day of week


6 June 2006

We took a very spontaneous holiday up into the hills.
A friend of ours had a crazy idea of celebrating his birthday in tiny country town out in the middle of NO WHERE! (Ok, it was just York, 1.5 hours drive North of Perth.) The plan was to drive up one afternoon, look around, stay the night in a caravan, look around a bit more, join the rest for the birthday festivities, then drive home.

The Caravan Experience.
We’ve never stayed in one before. They were cheap and cheerful. And old and creaky. The kids LOVED it. They stomped and stomped. The noise was deafening! Like wild animals let loose in a metal drum. Bang bong bang bong! It was madness!

But it was all so cute. The whole miniature house thing. I was amazed at how much stuff they managed to fit in such a small space – two double bunks, kitchen + cupboards, little lounge + dinner table, double bed + room to hang clothes + two dressing tables with mirrors! And this caravan was probably 30 years old! I felt like such a caravan virgin. I’d love to see a fully modern decked-out one, which I’m sure, costs the same as a small house.

York boasts some impressive historic buildings. Sky diving adventures. Wood furniture factory. Olive Oil. And a Motor Museum. We saw none of it. We did see a nice playground for the kids though.

We sat in a café and had tea and scones. We walked along the banks of the Avon River. Had dinner in an outdoor café surrounded by fire bins. We found a little skateboard park and slid the kids down the slides (see picture). It was lovely. Until.

The Cold Cold Night.
Ok it didn’t snow. But in the morning the cars were crusted with a thin layer of ice. 1-2 degrees maybe? I lay under 3 blankets, in 3 layers of clothes, pressed against my husband and I was still sooooo coooooooold. Every protruding member of my body clamped with pain from the air that night. Even my eyelashes were hurting.

When the Kids Miss Their Afternoon Nap.
Because of all the new activity, the kids didn’t have a nap. And as the sun went down, so did the temperature. It was so cold. And all we wanted to do was burrow under a quilt and sleep. The kids went to sleep at 6pm. We thought it was great. But they woke up at 4am! Cold! Stomping! Hungry! Shouting! Wanting to play play PLAY!

I actually woke up at 1am. Couldn’t go back to sleep. Too cold. I lay there. Bored. By 2am. I needed to pee. I decided to walk to the toilets, rather than to, you know, pee in the caravan kitchen sink. I crawled out of bed. And wow. I didn’t have to put on extra clothes because, hey I was wearing my jacket to sleep.
I stepped outside and BAM.
Oh My God.
The stars.
The glorious wispy band of the Milky Way.
The sparkling tinges of pinks, blues, purples. Big stars, little stars, clouds of teeny tiny stars. Details and textures of the midnight sky literally singing from the heavens. Glowing with unmistakable presence.

In a single moment I thought of life before city lights. The millions of people who have looked up at that very same sky. And the very same millions of stars looking down on a people passing by. People who weaved stories about the world they don’t understand. A world of eternity – existing and evolving, hovering above me and my family every evening.

I’m inspired. And I want more. Maybe a Star Viewing at the Perth Observatory?