By the time this goes to print I will be shivering my arse off down in Australia’s winter wonderland. I hate Melbourne.

Maybe I should clarify that. I love Melbourne. I love its culture, its footy, its bars and its beautiful girls. I hate Melbourne’s stinking freezing-ness, it’s drizzly black-clad coolness and its non-outdoorsyness.

If Melbourne were a lesbian, she’d be one of those grumpy dyke lawyers smoking at a dark bar in expensive shoes.

It’s not that I hate the cold. I just reckon if the weather is going to be that shithouse, I should be dressed like a 12-year-old boy, there should be a snowboard strapped to my feet, a chairlift at the bottom of the street and some hot apr?ski action happening at about 4:30pm.

Melbourne -“ for all of its beautiful culture and lifestyle -“ offers none of this.

Anyway, this Melbourne visit is my first family road-trip, and my three-month-old son’s first escape from Sydney. He doesn’t know what’s happening, of course, or that there’s a crazy 18-month-old cousin perched and ready to jump on him at the other end. At least he’s calm.

Despite our travel-lite intentions, my girlfriend and I have turned into those people that take half their house away with them when they go interstate for a week. The baby needs two beds, apparently, and maybe we should take a heater? My usual, casual packing plan: Oh, I’ll just chuck some clothes in the car when I get home from work, is now tinged with slight hysteria.

It’s my own fault. In typical Farrar-fashion, I’ve said that I’ll meet an SSO weekly press deadline -“ the end-time of a week’s work at the Star is, of course, completely random -“ before catching a train home, packing the car and driving 850 kilometres.

Oh well. I’m just hoping it doesn’t go the way of my childhood family car adventures. All I can remember is my well-intentioned but geographically-challenged dad taking a short cut, leading to him driving our Datsun 120Y down a creek bed, leading to us meeting a wild pig, leading to us turning the car off and leaving the lights on, leading to us getting a flat battery.

A long and boring highway is nothing on that.

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