It’s a snaking and demanding ribbon of tar from Glenelg to Goolwa along and across the Hills and between the vines until the great arc of the Southern Ocean appears like a pale blue relief.
It was supposed to pour down but instead just spat with appalled apathy on my Korean car’s bonnet. I’ve the best part of three days overlooking Knight’s Beach to write and think and read for which I’m enormously grateful.
But I need to open my holiday with a sausage roll, as one should.
My now annual writing retreat is largely predicated on nostalgia and other investigations of the past so exiting the Southern Expressway and ignoring the radio I push in a CD on my hugely old-school car stereo.
The Eagles accompany me on my trip down to the gushing, green Fleurieu. Although my tiny brain is prejudiced happily to the past, I reckon they stand up well. It’d be easy to mock them as symbols of 70’s American excess but the songs and the musicianship are peerless. Eagles Live was enormous in my youth, and it might’ve had the be-jesus overdubbed out of it, but ‘Seven Bridges Road’ and its climbing harmonies still arrest me.
The Goolwa Bakery is located on a side street, and I was instantly smitten by the cosy interior. Some modern bakeries tend towards supermarket dimensions, to their consequent detriment. The atmosphere was also buoyed by a fishbowl in TV, sitting on a table near the door, as it always is in a rural baked goods emporium.
Ordering my $5 sausage roll my thoughts meandered towards Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace and her famous $5 shake, a speciality at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. Initially expressing disbelief Vincent Vega then takes a socially inappropriate sip and exclaims that it’s a ‘pretty expletive good milkshake!’
And so it was with my sausage roll.
Claiming a chair on the early afternoon footpath and withdrawing (careful now) the lunch from its brown bag it appeared as a freshly busted hunk of axe handle in both girth and approximation.
My first bite met with peppery whiffs and pleasantry. There was flaky, tasty pastry and it wasn’t sweaty which the medically alert among you will know is the biggest killer of over 55’s in this antipodean country.
Looking about my environs I note that the bakery shares premises with the Goolwa Health Centre and hope that all the kiddies reading now grasp the attendant irony.
The woman serving the baked grub was effervescent if somewhat resigned; I wondered about her life but not for long.
Munching on I was acutely aware of my enormous privilege as I was soon to drive to my beach accommodation. I’d be on a balcony with long, glorious hours in front of me.
Five quick minutes later I’d finished my lunch, scanned the surroundings, and pointed my motor west.
The Goolwa Bakery is over a century old. They know how to craft a sausage roll.
I’m unsure but they might even serve them (sauce if required) with ‘pink champagne on ice’ in the Hotel California.