I'm sitting in the Olive Pink Gardens (view from Annie Meyer Hill right), eating my last bigilla before I head off on a road trip. That's right: how could I road trip begin without a fortifying breakfast.
The past week or so, a refrain of 'road trip, road trip' has been going in my head...now faced with the reality, I feel a little subdued. There has been a weekend of brunching and de-cluttering. The cats made themselves scarce, especially once the Dreaded Camping Gear appeared. That is, except for the Ancient Princess, who's scarcely aware of anything except the next feed (her hearing may have gone, but her sense of smell hasn't).
I've been given various sage pieces of advice about the trip south -- how it will clear my mind, lift the tension from my shoulders, help me to think in longer arcs. All of that. We'll see. I think it's a fitting way to ease myself out of the Centre: gradually. The other thing is: talking books. A road trip is always a great opportunity to fill your mind with longer narratives you wouldn't usually get a chance to read.
Over the past few days, I've run into some of the personalities I met when I first came to town ...in the way that one does in Alice (not always a welcome experience), but also fortuituously, like the rounding off of loose ends in a mini-series or like the re-appearance of obscure earlier characters at the end of a Dickens novel. One of the local identities I ran into was the 'desert queen', who brought me here (pictured left). When I told her I was travelling south, she said, 'Ah, you won't last in the Big Smoke. You'll be back.'
I had hoped to leave town before 9.30 am...it's now almost 10.00 am. I guess there's no screaming hurry to reach Coober Pedy tho I'd rather arrive before it gets dark (except to miss all those potholes). No, the cats aren't coming with me. I'm not that mad -- not driving 2,500 km with cats. I am driving the Getz, which has raised some eyebrows amongst my male friends, but I'm sure the Getz is up to it.
Anyway, I'm for the open road: