Sunday drives and new shoes

Allison Tait blog
Posted on September 16, 2012

The Builder and I have decided to resurrect the Sunday drive. Remember when you were a kid and your mum and dad would throw you all in the back of the Mitsubishi Express on a perfectly fine day when you would have been quite happy to hole up in your bedroom and read a book?

You would drive in circles, looking at gardens and wharves and antique shops and all manner of other boring adult things, being told to ‘look at the scenery’ and ‘enjoy the view’ when you complained you were getting carsick or your sister/s/brother insisted on playing ‘corners’ with you when, really, who ever enjoyed that game?

When you finally got home, after hours spent listening to Neil Diamond or, gasp, Phil Collins on the tapedeck, you would all fall out of the car and your parents would swear you’d never do that again because, really, who needed to listen to kids to bicker for hours on end?

Or maybe that was just us.

Anyhoo, today we packed a picnic and drove ourselves down the coast into the endless blue of a beautiful spring sky. We told the boys we would be looking at antiques, but they were mollified by the fact that we also packed their bikes and balls of various shapes and sizes.

When we arrived at our first stop, Mr5 made it clear that for everything ‘Mum and Dad’ that occurred (eg, looking at antiques), there would need to be a Mr8/Mr5 equivalent.

When our first two purchases were a chocolate milk and a second-hand book for each of them, he thought he was on to a winner. Until I pointed out that he now had a glut of ‘Mum and Dad’ moments to overcome.

He dealt with the antiques shopping by standing out the front of the shop, on one leg, rapping about how boring life was when your Mum and Dad looked at antiques. Yo.

When I stopped laughing, I sort of had to agree. I’d have rapped the same thing had rapping been invented when I was five.

Part two of the day was pretty much wall-to-wall Mr8/Mr5 stuff – bikes, balls, beach, icecreams, rockpools, park. Seriously, I need to work harder at the ‘Mum and Dad’ stuff. Not even a wharf in the mix.

Mr5 picked up some little snails from the rockpools for his ‘shell collection’. When I pointed out that there were still residents in the shells, he was horrified.

“Is that why they were hard to pick up?” he said. “They were holding on.”

They were.

We tenderly rehoused them in another little pool, with him fussing over whether they would like their new home. I watched them burrow back into the sand.

“I think they’re much happier in there than they would have been drying out in your hand,” I told him. Perspective.

Later as we walked up the beach, I could feel the sand between my toes. Which would have been lovely and summery, bar the fact that I was wearing shoes at the time.

“I think I have holes in the bottom of my Connies,” I said to The Builder.

“What a shame,” he said. “You’ll need to buy new shoes. I bet you’re disappointed…”

New sneakers. Now there’s a ‘Mum’ thing. All I have to do now is decide on the colour.


  1. E.

    I had bright blue converses, the first time around. Unfortunately, I broke a bone in my toe years ago and now I don’t fit them. I so wanted a pair when they were fashionable again, too.

    Sunday drives? my parents didn’t take them but some times we do. Both kids get car sick from time t time though. Have had to buy new clothes from both of then at Op Shops on weekend drives. I guess it’s obvious I’m not a planner.

  2. Rachel

    I wore green converse for years – found them to be lucky.

    I love a Sunday drive – such a good way to bring back the whimsy and the spontaneity that can be lost in the scheduled, organized process that parenting so often is.

  3. sarina


  4. River

    Oh come on now! What’s wrong with Neil Diamond and Phil Collins?

    I remember living in rural Victoria in the early 80s and we’d drive to and from Melbourne for clothes shopping. my poor kids had to listen to Boney M and John Denver tapes there and back. To this day they can remember the words to the songs. They haven’t yet forgiven me.

  5. Becthewordsmith

    Red Red Red. Always. I have laceless ones. Which makes me extra cool (actually just a bit tryhard). I feel a Sunday drive coming on.

  6. Julie-Ann

    Hi Allison we are so excited to have you as our feature blogger this week on the Decorating Forum.
    Your story bought back too many bad memories – a childhood of being dragged 2 hours each way just to watch football. An afternoon of sheer boredom and then 2 hours back home. Is it any wonder that I now can’t stand football???
    I don’t wear Converse as my son’s Converse shoes fell apart in a few months:(. But I do love coloured sneakers. I’m a purple girl myself:)

  7. Stephanie Winmill

    Okay I think I’m weird because when I was younger we use to go on Sunday drives to look at houses and open homes and I loved it yep I loved I think that’s why I want to become a interior designer (we moved a billion times & renovated a lot) and now I’m married I make my husband take me on Sunday drives he has actually stopped complaining about it and together we dream of the day we buy our own house and what we would do to it. I bet you’ve set the bar high for your boys Sunday drive experiences haha

    Steph 🙂

  8. Veronicali

    It was being dragged around cellar door wine tastings for us on the Sunday drives.

  9. Charis

    My converse are leopard print!

    I was the travel sick kid, eurghhhhh.

  10. Kim Houssenloge

    I love those bright green ones – shoe speaking. Loved these drives when i was a kid. Dad would always get us a golden gaytime at the end. Probably why we loved it so much. Antique shopping – now that’s something I love!!! Did you purchase any new treasures, Al? x

  11. Mrs Catch

    Love the drives. Kids complain endlessly. Only red for the Converses. Ever.

Pin It on Pinterest