Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fresh macadam

My most marvelous olfactive memory of all times was fresh bitumen: the smell of hot macadam laid upon the dirt cycling track at McKittrick Park in South Grafton when I was about 12 years old. In my adolescent imagination, this oval was a sacred stadium: the hallowed place where my Walker uncles, Johnny and Charlie, had once been track-cycling champions. [Click here to see an article including a photo of my uncles.] And the bitumen surface was the icing on this fabulous cake of sporting achievements that I had heard about from as far back as I could remember.

Last Tuesday, I was thrilled once again by the smell of fresh macadam when the Gamone road was extended up to the house of my neighbor Bob Morin. Meanwhile, my splendid wood shed, emptied of its contents and stripped of its tiles, has set out upon the same inexorable road to extinction as giant Dodo birds, Tasmanian Aborigines, old computers and French rugby hopes.

In fact, if the fellows laying down the macadam were so keen to start gouging out the earth alongside my wood shed, I now realize that it was primarily because the extra space acquired in this way made it easier for their giant trucks to move around the bend at the level of my house. But I don't regret the start of operations, because I'm now obliged to finish the demolition of the wood shed, organize the completion of the earth removal and start planning the construction of a garage of kinds. I work most efficiently of all, in the practical domain, when I'm forced by circumstances to do things.

Meanwhile, Sophia seems to like the new road, for the macadam is gentler than stones on her soft paws. The Gamone road, for my dog, is henceforth a Le Mans speedway... particularly when she's heading downhill.

Bob, too, is immensely happy with the new road, which makes it possible, for the first time in ages, to drive an ordinary automobile up to his house. This probably means that he'll soon be putting his property up for sale.

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