I had planned to be on the road by 10am at the latest but by the time I'd ducked down to Big W to buy some rose bushes for Mum, dropped the kids off, had a cuppa and then got home to pack the car, it was after 11am. I finally managed to pull out of the driveway at 11:20am after checking, double-checking and triple-checking the house. Luckily the weather stayed nice all the way down to Margaret River, apart from getting a bit cloudy once I hit Bunbury, so it was a pleasant drive even with all the stops for road works.
It was quite strange being aware of how my mood was changing the further I got from Perth. At first I was nervous with a huge knot in my stomach and was feeling very selfish for driving away and leaving the kids at Mum's (especially because of the mood Alex was in ... trying to say the least!). That passed after the first hour and then I could feel my mood lifting as I turned up the music and bopped along the highway. I'm sure the truck drivers in front of and behind my car thought I was a raving lunatic, dancing along to the music in the driver's seat!
That was the stage when I became more aware of the scenery and had a good laugh at the antics of some of the animals in the fields bordering the road. There was a single lonely looking chocolate brown alpaca in a field of white sheep. He seemed to be looking around him wondering why he was there and why did he look so different from the others. I wanted to stop and take a photo, but the truck sitting right behind me doing 110kph put paid to that idea.
The next thing that made me laugh was three calves having a great time hassling each other. I got to watch them for a few minutes because I was stopped at one of the many road works sites. Funnily enough two of them had almost the same markings with the third one being a bit bigger and rather pushy. The bigger one was pushing and head butting the other two to try and get them to play, until they'd finally had enough and backed him into a corner of the field, then ran away. Sound familiar?
At another one of the road works stops, there were three Friesian bulls in a field right behind the the stop-go lady. Two of them were very disinterested and quite happy to keep grazing, but the third one was extremely curious about what these humans were doing. There was quite a backlog of vehicles to get through, so I had to wait through three stop-go changes. Every time the traffic was stopped, the one interested bull would wander over to look at each of the cars in turn, then once they started moving again, he'd go and stand behind the stop-go lady. It was like he was the inspector at some sort of checkpoint. I'm sure the stop-go lady thought I was nuts too because I was laughing so hard at the bull, I almost missed her signal to move!
Not long after that, I stopped for a quick stretch of the legs and a "comfort stop". The Getz doesn't have cruise control and I really wish it did. My right knee was quite sore form being held in the same position for nearly two hours, but the quick walk around did the trick. Then it was back into the car for the last leg and that was when I could feel my mood changing again. It probably had something to do with the cloud cover but I was starting to get tired and there were no interesting things to distract me. All the cows and sheep were on the far side of the paddocks and for about 30 minutes, I was the only vehicle I saw in either direction. Then I saw the sign for the Candy Cow. Woohoo! Instantly wide awake again but then again, the promise of a sugar fix will do that. (Free samples are a wonderful thing!)
Of course I had to stop there and bought 10 different flavours of fudge. They don't make my favourite one any more (cappucino with marshmallows), but I managed to make do with what they did have. I have yet to understand the current fascination with pairing things such as chilli and chocolate, but I suppose it must appeal to some people or they wouldn't keep making it. Then it was back into the car for the last 15kms.
I finally reached the house at 3:40pm and the first thing I saw was a parrot sitting in the grevillea bush out the front. He (she?) was having a wonderful time plucking the flowers and detroying them for the nectar inside. Then when I went to get the house keys out of their hiding spot, I disturbed some ducks (what is the collective term for a group of ducks anyway?) that were enjoying their afternoon tea of worms and snails. All this in the suburbia of Margaret River.
After doing a quick exploration of the house (it's huge!), I unpacked the car before heading off to do some food shopping. I also joined the local DVD rental place and finally managed to get a copy of "27 Dresses" along with a couple of other movies that have been out for over a year that I still haven't managed to see. "27 Dresses" had been recommended to me, but I have a problem with paying the exorbitant movie theatre prices, so I waited until it was out on DVD.
With the shopping done and some light entertainment lined up, I headed back to the house, fully intending to hibernate there for the rest of the night. Then the craving for Chinese food started. I knew there was a Chinese takeaway in town so I headed back out only to find that it's closed on Mondays. Fish and chips it was then! (Didn't feel like cooking and because there's no-one else to worry about, I didn't ... worry that is!) Went back to the house and settled in to watch "27 Dresses" with my fish and chips. It was quite a good little movie. Typical Hollywood formula but which movies aren't these days?
Started to crash about 11pm (late for me) so I headed for bed and sleep knowing that I didn't have to surface before I wanted to in the morning.