Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Paris and I ~ 'One Day I'll Drive Away'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ One Day I'll Drive Away ~

One Day I'll Drive Away, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

We had a problem when we went to Australia for a year when I was 9, back in '74. My dad didn't drive and there was no way we could get around without a car where we were going to be living, in the outskirts of Perth. Where I came from you built up. Over there you just built out.

He started taking lessons and the excitement mounted along with the nervousness as the test date approached, just before leaving, and he had to have that licence or we'd be in kanga-poo up to our white Pommie knees.

He got it, and we left, and on arrival the task of finding the family's first personal vehicle presented itself. To cut a long story short, for some reason we got a white second-hand Peugeot 404. Next to all the droolworthy Ford Falcons and Holden Kingswoods was our little French four-wheeler, but it got us from A to B, most of the time, which was my practical dad's main concern.

In the end I swallowed my 9-year-old pride and grew to love it, particularly for the novelty value of actually having a car, along with the growing list of cool things we did in it. Like following the 400 mile long water pipeline east out to the mining town of Kalgoorlie and the ghost town of Coolgardie, and gingerly nudging koolin' kangas out of the way without a roo-bar, and removing one side of the driveway wall with a fender, or was it the other way round..?

A sad day it was when we finally had to sell it and head home to East Enfield, North London, UK, a world away from South Como, Perth, WA, in all ways. But I'll never forget that cute little car, and every time I see one the memories flood back, the smell of the seats in the sun, the clunking of the doors and the lazy chewing of sourgrass plucked from the driveway before every trip. Insouciant days.

This one was in Montmartre yesterday, just next to the Ciné 13, in more familiar territory for a French thoroughbred than bouncing along between the blackboys in the bush, to be sure.

I have quite a few Aussies doing photo tours with me these days, and there seems to be something building up in me, a sort of niggling that perhaps, in some not too distant future, I should get over there again. And who knows, maybe hit Route 94 to be that tanned boy once more sitting astride that big ol' pipeline, with a faithful old froggy bagnole by my side.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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