Day 336 | cloudy after some rain: don't you know it's supposed to be summer?

Esperance Day 38

C thinks G uses his dog, a responsive woolly sheepdog called Kimmie, as an extension of his penis.

He winds it out and draws people in. But it looks to me the main people he attracts are the kiddies.

When I first arrived I asked G where he came from: Nelson.


Nelson, New Zealand?

That’s where I say I’m from these days, as good a place as any in my transitory past. Still, the proof was on the dog’s collar: I noticed the expired yellow Nelson City Council tag round Kimmie’s neck.

Chris also thinks he’s the “I’ve Been Everywhere Man” and generally avoids him, but does get him to fillet the fish. Need an eye plaited into your boat rope: where’s G? The two of them dismantle the electric motor that raises the big Johnson on C’s tinnie one Saturday morning.

Yup, G’s ridden his bike around NZ. Talking about Alice Springs? He’s lived there for 8 months.

Bird watching? He’s almost completed ticking off the book, land birds only of course, carefully noting the date and location of the first sighting of each species.

Dog training? He’s the Master who can tame the most savage beast. (Watch out Luca.)

We discuss crayfish, well, actually crays are all freshwater species, it’s the Southern rock lobster, make that Jasus edwardsii, and I’m informed it’s a myth they take 21 years to reach legal size. Gee, that’s about my longest held belief dashed. Confirmation required, but I’m still not eating them.

House sitting: he’s the man with his extensive botanical knowledge.

Another time we talk turtles in Broome, how to drive a 4WD correctly, weather conditions in Tasmania.

There’s something fishy here, we move on to his mate Kelly Tarlton and his invention of a new type of underwater observatory back in 1985 for the old sewage pumping station on Tamaki Drive on Auckland’s waterfront, curving perspex panels and the conveyer belt experience now used in aquariums around the world.

I’m now unsure as to who exactly did the inventing.

In general the conversation goes like this: I make an observation and then there’s a long clarification from G, a long, long clarification that’s possible to go on all night. There’s not a lot for me to contribute, let’s be honest, actually nothing other than my presence. But unlike with C, no phasing out is possible here, his eyes bore intently into my skull. There’s no shortage of his opinions and no others are allowed to see the light of day, let alone flourish.

Constantly grinning his shaven head radiates in the sun.

You know we are all completely sick of him.

One day I notice the visitor’s chair at his campsite has been packed away.

I get the message and breathe my relief.