Only Five Years?
April 13, 2015AlanLeave a comment
Five years ago today, in Fiji, I received the news that changed the direction and meaning of my life. Forever.
I can’t believe it is only five years. It feels like forever.
Too Much Looking Back
April 12, 2015AlanLeave a comment
Five years later, and still feeling it, underlying everything I do, even occasionally still destabilising my positive outlook, and the wonderful life I now have.
Some Things are Worth a Broken Heart
First Posted on May 12, 2010
It is now a month since my wife and companion of 25 years, for reasons I still don’tfully understand, told me she considered our marriage ended, and that she didnot wish to communicate with me or hear from me again. After a singleabortive attempt to find out what was the cause, in the face of resolutesilence I have reluctantly acquiesced to her wishes. The only clue I gotwas that I had “left her” to come to Fiji. This is certainly asurprise because when I had almost come to the conclusion (since provedcorrect) that I should decline the position and stay in NZ, it was she whopersuaded me to come, assuring me that two years was not long for us to beseparated, and in any case she would come to visit, and that I would get somefulfilment from this job that I was not getting in NZ. All three wrong asit turns out, and in retrospect, in my heart I think I may have known it. Hardto be sure. Every relationship must have its moments, good and bad, and ours is surely noexception. Though I have not always understood what the problems betweenus were, I have always tried to appreciate that our marriage only ever partlybridged a huge cultural gap that I did not always fully comprehend. Ourdomestics were usually about money and family. There is no blame that I canidentify, just a big confusion involving two different personalities whichengaged and meshed well most of the time, despite their different backgrounds.On the whole, it was a good life that we had. We did our best to be loving, caring, responsibleparents; we raised two beautiful daughters that we both love dearly and of whomwe are both very proud, and we were good friends, companions and lovers formost of our lives together. We were always faithful and loving to eachother and still are as far as I am concerned. So. Looking back I can only conclude that even if I had known this would be thefinal outcome (if indeed it is) and had I known everything then that I nowknow, still I would have followed this path to where it has led me – maybe withthe exception of coming to Fiji – but that was another class of mistakeentirely. And perhaps I am forgetting ,a little, just how very unhappy Iwas at the Misery of Health. It has taken a month of grief and misery and wondering to get this far. Still a way to go.Somethings are worth a broken heart. I learned that from Dr Who.
Now I know there was someone else of course, and probably was right back even to when she was encouraging me to go to Fiji without her.
Trip to Wolfe Creek Crater
January 19, 2015AlanLeave a comment
Adele and Lloyd, my neighbours, got me out of bed late on Sunday morning to invite me to convoy with them down the Tanami road to Wolfe Creek meteorite crater. The road was open, so it seemed like a good idea. Better than housework, anyway. We set off, them in their Toyota and me in the Colorado.
Because of the recent rains and the fact that no one has graded it since the start of the wet, the road was a bit rough. Much more so than when Des and I went down it shortly after I arrived here. But it was not so bad that we needed to engage 4 wheel drive. It is a matter of pride locally not to use 4WD unless you must, and besides, fuel consumption is better if you don’t.
A very pleasant trip, with some interesting sights on the way. We passed a road train, towing three crude oil tanks, coming out. There is an oil well somewhere out towards Northern territory, apparently. I don’t think I’d want to drive a road train on that road.
A couple of shallow river crossings were no challenge at all.
There was quite a lot of wildlife to see, kangaroos, wallabies, black cockatoos, Australian bustards (Ardeotis australis), brolga (Grus rubicunda), goannas, as well as grazing cattle, looking a lot fatter and happier now that the grass is lush and green . Lots of locusts too. I managed to get a few photos of some of the creatures. Adele had the photographic advantage as she could observe and take photos while Lloyd was driving. I missed a few things she spotted because my attention was mostly on the road in front of me.
The crater, the second largest of its kind, is quite impressive. I was interested to see there is a central circle of different growth, and what appears to be a partial ring of different vegetation half way between the central circle and the rim, suggesting that the soil has different composition. The floor of the crater is about 20m deep but according to geologists it was 180 meters deep immediately after the impact.
It was almost 4pm by the time we decided to head home, and I could see that we would be heading into rain. So it proved, though at first we only saw where it had been since we passed that way earlier. It was plain to see there had been some very heavy rain on the Tanami while we were at the crater. The road was so boggy it was as if we were on a different one from when we came in. The river crossings were a little more fun, but still no challenge (another hour and it may have been a different story entirely). I engaged 4WD a couple of times in the dodgiest bits just to be sure I did not bog down. Near the highway we came upon another road train, bogged to the axles. He had not got far at all down the road. I guess the rain caught him by surprise. The driver must have been asleep in his cabin when we got there, as there was no sign of life. We had to drive around the vehicle, and there we too were axle deep in mud. Once again it shows how very quickly conditions can change here.
A grader went out this morning to pull him out. The Tanami road is now closed. Again.
We had underestimated the time needed to make the return trip. We were only a couple of hours at the crater, but the journey to the crater took over 3 hours to cover 150k. Even allowing for photo stops, that is pretty slow going. The trip out was much more exciting than the trip in. The drive home was made all the more exciting because for the last half of the distance we were driving in the dark. It took a little longer to get out, partly because of the conditions, and partly because it does not pay to drive fast when the wildlife are more active. I saw many more roos and wallabies after dark. We did not actually get rained on until we were almost back on the sealed Great Northern Highway, but when we did finally drive into rain it was a deluge. Halls Creek weather station recorded 85.4mm (!!!) from Sunday evening to Monday morning. We were down to 50kph on the highway too.
Some of my photos are here. (On Facebook)
autobiography, travelthe Kimberley, Western AustraliaEdit
A New Beginning
January 1, 2015Alan1 Comment
Here I am in Halls Creek, the Kimberley, Western Australia.
I have been here about a month.
New Job, New Flat, New Life.
How I got here is sort of documented in my previous blog.
Especially if you read between the lines.
Being a cheapskate, I am using a free service and hit the limit of 3Gb.
So I am starting again.
Uncategorizedthe Kimberley, Western AustraliaEdit