30 kinds of wonderful: 25. Adelaide.

OK, so I’m doing this thing where I’m counting down to my 30th birthday with 30 kinds of wonderful. If you need to catch up, just start here.

Now let’s go!

25. Adelaide

If you’re Australian you’ll now be suffering the pain and humiliation of having half your morning coffee shoot up your nose. Adelaide? Wonderful? SNORT.

But no, seriously, Adelaide is really very nice, the Adelaideans among us protest. And I shall not disagree with them.

Countless holidays over the course of my teens deep in the Adelaide Hills cemented a love of Adelaide in me. In many ways, it seemed a lot like torture at the time. 5 weeks in an un-airconditioned house in the country with no TV, no internet (Did the internet even exist back then? Not for me it didn’t.) and two rather introverted parents. No friends. Precious little to do beyond read and listen to records. Yep. Records. Those vinyl things that make quite good frisbees. I seriously got so bored one holiday that I catalogued our entire record collection on Excel. Yep. Spreadsheeted it. Why? I have no clue. I can thus reliably inform you that the most contemporary records in our collection were Louis Armstrong, Tubular Bells (so bad it’s good) and Big Bird Sings.

Big Bird Sings went the way of the frisbee one afternoon – exploding an oversized pat of fossilised cow dung. The highlight of my life was when 5 year old Tom moved in next door and asked me to marry him. (I was 15, for the record). We constructed an entire lego pirate ship and I became a whiz kid at origami.

I read the entire back catalogue of Peanuts cartoons (50-odd books worth), purchased in an antique shop in a nearby town. I pulled out about 20,000 bulbs of some description (the flowering variety, not the tungsten ones) and hung them to dry. Once again, I’m not sure why.

I watched ants. Years later, Paul Wilson (he of The Little Book of Calm fame) mentioned to me that he suspects he learned to meditate watching ants, during a similar childhood out in the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if I did the same, as I’m now pretty much a genius at doing nothing for hours and having time evaporate if given the opportunity (the opportunity rarely arises however).

I walked 6km for ice cream. I read TV Hits magazine so I could at least theoretically keep abreast of Ross and Rachel’s relationship in Friends. Once or twice a summer we headed into town (downtown Adelaide – ooh!) to watch movies. We saw Romeo+Juliet (the Baz Luhrmann version). It was singularly the greatest thing I had ever seen, felt or experienced in my entire life. To refresh, I was 15. Not a lot happens to you before you’re 15. Or at least it didn’t to me.


Here’s the weird thing. What I’ve taken away from this is that I now absolutely adore Adelaide and its surrounds (they’re incredibly beautiful, by the way). I dream of inflicting such summers on my unborn children. That’s the cycle of abuse for you.

Which brings me to this birthday. The three-oh one.

Strangely, how I wish to welcome in my 30s is by re-creating the summers of my teens. So tomorrow the Beloved Design Fascist and I are flying to Victoria, renting a car and driving into a whole new area of Australia we’ve never explored before. I’m hoping for space, heat, quiet, freedom, beauty and some seriously good vintage shopping.

I haven’t quite succeeded in completing my 30 kinds of wonderful odyssey before the big day itself but I promise to be back early next week and complete the series in style.

Until then… pip pip.

~ by Niccola on January 31, 2012.

One Response to “30 kinds of wonderful: 25. Adelaide.”

  1. […] blog post I explained the cycle of abuse that has led to my strange fixation with desolation and boredom. This explains why I enjoy […]

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