All posts filed under: adventures

Our final show rocked

We did it! And here’s the ubiquitous backstage half-made-up ‘selfie’ [with apologies to the other awesome performer, but I’m protecting her privacy]. It took us 4 shows to get it perfect, but oh boy, did we soar with the last one; utterly worth all the stress, anxiety, rehearsal, and planning. I’d stressed about learning my lines in the last post HERE, and we did get last minute changes [waaaaaaaahhhhhh], but all coped. The sound guy turned up on time (always a good omen), and learnt the multiple technical cues fast. We had full houses (mind you, because it travelled through 4 rooms underneath a heritage building which had no aircon- I’m in Australia remember), we had to limit them to maximum of 50. It was officially ‘ an immersive & interactive colour adventure for 5-8 year olds’, and the cast of four did an amazing job; I’m so proud and grateful to be part of the team. Our Director was delighted, and industry professionals and promoters came to see the last show (hurray), so there is …

Oh how I hate learning lines! But it’s still the best job in the world

This is a stressful week for me: we’re opening a new show on Friday morning. It’s our fourth version of it, and at last, it feels like we’re getting it right. I actually pulled out of it before we began, due to the stresses of dealing with my Mum, and concerns I may have to fly over to England right in the middle of rehearsals. But she’s getting two visits a day from the community nurse, and my brother is visiting her for 4 days tomorrow, so that feels sorted; the show’s director rang me the morning after I resigned to check that I really didn’t want to do it before she offered it to someone else. Which was very sweet. And smart. Plus exactly what I needed to hear. So I said yes again. I do make a really good Red. But that means I have to learn lines, WHICH I HATE. And to be honest, I’m not very good at it either; it also gets harder as you get older. *sigh. I’ve looked …

relationships, online dating, raising a teenager, over 50, positive ageing

Last night I saved an echidna’s life

I was driving home in the rain after dropping my son back to his Dad’s. Narrow country lanes with many twists and turns, up and down hills, with bush and forest on either side. I rounded a corner, and suddenly my headlights picked out an echidna crossing the road. Do you Americans and Poms know what that is? Like a hedgehog or porcupine on steroids: I slowed down, as it was just passing my left side of the road, on its way across the right. Then I saw the beams of another car coming round the corner towards me; it would hit the echidna directly! I didn’t hesitate. I slammed on the brakes, poked on my flashing hazard warning lights, and opened my door. The echidna must have seen the lights of the other car approaching, as it paused, then turned around and hurried back towards me, and the safety of the bush from where it had come. It looked like it was going to waddle under my car, so I stuck my foot out …

How I climbed a small mountain, did something slightly ‘illegal’, & created the sacred

I chewed my quinoa and baked veg salad looking up at her; in 2 hours from now, it would start. After 16 years of no access, 500 locals had registered for ‘The Chinny Charge’, a 7km run/walk up our tiny but omnipresent Mount Chincogan, near Byron Bay. The queue to collect our numbers was long, and you could feel the buzz of excitement; even Colin, who won the first ever Chinny Charge in 1967 with a time of 38 minutes and a $20 bar tab prize, was enthusiastic (in that utterly laid-back, short-phrased Australian country way) “Stick to the rules, so we can hopefully do it again next year: wear shoes, don’t litter, stick to the path, and no fighting.” [Fighting? I’m going to be struggling just to breathe aren’t I? What exactly went on in the olde days round here??] Yup, I’m happy to agree to all that. The tiny mountain is on private property, so unless the landowners give specific permission (which they do a few times a year to local  school groups), …

Tackling the mountain, 200 steps at a time

We love our small mountain ‘Mount Chinny’. My son and I can see her from our verandah, keeping guard over our cute country town near Byron Bay, and she figures in many local photos: Supposedly, she’s the cap of the volcano ‘Mount Warning’, which blew her off millennia ago; you can see that parent mountain in the far distance: The base of Mt Chinny is on private land though, so access for the general public is restricted. But this Saturday, all that is going to change: 500 lucky entrants are going to compete in ‘The Chinny Charge’, which was last run 16 years ago, and won by a sugar cane cutter in his bare feet! I bought son ’17’ his entry ticket in the race, then realized I could just walk up it like other sane old people, and bought myself one too. I’ve launched into a heavy training regime. Not. I drive to the steepest hill around here, which leads to a disused water tower, and walk up it, listening to loud Australian hip hop. …

6 nights in a row, but who’s counting? Well me, obviously.

I love my space so much. On the fortnights that my son ’17’ is with his Dad, step-mum, and 2 little brothers, I LOVE having my home to myself. Sometimes I don’t wash up for 3 days, piling the dishes without shame on the counter top. I’ll write or read all day if I’m not working, and quite happily just have crackers & humous for dinner . Or else I’ll clear the chairs and rug out of the way, and have a wild 5Rhythms dance session in the kitchen/living room, to the amusement of the cat. I particularly love my bed space. Not only do I sleep like a starfish, but a diagonal one at that. In summer, I love to dangle one heel off the mattress edge, sticking it out sideways into the cooler air. Sometimes I toss and turn, especially now that I’m a bit ‘warm-flushy’ as I move through menopause, and will throw off the covers then re-burrow myself at erratic intervals. And more than anything, I hate being woken up. By an …

‘You have such a three-year pattern! Look at yourself, for god’s sake!’

The door slams. It’s 1994, in a hot Sydney summer, when even the fat cockroaches in our slummy student house look a bit sweaty. My friend R has left the living room, but her dark mood and comment lingers. I frown back, staring down her words. Am I really a 3-year addict? Does it matter? Obviously it does to her, but I’m not feeling that distressed. The sink pipe knocks as usual while I pour myself a glass of water; is our hopeless landlord ever going to fix that? Well, it won’t matter anyway, if I move out… I’ve lived here for a while now, and it feels like time for a change… to the beach maybe, over at Bondi. How long has it been, this inner city dwelling? Nearly 3 years of hot pavements, squashed terrace houses with fragrant frangipanis, the endless hum of cars and their exhaust fumes. Before that, it was a scruffy flat in Coffs Harbour, with greasy carpets, and peeling paint on all the weatherboards and windows. Did I live …

Soggy not Bloggy 

It’s been hard being flooded. Not as hard as for folk in the 2 big towns either side of me, who have been devastated by rivers more than 11 meters over their banks. But still very stressful. Not as stressful as being bombed in the streets of Syria of course, but still pretty shit. It came up so fast. Rainfalls of between 500 & 950mm in 24hrs. An entire month’s rainfall in one dreadful night, thanks to Cyclone Debbie. I’ve had a delightful & significant blog post about Episode 7 in my online dating story drafted for days, but it felt too superficial to post it, when so many of my dear friends, neighbours, & community have been coping with up to 2.5mtrs of brown smelly muddy shitty river water through their homes. People have died, including a mother and her children. Houses have literally been swept away downstream. Business stock has been ruined, and flood insurance is incredibly expensive round here, so not many people have it; there are rumours it’s going to be …

Ugh. Jetlag. Who needs it? #firstworldproblemsIknow

We’re back in Oz safely. ‘15’ was SO ready to leave Europe, and had become obsessed with Instagram surfing videos, dreaming of his first dive into our warm, welcoming ocean. I had to practice patient acceptance of his daily mantra ‘I just want to go home and be with my friends…’ So now we’re back. We landed early in Brisbane, and high-fived each other. I hadn’t seen such a big grin on his face for a while, and it was delightful to see him hugging his Dad (he and I broke up when ’15’ was about 3; I wouldn’t define us as ‘good friends’, but it’s been a long, rocky road, and this is probably the best it’s going to get, which is fine). They dropped me at my place on the way home (we live 20 mins apart), and ‘15’ ran in quickly to say hello to our beloved cat, plus comment that ‘the house smells different’, then got back into the car saying ‘I’ll probably see you in January some time Mum…’ I …

How to never end up at Shit Creek

Our journey back to London from Barcelona Wednesday 4 November 2015 started OK, got really Good, then went Pear-Shaped, and fell out the bottom of Shit Creek with the most expensive non-existent paddles I ever bought. It begins with the flight time. I thought it was 10am. That’s OK. We would have to get up very early, but we’d be fine, we’re both good at that. I checked the e-ticket: it was actually 13.50. That’s really Good. Lots more time to negotiate the metro system to the airport, and save wasting Euros on a taxi [insert ironic, manic laughter here, and repeat phrase ‘save wasting Euros’ while frothing at mouth. Oops sorry, *spoiler alert*]. I looked it all up on Journey Planner. Took screen shots of the connections we had to make (walk, metro, change metro, walk, train, shuttle bus). Timed it so we’d be at the airport by 12.30 at the latest, with the Gate closing at 13.30: Packed the night before. Agreed we’d get up at 8.30, to leave by 10.30. Slept quite …