Friends come in all shapes and sizes, from different backgrounds and cultures with differing personalities and differing reasons for being friends. Now we could get bogged down with definitions of friends’ vs acquaintances, you know Facebook or Insta friends and then the people who really mean something to you or you to them, but I would rather celebrate friends for what they are and what they do.
Now I consider myself very lucky I have a few really great friends which I love spending time with. You may start to pick up on a theme with our friends too, they all like fishing! Coincidence you ask? Probably not but what the hell, it works for us.
Let me tell you about a few of our nearest and dearest friends:
Dave and Di Drabble are our true dinky-di Aussie mates. We first met at a mutual friend’s New Year’s Eve party. We stayed awake and alert (well maybe just awake) to watch the sun dawn on a new year together, having a few drinks, loads of laughs and sharing a sense of achievement (that we were fairly old and could still see the night through to the dawn!). Just a note to say we have not been able to do that since, but hey at least we could say we had done it! That was about 6 years ago now and our friendship has gone from strength to strength (hopefully they agree with this, if not tough you Drabbles are stuck with us Pozzies now!).
Dave is ex-army and has a unique way of approaching things, such as DIY and fixing anything mechanical (dodgy but functional is the phrase we would use). Di is just a beautiful soul who would do anything for anybody. She is also very patient and almost saint like for putting up with Dave and his dodgy fixes!
Now just to explain Dave is my fishing husband. He is as passionate about fishing as I am (maybe more) and has taught me quite a few things over the years. We very often joke about him having two wives, the loving and beautiful wife that he spends most of his time with (yes that is Di) and then his fishing wife who he takes fishing and imparts his fishing wisdom to (that would be me). He is my Mr Miyagi and I am his, not so little, grasshopper!
We have had many a camping and fishing adventure with this pair and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the time spent together. We had the pleasure of going on a 3-week expedition to the cape with them and it was 3 weeks filled with fun, laughter, 4WDriving, fishing and a few arguments (but that was between me and my husband not us and the Drabbles). Di is extremely good company and I love the fact that she and I have a natural friendship (even if some people think I am a posh earthy type!)
I guess we cannot be that bad to be around as we are all going away again next year for a 5-week adventure in the Kimberley’s. I am sure it will be full of exciting events such as breaking things, getting stuck, maybe having to Jump Snatch Winch and Blow (see blog of the same name) the old BT-50 etc. etc.
Can’t wait for next year and all the adventures to come!
The Deb and Mark Effect
I met Deb and Mark a few years ago, when I joined a boot camp run by a very strange, but very good PT in Townsville. We struck up a friendship and started socialising together outside of boot camp. Now our socialising (involving cheese, wine and generally having a great time), may have conflicted with our training goals (to lose weight and get fit), but we did not let that stop us!
Deb and I built the friendship up and the fellas just kind of followed. Luckily enough (for Deb and I) the fellas get on extremely well, so we spend a lot of time socialising, going to the footy and fishing together.
Deb is my faithful girlfriend, who turns up to my charity fundraisers, even on her own, and we have an annual ritual of going to the races together, for an afternoon of fun, laughter and champagne. She is easy going if a bit disorganised sometimes (i.e. stressing about not having anything to wear for the races on the night before the event!)
Mark (or as I call him Capt. Mark Phillips) is a very clever fella, builder with an engineer’s head and has helped us out more than a few times with our caravan renos. You can almost guarantee they will be late or “just” on time for anything, but in all honesty, they are truly worth the wait (even if it is just for the laughs the story about why they were late gives us).
Mark and Deb love their fishing as well and we have ventured out in convoy to fish the beautiful waters in and around, Townsville, Hinchinbrook and the reef. There is always some funny story to relate while supping a few beers after we get back from fishing. These stories usually have something to do with things not working for Mark (such as the sounder or electric motor) or having to come back in early due to Deb getting a lure well and truly stuck in her arm!
In fact, not long ago my husband and I were out fishing, and our electric motor refused to work, then our anchor rope got caught around the electric winch mechanism and then back at the ramp our winch post on our trailer came away from its fixing. We called it the Mark and Deb effect (due to so many things going wrong in a short space of time) and oh how we laughed and laughed (well after we got everything fixed!).
Now Mark is retiring in a couple of weeks and they are moving back down south. We are very sad to see them go but know that we will have more good times and adventures with them even if they do not live down the road.
Oh, and Mike asks, “Are you OK Mark?” (this is in reference to a very drunken night on International are you OK day, details will not be disclosed!)
Wally and Sharelle
Now these two, beautiful people, are dear friends of ours. We met at a fishing club, surprise, surprise! They have a way of making you feel included and supported in a world that is a bit cruel and spiteful sometimes.
Wally repairs windscreens and has his own mobile business (Wally’s Mobile Windscreens) and Sharelle not only works but ensures the family (grown kids and a gaggle of grandkids) are supported and looked after. Family is everything to this pair.
Sharelle always comes and supports our charity events (which my daughter arranges for Ovarian Cancer) and Wally always answers my silly questions about fishing (and occasionally fixes my chips in my windscreens).
They have taken me out fishing more than once whilst my husband has been away (working overseas) and we have had a great time even caught some fish! We see each other at the fishing club weigh-ins and it can sometimes be a bit of a standing joke as to whose turn it is to win the ladies prize this time.
We go for dinner with them (and our other friends Garry and Jenny) and they entertain us with tall stories of fishing, “what Wally did” and their wonderful family.
Garry and Jenny
We first met Garry at a fishing club (again surprise, surprise!) He was single at the time and I remember my first impressions were, nice enough, bit weird! My love for him grew when I found out he knew a lot about fishing and worked at the Fishing Warehouse! Only kidding, that’s not all we loved him for, honest!
The fishing club had arranged a weekend away to Terrible Creek and Mike and I went along with Wally, Sharelle, Garry and a few other members. This was about the same time that Garry got himself a girlfriend so there was much leg pulling and teasing about him being love struck!
We became good friends through our mutual friends Wally and Sharelle and then I met his new girlfriend, Jenny, and we decided we had several things in common, not least a good Sauvignon Blanc! And so, a friendship between two couples was born!
We like to pay out on Garry a lot (well he has got the nickname of crumpet!), so he gets teased about being short, balding and old! We tell him that we are only friends with him because of Jenny! Although this is not true, it still is fun to pay out on him! We do love you Crumpet!
Jenny works very hard running her own business (JAG MiniMart) and Garry helps out when he is not working at the Fishing Warehouse. In between doing all this we still have time for a catch up at the footy or go out to dinner with our other friends Wally and Sharelle and of course Jenny and I get to drink plenty of Sauv blanc together!
So, I guess the moral of this story is, you do not have to have thousands of likes on Facebook and Insta to be happy. You just need to have a few genuine friends. Friends who you can do daft stuff with, friends who will support you in your life and friends who you can have a laugh and a few Sauv blancs with, sharing your travels, life and dreams.
So, thank you guys for being our friends, cheers to many more years!