Punch-drunk love and Punctured tires

Like a prize fighters right hook, summer weather caught be my surprise today & clocked me fair on the chin. Somehow, without my noticing, we’ve changed from cranking up the oil heater in my room, to thinking about dusting off my fan! Yesterday it expressed itself through my overheating at night, because I wore long pants instead of shorts (The basketball game certainly didn’t help, but even two weeks ago, that wouldn’t have been an issue). Today summer weather (despite it being spring) spoke to me on my drive down to the “Attunga” campsite, dropping off stuff for the camp I start tomorrow.
It only took five minutes on the Hume Highway before both front windows were down, the sunroof was open & Powderfinger was blaring through the speakers. Even the smell of the city changes as summer sneaks up. Gone is the heavy scent of aftershave and woolen jackets, exchanged for a heady mixture of sunscreen, sweat and salt-air. OK, being inner city, there may not be too much salt air, but I swear the scent lies there anyway.
Once of the freeway, I got to appreciate a little more of what this country has to offer. Faded-green trees whizzed by. Stands of whattle, flourescent-yellow, breaking up the scene. Once I got out into the back roads, they crowded round more intimately, till I cruised along the top of a ridge, I could look down the valleys on either side. Trees as far as the eye could see!
As I came to the dirt section of the road, the last 20km’s before the campsite, it just got prettier. 15k’s into the drive I was gazing wonderously at the deep red of the pebbles of dirt whizzing by the car… then all of a sudden, it was me doing the whizzing.
One slow-motion (at leas mentally) pirouette later there wasn’t a great deal of whizzing being done at all.
I wasn’t speeding or anything. I was paying attention to the road too. I just must have caught a thicker patch of the ball-bearing sized granite pebbles as I turned the wheel a little. All I could do was try and control how wildly the car spun. In the end I did a ilttle more than a 180 turn, ending up tipped half over a 1 1/2 meter verge, wedged up to my axle in soft rich red dirt.
The car, firmly wedged, I thought about walking the last 5km’s to the campsite for help. Two nice guys, stopped by & drove me there. When I got there all of the other leaders & Co. were off doing trainging somewhere, and I remembered that I had left my nice & expensive camera back in the car, so I walked back.
Maybe another half an hour or so before another passing motorist stopped by for a chat. She had passed the campsite & seen people there, so she drove me back again. God’s providence lay in one of the directorial types having a 4wd with a winch on it. He drove me back, we got the car out & it seemed to be OK.
Emphasis on the word “seemed”.
An hour or so later, I was heading back to Sydney when I decided to pull over & take a picture of one of those lovely verdant valleys. It was at this time that one of my tires decided to seizure… I should be thankful that it didn’t do this on the freeway! I can only guess that something had been pinched in the spin & it had taken till now for the tyre to decide what it was going to do.
20 minutes later, tyre changed. The spare is one of those dinky little things that are really only supposed to get you to the nearest service station…. or in my case 150kms back home. Stormclouds looming over my eyebrows, I was at full alert, which didn’t help when a wallaby decided to dash out next to me & jump straight into my car!!!
No damage…
Nor was there damage when I had to apply the brakes urgently (Please don’t spin again….) to stop before collecting a Kangaroo.
The rest of the drive was straight forward.
OK, so I am a little annoyed at all this bad stuff happening. I am also a little frustrated that I will miss church tomorrow morning, cause I have to wait for a 24 hour home delivery tyre dude to come replace my tyre for me, cause other tyre places are all closed on Sundays.
On the brighter side…
Had I been going any faster, or had I not been quick on the wheel, I would have gone totally over the verge & flipped the car. The 5k walk I had was a nice one, with summer weather, warm sun, leading to a slight tan. Also, I had a reason to cheer myself up with Indian for dinner (Oh yeah, this place in Croydon has goat on the menu!!!). Top that with a dash of euphoria from the Sydney Swans winning the AFL, and the day certainly could have ended worse!
Of course, I have to drive back tomorrow evening…..
See you all in a week (I hope)


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