There are some sounds that just aren’t nice. Finger nails dragging down a chalk board is one. A shovel scraping over concrete (Emma’s favourite noise) is another. As a caravan pilot I do not like the sound of an awning trying to occupy the same space as a tree. I couldn’t describe just what this sound is like, suffice perhaps to say it is sufficiently different to the usual caravan noises to have made me very quickly realise I had done something stoopid.
It all happened at a carpark just outside the Barossa town of Angaston. As I manoeuvred the car and van away from the edge of the drive the awning fitted to the outside edge of the caravan caught the edge of a tree that was clearly located too close to the Yalumba winery. The tree must have been drunk because it was leaning heavily to the side.
Of course nature has a way of resolving attempts by two objects to occupy the same space and this quickly saw the front arm of the awning removed from the caravan. The tree lost a little bark but I’d say it came out on top overall. The other thing that took a battering was my ego. While I was giving myself a right good dressing down (internally for the most part I hope) Emma calmly took the situation in her stride. I love the way she does that. ‘It’s happened, that’s life, let’s just deal with it’. If that wasn’t exactly what she said it must have been pretty close. She’s very good for me at times like this.
So after inspecting the damage, and with Ian’s assistance, we strapped the front end of our now armless awning to the roof of the van and began thinking through our new plan. We were about to hit the road for Cape Jervis, but clearly that was now not going to happen. Emma located a caravan service centre in Gawler about forty kilometers away and I rung the issuance company. The repair people soothed my humbled spirit somewhat. After I had explained what had happened they responded, ‘yeah no worries that happens all the time’. I may be a goose, but its nice to know the rest of my flock is out there somewhere!
As the repairs would have to wait until the following day we filled in time by looping through other parts of the very scenic Barossa. The next day we visited the Gawler mall where I had a haircut (singularly the worst cut I’ve ever paid for). Oliver’s turned out alright though and we ran some other errands. We then headed back out into the grapes, had a cracker of a coffee at Williamstown and visited the whispering wall – a 140 metre wide damn wall which carries sound perfectly around it’s curve. You can literally whisper to someone on the other side.
After collecting the beautifully repaired caravan (thank you wonderfully helpful people of the Gawler Caravan Centre) we spent that night back at Williamstown which was splendid in it’s simplicity. A balmy spring breeze blew over us as we camped beneath a canopy of claret ash. In front of us was a large green cricket pitch surrounded by tall trees. Amy and Oliver spent hours constructing a home for Koalee from sticks and bark or swinging around the steel fence running around the oval. All was right with our world once more.