Day 27 Turned 37 and gone the full nomad

Happy birthday to me! It was too, blueberry pancakes for breakfast with birthday candles on top followed by another paddle on the Lilly Creek Lagoon. We saw two freshies this time around, though they didn’t hang around long once they saw us. Probably went swimming about right beneath us. That evening we visited the Mirimar National Park, or mini bungles as the kids decided they should be, after which we took a picnic dinner to the top of Kelly’s Knob for the sunset. Dinner was topped off with some delicious sort of chocolate contraption that Emma had whipped up adorned with a sparkler for effect. Love it. So Tess, in answer to your query I guess we did do something special ‘er’ for my birthday.

The only problem was that I’ve hit 37 and seem to have gone the full nomad. You know you’re part of the Nomad club through the secret club wave. The wave is only passed between the drivers of caravans and then only on the highway. It’s very important not to make the wave when in camp, this would likely be considered particularly poor form. But on the highway it’s a must.

I’ve broken the club wave down into a number of distinct types. This may be useful for any others planning to hit the highway at some point. First there is the ‘single antenna’, for the casual nomad, which involves the raising of a single finger to acknowledge another oncoming vehicle with van. The slightly more exuberant will use the ‘double antenna’, two index fingers. Those really pleased to see you will give you a ‘salute’ this involves the more dangerous act of using ones whole hand to wave. Dangerous because one hand must leave the steering wheel. There are many different forms of the ‘salute’ and we have even invented a few of our own. Oliver has claimed patent right on the ‘croc salute’ and the ‘cup salute’, while Amy led the way with the ‘twinkle salute’.

Everyones favorite club wave though is the ‘HALLOOOOOOOO!’. The HALLOOOOOOO, first performed by an enthusiastic club member on our initial commute to Darwin, involves a little preparation. First you have to spot an oncoming vehicle and van at an appropriate distance down the road. Then you have to wiggle your butt back in the seat and lean slightly forward. Wind your window down, then extend your hand and arm as far out of the vehicle as possible and wave vigorously. It helps with the entertainment of others in the vehicle if you also loudly yell HALLOOOOOO! at this time.

Frankly most other club members are left stunned by the HALLOOOOOO, and most likely have no idea what to make of it, just as we didn’t the first time it was used on us. But we like to think they have a good laugh as we did, and still are. While the requests to provide other nomad club members with HALLOOOOOOs has declined in the last few days, the thought of it still makes me smile.

A final word though, never use the club wave on a road train. Somehow they just don’t seem to get it and seldom if ever reply. I accidentally waved to a road train a week or so back, it was becoming a reflex action to flick up a ‘single antenna’ so many other club members had we passed that day, and to my amazement received a return salute. Poor bugger, I hope he didn’t lose his job.

PS thanks to everyone for the phone calls, text messages, emails, blog comments and telepathic communications to wish me a happy birthday. It really was a happy birthday!

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