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A trip to Cann River turned into quite the adventure today. For those not in the know, Cann River is a tiny town (population 223) in north-eastern Victoria where there’s a big T-junction between two main roads – the one that comes south from Canberra and Bombala and the one that goes across Victoria from east to west.
I was going to meet the principal of the school to discuss relief teaching, and had some car issues about 20kms from Cann River when something under the bonnet seemed to come adrift and my steering suddenly became rather heavy. Great. So I limped it along to Cann River and the car repair workshop. But today the mechanic was elsewhere for the day. Great again. A quick look under the bonnet revealed this:
Broken power steering belt. Fantastic. Oh, and the repair shop didn’t have a spare one. The day just keeps getting better and better.
Not wanting to be late for my appointment at the school, I pressed on, beltless and a little disconcerted, (not to mention concerned about how much it was going to cost to fix it, and where the $$$ would come from!) but developing some Schwarzenegger biceps and deltoids every time I turned the car. I was not late, and oh, what a lovely little school it is, too. The entire student body from Prep to Year 12 is only about 50 kids.
Even better - in amongst those kids is an automotive class. Are you seeing lightbulbs yet? I bought some pantyhose from the General Store, which was an adventure in itself.…The shop lady showed me where their remaining stock of pantyhose was – half a dozen forlorn and dusty packs on a bottom shelf.
“What colour are you after?” she said.
“Doesn’t matter”, says I, “I won’t be wearing them! They’re to replace a belt in my car.”
She picked herself up off the floor, where she’d been rolling laughing, and handed me some nice black ones. “Best laugh I’ve had all day,” she said, chuckling away.
So the principal took me to the tiny (and I do mean TINY!) annexe school a couple of kilometres up the road, where – lo and behold – I will have two days’ work next week, in charge of SIX students from Year 1 to Year 5, and I can hardly wait! A whole new world, it’ll be.
Meanwhile, the pantyhose were handed over to the automotive class and they played bush mechanics for a while. I got my car back to beautiful Mallacoota without incident and found no proper power steering belt here either. I never EVER thought I'd say this (and nor did you, I'm sure), but Thank goodness for pantyhose, ha ha ha. From now on I shall carry them in the car with me, along with the kitty litter, spare oil, cleaning products, cat-cage - all those other essentials.
Oh what a fabulous day it’s been!