Saturday, January 4, 2014

5 January 2014 - Caboolture Showground, Caboolture, Queensland

Yesterday lined up as promised, although by late morning the online forecasters were suggesting the mercury could go as high as 44 degrees. We popped into the centre of Caboolture to check out the shops and services soon after 8 am, where Chris had his hair cut by an elderly immigrant whose English had not improved with many years of human contact. We picked up some fresh rolls and the newspaper to enjoy during the rest of the day. The town’s main street has been taken over by the real estate agents, hairdressers and very little else apart from the small shopping plaza we realised we had visited once before when we passed through. The courthouse and cultural centre are relatively new, as are the paving and arty additions to the public areas; however it is quite evident that the modern shopping facilities down the road at Morayfield have superseded this dying centre.

Back at camp I did a load of washing; the showgrounds boast a washing machine which takes three $1 coins, as cheap as you will find anywhere these days. By the time I joined Chris inside to check progress on the cricket, the air-conditioner had managed to cool the caravan down to 28 degrees.

Each time I ventured out of the caravan for whatever reason, the heat seemed worse, and by 4 pm, it had reached 43.4 degrees. Again the weatherman was spot on. Overnight it did not drop below 24.6 degrees; these comments alone are evidence that the heat consumes much of my mind. We learned on the news that bats were falling out of the trees dead at Boonah, just south of Ipswich, succumbing to the extreme heat. This seemed altogether too close to home, given our encounters with these weird and wonderful flying foxes during our time here in Australia. I was quite shocked.

Needless to say little else happened for the rest of the day apart from the Australians continuing to show their prowess on the cricket pitch and we watched as the curvy Serena Williams smash the foulmouthed Victoria Azarenka in the Brisbane International, a gruelling duel in such temperatures. Needless to say I am also being educated in the scoring intricacies of tennis.

Set up for dinner preparation
This morning dawned overcast and much cooler. We wandered over to the Sunday Markets held here in the showground, a weekly occurrence and found it to be one of the most extensive markets yet encountered, apart from that at Eumundi which must forever stand as the star of markets. According to many we spoke to, the turnout of both stallholders and punters was less than usual, given the holiday season and the heat. (I am not alone in having my life revolve around this, for now at least.) We were surprised at the massive number of stalls selling plants, tools and aquarium fish; perhaps there is a subtitle to this market “Marine Horticulture for Urban DIYers”? Our sole purchase was yet another DVD to entertain the hours between cricket and tennis matches, should such windows of opportunity arise.

Back in our corner of the showgrounds, I set myself up under the awning, spurning the air-conditioning which I detest; I hate being trapped inside a small cold box. Instead I sat with my skirt rolled up around my thighs in a most unladylike manner, enjoying my surrounds: a horse grazing through the fence this side of the stables, ibis, crested pigeons, a juvenile magpie and the odd duck poking about the camp, the frequent but unintrusive trains passing about three hundred metres away and the equally quiet market visitors coming and going. Earlier I had heard kookaburras in the gums around the amenities block; officially four kilometres south of Caboolture’s CBD, the area is surprisingly rural.

After lunch, on learning that although the Brisbane International was drawing to a close this afternoon, and the Hyundai Hopman Cup had wound up yesterday, there was more, yes, even more to come. The Apia International was already underway in Sydney and the Australian Open in Melbourne is to follow close on its heels. I told Chris that I was not prepared to sit about for much longer waiting for all these very important sports events to unfold; we would have to shake ourselves and get out!

So this afternoon we did venture out although not too far; the final showdown between Federer and Hewitt is on the box this afternoon and the last of the five Ashes matches is still creating its drawn out torture for the Barmy Army.

We headed down to Central Lakes, just a few kilometres away, between here and the Bruce Highway where we looked through an open home and pretended to be potential builders, or rather, customers for a brand new house in a brand new subdivision. Alas, our performance was so convincing,  the poor salesgirl was quite taken in and we can now expect a follow-up call in the near future. We escaped to the local shopping centre, found our preferred loaf of bread sold out so bought a couple of bottles of wine instead. As you do.

By now the smoke from the Stradebroke Island fires had reached Caboolture and surrounds, and we returned to camp through the polluted haze, put the air-conditioner on and hunkered down to suck in purer air and watch the tennis. The wine will help and we are pleased that today the temperatures have not climbed above 30 degrees.

1 comment:

  1. If the weather permits, and you are looking for a couple of things to do to while away the time, it's pleasant to take a chair over to the northern fenceline and watch events at the new Equestrian Centre during the evening.

    If your husband likes tool shops, Trade Tools on Learjet Drive just over the Bruce Hwy is a treasure trove (there's also a nice little bakery a few doors down from it too).

    You've probably been there, but you can spend a pleasant day out at Bribie Island.