Saturday, April 23, 2011

A quick visit

My life is about to undergo a significant change. I’m taking the family to Adelaide for a new job. It’s a daunting prospect but full of promise and possibilities. But at this stage, it’s a matter of packing up our lives in Sydney and moving over.
And where does Clarabelle fit into this new life I hear you ask? She’s definitely coming with us, with the prospect in a year or so of having a small acreage in the Adelaide Hills where we can relocate her. But at this stage the best I can manage was a quick drive up to Wellington to drop off a few bits and pieces that I’ve accumulated for her that don’t need to go to Adelaide with us just yet.
I managed to coordinate this trip to coincide with a mate of mine passing through on his way to a big party in Gundagai. Mick Saffiotti lives in Brisbane and has been a Guard for QR since he was a young man. He is also a keen collector of all things QR including carriages. In the past he has turned up odds and ends that will go towards completing Clarabelle and I have no idea how to get a hold of them otherwise. He’s also a good mate who will fetch “Pick Up Only” items from the Brisbane area if I win them on Ebay. In fact he came bearing a beautiful old luggage rack that he had picked up for me some time ago. We spent a happy couple of hours nattering and poking and prodding the old girl, swapping the kinds of info that are impossible to find anywhere else. We even had a cup of tea at the table in Clarabelle with his long-suffering wife Julie. I learnt a hell of a lot in those few hours!
Me, Mick and Clarabelle

The untouched southern end. This is what remains of the original paint. Another detail Mick pointed out was the significance of the ‘RP 7-87’ that can be made out on the solebar on the corner closest to the camera. It means the last repaint was in July 1987.

After Mick and Julie left I had half a day to myself with few tools on hand so I slapped some paint on the interior of the western wall opposite the bathroom and dining area. Every little bit counts!