New year’s inspiration

unknown-3To see in the New Year, I’ve been reading the marvellous and thought-provoking memoir by Tim Winton: The boy behind the curtain. Am particularly enjoying his muscular descriptive passages that bring the Aussie landscape to life, such as driving across the Nullarbor Plain:

‘That morning I drove past salt pans and vast eucalyptus woodlands into monochrome treelessness. The overcast sky spilled to earth, its blotchy greys hard to distinguish from the cloudy puffs of knee-high scrub stretching windblown and insubstantial to the horizon. The gunmetal two-lane ribboned out changeless until the afternoon surprise of Madura Pass when there was a sudden decline as the Hampton Tableland gave way to the hypnotic Roe Plains. Down on the flats it was all sky. It was like travelling across the seabed, which is more or less what that land is. Everything looked scoured, as if one giant swell had just receded and another was about to come surging in. The only thing separating me from Elsewhere, it felt, was this low, dun-coloured shelf I was pelting across. I drove until I ran out of daylight and when I climbed down onto the dirt I felt stoned.’

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