Via Far North Queensland for a 50th

Far North Queensland-croc country, well that’s what I always think of anyway. I actually think crocs are going to be just hiding, waiting to pounce from anywhere there’s water!!!! I’m sure it’s not like that at all but when the life guards were handing out “Swim between the flag” pamphlets on arrival, I was thinking “Only if they have flags in my pool coz I won’t be swimming anywhere else!”

Flying into Cairns reminded me somehow of arriving in Bali. As I made my way through the terminal trying to work out where I needed to be I even thought at one stage, “I might have to try to ask for directions?” then the penny dropped-I’m still in Australia!!! Probably a “How ya going mate, can ya help me out?” would suffice 🤣

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e what kind of message we're sending to International tourists, but for their convenience they even show how to use the loo!

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ve to Port Douglas was lovely but after arriving at my accommodation I have to ask myself if I'm going to be up for this travel gig!!??? While waiting to check in I realise I have left my shoulder bag on the bus!! No biggie-just has my passport, license and bank cards in it!! 😩😩 oh God give me strength! (Or a brain!!)

All good-sorted!

When I was deciding where to stay in Port Douglas I looked for somewhere close to Steph’s so I could stumble home easily enough. What maps fail to show you, are the bloody big hills you need to climb up!!! At this rate I’m going to be buggered before I even leave Australia !!!

Gotta say, the climb was worth the effort! The view was to die for and the company awesome! Great choice Steph!!!

Port Douglas nightlife did not disappoint! We gave ourselves a taste of the nightlife and I even managed to meet some amazing people. One particular couple invited me to stay with them in London….bloody shame they will be still in Australia!! I will keep there contacts handy though….you never know!!! All danced out, slightly inebriated, doner kebab in hand I finally found my way back to the hotel and vaguely remember floating in the pool looking up to the millions of stars looking down at me, and smiling. Smiling because life is good! Two more sleeps and I will be leaving Aussie soils behind.

Hedland to Perth…..

I feel my journal writing is already slipping and I am therefore letting down my fan base-all 10 of you!

So, in an attempt to get you all up to speed.

Day One

After finishing my work day as usual I headed home to…..yep, you guessed it-pack!!!! In true Debbie style even this momentous trip had me leaving things til the last minute! Packed, showered, rehydrated by a quick glass of bubbles and I was good to go.

My chauffeur had decided to go shooting so a quick change of plans and I was settled into the passenger seat and on my way. The take off seemed surreal.

This had just been a dream for so long and it was hard to fathom that it was now becoming a reality. The Pilbara sunsets are always spectacular and are no less impressive from the sky. The red dirt beneath me stretches for an eternity and,as much as I love it, I’m looking forward to seeing someone else’s backyard.

My first flight, to Perth, is only a two hour flight so a quick snack and another glass of white sees us preparing for landing.

Adrenalin forges me quickly through the crowd to search for my daughter. I feel that warmth inside me that I’m sure only a mother feels, every time they see their child……age no factor. I race toward her, it feels like forever since I saw her last and I quickly brush aside the slight pang born of living so far away.

Aaarrrggghhhh, behind the Velocity Rewards sign hides my other daughter and my youngest grandson, Lachy, waiting to surprise me. He is way too busy collecting his M&M’s that lay scattered across the airport floor and couldn’t care less that my heart is bursting! My kids know me so well! I love surprises!!!

My son in law picks us up, with my youngest granddaughter! Yep, a double whammy. We head over and share some dinner and banter with my nephews before driving to our hotel where we are booked in for the night.

We are staying at the new Aloft hotel in Perth…..highly recommend it. Just because I’m on a high and can’t settle, my daughter Ebony and I venture out around midnight and go and make some late night donations into James Packers pokies. The Casino! Another little weakness of mine. The sound, the lights, the hint of a promise of a jackpot…..sucks me in! Escapism at its finest!

We are there less than a minute and watch some random guy receive his $48,000 winnings from the Casino officials!! Perfect…. fuel to my fire!!

This little venture…..naturally leads me into

Day Two

No chance of a sleep in with these two Rugrats! Drive Kiersten to work, donate a little more to James Packer to help the poor bloke out, little last minute shopping, then finally get the grand tour of Kiersten and Bens new house (and Bens sexy moon boot!) After the girls play and win their netball game its back to the Casino. I’m painfully aware of my looming flight and worried sick I’m going to get carried away reliving adolescent memories with my old school friend Lyndel. We haven’t seen each other since high school and use this opportunity to catch up quickly before I fly out! I love blasts from the past!!!! With a promise of more catchups I finally say goodbye to all and make my way to the airport……for me, this feels like the beginning of the adventure!!!

…………….

Herding cattle……thanks to my daughter, that’s what I’m thinking as I embark on the journey of a lifetime. One by one hundreds of shoes of different shapes, sizes and colours shuffle forward. Above them, a sea of heads. Near the end of the queue I scan the crowd and try to imagine the stories inside this vast collection of minds. People traveling together chatter away while others seem lost in their own thoughts and oblivious to rest of the cattle herd. I am literally bursting at the seams and desperately want to shout out to them all to tell them of my upcoming adventure, to pry into their thoughts and see what’s motivating their shuffle onto this flight. Holidays? Family gatherings? Tragedy? Work?

I continue my silent shuffle and look to the people closest to me. They all have headphones in and seem disengaged from their bodies. I too, remain silent. I guess red eye flights aren’t the best for chin wags. My yarns will have to stay bottled up…… for this flight at least.

I embarked on this journey as somewhat of a virgin traveller (silent giggle while I write this, since I’m sitting on a Virgin flight😁). Virgin traveller, in that, I have never travelled a lot. (In fact, only last year, I experienced a flight with TWO aisles!!!! I immediately messaged my daughters to share my incredulity -I was like a kid in a lolly shop! Quite to the amusement of other passengers!)

It is this renowned lack of experience that prompted advice from family and friends. Amongst those pearls of wisdom: 1. use packing cells, 2. Take Valium for long flights, 3. Use panty liners to extend the wear of your knickers where washing often may not be an option, 4. Take lots of condoms, 5. Travel light-pack it all into a backpack, 6. Carry on enough to see you through in case your checked luggage goes missing, 7. Copy all your documents, 8. Take a little cash in the local currency, but spread the rest of your money between a couple of cards and don’t have them stored together-don’t put all your eggs in one basket! 9. Use ATM’s rather than money exchange points 10. Don’t touch escalators, trolley handles etc to avoid pink eye-I’ll leave it to your imagination who made what suggestions!…….there were, of course, plenty of other useful tips thrown in to the mix, but as I sit on this cattle flight, my mind is drawing blanks and structured thoughts elude me. I cannot sleep so clearly #2 has not worked 😩

Five and a half hours later I disembark, ragged already, in Brisbane and hunt down food!

This is to be the start of day 3 so I’m hoping this ‘Energiser’ juice does the trick!!

The Beginning……..

My pipe dream? Corsica!

‘Where’s that?’ everyone asks me.

I am not going to tell you, I’m going to show you. Follow me and share my version of what this beautiful island promises to offer……let’s see if she’s true to her promise!

Why Corsica? I struggle with short stories, but let me give it a crack. In a nutshell? Some people have a bad day…..the ones you want to wipe from your memory. 2011 for me was a bad year. After losing my ‘surrogate son’ to suicide, I was dealt another blow…..my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. The decision to pack up my life and head home to spend time was easy, it just meant a little ‘to and fro-ing’ to make the move. In December 2011 on a flight from Hedland to Perth I buried myself in the words of an in flight Voyeur magazine. Flicking mindlessly through the pages at first, I was drawn to an article that promised a glimpse of a simpler, yet more exotic life…….it promised Corsica.

https://travel.virginaustralia.com/au/search/node/Corsica

This article resonated with me so soundly, the words have echoed in my head over the years and I have vowed to visit. In an attempt to cut this long story short, I had all but given up on my dream after a sour relationship left me mentally, physically, emotionally and financially shattered. I declared bankruptcy and shelved my dream.

My kids, God bless their cotton socks, were having none of that. As well as organising a surprise 50th, they put together some funds to kick start my journey.

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155781197324502&id=699559501

After moving back North and reassessing my life, I bit the bullet and started making plans.

Now, months later, I am sitting at Brisbane airport waiting for my flight to Cairns-the third leg of this journey.

Come with me and share this experience!!!!!!

Clock is Ticking………

As 2016 wound down I reassessed my goals. As I stated in s previous post-I had all but given up on my pipe dream of visiting Corsica.

Now, 9 months later, I’m about to give birth to that dream!!!! Only 3 more sleeps til I embark on the first leg of my journey to tick off a bucket list Dream!

Thanks to family and friends (and a surprise 50th birthday party) for kick starting my dream!!!!

Love you all, and invite you to follow me as I blog my way through my journey!!! SUPER excited and just a tad nervous xxxxx

Bridging Gaps

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Family Bridges……..

After recently moving away from my grandchildren, I have had to come to terms with the fact I can’t afford to visit them as often as I would like. Inevitably, this leaves a void ……….. 

This morning the true essence of family greeted me at my front door. My children creating the bridge that spanned the 1,300 kilometres between my grandchildren and I. If I couldn’t make it to see them, they decided, they would surprise me and make the 13+ hour trip in two cars, with 7 children, to see me!!!!!!! The importance of this selfless gesture will possibly never be understood by anyone who has not felt the emptiness of separation. I have missed my little babies immensely and this morning I felt like the richest person on Earth!!! Not only because of the chance to spend valuable time with my grandchildren, but the fulfilment of knowing you have raised amazing young people who go out of their way to reinforce the importance of love and family. My children’s love provided a bridge that covered not just the distance between us, but a bridge that spans across generations, cementing a message in the hearts of my grandchildren, “Family is the essence of life.”

I love you all 40-leven!!!!!!

Thank You!!!!!

The Moment I Felt Utterly Content

Somehow Charli….you’ve managed to do it again. I have been caught up with life and not written for a couple of weeks. I was sitting in my back yard yesterday pondering my life and the events which shaped it and made me who I am today. I specifically recalled a moment in my life where I literally sighed out loud and thought to myself, “If I died right here, right now, I died feeling completely content.”

Where my emotional and mental state is concerned, I don’t know that I’ve ever had that level of conviction again.

While thinking this I was flicking through emails catching up on ones I’d missed. The first one I opened was your Flash Fiction Prompt for June 1st. My apologies for entering this late post, but the topic was relevant and below is my submission……..

What is content? How do you know you’ve achieved it? For me…….

………………………………………………………………………………… Continue reading “The Moment I Felt Utterly Content”

When That Oil Well Erupts…


April 27, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes oil. It can be an oil refinery, the raw product or used as a commodity. How does oil fit into a plot or a genre? Go where the prompt leads.

Her naked body trembled, yet it wasn’t cold. Her heart raced, yet she lay motionless. Darkness engulfed her and her breathing became rapid; urgent gulps at the air surrounding her. She felt the hairs on her body rise and she strained to listen; for the black silence, was deafening. Her back arched in anticipation, as she waited…..

and waited……..

She didn’t ‘hear’ him enter, rather, felt him. His presence, captivating, rendered her breathless.

She heard the familiar ‘click’ of the oil being opened and she knew what to expect.

Then, she felt it.

So familiar, yet so tantalisingly foreign…….

 

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2017/04/28/april-27-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

Ang-zi-etty

Anxiety ……You tell yourself you’re ok. You nervously talk about your angst and outwardly face your demons……are you ok? How much talking do you think until you erase those ‘things’? Those little things that are no longer a threat, yet, are? Can they be counselled away? And if they are, how long before they’re replaced?
That seed in your gut that seems to grow roots deeper than you could imagine and spreads vine-like through your veins…..

The tiny voice in your head that contradicts the words flowing across your tongue and spilling into the ears of anyone prepared to listen….

That wild brumby in your chest thrashing around determined not to be tamed……

The tiny beads of moisture seeping from beneath your flesh threatening to pool on your skin….

Your breath…shallow and fast….I am breathing? Right? Anxiety….

If you allow it……it will strip your confidence and bring you trembling to your knees……. Christian Grey style-50 Shades of Shattered Nerves!

Find the strength to heal!!!

One of my spiritual journeys….Bali, 2016

 

Shelly Towns-Energetic Freedom “Live, Laugh & Love“! Highly recommend this lady! She’s amazing!!!

Bloom…a photo challenge

Mine is not so much a blooming story……just a deep appreciation of nature and all it’s glory, and an opportunity to share. This particular shot was taken in Kings Park, Western Australia, using an iPhone6.

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