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What happens with Stedleigh and Nigel when they fly up from Sydney to be met is that when the business they have in mind to do is done, then the inventory they have purchased must be organised for transport back to the the big smoke, and Steds and Nige have got to walk back through the Ballina airport wandsman as clean as two grubs with a bagfull of money could ever be, and nobody wants to lose a car. This why the boys fly.

And they don’t fly up from Sydney any old time, that event just happens about now, in the golden fruit season, when everything is picked and packed.

The transport arrangement for the inventory back to Sydney is a little informal, but honourable nonetheless. This is because the business settlement, when it takes place, takes about a weekend to conclude because everything is done with music and naked dancing. Wholesale with retail. Sometimes Sted scores here.  He can handle euphoria like a general. Nigel is the campfire man and he’s also the transport manager. He knows who drove in, where they parked, is their key in the car – and are they unconscious yet.

They have a driver at Suffolk Park arranged, he needs to get south, and after they scoop him up in the Suffo hotel carpark in the car they borrowed this morning very early without leaving a note, they all go to the airport. Then Nige and Sted, as mentioned, skate on through airside. The driver heads down the back of the hill to Sydney address xxx in a car that will never registered as stolen. With a load in. Sometimes he doesn’t ask to know; just when do I meet you, and you will have the double note you promised won’t you?

Guy needs help. This is what Nige and Sted do best, they help guys.


Best business is return business. The car in Sydney belongs back where it came from, so the boys have to find someone who will return an unregistered, most certainly uninsured, mechanically unsound and frugally maintained vehicle up to the north coast – in June – with Lennox Head maintaining a high ratio bomb rate known to all. They need a couple of guys who might have the time to get lost up on the Qld border for winter. Everybody’s here so why not.

‘Just drive it to the airport and leave it on the road in,’ they are told, ‘leave the keys inside under the passenger seat, and wind up the windows. Don’t leave it in the carpark ever. Cameras there. Get picked up, go for a wave. Happy days.’

Stedleigh knows how to promote a deal. All the owner has to do is come out of the hills and claim his wheels, there might even be enough gas left to get back home.

So here there are two cars today – so business must be booming – and both are as advertised, and two loads of Sydney boardriders are now out here helping with the crowds. Wouldn’t leave them parked out there in the dark too long though, Ballina isn’t nice that way.

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header pic by corey hamilton. airport pics by ahab.
hard core ballina noir fiction.

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