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‘I drove for 44 hours straight’

“TELL us one other story about Christmas, Dad,” requested my daughters Sadie, 5, and three-year-old Tess from the again of our SUV as I drove them to kinder final week.

The women love Christmas, and as my automobile doesn’t have Christmas carols on excessive rotation like their mom’s does, a story must do.

“I as soon as drove throughout Australia with out stopping simply so I may very well be dwelling for Christmas,” I inform them.

“You didn’t even cease for meals, Dad?” asks intelligent and sceptical Sadie.

“Okay, I ended for meals and petrol, however that’s it. I didn’t sleep in any respect. I drove for forty 4 hours straight from Perth to Warrnambool.”

The women aren’t as impressed with my story as I’d thought they’d be. In spite of everything, it was a good effort.

The reality is I like Christmas too. Not as a lot as my spouse does admittedly. I believe her mother and father named her Holly after a premonition of her love for that vacation. I like it as a result of it’s typically the one time of yr our prolonged household is collectively.

The yr I drove continuous throughout Australia to be dwelling for Christmas was 1994. It was manner earlier than Holly or the children had been on the scene.

I had simply turned 24 and had been dwelling in Perth for 2 years. I had all the time been dwelling on Christmas Day. The earlier yr, my mother and father had given me the cash to fly dwelling. It was very beneficiant of them — airfares had been costly again then, and I do know on the time they questioned whether or not my loopy dream of being a comic would ever present the cash to pay them again.

That had been my first time on a aircraft, however this yr I used to be decided to get dwelling below my very own steam I had additionally determined my comedy act wanted an even bigger stage so I used to be transferring to Melbourne. I had purchased an outdated XB Falcon for $350, which was all I may afford as fledgling comic and part-time cucumber picker.

I packed that massive outdated beast with my meagre belongings and set off from Subiaco for the 3500km journey to my dwelling city Warrnambool on the southwest coast of Victoria. It was a Friday and I used to be decided to get there for Christmas lunch on the Sunday.

I did have a co-driver. Effectively, a passenger truly. He was a mate who favored to drink and he turned it into an fascinating journey.

Though I couldn’t belief him to drive, he did hold me firm however his fixed calls for bathroom breaks had been annoying.

The automobile didn’t have a heater and the Nullarbor desert at night time shouldn’t be heat. The chilly helped hold me awake although on that ridiculously lengthy stretch of highway.

My primary reminiscence of the journey was my intoxicated passenger advising me to tug over for a break whereas I used to be driving by way of the Adelaide Hills after I’d advised him I felt like we had been in an area ship. It was night time; there have been a number of lights.

It was smart recommendation however after a brief break we had been driving once more. I used to be on a mission. I used to be as decided as Santa. And we made it, in loads of time to devour Mum’s scrumptious lunch and well-known selfmade Christmas pudding. I lastly nodded off on the sofa whereas the household had been watching our conventional Christmas night time film. I went for a drive that subsequent day too.

Nevertheless it wasn’t an extended one because the engine of the XB Falcon blew inside a few minutes. I didn’t begrudge her demise. I used to be dwelling.

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