Future Charts will be available later this evening. We apologize for the delay.
UPDATE: Here's the complete non-trading story. Our magnificent friend Mighty the dog who was huge in love, loyalty, intelligence and bravery and mighty in everything except size (he was a part Fox terrier rescued from the RSPCA in Taupo, New Zealand) passed away at almost 16 years of age after being a blessing to us for almost all of his life. Naturally we were devastated. Animal lovers know that losing a great and old friend is akin to a death in the family. Mighty's friend Mina, also an RSPCA NZ rescue has been deeply depressed since he left us as indeed has Mrs N. So, 3 months later I thought it was time to move on and was browsing the RSPCA website in Australia where we now live. Suddenly a picture of a little 2 month old puppy peered back at me with the most dazzling blue eyes. Mrs N who has been robustly refusing to consider a new arrival ( she carries Mighty's collar in her handbag) suddenly showed some interest. The only problem was that he was at the RSPCA rescue centre at Orange in SW NSW (that's another State in this huge country folks) and according to Google maps a mere 1200 kms and 11 hours away. And this was Saturday midday!
Nothing daunted I reved up the old Toyota Landcruiser Prado, fired up the equally ancient Sat Nav and headed South on the New England Highway A15. Days are short here in SE Quensland but I plowed on until 9PM where I found a convenient roadside motel at Glen Innes. Basic but good value at $65. 4AM saw me back on the road with the heater on full blast. And then the kangaroo dodging started. Folks who haven't experienced the joys of Australian country life will not know that these animals either a) spear across the blacktop in full flight and are quite likely to hit you in their panic or b) wander onto country roads to lick up the dew. And at 100kph in a big heavy 4 wheel drive truck, evasion tactics are far from a specialty. Single or double lane country roads are no picnic and even our interstates are just mostly a 2 lane blacktop. Particularly with a nice dose of fog so the roos appear literally seconds before you see them. Having miraculously avoided 3 of them (these guys are big and will severly damage your vehicle if you hit them, not to mention the fate of the unfortunate animals) I can attest that my heart is still in great shape as all of these encounters plus one with a far nimbler fox and a very slow hedgehog really qualify as heart stopping moments. Through Armidale and Tamworth in the dark and down to Werris Creek where my Sat Nav which is elderly and hasn't had a map update as I simply don't know anything of technology, signalled a sharp right turn towards parts unknown. That took me on a 2 hour trek across the breeza plains to Narrabri on mostly a 1 lane country road where I saw just 2 other vehicles in that 200km run. I can't tell you anything else about them as they simply loomed as weak blurs of headlights from out of the mist and in a flash they were gone! Scary isn't the word for it. Having prayed for the light so that I could at least see the roos, the mist made visibility even less. On these huge fertile farming areas there is literally not a house or a light in sight for hours. Taking a cross country drive in outback Australia really brings home the message that Oz is a BIG country.
Eventually I arrived in Orange a large regional town without further incident after a 14 hour high speed trip where at well over the 110km speed limit on these deserted roads you really are the slow coach of whatever other vehicles you see. And literally you can drive for an hour or more without seeing another soul, and yes, the Landcruiser really does 1100ks + between refills on its dual fuel tanks.
So 3PM Sunday at the RSPCA rescue centre to see our new friend who was actually 3 months old (best guess) and beautiful, fiesty and a bundle of energy with the most piercing blue eyes. Allegedly this at yet unnamed pup is a husky/whippet cross but how the mechanics of that came about I can only guess! So after doing the inevitable paperwork for the adoption I couldn't contemplate the return 14 hours after Saturday's drama filled 9 hour run. Let me tell you that Google Maps may think they know the best routes but this says nothing about the roads, remoteness and terrain. I checked into the Quality Inn at Orange seeking just a tad more comfort than the previous night and indeed got a really nice room several levels better than Friday's accomodation and priced accordingly. I battled on with the Forex charts and sent them to Terry before exhaustion set in and hence the delay in producing your Futures charts. I thought I would upscale for my Saturday night stay and Quality Inn offered a bar (badly needed) and restaurant which would be a welcome change from McDonalds drive through. Murphy's Law prevailed when the lady at reception told me the bar was not open and nor was the restaurant. Apparently Sunday evening in Orange is not buzzing in that part of town at least. So with some trepidation I scoured the town to end up at a promising curry joint which allowed Murphy to strike agaim. The paratha was great but the vindaloo not so much.
The earliest I could collect the new pup was 8:30 so I hit the hotel restaurant for breakfast at 7AM. No chef so no munchies. The lady said she could make me a coffee to go but then discovered that she had no tops for the mugs so that made the golden arches favourite again. The trials and tribulations of a 15 hour non stop run home with very active puppy aboard are too painful to describe here but we made it home by midnight. And that is why your Futures charts were a day late. For those of you who may one day find themselves traversing the great Australian outback by night, here's the tip. Find a fast truck and lock in behind him. Might cost you some time but at least you will have some peace of mind. Next tip: Whatever Google maps thinks, stick with your Sat Nav. That is at least until you are in the Gold Coast hinterland Northern approaches where I saw the startling signs "Ignore Sat Nav. Bridges washed away (Cyclone Debbie 2 months ago) follow signs". UGH!! Pitch dark; middle of the night and no idea where I was. Just like the old days before we had the joys of tech. Message: Always have a paper map in your car. Tech is a two way sword.