This weekend, I finally found out what it’s like to be an Olympic swimmer. Not that I was swimming faster than a turbo-charged Marlin. Rather, I experienced what it would be like swimming up and down the pool hour after hour, fixating on that never-ending black line.
You see, we’ve been cast in an excruciatingly long horror movie driving up and down the Pacific Highway and we’ve been fixating on the broken white line for eternity. Indeed, I can barely remember what it was like to set foot on terra firma and roam free.
Indeed, I’ve been looking at this broken white line and the dull grey bitumen for so long, that they’ve now become permanently imprinted on my retinas. My goodness I’ll be seeing the world through road-coloured lenses for the rest of my life.
Well, you might ask why on earth any sane person would be driving two thousand kilometres over an extended weekend. It was my Sister-In-Law’s sixtieth birthday. I know it probably sounds crazy to drive that far for the weekend. However, we didn’t even think twice. It’s what we do. We love her and the smile on her face was more than worth it. Besides, we had a wonderful time gallivanting around between Byron Bay’s lush green hinterland, admiring the Gold Coast’s glitzy bright lights and savouring high tea Queensland style in Mudgereebah. With a name like that, you could only be in Australia.
What with all this driving, it’s only natural to ask why ecstasy is so fleeting, while tedium lasts forever.
I don’t know.
However, before you start accusing me of being a miserable glass-half-empty sod, I’m hoping we could possibly devise some kind of mechanical lever, which could permanently change the tide. Switch over to a perpetual paradise with only very fleeting, intermittent commercial breaks from all those undesirables…boredom, sadness, grief, pain.
It would be such a relief. If only I could access that lever right now and leave all of that far behind.
However, what we’re needing right now, is an oversized variation of Dr Who’s fabulous flying machine, the Tardis. That way, we’d only have to drive in, park and the next thing, we’d instantly arrive home. I had considered converting the car into a modernised Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. However, after my application to add supersonic power was denied, I had to change tack. After all, Chitty barely flies faster than Donald Duck and I want to get home NOW!!
However, I can dream on. We still have 3 hours to go and the hours are getting longer and longer, the closer we get to home. My goodness! We’ve all developed an unhealthy interest in road signs, as the agonisingly slow countdown continues. Nowhere near home, we’re either driving through dull green pastures or eucalypt forest and not one of us is asking: “Are we there yet?” We know. The end is nowhere in sight!
Anyway, we can’t complain too much about the drive. The car is decked out like a mobile entertainment centre. The kids have their electronics, books, colouring-in devices and snacks. You could even call it “fun”. I’ve actually managed to read Roald Dahl’s James & The Giant Peach and Danny Champion of the World as we’ve been driving up and back. Obviously, I’d be getting through my book pile a hell of a lot faster, if we did more of these interminable drives…as long as I was a passenger.
Thank goodness I don’t get car sick.
However, then the sun set and the story changed considerably.
Although we’ve had glorious sunny weather, which would be considered Summer in so many other parts of the world, the day length has been cut brutally short and the sun is setting around 5.00PM. This has left us with two hours of travelling in the dark. Even though my daughter and I both tried capturing all available street and moonlight to read, we soon gave up. The kids’ electronics were flat and so we had to do the old fashioned thing and talk to each other. Develop the fine art of conversation.
I took it as an opportunity to get them talking about their holiday, a precursor to writing their grandparents an old-fashioned letter. “What would you tell your grandparents about what you’ve been up to?” I asked.
When they weren’t saying very much, I launched off with my account. Then, my daughter said that I’d said everything and she had nothing more to add. Hence, she was silent.
All these gurus advising you to spend time listening to your children need their heads read. All I can think of is that infamous quote about NOT working with children and animals!
I was tempted to launch a round of I Spy but we’re all a bit over it. All we wanted to spy was our drive way and our puppy dogs.
Aside from catching up with family and having some fabulous conversations with people we met, here’s a brief photographic snap shot from the trip:
Hope you enjoyed our trip without having to endure the drive!