Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Grumpy And The Little Voice

Back from four days partying in the bush. Drove to Braidwood just out of Canberra and had a lovely time. Compared to the last doof we went to (our first in Melbourne that wasn't Rainbow), we knew so many people. It was really good to be at a party with so many friendly faces again... well the faces at Maitreya were friendly, we just didn't know any of them. This, on the other hand, was a real gathering and much fun was had. It was really good to get a solid hit of bush, barefeet and beats.

Needless to say, the apartment looks like a bomb went off. Clothes everywhere and we're trying to dry two tents out on our small balcony (it rained on the last morning we were there).

I've spent the day trying to get the tents and a hammock dry, washing clothes and writing. Had to write the Grumpy column below as well as editing a Q&A from Deya Dova for her new album of remixes and writing up a 550 word story from 1200 words. I haven't done that in ages and I still enjoy it.

I'll post the Deya Dova stuff shortly. For now, here's some Grumpy...


Another long weekend, another road trip to another festival. This one's an interstate one involving quite a long drive so we decide to break the trip up and stay somewhere overnight.

“Where do you want to stay?”I ask.

“Don't know,” The Dreaded One replies vaguely, packing her bag days before we are due to leave. I, on the other hand, am Last Minute Man. The fact that she is planning so far ahead and I leave everything to the last minute makes things all the more ironic.

I look at the map and pick a couple of places that appear to be halfway. I suggest these halfway places. The Dreaded One is more interested in whether she should pack one corset or two, which tutu goes best with the chosen corset.

“Why don't we just wing it?” she suggests. “Just head off and stop somewhere on the way.”

“What – not book a room?”

“We'll find somewhere.”

I'm not sure about this. “But it's a long weekend. These places, they're halfway places. They're very popular stopping points. What if we get there and everything is booked out?”

“You worry too much. I'm sure we'll find something. Worst comes to worse we can always set up the tent.”

I make a thinky face as I watch her pack her big stompy fluffy boots. She is being completely delusional about using the tent in transit because although we always say this, we have never done it. Setting up the tent once in a long weekend provides quite enough friction; twice is simply out of the question.

“Okay,” I shrug casually. “Fine. Cool. We'll wing it and see what happens.” I am not convinced that this is a good idea.

And sure enough, we cruise through the first halfway place after several hours of driving and the entire town appears to be made of No Vacancy signs. Parking lots are full of cars while weary travellers enjoy cold beer in the pub, settling in for a night of pizza and telly. We don't say anything to each other as I gun it out of town heading for the next halfway place. I wanted to avoid night driving but it's looking like that isn't going to happen.

Two more halfway places, both full. Nothing is available and now it's fully dark.

“Why did we do this?” I lament. “These towns – they're where everyone stays halfway along. People probably booked their cosy hotel rooms days ago. We could have done the same. And if they weren't booked, people have already pulled over and taken the last available rooms. Why oh why didn't I listen to the little voice?”

“The little voice?”

“The little voice! The one that knows things. I should always listen to the little voice. The little voice is always right about everything.”

“How is it,” the little voice asks, “that you can so readily admit that I'm always right, yet you constantly choose to ignore me?”

“You stay out of this,” I blurt.

“What?” The Dreaded One asks.

“I was talking to the little voice.”

In the end we drive for almost an hour inland to a much larger town where there is more chance of finding accommodation because these shitty little towns along the main route are, well, shitty little towns. This town turns out to be a shitty big town, but it's late and at least there is a hotel room, beer, pizza and telly.

Will I listen to the little voice next time? Probably not.

Grumpy is freelance writer Lee Bemrose ( He suspects he will never learn.


Guyana-Gyal said...

But the Dreaded One was right. You did find a place.

See? We women are always right.


Lee said...

Yeahbut. It added 80km onto the trip to find it, and nothing serendipidous happened. Like if we'd bumped into a long lost friend in this out of the way place or discovered the best pizza on Earth or something it would have been fine. But it was Wagga Wagga, which is, I think, the Aboriginal word for Nothing Nothing.

Lee said...

Right GG. I should just chill :) (I swear I left a follow up comment to this ages ago but it vanished. Werdness).