It was about 2 AM when Matthew and I finally got home from the pub. We didn’t spend the whole night drinking, a decent meal and few games of pool were also had. There was no visits from our mate Mick Taylor, although Matthew had already met him so he wouldn’t have had the same comic value anyway, but there was a few games of pool played and some story telling.
Thankfully Matthew could see the funny side of what we did, locking him in the cell and forgetting him, and he didn’t hold any grudges, he did hold us to buying drinks and dinner though. In truth I think he appreciated the peaceful nap he gotten, he’d had a busy few days with travelling, car breakdowns, then being on the go since he’d arrived.
The one good thing about having visitors, not that I get many, is that I don’t have to do the tourist thing with them. If I lived in Queensland I’d no doubt have to take my visitors to the theme parks, or that zoo thing run by the family of that crocodile man who used to yell “crikey” and was killed by a stingray, most people overseas knew him as the Crocodile Hunter, here we knew him as Steve. If I lived in Sydney I’d have to take them to that big coat hanger we call a bridge and if I lived in Canberra I’d have to take them to Bullshit Castle, the place where good ideas go to die as politicians compete in the country’s most boring pissing contest.
But out in Halls Creek there is only so much a visitor can see. Sure we have things like the Tanami Road and the Canning Stock Route which are some of the toughest roads in the world and we even have Wolfe Creek, but if you’ve seen them once you’ve probably seen them enough. Things like theme parks and zoos change on a regular basis, the Canning Stock Route is a sandy dry expanse all year round and while pot holes and corrugations shift the road basically stays the same.
So while the pressure is off me to entertain any visitors I get and show them new sights there is still a bit of pressure trying to figure out just what to do with them during their stay. Any visitor I have is welcome to join me on a rescue if I have one, just as they are welcome to stay at home…or be locked in Nick’s cell, but there isn’t much else for them to do. So obviously they just come to see me!
Given that Matthew had visited a few times over the years he’d seen all the sites so therefore I knew this trip was all about spending quality time with his sister. I just had to figure out what to do with him.
“Geez talk about getting up at lunch time, you’ve become quite the city boy haven’t you!” I said to Matthew when he surfaced from his slumber at 7:30am.
“Lunch time?” Matthew shook his head, apparently he still wasn’t overly keen getting up at daybreak. “And, I haven’t lived in the city for nearly as long as you Miss Outback!” Dean replied.
He was right, we moved from the city when we were teenagers and although he hadn’t lived in a town as remote as Halls he had lived and worked on mine sites that were just as remote. The difference was he’d been back to the city more than me and for the last thee years he’d lived within a few hours of Adelaide, compared to Halls that was city. Well not really but why let the truth get in the way of a good story!
“Well this ain’t no bed and breakfast, there ain’t not service with a smile. If you want breakfast get it yourself!” I said.
Matthew knew better than to expect breakfast made for him and truth be told if he had surfaced first I’m sure he’d have made something for me, but what sort of caring sister would I be if I waited on him hand and foot?
“Oh and while you’re at it I’d love a coffee!” I added before he had a chance to say anything.
“It’s no wonder you get so many visitors around here. Your hospitality it top notch sis!” Matthew said as he stepped towards the fridge, opened it and looked inside for something to eat.
I thought about making some sort of smart comment about standing there and trying to cool the house down by leaving the fridge door open but I decided to give Matthew a break from my witty remarks.
Given my early (usual) wake up, and the welcome lack of phone calls for my services, I’d spent a few hours doing paper work while Matthew slept. Had Matthew not been sleeping in the spare room I’d have probably been out in the shed doing something, anything other than paper work. But as I might have mentioned before I am really a nice person and I do nice things for people. I’m so nice I respected Matthew’s sleep and decided not to make too much noise and wake up him. If only he knew how I bent over backwards to keep him happy he surely wouldn’t have made such rude comments about my hospitality!
My hospitality must have been warming on him though because he did make that coffee for me while he cooked himself some eggs, sunny side up, on toast. The eggs did smell good and despite having already eaten my own breakfast I nearly asked him to cook some for me. My coffee was ready before his eggs and I was half way through it when he sat down.
“So what do you want to do while you’re here?” I asked as he started his breakfast.
Previous Desert Rescue story here.