For some reason the Baron and I seem to keep getting stuck in the middle of suburbs that don't exist or, at any rate, certainly won't exist in a block or two. There was the time we were marooned in South Morang, and the bizarre adventure we took in the badlands beyond the former Pentridge Jail, ending up.... well, I'm still not sure where we ended up that time.
So. It was New Years Eve, very late at night. The car was piled high with presents, packages, buttermilk, yoghurt, chocolates, cats, a box of chooks, and, oh, yeah, two humans as well.We were somewhere on the highway just out of Melbourne, and it was eerily quiet. We decided to take an early turn off, one which we had taken plenty of other times, although those other times were far earlier in the day, I have to say.
The Baron, sensibly, wondered aloud where we should go to get onto the familiar route. I ventured the suggestion that we ought to go over that bridge, you know, that one over there. As this turned out to be exactly the wrong thing to suggest, we did just that. Pretty soon, we were driving down the streets of one of those suburbs that goes up so fast you won't even find it on GPS yet, which hardly mattered to us anyway as we didn't even have a GPS to tell us that we had arrived at nowhere in particular. Its name* was, if I recall correctly, 'Wallara Waters', which was absurd, as there wasn't any water anywhere (and probably no 'Wallara' either, whatever that might be**); the whole affair of new houses, half-built houses, or blocks about to become new houses, was in the middle of a field.
We did what anyone would have done in these circumstances: we drove around randomly, looking for streets to take us to where we wanted to go. There were very few of these, because everytime we tried to turn down one we were met with big ugly signs saying 'Road Ends'. At one point we even came to a standpoint outside a vacant block with a huge number on it while we debated what to do. I urged the Baron to just drive through it; the Baron, with her rigid sense of propriety and decorum, declined to do so. The cats looked on with the somnolent and brooding air that cats tend to get when they are stuck in a car with humans in the middle of the night in a strange suburb when... (etc etc).
Shortly after the New Year fireworks for that locality went off. We had yet to see any sign of life, mind you, and I was still far from convinced that we were not actually hallucinating the whole experience. However, as the New Year fireworks for that locality actually only consisted of one Firework, we were not particularly perturbed by this experience. A little later, we even came across a few of the Wallara Waters locals. At this point I would love to sound like an anthropologist who had just discovered a new tribe in a previous unknown corner of the world, but I can't. The locals were performing the relatively mundane activity of walking along the road.
Eventually we found our way out of that suburb and onto Epping Road. As we drove on to the turnoff, bizarrely, mist began billowing around our car. On a summer night. I felt as if we were leaving a mythical isle or something like that.
About fifteen minutes later, we were back home. All the fireworks of the New Year had fireworked themselves out by that time. What better way to celebrate the coming in of the New Year by sleeping it off? And so we did. Happy new year, everyone.
*The first thing to get when you are a new, just-sprung-up-overnight suburb is a name. As they say, 'there's no place like home', and there's nothing like a name to make the no place that was WW feel just like home.
** UPDATE! - The Baron informs me that the suburb is named after a sewerage treatment area. The proud tradition of the suburb of Reservoir lives on!
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