The sheer ne­ces­sity of telling

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION - DAVID PENBERTHY

A FEW years ago I went on a bizarre and ex­cel­lent road trip with my two kids. The three of us jumped in the car and drove 310km north from our home town of Ade­laide to the gritty in­dus­trial city of Port Au­gusta.

The road trip lasted less than two days and was framed around one un­usual pur­pose — to visit the Aus­tralian Arid Lands Botanic Gar­den. To say the kids had zero in­ter­est in vis­it­ing a blaz­ing hot gar­den com­prised en­tirely of desert plants is a mas­sive un­der­state­ment. They thought the en­tire en­deav­our was ab­surd.

A seven-hour round trip, all to see a flow­er­ing eu­ca­lyp­tus macro­carpa.

We ended up hav­ing the time of our lives. Heaps of great stuff hap­pened along the way. We saw a Loch Ness mon­ster made out of used car tyres float­ing in a lake. I almost sat on a goanna that was sun­ning it­self on a rock at a play­ground. We walked down a jetty that was 1.5km long. Best of all, we drove past an aban­doned ser­vice sta­tion that had been taken over by an ec­cen­tric sales­man. It had a large hand­writ­ten sign out front which read: “Blue swim­mer crabs, sta­tionery, cab­bage soup, shoes”.

Three years on and that re­mark­able store is still a run­ning gag in our fam­ily. I’m just pop­ping down the shops, kids. No prob­lems, dad, while you’re there can you get me some crabs and sta­tionery and cab­bage soup and shoes?

The best thing about this 30-hour hol­i­day was that I was meant to be at work and didn’t go in. I pulled a sickie.

I was so fed up with my job at the time that I sim­ply couldn’t be ar­sed go­ing, so I

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