A Little Bit of Europe
01 December 2017
Did I mention the Sailblog is really going to be a Landblog for a while? Time Bandit is parked up, moored fore and aft in a beautifully sheltered Willoughby Creek, just north of Sydney.
With Anne away, having had enough of varnishing for the moment, the mouse is out playing. Right up until yesterday afternoon the plan was to motor gently down to Melbourne to see Eliana Dave make his presentation on his solo circumnavigation. Well, solo until the last wee bit when he found out the delights of having Galley Slave Jean along aka, GS1. (Dave keeping his options open in case theres a GS2).
Unfortunately the plan is falling apart with the arrival of a major weather event, an "unprecedented deluge" 300mm due to hit the Victorians over the weekend. That's the people of the normally fair state of Victoria, not somewhat elderly Australians.
The drive down was beautiful but took longer than planned. Australia is big and its roads, compared to Europe are fairly slow. In Europe you can fairly whiz along. Here it's all a bit less frantic. All day just to make 280k or 175 miles in old money. The slow pace was partly to do with speed limits but mostly stopping off to oooh and ahhh at the scenery and check out the various harbours we might use if we decide to try for Tasmania.
I also oooh'd and aaah'd at the level of industry. Steel making plants and coal exporting docks all with car parks full of shiny new cars all made me think what South Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland might have been today if dear old Maggie hadn't a hornet in her handbag about the miners and if Scargill hadn't dug in his heels deeper than a Yorkshire pit maybe we'd still have these industries instead of Retail Parks where people work in shops to buy stuff in other shops. I did take an economics class once and I'm not sure that model really works long term.
But wait!!!! I'm sounding like Victor Meldrew and shouldn't bother myself with such matters. People who know better are running things. Like the Scottish ministers who ordered all the steel for the new Forth Bridge from China, which ironically was all trucked right past Scotland's last remaining steelworks.
Anyway, Plan A is now on the slates as the heavens have just opened. Torrential rain is falling on Chalet Swisse, my hill top hotel, as far from any amenities as you can get. It has a sign at the driveway saying, "A Little Bit of Europe". If by that they mean tiny hotel rooms for a lot of money they're spot on and as I can't lie here any longer I'm going for a swim and a jacuzzi. Shame I never brought my swimmers.
Chalet Swisse patrons, hide your kids, if not your eyes. There's an authentic "Little Bit of Europe" heading your way.