I have always loved to travel. Not to go anywhere in particular, just to move. It's in the blood.
My mum fell in love with an interstate truckdriver, just like her father. Robbie could drive forever without falling asleep, and could do a Melbourne-Brisbane return run (2800 km or 1700 miles) in 4 or 5 days, sleep for 12 hours, and then go out and do it again. Caught up with him in the end, of course, as it always does, but mate, could that man drive.
I spent half my life nagging him to take me along. And once in a blue moon, he would.
My favourite was this Mack. I loved it because it was bright yellow, it had a dog on the bonnet, several tons of frozen cheesecake in the fridge and, best of all, it had a sleeper, so that on the rare occasions I actually needed to close my eyes, I had somewhere to lie down.
We'd drive to Sydney, or maybe Port Augusta, it didn't matter where, unload, hook up, and head back. The whole trip would take less than a weekend, and still leave me time to sleep before I started school on the Monday. We'd eat cutlets and chips in roadside diners on the way. Robbie always knew where to eat and what to order. If you need a good place to eat on the road, just watch for places with the trucks parked outside. Truckies have a nose for a Good Feed.
I thought it was the most fabulous thing in the world. But having me along used to slow him up. He'd have to drive more carefully, he was always worried that something bad might happen. In the parlance of the time, a truck was no place for a sheila. Especially a Little Sheila. Who needed to wee a lot. You could lose the best part of an hour in gear changes, stopping for a wee. I used to wonder if Robbie had a catheter hidden somewhere in his flannels, his bladder seemed to be made of cast iron.
I had plans to be a truckdriver when I grew up. I would have been good at it too, except for the fact that I barely know how to hold a spanner. And that I'm a Sheila (see previous paragraph). I can drive for days without falling asleep, and in times of severe stress, I've been known to drive for thousands of miles, just to clear my head.
Like I said, it's in the blood. In fact, Mack trucks are so special to me that I keep a hood ornament on my bedside table. It's the last thing I see when I turn out the light.
Maybe I'll tell you one day. If my own truckdriver ever rolls on home.