The “Antarctic Vortex” is such a cool sounding name, makes it sound like a blizzard just picked up from the South Pole and blew through Straya. However from a suburban Sydney point of view, a much more realistic name would have been “It Was Slightly More Chilly Than Usual”. So in search of the coldocalypse I was promised, I jumped in the car and headed to the coldest place in my immediate universe: the Blue Mountains.
Success – it was freezing! I found a cool little spot called the Sublime Point Lookout, near Leura. It’s a pretty neat little hideaway with almost no traffic, but an amazing view. I’d have stayed out on the lookout for longer had I not been worried that I may be blown off the edge of the cliff and die alone. God it was blowy.
Speaking of dying alone, it was pretty quiet there but a couple of groups of sightseers did appear when I was there. After braving the windstorm out on the lookout I retreated back into a sheltered picnic area out of the wind where I could stop, have a drink and do some writing. The second group passed me here on their way back out, and made a point of stopping to ask if I was OK. Since I was by myself I thought this was normal and appreciated the gesture. But they looked really worried about me, and didn’t look convinced by my answer either. Then I put the pieces together.
I was alone.
I was dressed in a lot of dark colours, complete with beanie and hoodie.
The fierce wind combined with my usual allergies meant my eyes were watering non stop.
I was sitting at the table with a pen and paper writing a note in between blowing my nose and wiping my tears away.
And I was doing all this less than ten metres away from a very steep, unfenced, remote cliff face.
…I hope those people were mollified to later see me walking back up to my car instead of going through with what must have looked an awful lot like a suicide attempt. Didn’t mean to scare you guys. I just like hanging out by myself in odd places. And I have belligerent allergies.
I actually got something similar in the bookstore this morning. My eyes were leaking like a faucet and this random guy made a crack about how the book I was looking at must have been depressing as hell. It occurs to me that I must look pretty ridiculous a lot of the time, whether it be my eyes watering, my nose running, or my face being all kinds of messed up for any number of reasons. Sometimes I wonder what people in the street must think of me, looking like I do.
This took a weird, depressing turn. The point is I went for an impromptu drive up to the Mountains to watch the sun set and it felt good. I was having a bit of trouble finding the right music to pair with the trip, so I just went on Spotify and clicked on the first new album that came up, leaving it up to the gods.
Turns out it was Communion by Years & Years, and we had a winner. I couldn’t quite place them until “King” came on and I realised that I’d heard them on the radio. I have no idea who these guys are but they sound pretty cool, and the chilled sound was perfect for my twilight roadtrip. “Take Shelter” is a mad song, check it out. “Do what you want tonight / It’s alright if you want to get used” is a hell of a lyric, Holy moley.
And with that, I’m off to drink my last Coke for a while. I shall endeavour to explain my latest foray onto the wagon tomorrow, after I have gone without for 24 hours and prove to myself that it’s doable.