Sometimes you just need to escape from the weekend routines of home… visiting the same pubs every Friday night & talking the same meaningless shit with some person whom you are Facebook friends with but don’t really care all that much about. You might miss out on a weeks worth of social media attention because you didn’t get tagged in any photos at one of those trendy bars you aaalways hang out at, but when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Over the weekend a friend of mine & I decided to go on a southbound adventure to get lost in all things old-timey. We woke up early & with a collection of mixtapes covering everything from Paul Kelly classics to the latest offering from Action Bronson, we hit the freeway. Inspired by Mike Wolfe & Frank Fritz, our first stop was Grandpa’s Shed in Fitzroy Falls.
As we pulled into a service station with all original pump fittings adjacent to our destination, fifty or so leather jackets, complete with studding & patchwork, arrived on their Harley Davidson’s to get their morning coffee & bacon & egg rolls. We did the same.
Grandpa’s Shed itself was undeniably one of the most interesting shopping experiences that I’ve ever had. Every corner of the space, at every level of your eyesight was filled with history. The shop is somewhat categorised into sections, keeping retro oil containers in one corner & musical interments in another, but experiencing it all felt slightly overwhelming & it was hard to maintain focus. I spent almost an hour contemplating an original brass 1945 gramophone with a collection of melancholy blues records. The owner of the shed shared some of the stories behind a few of the pieces. He had collected most of them himself. He knew something about everything. Every toy soldier. Every antique radio. Everything. Years of historical preserving & collecting all culminating in one place.
Our next stop was a place called The Nostalgia Factory in Kangaroo Valley. We spent the majority of our time in the cottage where we were consumed for hours flicking through records trying to find that one Screamin’ Jay Hawkins pressing that just doesn’t exist anywhere except Discogs for a weeks paycheck & a 3 month wait for it to arrive from that little town in Germany that you’ve never actually even heard of before. We looked through some incredibly extensive old magazine collections & even found an out-of-print owners manual for the exact 1972 Lowlight Type 2 Kombi we were driving.
Come lunch time we settled at The Burrawang Village Hotel. We shared burgers & beers & took in the picturesque rolling valleys & hills of the Southern Highlands.
By the time we got back to Sydney late that afternoon, our friends whom had only woken up at lunch time that day were ready to have afternoon beers in Paddington again. As per routine.
A day trip to the Southern Highlands is an adventure that I would highly recommend.