I HAVE lots of fantasies.
I HAVE lots of fantasies.
Sometimes I even make them come true - or at least partly.
Like that 1969 BMW motorbike I bought years ago. A 600cc tourer. Black and beautiful. Ah, I fantasised riding around this great gas-filled land like an Australian easyrider, German technology thumping away, the ancient landscape and new mines flicking by, everything I need in life rolled in a swag tied to the sissy bar. Two-wheeled freedom.
Unlike the original easyrider I probably wouldn't be transporting drugs (except of course for my blood pressure tablets - which don't need hiding in the petrol tank).
But I got rammed at a Lismore roundabout by a blind man in his late 80s driving an ancient Vauxhall whose original brakes he was conserving. The bike was mangled and the biker dream stillborn.
Another fantasy: I have just re-registered my caravan. It's a beauty. It was built by students at the Lismore Technical College in the mid 1950s. What a concept - a Lismore college where students learn to build things. I thought only the Chinese made things.
The caravan is nine foot six long (it seems appropriate to use imperial measurements with something of this vintage) and bubble-shaped. It even has two portholes on the starboard side. Cute. And I have set it up with solar power.
More than a decade ago, before I had the caravan, I had this fantasy of towing a funky little caravan from festival to festival, from pretty seaside spot to lovely country camp. I fantasised about being a modern Gypsy making a few dollars at festivals to buy enough food, wine and petrol to get my girl and me to the next gig. On the way we'd stop, set up camp, and sit under the caravan annexe sipping organic wine and watching the sun set behind blue mountains before I would type something inspired on my solar-powered computer prior to bed.
Then, magically, the universe manifested the little caravan. It was sitting sadly in a North Lismore yard, overgrown with morning glory, its aluminium skin mottled with mould. I bought it for a few hundred dollars.
My girlfriend and I painted it, made pretty curtains and fixed up some bits that dangled off it. I got it registered and have re-registered it every year since.
I made my fantasy come true. Partly.
I have taken the little van to the Woodford Folk Festival most Christmases. Once I took it to the beach. Once to a party. But that's about it, really. Hardly a Gypsy lifestyle. That requires money. And performing at festivals is not a big provider of bucks - at least not for me.
But towing it into Lismore for its annual rego check last week has re-inspired me. With my van Morrison pulling the little caravan along I realised my Gypsy fantasy is still alive. Unfortunately though, the caravan needs some work before it hits the tarmac of Highway One. There's a leak that I just can't fix despite tube after tube of sealant. The aluminium skin is shaking off. So is the brake light. The gas fridge doesn't work anymore so I decided it to remove it - and then realised that the fridge is bigger than any opening in the van.
I'm not a carpenter. I need to find someone handy who likes little caravans. Fantasies require persistence and dedication to become reality.
So, I'm flicking through the classifieds of The Echo and what do I see?
A 650cc BMW motorbike. 2001 model. Cheap.