It seemed like a good idea at the time, again

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I’ve now asked a few important people in my life to make sure that when I die, the children get this written on my tombstone. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

From marriage to work to holidays, it does seem to be the defining theme of my life. Which is interesting because I am generally suspicious, skeptical and outcomes-focussed, not necessarily in that order.

So this week, I decided to drive to Adelaide and back. For those of you from overseas, it’s about 900 miles each way, which is the distance from Washington DC to Orlando Florida.

The major difference, it was 900 miles of nothing, as it turned out. Literally nothing and no one. My main task along the way was to find a cute country town with a bar, so I could sit there after my long day of driving and chat to the barman. I imagined him, straight off the farm, after wrangling sheep all day, pulling a few beers down at the local.

The wheels fell off this plan way before I found a bar.

You know that Tina refuses to plan. You remember, I get off the cruise boat, wander around, run into Richard Branson, that kind of thing.

I left Canberra, our nation’s capital, at 8am on Thursday. I had to be in Adelaide by 2pm Friday. I have a pretty nice car, an Audi Q3, so I was comfortable. The first place I planned to go was Wagga Wagga, which was about a three hour drive. First mistake was using CRApple Maps and not Google.

I turned off the main road as I was told. Thanks for nothing, Siri. I should have been suspicious that a major town like Wagga Wagga was not listed on the signpost.

For the next hour I was gripping the wheel for dear life, dodging potholes and learning new town names that no other Australians have ever heard before: Nangus and Wantabadgery, to name two.

I reached Wagga Wagga and promptly changed over to Waze (I had to stop using Google because it made my phone overheat). In my mind I was headed for a town four hours away called Tooleybuc. It apparently had a great pub that was sure to have a bar, a cute barman and a motel next door. So for the next three hours and 30 minutes I did not see another person or town, unless you count the massive trucks that we call road trains, that I had to overtake at 80 miles an hour. And I had about a capful of fuel left.

This is the Hay Plain. It was very plain

I arrived in a town called Balranald at 4.30pm and found a motel with a Returned Services Club (RSL) next door. Too scared to risk not finding another town for 3 hours, I checked in and made do.

As it turned out, the barman was a girl from a town half an hour from my house. And there were no bar stools.

Me staging a photo in the Balranald RSL at a bar, with no bar. The large wine was necessary after the scary drive.

I made it to Adelaide the next day unscathed and spent the weekend recovering in the only way I knew how: in a wine region with dear friends. I felt a little targeted by the choice of winery though. A black sheep? Who, me?

I chose a different, slightly longer, route home because I thought it would be safer. But The Thwarters found me. They have obviously moved from Thirroul to country Victoria and like to burn things there. It would have to be the day I drive through the countryside when they decide to burn off. All of a sudden I believed in the Zombie Apocalypse.

The creepy windmills, smoke and lack of all signs of life. Do you believe too?

Luckily, a bank in Bendigo must have gone broke so they turned it into a wine bar. I was very happy to invest in Wine Bank. They even had rooms. And an actual bar. So the trip turned out to actually be a good idea, after all.

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