Being fifty-something, I have succumbed to the vagaries of a Bucket List.
It’s not terribly ambitious. It’s purposely populated with “do-able” deeds … stuff that I can actually see myself managing. How else am I going to experience those legendary endorphin hits generated by the “ticking off” of a Bucket List item?
So far, progress has been slow. I do have a rag rug in the making: a dawdling, never-ending work-in-progress which is therapeutic and frustrating. Both at once. That tick will be a while coming.
On the other hand, I am excited to report that I have achieved Bucket List Item 4 … a big fecking tick, legendary endorphin rush and all.
This one fell in my lap. But it still counts, right?
My nephew’s gorgeous girlfriend offered us free (yes, FREE!) weekend general admission passes to the recent V8 Supercars meet at Sandown Circuit, Melbourne.
Mr P and I made a weekend of it, staying in Melbourne overnight for dinner and city sights.
On the Saturday we headed to the track, sussed out the best vantage points, walked for miles (and miles) (and miles), chatted to the groundstaff about parking, gate entries and generally set ourselves up for Sunday, the main race day.
On the Sunday we arrived just in time to snaffle what seemed to be the last spot in the humungous car park … we were in the far, far corner, the furthest possible position from the gate we had our eye on. The crowd must be gargantuan in size. Damn! Maybe we shouldn’t have made that stop for a look-see at the famous Camberwell Market on the way. It was hard to drag myself away from stall-upon-stall of quality vintage, antique and oddity items like this lot:
No regrets. We were here now.
With the race green light looming we headed to the nearest possible gate, hoping to get a glimpse of the race start before making our way around the track to our carefully selected position.
We found ourselves on the concourse, not far from the starting grid, just in front of the grandstand.
Looking up longingly at the comfort of the grandstand, we noted an absence of security at the entry points. It seemed to be free-for-all, rather than reserved.
You don’t have to ask us twice.
Or once, even.
We clambered upwards, found a great viewpoint of the starting grid and took our seats. What’s the worst that could happen? That we get discovered and ejected from the grandstand? It didn’t. We watched the entire race from the undercover comfort, high up in the stand.
I loved it!
Now, these V8 Supercars rush past at around 270kmh. It’s tricky to keep track of who’s winning and what the state of the race actually is. You can’t see anything of what’s happening around the other side of the track.
If not for “our” team’s car livery being a distinctive bright red (Mr P refers to it as “dog’s dick red”, as only he can), I’d have had no idea of what was going on.
Still the atmosphere was amazing and the crowd energising.
Let’s stop here for a minute. I know V8 Supercars seems “at odds” to what you know about me. My close friends are similarly puzzled. Very few would pick me as a motorsport enthusiast. Yet, here I am. Such is the lot for fifty-something women in search of bucket list ticks. I daren’t even think about the fossil fuels been expended for the pleasure of the onlookers (yes, me). Mental note: plant some compensatory trees or secure some carbon credits and move on.
Back to the track.
In this crowd, I was definitely overdressed (in jeans, cardigan, scarf and boots). Mr P stripped off his windcheater to reveal an ageing Monaro t-shirt and instantly disappeared into the collage of the crowd. It seemed everyone (except me) was wearing their team colours loud and proud on their sleeves, their backs, their pants, their flags and still parading their way back and forth, to and from the merchandise area with three-bags-full throughout the afternoon. Huge business!
I, on the other hand, didn’t move from my seat (just in case it wasn’t there when I returned!)
Please don’t ask me who won the race. Mr P did yell something along the lines of “dog’s dick red, one and two”, but I’m not sure. It’s not the point.
For me, the point was being there, being part of something huge and exciting, doing something I’ve been talking about doing for years and … tadah! … achieving a Bucket List item.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Ready yourselves for endorphin.