I have had THE most amazing day...
But before I do the big ramble (because you know I will, so get comfortable) I just wanted to make a kind of general observation.
I don't know if it was because I spent so much time out and about, or because I went to so many places and had all these "experiences", or what, but today was the first time I think I've ever had the feeling of wishing I had somebody with me today to share it with.
I'm not talking about a whole "oh woe is me, I don't have an alternative lifestyle romantic lifepartner, boo hoo"... I'm not sure it was even a romantical feeling... it was just that by the time I got to the end of today I wish I'd shared the experience with... somebody.
So obviously I have an opening for a "somebody" in my life right now... not that I didn't already know that.
The other random observation I'll make is that I've eaten nothing but CRAP all day today. But possibly I made up for it since I've done a lot of walking.
I also think that I might need to come up with some other way of showing off some of my photos other than just the Monday Montage (which there may or may not be an instance of tomorrow) and Photo Friday. Partially because I took a shitload of photos today, but I keep operating on a Photo Friday backlog, whereby I have an excess of stuff in my Photo Friday folder, and keep adding to it, so I never quite get caught up. So once I come up with something appropriately alliterative (any suggestions?), I might start making with the midweek/some other random day photos.
Anyway, back to my day...
Today was just GLORIOUS... sunny, warm, clear blue skies, fresh breeze... perfect weather for getting outside in the world and doing things of an outside world type nature.
So after I'd read the paper and done my regular Sunday stuff (some time around noon I think) I grabbed my camera and my phone headphones and my carkeys and after trying (and failing) to find a particular spot on any kind of map actually found directions to the St Peters Billabong, so off I went in my little black teeshirt (making today and tomorrow the first times that I've worn something short sleeved in MONTHS).
I'm hoping that at other times of year the Billabong is more impressive, because it was a world of big green puddle currently... okay, maybe puddle is a bit of an exaggeration (what with the alleged "pond surface area of 1.42ha"), but it was slightly less impressive than I expected it to be. Nice and all, very biodiversity... but you know... m'eh.
When I finished wandering about I decided that it was just too nice to go home... various radio stations were pumping out very driveable tunes, the aformentioned sun and sky were aforementioning, so drive I did.
I think I've probably mentioned before that I have NO sense of direction... none... nada... zip... okay, maybe a bit... but I fluke it through nothing but pure luck more than any actual skill or knowledge of where the hell I'm going. And today was no different. I just picked a vague kind of direction and drove.
Crossed that road, turned left there, followed the road around to the right... and eventually, after many and varied roads that I had no idea where they were or where I was (other than, you know, a rough general idea) I found a road that I did know. And I figured I had just one choice to make... hills or beach...
For hills I needed to go right, for beach turn left... more or less... so I decided to go left and thus, to the beach.
There were any number of times when I could possibly have gotten off a less known road onto a better known road, but I was enjoying flying (or rather driving) by intuition and the seat of my pants, so I went with the road less travelled...
Sadly, after following this particular road over hill and over dale (poor Dale), I didn't turn when I should have turned, and ended up in a particular spot where I thought... "hey, if I turn right here I'm over halfway to Ma's place... I could drop by"... but then I couldn't get into the turning lane, so I figured the Universe had other plans... oh lordy did the Universe have other plans...
Down the road however, was the choice to turn off into one of the newer housing estates, Mawson Lakes, which I've actually never visited... and since it was the day for that "the road less travelled", I turned right into Mawson Lakes.
And of course, this is a place I've never been, so I had NO idea where the hell I was driving or where to turn or whatever (although looking on the map on their website, it looks like there's really only one major road through the whole thing, and that's pretty much where I stayed). But at some point I saw these cool concrete sphere things, so I turned down a side street and stopped to take some more photos. The spheres led to this little funky public garden thing... and then I found myself in the much cooler "hip young modern townhouse/apartment section" (as opposed to the "beige on beige on beige family home section" that I passed on my way through... yucky)... all architectural lines, interesting colours and mixed building materials... so I went on a wander to do a little architectural photography.
Just before I was going to head back to the car I saw a sign for a real estate agency saying there was an open inspection of one of the apartments, so I figured I might as well go up, take a look, do the proverbial "tyre kicking" thing (looking with no intention of buying). Actually part of me wishes I hadn't looked.
It was a cute little two bedroom apartment, possibly not really that much bigger than my current place (some, but not a lot, maybe mostly coming from the second bedroom and a little bit in the living room/kitchen... and the leaflet she gave me doesn't actually give the square footage)... and I wandered about while the agent woman spoke to this other couple... and I poked in the bedrooms and went out on the balcony to admire the view (which actually wasn't a view... since that particular apartment looked straight out onto the back of the apartment building next door). Finally the nice lady came out to say hello properly and ask me if I had any questions... so I did a bit of a dog and pony show ("I'm really just dipping my toe in the market, to see what's going on"... you know, lied through my teeth), but I did find out that the asking price was $245K... and the rent they'd been asking on it when it had been a rental property was $210, but she said they could now get more in the current market.
Somebody shoot me now...
Part of me just wished that I could have seriously considered buying it, making an offer, whatever. Although I don't necessarily know that I would have decided to move to Mawson Lakes if I'd been looking seriously, but for a brief moment I did the whole "what might have been" movie-reel in my head.
After I got over myself, I went back in the car and kept driving (actually went past a couple of bits of very groovy public art that I probably need to go back and photograph or whatever), and found my way back to a road I knew and headed up to see Ma.
I hung out with her for a little bit... saw that they were playing ET as the midday movie and was a little... I dunno, not annoyed, and not really disappointed, but maybe a little disillusioned since it was the "remastered" version and they'd so very obviously gone back and given the alien a whole CGI makeover, mostly so he could emote more... but it wasn't the same crappy rubber suit I remembered from when I was a kid. They just killed it with technology... so now I'd just spend the whole movie going "that's been altered... that's CG... they changed that"...
Anyway... I thought at one point that I could just have done the usual route home, but once again... "road less travelled"... so I decided to take the new Northern Expressway down to Port Adelaide. Which was fun... not really overly scenic, but still new (this being only the second time I've been down it) and slightly interesting.
When I got to Port Adelaide, I went straight on at one point when I should have turned right (or the other way around, I forget now) and ended up in this little backstreet area... and was so wishing that I'd been there earlier in the day, since there was this really cool looking abandoned factory, but the sun was totally in the wrong place for decent photographs. Then trying to get back to some road I knew, I went past this junk yard full of rusting stuff... including an old bus, which is what made me originally slow down and take a second look... which is when I saw the goat...
Yes... this rusty scrap metal yard had not one, but two "guard goats"... so obviously I stopped and took their picture... I wasn't completely sure what the idea behind the goats was... other than, you know, the "cartoon idea" of a goat eating a rusty tin can... or if they were a particularly vicious type of attack goat (I'm guessing not though, since they were just plain old dopey looking). Weird (especially the horizontal pupils in their eyes)... cool as all hell... but WEIRD...
I headed in the general direction of Semaphore, and as I went over the bridge I passed the Port Adelaide Sailing Club... and the sun was starting to get low in the sky, the water was eerily calm, making almost perfect reflections of the sailboats. Now, Ma has a thing about sailboats (actually Ma has a "thing" about a fricken ton of stuff now that I think about it... seahorses, blossoms, sunsets, sailboats, crosses... blah, blah, blah), so I turned down a little sidestreet and hauled ass back up over the bridge to shoot the boats.
Then back in the car again and down the road to Semaphore... and there were actually a ton of people around... obviously the sunshine brought them all out... but I got a really good carpark (yay me), then wandered down and took a few shots, particularly of the angel at the beginning of the jetty... which is hard to shoot in the afternoon since it ends up being a silhouette (oh yeah, Ma has a thing about those too), but it kind of worked out quite nicely I think. I wandered about a bit, perved on semi-cute boys splashing around in the surf (one of whom hadn't been paying attention to the "don't wear dark undies under white shorts if you plan on getting wet" lesson... which I always appreciate), bought a bottle of water since I was starting to dehydrate a little, then drove down the coast.
Every time I was out today and there was the choice of either "keep driving" or "turn here and head home", I took the first option... and ended up heading down to Glenelg.
And I did something I haven't done... actually, I don't know that I've ever done it in my car, but I think I've done it a few times with Raury back in the day... driving (well, crawling really) down Jetty Road of an evening/afternoon, window down, stereo blaring... it's such a "boy" thing to do... but it just fit in with the day, so I went with it.
I'd kind of thought about just doing the length of Jetty Road and then heading home again, but the "keep driving/going" instinct prevailed, and I parked in a backstreet carpark and wandered back down Jetty Road, maybe thinking about grabbing some chips or something for dinner... but I ended up wandering the whole length of Jetty Road (since I parked way, way, way up the road) all the way down to the jetty.
Lots and lots and lots of people at Glenelg... which always baffles me to a certain degree, since everybody knows that there are going to be crowds at Glenelg, so why do they all end up there... probably the same reason I ended up there... it's just where you go.
I decided since I was feeling all summery and beachy and whatnot, that icecream was in order (plus I'm a simple Pavlovian creature, and I saw other people eating yummy looking icecream)... God bless you Baskin Robbins and both your Rainbow Sherbet and Chocolate & Peanut Butter flavours... yummy!
I did think about walking back to the car with said icecream treat, but again, the "go forth young man" impulse kicked in, and I headed back to the jetty and hung out there for a while eating my icecream and watching the slightly creepy guy taking photos of the slightly cute and half naked boys playing with their "skimboard" (or whatever it was) along the edge of the water. Granted I think he was just trying to get some dynamic action shots and was most likely perfectly harmless... but still.
I did think about going over and saying to him "getting anything good", you know, one photographer to another... but that just seemed creepier than what he was doing, so I didn't...
By this time the sun was starting to set, so I just stayed on the jetty taking a variety of photos of the sunset. Actually it started because I was trying to get a shot of the breaking waves (which were breaking just below me on the jetty), and turned into about fifty very similar sunset shots as the sun slowly sunk down. There are a few good shots amongst them, but one of my favorites is the very last shot I took (and the one that's in the image up at the top)... looking back across Moseley Square, through the palm trees and all the people, to the sunset. Purdy.
Luckily it was about the time that the sun was pretty much set (or had hit the horizon at least) that my camera thumbed it's nose at me and the battery fell down (bastard object)... actually I only got that final sunset shot because I let the camera rest for a little bit.
And to top off my day full of bad food items, I stopped off at what is possibly the BEST fish and chippery ever on my way back to the car... Chips (not an original company name, I grant you, but descriptive), "gourmet take away". Although I made the stupid mistake of saying yes to salt... never a good plan (urgh, salt mouth)... but even so the chips were mightly tasty.
Interestingly on the side of said fish and chippery (as there is on the side of quite a few of the blocks down Jetty Road) there was this groovy piece of street art... which I'm pretty sure was done by the same artist that did the stuff I saw in town back at the beginning of the year (not the geisha, the other stuff) since that guy (or girl, I dunno) has a very distinctive style.
I also saw the COOLEST Egyptian street art mural on the side of another building on the way back to the car, but I was out of both sunlight and battery, so that will have to wait until next time.
So as the sun set in the west, as they say in the classics, I drove my very contented and junk food filled ass home... just in time for America's Next Top Model (which meant that I'd been out and about for roughly six hours)...
Best! Day! Ever! Okay, maybe not "ever"... and like I said all the way back up at the top there, it might have been nice to have had somebody along for the ride today... although given the number of random driving errors that were actually the cause for today's adventures I don't know if I would have ended up doing what I did if I'd had somebody with me. At the very least it would have been nice to have somebody with me for the icecream and sunset portion of the day...
I'm officially knackered though and could quite possibly be sunburned come tomorrow... can I fall down now?