Bill The Housesitter has not crossed a provincial border since 26 March 2019.
There is no 13 month timespan in my 53.8 years on this planet where I could truthfully state this, prior to wheels-down on that late March day last year.
I’ve acclimated at a rate of knots. It came slowly, and while Darwinners, Palmigardeners, and those in the ruuuural area were starting to look forward to the explosion of wonderfullness that is the dry season, I was melting into the pavement.
By 1.30pm that day, I was in the Melaleuca YHA, whipping off my long trousers, stepping into my shorts – and my limbs would not be covered again by long pants, long-sleeved shirt, or jacket for another one year, three days, six hours.
Picture: Ted E. Quinn and me, in the back of the NT Police divvy van. My landlady had called the police out to the place where I’d been renting a room since 18 May 2019. Within six seconds of my approaching their van, they’d summed up the situation, didn’t initially want to see the ID I’d proffered, told me, “Yeah, we’ve seen this situation before,” and asked me if I was OK.
After talking with the landlady, they agreed that getting me away from there post-haste was necessary. The only reason that Ted and I were in the back was that of the possesions I’d been able to flee with (the clothes I was wearing, some papers, and what I thought was a bag of food), I had taken a lighter for my incense and tea candles. That rode in the crew cab; Ted and I got our first ever ride in a police van. (They didn’t lock the door.)
That was 29 March 2020. Sunday night.
Since then, I’ve spent one night with a couple in Wanguri. Were it not for #pandemic I’d have been housesitting for them and their red cattle dog from 10 April to 10 May.
Then two weeks at Quest Parap. Hmmmm. So much feedback to give there.
Four nights with some other housesitting clients in Wanguri. They kindly allowed me to stay five nights, but I cut it to four. Wow! Did I learn some amazing things about their respective Australian stories from a few short wine/beer times on the veranda. Just mind-blowing stuff.
I did my first live weekly cross to 2EAR-FM Eurobodalla Access Radio that night while floating around in their pool.
Tune in on Thursday nights from 6-10pm AEST for Ian Traynor’s Still New And Looking For A Name Radio Show. Bill The Gypsy drops in from about 7.15pm-7.40pm AEST. www.2EARFM.weebly.com
Then seven nights in a shared rental arrangement back in Ludmilla which all came to a screaming halt less than a week after my arrival when I found out by pure accident that sub-letting there was strictly verboten under the terms of the lease. Repacked in less than three hours and on the road again.
One week minus a few hours near Casuarina Square. I’m nominally there, paid up to this coming Friday.
Now out in the semi-rural area of Darwin. 06:51am, 21 degrees celcius, feels like 21C, and I’m quite cold. My full acclimation to Top End weather took about 12 months.
Culturally? That’s a whole other story for another time and place.
Back on weather, I’ve had to step back inside and wait for the sun to pour into the backyard. It’s decidedly nippy. Not joking.
See you down a dusty or frosty road, and here on the intrynetz zooper dooper highway.
09:58 Sunday 3 April 2020 ACST