Back to Inverell

Inverell is where our friends Greg and Jill live. They have looked after Geoffrey (our campervan) for the last few years. It is an eight hour train journey from Sydney to Tamworth on the so called Bullet Train and then a two hour car journey. The train journey itself is very comfortable. When the Sydney suburbs have been left behind there are great views of miles and miles of undulating countryside and again we are reminded of the sheer scale of this place.

After recently selling their farm Greg and Jill have moved to a retirement smallholding with a beautiful house. They have a small flock of sheep, some beef cattle and a few chickens, a fabulous vegetable garden so they are nearly self suffiicient. They produce their own electricity, have a bore hole for water and the list of things they grow are too numerous to mention e.g. lemons, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, plums, melons, mulberries, quinces, squash, pumpkins and on it goes.

It all suits them so well and best of all for us they have seperate accommodation in the garden overlooking the swimming pool. You can’t help but be a little envious. So, endless cold beers, perfect blue skies , cooling swims, loads of laughs equals not going anywhere for 6 days.

There are two things that run through Australians DNA – the first is ‘Mateship’. Apparently it came about by the early convicts not being able to call each other by their name so they referred to each other as mate. Also many migrants to Australia didn’t have family to fall back on so turned to friends in times of need. The other thing is their ability to be able to mend and fix things, particularly in rural areas. It came about because spare parts were often days away or just unobtainable. The slight bearing this has on us is that we purchased a generator last year and after little use it started smoking quite badly. It went back for repair under warranty but returned in a worse condition.

This is the conversation that followed:-

Greg (in his slow Australian draw when you’re always waiting for the punchline) – I know what I’d do with it mate.
Alan – What’s that?
Greg – Put some Vim down the plughole.
Alan – What do you mean, Vim?
Greg – You know, Ajax.
Alan – WHAT? Ajax down into the cylinder. Are you having a laugh?
Greg – No mate. We used to do it years ago. I think the cylinders glazed over. Let’s try it. She’ll be right.

And so we did. Result – one perfectly running, non smoking generator.

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