As is customary with any new acquaintance (and what we hope to become a great friendship), an introduction; our story is not of epic proportion, but one worth telling nevertheless.
A couple of years ago, we were both doing our youthful duty of working in a supermarket. We worked some shifts together and chatted enough to become Facebook friends but that was all there was to it. Until one day, Rachel posted ‘I sit there and listen to the history of my family, who set out on their separate journeys that day not realising the tragic ironies and joys of that collision of worlds on the Jellicoe Road. And of the people they would never have met if it hadn’t happened’ on her Facebook page. Not only is this quote from our favourite (and lets be honest, the best) book of all time, but it was also the start of a great friendship. We couldn’t believe that we had worked together for almost 2 years and hadn’t realised that we both shared a mutual love for anything and everything written by the brilliant Melina Marchetta.
While our shifts at Coles still dragged on, minute by dreary minute, our new found friendship did make those minutes slightly more bearable. There was even talk of starting our own territory wars, based on who ‘owned’ which register (which gives you an idea of our immense dislike of our role as check out chicks and our infatuation with Melina Marchetta books). A long story short, we had the brilliant idea of going on a roadtrip to Sydney (we live in Melbourne) to visit all the locations mentioned in Melina’s books.
So, after much preparation and accumulation of annual leave, we embarked on the journey of lifetime on October 6, 2012. Avid book readers will know that when you read a brilliant and well constructed story, the characters leave the words on the pages of the book and become real people and, often, dear friends. This is certainly how we feel about Josephine Alibrandi, Francesca Spinelli, Taylor Markham, Thomas Mackee, and all the other characters who make these imaginary worlds come alive. So it shouldn’t have been a shock to us when we had to constantly remind ourselves that, no, Tom didn’t kiss Tara here, because Tom and Tara are fictional characters.
Our journey (not a trip) was incredible, exciting, momentous, heartbreaking, exhilarating, hilarious, sad and everything in between. Soon, we will start posting pictures, stories and the odd video of our trip in the hope that you are able to share this amazing experience with us.
(It is necessary to make a special shout out to Annette’s aunty, Taylor Owynns, who allowed us to invade her home for a week and suggested that we share our experiences to the world via a blog. Taylor is a marvellous celebrant located in Sydney and we recommend you check out her website Taylormade Celebrations).