Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Thank you





I would like to say "Thank you" to a whole list of people. I have been to Geraldton for the weekend and stayed with my friend Erica who beds and boards me in her gorgeous house. I have been to the Engagement Party of Donna and Kim, and was driven up and down Geraldton by my friend Carolyn and her husband Rob. You always think that Geraldton is tiny and no-where is far, but at midnight when it's raining and you've all been out all night, actually it IS quite far from one end of the town to the other. And they did take me back twice cos I forgot my camera, to discover that I forgot it twice and it was actually in Perth on the computer table. Although I did remember the charger!

I would certainly like to say Thank You for the excellent reception I got at the Hillcrest Aged Care facility. I am a nuisance coming up from Head Office in Perth (it even sounds a bloody nuisance) but they were friendliness itself and were falling over themselves to show me around and give me cups of tea and scones!

I met someone there I knew from my childrens school days when we lived in Gero, had a big long chat (where I sidestepped questions about my daughter quite niftily I thought!) and a had a hug when I left, really nice. Made me want to live up there again.

On the way back, it got dark around Badgingarra, and so the rest of the journey was quite surreal, it is already akin to a five hour meditation, doing it in the dark is a whole other level, let me tell you. Especially accompanied by Infected Mushroom and Pendulum at ear bleeding levels. The sunset was bloody fantastic and the smell as you drive down that long road at dusk and into the night is absolutely gorgeous! I love that drive :o)



The road trains, that so many people complain about, are marvellous. I had more than one driver help me to overtake them. They touch their brakes, move over an inch or two and indicate on the near side of the truck once. And away you go! Brilliant! Bearing in mind it is a one track road. It's the most bloody ridiculous road going to the second largest City in WA, Perth being the largest. It is a very busy road and goodness knows how there aren't fatalities by the score every day! I REALLY enjoy whinging about that road! It's one of my favourite things to do every time I get back! So I would particularly like to thank the driver of the road train that was loaded with all those weird rusty metal things and the yellow markings, who actively let me go past him (her?) twice, (coffee stop). And the drivers of all the other road trains that are really fantastic and have a bloody terrible time with the bloody caravans.

Did I mention the bloody caravans? Good god almighty! They make my blood boil! I may have a new subject to whinge about mightily whenever I return! Apparently they are called the "grey nomads". Whenever it gets a bit parky in Perth, they all flock off to warmer climes, bloody hell! Unfortunately, the reason they are called "grey" is that's because they are the next intake to the aged care facilities and they are god-awful drivers, with 4WD's and a fucking big caravan on the back. Road trains let you go past, when, let's face it, you make no difference to them trailing along behind them whatsoever. They are huge and they are not going to even notice a ten km tail back, are they? But they are helpful and polite, seemingly. The grey nomads, on the other hand, are NOT. They will deliberately block other cars and trucks from overtaking them. I kid you not. They can have 36m, three truck road trains thundering along, right up their arses and they still won't let anything past!!! You have NO IDEA how frustrating that is. Or maybe you do. Or maybe you are one of the pestilential bunch yourself! If so, for gods sake, MOVE OVER!!!

One particularly bad one, (probably bald as well as grey!) moved into the middle of the road every time it was clear. When another car was coming, he (she?) moved back into his/her own lane and when the cars were gone, moved back into the fucking middle of the two lane highway! The wheels of the caravan were over the line! Over the line!!! Impossible to overtake. I managed it in the end, but god almighty, my adrenaline levels took 15 minutes to drop back down. And on a five hour journey, the difference between travelling at 80km/h and 110km/h is a huge fucking deal.

Well, my blood pressure has gone back up just writing about it! Hahahaha. Of course, if the road was better with enough overtaking lanes, or even SOME overtaking lanes, the idiots on the road would be appeased! Hahahaha!

By the way, the party was full of police, it being a police woman getting hitched, and they ALL agreed with the awfulness of the caravan drivers! Thankfully, on the way home, there were none. They are all going north. The next migration back down south is due around November/December I suppose. Look out then!

So, a big thank you to Erica, Carolyn, Rob, Donna, Jo, and the patient road train drivers!

And by the way, Erica's dogs are GORGEOUS!! :o)

Monday, 18 May 2009

Hello!

Where to start, where to start, where to start....

Kettle blowing up? Excellent author publishing third book? Enjoyment in new job? Relief at little brothers medical all-clear? Joy in youngest son? Happiness at losing 1.1kg this week? Anticipation at seeing friends this weekend in Geraldton? Sharing most excellent little book shop come coffee shop? Laughter at the excellent movie "The boat that rocked"?

Hmmmmm.....

After reading the scholarly books by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, I realised, maybe for the first time in my life, that it is a definite possibility that there may be no life after death. (Thought I'd start on a nice light, uncontroversial subject!) To say that this upset me a tad is a slight understatement. Over my life, I have progressed (and it is progression as far as I am concerned, progression through education, but no doubt I am going to get the bible bashers leave me uplifting comments again) from a very devout tiny child that was educated in the Catholic mould and cried every Easter, through a questioning process to a very devout believer in spiritualism that led me to adopt vegetarianism for 10 years for moral reasons alone, through to a soul-believing athiest. Now however I realise the possibility that there may be nothing at the end of the non-existant light-filled tunnel, that it may be total extinguishment. That there may be no soul. This is not a good thought. I am not happy with this logical progression.

Consequently, I have talked to a few of my friends and asked their opinion of the meaning of life and the purpose of life and the end of life and what they think. I never ask "religion" type questions of anyone. It is much too controversial and people have very set views that they cannot explain or have never thought about and consequently are very woolly over and there is certainly no giving them an alternative view, so what is the point? I never do it, I am happy for you to believe what you believe and for me to believe what I believe and call it quits. (Which is now making me wonder, am I being closed minded for not listening to the god brigade and discussing with them their and my beliefs and exploring together? Instead of closing the door when they knock? Politely! Don't think I am rude!)

Also of course, there has been my own mother, who basically said to me in my spiritualist phase - "I believe what I believe. Don't disturb my beliefs. I am happy believing this and I don't want you to challenge it" I have never mentioned my own beliefs to my mother again. I will not disturb her or anyone elses beliefs. A lot of people need those beliefs to function in life. I would never knowingly cause another pain or disequilibrium. But this is my blog and I can suppose all I like, it's allowed.

But this was an exception, I was in some mental anguish. As ever.

I am still surveying my friends on this point and I can see this will be a life long quest for information and opinion and belief. And lets face it, that is all it can be, faith and belief, because for all that so many people of god spout all sorts of catechisms at you, no-one knows a damn thing. It all depends on how well you were indoctrinated in childhood. Or it depends on how much of an enquiring mind you have and how far you are prepared to search and how much you want to know and how far you are prepared to stretch your own beliefs and how open you are to new ideas.

So, my dear friend in Gero, that I will be seeing this weekend and who is always the breath of the north wind - the north wind brings change I understand? and she is from the north of England too, very appropriate. Her opinion is that when you die, you die and the way that we live on is through the memories of our loved ones. I was totally surprised at that. I had no idea.

Another friend believes in life after death and the carrying on of the soul but has no idea why but is a very firm believer.

Another friend had the woolliest thoughts about fairies and god, all entangled, again, I had no idea! I really wondered if she had everr thought anything through in her life.

As I said, I am still surveying and will no doubt report progress on this because it is very important to me.

My immediate thought and feeling when this possibility struck me - and strike it did, like a thump in the mental solar plexus - was "Why?" Why am I here doing the things I am doing if this is the one and only go at this I am going to get? Why does anyone go to work and continue with the drudgery of day-to-day life (not that I consider my life drudgery, far from it). Why are we not all rampaging through life taking from it as much as we possibly can? Why do we put up with crap, quite frankly. Why am I not travelling around Europe, which I would dearly love to do, why do I not sell everything, throw myself on the mercy of the Universe and just go and do what I WANT to do? If this is the one and only go and there is nothing after this, then WHY?

The only reason I am happy doing not everything is that I have always believed I could do that next time around. No need to worry about that, because next time around, I may be able to be a musician, academic, traveller, dolphin, singer, whatever. But what if this is it? The end. What then?