Rogue's Yarn with 'Arry Driftwood'Arry Driftwood

The slipping of Driftwood

“If at first you don’t succeed, then sky-diving is not for you.” (Another one from Zen teachings).
And a thought from Banjo Patterson, “It’s grand to be a rabbit, And breed till all is blue, And then to die in heaps because, There is nothing left to chew.” Which may give us pause at the thought of 10 killions of fellow bipeds devouring our Globe.
“Oh, goody, goody,” pipe the plonkers as another farm is covered in roads and huts and millions more hungry mouths bless us with their needs. Ho bloody hum!
Enough ’Arry! Orright then, I’ll ’ave a shave and a dhoby and meet my daughter for coffee and love.
’Twas past time for haul-out and Driftwood was sluggish through the Harbour soup, so my mate David Coulter (Master Diver) and his ‘boys’ gave her a tickle and we did then easily breast the current up river to River Quays slip. Topoketa, Topoketa, Topoketa!
A pleasant swim upstream and a rare Kingfisher standing on the wee boy’s monument prolly wishing he was the owner of the Driftwood? And there be times, truth be known, when I wish someone else had the task of haul-out and why not a pretty Kingfisher?
Yairs for over 25 years I have suffered pre-haul-out anxiety as to how the hell I will cope … what with failing physique and waning resources of dosh and bluff, but time and luck assuage such dross and the kindness of friends and those deep reserves in most of us bubble up and before one can say Jack Robinson, Driftwood and I, tarted up like King’s working-girls, are swimming back down river.
Who the hell is Jack bloody Robinson anyway?
This was one of the good times as Missus God must have been looking the other way and the weather was brill and we were up on the Wednesday and in again on the Thursday to meet clouds and rain and strong winds again all up and down the Coast. She must have turned around on Thursday arvo and said DAMN, missed him, as the previous haul-out rained solidly for five days! Nyah, Nyah, Nyah!
As I came up in the slings at River Quays familiar pozzie I saw Chris Dicker and Gilli walking towards the dock and my qualms and anxiety foundered like smoke. And that is a funny metaphor, as I dinna think smoke founders. What would I know? Dissipates maybe.
What I would know is Chris and Gilli are true blue and we easily dodged around the empty spaces all day where thems as wasn’t there on that Saint Crispin’s Day mighta been. But the two of us easily done it all and did it laughing and joshing.
So, coming up river as I breasted Bedlam Bay and laid open Cabarita Point I was expecting the Gaslight Coy and a collier at the wharf but no … that’s funny all I see is cheese-box villas and instant palm trees. No bastard alive there and it looks clinically dead.
Have the real estate goons arrived from Mars and occupied the ground? That’s alright because surely they would’ve donated a couple of hectares to the worthy River Quays for to service and love the many, many boats of Sydney Harbour? Are you MAD, ’Arry?
Well, that’s not for me to say but it doesn’t sound mad to me that a derelict industrial site that has returned millions and millions of dollars to the holders should have enough humanity to give/donate/sell a bit back to the boat people of Sydney. Perhaps humanity is the wrong word?
Sorry shipmates but I can never forget we are a community of people with needs easily met by good governance, all intermeshed and interdependent, surely. You are mad ’Arry. Orright I am mad but why always take, take, take and never ever give?
Wunnerful, wunnerful Sinny Harbour and more and more boats but less and less maintenance facilities. Our Representatives should be gaoled for misrepresentation.
Steady on ’Arry they are only people! But are we sure of that?
Orright, most of the struggling haul-out outfits are fine and doing a marvellous job and I ain’t saying nothing, but one tends to stick to the known and River Quays is a mild-mannered well run place on the River and I am looked after well and the magpies know me. And a joy it is to watch the boat traffic e’en though there is no more Dirty British Coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack sort of stuff. The vehicular ferry adds some oddosity to the scene and I like it there. So there.
Chris Dicker and I met at the first wooden boat show, that was held at River Quays years ago and he had a wee self-built tub, sorry Chris, called her Gumnut. That was a lovely simple show that was. Chris writes a bit too now, and restored Jock Muir’s first craft Westwind which took years of will and he and Gilli now reap the joy from those many, many hours of labour. An unusually staunch bloke who loves his country and so does ’Arry Driftwood and if I can find anyone responsible to give my thanks to I will – gladly. Simply lucky to live here warts and all!
My anodes gone and frightening electrolysis to show I let it go too long ‘tween uppings. Naughty slack-arsed ’Arry.