It’s a long weekend, so of course it’s the perfect opportunity for a trip to the farm, with all the boys. Even though they’ve done this thousands of times, planning the trip required phone calls back and forth. First Juzza would call Doc. Then Ado would. Then Juzza would call Ado, then Ado would call Doc again. Then of course Doc would have to call Juzza, and so on and so forth. Back and forth it went. Plans were made, timetables set. It took on all the precision of the search for MH370, with exactly the same outcome.
They decided when they were all leaving (Thursday morning, they’d all take the day off work), what cars they were taking (4x4s, the track through the farm would probably be muddy), what work needed to be done (the new tank stand needed propping up), and who was bringing what (I still can’t decipher that one), and then it all went wrong. Doc came home from work Tuesday and advised that he had to work Thursday morning. Just for a couple of hours. He’d be home by 9 o’clock, 9.30 at the latest.
I’m sure you know what happened next. 11.45 Doc walked in the door. That’s OK, I thought, we can still be on the road by 12.30 and get there in daylight. Everything’s packed up, the trailer’s ready, all we need to do is put our bags & the food into the car, then Doc can have a shower and we can go.
Can somebody please explain to me what on earth men do in the bathroom, and why do they always have a go at women about the time we take? Men don’t wear make-up, don’t shave their legs or blow dry their hair. Doc didn’t have a shave. So how can it possibly take so long to get ready? It seemed like an eternity, but finally – at 2pm – we got on the road.
And we hadn’t had lunch.
As we always do now driving out of the street, we started reciting the ‘things we need to bring’ list. Sleeping bags. Check. Guns. Check. Correct ammunition, bolts and magazines. Check. Spotlight. Check. Water. check. Food. Check. Coffee. Check. Don’t laugh, these are all things we have forgotten on previous trips.
With all the rain we’ve had lately, and lots of sunshine in between we’d probably need to mow the lawn, so we had to stop for fuel, for the car and to fill up the jerry cans for the mower and the quads.
Half an hour along and I started getting desperate for a wee. All I could think of was my mother’s response every time we did this as kids “Why didn’t you go before we left?” So I kept my mouth shut. Like a true rational being, I kept drinking water, and my bladder got fuller and fuller. Finally, just after turning onto the Hume highway I couldn’t hold it any longer. “I need a wee” I said.
“Can you hold it?” Doc asked “Or do you want me to stop at the next servo?”
Not wanting to give in, I said I’d hold on. Then I changed my mind. Doc gave me a look, then he turned sheepish. “I’ll stop here” said Doc “I forgot to fill up the jerry cans when we stopped for fuel anyway.”
Another half hour along and it was Doc’s turn. “Are you hungry?” So we stopped at Goulburn for food. Having a chat over lunch it suddenly popped into both our heads and out of both our mouths at the same time “We forgot the camp oven”. Followed almost immediately by a simultaneous “Oh god, we’ll be buying matching trackies soon”.
A car fire (not ours) on the highway later I turned to Doc again “I forgot the soda water (for mojitos – this is luxury camping), can we stop somewhere please?”
Driving the final country road to the farm the sun was setting a brilliant purple and red over the hills. But Doc wouldn’t stop, by this stage all he wanted to do was get there.
Finally, we did. And got bogged driving through to the house. But that’s the subject of the next blog.