Open Road

People love to complain about the long drives their families expect them to do at Christmas. Me? I’m all for it. I love a long drive, and only wish I had an excuse to do them more often. It’s an opportunity to completely switch off from everything annoying in life: emails, text messages, screens of any kind, nosy neighbours and the like.

It’s just you, the highway, passing trucks, a weird servo coffee and any driving companions you happen to have along for the ride. I guess I’m kind of lucky in that respect, as I don’t have any kids in tow. I can see how that could interfere with the tranquility pretty darned quickly. At this point, it’s just me and a 14-hour, specially curated playlist in the car, and that’s just the way I like it.

All I need to do now is remember to go and get a car air con regas. Within Adelaide, that shouldn’t be too difficult, but somehow I always seem to forget. Last year, finally, my car’s cooling system has conked out before I reached the border. It was kind of fun, in a way, because it made me feel like a cowboy, like I was living on the edge or something, but then maybe that was just the heatstroke setting in.

In short, I’d be pretty happy to not repeat that experience this year. By the time I got to my sister’s house in NSW, I was on the verge of some serious hallucinations, which probably isn’t the best when you’re doing a long-haul drive. When I finally got to a car mechanic the next day, I discovered that the ‘party light’ (as I’d been calling it in my head) on the dashboard was actually a warning light, advising that I was low on engine oil.

Yeah, that heatstroke wasn’t good, in retrospect. It was kind of fun at the time though.