yarra valley blues

I've spent a week in some of the most scenic parts that the world comes with, and if I have to see anything else scenic for the next three weeks, I'm going to burn it down. We drive along a winding highway, pick a road, see where it goes, follow the path we've guessed at, keeping one eye on the mileage and another on the view. We look for ferntrees and eucalyptus, heights of land, strange wildlife and bright colours. Eventually, when we've driven too far and seen so much that nothing is left to impress us, we stop at the first spot and point the camera at the best thing available. Then we wait for the clouds to break and the sun to light the place up, which in mid-winter southeastern Australia is like hoping for dry water (mmmm, a nice wafer of freeze-dried water with a bit of salt, it's like taking a bite out of the ocean). And when that's done we head back to the hotel and watch Australians win gold medals. Then we watch the news, which is all about Australians winning gold medals. Then we go to any one of the thousand Italian/Greek restaurants that saturate the Melbourne suburbs. At supper the waitress asks us if we've seen the Australians winnning gold medals, and we ask her if she's seen Steve Irwin in the wild. Then we spend the whole night in the restaurant because the meals here take eight hours to digest properly, and it's imperative that you remain as still as possible while the cheese and beef pass through your intestines.

Today I witnessed a product called the Kiddie Kutter, a brutal 5" knife with a se blade and a bright plastic handle "designed for children's hands". The knife is intended to help instruct children in the art of preparing food. The package says: "Spend more time eating and less time cutting!" I can sympathise; sometimes I spend so much of a meal cutting and so little time eating that by the time it's through I haven't eaten anything at all.

I'm impatient to get home and post at my leisure. Chancing on terminals that set their meters on you is no way to enjoy blog-style writing. I'm not really a spewer; I need some time to stare at the screen and drink five cups of coffee and idly surf around in order to put together a satisfactory post. Forty-eight hours from now and I'll be back home, ready to blab away in the privacy of my own bathrobe. Five dollars will get you in the door. Ten for a ringside seat.