May 05, 2006


Like everyone else, we got out of the Burbs for the Easter break. Like everyone else, we packed up the Landcruiser and headed down souf. Camping was the accommodation of choice for the dogs and us this time. We looked in our little camping book, picked a spot on the beach, and hit the road… along with everyone else.

I love camping and I love getting away from where I live for a bit. I like being able to hang about in my play-clothes for a few days, and not having to wash my hair everyday. But getting away to go camping is a bit of a fag to be honest. Here is our small litany of ‘getting away for Easter disasters’.
  • Other half wakes up at 5.00am – can’t sleep and starts doing some work (for those who know him- yes it is true – I too was shocked). I keep snoozing. I wake up around 7 – fired up about packing the Landcruiser full of shit and taking it ALLLL down souf with us. The BurberKing is still at work and I am peeved – its holiday time – work should be out the window. This ridiculous work thing ends about 10 and now we are behind schedule in the rush to GET AWAY…

  • While packing, I tune into the ABC on the wireless. I love Aunty, but not today. The ABC is camped outside of Lake Clifton Roadhouse broadcasting horror stories of road deaths and the Easter Road Toll, and people speeding in their cars (presumably to GET AWAY). The radio people go on and on and on about everyone driving carefully and not speeding and the cops ‘ll get ya if ya do! My parents are also trying to get away and this radio show is freaking my mum out. I get a phone call from her, panicked about the likelihood that we are all going to DIIIIE as we drive down south to GET AWAY. I’m still packing, so am not as concerned as yet.

[I will note, though, that the people getting caught speeding and being killed in accidents over the Easter period were all locals of the country towns in which they were caught/killed. Residents of the Burbs were all tuned into the ABC and clearly aware of the dangers of GETTING AWAY. The locals were listening to their tape decks.]

  • We’re packed! Dogs, all our shit, and us. Off we go. Get 20 minutes down the road and we’ve forgotten the towels, and the cooking gear. How are we? Now we have to stop at Target in Mandurah to get some new ones.
  • No pictures to share with you, as we forgot the camera. It was sitting on top of the towels.
  • Nothing to drink. Forgot the red wine bottles sitting very close to the towels and camera. (Obviously not a problem. Stocked up on half a dozen of Peter Lehman’s finest whilst hubby filled up the car)
  • Back on the road. Tuned into the ABC again. By now this scare campaign is humorous and I cannot let it go.

  • As the traffic starts to bank up, we turn left for the relative isolation of the Albany Highway. It’s a good trip down, not too busy, we’re cruising along, enjoying the talkback. We drive for 4 hours or so with barely a hold up in the traffic flow, until we get to the outskirts of Albany.

Has anyone else got an opinion on the sometimes questionable usefulness of the State Emergency Service volunteers? I have an opinion and it was reinforced by the traffic jam they caused outside of Albany. They successfully brought to a complete dead stop - along a stretch of highway with a speed limit of 110 kph - the migration of hundreds of Burbs residents and road train drivers so that they could put their hands into the windows of vehicles and deliver a little showbag telling everyone on the roads about the importance of road safety.
What were they on? Road safety indeed.

I wanted to deliver them a little pressie of my own…I can’t imagine what the truckies thought.

  • Blah blah blah we find a camping spot. It’s brilliant. We set up in the dusk, have some dinner, and some wine. A little walk down to the beach in the full moon. We are AWAY.
  • Next day. We fill the Landcruiser up with diesel. BurberKing goes to pay and has lost visa card. Must have left it at Target when buying the forgotten towels. Have to ring some poor bastard in a bank phone centre on Good Friday and report it lost.
  • Saturday. Go surfing and fishing. This was our first time fishing. I kid you not. We bought a $30 all-in-one rod and reel and tackle fishing rod kit. We were fired up. You should have seen the other fishing rods along the beach. They were a bit larger than ours…We had to have a go at fishing, as we live by the beach and all. I didn’t hold out much hope of catch. But wonders never cease and the BurberKing reeled in a fantastic specimen. We were very excited, jumping up and down, now that we had successfully HUNTED and CAUGHT something. I didn’t see any other anglers on the beach raving about like we were, but maybe they were not as impressed by their occasional catches of tiny sand whiting as we were of ours. It was a little wee thing, and we sent it back to the sea. We threw the steaks we bought on the barbie instead.
  • Easter Sunday. This day starts well, listening to Macca in the morning on the ABC, with the rain heading in and BurberKing’s stepmother is on national radio wishing everyone well. That was surreal. Go driving for the day. Discover one of the dogs has a tick, no – two, no - three ticks. There are ticks all over the beast. Panic. Have heard ticks send small dogs into paralysis. Much like the time I had pityriasis rosea just before my wedding, I take on board all the rumour and non-fact based comment about the affects of ticks on a small dog. This caused quite a trauma as I thought ‘mon bon chien’ was going to become paralysed and die. (thats French for ‘my good dog’ and is also the name of a boloungerie in Paris that bakes and sells canine biscotti– a dog bakery. Paris is mint. Fin Review 5.5.6) Even BurberKing noticed the dog looked a little tired…After 4 frantic calls to Emergency Vet numbers that never answered and didn’t return my calls, a call to a friend on a farm that had a veterinary dictionary (was waiting for the instruction to shoot the poor thing) and a quick squiz on the internet, we concluded that the dog would not be dying from the ticks that had nibbled into him. Phew. Drama at an end. Waste of a day worrying and running about. Went back to camp and got pissed.
  • Easter Sunday night. Wrote letter to Macca in the Morning. Laughed ourselves silly at our attempts to imitate the oh-so-Aussie tone of the program. Stay tuned and I’ll post that little beauty.
  • Monday – pack up and go home. That’s a whole day. Shave the dogs to weed out any last ticks.

  • Take Tuesday off exhausted from traumatic getting away.