Following from my initial post I have decided that I should give a brief background into my life.
My past has been good to me most of the time but it has also gave me lots of grief. I have worked in forestry up until my retirement, from timber harvesting to clearing the forest for regeneration I have worked in state and private forests around Tasmania.
I am 67 years old, in good health, like to travel and I like a challenge, hence the trips from Tasmania to mainland Australia every year from about May to November, mainly to get away from Tasmania’s cold winters.
My means of transport is a 2005 Nissan Patrol Ute towing a luxury 23ft caravan, self contained with solar and generator, I seldom have the need to use caravan parks.
I live and work on a small rural property just outside New Norfolk, in the very scenic Derwent Valley when I am back in Tasmania.
I am a jack of all trades master of none (maybe a few that I am the master of) can turn my hand to most things involving, building, renovating, operating all types of machinery, trucks etc. Have trained horses, did a lot of riding a few years back. Good bush mechanic, welder, have ago at anything really.
Even turn my hand to a bit of poetry when inspired, like this verse I penned whilst in the Snowy mountains taking in the history of how and when the Snowy Mountain scheme was constructed. The men and women who built this scheme came from all over the world and endured great hardship from the weather.
SNOWY’S STILL WATERS
Kevin L Fairbrother
The rolling hills surround the lake
It’s still-waters glisten in the simmering heat
With nary a wave breaking on the shore
As echo’s of life now and past resound
The gentle sloping hills reach to the shore
Abound with kangaroo, ducks and emu’s
They have no fear of man encroaching
As they noisily graze on the abundant grasses
This man- made lake built of sweat and tears
A monument to those past, who toiled so hard
Now a haven for those who visit the Snowy
And they flock in their hundreds to experience the wilderness
The steep hillsides decked with timber and shrubs
The golden wattles a site to behold
The purple weeds interspersed amongst the grasses
Give rise to a sense of peace and tranquility
Spare a thought for those who built this wonder
For they endured hardship the likes we could not imagine
The Snowy gave no ground, she made them pay
Whilst taming the rivers and streams that have slipped beneath the waves
They tamed the raging rivers of snow melt
That used to make their long journey to the sea
Now the rivers are silent for they are deep beneath the lake
But there is life as the lake spills over creating power and irrigation
Of the original inhabitants whose land this was so long past
Now just part of the dreamtime of stories thus told
As the ghost of those who lived and worked to build
Sleep forever beneath the Snowy’s cold dark waters
Also penned at the same time was a verse about a local fisherman who told me there is no such thing as luck. He calls it skill.
A FISHERMANS TALE
Kevin L Fairbrother
Blowering Lake in the Snowy’s is the place to be
To catch a Yellowbelly or Silver Perch
Or if you are lucky a Murray Cod or a trout
They all live beneath the cold waters of the lake
I flog the water with spinning rod and lure
Changing frequently my choice of lure
I try to entice a fish to strike with no luck
At this rate I would be lucky to catch a cold
Along comes a regular fisherman, introduced himself as Wayne
Having any luck old mate he asks, not me mate I have no luck
No bloody fish here I says to Wayne, He says it’s not luck you need
It’s a worm on a hook and pure skill that will get you a fish
He sets up his rod and baits the hooks with wriggly worms from his garden
He casts the line out into the lake and proceeds to make a cup of tea
No sooner had he poured the tea when he had a strike, he set the hook
I’ve got a nice fish on you grab the net be ready to catch him
You lucky old bugger I says to Wayne, no luck involved just pure skill
A 2kg Yellowbelly as fat as mud he will go down well for tea
Not to be outdone I changed my lure and cast it into the lake
On my third cast I spotted the dark shape of a fish following
A strike I yelled as I set the hook and the fish well he took off
I played him out till he started to tire, fetch the net old mate
This fish is a whopper; I played him out till he went belly up
Wayne rushed over and gently placed the net under the fish
Wow what a fish Wayne said the bugger is twice as big as mine
You were bloody lucky I reckon I brought you good luck say’s Wayne
No bloody luck involved I say’s to Wayne old mate
It’s just my good looks and pure skill
I have had many trips to the mainland as we in Tasmania call the big Island some 440klm to the north and I have experienced things and life that inspire me to put pen to paper, it is away of taking away the boredom when you are camped and all alone.
Many times at camp spots I meet with other travellers who all have tales and experience’s on the road that are worth repeating.
The most talked about subject by travellers by far is Free Camping, the lack of it, restrictions imposed on travellers by Councils and National Parks and the fees that these bodies wish to impose.
The biggest user’s of free parks are retirees on part or full pensions, They strive to make their pension go as far as possible and by far their biggest and most expensive cost, is fuel, so the less kilometers they do in a day, helps them to conserve money for food, health, maintenance of vehicles, registrations and so on.
Most try and travel from free camp to free camp, occasionally they need to top up with water and empty their toilets, they do this at a caravan park or use council facilities.
Now there is a cost to be born by the rate payers of the town for the services provided but this is by far exceeded if pensioners can free park for a couple of days, they will spend their money in the towns, this helps the small towns survive and the rate payers of the town are paid back many times over.
Hence the ramble below that I penned one night after spending some time with fellow travellers around a camp fire.
Kevin L Fairbrother
I’m a-bit of a nomad and travel with my ute and van
Have to watch my pennies, because the pension is all I have
So I free camp where I can but boy oh boy it’s getting harder
As more and more have signage, that say’s NO Camping
Don’t get me wrong, Mate! I spend a quid to live
On the essentials, like expensive fuel and groceries
I support all towns that are RV friendly and
by-pass the ones that have $ signs over there eyes
Caravan parks to expensive and have stuff we don’t need
National Parks to restrictive and charge exorbitant fees
So all the towns and parks that want our support
Need to re-think their strategy, of No Camping
Having paid taxes all our lives we are still hit with excise and GST
Whilst those within Government, continue to milk us dry
They all have their perks and lurks on the public purse
All we have is the old age pension that will only stretch so far
Us pensioners are not stingy, we will pay a small fee to upkeep facilities
But we wont be bloody fleeced by the powers that be
Who sit in their ivory towers and haven’t a clue about the real world
I hope that one day common sense will prevail and we can continue to enjoy our freedom