Author On The Road Again
It has been awhile thanks to Covid and health issues, but here I am again, an ‘author on the road’ in Priscilla the caravan with my husband Rick and a crazy cavoodle puppy called jazz. Sadly, we have been unable to organise author talks to present my second book ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad,’ as Covid has made this difficult.
As the world of grey nomads have headed north, we, in our wisdom decided we would go against the flow and head south to the Hunter region for a little wine tasting. Rick created an itinerary to cover roads we hadn’t been on before and now I understand why. This ‘author on the road’ has been bumped along rough roads to the extent the fruit bowl was thrown out of the sink where I place it for safety during travel. One apple ended up in the dog dish near the bathroom, another in the bedroom end, bananas, towels on the floor….oh I could go on. It was bumpy for several days.
Our first two nights out of Gladstone were spent at a superb place, Platypus Park. Lush green lawn for as far as the eye can see, river views, immaculate bathrooms, dog friendly and delightful owners AND we were the only ones there. Bliss, especially as Jazz barked at every sound and movement day and night.
From there it had to be downhill, and it was, in a free camp in a dubious town, again Jazz barked constantly at the many weird sounds during the night, but her best effort was setting off the kookaburras at 4am. Our immediate neighbours departed very early. Oh well, you get what you pay for, and it was free.
Things must improve for this ‘author on the road’. The bumpy roads continued until we found ourselves in a lovely free camo outside Millmerran which recently had heavy rain. This is blacksoil country, meaning our shoes had extra thickness of sticky mud which sets like cement. Jazz found a beautiful dog to play with which meant running through the mud, then finding some dead animal to roll luxuriously in creating the most dreadful soggy, muddy, stinking specimen of a dog which had to be thrown in the shower with Rick. The fun she had with Tilly the Staffy was well worth the shivering and dampness. We enjoyed this place and met a delightful couple who purchased a book.
Heading south we stayed in a lovely, small caravan park run by the council of Uralla. It was peaceful, spotless amenities with a beautiful park behind. It was a nice place to spend three nights as Rick had discovered our trailer brakes weren’t working. Naturally it was the weekend. Our first night was a sleepless one, not because of Jazz’ barking, as she was too busy shivering with her owners. The heater on the air conditioning fails to work when the temperature reaches 0 degrees and various reports by the locals informed us that it reached -8 degrees that night. Whatever it was it was very, very cold! We put our snow coats, socks and beanies on, but morning could not come quickly enough!
Sunday found us in Kmart in Armidale buying a small blower heater and flannelette sheets. The following two nights were considerably more comfortable and even Jazz decided to stop barking.
The local auto-electrician worked hard to get the ‘author on the road’ again and we happily wound our way down the range, with brakes.
With the navigator looking on WikiCamps for suitable places to stay, I was horrified to find that there are very few caravan parks in this area of the Hunter. They seem to be full of shift workers and we poor tourists don’t have a choice. As it was getting late, Rick asked someone at the local pub in Sandy Hollow, if we could camp in his paddock behind the Pub. Here we are for the night with the incredibly long coal trains rumbling past, BUT Jazz is asleep……..long may it last!
I have been productive along the way by continuing to write my fiction manuscript. I love the fact that I can meander along and follow whatever comes into my mind on the day. It is true creativity. I have no idea where it’s going, but it’s great fun.
I wonder what the following few days will bring? Hopefully, some indulgence in the wineries of the Hunter.
I’m sure this ‘author on the road’ will have more adventures to report in the following ten days.
Cheers for now
PS. I did google ‘how to stop a cavoodle puppy from barking?’ It told me I have to meet her needs……well, I’ve certainly done that.
‘Say Quiet,’ Well that didn’t work. She just barked back at me!
We think we’ll keep her and take her off E-Bay!!!
Please don’t worry, we love her to bits and she is being very good (mostly!!!)
Take care and stay safe.
Jenny Old AUTHOR
‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’
‘Back of Beyond’ Facebook