TALK OF THE NORTH

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - Townsville Bul­letin Tues­day, March 29, 2011

Townsville se­cret agent re­vealed

THERE is a spy among us and his name is Denyer, Tony Denyer. The well-known Townsville long dis­tance run­ner and ocean swim­mer’s se­cret was outed at his 60th birth­day party on Satur­day.

Long-held spec­u­la­tion that our man was a se­cret agent a few decades ago in Iraq were con­firmed by his wife Sharon and in­deed by the man him­self af­ter a sherry or two at Satur­day night’s soiree. Tony was over there as as agri­cul­tural sci­en­tist help­ing the Iraqis grow wheat. He was work­ing with the Kurds in north­ern Iraq and reg­u­larly had to re­port to the em­bassy in down­town Bagh­dad with any news on troop move­ments, talk of revolt, sight­ings of weapons of mass de­struc­tion, all that sort of thing.

His code name was Golden Plover and he wore a white linen suit and a sweat stained cream coloured panama hat. He had a Walther PPK pis­tol ( James Bond’s weapon of choice) tucked away in a shoul­der hol­ster un­der his left armpit. Well, the code name, the cloth­ing and the pis­tol are all pure spec­u­la­tion on my part, but it sounds kinda cool. He’s too mod­est for his own good, is our Tony. And, no, he didn’t have a fountain pen that fired a .22 bul­let or shoes that dou­bled as phones with a di­rect link to Can­berra. When it came to gad­gets, it was all trac­tors, ploughs and fer­tiliser spread­ers. RE­CRUIT­ING: Townsville ocean swim­mers are look­ing for

new mem­bers

Ahoy . . . are you a TOSSA?

THE Townsville Ocean Surf Swim­ming As­so­ci­a­tion’s Mr Denyer and his pal Phillip Beard are on the hunt for new mem­bers. The rea­son they are on a mem­ber­ship drive is mostly due to the fact that they are the only TOSSAs in town. Not ev­ery­one wants to be a TOSSA. The num­ber one rea­son they don’t is that these blokes love noth­ing bet­ter than a brisk early morn­ing swim from Mag­netic Is­land to the main­land with­out the pro­tec­tion of shark cages. It’s an open break­fast in­vi­ta­tion to the res­i­dent Noahs. So far our two boys have stayed off the menu. And blokes look­ing for love in their life might like to note that beach babes just can’t re­sist a TOSSA. If you don’t be­lieve it, check out the poster.

Su­per moons say a wet Easter

WEATHER watch­ers know that we are in a cy­cle of su­per moons. These are the flood moons. Floods this year have co­in­cided with su­per moons on Fe­bru­ary 2 and March 19 as they did in 1955 and 1974. The next su­per moon is April 18. It could mean a wet Easter.

His cue in the rack

HEARD a term I’d never come across be­fore over the week­end. A bloke was talk­ing about a lo­cal iden­tity who was some­thing of a play­boy in his younger days. His days as a Lothario are well and truly over and now he much prefers a good novel or a nap un­der a shady tree to pur­su­ing fair damsels over hill and dale. ‘‘ What’s hap­pened to him then?’’ Asked one mem­ber of the group, alarmed that their old mate might be in de­cline. ‘‘ Oh, noth­ing much wrong with him. He’s just got his cue in the rack,’’ the bloke telling the story replied.

Wa­tery whirly­bird

IF you are think­ing of putting a whirly­bird cool­ing de­vice up on your roof, the word is, don’t. They are a weak link in a cy­clone. Once they come off, your roof is open to the el­e­ments. The word out there in Yasi land is ‘‘ spend the money on ex­tra in­su­la­tion’’.

Affordable Air­lie

A SURE sign that the North’s tourism econ­omy is flatlin­ing are the deals cur­rently avail­able at Air­lie Beach. Air­lie has al­ways been an ex­pen­sive place to stay even when we were be­ing told that the tourism in­dus­try was in t e r m i n a l d e c l i n e . While the in­dus­try chiefs cri ed doom and gloom and bar­gains abounded at C a i r n s a n d P o r t Dou­glas, Air­lie was al­ways pricey. You could go on to the Wo­tif ac­com­mo­da­tion site and would be hard pressed to find a deal at Air­lie. That was then. The cur­rent pinch must be hurt­ing as there are now some good deals to be had. Even the is­lands are of­fer­ing some cork­ers. Cu­ri­ous, I phoned the lux­u­ri­ous Waters Edge apart­ments high up up on Air­lie’s ‘‘ Lego Land’’ to see what they had on of­fer. There are some big dis­counts.

Nightly dis­counts ap­ply, but for three nights you get 30 per cent off which brings the cost down from $ 210 a night to $ 147. That’s f or t he unit, not per per­son.

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