July 4

Bags all packed again. Checked out of our Perth highway motel. Congregated in the foyer for splitting into different cabs, one to the airport and one to the city. I headed straight back to my cafe from yesterday, Source Cafe, cos I’d been thinking about their tempeh burger since I left and sat at a table next to the window with my laptop and ran “Hannah Inc” – That’s what Ally calls it when she has to do the bits and pieces of banking, emailing etc – the stuff that keeps our lives going – running Ally Inc. I enjoyed my time there. As I had no work commitments for the rest of the day, instead of drinking cups of herbal tea, I could have had an early arvo vodka to match the beautiful sunny day.

Off to the airport to catch our 4:30 flight to Geraldton to pick up cars and drive 490km to Carnarvon. It doesn’t really look that far on the map, in relation to the rest of Australia, but it is 490km!

(Just to share, the reason I could’ve had a drink or two is cos I don’t drive. I have finally been properly learning over the past couple of years, and do plan to get my license this year, but a vodka wouldn’t have disabled my extra super navigating skills.)

In a car with Dennis and Toni, it was just getting dark when we set off from Geraldton Airport, so by the time we were on the main road north, the sun was down. We chatted for a while then Toni said I could put some music on if I liked, if I had a CD or anything.

I did have a CD. One CD in my bag. A CD I’ve been carrying around with me since last July but hadn’t felt ready to listen to at any time, until now, perhaps now was the time.

At Dan Hoyne’s memorial last year, there were CDs for everyone to take home – a last mix tape he’d made for the people who cared for him. Beautifully presented with photos of him, track listing and Dylan Thomas quote on the front –

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight,
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Feeling emotional, and sharing the meaning of the moment and music with Toni and Dennis – we drove the dark road out of Geraldton with Dan’s Last Mix Tape playing and a full, grapefruit moon rising in the sky to light the way.

I’d waited for the right moment. The environment and the company allowed me to really listen to the music, to hear what Dan wanted to share with everyone after he had gone. It was beautiful, and I will always remember the experience. Dan had great taste in music, and music was something we, and I’m sure many others with Dan, bonded on. I’m still sad I will never get to hang out with him again.

We arrived in Carnarvon around 11pm. The road had been heavy with wildlife – foxes, kangaroos, sheep, goats, cattle – thankfully we didn’t hit anything. And after picking up our room keys which had been left for us in an envelope on top of a barrel next to reception we all retired for the night.

RIP Dan x