On the Road Again

Journal: 026

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and water

Do you remember this sentence from Seasons Greetings 2018 – “I’ve pulled my last trailer for Sam and Dragan.” Not! This other sentence – “I’ve already handed the truck over to a mechanic who has promised to set it up for the next million kilometres of its working life” is the clue. As is the way with engine rebuilds, one thing led to another, the price went up and up, and trailer buying has been pushed back a month or two.

Once the mechanic was finished I took the truck around the corner to a signwriter (a decal maker these days) with the results you see. Years ago, when paint jobs were free with new trucks Milly and I spent ages coming up with fancy colour schemes for the new Scania I never bought. These days, particularly in the West, most trucks are white, but one of the joys of ownership is being able to personalize your ride.

Anyway, I sat down last weekend with Sam and Dragan and we decided it made sense to go on a bit longer as we were, build up a bit of a backstop before I splashed all my cash on trailers. (I looked at finance, but the idea of releasing all that info into the wild filled me with horror). So here I am heading off to … Melbourne as it happened and now I’m on the way home.

The other thing I did over the break – apart from my quarterly and annual tax, isn’t that neverending?! – is I made myself a website, using WordPress, billhtrucking.com if you want to have a look. I used a totally new gmail account to set it up, but they still managed somehow to link back to theaustralianlegend. Don’t ask me how. I’ll use the site to issue posts, but only to advise clients, potential clients (and family) where I expect to be next; and really only as a device to maintain a list of trips done.

I also had a shot at using the ‘gallery’ option for photos, but I’m not really happy with it as it adds new pics at the bottom, rather than at the top where you would see them straight away. Still, WordPress were very helpful in getting me started and another chat with their help desk would probably get that fixed too (no they didn’t).

No photo description available.

Australian Women Writers Gen 2 Week 13-19 Jan. 2019

Thank you everyone for participating in AWW Gen 2 Week – readers, commenters, reviewers. Please note that Brona has done a second Ethel Turner review – The Story of a Baby – which I won’t be able to read for another day or so (sorry Brona).

Interestingly during the week, we didn’t discuss Barbara Baynton, Henry Handel Richardson, nor the period’s most popular books, My Brilliant Career and Seven Little Australians. But these have all been reviewed previously and I think that with the authors we did discuss this time we have gained a good idea of how women writers responded to the dominant trends – nationalism and bush realism – of the 90s. 

The updated list of posts for the week is as follows:-

Katharine Susannah Prichard, The Pioneers, ANZLitLovers

Mary Grant Bruce, Billabong series, Michelle Scott Tucker

Monday Musings on Australian Literature: Capel Boake, Whispering Gums

Capel Boake: Three short stories Whispering Gums

Ethel Turner, In the Mist of the Mountains, Brona’s Books

Ethel Turner, The Story of a Baby, Brona’s Books

Louise Mack, A Woman’s Experiences in the Great War, Nancy Elin

Louise Mack, Teens, wadh

Louise Mack, Girls Together, Whispering Gums

Miles Franklin, Joseph Furphy, wadh

Rosa Praed, Sister Sorrow, Jessica White

Background –

Louisa Lawson v Kaye Schaffer, wadh

Vance Palmer, The Legend of the Nineties, wadh

Frank Moorhouse ed., The Drover’s Wife, wadh

There’s plenty more on the AWW Gen 2 page, lots of old reviews, more background posts including two on Louise Mack by Sue and Lisa, and with many of the older books out of copyright, I have put links to downloadable text whenever I come across them.

Lisa (ANZLL) also did two posts on Catherine Helen Spence (here) (here) but as I already had entries for Spence on the AWW Gen 1 page, I took the easy option and linked them there.

Reviews subsequent to AWW Gen 2 Week (Jan 2019) –

Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career, Booker Talk


One more photo (sorry B.i.L)


Recent audiobooks

Paullina Simons (F, USA), Red Leaves (2011)
Erica Spindler (F, USA), Triple Six (2016)
Stephanie Laurens (F, Eng), The Murder at Mandeville Hall (2018)
Brenda Niall (F, Aus), True North (2011)
EB North (F, USA), An Unseemly Wife (2014)
Caroll O’Connell (F, USA), Stone Angel (1997)

Currently reading

Louise Mack, Teens
AS Patric, The Butcherbird Stories (2018)
Dave Warner, River of Salt (2019)


16 thoughts on “On the Road Again

  1. Thanks for all the links Bill, and for the catch-up on where you are at work-wise. Love the new sign on your truck.

    I had a little look at your truck site a couple of weeks ago when I saw it in you blog roll.Nice.


    • Thank you Sue. I used MS Paint to knock up an idea of what I wanted before the xmas break. The signwriter’s artist made some suggestions, mostly involving lots of squirls (Google didn’t like squirls – 1. A guy who basks in his own faggotry. 2. A weirdo.; though Merriam Webster were happier – flourish, twist, curlicue. These days I seem repeatedly to be forced to second guess my failing grasp of the current iteration(s) of the English language.) but I liked the simple version better.


  2. I LOVE the decal – what did the person who printed it say/ask?

    Your new trucking site looks great – now that we can see where you are, perhaps that long-gin-lunch might happen?


    • He had his own ideas about size and height. I started off too small and too low and he generously reprinted a larger version and then waited until I was with him before affixing it.

      It will be interesting to see if the website is used once I have multiple customers, which is what it is intended for, but meanwhile it is a hand way of looking back on trips done. And yes you are welcome to use it to see where I am. Once I am in more control of my own loading I hope to spend more time in Melbourne.


    • Not a stupid question at all. particularly as big trucks in the US are nearly all bonnetted. The engine is under the cab floor and you access it by tilting the cab. The cab weighs a lot but there’s an electric pump to do the work. I’ve added an illustration to the bottom of the post so you can see what it looks like (the truck in the photo is the same model as mine).

      Engines in most buses, other than the converted trucks you use (or used to use) for school buses, are at the rear of the bus, under the floor.


  3. Sorry for the delay in replying. I got home yesterday, did some trucking things – unload, wash truck, fit new tyres, had tea with Milly and a couple of grandkids, read Charlene likes to make noise and The pied piper of Hammelin, drank wine, went home, collapsed into bed.


    • I’m visiting my folks and showed my dad the picture of the truck with the cab coming up. He said you don’t see them anymore, that people USED to drive them.

      I hope Milly and the family are well!


      • Milly and the kids and grandkids are all well thank you. Tell your dad I have driven American “cab-overs” (COE/cab over engine) – Macks, Freightliners and (Australian-built) Kenworths until quite recently. Our restricted length laws, though not as restrictive as Europe’s, make cab-overs the better option for interstate highway work. Pictures at billhtrucking.com if he’s interested.


  4. Sorry I couldn’t participate to AWW Gen 2, I didn’t have time to read The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney. Deal Souls sucked up all my reading time.

    PS: Nice ride. As long as you didn’t name it My Career Goes Bung, you’re safe! 🙂


    • The Fortunes is a fine book/trilogy so when you do get round to reading it I’ll be happy to list your review. And no, trucking is chancy enough without jinxing it as well. Though I do think My Career Goes Bung is the better book.


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