For all things are relative
For all things are relative and many a traveller who we sincerely pity is as proud and happy living in a less than attractive, older than they are, van as any millionaire living in Vaucluse. A very nice, neat young woman of the road, who I have the pleasure of knowing, is camped just short of Mackay at Alligator Creek where the Caltex servo is, said to me the other night, when we were sharing a meal ”It isn’t having everything fine and stylish that makes you ‘appy. These days, now that Bill got this job cutting bananas, now we’ve got a van and have everything so elegant and comfortable and sleep warm as anybody and yet I often say to me ‘usband that we used to be ‘appier when we used to sleep out under a tree or some ‘edges like with maybe only a swag to keep us warm and dry and wake up after ‘eavy rain that night in a pool of muddy water and have to shake out our bag first ‘cause the mongrel snakes would sneak in and try to bring us grief.” Now this woman had only a wretched ‘81 Toyota that was always braking down. She had to cower under a smoky, ragged tarpaulin tied to the side of the van and a couple of obliging trees to do the cooking because Bill was a big bloke and their mattress took up the whole length of the van. Their meals were eaten sitting on the ground, standing up when it was too wet. When I offered to give her my spare canvas chair she politely refused because she said she had too much stuff already and I’d be better off giving it to someone who needed it. But she had food, warm clothes, a great sense of humour and fun, a generous nature and believed herself happy. Truly, she had better reason to think so than any middle-aged, pampered woman whose heart has run to waste on the baggage of broken relationships and the gossip of all the terrible things that happen to her. For any traveller will tell you it is better to be on the road with nothing more than your next meal and enough petrol to get you to your next stop than to whine about the starvation of love and the things that you think you should have. Between the should-have’s and the shop window there is a great pane of re-enforced glass, fixed, never to be penetrated.