Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with Asquith

Although charming, beautiful and bursting with all manner of interesting and wonderful characteristics, I’m not sure if I’ll ever again be as close to Asquith as I was this week. (This seems familiar. Ed)

For those who hadn’t twigged by about the third word, this post is, of course, about Asquith, New South Wales, not Asquith, Colin. Although I’ll do my best to pretend I don’t know that. (So does this. If I read anything about a kindly gentleman giving you a lift to some place you wanted to go to then I’m quitting. Ed)

Reminds me of Colin

After the success of my trip to Warburton, Victoria, I was more than keen for another outing based on a friend’s surname and Asquith fitted the bill perfectly.

Unlike Warburton, which was very much a town in its own right, Asquith is merely a suburb of a city. Information on it is sparse and it’s fair to say I was more than a little worried when the top result for ‘things to do in Asquith‘ listed KFC, McDonald’s and a supermarket in its top 20. However, I did manage to spot a few interesting looking things on a map and with Colin’s insistence that I visit Asquith Girls High School while I was in Australia, my agenda was pretty much arranged.

My first stop was the High Street, mainly because it was right by the station. As it was lunch time I headed to the bakery and had a disappointing conversation with the Asian woman working there.

Me: Do you take cards here?
Her: Huh?
I showed her my card.
Her: No, cash only.
Me: Is there an ATM around here where I can take money out?
Her: Huh?
Me: A cash machine? (I’m also miming what I do at an ATM with my card, pressing the buttons and then even taking the money out.)
Her: Sorry, cash only.

I’m glad I didn’t have to go through the ordeal of actually ordering something from her, because I don’t fancy miming the process for making cheese.

I took my lunch up to Asquith Park, which was easy enough to find. Although I was robbed of some of my drink by the evil Asquith wind, it was a lovely setting to sit for a while, and I was surprised that none of the locals were doing the same thing.

Asquith Park

After Asquith Park, my next stop was Hopeville Park. There’s nothing like a nicely named attraction that could be identical to where I’m currently standing to get me going. I set off in the vague direction of it and, mapless, didn’t find it. I thought I was roughly in the right area but with a T-junction looming, I wasn’t quite sure where to go so when I saw a man checking his mailbox I thought it best to ask for directions. Another disappointing conversation followed.

Me: Excuse me, do you know the best way to Marine Crescent?
Him: To where? I’ve never heard of it.
Me: Oh… Hopeville Park?
Him: No, I’ve never heard of that either. I’ve only been living here 30 years, though.

Had I just made this place up? Just then, one of his neighbours walked by so the mailchecker asked him if he knew where these places were. Again, just blanks. This second man had a street directory in his car so we walked to that and had a look. I was told I’d wandered out of Asquith, was now in Hornsby and the park I wanted to go to was in Hornsby Heights. It wasn’t too far away, but there were a number of turns and different streets I’d have to go down to get there. And then something magical happened. The guy who was checking his mail was looking at the route muttering ‘right into Spedding, right into Springfield, left into Meredith’ and then said ‘Right, I’ll take him up, he’ll never get there otherwise’. And off we went, me in a stranger’s car, going up to a destination that he thought I’d be unable to get to alone. (Right, I’m off. Ed) I thought it was incredible that something like that would happen once, I really can’t imagine this conversation turning out like this back home, but to happen twice just astounds me in such a positive way. It turns out the park was a bit rubbish and I felt a bit guilty for staying there for such a meagre amount of time, especially as it turns out it wasn’t technically in Asquith.

There's always hope when you're hanging around Asquith

Remembering the directions, I walked back into town and crossed the railway bridge. After walking up to the golf course, I made my way through the streets – with great names like Victory Street – to the holy grail of Asquith. I was a bit wary of going to take a photo of a female-only school, but I think it’s the holidays and I made sure to do this last so it would be late afternoon and I wouldn’t be accused to taking photos of schoolgirls. With the Asquith moustache I’d grown specifically for this trip, I’m sure that sort of activity would’ve got me in a lot of trouble.

So much Asquithiness in one photo

On the same street was a house called ‘On The Edge’. I can just imagine this conversation happening after every single party they go to.

Residents: Taxi driver, take us home!
Driver: Sure thing, where do you live?
Residents: We live ON THE EDGE! (chortle)
Driver: Great, but where do you want me to drive you?
Residents: Stokes Avenue… we called our (uncontrollable laughing)
Driver: (Sigh).

Where do you live? On the edge

And here ends another story of my day in a town named after one of my friends. Where will this fascinating adventure take me next, I wonder?

More photos of Asquith, including an old sock lying on some grass, are here.

Filed under: australia, ,

3 Responses

  1. Dave w says:

    I totally approve of this quest. Hopefully the next editor you hire will have a better sense of humour.

  2. Jemma says:

    I’m sad to see that your editor has left, but glad to see that you no longer have voices in your head to argue with.

  3. I salute your valour and intrepid adventures, and am pleased to see that the trend for “The Asquith” is growing, its popularity has doubled in the last two years. Expect 4 people in the next two years etc… but think about 100 years time!!!

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