Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Ms d'Alpuget said she was inconsolable, and considered stabbing Mr Hawke in the chest or shooting him, before she came to her senses.
"I was devastated in a way I'd never experienced before," Ms d'Alpuget said.
"At first, I wanted to kill myself, but after a couple of days, I knew that what I really wanted was to kill Bob.
"It was only the thought of my son, Louis, that held me back and, finally, brought me to reason."
Talk about being frank. I wonder how he feels hearing her talk about that. It's not just a general "oh, I really felt like killing him"... that's a full-on I planned to do it, and here's how.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
This roadtrip was to move all our stuff back from Perth. Including the car itself. Which was easiest done by driving the car. With the stuff. Strange, I know. Moving on...
This is Australia. On the map we used to get from one side to the other. Which, considering there is one road through the desert, is really not that essential. Until you get to the South Australia bit. Where you spend most of your time trying to work out the fastest way through the state without stopping. Because you are convinced you are going to be killed. By serial killers. Especially when you drive through Snowtown. Which we did on our way from Melb - Perth, but not this time on our way back from Perth - Melb. Because the first time we did it it was only my love for the dog, who was with us on that journey, that stopped me from declaring us all dead at the border and killing ourselves to make it quicker.
This guy is our mascot. He drove both ways across the country. First time around he was on our grill, this time he was on top of the giant bucket on our roof rack. Bug wise, I'm pretty sure he fared worse on the way back. But notice he is still bravely snarling into the face of all that bug danger? Oh yeah. He's ready for another round. He could do it all again...
These signs are posted at intervals on the road. They are meant to indicate that there are no fences on the side of the road, which means you're more likely to find wild things wandering on to the roads. They don't need the signs. You can tell when there are no fences. Firstly, you can't see any fences. Secondly, you can see dozens of dead kangaroos by the side of the road. They've been hit by trucks. It's horrible, but they are everywhere. On our last trip we managed to drive for ages, and we always hit motels or roadstops before dark. This time we drove in winter. The days were shorter, so it got dark before we reached the nearest motel one night. We started keeping hyper-alert for kangaroos. If you're going to hit one, it will be at night when they move in the cool air and when you can't see them coming. Which is what almost happened. We were travelling well under the speed limit at 80km (which seems like a snail's pace when you're doing 110 all day as a minimum) and pointing out the small gatherings of kangaroos by the sides of the road. The fact that they congregate there, staring at you as you drive past, is eerie enough. When one appears, out of nowhere, in the middle of the road right by you and lurches towards the car at high speed... well that's just beyond scary. You hit a kangaroo, you die. Your car is a mangled wreck and you die. Lucky for me Himself was driving and he managed to swerve around it, accelerating rather than slowing. The exact opposite of what I would have done. To say my heart was in my mouth was an understatement. We were both pretty shaky after that. And we stopped extra early every night. Well before dark.
This was before we nearly hit the kangaroo. When the impending darkness was just the start of a beautiful sunset.
The colour of the sun going down at night is just crazy gorgeous.
If you're still driving, it takes forever as you drive towards the sun. It hangs, just on the edge, for an age.
Even in winter it gets really hot. The minute the sun has dropped down off the horizon you can feel the cold start to creep in.
And then the giant moon takes over the sky. When we drove Melb - Perth there was an eclipse happening, which was amazing to see over the desert. This time the moon was impossibly huge. It was so full it looked like gravity was pulling it back down. And yes, this is Himself peeing on the middle of the road. Apparently that's hugely liberating.
Mostly, this is the view. One long, straight road. It reaches infinity. When I try to explain to people how four or so days of non-stop driving through the desert is actually beautiful, even though the terrain never changes, they look at me like I'm crazy. I get it, really I do. It sounds boring. But it's really not. Things change reeeeaaaallllllyyyyy slowly. Like the colours in the sky throughout the day. Or the move from bushy shrubs to flat, slowly rolling dust.
Or the clouds rolling from one edge of the landscape until they fill the whole sky.
Or when the road starts to curve towards the beach, where you can pull off the road and stand on the edge of the bottom of the whole country. Sometimes you pull off the side of the road, just to have a break, and you listen. To nothing. Seconds later, your ears seem full of what used to seem like silence, but is now wind and insects and crackling of dust under your feet or birds moving somewhere you can't see.
Sometimes it really feels like you're not in the real world. It's just too isolated. Then one of these giant trucks with an even more giant piece of mining equipment roars past, and you realise you're not in the real world. At all. You are in Western Australia Mining Territory. Which is a very different place. And no, this photo doesn't do the size of the equipment justice. It. Is. Huge.
But of course there are far more important Big Things on the road. I'd love to travel the whole country stopping in the shade of Big Things. I have seen quite a few... but there are so many.
And we do so love travelling very long roads. Being completely isolated. Having to take bad one-arm-extended wobbly photos of ourselves. I can honestly say I wasn't bored the whole trip. We listened to terrible home made CDs with everything from jazz to lame 80s hip-hop. We took books on CD, but we didn't put them on once. Instead, we read aloud to each other. We read Crikey's Guide to the 2007 Federal Election, cover to cover, and worked our way through a collection of Agatha Christie short stories. It worked so well on the Melb - Perth trip that this time the Agatha Christie omnibus of Hercule Poirot short stories took us the whole way from one coast to the other. Even if I had a TARDIS, I'd still take the car and my companion...
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I'm pretty used to constant travelling after the past year. It's got good bits and bad bits, but this weird interaction with nameless, faceless people has to be one of the oddest parts. Last night, in the same room that the strange sound people are in, it was pretty quiet. Until late at night when someone woke up choking and spluttering, then continued to cough for hours. Then got up hours later, singing christmas carols in the shower. Christmas in July, anyone? It's kind of like sharehousing or living in an apartment block, but with a higher turnover. Nothing compares to having to share space on a plane though. That's probably the worst part of travelling, surely.
Oh yeah, and how excited am I at having a full 21 days in a row in one place? Which is in the state of Victoria. Oh yes, people, it's good times ahead. I'm going to the beach in winter. Yum. With an open fire place. Double yum. With MY DOG. Beyond yum. And a long visit from my dear friend and her beautiful son. Heaven. No other words. Heaven.
Did you enjoy my rant about how I can't think properly to post about all the actual stuff going on because I'm busy being distracted and am therefore posting about being distracted? All with the top news, here. Tune in tomorrow for a post about what I ate for lunch. Which will be toast, probably, so don't worry about checking in on the excitement. You can probably skip it. If you're busy. Which you probably are. Yeah.
Friday, July 04, 2008
If you think it would be fun for you, I hope to see you there. It's such a good idea!