Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Port Vincent Revisited
We were on time.
This is unusual for the Baby Angel and I, through no fault of hers I might add; but we were on time. If I expected applause or thanks for this monumental effort however I was to be disappointed; Himself loaded our bags with the customary slam of the rear door and a wide legged, eyes downcast, aggressive stalk to the driver's seat. The day had, apparently, not been going well.
Arrival in small country town caravan parks early in the evening can be problematic when it comes to checking into budget cabins with a family and a boat in tow. Caravan park proprietors often exit their Offices in favour of the local pub early on Friday nights so it is imperative that one arrives before dusk to avoid the joy of a night spent sleeping in the car, with kids. Unfortunately, several of Himself's clients were about as concerned with this fact as they were about the news that Michelle Obama is planting a vegetable garden. Not only had he spent most of the day explaining why he would not be able to fast forward a couple of jobs to a Monday 9am finish but we had to make an emergency delivery of artwork to an address in the north east of Adelaide. Not exactly on our way out of town.
With this inauspicious start, the weekend was rolling. Himself's mood lasted as far as Port Wakefield where we stopped for an early meal in case everything had shut down by the time we got to our destination. Things took an upward swing when we reached the caravan park to find we had been upgraded from the 'budget cabin' to a normal 'cabin' (see left: ours was the left half of this structure). I hate to think what the budget version may have entailed. Not a lot, obviously.
As the sun set and we proceeded to unload the enormous pile of bags and bedding required for 5 people to spend 2 nights away from home,
the neighbours arrived. The deep throated growl of the bikes preceded them.
I was standing outside the cabin as they pulled up and I must have looked worried because as they dismounted one of them lifted his helmet visor and declared,
"Don't worry, we don't party."
"Well, you're out of luck then,"
I quipped back," 'Cos we do!!!"
Despite their Harley Davidson
T- shirts and other stereotypical garb, they turned out to be absolutely delightful people and perfect neighbours. The Small Boy was entranced by the bikes and by the whole persona of the 'bikers'. They were very indulgent with him and took pains to point out the features of the bikes etc.
All that chrome and black, phew! There was a lot of love in those bikes.
The number plate fascinated me. 'Preyd4'. At first glance, and before I had spoken to our neighbours, I found myself uneasily wondering what, or to whom, 'prey' referred! The usual 'bikie' stereotypes played through my mind. Who was the 'prey'? Which poor unfortunate had been victim number D4?
As usual, the innocence of kids meant that Small Boy asked what it meant. (Well, I certainly wasn't going to!)
Our genial neighbour explained that he had 'prayed for' his bike because noone had ever left one under his Christmas Tree. Now, do you buy this? Is he just a bad speller or was there a more sinister meaning to the choice of spelling and he simply had a practised answer for young boys?
In retrospect, I think he was just a bad speller.
One of the things which convinced the Small Boy that our neighbour was VERY cool was this. He held this pose without shaking for a good minute or so! Small Boy spent sometime after the lads departed practising the skill. For some reason I didn't get a shot.
I did get THIS shot of him though.
And this one of my Teen Angel as we sat having breakfast on the deck of the Kiosk the next morning.
She was so excited to be there.
Actually I was cooking with gas on the photo front that morning.
I even managed to get a decent one of No2 Son in a rare moment when he wasn't pontificating and telling the rest of us how little we know about anything. I am reminded of the bumper sticker which says
"Teenagers! Leave home now while you still know everything!"
Actually, looking at this, I think he is pontificating after all.
The sailing was cancelled on the first day due to extreme winds. The kids and I spent a long time playing cards, having bought several sets at the local newsagent because we forgot ours.
It was a pleasant, relaxed day, not in the least because I could no longer see the mess around me in my home which desperately needs cleaning up!
The boys, who were initially disappointed not to sail, felt better when a slightly heavier class (the 505s) braved the elements and limped back in with major damage. Of the fleet of 13 boats, only 7 finished. There were broken rigs, damaged sails and even a hole ripped in the side of a boat where the mast stays had been torn out by the force of the wind. (30 knots)
That night we ate at the club and partied on as much as NS14 types do, let's face it, they're not Sharpie sailors. Each class has its own persona you know.
The next day the boys got their sail and were happy with their usual third place. At the end of the day, if you want to win, you had better have the best sails money can buy and be at least as light as if not lighter than your opposition; two things which will not be happening for Himself anytime soon.
We finished the weekend with a pleasant romp on the beach as the boys packed up the boat, marred only by the accidental denting of Himself's new car by the boat trailer popping off its ball.
Unaware of the drama, we approached him with breakfast (toasted egg and bacon sandwiches..yum) to be regaled by 'thousands of dollars worth of damage' , 'shocking dents' and the reason why this was all someone else's fault. Once more we tiptoed around Himself roaring like a bear with a toothache, eyes downcast, legs astride, face like thunder. With trepidation we approached the devastating damage for an inspection.
Small Boy: Where is it?
Me: Er.. I think ..er.... oh look, here's a scratch
BA: He's kidding isn't he?
Small Boy: You can't even see it!
Me: No, I really think there's a dent here, no?...oh, here.
Small Boy: (sighing) He does go on doesn't he?
Me: Any of you game to tell him that?
BA and Small Boy: NO!
Me: I thought not. Get in the car.
All in all, a nice weekend away. Another day and it would have been perfect.
This last one's my favourite shot and a week late offering for Best Shot Monday.