Posts Tagged ‘driving’

The Iron Cove Bridge - taken from approx where trailing rejoined Nissan.

The Iron Cove Bridge – taken from approx where trailing rejoined Nissan.

Nissan Patrol trundling along

Empty trailer trailing.

Speed good, no traffic.

Onto Iron Cove Bridge.

Unusual rattle. Hmmm.

Check mirror. Nothing!

Glance right,

Motoring along alone, the trailer.

Hits edge, heads left.

I stop.

Trailer careens toward its uncoupled partner

Slows & gently nudges.

Not another vehicle in sight.

Re-couple, double-check, continue.

Going their separate ways.

Going their separate ways.







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Phil & I, in Mum’s Red Datsun

After Ralph McTell performance

At Macquarie University.

Late, tired.

Suburban route navigated

Finally finding home stretch

The route home - Suburban Roads then F4.

The route home – Suburban Roads then F4.

F4 sweeping off GWH near Blacktown.**

Phil, I’m tired, you’ll have to drive the rest! Can you?

Phil, fourteen.

Yeah, course I can!!

Early driving lessons pay off.

Home safely.

Note & Extra:

* This Memory is a couple of years after I’d completed school. Phil would have been in lower Higher School and he could drive better than most adults. I noticed a news article a few weeks ago where a bloke landed in all sorts of bother and a big PR mess because he allowed a car to be drive by an early teen.

** The M4 was known as the F4 (Freeway) and it’s most eastern limit was near Blacktown where it joined again with the Great Western Highway (GWH), the suburbs there now are Arndell Park & Huntingwood.

This is Ralph McTell on Top of the Pops in 1975 introduced by Jimmy Saville whose reputation has recently been severely tarnished.

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The Horden Pavillion

After YES’* Horden Pavillion performance

Crowded car, burger stop, time distortions

Lengthens drive home.

Smoke-filled Red Datsun carrying 6.

Light rain oils road.

Turning right at Vauxhall Inn

Parramatta Rd into Church St.

Traction slips

Slow-slow-motion slide,

Rear pivots around front

One-eighty, three-sixty.

A moment.

“Wow, man!”

Ignorant inches from tragedy.

Note & Extra:

* I am pretty sure it was YES that we had been to see. The support band was Mother Earth whose lead singer was Renee Geyer.




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Riverside Road dips steeply into the bush

And tar gives way to dirt,

Heading home, a hard right turn

Into a kilometer of potholed road

Snaking through overhhanging bush.

The night-time challenge:

Headlights off! 

Only celestial light guides.

Mind’s eye map

Keeps us on track (easy)

Instinct avoids potholes (hard).

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Flatten accelerator, build speed,

Over the “twin hills”

Starting Wedmore Road.

Bottom of hill two,

Release accelerator,

Shift to neutral.


For how far?

Will record be broken?

Past Balaclava Road (easy)

… Alma Crescent,

Momentum slows

Brothers jumping, lurching, pushing, rocking


Striving for another inch.

Deafening cheers.

Go! Go!


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After Victoria Bridge – Imagining Brabham


Solo drive home.

Highway – westbound.

Over narrow Victoria Bridge into

Sharp curves, left, right,

(Imagining Brabham).

Bump over Emu Plains rail-crossing,

As Old Bathurst Road starts its climb.

Right turn, Wedmore then

Left into Riverside,

Dirt road, dry weather, sweeping turn.

Dirt road, dry surface, sweeping bend, slide, crash.

Oncoming car



First licensed drive, crash.

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At the outskirts, there is no transport

No buses, no trains

No traffic, no hitchhiking.

Licence to drive: necessary.

Skills learned early

In the green Holden, column shift – three on the tree.

Mum’s little red Datsun (four on the floor).

Test taken on automatic, around Lemongrove.

Easy streets.

Licence granted!

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School breaks, family holidays,

8 Track Cassette of LZ III

Car (towing boat) trip.

Destination: skiing venues – south, west, north.

Friends invited to join holiday

Squeeze in bulging car.

Kid-bulging car on long drives

In-transit entertainment becomes vital.

This trip:

New released album on 8 track.

Played, repeated, again & …

Led Zeppelin III

Hats off to (patient) Roge & Mum.


Friends …

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Homeward bound,

Pacific Highway

Winding, snaking South.

Caravan in tow, a weight

Dragging, destabilising.

Roger driving.

Down the mountain into


A slight slip, shift.

I feel it, sit up, lean forward.

Slip amplifies into sway.

“Shit!” – softly but seriously.

My back stiffens.

Roger’s knuckles harden.

Car straightens.

Relax again.


* This section of the old Pacific Highway hosts an annual motoring event called the Bulahdelah Hillclimb.  Here is someone going through the section of the highway in an MGB – this is the section of the highway we fishtailed our way down.





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Roger driving to school, arriving.


Right elbow resting on open window.

Right hand holding apple.

Left hand controlling steering wheel.

Door not properly secured.

Opens. Out falls Roger, landing seated.

Calmly continues eating apple,

Watches car careen into chook pen.

Feathers fly.

Cheering, hysterical shool-children.


This event was immortalised by one of the art students who witnessed the event. I hope we can locate that sketch and reproduce it her.

Here is an aerial view of the bus bay at Nepean High School … where the event above went down.

The car drives into the chooks while the driver sits on the tarmac eating an apple.

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