26 March 2003

Hi all,

Tonight's postcard comes to you from Separation Point, a one night stay in my memory's itinerary of a childhood holiday. I'll also introduce some family members, for those of you who haven't already had the pleasure, or aren't in fact, the person in question!

In 1975, aged ten and eight, Heather and I trooped up to Kalbarri with our Nanna and Grandpop. I name them in that order, because that's how it always was. Whenever we talk about them, it's always been Nanna first, then Grandpop. Nanna, always out there with plenty to say, then Grandpop, quiet and thoughtful in the background, but always there when you needed him.

Nanna could always be counted on to roughly double the usual travel time for any trip. At what now seems like fifteen minute intervals, we'd stop, set up a virtual army mess of thermos flasks and folding furniture and enjoy morning tea, or afternoon tea, or whatever refreshment the hour of day proscribed. Oh, I forgot the tablecloth... there always had to be a tablecloth. Even in gale force winds, there had to be a tablecloth!

And for those who don't know, Heather is my sister. There have been two main phases in our relationship. Phase one, when we shared a roof, consisted largely of screaming competitions. Our neighbours from those days must surely now all be inner city residents, their moves inspired by a desire for a quieter existence amongst live music venues. Phase two happened as soon as Heather left home and continues to this day. Best friends.

Largely because we travelled in style, the Kalbarri trip holds a particularly grand place in my memory. To pull the caravan we hired, we borrowed my Uncle's huge Chevy Impala. Now I'd just think of it as another Yank Tank, but at age eight it was luxury.

After a couple of weeks in Kalbarri where Mum eventually joined us after getting off work, we stopped overnight in Geraldton on the way home, staying at Separation Point.

You were wondering when I was gonna get there, weren't you?

I don't remember too much about it, except that in my eight year old memory it meant Geraldton. It was also near the beach.

The legacy of this trip for me is that Geraldton no longer means Separation Point. Largely because I have a whole new view of the town, now seen through adult eyes, but also because Separation Point now means something completely different.

The caravan park is gone, supplanted by a concept, the new 'Separation Point Marine Precinct'. I discovered this during my first week in town when, while orienting myself, I came upon the impressive new signboards (images attached) proclaiming the precinct.

Before I arrived, I knew that a new Aquaculture training facility was being planned, obviously long overdue given Geraldton's leading role in WA's fishing industry. What I hadn't heard was the proposed location.

As you probably realise, I don't have any great attachment to Separation Point. In fact, in writing this postcard, I've been thinking about and have realised what's actually inspired it: It's the first time in my life where not only has something that was 'supposed to be there' is no longer there, but that I had some connection with its no longer being there.

The new Marine Precinct will be a wonderful step forward for Geraldton, and the old caravan park was undoubtedly very scuffed at the edges, as attested by the forlorn looking images.

So why do I feel like I've lost something?

Cya, Rob :

In case you're interested, I had two calls from BankWest today. The first, setting up my appointment; The second, from quality control, investigating my complaint!


© Rob Morgan 2003