June 22, 2012
Horse 1336 - Ten Suburbs. No.9 Narellan 2567
I suppose that including Narellan in the definition of a Sydney suburb is pushing it somewhat but the truth is that the connurbation of Sydney is so vast that in terms of sheer size, it eclipses other world class cities like London and what is loosely alled Tokyohama. Narellan is on the very fringes of this swirling metropolis and has its own problems that the people with money and power living in the inner suburbs do not know or care about.
For a start it takes so long to get anywhere. The M5 and M7 have helped I suppose but they've been built more with the motive of taking money from people's wallets, rather than making lives any easier. There are buses and schools which make feeble attempts to cling on but the only real concession to proper development is a Woolworths.
This tryanny of distace does come with certain benefits though and one of these is the tremendous space. Up the road the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens sprawl over a massive 416 hectares and if you just want to run headlong at the horizon and get totally lost in the countryside, then then this is the place for you.
I found myself wandering into the Mt Annan Club Hotel and unlike the pubs you get in the city, the locals seemed friendly and said hello. There would be a distinct oppotunity for them to regard outsiders with suspicion but I as with most of Australia, I find that the further you move away from postcodes 000 (2000, 3000, 5000 etc) the more likely you are to find real characters.
Traffic through Narellan has a strange habit of moving at only two speeds. Either it rips along at 100 clicks irrespective of whatever speed limits are posted, or else it crawls along; even on Camden Valley Way which mysteriously has been widened from a two lane road to a six-lane behemoth.
I that that people have a distinc trespect for speed out here. Maybe it's because they know only too well of the consequences. You don't have to drive too far to see fences made of barbed wire and hitting the scenery will more than likely put you face to face with livestock than a house. Get it wrong and you'll hit redgums.
I did notice whilst coming to one particular junction that I was being watched by three kids in a corner paddock. Being the beginning of ute country, I doubt that they'd have seen many French hatchbacks out here; maybe I was a novelty for them. This illustrates something that this unfortunately becoming very different these days. These kids had ventured into that strange land which few kids see now, that magic place called "Outside".
With the abundance of space out here, kids can kick the ever-loving uss out of a footy and not worry about bumping the furniture, hitting mum's car or going over the fence and into Mr Franklin's pool. "Outside" was a magical place which was burned into the childhood memories of generations in this wide brown land but is in danger of becomng mere just that...memories. We might remmeber doe-eyes about playing by the creek ad perhaps for many people reading this, it is just a stylised canvas but for these kids it's in 360° living colour, widescreen and full super hyper HD.
I guess that eventually even this too will be swallowed by he encroachment of cheaply built houses, owned by the people with money and power living in the inner suburbs and that this part of Sydney will look like places like Auburn and Summer Hill may have looked 30 years ago but for the moment, the tyranny of distance which causes an annoyance acts as both a safeguard and a theatre in which the memories of this generation will be played out and burned into minds for safekeeping.
Posted by Rollo at 23:16