I dreamed of The Train again the other night. B wanted to visit the Blue Mountains but, with karate on in the morning, I suggest heading down to Berry instead. It’s the closest thing to The Train.
We jump on board the electric OSCAR train at Sutherland. It is one of the most, maybe the most, scenic train rides in Australia, winding its way through the bushland of the Royal National Park before running high along the spectacular Pacific coast, the steep escarpment on the left of the train. Then its down through the city of Newcastle and along the beaches to Kiama.
With headphones on I gaze out at the scenery, totally relaxed. Yesterday evening was the first time I’d switched off my work computer in weeks, shutting down the windows of tasks that have been completed until the user feedback comes in. It’s practically a four day long weekend with ANZAC Day on Tuesday and most people taking Monday off.
We arrive at Kiama with the two car diesel Endeavour to Bomaderry already waiting. This is more like The Train, but we left Sydney late and the others are hungry. So we forgo Berry and The Train and climb up the stairs and out to find food.
The beachside town is buzzing with tourists. I could have done without the fish and chips for lunch and could have eaten more of Alex’s soft serve and sherbet ice cream from the van at the markets. We walk up the hill to the lighthouse and the basalt outcrop of the Blowhole.
I had a ticket for the Force Awakens in Concert in Brisbane this evening, but with all the things going on I couldn’t organise an inexpensive way of getting up there. Gazing out at the ocean, a band of cloud offshore, only light cloud overhead, and I regret not flying today. I think it would be fine and I can imagine the experience.
But it is also nice to be spending time relaxing with the family who have been somewhat neglected of late due to work.
I’m rather tired as we return by train to Sydney, firstly in golden light and eventually into the grey gloom of dusk. I can’t be bothered to continue on to Hurstville for dinner. Instead we get off at Sutherland and drive home, eating leftover stew, beans, eggs and Spam and, of course, rice. I think the stew was probably nicer than what we would have eaten out at a restaurant anyway.
At least Alex had a bit of an adventure instead of being holed up in the house doing homework for most of the holiday.