11th March, 2003 // Australia
Introduction to Derby - WWOOF TWO - with Peter
Derby is a quaint little town on the Ringarooma River, in North East Tassie. Its got 2 pubs, a general store, an online centre, post office, a cafe, a tin mining museum, and a big tropical fish painted on a big rock in the side of a hill.
When we got to Derby, we called Peter Coxhead to come and pick us up, and then settled down to wait with a beer, outside the Federal Hotel. Inside the pub we could hear things getting rather lively.
When Peter (a tall slim man, with a long grey beard, dressed in dirty trousers and a flanno)arrived to pick us up in his ute, a man leaned out of the pub and hollered something. Peter said to us "That guy shirt-fronted me the other day". After explained to us the meaning of "shirt-fronted", we asked "why?" Pete said "He's Logger and I'm a Greenie" Was that the only reason?!? Well, no, as it turned out there was quite a story behind the incident. And, as it turned out over the next couple of weeks, Pete's full of stories - stories about playing the villain in 13 plays put on by the towns drama group, and then later having that drama group investigating over disappearing funds, resulting in a divided town and him having to move away for 7 years, as no shop would serve him - stories about having his local council investigated investigated by the local police - stories about campaigns he's run against operations - stories about being taken to court for unpaid phone bills - stories about living in Darwin (a town full of stories itself) - stories about buying 40 acid trips and taking them over a a period of a month, while hitching across the Nullabor with his girlfriend - stories about... you get the idea... he loves telling stories and tells them well... better stories than any I'm telling...
He's a very interesting man, with many strong, controversial opinions (about food, about energy, about life, about forests, which I'd love to go into but can't now), though he is willing to listen to and consider others opinions too. He's also very funny, though he does tell alot of "Dad jokes". And he has a particular love for potatoes.
His house, 4km out of Derby in the forested Mutual Valley, is cosy, with no electricity, a wood fired stove, water from a creek on his property. He has an extensive, well maintained vegie garden & orchard - non-commercial; his focus is on self-sufficiency and sustainability. Its a beautiful place, with a beautiful beach & swimming hole in the Ringarooma River, a minutes walk away. Lots of wildlife around - wallabies, possums, echidnas, wombats, platypuses, black cockatoos, and many other birds.
Phew, how's that for an introduction.... will tell more later of our adventures from the 16 days we spent at Pete's place in Derby...
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