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28 September 2013

Where's Holbrook??????

The road trip to Melbourne usually involves stopping at the same places each trip. Each and every landmark on the way comes its own memories and triggers.  For example Bookham reminds me of my Dad.  Holbrook reminds me of The Castle. That's an actual castle. Not the film!!  

Jugiong reminds me of the purple fields. Filled with the evil noxious weed Patterson's Curse. My family know all about this weed. It nearly killed my old thoroughbred Tickles. Lucky for him he had a tough constitution and the death of my friend's horse alerted us to the danger and the epidemic sweeping the paddocks of Canberra. My Dad was largely responsible for getting the weed under control in Australia. As I've said, he's one of the smartest people I know. He and his legal team fought the bee keepers who were only thinking of themselves, and not what the weed was doing to the country, and successfully fought off their challenge in Court so that CSIRO could continue to introduce the weevils that would destroy it as a real menace to the country. His trips took him away to Adelaide where the legal battle was being fought. 

Around Wodonga I find myself not looking at the exit signs until we pass a few exits. Chiltern reminds me of semi trailers. Lots of them. And a fatal truck accident that closed the highway for hours. My grandma used to tell me of anger terrible accident at that town which left dad a bit traumatised. Cattle all over the road. Glen Rowan reminds me of the daffodils. 

Now that I am the driver, with my kids in the car, we are creating our own little landmarks. These 8 hour drives are becoming slightly easier to handle. I am doing so many of them. I look forward to this situation changing though. 

We normally always stop at the Submarine at Holbrook. I've made many a phone call from there, while my children ran along the top of it under my watchful eye. And sent many messages. This trip we did plan t stop there. By we missed it!!!  All of a sudden the signs were saying Albury. We had driven past no castle. Ad we realise the bypass must be finished. And that is the biggest milestone. For the very first time in my life I have driven the Hume Highway between Canberra and Melbourne completely on divided road. And that's a pretty big thing. 

The Grand Final has started and is on the television here at the roadhouse.   I pause to watch for a moment, and think of the Sydney Swans last year. I'm a bit of an underdog girl. And I hate Hawthorn. Always have. Go Freemantle. As if you could pick a brown jumper end team over a purple team anyway....  That's just silly isn't it. 

I prepare to set off again. We have an hour left until we reach the serene paddocks of Murchison. Last time I was there Marg said I wasn't allowed to wait out on the driveway. She's a great person. It will be odd not seeing that beautiful brown mare, who's eyes soften when she saw me, and pricked her ears at my voice. Things change. ABBA's I Have a Dream plays. And Dan still looks after us. The Carnival is coming. Can you feel it?? And have you missed it?.

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