03 November 2008

Pray tell, hazelblackberry, why 'twelve hours of country driving'?

I say unto you that, yea verily, I did look upon the careworn and tired countenance of one Bezley von Bezcat and did think unto myself, "Truly, what the old bird needs is some quality, one-on-one, not-quite-mother/not-quite-daughter time."

So I shoved her into the Subi and we tootled down south for the day to wander through some open gardens. We checked out six gardens in Bridgetown, Nannup and Balingup, plus we stopped for a nice spot of morning tea and lunch, and I didn't think that was bad going in twelve hours. Also, lest we forget, Bezley is a 62-year-old woman who whelped several pups in days of yore and her bladder control is not what it used to be, so several pit stops were required there, Penelope.

The Nannup-Balingup trail is a beautiful drive, with many bends that the sign at the start describes as 'dangerous'. I realised that Bezley was maybe not appreciating the sights as much as she could have, was perhaps a little tense at my driving style, when after a period of silence and reflection she said, "I wonder if many people have died on this road?"


It's a wonderful thing to set off early in the morning for a little trip somewhere; the day is fresh, the road is empty. Unfortunately it also tends to remind Bezley of all the trips she and Ern took over their years together and this makes her teary. [My memory of these trips is Ern ripping the bedcovers off me at 3am, telling me, "Raus, Baby Girl, there's fish to catch," before spending three hours bumping through the darkness and wilderness to some obscure watering hole. That tends to bring tears to mine eye; tears of gratitude that nowadays an early start means nothing more than 6am.] So, I patted the Bez's hand, feeling completely useless, and waited for her to feel better.

As it happens, Nannup is the dreaded Don Mary's ancestral homeland, growing up as she did on a farm at Ellis Creek, and two or three times a year one of her craven minions is expected to take her back there so that she may cast a macularly degenerated eye about and see (somewhat) that It Is Good. This obviously occurred to Bezley and it perked her up no end.

"Oooh, a Sunday drive to Nannup to look at gardens. We might bump into Don Mary!"

"Yeah, already thought of that. I've packed a club."

And on that much happier note, we were off.

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