Dingoes aren’t the only animals living in Australia, of course, and aren’t the only creatures I have memories of. There’s another memory that is kind of special because it involved my grandparents…
My Mum came from Victoria, all the way at the south of the country, while my Dad came from Queensland in the north. So we had family up north and family down south, and as we’ve already talked about, for most of my childhood, we’d head south to where my grandparents lived to spend Christmas with them. What I hadn’t already mentioned is that, for much of my childhood, every year around June or July, my grandparents would go on holiday.
They liked to go all over the place, particularly up to Katherine and Darwin in the Northern Territory, but every year they’d also come and visit us. Usually staying for a couple of weeks, then going off on their adventures to wherever they wanted to go, and then coming back through and staying for another couple of weeks.
They may not have kept that routine up every year, but I remember a lot of years when they’d come and go a couple of times.
The visit I’m thinking of happened when we lived on Teewarrina (the same station where the dingo came up to the house yard that you’ll read about tomorrow). As we liked to do back then, we all packed up and headed off to wherever Dad was working. I think he must have been doing something near the cattle yards because we ended up setting up a campfire to make tea in the dry creek bed that ran along near the yards.
The creek bed was all sand, and littered with paperbark trees, and while we were enjoying our smoko (morning/afternoon tea) my Nanna pointed toward a tree to show us a tawny frogmouth.
Now, if you don’t know what a tawny frogmouth is, you’d have been like me all those years ago, looking and looking, not having the foggiest what you were supposed to be looking for, and never seeing that thing your Nanna was pointing out.
Because, sadly, I never did spot it, and only later in life did I think to go online to see what I was supposed to have been looking for. A tawny frogmouth is a kind of bird, and it’s the kind of bird that blends in with the bark on a tree, and seeing as paper bark trees are known for their bark… is there any wonder I didn’t see it that day?!
I wish now that I’d looked closer, or harder, or whatever it would have taken to see the bird Nanna was pointing out, because my grandparents are gone now and I’ll never again get a chance to sit and watch for birds with them. Nanna and Poppa were avid bird watchers and would show or tell us about the birds they saw, and sadly, I never really understood the appeal until it was too late.
But, while it’s sad to think I never did spot that tawny frogmouth, I have other memories of the times my grandparents came to visit, including the time Nanna threw the door open at the back of the house, leaned out and started yodeling. It was lunch time and that was the way she called us all up to the house.
Or there’s the time when they brought their very fancy (at the time!) video camera along with them and we spent ages watching the videos they took.
Or the stories they told of the time they got halfway to nowhere in the heart of the outback (somewhere around Birdsville) and a passing car put a rock right through the back window of their SUV.
Their visits were much anticipated and yes, we sat around the kitchen table for hours every day, swapping stories and eagerly listening to the news as they brought us up to date on the rest of our extended family.
(Scroll to the end for the giveaway.)
More About Persuade Me
One horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.
For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.
This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.
The sky is the limit.
Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.
Life is good.
Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?
Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?
Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.
Now for the Giveaway
Today, for a chance to win an ebook copy of Persuade Me leave a comment down below and share a memory you have of your grandparents.