Standing outside the supermarket inhaling a chocolate bar, a woman called Gale approached me and said, “You must have been in town all day — we saw you riding about earlier.”
Indeed, i had spent the afternoon at the library, and was always intending to stay the night somewhere in Kerang to met with Max and his friends by 8:30 the next morning at the clock tower. Talking with Gale about where i might camp the night, it slowly dawned on us that of course i should call Max, so that’s what i did.
That night, sitting around Max’s kitchen table with my tent set up in his vegetable garden, he reckoned there was nothing much worth seeing on the Quamby loop, and that even if i did make it all the way up to Ouyen, it would be a two-day hike through sand if i wanted to get to the pink lakes.
I really want to see the pink lakes, and a two-day hike would not be beyond me if i had the right equipment. Alas, i do not.
So we brainstormed and i decided i would explore another idea i’ve been entertaining for a while: camping outside a town and commuting in to use the library/pub/cafe as my office.
So that’s what i’m doing now, but not before i joined Max and his friends on the long way to and from Barham — a 75km team ride, averaging about 30km an hour.
Such an average is a new personal best for me, but it’s really not a personal best when you achieve something like this in a team.
I bounced at the end, doing burnouts around the clock tower. It was a clean fall and i felt remarkably zen about stacking it into the gutter. After i picked myself up and dusted myself off, it was a chance to feel the body go through its natural response to a mild trauma, shaking and wobbling and generally letting go of the fright — and then, of course, getting straight back in the saddle.
Curiously (and perhaps sadly), stacking my bike makes me feel more alive than most other mundane activities. What a brilliant end to a magical day.
And now i’m at the Exchange Hotel in Kerang, standing up at a perfect-height bench-desk, about to knuckle down on the typesetting i couldn’t finish on Friday, my tent holding the fort down at Lake Merange.
I’m heading out from Barham tomorrow. I’ve had a great couple of weeks here, but it’s time to get my legs on again. Before i go i’ve got some typesetting corrections to finish, which just arrived. So it could be a late night, but i usually can’t sleep before a tour anyway.
I’ve mapped out the following route, which i will probably discard within the first day. I like making maps more than i enjoy following them:
At around 400 km it’s not the longest ride you ever heard of, and i’ll be stopping at Kerang for a day to ride with Max and his friends, and i will stop around Ouyen to see the pink lakes at Murray Sunset National Park.
The only other relevant details about the trip at this time are that i will be visiting one town called Quambatook and another town called Chinkapook. No doubt everyone along the way will call me a nincompoop — not because i am stupid, but because they lack imagination and a sense of adventure. It can get a little frustrating out there that i am seen to be such a novelty. But then it gets me free steaks from time to time.
I am aiming to arrive in Swan Hill around the 21st of March to join a host family there who need help on their organic garlic farm. Check out helpx.net if you’re interested in exploring work-exchange as a way to travel cheap.
I need your help considering what to do about this twit-poet i’m working with.
Because I love poetry, I really do. But sometimes working with poets really toots my whistle. Here is how I want to respond to one especially indignant author I’m working with (i’m in bold):
p156 again epigraph looks crappy plus we should put the bit I brackets not all in italics. Also, in this poem ‘A physiological law’ – all the formatting is awry – just see original) too many too enumerate here – it’s all indenting Way to get a typesetter offside, poet. You sound like a self-important twit. If you had wanted perfect formatting reflected back to you in the proofs, you might have considered the way you set up your Word file, which made setting this book unnecessarily laborious for me. I would normally keep that to myself, but calling the epigraphs ‘crappy’ is just a cheap shot. Express your aesthetic opinion and leave it at that, okay. Mind your language or I’ll withhold the notes about all the errors I’ve found.
Too right it’s all bloody indenting! Content-free indenting, as far as i can discern.
Here is how I should respond – because it’s not worth picking battles with twats:
p156 again epigraph looks crappy plus we should put the bit I brackets not all in italics. Also, in this poem ‘A physiological law’ – all the formatting is awry – just see original) too many too enumerate here – it’s all indenting Please be more considerate when giving instructions. Not all of these errors I’m fixing are mine.
But even as i wrote and emphasised the word ‘should’ i thought, What a sellout! The respectable thing to do would be to not retaliate – but i don’t even value respectability, as i expressed in this post about shitting in someone’s garden. But why should i let this jerk push me around. Well, i guess, to feel pushed around i would have to be exerting force in the opposite direction. I could choose to not care. Would it be equally self-important to give any more energy to this – to make any further efforts toward demonstrating that he is wrong in talking to me this way. I think so, yes. The right course of action is to choose not to care. It’s only because i’m sleep-deprived that i would care anyway.
But still, what do you think?