Took myself out for a drive today. Just couldn't be cooped up inside while spring is beginning to unfold, so I turned up MaGill and took to the the hills, up into Lenswood, formerly known as Gary's Flat, but renamed after a WWI battle. Gary's Flat made more sense.
There were mysterious symbols at the entrance to the roadside park. 'No raising fistfulls of foliage' and 'eucalyptus trees here'...need to know information.
I followed a path over a talkative creek, into a soggy clearing, intermittent sun showers beckoned me deeper into the woods. I sat on a log and waited for the birds to forget I was there and go about their business of squawking and swooping.
I followed green twisty roads through the hills, taking unplanned turns and obeying random signs, a strategy that lead me inevitably to a winery. The tasting room had a roaring fire and bubbling pot of pulled pork. The vintner lonely in the winter lull, happy to talk. And talk. And talk.
A simple lunch at the Lobethal Bakery in Woodside - cheese Kransky wrapped in puff pastry and a cappuccino. A disappointing chocolate doughnut for desert made it easy to justify a detour to Melba's Chocolate Factory. Big Chocolate smokestacks:
For the chocolate cauldrons:
Didn't need justification to walk next door to the Cheese Cellar Door. The lemon-myrtle chevre was divine, but the mature blue vein goats cheese left me burping clouds of ammonia.
No reason to skip the next destination on the Okaparinga Scenic Drive, the toy factory in Gumeracha housed beneath a giant rocking horse. It smelled salt and fried food - fully licensed cafe. Dad needs a drink now that the kids are all sugared up from Melba's. Take them for a walk through the petting zoo, filled with incredibly fat ducks and kangaroos.
"No dear, I don't think those are kangaroos."
"Oh, are them some of those wobballies, then?"
In Birdwood, passed a butcher selling 'country killed' meat. Browsed through an antique store in. Mt. Torrens. Mt? Funny. Should have asked about the price of two giant animal horns, but became mesmerized by a box of old photographs. Black and white stills, portraits, weddings, vacations, school assemblies - who is the boy growing up year by year in these pictures? $4 each. I want to save these photos from obscurity. Buy them all and weave a story around them - some of the pictures are so faded, soon they will be gone. A slow fade from history.
Where will MY memories end up? No one to caretake my past. Even in families, you're only three generations away from total anonymity - unless you started a war or wrote a symphony. Will tomorrow's antique shops be filled with hard drives?