Thursday, March 26, 2009

There and Back Again

It's a ten-hour round trip from here to Albany on WA's south coast - hundreds of miles of road populated by maniac drivers who think the speed limit doesn't apply, spiced up by the possibility that a suicidal kangaroo could leap out in front of the car at any moment.

Not a lot of fun then.

It's less amusing still when you have to do the trip in one day, with a funeral at the other end. Yet somehow I contrived to make it even more disastrous.

08:30 - drop the kids at school, having instructed a friend to pick them up at 3pm (we'd still be hours away when school finished).

08:31 - run back to the car, causing the entire sole on one of my shoes to fall off. These are the only shoes I have suitable for a funeral.

08:36 - home. Pick up industial strength glue. Return to car and try to fix the shoe on route.

08:37 - glue so strong the lid won't come off.

08:38 - change into inappropriate boots. It's that or nothing.

09:50 - car hits a bump in the road. At the exact instant I'm drinking a cup of coffee ... Coffee decants down the front of my white shirt. White shirt no longer white. No available options regarding change of shirt.

12:15 - hit road works. Funeral starts in 45 minutes ...

13:00 - funeral starts. We're still in the car ...

13:47 - arrive at cemetery. Funeral finished 15 minutes ago.

14:00-16:00 - the wake. Somehow managed to get through that without stuffing anything up, despite looking and smelling like I'd jumped in the bins behind Starbucks.

16:00 - leave for Perth. At this time of day there are very few cars on the road. It's just a question of setting the cruise control and pointing the car in the right direction.

20:25 - arrive Perth, wondering how the return trip can be so damn fast. Collect one of my children. The other decides she's quite happy staying where she is, thanks. Somehow I can't blame her ...

21:00 - shoulders seize up from three hours behind the wheel. Ouchies.

Hardly the most fitting way to see off one of my wife's relatives, but the concensus seems to be that at least we made the effort. No matter that it was more 'UK sitcom' than 'dignified tribute' ...


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