Do you want to know a secret? I’ve been quite enjoying driving around the massive gold hirecar that we have been given. With a nod to economy I started out just trying not to accelerate it too fearsomely, and now I prefer to glide it around as though it doesn’t touch the ground. The best is in the late afternoon when the light turns softer golden and the Pulp Fiction soundtrack clicks over to Dusty Springfield, Son of a Preacher Man.
It’s kind of ironic / kind of apt for me to be listening to that CD so much. For a start, Townsville is reminding me quite a lot of Brisbane in the 1990s, with the houses un-renovated and the prices - only $2.50 to go for a swim in the Olympic pool where Laurie Lawrence trained up all his champions. I’m at the pool right now, and there is a bunch of school kids practicing for their Bronze Medallion Swim and Survive certificate. They are lined up behind the blocks, all set to do a “Survival Jump” – you know, the one for when you have to jump into water that is covered in burning oil. Right hand covers your nose and mouth, the left wraps around in front and tacks onto your right shoulder, you take a big breath then plunge into the water flat-feet first. The kids are all lively and skinny as sticks and ferocious little swimmers. The coach yells out “have you girls picked up your bricks yet?”
I don’t think I visited Townsville in the 90s. I was living in Brisbane, studying music at Uni and too impatient and distracted by romantic notions of travelling the world to appreciate either the town I was in or the movie Pulp Fiction.