Friday 9th December, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
On the drive back to Brisbane, we stopped at Cunningham's Gap in the Border Ranges National Park to 'stretch our legs', as my Dad always used to say. Cunningham's Gap was named after the early explorer who discovered the mountain pass, the only way know through the Great Dividing Range between the coast and the fertile farmlands of the Darling Downs. For us, it was just a 400 metre through steamy rainforest walk to the Fassifern Lookout, and then 400 metres back. Somewhere in that 800 metres, I manged to pick up some uninvited guests.
We had told Terry we'd be back at his place in Brisbane's southern suburbs by 1:00pm, and by the time we stopped to pick up a plump cooked chicken at a nearby supermarket, we were just about right on time. I kicked off my Teva sandals, and we all adjourned to Terry's lush, tropical garden. That was when Maria asked me what I had on my left foot.Yuk! A big fat bloated leech! I ripped the bloodsucker loose and that was when I noticed three holes in my left foot, and another in my right foot. All of them were oozing blood. The most recent was positively gushing. Even after applying a number of Band-Aids, the blood continued to flow (the clever little critters excrete an anti-coagulant when they attach themselves to you) and if you look closely at the photo below, you'll see that I'm wearing a black sock on my left foot to try to contain the bleeding and protect Terry's light coloured carpet.
But the attack by killer leeches was not to be the only problem of my day. After a filling meal of chicken and avocado rolls at Terry's, Maria and I jumped in his car and headed across town to visit my mates at the timber machining workshop where I used to work. I was making good time, slipping up the left lane (that's the slow lane here, folks!) beside a long line of stationary traffic, when all of a sudden there was a huge orange shape in front of me. It was the side view of a Brisbane Yellow Cab, that had turned across in front of me. I hit the anchors as fast as I could, but it was no use. We were almost on top of him and we skidded for about a metre before plunging convincingly into his front guard. The front bumper of Terry's immaculate little hatchback was smashed. The taxi driver was pointing the blame squarely at me, because my lane had been ending, and I should have been merging to the right instead of trying to gain position along the left. But when it's all said and done, he turned across the flow of traffic, and the liability rests firmly on his shoulders. I hope!
But what would Terry say?
To all my workmates who may be reading the journal, I promise it wasn't me driving the car. A few years ago one of my colleagues let me drive his beautiful BMW to go to lunch. But we went as far as a couple of metres before I hit the barrier badly and we had to go to lunch in someone else's car (of course, I wasn't allowed to drive this time). It took them no time to tell Steve about it, so it is Steve who does all the driving. Just as good this time!!!