This is the first time I’ve returned to Townsville in 44 years. The place has changed a bit – so much in fact that I only recognise Castle Hill and the names of some of the main streets. Perhaps the memory has let me down a bit too.
I went shopping in the CBD shortly after my arrival. It was a bit after 5pm and a couple of pubs had loud bands playing to entertain their Saturday afternoon guests – I wondered what I was in for as the night wore on. I was heading for a Woolies which was just up the street from the Holiday Inn where I was staying to get some nibbles to have with my ‘medicinal’ whisky. I selected some unsalted cashews and some dates. On paying for these, they were put into a plastic carry-bag. How quickly we forget something that was once such common practise. We gave up using plastic bags in Canberra less than 12 months ago for environmental reasons – a distance memory until the reminder.
A handful of cashews went down very easily with a quick whisky before dinner.
We are an 18 strong group of people on this tour. I’m very much at the lower end of the age range, one guy having been born in 1924. Apart from being a bit hard of hearing he gets along very well. His wife must be of similar vintage.
Dinner was in a local restaurant some 4-500 metres from the hotel. It had a three option alternative drop menu, all good options too. Now this caused some of the group some difficulties! What was a drop down menu and how did it work? But, ‘I want that option’, and so on, was heard from around the tables. Eventually everything worked out and everybody got what they wanted including some of us who shared a third of our allocation with those on either side – the best possible solution.
More anon D