It is a kind of nowhere, famous for nothing at all and has an appeal because of just that.
― Robert M Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
So it’s October, not quite officially even mid-October, and the Christmas merchandise has begun to appear. Oh what joy. Summer holidays approach.
You see, here on The Rock, the murky muddying overlap of festive season with silly season becomes dazzlingly clear as the invasion begins. And silly prevails. Forget popping in to town unless it’s 5.00 am, as the number of cars far exceeds the number of places to park. Abandon hope of finding edamame for that Asian salad: the freezer section is chockfull of Papa Guiseppi and potato gems. And don’t even consider looking for a pinot gris to complement the salmon because strawberry-kiwi-pine cider and choc-banana cruisers seemingly proliferate as they fight for shelf space with Redbacks, Bluetongues and Pure Blondes.
This weekend we get our pre-summer training. Thousands of balding or grey-haired, genuine non-retro Ray-Ban, Levi 501 , black-t-shirt, and leather wearing dudes will descend upon The Rock for a major motor-sport event and take over our not-so-tidy town. They’ll be paying way too much to stay in non-atmosphere-controlled shoebox-sized beach shacks, packing the fish ‘n chip shop, and talking way too loudly about what a relief it is to be having a break from the old ball and chain as they tap tap tap away at messages to said ball and chain.
Shiny black and silver beasts with Harley-style handle bars, or even cheeky sidecars, will rumble along our pot-holed main street, revving menacingly at the round-abouts as their what-middle-aged-crisis-? owners seek out somewhere to stop that will both maximise impact on passers-by and minimise walking distance to a take-away coffee. Sons of Anarchy helmets will belie the allegiances of the wearers. These are some mean mofos in Oroton undies.
Our cliff-top abode is about a kilometre as the great grey gull flies from the track. So, if today’s Antarctic blasts continue, we won’t hear a thing. But if they abate, the drone of super-charged mosquitoes will float over the cow-dotted hill to underscore this weekend’s activities. Mind you, albeit not significantly enough to challenge the refrains of the near-constant activity of Lawn Mower Man (aka Dr Dad the cowboy accountant).
Sticky-beaking strangers will routinely invade our unmade dead-end street. The afterglow of too many LED-campfires will sour the milkiness of the Milky Way. And there will be a sudden increase in the number of wallabies wearing ear-muffs. But to be honest, it’s pretty much only a gentle-jog-around-the-block kind of training run for the Christmas crazies.
Seventy-two days to go…