Chapter Sixteen - Writing in the Outback
Being a journalist in the outback has great advantages. Last week, I found myself interviewing six Alice Springs personalities for Qantas Link magazine.
I interviewed the Hon Dale Wakefield the day same-sex adoption became legal. A momentous day for the Minister for Territory and Families, and Australia. Hon Wakefield was friendly, bubbly and generous with her knowledge.
In that same week, an Albert Namatjira painting from the Ngurratjuta Aboriginal Corporation was donated to The Purple House, Alice Springs Aboriginal dialysis centre. I interview the CEO, Sarah Brown about it.
Central Australia is sadly a high density hub for people with kidney failure, needing dialysis. There’s well over 350 people connected to The Purple House.
The other subjects include a mustering pilot, a camel farm owner, an indigenous artist and an Intrepid tour guide.
Each one of them gave me great tales. I loved listening to them, and hearing their hopes for Alice Springs. The bush is made up of some great characters, all just waiting to tell their story.
I'm in a really unique position to be able to hear them first hand.
What a privilege.
Once a city girl always a city girl
We started off at Woolworths, buying water and fruit to munch on in the afternoon. We were heading out to Glen Helen for the day to go swimming in the waterhole.
The crew was, Sean, Michael and Smash (Ashley). It was coincidental we all had the day off. We marched into Woolies and scanned the fruit section.
I noticed the cherries were $3.80 a bag. I thought, what a bargain and popped them in my trolley.
We continued to shop for more fruit, water, hummus and crackers.
When it was time to check out, Sean noticed that the cherries came up as $9. We stopped the teller and I told him how they were priced at $3.80. He didn't believe me so I went back and took a photo.
There was toing and froing for the next 5 minutes as he was trying to tell us that they were priced correctly. I got so impatient, I asked to speak to his manager.
The manager arrived, I explained myself and then she disappeared. She never returned, so the teller gave me the cherries for free.
The woman behind me said 'You're not from round here Lovey, are you?' I responded, 'Is it that obvious?' and she smiled and said 'Sure is'.
Glen Helen Gorge
Glen Helen is about a 1.5hr drive from Alice Springs. It's one of the four waterholes you can swim in close enough to town.
I hadn’t seen a pool of water in months. Arriving into Glen Helen was sublime. We walked through the long grass with hot sand between our toes.
We had bought floats with us. I had a circular bright red crab. It was perfect for drifting on the waterhole.
The water was cool and refreshing. The air was dry and hot. So the minute I immersed myself, I felt like a different woman.
I submerged my face and surfaced with my hair sleeked back. Nothing beats a cold dip on a hot day.
We floated towards the swing in the right-hand corner of the waterhole. We spent the next hour of so flying off the swing. It was like we were teenagers again, judging each other from 1-10 on the performance of the swing.
It was the most magical experience.
(IMAGE ABC NEWS)