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From Mt Isa we travelled along the familiar road to Normanton, one we had traversed many, many times in the eighteen years spent in this country of mighty contrasts.

Many hours followed with both of us lost in our own thoughts and memories. Finally the Burke & Wills Roadhouse appeared in the dusty haze. As we had visualised forty three years previously, it had grown into a busy hub. We introduced ourselves as the “Founding Fathers” with barely a flicker of acknowledgement from the manager.

Moving on towards Normanton where I was to meet a diverse group of locals who were interested in writing their memoirs. I hope I inspired them to pick up their pens and begin!

After enjoying a stunning sunset at ‘The Point’ in Karumba, followed by freshly caught and grilled barramundi, we returned to our little home on wheels feeling content.

The following morning I mentally prepared myself for a return visit to ‘McAllister’, the home and property we had established forty-nine years previously. Driving past the well-maintained fences and beautiful, fat cattle, the homestead came into view. I failed to feel any emotion as I gazed at the bare garden and unloved buildings. The garden was non-existent apart from green lawn, but not one tree had survived. I walked quickly around the house without feeling any recognition or response. It was impossible for me to feel any connection or familiarity with the buildings that I gazed upon.

A very relieved husband suggested we move along. He had been expecting floods of tears of disappointment, sadness, possibly anger? Nothing!

I’m so grateful I wrote my book for others to share the beautiful property and home we had created, and the life we lead. The memories are irreplaceable in our hearts. I have passed on a legacy for others to read.


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