The rotunda on Nhill's main street. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Nhill is a picturesque little town in the Wimmera. Head up the Western Highway on the way from Melbourne to Adelaide and Nhill is pretty much the halfway mark.
Back at 1994, we were driving to Adelaide for Easter when I suffered the embarrassment of being booked for speeding for the first time in my life. This was a watershed event in the McMahon clan, because all my family and friends know I always stick scrupulously to the speed limit.
But hey, I blame my mother-in-law for this debacle.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of my mother-in-law (and the grapevine tells me she's rather a big fan of mine) but let's pin this one on her.
I'd just driven through Nhill when my wife and mother-in-law swapped places in the car. My wife sat in the back and m-i-l, who was holidaying with us at the time, took the navigator's seat.
Mate, not that you need a navigator when you're driving from Melbourne to Adelaide. You just get on the Western Highway and don't get off. Ya just sorta keep goin'. And goin'. And goin'.
Then, just under 800 kilometres (that's 500 miles for my US readers) you see a sign that says ``Welcome to Adelaide''. Simple, yeah? So simple that even a country bumpkin like me can do it without a navigator.
Before you drive through any Outback town, the speed limit drops sequentially. You drop from 110 km/h to 80 km/h and then to 60km/h before you enter a town - and only a blind man would miss the signs.
Hmmmm, blind men and blokes who are busy talking to their mother-in-law. Okay, so I missed the 60 sign. And I sailed into the town of Kaniva doing 80. As soon as I realised my error I dropped my speed back - but it was too late.
My lapse of concentration cost me $165 and after I drove off again, gritting my teeth in decidedly indelicate fashion, there was another flash of gallows humour.
Our six-year-old announced brightly she couldn't wait to get back to school, to tell her friends that I had been busted for drink-driving.
I almost choked on my emotion. ``Drink-driving? I wasn't booked for drink-driving,'' I protested.``Yes, you were, Daddy. You were drinking your chocolate milkshake.''
The post office at Nhill. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON