Day 11…

TITLE: Station Life

It was time to get moving, today to Anthony Lagoon where a family friend was working as a cook. I was looking forward to seeing Maz and spending a little time with someone who had known Dad. We headed off at 10am. The road in was pretty good when compared to our last day on the road – all dirt. This was a single stretch of bitumen, we had to pull off to one side if another vehicle was coming and it was a bit up and down but good fun. About halfway there the road became totally straight, we could see nothing for miles, it was so flat, so windy too. I was enjoying the nothingness of my surroundings immensely.

The road did resemble an oversized cricket pitch so we pulled over to bowl a few balls. In keeping with the oversized theme Fred supplied Jason and I with a bright orange tennis ball three times the normal size and we laughed as I tried to bowl into the wind and burned some energy running down Jason’s efforts propelled by the gusts.

It wasn’t long and we were pulling off the road and into Anthony Lagoon Station. We’d be here for three nights and we were all looking forward to another station experience, meeting the people and living a small part of what life was like here day to day.

Yet again we were made to feel right at home welcomed by station managers Anthony and Cassie Cox. I could see Maz on her way over and smiled, she looked the same as always and had come straight from the kitchen where she’d been preparing lunch. Maz had been working at Anthony Lagoon for three years cooking up a storm and we’d arrived at midday, just in time for lunch!

In the afternoon we took a walk to the Lagoon guided by eight year old Marney, the head stockman’s daughter. Marney was an incredible guide, she knew so much! She told us about the different rocks and we looked for spearheads beneath the trees and ribbon rocks at our feet. Marney told us all about the different bird life and pointed out the brolgas off in the distance. She opened mussel shells and told us about the small fish you could find in the lagoon. She never missed a beat as we tried to take it all in.

On the way back she spotted the bones of cattle and in next to no time had begun piecing parts of the skeleton back together. While we watched in awe, little did we realise we were being watched too, about a dozen cattle arrived seemingly from nowhere curious to see what we were doing. Amongst them was a lone donkey. The scene was quite surreal – for us at least! Marney went right up to the donkey and put her arms around its neck. Fred snapped a wonderful photo of this moment. Further on as we were approaching the gate we were joined by six horses. Marney was of course right at home with them too. I wasn’t – I’d forgotten you don’t walk behind horses, never mind the fact it was difficult not to since we were surrounded!

That evening over a beer with everyone before dinner I told Marney’s Mum and Andrea, the governess about her tour. “It was the most informative tour I’ve been on in years.” I said praising Marney’s efforts.

At dinner we met more of the team, around twenty people came through the doors that night to have a meal. Nothing beats a home cooked meal and at the end of a hard day’s work Maz’s hard work in the kitchen was well received, admiration written all over our faces, or maybe that was the chocolate pudding.

Sitting on the deck with the Barkley breeze blowing I was reminded it was actually winter. We talked about our memories of Dad. We laughed, cried and laughed some more, we might only have memories now but they’re good ones!

TIP: Just because the food is so good doesn’t mean you should eat more than you usually would. Just because the food is so good doesn’t mean you should eat more than you usually would. No? No, saying it over again didn’t work for me either.

TRACK: Vance Joy – Fire and the Flood

KMS: 174

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