For someone of 29 I have experienced a lot of firsts, but today was yet another one or two. Yep the first time I was catching the train in Sydney.
I landed in Sydney, hired a car to go and do a photo shoot with Gate Gourmet and Virgin Airlines, then McDonalds. I had imagined that being on the runway of the airport would be as strict as it was when I did the Armaguard photo shoot, but this was nothing like it. With a lanyard and vest I could go almost anywhere I wanted!
The photo shoot was fun and so different from anything else I had done. These trucks traveled 1.6km each way from the depot to the airport and went through 9 sets of lights and sometimes this took 2 hours! I don’t think Darren from Reinkes or Steve Grahame would be too keen to drive a truck there! And vice versa, I don’t think these guys would have the knowledge to drive where the bush people drive. It gave a totally new meaning to truck driving.
McDonald’s was awesome and I scored a free coffee and wrap for breakfast. To learn about how McDonald’s support the agriculture industry was fascinating.
I dropped my car back at the airport and caught the train to the CBD to change to another train to head out to the show grounds. Note to self; don’t ever attempt to catch the train in peak hour. Non-peak hour was bad enough with two bags!
At Sydney show I was greeted and chauffeured around by none other than Ge-off Cochrane. Yes the bush guy with the bullocks and who runs around the desert like a mad man evading police and shooting wild pigs. (That’s a story for another day, or maybe one of those stories that stays on tour!) Ge-off is on the board of the show society and I hardly recognised him in a suit. He showed me around the show then let me loose to explore. To which I went straight back to a shop with boots as he had informed me I had to go to the council chambers for lunch, and I didn’t have appropriate footwear.
I caught up with a few cattlemen I knew showing cattle there and headed up to the council chambers for lunch. I felt like royalty as I watched the horse events below on the oval.
The next day I had to be up early to photograph the show steers being loaded out by Richo’s Transport. A somber moment for the school kids as their pets headed off to slaughter. A destiny they know from the beginning but it doesn’t make it any easier when the time comes. But they know it is all part of the process.
I spent the rest of the day wandering around the show, managed to pick up the flu in the process and then headed to the airport to fly to Townsville.
At Townsville I picked up a car from a friend and finished the photo shoot for Emerald Carrying Company with their 100th Kenworth, a 509, the same model of truck that I had learnt to drive in! I then completed a photo shoot with 40 Winks and managed to get my cameras cleaned before driving up to Cairns for the night. The 5-hour drive included a car swap as the car I was driving lost all power so I waited for another one to come in the heat with no air-conditioning.
But the next day was brilliant with a really cool Bedford truck that had been turned into a bar. I was headed to a wedding to photograph this truck in action. The humidity was extreme and my camera fogged up every time I got out of the car to take photos but I managed and cut a track back to Townsville through some not so fun flash storms.
A quick drink with the Josselyn’s, I swapped cars and was on my way south. I had a date with a library truck at Ball Bay the next morning at 9am. And what a truck, and what made me smile more, is a lady drove it.
Rockhampton bound I got an email from Gate Gourmet to say that there are some issues with what is portrayed in the images I took and I needed to reshoot. In 30 minutes flat, they had booked me flights back to Sydney to re-shoot as soon as I got into Brisbane, Easter Friday, but I didn’t care. You gotta do what you gotta do!
Making good time I contacted the hay carters in Rocky and arranged to do their photo shoot that afternoon rather than the next day. I had to have the car I was driving back in Brisbane by 3pm the next day before the shop shut, so this was buying me some time.
A few bottles of bubbly over dinner with friends in Rocky that night and I could see the end of my journey in sight.
A day trip back to Sydney before picking up my trailer and finally stopping, my flu which I had been evading with Cold and Flu tablets, struck hard and I was bed bound for a day with no voice and no desire to live. Something tells me it was the universe telling me it was time to stop!
But the idea of being office bound for the next 6-8 weeks didn’t really excite me at all. It can’t all be fun and games though. And so I knuckled down and got to business pulling it all together.
Talent releases, company approvals, logo approvals, proof reading, writing, and page designing, there was plenty to be done.