So, I did it. I broke the jar. Last week I gently, lovingly wrapped my little ceramic friend in a towel. Then I hit it with a hammer. One efficient, satisfying pop later and the jar was no more. Instead, it was more like a broken Easter egg, with innards of moolah, rather than smarties – mostly coins, and a few notes (including 20 euros, for some reason), spread across the carpet.
It was time. I’ve been thinking about the Australia trip and what I’d like to do while I’m there. It may well be the one and only time I go there, so it makes sense to see as much of the country as possible while I can. Years ago I read about the Indian Pacific railway, which crosses Australia from Perth to Sydney (and, presumably, back again). Lately, I’ve been mildly obsessing about this and knew I wanted to make this three day train journey across a continent.
Apparently there’s three standards of travel on the Indian Pacific: Platinum, Gold and Red. Platinum and Gold class mean travel in your own private cabin, fancy meals and, at several thousand dollars for a one way ticket, presumably access to your own slave and life coach for the journey. In Red class, you get a seat and the occasional kick from a passing conductor, if he’s in a good mood. Someone I know who’s made the journey described Red class as being a bit like crossing the outback in a Glasgow corporation bus. And there was me thinking the 44 stopped at Eaglesham. That I wanted to make this journey was definite: the jar would decide which class I was going to be traveling in – or indeed if I’d be making the journey at all. I knew, really, in my heart of hearts, that for Platinum or even Gold class, I would have needed a substantially bigger jar.
So, the jar’s gone, and in its place I’ve got a ticket for a once in a lifetime train journey, across Australia, from Perth, to Adelaide (no, not Sydney – in the end, I decided two days on a Glasgow Corporation bus was probably the limit of my endurance). And now I’m watching the yellow leaves drift off the trees outside, and adding extra layers to stave off the cold, and I’m dreaming of the hot, dry, dusty orange train journey that I’ll be making, in my little red seat.