Wednesday 18 May 2011

Help Me to Win a New Ford Territory for a Year and $5000

On the road again....

Apparently the average Sydney driver spends about 35 minutes in their car a day. I can definitely say I'm above average (woohoo, I'm above average in something!). Between ferrying kids, picking up shopping and general chore-running, I spend a great deal of time in my car. In fact, I'm in my car as I type these words, don't worry the engine is off, I'm just in the car park waiting for Goosey to finish up at her kindy.

Thinking back to exactly how much time I've spent driving in my car over my lifetime, brought back some good memories, strangely enough. So, I'd love to share them with you. 

Five years old
In the back of a Ford Escort, my feet unable to reach the black furry carpet. The sky flicks past the window, the tops of leafy gumtrees blowing in the breeze breaks up the blue. Back 'home', though this 'home' felt strange and the people spoke weird. I pick the beige and brown threads from the seat, as Kids in America pours out of the radio. We turn and the cars begins to bump until we stop. My brother, dressed in a pale blue jersey jumps from the car and runs across the oval. I go back to slowing pulling the beige thread from around the brown thread, listening to Kim Wilde, knowing this is going to take a while.

Seven years old
It's dark, hands slowly lift me up. Music and laughter wafts in from the next room. Glasses clink and then suddenly light blinds me, forcing me to  screw my eyes shut. "Oh dear, she's really tired. Poor thing." Cold air hits my face like a slap and I'm awake. "Bye! Thank you! See you next time!" I can feel the soft velour of Dad's grey Fairlane on my cheek. Stars are scattered across the sky. The odd light flashes past blinding me again. Jazz notes fill the car and I feel myself being carried off with them...

14 years old
Whizzing up the leafy suburban street, the strap of my bag clutched in my hand. I hope he doesn't do it today, not again. He thinks it's hilarious, but it's not. We pull up. "Bye, thanks for the lift." "No worries, have a good day." "Please don't do it, OK?" "Do what? I don't know what you're talking about." I sigh and get out of the car and head across the road toward the school gate. I hear the whir of the car window. Oh no, he's going to do it. I start walking faster. Then I hear it. "Rinny! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnny! You forgot your lunch box! Riiiiiiiiinnnny!" I shudder, put my head down and go, not daring to look up as I hear the chuckles from the playground.

17 years old
The cold vinyl is gripped hard in my hand as sweat pools in the crevices. Check the mirrors, check them again, check the blind spot, indicator on, check mirrors again, slowly take my foot as the brake and push down on the accelerator. I glance at the bespectacled man, with the brown tartan vest and brown shiny pants, making strange markings on his pad. Keep breathing, keep checking the blind spot. Not too fast. Easy on the brake. Before long we're pulling into the car park once again. "Get out and follow me inside," the brown man said. I follow and sit down opposite. "Yep, you passed. Go over there and fill out the forms." I'm shaking with relief and joy.

23 years old
Cruising down the highway, a weekend in the bush with a gang of mates. The rain pelting down, turning the road into a river. Every now and then the car whooshes and I feel like the wheel is out of control. The mates swig from bottles oblivious to my white knuckles. Oasis blares from the stereo. "I said maybe, I'm gonna be the one that saves yer". I bloody hope so. The hours feel like months as I squint at the snaking road. Finally we turn off onto the gravel road, it's dark and the headlights are pitiful torches on the road. Finally the rusty gate comes into view and I pull on the handbrake. Grab a bottle and swig. Beer has never tasted so good. I'll think about how to get out of here tomorrow.

27 years old
The last of the tarps, tent and camp chairs are flung in the back. I scour around the campsite as Skip starts the engine. The rattle of the diesel engine puts butterflies in my stomach, I've done this many times before and can't wait to be on the open road again. New adventures, new places, just new, fresh. Campsite clear I jump into the passenger seat. "Let's get out of here." I take one last peek out the side mirror and then focus on the road. "On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again...." Who knows where we'll pull up tonight, it just might be paradise.

30 years old
I strap the screaming ball into the seat and slam the door. For a brief few seconds there is peace, quiet. I savour it. Then I open the driver's door and am pulled in by the insistent yelling. I pull out and head out on the road, wondering when the yells are going to silence. I can barely hear the tick-tock of the indicator. My sleep-deprived eyes barely focusing on the road. I hit the expressway, the needle hits 80km and the yells start to turn to sobs. As I burn up the road, the sobs begin to hiccup. Then silence. Golden. My ears ring with the quiet. Where to now?

34 years old
The sun streams in through the window. "I see Old McDonalds!" "Fish and Chippies!" Giggles and squeals fill the car. "I want the wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully pretty song on, puhleeeeaaasse!" A chorus of "Puhleaaaasses" begin. I slot the CD into the player and flick to song 5. Two squeaky voices start singing along in the back. I lean over and squeeze Skip's hand on the handbrake. And smile. 

What's your favourite driving memory? Did you love hitting the open road? Do you have memories of long car trips squashed in the back and playing corners? Tell me all!

Please don't forget to vote me for Kidspot's Top 50 Bloggers, remember you can vote for more than one blogger! Many thanks!

Lil-lil asleep in her favourite spot.


  1. Terrific post, Corinne. I love that you had a Ford Escort as a kid - SUCH an Aussie car!! We had a beige Holden station wagon (likewise!) and the memories of that baby are with me always.

    Good luck in the competition. As I said on Jane's site, I've voted for pretty much everyone so I think I've pretty much cancelled myself out!! x

  2. My friend, Daniel, had a Ford Escort. I remember many a time driving to a nightclub then collecting the car in the wee hours of the morning to drive home. He always stopped drinking at midnight, but I'm pretty sure he'd have been over the limit. How lucky are we that we survived and then RBT came in!! Foolish young things we were. ;)

    Good luck, hon. I voted for you.

    Oh, and CUTE pic of bubs. xxx

  3. So well written!
    Thank you for sharing this "drive" down memory lane with us...I enjoyed it!

    Of course I will vote for you ~ how couldn't I? ;)

  4. Awesome post Corinne. That was like a movie in a post! Very enjoyable.
    I think my fave driving memories are from when I first got my P's, my brother leant me the money to buy a car, a ford festiva, claret in colour. I loved that little car. Friends piled in, new car smell, music blaring with my fave tunes.
    Good luck in the comp Corinne, you got my vote :o)

  5. Beautiful writing rin! So descriptive..I feel like im there!! Its is amazing the moments we remember about travelling as we grew up, and the journeys that seemed so big and so exciting. And those that make as rememeber our families and our connections to each other through sitting sise by side in a car! xxx

  6. Lot of memories of being stuck in cars driving driving driving - I remember playing this game called pingpong where whoever had to sit in the middle seat at their head batted to and fro...we thought it was hilarious! I enjoyed your memories!

  7. @Maxabella & Jodie - everyone needs a Ford Escort at one time or another!

    @Eleanor - thanks sweet lady!

    @Mama with 2 boys - Ooh a claret Ford Festiva, sounds like a teen dream!

    @ Michele - You're about to make a whole new world of driving memories. x

    @Jane - Car pingpong! I love it! I so wish I knew that game when I was a kid, though I was always in the middle, so maybe not.

  8. Great post! I too have so many memories of car trips, especially the long ones when I was a child. We used to drive to Melbourne and/or Brisbane at least once a year, and down to the snow every July. Some memorable moments... fighting with my sister in the back seat, usually if I was over "her side" of the seat - she counted the lines on the seat upholstery and so knew which was the exact mid-point; listening to "my music" on my walkman (as opposed to AM radio on the car stereo) for hours, the batteries inevitably running out before we got there (remember how funny it sounded when that happened and the tape slowed down before losing power!); my Dad threatening to leave my sister on the side of the road, and then actually doing it on the Central Coast, for bad behaviour; lollies from the service station for the journey; playing eye spy; counting red cars, my sister counting white cars and seeing who could get to 100 first (sometimes a challenge on deserted stretches of interstate roads); nearly running out of petrol on the outskirts of Canberra, in the middle of nowhere. It goes on. Good times!

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