Once I set out on my first journey pulling a 2.5 tonne caravan behind my shiny new, Toyota Prado 4 Wheel Drive, I knew Jack about caravans. I’d simply picked it up – all 7 metres of it – at a Geelong gross sales yard.

It was raining closely. Wearing my typical shorts, polo shirt, good high quality thongs, sporting my Canadian Tilley hat, my Tag-Heuer diving watch, and typical optimistic outlook, I held an umbrella over the top of an worker who patiently confirmed me the right way to hitch the caravan to the Prado. He was already saturated, however I felt as if I ought to at the least be making an effort to maintain him dry.

On the drive to a caravan park solely 5 – 6 kilometres away, I struggled by means of heavy Friday afternoon site visitors, travelled over a bridge present process a revamp that appeared too slender for my caravan however ultimately acquired to the caravan park in a single piece. I had thought I ought to have displayed a big signal that stated, “Warning. Beginner towing Caravan”.

Destiny and good driving saved me in good stead. All I needed to do now was to outlive eight weeks driving across the pretty state of Victoria. With my caravan quantity plate displaying the byline, “Victoria, the place to be”, it appeared like I had made the suitable alternative. Not as far to journey from my house at Alice Springs if the brand new caravan suffered a guaranty concern.

By the tip of the eight weeks, I had determined there are two important varieties of individuals one meets in caravan parks, the particular person:

  1. who can not help himself (normally males) from telling you ways a lot better all of the gear they’ve on their caravan is than yours
  2. who has retired from the workforce however who can’t forged off the notion of how crucial he had been earlier than retirement. He was as soon as a Rooster, however now could be only a feather duster

One of many first locations I ended, I neglect the place it was now, we had no sooner parked our van and this fellow turned up sporting what we known as a “giggle hat” within the army, extra generally generally known as a bucket hat. Nicely, he needed to inform me that he had the xyz kind widget for his van and had seen that I had the inferior zyx widget on mine. It was simply what I needed to listen to a number of days after shelling out $50 odd thousand for a caravan.

Subsequent, it was the abc widget – I ought to have gotten a kind of. So it went on till I ultimately informed him that I needed to arrange my caravan – which ought to have been apparent to any 10 12 months previous – and he left us alone. Had he not, I in all probability would have addressed him in an uncharacteristically impolite method.

A couple of days later I met the person who had been so essential, if I had lived in Perth, I in all probability would have heard of him. He needed to inform me how he had been the Chief Govt Officer of one in all Australia’s largest IT firms. He additionally had a single engine airplane he had purchased in a package from the USA and assembled all by himself. He additionally needed to inform me about his costly Breitling pilot’s watch.

He appeared like a pleasant particular person so I did not have the center to inform him I did not give a brass razoo what he had been. I did not inform him about my assortment of tertiary {qualifications} and that I had been an enormous shot in an academic establishment, a senior public servant in not one, however two governments. To me, all that’s now meaningless, only a technique of surviving for 50 odd years.

I am only a retiree who enjoys not being something however a greying nomad who will get up every day and decides what he desires to do to fill in what hours he has left. It is a terrific stage of life and permits one to journey extensively. Full freedom. Dwelling the dream!

Now after I meet these sorts, I merely allow them to rabbit on till they run out of one thing to say. In the event that they ask me what I did earlier than I retired, I inform them the reality: I labored at a excessive safety facility 25 km west of Alice Springs and my job was so secret even I did not know what I used to be doing. That normally shuts them up.

I am blissful to be a feather duster.

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