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:: Friday, 19 November 2004 ::

218524 on the clock (plenty Mazda movement today, wowee) and mucho has been seen. Back outta the driveway, turn left at the top of the hill and we are off. To do what? To see what?

- To enjoy speeding in a little red convertible with the top down, all along windy roads, all tree lined and nice, with the country music blaring and one busty redhead driving but all dressed up like something outta Nanook of the North cos of a hatred of sunlight (what am I doing in Queensland again…?) and another busty redhead in the passenger seat wearing her strapless top down very low for the special décolletage tanning, giving rise to a full on head-turn-and-spin from the poor man coming outta the Crawford butchery who musta thought all his Christmasses had come at once cos she was for sure totally nude. He nearly fell, he was so off balance gawping at us as we sped by. Giggles for a minutes.

- Driving driving, listening to Randy Newman’s ‘Rider in the Rain’ and Lyle Lovett’s ‘They don’t like me’ and a whole mess o’ Louvins. On through Murgon, which is not so much seen on entry as smelled. Whooh, what a beef abattoir they got their at the entry to town from the Kingaroy side. About the only downside of a convertible is the inability to seal one’s self off from the stink of the outtadoors, but other than that I can report happily Murgon seems a tidy town.

- More nifty windy roads got us to the world’s worst cellar door. I cannot bring myself to name the joint cos it feels too mean – the folks were super friendly and all that. But the shorts were worn just a little too high, and the canine teeth of the person serving were just that - canine teeth. My companion was unable to stop a grimace and soft ‘oh’ escaping an otherwise very civil façade. But if I cannot, for reasons of etiquette, name the joint, I think it is fair at least to question what on God’s green earth would lead a man to decide to leave the skins on so that his muscat does not so much ‘taste’ as ‘feel’ like a gritty sweet wine-based beverage? I am struggling to give youse a visual but think of like a red-to-brown snowcone all shook up. It is just not right. I was pickin’ it outta my teeth for a hour after. I did buy the intolerable Chardonnay solely for penal purposes for when the little man has been bad. It is that much of a punishment even just to open the bottle……hey, everything was bottled, so I guess I should not complain.

- over the way was a finer winery and a delicious Verdelho was tasted and given the fifteen bucks of applause.

- Stopped at the Tinny Pub at Tingoora, a full on authentic country pub with just a long bar and original vinyl everything from stools to flooring. Some tack hung up about the walls, the obligatory horse racing picture of some horsie winning an outback race. I picked up a Tinny Pub trucker’s hat, all padded at the front and plastic netting everywhere else, very gimme. And I got some jerky. I was asked ‘You want plain or you want spicy?’ I said ‘Plain thanks’ and he said ‘Garn darlin’, spoice up yer loife’ but I had to turn him down cos the plain does not so much lookjerked as it looks positively traumatised, and the spiced just looked like something that has already been ingested and…you know the rest. Now, the bloke who owns the Tinny Pub also bought the local radio station and he does presenting on radio as well as hosting of the Quoit’s Comp at the Pub on Tuesdy noights. Fantastic.

- There was a sign on the green opposite the pub saying something like ‘Yasmin Allan, 2nd prize district speech competition. Well Done!’ which set me off approving of (a) Yasmin’s success and (b) its public celebration, but also (c) wondering outta loud why Queenslanders cannot simply use the expression ‘public speaking’ which is actually what Yasmin was doing. She was not just talking and pronouncing things right, was she? Yuk Yuk. I was a happy wog for a minute laughing about the whole ‘speech’ thing when I noticed my companion’s dark look. ‘I was a district speech champion. Made it all the way to the State finals in Caboolture. But when it came time to do the impromptu piece, I had nothin’. I just choked.’ …. Ah, I reckon I had that breathless teary laughter going for minutes. … ‘I had nothin’’…

- In need of food cos the Tinny has decided not to do lunch any more during the week, we got a recommendation to go to turn right and go to the little old church. What the hell kinda direction is that?

- So we are hurtling along and we see the loveliest little old church in a garden setting by the side of the road and it is called ‘Lil Ol’ Church'. Screech and some real country lemonade and a ceasar salad later (interesting…did not think Swiss cheese was in the original Cipriani recipe, but whatever [Not Cipriani, dummy. He did the Carpaccio - Caesar is some Meximan maite d' innit? Sheesh. A very bad error for a good Italian girlie like me and a foodie to boot - ed) the potato and cheese damper was fine (leftovers all wrapped up in alfoil in the shape of a swan – bless) as was the salad and the chitterchatting.

- Right outta the Church and on to Memorambi – where the roadsign at The Stop Shop said ‘Italian Gelato Here’. What is a wog gonna do? Drive on by? No way mate. I had me the best tiramisu single cone gelato, it was tremendous. Weird spot but. The sign also said ‘We stock Strange Lines’ or something like that, and sure nuff, not only did the joint have perfect gelato made by actual Italians nearby, but also a spice selection with everything from galangal to Cajun spice mix. All fresh ground and packaged up in tiny plastic bags, all by hand. The bloke running the joint could not resist the lure of the redheads, or so we thought til he opened his mouth and all that came out was ‘Oh, sweet, a Mazda, eh. That’d be a ‘97’ ‘Well, no actually it’s an ‘89’ ‘Ahh, I’ve got a VL and I’m about to drop a 7 litre engine into her. The insurance company reckons when I am all done with me labour of love, she’ll be worth quarter of a million’. Nice abbreviation – like everybody knows a VL. Puhlease. You are talking to me, a wog who apologises to the Wog God in Heaven for driving a Mazda. At least it’s red, so I can just barely sleep at night. VL. Pshaw.

- On to fabulous Crane’s winery, absolutely gorgeous and absolutely top stuff, where the owner John was well terpsed up, with a couple mates, and we tasted some excellent Frontignac, traded horror stories of the world’s worst cellar door, and enjoyed some complaints about how Sydney’s nice to visit but you wouldn’t wanna live there. Among the excellent purchases, my companion bought her pa two litres of port, stored with great pride not in a flagon or a barrel but in old 2-litre plastic milk containers. Claaassy. John is rightly proud of how rude it looks to transport your grog in that fashion having paid a neat sum for the stuff, cos it is top notch. Much laughter.

- Last stop, Booie’s Rum Distillery, apparently a co-operative started up by a number of wineries in the area including Crane's. Incredible. It is new and there are two main buildings. One the distillery, cos everything is made on site, and the other the huge restaurant, art gallery. The architecture is not so much inspired by Giorgio de Chirico as just like a full on lifesize replica of some of his work. Fabulously Italian to see, and made me very happy. A group of 6th form girlies from last night’s formal were there, some still with special hair. So young, all drinking iced coffees and eating chips. Me, I was on the liqueur tasting. All pretty regular: banana liqueur, cherry liqueur, orange liqueur, melon liqueur, coconut liqueur, coffee liqueur, ROASTED PEANUT liqueur??

- I could not even make it through a teeny tasting glass.

Back home now for BBQ meat + Queensland’s famous Ambrosia Salad, all canned mandarin segments, shredded coconut, marshmallows and….sour cream. I kid you not. Green leafy goodness in this “salad”? Don’t be a city smartarse.

Tomorrow Sunshine coast with a buddy who is going swimming at Mooloolaba in the p.m then buying fresh seafood for dinner with me. Allora, a domani.

:: WB 3:40 pm [link+] ::

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