Milperra to Menindee: Another Musical Dilemma

Here is the second post from The Ombudsman:

The return trip was just as varied musically as it was visually.  I awoke at 1:50am and left Sydney at 2am.  I was immediately frustrated by my sore throat and cold-like symptoms (I hadn’t been able to shake the cold that I had since the start of the holidays).  It meant that singing and whistling would be of limited application during the journey home (or is that, away from home?).

As per the request of the St Ives Correspondent, I jotted down a list of the CDs that I played during the return trip.  I proudly used my ‘Australian Government Summer Schools for Teachers’ official pen (which my father insists will be a collector’s item down the track).  Thanks for the pen, Julie!

In Samuel-esque style, I tuned into 2UE and John Kerr, realising that even though it was the midnight program, it would be my last taste of 2UE for quite some time (I had enjoyed listening to John Stanley throughout the holidays).  But after a few phone calls about hospitals from insomnia stricken seniors, I put on ‘The Kiss of the Spiderwoman’ (Vanessa Williams version – aka, Wilhelmina of ‘Ugly Betty’ fame).  This mirrored the ‘return to hell’ mood that often coincides with the end of school holidays.  As I was not in a position to change CDs when it finished, I switched to WSFM and then switched the music off altogether (very uncustomary).  I was however thankful for the lack of fog in the Blue Mountains.

In keeping with the preference for alternating between instrumental CDs and other albums, I then hunted around for a film score.  At the end of each holiday, I rotate my CDs around to ensure I get a different sample each term (I probably have close to 1000 CDs now).  ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ made the cut.  After listening to it, I wish it hadn’t.  I didn’t find it as melodically interesting as the first Harry Potter film score and it tended to put me to sleep (not good when having to drive while half asleep in the dark).

I then decided on ‘Anastasia’ (the animated film, not the pop singer) which has songs by the team that wrote ‘Ragtime: The Musical’.  It also features Kelsey Grammar, which adds to its appeal (being a ‘Frasier’ fan).  The main song, ‘Journey to the Past’ made me contemplate whether Menindee represents my past or my future.  At this point, I got stuck behind a house that was being transported on the back of one of those ‘OVERSIZE’ trucks, meaning it was impossible to overtake.  This probably added about 30 minutes to the trip overall.  I then listened to ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ which confuses me but has witty songs.  ‘Cabaret’ was next on the agenda, which I tore out of the CD player when the second act started (it was never one of my favourites).  I then listened to ‘42nd Street’, which lifted my spirits as it conjured images of my impending USA trip.  This was followed by ‘Hook’, the score from the Robin Williams film, which is a lot better than I remembered it.  I then stupidly went to the toilet in one of those park areas – make sure you take Dettol in with you if you ever have to go!

I decided that seeing the Darling River with smoke rising from it at Wilcannia necessitated an Andrew Lloyd Webber album to match the spectacle.  I chose ‘Aspects of Love’, which I always think is a good selection at the time, but it tends to go on forever.  After enduring the first act, I was over the whole journey and needed something to sing to.  ‘Xanadu’ served this purpose well (has anyone ever listened to the lyrics? they are complete nonsense!).  I then sampled parts of ‘The Return of the Jedi’ and the first act of ‘The Who’s Tommy’.  As the music played, dark thunder clouds started to circle and rain almost as hard as hail started to fall.  I wondered whether Menindee would survive the storm.  For the final part of the journey, from Broken Hill to Menindee, I listened to ‘The Mikado’ which reminded me of a ‘Frasier’ episode where Frasier sings ‘Three Little Maids’.

On reflection, while I enjoyed the music that I had selected, it wasn’t as thrilling or exciting as the trip ‘home’ (that is, to Sydney two weeks before).  Perhaps it isn’t the musical journey that is important, but the destination.



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