Stanthorpe

When it comes to travelling between the Little House of Concrete and the Unit in Southport there are certain advantages in flying. It's quick, relatively cheap (assuming you choose to fly from Townsville to Coolangatta and opt for the standard Gold Coast bus service from Tugun to Southport). Under that scenario you can end up with a fair bit of change out of a hundred a head one way. 

On the other hand, once you're there you find yourself largely dependent on public transport when it comes to getting around. That's fine if you're happy to limit yourself to the Gold Coast or not inclined to venture too far off the Gold Coast to Brisbane railway corridor.

Looking towards the start of 2010 we'd decided that a lengthier than usual stay was indicated. 

There was the possibility of catching a few concerts around that time (the previous year financial circumstances had forced me to miss Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Jeff Beck). a four- to six-week stay looked likely, so Madam decided we'd drive, since that would give us a chance to get out and about a bit more.

Given her status as the sole driver in the household, she gets to make those decisions and can also exercise a veto when certain options are being considered. This means, for example, that if we're visiting a wine-growing area there are going to be constraints on the number of wineries visited.

Fair enough, particularly given that Hughesy's brain tends to lock up in pressure situations and I'm disinclined to endanger our lives along with those of whoever happens to be sharing the particular stretch of highway we're travelling along at the time.

Relocations into and encounters within the south-east corner mean that we've got a steadily growing number of acquaintances to visit and/or be visited by. 

Having arranged to catch up with Foxy and Moya the first weekend, I'd pencilled in a visit to Stanthorpe for the second weekend on the grounds that I'd get to catch up with Granty.

We're talking here about an acquaintance of some twenty-five years who I'd generally run across in the context of cricket carnivals, an environment where certain topics of conversation tend to dominate the conversation that isn't family-friendly.

Actually, I suspect that anybody reckless enough to inveigle their wife, partner, girl-friend or whatever to a cricket carnival would be risking an early appointment with the Family Court.

And that's assuming the aforesaid wife, partner, girl-friend or whatever actually liked cricket....

Granty had relocated to Stanthorpe from points further west a couple of years ago, and since emails tended to point out that the Granite Belt offered a winery "for every week of the year" a visit was always on the cards. Having been to the area once, a visit also offered a possible opportunity to explore Tenterfield, Lismore and surrounding areas of New South Wales on the way there or the way back.

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 © Ian Hughes 2014