Ok so this is going to sound like a seriously weird post.

I drive. I drive every day. I drive every day around our town.  It doesn’t worry me after all I have lived here all my life and know it like the back of my hand – in fact probably better than the back of my hand.  I can drive out of town. I’ve driven to Goodnight 40 mins away. I can drive to Bendigo – two hours away.  I know I can probably drive further but to be honest I haven’t had to.

Once Ashley and I had to take Nicola to Melbourne for some tests.  I decided that I would drive. I had to see if I could so that if something ever happened to Ashley I knew I could take over the driving and be competant at it.  We got to Maldon and had a loo stop. I came back out from the toilets and here was Ashley in the drivers seat.  His excuse he couldn’t stand just sitting in the passenger seat doing nothing.  So much for seeing just how far I can drive.

Now my dilemma is that the Stitches and Craft Show is on in Melbourne on the 11-15 March and I would dearly love to go.  Occasionally  there is a bus running from Swan Hill down to it – but it is seriously expensive and I would kind of like to have a go a driving down there.  Ashley would  take me – after all I have run around at his events etc for years – but he would be bored stiff or trying to limit my spending….vbg…..which we all know just wouldn’t happen.

My little car is quite safe and reliable and would get me there no problems.  Ashley says he will give me the GPS so I don’t get lost. This year the Craft show is at the Melbourne Show Grounds which is heaps easier for me to get to as it’s “my” side of Melbourne.  Elise tells me I’m fine and that she would go with me if I wanted her to.

The problem is “ME”.  Can I do it?  Could I actually negotiate my way over four hours of travelling to go and see something I that really want to?  I know I would have to have an overnight stop somewhere – probably Bendigo – which would give me another reason/ excuse to go shopping….not that I  need to many excuses.

So now I’m asking  is the Craft Show really worth going to?  It’s years since I have been and while I really enjoyed it at the time – the memories are a little fuzzy.  I know it’s months away but honestly it will take me that long to gear myself up to actually going.  Yes I know it sounds stupid and obviously I need to do some long distance driving to get myself over this mental block I have and trust me I do feel stupid.

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a post asking for a lift or a driver. I need to do this – myself!  I just need/want some reassurance that the craft show is really going to be worth the long drive and mental gear shifting that I am going to have to do.  I’m sure once I have done it once it will be easier the next time – it’s just that first time.

I am having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that I am 40 years old and darn it I will admit it “afraid”  of driving anywhere other than locally.  Once upon a time I would have just popped in the car and gone – but no longer.  I’m not blaming anyone it’s just one of those things that has happened.  Even my Mum drives further than I do – but I also remember a time when she only drove around town too.  She once told me when I expressed concern over the distance that she had to travel to play croquet that getting in the car and travelling was the best thing she ever did after my parents seperated.  It showed her that she was a whole person – not half a person who couldn’t do anything without their partner.

Ashley’s all for it.  Elise is all for it.  It’s just me.


17 thoughts on “Driving

  1. Go. Take Elise, or take a quilty girlfriend, or both. You’ll have a fabulous time and wonder what you were so worried about when you get home.

    Relax. Have fun. Try not to spend TOO much money.

  2. I went last year………our holiday timed right……….but we had a big drive then flew……….but I met up with some bloggers and had an absolute blast……….it isn’t that far……..the stitches and craft was ok but it was the whole day……..sewing themed, bloggy friends I had never met…….
    Currently I am debating how I am going to do a 8-9hr drive with very long stretches in between towns so go for it I say…….stay over nihgt if you have to…….it will make it easy………

  3. drive to Bendigo and take the train from there.. if you are staying there the night..

    I drove to Melbourne from Newcastle by myself a few years ago (um 7 now I think).. no maps, no GPS, and a very bad old fashioned mobile phone.. I survived.. sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone I think!

    go on, you can do it!


  4. Go for it, take one or more friends, make an overnight stop, enjoy the show! I will be staying in Adelaide this year (not until November) so I can go more than one day to allow time to catch up with friends etc. as well as see a lot more than I did last November.

  5. Have you thought about the Australian Quilt show – end of Feb beginning of March instead… I used to live locally to the Stitches and Craft show when it was in Caulfield – like walking around the corner literally – after awhile I felt that it had lost its edge – I belong to (I won’t say who on a public comment) but these ladies go and demonstrate their particular craft at these events – they said they have been disappointed with the last couple of S&C shows and wonder if the change of venue might will save it or not… A view I have heard a few times now… Now the Australian Quilting show I could wax lyrical about for hours – it too is having a change of venue to the old Exhibition gardens in Carlton and it will be interesting to see that this year – over the last five years it has grown like topsy… But that is not answering your question about driving down here – if you feel strongly enough about it you will do it… I am more than happy to offer you the futon for the night if you wanted a stop over here in Melbourne to which ever event you chose to go to… Give me a ring some time if you decide that may be an option…

  6. The Stitches and Craft Show is on at the Melbourne Showgrounds so with a little careful planning you won’t even need go any where near the city. Use one of the online route planners to give you some ideas but by the sound of it you will come in on the Tullamarine freeway and there will be an easy connection to flemington / epsom road. Good luck. Jame M.A.

  7. Hi
    I have read your blog for quite a wile now.It is so interesting to see how someone on the other side of the world lives
    I have had almost the same exact experience as this. I have 5 kids and have been taxi for them over 22 years.
    BUT………..I could not get myself to drive on the highway(expressway) no matter how hard the hubby tried.I could get anywhere in Denver or here in Grand Junction on surface road and avoid the highway completely.
    We live in Colorado in the US and it is a pretty big state.
    I had a chance to go to Crazy Quilt Retreat on the other side of the state. I knew the area somewhat as we used to live close to there.But the only way to get there was to go on the highway, through the Rocky Mountains and OVER the Continental Divide
    Well I did it and I am so happy I did.
    Now I know I can get over the mountains to see our oldest if something happens to hubby. I won’t say it was fun but I did it and feel better knowing I did.
    I say go for it and having your daughter along for the trip will be a big boon.
    Good Luck

  8. I have this fear as well of driving long distances by myself. I’ve always driven with someone for any length of time. I have done 2 hour trips though and it was no problem but then again the place I was going to was not in a city. I get majorly freaked when driving somewhere where I don’t know where I’m going. I’m getting better as I’m older. As long as there’s enough gas in the tank I’ll get there eventually.

    I commented about this to my husband and he said just take the GPS and you’ll be okay. We have the lap top set up so it’s on verbal so when you have to turn left it tells you. Helps take away some of the panic.

    I think it would be good for you to do this for yourself and it would be very freeing. I was always paranoid about taking trips by myself as well. Now that I’ve done it I almost prefer it in a way because when I go by myself I’m responsible to no one and make my own decisions.

    It’s an awesome feeling to just be able to take off and go anywhere you want, do anything and not have to confer with someone else about it.

    I think you’d find the same thing if you go on this trip by yourself. It’ll be scary the first few miles but then you’ll settle in and start feeling good. Once you get to Melbourne and where you want to go you’ll start feeling proud that you’ve done this. The worst that can happen is that you get lost in Melbourne but people are good, all you have to do is ask for directions and they’ll help you. Just look at the folks in the Amazing Race (Do you even get that show over in Australia?)

  9. Of course you can do it!!! I was always a very anxious driver and had NEVER driven in Melbourne until after we lived in Canberra. I decided if I could do that of course I could drive anywhere so I have driven in Melbourne ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I still get anxious, avoid peak hour, stay away from the CBD and have to have very good directions. The biggest tip I can give you is if you get lost or panicy pull over and regroup, take lots of car lollies and have lots of loo/coffee stops. Haven’t been to Craft and stitches for years so can’t advise about the show itself.

  10. The thoughts and doubts beforehand are usually far worse than the reality.

    Turn it into a wonderful mother/daughter outing (it’s amazing the things you can discuss when travelling together for a few hours), take a picnic, spread the trip over a couple of days or so. You’ll love it, and it will give both you and Elise so much confidence to tackle things like this in the future.

  11. The Stitches and Craft Show is going to be so much bigger and better this year! you should definitely try to make it there, it will be worth it.
    I’ll be there, come and say Hi!

  12. You should definitely come. Bite the bullet! You will have a blast. The last Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne was fantastic. I met so many bloggers from all over Australia – and they have become such great friends! This year the Show is going to be soooooooooooo much better – so much more ‘with it’ (if you know what I mean). The Living Creatively girls have made some fantastic changes which everyone is going to love. The extras at the Show is what will make it – it won’t just be about the shopping – there will be heaps new workshops and fun things to do!
    There will be heaps of bloggers again and the meet ups should be so much fun.
    I really hope you come, I don’t think you will regret it. Think of it as a big adventure. I would certainly love to meet you there.
    good luck with your planning.

  13. Hi Catherine. The show is going to be really different this year and some great bloggers have stalls. If you would like we could meet up. I won’t drive in Melbourne (still on my P’s until September, laugh at me) and I usually catch the train from Ballarat.

  14. Hi Catherine,

    I am part of the team at Living Creatively. We’ve been busily working on the ‘new look’ Stitches & Craft Show and I’m sure that it will be well worth the trip this year. I can give you an insight into what to expect. Here goes:

    -More exhibitors than in previous years, where you can purchase all your craft supplies
    -Finished craft from emerging designers and contemporary crafters
    -Inspirational displays
    -New & exciting workshops & classes
    -Exclusive Australian premiere of Handmade Nation (the US documentary exploring the indie craft movement sweeping the world)
    -entertainment, exhibitions, fashion parades & special guests
    -competitions & giveaways

    plus lots more that I can’t quite divulge just yet but keep visiting http://www.stitchesandcraft.com.au in the lead up to March for updates on what to expect.

    I also think that your husband will enjoy the day too, so maybe you won’t have to drive after all!

    The team would love to see you make the trip down so come and say hi if you do.

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