If you find the text too small to read on this website, press the CTRL button and,
without taking your finger off, press the + button, which will enlarge the text.
Keep doing it until you have a comfortable reading size.
(Use the - button to reduce the size)

Today's quote:

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Paradise Lost

Cape Pallarenda from the air; Magnetic Island to the right

The beach at Cape Pallarenda; Townsville's Castle Hill on the horizon


While surfing the net I came across these photos of my first real home in Australia: Number 3 Bay Street at Cape Pallarenda, Townsville's beachside suburb.

It was early 1981. After more than ten years overseas and the last eighteen months on the road in Australia, I'd taken up a permanent accounting position with the construction company AV Jennings in Townsville. The work was easy, the pay adequate, and I had bought this small house on the beach, which was as comfortable as an old pair of slippers with holes in them, and turned totally domestic.

Until eight months later the fatal phone call came in: did I want to be part of the big Ok Tedi mining job in Papua New Guinea? The call of the wild again and a new challenge! So it was back to New Guinea - click here - , and then on to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and finally the magic that was Greece - "The Magic Faraway Tree" gone pathological.

A little over three years later I was back in Townsville but the magic of just walking back in and picking up from where I had left off had deserted me, as had the person I had shared those happy times with.

You can't step into the same river twice! --- to which a good friend added, "... but you can sure step into the same pile of shit more than once!" Well, Chris, my feet of clay have stepped into lots of them ☺

Googlemap Riverbend


P.S. The memories of the happy times I had left behind in this place were too agonising to remember and within months I left for the deep South, always hoping that perhaps one day I would return but never did. I eventually sold this cosy little house on the beach in January 2000 for $115,000. It was given a bit of a make-over by the new owners and resold in February 2016 for $313,000 - click here. They must have picked the top of the market because a much bigger and better house next door, at # 5 Bay Street, sold seven months later for just $365,000, having been bought only five years earlier for $395,000. Such are the vagaries of the real estate market. My neighbour at the back, George Maxwell at 4 Dyer Street, had sold only a few months before I did.