Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I knock off from the paper and drive the Datto out to the airport. Takes about thirty seconds. I can see the little Fokker 50 circling around to land, into the southerly. I've changed Young Kylie's mind, and air ticket, so she is coming to Carnarvon instead of Broome.

Don't be surprised if the plane has propellers, i tell her.

The plane is taxiing up to the shed that serves as Carnarvon Airport as i pull in. A man waves some ping pong bats at the pilot. The pilot cuts the props. Kylie emerges from the aeroplane, and climbs down those steps that hide the fire extinguishers. She looks out across the flat brown land from behind her designer sunglasses. The airport is surrounded with a levee against the floods. She sees me across the tarmac. Waves. A smile lights up her face as she comes into the transit lounge. We hug. She looks around for the conveyor.

Oh! she says. Where's my luggage?
I point to a little electric truck and trailer pulling into the car park at high speed. Driven by a man i last saw on the clay at Carnarvon Speedway. We grab her backpack off the trailer and sling it into the Datto. There's the hacienda, i say, pointing across the road. With the green fence.

It's a small town.

That night there is a spontaneous seafood feast. Mickey T scores hundreds of blue swimmer crabs from Jecksy out at Abacus Fisheries. Chrisso rolls up with a uteload of Shark Bay prawns. Richard the Oyster Farmer, who lives out at Northwest Seafoods, turns up with an irrational amount of scallops. Plus a carton of Corona and a kilo of lemon.

Coming back from Champagne On The Beach, the Young Kylie and i bring all the foodstuffs the blokes have forgotten. The only greens they usually have with their dinner is what they can smoke afterwards.

We demolish a huge mound of crab, with the ubiquitous Corona and lemon. Plates laden with two different kinds of salad, potatoes with sour cream and shallots, cracked pepper and sea salt, barbecued garlic prawns and chilli scallops. It's just tremendous. Seven hungry people, and still we can't eat it all. Richard, Chrisso, Terry the historian slash backpacker, Young Colby, Mickey T, Kylie and the Art Director.

The five-string and the bottleneck come out. Along with Ellie's homemade rum. The didge and the djembe drum. The jews harp and the blues harp. Anythin you could play on a verandah. You know, without electricity. Dirt music. Tim Winton. The verandah. A sky dusted with stars. Good food. Great company. Lousy music.

When i was in the UK, Kylie says, people found it hilarious that my name was Kylie and i was from Australia.
Well, it is hilarious. What do you want to do tomorrow.
There's a burial at sea. You should come. It'll be fun.


Anonymous said...

She has made it and there was much rejoicing


Mark Roy said...

Bob - you have missed your calling - you should have been my editor-in-chief

Anonymous said...

is there a job going? I'd Have to change my name, but then again editors are experienced in demolition!

Anonymous said...

What about Editors' assistants?