass grow in the moonlight!!
Previous Desert Rescue story here.