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Madam wasn't entirely convinced.

But news that the Indian Pacific was celebrating its 40th birthday and the celebration involved a free upgrade from Red to Gold Class provided we were willing to book a couple of nights' accommodation and a tour in Perth was enough to persuade her that the idea was a goer, and the relevant bookings were duly made.

The fact that a mid-August departure coincided with the WA Wildflower season had nothing to do with it.

With pre-departure research in place, Thursday 12 August saw us off to Townsville for the regulation stay at The Golfer's Motel with the two bottle tariff consumed over a barbecue dinner. That was after Miss Behaviour inveigled us into a bottle of a surprisingly acceptable Rosemount Semillon Sauvignon Blanc while we waited for our host to clear the nineteenth hole.

The main course went down rather well with a Pfeiffer 2006 Shiraz (abundant pepper on the nose and palate). After that, the Mitchell 2007 Peppertree Shiraz which, as expected, went down an absolute treat and saw us retiring to the cot suitably anaesthetised, rendering late night cogitations on the many and varied things that could go wrong unlikely.

© Ian Hughes 2017