“Driving, observation, trivia, trash-talk and a lovely picnic lunch”
Words by Paul Hollingworth.
The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed… but don’t worry about it – this is Melbourne and five minutes later it was warm and sunny! And so started our Magical Mystery Tour day. Back in its traditional late-January timeslot, this has become Motafrenz’ premier Midsumma-registered event. With seventeen cars and forty-one participants, this was certainly a big-un!
But. let’s start from the beginning. Cast your minds back… to the old country… Deer Park, January 2022… I was standing outside my house, on the footpath, up against the garden fence, like a sad old nineteen-eighties rent-boy well past his prime, waiting for my ride to arrive. Today I will be travelling with Alan and Trent, and I was providing the catering (if I forget to mention it later, no one was food-poisoned).
Anyway, they arrived ten minutes late and I was unable to attract any trade, so not a good start to the day…
Trent allowed me to sit in the front, and I was to play mother for the rest of day. We headed off from Deer Park and took the easy trip along the M80 and M1 to Como Park North in South Yarra. Old Faithful (Gordon) has a supply of coffee and biscuits on hand and I proceeded to consume them. Once registration/check-in, an event briefing and some garage-talk was completed, we headed off!
Oh poop! The first question was just outside the front gate – we almost missed it! We almost missed the first few – I was already failing in my mother role. We were to continue along the route through the leafy inner-east for some time, answering questions, trash-talking, and occasionally backtracking to get an answer we missed – and we only got lost once, in Port Melbourne.
As the tour progressed, we moved easter and easter and easter (that should be a holiday lol), until I had no idea where I was. If not for our Easterner Trent, I would have been quite scared – not venturing so far from my beloved West for nearly two years. We ended up in the beautiful, and very functional, Chelsea Bicentennial Park.
The park provided us with somewhere to set up our picnics, some shade, a car-display area, and access to toilets, water and a Mr Whippy! Brett, Gerome, and Chris set up our spot ready for our arrival, and then Brett and Gerome worked like busy little bees to get all the answer-sheets marked.
My team, we called ourselves “Two Presidents and a First Lady”, came in a solid in-the-middle-of-the-pack – oh well, better luck next time – but life is about the journey, right? Not the ending. As we enjoyed the journey very much, our overall end ranking was somewhat irrelevant. Oh, and I remembered to tell you – no one was poisoned by my food! A nice little spread of fresh crusty bread rolls, cold-cut meats, tomatoes, cheese, coleslaw, potato salad, and some bananas for dessert.
The picnic at the end point has always been one of my favourite aspects of this Club. At the Magical Mystery Tour, it is a perfect place to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones (I’m pretty sick of some of old ones, truth be told…)
All-in-all it was a fantastic event. Congratulation to Brett and his helpers – I heard of no one not enjoying themselves. And we raised some funds to go to “Out and About” which is part of Switchboard Victoria.
A COVID-19 incident a few days later showed us that our COVID-safe policies are sound, but improvements can always be made.
If you would like to run your own day trip or weekend away, please contact me directly, or our events team at email@example.com