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Soup of This Day #350: It’s Good To Have You With Us

November 30, 2013

Green Monster lights
A light tower that sits atop Fenway Park’s Green Monster wall – Photo: Soe Lin, 2010. Soe Lin is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

When I was younger and still living with my parents in Beverley, we’d regularly make the trip to Western Australia’s capital, Perth. That city had better shopping and entertainment than you could ever find in a small country town and wasn’t too far away, around 130km, so there’d generally be at least 1 journey there a fortnight. Sometimes these trips would end after nightfall and those nocturnal rides back to home were something I enjoyed.

My parents probably didn’t. They had to pilot a lumbering Holden HX (The steering is lighter, said Holden optimistically) along a worn country road through forest, farmland and yawns. The paving was barely wide enough for 1 car and so at the realisation of an oncoming vehicle you had to drive your metal steed (They were mostly metal then. And vinyl) half onto the gravel shoulder, hoping that your fellow traveller would reciprocate in kind. To further complicate this crossing of paths, the arrangement was conducted at a fairly high speed, around the 100kmh mark.

Home, James, and don’t spare the horses, my mother used to quote. And neither of my parents spared the horses that the HX had left to give.

This wasn’t so bad in darkness – Oncoming headlights at least give advance warning – A healthy advantage on a road that was heavy on the blind curves, dips and rises.

That was my parents’ concern though – I got to sit on the back bench seat, head tilted back so that I could see out the rear window, watching the stars through the over-arching trees. This was both thrilling and comforting – There was a menace in those trees but not the kind that was beyond the power of our mostly faithful car to outrun and overcome. I imagined giant wolves bounding along, parallel to the road and just beyond the glow of our tail-lights, and they were both friend and foe, escorting us home with a sort of latent threat.

I got real scared when we broke down 1 night. The wolves never hurt us though – They just gambolled in the fields while Dad tied the muffler back on. Afterward I sketched a nervous nod at them, climbed back into the car and hunkered down as they shepherded us home with a shaggy grace.

It was a 50th Anniversary Holden so maybe we were due the respect.

It wasn’t all looking out for wolves though. Perth is located on a coastal plain, separated from the interior by an escarpment rising up to a plateau. The Darling Scarp, as this natural barrier is called, isn’t exactly mountainous, being a few hundred metres above sea-level at most, but it does provide for a panoramic view of the Perth metropolitan area as you near its crest.

And at night… Wow. Just wow. Even now, 30 years on and I still look down on that constellation of earthly stars and imagine that they each represent a story of a home – A warm and caring tale, filled with laughter and a video player.

We didn’t have a video player when I was growing up.

That’s pretty much how I’d like this blog to be – Each post shining out, a story, filled with laughter and once in a while perhaps a video player.

Still don’t have 1. Probably never will get 1 now. I missed out entirely on the video era – If video was truly killing the radio star, she just had to hang out with me and she’d have at least been safe.

For sure, video players aside, this blog is not as grand as a city and maybe the lights don’t always shine as bright as I’d hoped. Every now and then though I like to look down on it from the escarpment in my mind. Here then are the past 50 Soups, represented by the images that help to illuminate them:

Green Monster lightsThe Great Comet of 1680Kingda KaSir Charles Gairdner Hospital1903 World SeriesConvair 640La Quebrada Cliff DiverKoji UeharaFritz-Walter-StadionFremantleLancaster B.VIIRoberto Clemente BridgeMiguel CabreraElizaKrakenJonny GomesA balloon raceOpheliaWheat Field With CypressesFord ZephyrAleksandr SolzhenitsynA humpback whaleThe Birth of VenusTubersAn Australian RavenBobby CoxJosé Iglesias & Irina TchachinaMaria SpelteriniA golden tigerDr. Evermor’s ForevertronTransperth busMinnesota VikingsThe Canadian Museum for Human RightsWatch mainspringThe Western Australian Maritime MuseumBarra Airport1970's Dallas CowboysMichelle WieThe Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)Kentucky's Jif plantBlack caviarKevin DoyleKim Il-sung StadiumRonald ReaganThe Oath of the HoratiiMark WebberCricket ballVernon WellsLycium barbarumKimi Räikkönen

A big thanks to all who read this stuff. I’d like to particularly direct my love to my sons and their rather lovely (and sexy) Mum. In my life now they are the brightest of lights – The 3 of them do a grand job of keeping my wolves at bay while I get to enjoy the ride home.

It’s Good To Have You With Us

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