Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back to the future

I could have stayed on in Australia. It’s comfortable and familiar. I know I could pick up where I left off there in an instant. I had most of my stuff with me, in a suitcase, a carry-on bag and a laptop backpack. If I’d set off in May 2010 with the idea of travelling the world for a couple of years, I would have had that and a bonus six months and I could have honestly said I’d had a ball. But it didn’t cross my mind to stop what I’m doing. A stay of six weeks in Oz is just another piece of the whole jigsaw, and that’s the way I like it.

I like to establish routines wherever I go; I love to catch up with old friends; and I’m always grateful to make new friends. Australia offered all that, and it was fun and productive. Now I’m in Indonesia for six weeks, and I’m going through the process again of adjusting my routines to suit my location.

Just days into the new year in Melbourne I made a new friend in Linus. We met in the street when we were both headed to the Tan for a run. We ended up doing half a dozen runs together and a lot of talking. Running just keeps on giving and giving…

I saw some great films: “Searching for Sugar Man” with Martyn; and the hilarious British black comedy “Sightseers” with Bill T after he and Barb returned from the US and reclaimed their apartment. (I moved to a new apartment next-door for my last five days.) I also loved “Seven Psychopaths” and “Samsara”.

In Geelong I spent a few hours with my niece Chloe and her boyfriend Jarred. We found the place where Martyn and I lived for four months in 1998. Walking up the driveway I felt very aware of the huge changes that have happened in my life since I last walked away from that house.

Another quick visit to Albury to spend a couple of nights with brother Col and Tracey, who were away over Christmas. I fell in love with their dog, Jess. What a sweetheart she is! Quick catch-ups with old friends and family.

Dad was over from New Zealand for a 90th birthday celebration for a family friend on the Queensland Gold Coast, so after flying up from Albury I spent a day catching up with him and with Allan, a friend since we were five.

Two nights in Brisbane rounded off my Oz trip. Really enjoyed a 10K early-morning run along the Brisbane River with niece Cassie. Then spent a couple of hours catching up on news with nieces Jaye and Kellie, and their partners Chris and Jamie. Also checked out the Asia-Pacific Triennal exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.

I’m now back in Ubud, Bali. I’ve gone right around the world (New Zealand, Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Oz) and come full circle since I was here with the Kuching Wees last April.

As the Year of the Dragon winds up and the Year of the Snake approaches, I feel very conscious of all the blessings in my life and excited about every day.

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