The Cloudy Coast
I started a business in January and I’ve been working super hard these last three months so I can take a relatively guilt free break to the sunny coast. I said SUNNY coast. I’ve been picturing it, clear skies, bright sunny days, even how each town might look - in the sun. Then four days before I was due to leave I checked the weather forecast. That near perfect sphere of hot plasma was to be covered by cloud and that cloud was going to deposit up to 60mm of rain each day. And, to top it off, there was the chance of a daily thunderstorm. It took me a day to come to terms with the new cloudy coast imagery.
This was also going to be the first time I was going to have a genuine attempt at packing light. But the change in weather threw me and yet again I would board the plane five kilograms overweight (the bag, not me, maybe me on the way home).
“Do you have anything you can take out?” asked the attendant. I looked at her dumbly while I thought, yes probably but there’s a line a mile long and I’m not sure I can remember the combination lock numbers on my bag and really, what the hell am I going to do with what I take out? My cabin baggage is already bursting at the seams and I can’t really walk on with an additional five kilograms of miscellaneous. “No.” I said.
But I’ve missed a bit. If you’ve been following The Bold Line and now the My Bold Line blogs you’d know I’m not a great lover of being airborne. I can happily stare out the window and enjoy the view but the moment the metal cylinder (with its wings, nose and tail) drops a few feet with no warning, I grab hold of the arm rests like my life depends on it. I’m working on this. If my eyes are shut I’m not actually asleep, I’m busy rationalising the bumps. If I can drive across the Savannah Way on a dirt road and get thrown about then surely this should be nothing. Right? Wrong but hey, I’m a work in progress.
Knowing what the weather was like I was feeling less than excited by my indirect flight, which meant two ups and two downs. Fortunately the flight out of Hobart left at 6am and I was still half asleep and without any of the energy being nervous requires.
The flight attendant went through the usual safety procedure which I decided to actively listen to instead of what I usually do which is stare at the person’s face and look for signs of any emotion. Because I paid attention this time when I opened my eyes after the seatbelt sign had gone off and we were at ‘cruising altitude’ I was quite shocked to see the elderly man next to me in the brace position. I had a quick look around, no one else was. I had heard that some choose to sleep like that when flying but was yet to see it for myself - at least he’d save himself some time if there was an emergency.
His wife was playing solitaire on her iPad and eating yoghurt, she had brought her own. The rest of us were given a bircher muesli muffin which I would not enjoy if I was grounded but had no aversion to in the air. Maybe the altitude alters your taste buds, or, maybe I’m subconsciously thinking that if we were to have to execute an emergency landing it would be better that I have some food in my stomach to sustain me until we were rescued.
Hello Sydney, time for intermission.
By the time I boarded the flight to the Gold Coast a teenager had settled himself in to my window seat. I thought about leaving him be but the window seat is the closest I’m going to get to driving the plane so he and his upsized bottle of coke and oversized headphones shifted to the middle. I thought his Mother was sitting alongside him in the aisle seat but it wasn’t his Mother at all, she was in the seat directly behind me and his Father was in the one directly behind her. Why would you not select your seats so you’re all together? These three talked to each other throughout the flight like they were on a private bus tour. I went in search of my iPod only to find that it wasn’t working and so ended up listening to a documentary on Tibet while working - just to drown them out. It was quite good.
Now to pick up the hire car. What is a Holden Trax? Is it a sedan, trying to be a 4WD? This is the problem when you hire a car and you think you’re hiring what’s in the photo but then you get the ‘or similar.’ Never mind, I had wheels and I was very keen to find my apartment. It wasn’t far and I was met by the owner of the property who lives upstairs. For some reason I had come to the conclusion he would be in his mid 60s and was so surprised when someone of similar age greeted me at the gate that I thought I had the wrong place!
It was better than the photos and I couldn’t wait to settle in, but that would have to wait!
After planning this trip around events and tours for writing purposes it turned out to coincide with the arrival of a good friend. Domi’s partner Dan lives on the Gold Coast and she’d travelled all the way from Germany to attend a wedding, and to see him of course! Domi jumped in the car as I stopped at the lights near the Broadbeach Station later that day and we took off to find a cafe, we had six months to catch up on!
It was about 6pm when I realised I needed to find a supermarket. Rob had told me there was a Coles and a Woolworths nearby. I put Coles into maps first and drove as instructed. “Turn left and your destination will be on your left.” Well it wasn’t, Coles seemed to have been flattened. It was an empty lot with a big fence around it. Strike one. I had more success with Woolworths, although I did wonder why there were only six mangos, they grow them in Queensland. They were either very popular and running out the door or very average and those six were the ones that twenty seven people had squeezed and chosen others.
New tunes, comfy couch, good wine, a big salad and time to write. Ahhh. Goodnight!
Tip: Take a good look around before you speak.
Car hire man: “Just walk back down there and take the second left then cross the road and follow the signs.”
Me: “Why can’t I just go out that door?” Pointing to the one along side the car hire desk.
Car hire man: “Because that’s not a door, it’s a window.” Pointing out the row of chairs blocking the ‘door.’
I was tired.
Track: Kingswood - Golden