Home' Afloat : September 2013 Contents Take monthly with water September 2013 59
with Captain Chaos
cheese and sour
2 cups of flour
1 litre of milk
Prepare the pancake mix by throwing the
lot into the blender and when blended
pour the mixture into a container.
1 bunch cooked and drained spinach
250g sour cream
250g grated tasty cheese
Mix together and cook on high for two
minutes in microwave
Heat a dob of butter in a small pan, and
when hot add two large spoonfuls of
pancake mix. Turn once then toss on a
plate and fill with the spinach filling. Fold
Last month was one of the worst of
my life, I lost my lifelong-travelling
companion Little Person. After all
the adventures we had I was at a loss as
to how I could carry on.
The biggest adventure of LP's life was
Flatt's Café at Sofala and this story is the
start of the biggest project in our lives
Every time we went to Sofala we would
call on Old Pete's and his mother Pearl.
Pearl was in her late 80s. Little Person
and I would sit around talking. One of
the topics was the abandoned fibro and
weather board building next door which
used to house a small café and garage.
The building was run down and in a sorry
state and the blackberry bushes had grown
to ten feet high up against the walls and
had taken over the whole area down to
the Turon River at the back.
"Bob, you could re-open it as there's no
longer an eating place in the town," Pete
said wolfing down his pig's head brawn
sandwich. The bloke that owns it is Billy,
offer him $5,000. I think he'll take it."
Our boys had come though the door
and heard the last of the conversation,
they cheered and started to ask when was
I going to buy it because they had made a
few friends in the town.
"I can show you around," Pete said
leading us through the old panelled
interior door of the café that stood between
two long windows. We stepped into a small
room with a few 1950s style booths along
one wall and a wooden and glass counter
down the other. The room looked tired.
There were spiders webs everywhere.
Through the holes in the lino you could see
the old worn floorboards and newspaper.
Holding the building together were two
long steel rods that ran across the room
through the walls and were attached to
large metal plates on the outside. Going
through the back door we entered the
kitchen which had a large old caste iron
fuel stove built into the western wall and
some chairs and a table. No sink, but a
brass tap sticking out of the wall. This
brought water from the rain water tank
out the back,
Out of the kitchen we stepped into
another room which had two windows and
a huge open fire place. The old wooden
floor had pieces of tin covering the holes
and it sloped down to the back of the
building leaving a gap between the skirting
"Nothing a couple of car jacks wouldn't
fix," Pete said.
LP saw this room as our bedroom
Off the back of this room was a
flyscreen covered-in verandah where the
blackberry bushes had forced their way in
through the wire screens.
"Down there," Pete said, pointing
through the undergrowth towards the
river, "is the dunny. It's a good one, about
ten feet deep. We can cut a path to it but
you'll have to keep a lookout for snakes."
The garage was a surprise. It was full
of very strange-shaped cars, some had
large sharp metal teeth, others had saws
and swords sticking out of them at odd
angles. They were all painted with huge
eyes. The cars looked like something from
a horror movie.
"They're the cars from a film made
here. Peter Weir directed it and most of the
town featured in it -- The Cars That Ate Paris."
We fell in love with the place and later
called in to Billy's. We drank a lot of beer
and finally decided on $6,000.
The licensee and owner of the Sofala
Hotel was Mrs Farrell a small old woman.
She ran the pub with the help of her
daughter Sandy. Knowing the café had no
showers or for that matter no bathroom,
she said we were welcome to use the hotel
showers and toilets. That was a relief! We
became a familiar sight heading down to
the pub with a washing bag and a roll of
toilet paper at all hours of the day and
The first night we carried our bedding
into the back room and made our bed on
the floor in front of a roaring white box
fire. The boys camped in the room off to
the side. It was strange camping in an old
rundown shack; and both LP and I were up
and down throughout the night to check
on scratching noises and slivery sounds in
and around the garage. During the night
the rain came down in buckets and we
soon learnt where to place the buckets. I
also vowed to cut down the blackberries
all over the walls. The constant movement
of animal life we heard during the night in
those bushes was frightening.
Much later Flatt's Cafe became the
mosttalkedaboutcafe overthe mountains
and rose to getting two chef hats in The
Sydney Morning Herald.
All thanks to you Little Person.
Flatt's Café at Sofala
Flatt's Café, Sofala. From a painting by Bill O'Shea.
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