About Me

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I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am serious and don't call me Shirley

Everybody has a Countrylink travel story.
You can guarantee that if you aren't into the country scenery there will always be a colourful character or two on board to pass the trip.
Unfortunately, in my experience, that colourful character always seems to gravitate towards me.
Back in the days of uni onboard the bus from Coota to Bathurst, I met a man I wished I hadn't.
I was minding my own business up the back , when a man who made his presence, and drunkenness known immediately boarded the bus.
Dressed in leary boardshorts and a truckie's singlet he certainly was not a shrinking violet.
He walked down the aisle unsubtly starring at and unnerving each passenger.
With a spare seat next to me, I knew in my heart of hearts that this bloke was going to pull up a pew next to me and proceed to annoy the hell out of me on the road back to Bathurst.
Bingo. Down he went.
"Hello Sunshine - me name's Greg" he said and held out his hand, covered in dirt and grime.
"Sharni," I said obligingly secretly cursing that my parents had instilled politeness in me when other more 'citified' people would have just ignored him.
"Pleased to meet ya Shirley" he replied ignorantly.
Other passengers looked over at me sympathetically but probably relieved that they missed out on the company of my new seat mate.
"So Shirl, where you off to?"
"Sharni, " I corrected "Just back to Uni."
"I'm just outta gaol" he proclaimed proudly.
"Oh," I said peering out of the window, my heart rate accelerating.
"Have you ever shot a bloke Shirl?"
This time I was too nervous to correct my name.
Shirl it was.
"No." I said turning to the window and having a mini freak-out.
"It's a big world out there Shirl, you don't know the half of it"
I took a big gulp and decided that I wasn't going to argue, nor encourage - just kept looking out the window hoping he would take a hint.
Just then a passenger from up the front of the bus started making her way towards the toilet at the back. She was a teenager with a bad case of acne.
Greg took it upon himself to give her some helpful advice at the top of his lungs
"Tea tree oil love, clears up the pimples" he yelled. "Clears 'em right up"
By this stage some of the older passengers started grumbling to themselves and dirty looks were shot at him - but no-one spoke to outspoken Greg.
The poor teenager turned a shade of red and self-consciously made her way to the lavatory, no doubt to cry.
I was close to it myself feeling so sorry for the situation I was in.
Just then he bent down to a bag he was carrying and pulled out a bottle of something in a brown paper bag.
He proceeded to open up a bottle of Port, bent down and poured it over my thonged feet!
"What are you doing!" I gasped in shock
"It's just my way love" he said before taking an almighty scull out of the bottle.
I was frozen. My feet were sticky and wet but I dare not argue with this bloke fresh out of prison.
This drunk and insane bloke fresh out of prison.
I looked down at my sticky brown feet and cringed.
His mood changed.
"Shirley," he said" you know f*** all about the world out there, bet you are barely out of high school "
I smiled nervously and looked back out the window.
I can't remember much more about that trip except just wishing to God that he would get off or swap seats and harass someone else.
He got off the bus about an hour later. As he dramatically made his way to exit he stopped at the front of the bus to give me his final words.
'Don't forget Shirley - it's a big world out there"
As the bus drove off, Greg relieved himself on the side of the road.
I put my bag on the seat and went to sleep vowing not to take the window seat on my next Countrylink adventure. I also made a mental to note to me, myself and Shirley to wear lace-up shoes next time. Port on the feet is not good for long trips.


  1. Thank God the days of bus travel are behind me...

  2. haha love it~ Hoping my bus riding days are over too.


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