President's Report - July 2012

Greetings All,

I’m writing this column in the Qantas Club Lounge in Adelaide after spending two weeks travelling in South Australia, sadly not in a Pug. Needing to cover a fair bit of territory from the Coonawarra area in the south, to the Flinders Ranges and Andamooka opal field in the north, I rented a Corolla from Budget at Adelaide airport. It turned out to be a fairly well-travelled car - 50,000 km, which is getting towards the end of its life as a rental car. It also had quite a few minor paint chips and scratches, some of which I had to point out because they had not been documented on my contract. Not a great car, but it did the job. Cruise control would have been nice, though.

On picking up the car, I was asked where I was going – “North of Port Augusta?” the girl behind the desk asked. “Yes”, I said. At which point I was instructed that the insurance would be null and void if I had an accident after dark. “Don’t drive at night,” she said, and stamped the rental contract to say I had been told. As it happens, I had no need or inclination to drive after dark north of Port Augusta – too many hazards like roos, cows and emus, the latter being the worst because they have a habit of darting out in front of a vehicle with absolutely no warning. Bird brains!

Road side sign in South Australia Road side sign in South Australia

Things that I could not ignore in South Australia were the large road signs with a message saying “DON’T DRIVE LIKE A….” then a picture to indicate the final word. I saw three versions of the sign, two of which are shown here. The third showed a picture of what I would call a rooster, but I suspect it was meant to be a TURKEY. In case you cannot decide what the other two pictures are, they are KNOB and WANKER. All very amusing…

Meanwhile back in Canberra, there is another Pug in our driveway – youngest son Geoff has bought a low mileage 505 GTi. The odometer says about 137,000 km, and it just might be genuine. Hard to know in a car that is 27 years old, but it drives well and is very tidy inside and out. The sunroof even works! Geoff has been studying in Japan for 12 months and is returning home this month, so the 505 awaits his imminent arrival.

At the time of writing, the annual club Bastille Day celebration is still a few days away – lunch at Le Très Bon Restaurant in Bungendore. A full report on that will appear in the August issue of Roar.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad