Cause to pause

The Indian pacific leg of the journey started very smoothly.
I awoke at 6am, final pack and prep and off to the East Perth terminal. I was (un)fortunate to load my gear in the baggage carriage due to being incredibly early and making handling my bike look incredibly easy.

The trip was…languid. I sat in companionable ease with other local and international travellers, sharing adventures and misadventures from the four corners of the world. As I penned this in my notebook, I was sitting in the Matilda cafe carriage, looking out over the expanse of the Nularboor plain.
Seemingly endless openness is what my gaze gently rests on as I chat with others over everything and nothing.
Vast cobalt blue sky, dotted with small melting marshmallow-like clouds, seas of buttery yellow pasture lands becoming sparse and morphing to red soil, daubed with drab khaki green scrub.
These are the colours to the canvas of this experience.
The train is surprisingly quiet and smooth, the gentle sway rocks the carriages side to side with a delicate hand like a mother on a rocking cradle.
With each exhalation I find the knot that has sat behind my solar plexus for what I suspect has been years…loosens.
My thinking over the many tomorrow’s possibly to come, slows down. I’m finding that I’m right here in the train, in “me.”
Calm, present, in the moment and enjoying this new experience.
After all, I’m unable to rush this.

I’m travelling in the “Red service” aka “cheap seats” and yet again I see the “money buys you class” system at work here. The other levels i.e platinum and gold classes have near silver service, by pretty girls with professional bantering, that ensure the wine stays flowing.
In the Matilda cafe it’s meat pies, overpriced beer, chips and salad rolls.
I consider my options for dinner as the dusky shadows lengthen the profiles of gnarled little trees and prickly bushes.
$13.20 for a small dinner plate of braised steak and onions with reheated frozen vegetables or the same price for the same size serve of pasta bake with cheese sauce and reheated frozen vegetables…hmmm tough choice.
I consider myself thankful for the meal, the companionship and the experience of it all.
One day, I won’t eat ever eat again.

What are you having for dinner, my readers?
And when you eat,do you know where and how, that food came to be on your plate?


The journey of 1 million miles…The First Step

Its funny, the ways and means by which the things that challenge you, change you.
Little did I realise 18 months ago, that the idyllic Adelaide suburban lifestyle, I had worked so hard to achieve for most of my teen to young adult years would turn out to be nothing more than smoke.
I am now 6 weeks away from setting out on a trek by touring bicycle, alone around Australia, unsupported, at the advent of our summer. (Readers in Australia will understand and suitably cringe, shake their head wryly and say, “He’s a bloody idiot”)
I sit here in Perth at the kitchen table of the house I currently room share and wonder how, a soon to be 38 year old man, can go from being a quietly successful Acupuncturist to a handlebar moustache wearing, cross between Bear Grylls, Billy from the 1969 classic Easy Rider and Rob Greenfield.
It simple really.
You get exactly what you focus on.
A little 5 year old girl at church one day was going to a prayer meeting to pray with the congregation for an end to the drought. All the adults chuckled to see this dear child carrying her little plastic umbrella in.
“Tiffany, why do you have your brolly, love?” Asked the Minister
“Well God’s listening, so when the rain comes, I don’t want to get wet!” she replied.
I forgot my existential umbrella two years ago. I’ve fond it now.
Join me gentle reader as I regale you with tales of my past life and my “Lazarus” like newborn one. Complete with metaphor, allegories and irreverent humour.
Smoky Ranger