Story telling from Australia
I met Prince Charles in Longreach last year. I was going to tell him all about the organic vegetable garden I’m struggling to grow in Broken Hill. ‘I’m a fan,’ I was planning to say. ‘You and me Charles, we understand organics. When the rest of the world thought you were a freak for banging on about organic farming, I was with you all the way. You should see my strawberry patch, the size of my tomatoes, the juicy sweet perfection of my peaches.’
Longreach sweltered under a cloudless sky that day and a hot wind sent dust swirling around our feet. It was just like Broken Hill. And suddenly there he was, HRH with his twinkling eyes ready to enjoy whatever nugget of conversation I could squeeze into four seconds. ‘Your Royal Highness,’ I mumbled. Then I panicked, stuttered something about working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and watched his eyes glaze over. Everyone who was there that day worked for the RFDS. ‘Marvellous,’ he said and moved on.
Back in Broken Hill a passing storm dumped two inches of rain, a rare event that rinsed the garden clean. When I got home the strawberries were glistening in ripe swollen clusters.
If only I could have told HRH about them.