You might remember that just before Christmas, my mate Auntie Mickey and I went urban exploring on the Putty Road. One of the more amazing things we discovered was The Bus, and the many rumours that swirled around the life of the lady who lived there, all alone in the strangest place.
One of my awesome readers did some research on the Bus resident and owner. A huge thank you to Mark, who wrote this post.
Desiree was born in England in 1925. She lost the lower part of a leg in a motorbike accident when young. Sort of unusual for a lady in England back then. Emigrated to Australia in 1953. I think she was a nurse?
She was on the electoral roll in 1963, but there is nothing after that. We don’t know what she did till the late 70′s or early 80′s when she turned up at Darkey Creek. She must have been in her sixties then. She guarded her place well. The Department of Motor Registry (DMR) workers used to know her back then, and she had some friends around the area who called in. That Austin 1800 car was hers- it was a real money pit. I would say it was burnt in one of the bushfires at some time.
I have traveled the Putty Rd for 30 years or so and there was always a light on in the night, and smoke coming from her chimney. She was proud of her garden and kept the little area well. If you looked carefully, just about every square meter is laid with black drip feed pipe. She had a pump, generator, washing machine, etc; so she was set up OK.
She had her veggie-patch and some dogs. I have been through the Putty Road when that area was alight with fire on both sides of the road. She must have fought the bushfires single handed. The DMR or the council tried to evict her for many years and she handed them their arse on a platter every time; one smart lady. I met her briefly once and she was a cranky old lady. Not to talkative at all.
When I stopped there the bus had been empty for some time. Why they tossed all her stuff out I don’t know. I think a man moved in there for a while but didn’t stay long. All the rubbish at the bus was from him as Desiree kept the place tidy. As I said, she had a lot to put up with. Truck drivers stopping to proposition her for sex. Hoons in cars firing guns over the bus at night. I know someone who called at the bus after she moved and found her diary. Her family back in the UK had been trying to trace her for a fair while. So he sent her diary over to them. I have been in touch with her niece.
When I called in the creek was dry with a stagnant pool, so it must have been tough for her sometimes. I found a damp folder amongst the stuff strewn around with x-rays from 2004 to 2008; she had some problems alright. I know in the end she stood out on the road for 3 hours with her thumb out in the hot sun trying to get a lift into town. How hard would that be for a frail 80 year-old?
Anyway, I would say she just got too ill and went into a nursing home. She was only in there for a short while till she passed away. I am going to go back to the bus soon, and if you just sit on her little cement seat for a while you can imagine how peaceful and nice it must have been. I think this sums her up nicely.
There is a lot to her obscure story and I am trying to find out about her life… one interesting lady.