Horror trip to the top end

Trip to the Top End
Good trip, bad trip, you decide.
“Look at this”, I excitedly told my mate John.
Return flights to Darwin, just $4 each. Too good to be true I thought to myself.
I logged onto the website and discovered it was indeed true. The Airline was having a fourth birthday promotion, hence the $4 tickets.
I just needed to log on at 10pm and secure our tickets. I sat poised to pounce as soon as the clock hit 10 pm. Done. Oh what joy.
We packed a small carry on bag each , this was the only luggage allowed. I wasn’t worried though as at that price I could buy some more clothes if need be.
After a five hour train trip, then a 30 minute airport shuttle ride, we reached Melbourne Airport.
The flight was a night time flight so we spent a fair amount of time milling about the Airport waiting for our flight to board.
Wait we did. Still more waiting, and more, then two hours after advertised departure we finally boarded. Our enthusiasm had somewhat depleted by now, but hey, we were onboard..
Uh oh. Trouble brewing. One engine would not fire up. The Captain announced a short delay in take off while the Plane was push started. Whrrr Whrrr Whrrr, the engine finally sprung to life. At this stage I was hoping it didn’t give up half way into the trip.
Soon we were airborne and everything seemed to be running smoothly. Apart from the fact that the flight was absolutely fully booked, not even room for a pea to fit in, it was a good flight.
As we approached Darwin I listened, ( as I always do) to hear the landing gear go down. All I heard was a few clunks but no gear down. The plane had already started its decent and as I looked out of the window, I noticed fire engines and ambulances speeding across the tarmac. Not a good sign . Suddenly the plane ascended again and the captain announced that we had to retry the landing. I turned to John and told him the landing gear hadn’t engaged. He went a ghostly kind of white and gripped my hand tightly. He never did like flying.
All of a sudden I heard the gear go down, we were going to be ok. On landing we emerged into the hot humid air of Darwin. It was 2am and we were tired. Luckily I had booked into a hotel and soon we were sleeping peacefully.
The morning came too soon and it was time to go and pick up our Hi Ace van. We had three weeks up here and decided to do some travelling about the Top End and also over to Lake Argyle.
All went well for a few days, John was still very pale and shaken but I thought he would come good before we had to get on another plane and return south.
It turns out the trip was doomed as a few days later John tripped and hurt his back. He had to buy walking sticks so as he could walk about. The pain was bad, the bed in the Hi Ace was hard and sleeping was a problem for him, as well as for me. We soldiered on though and saw many beautiful places , met lots of nice people and generally had a good time despite the odds.
The last week we returned to Darwin to explore the city. John was still in pain and still pale every time he thought about the plane.
It was then that the sand flies attacked me. There must have been millions of them. I was itchy, I was sore, I was oozing stuff out of the bites. What else could go wrong? I went to a Doctor and he gave me copious amounts of ointment and pills to combat the reaction to the sand fly bites.
None of it worked. I was now looking like a leper with huge puss filled sores all over me. The itch was unbearable. It was only 2 days left until we left again. John was very reluctant to get back on a plane. In fact he was making himself ill just thinking about it.
I had an idea. We could go home on the Ghan. It was amazing how quickly he cheered up when I suggested that option. I had always wanted to go on that trip. We bought tickets for the next days train.
John was still on walking sticks and I was still looking like a leper and itching like crazy but we were on the train. It was just as I thought, a beautiful journey. We went through the very centre of our beautiful country. At night the stars were bright and the sky crystal clear.
The only thing bad was my sand fly bites. Every time I walked I sounded like a slop bucket as my shoes would fill with the liquid oozing out of my sores. They still itched, Johns’ back was still sore but not too bad and the train flew along without a care in the world. It was a great trip, it really was despite our ailments.
Two years later we decided to give the Top End another go, but this time in the Caravan.
It was certainly a trip to remember, and for all the right reasons.


What to do with a million lemons (give or take a few thousand.)

Most of us love them.

Most of us can never find them when we want them. Lemons have many uses, they are great.

What does one do when the lemon tree bears so many that it is impossible to use them all before they spoil?

I have this problem right now. My freezer is still full of squeezed lemon juice from last year. I have been eating everything lemon for the past year and now they are back, the lemons, they are here to taunt me, they are here to drive me insane.

I have been asking people if they would like some lemons, they always reply “no thanks”.

I have taken boxes of them to the local shops and op shops in the hope that they might let people take what they need for free. None of them seem very interested. All they want to do is make money. They don’t encourage people to leave things that are free. Whatever happened to the spirit of giving.

Lemons are over $7 a kilogram in the supermarkets. People buy them for that price. My lemons are free. My lemons are organic, my lemons are freshly picked right here in Australia. They are not imported. The lemons in the supermarkets are usually imported.

I have made, lemon scones, lemon muffins, lemon meringue pie, lemon marmalade, lemon delicious pudding, lemon curd, lemonade, lemon sauce, preserved lemons, pickled lemons, lemon brownie, lemon cake, lemon tart. Yes it is very tart. Lemon mousse, lemon jelly, the list goes on.

I have squeezed them, I have thrown them for the dogs to fetch, I have buried them, I have rubbed the juice on my hands, it is supposed to be good for the skin.

I have dreamed about them, I have had nightmares about them, I don’t want them. Nobody wants them. They are free, how come nobody wants them.

I bet people in the city would want them. I bet the people in the city would kill for free lemons. Why can’t the government supply free transport to the city for all of my unwanted lemons. That would be a good thing. That would be the answer. Perhaps I should lobby the Government for free transport for all the poor unwanted lemons in the country.

Maybe I should just chop down my lemon tree and then I would not feel so bad about the wastage. It is a crying shame, it really is.



my greatest fear


My greatest fear is SPIDERS!!!

Spiders seem to know I fear them. They are always lurking somewhere , just waiting to pounce.

The first time I became aware of my fear was when I was about 10 years old. My bed was under some louvre windows. I awoke one moonlit night , reached up for my glass of water, and put my hand on a monster. Thus began my fear .

Today I encountered another of the creepy monsters. I had to go to the toilet, I was just about to be seated and spied some very suspicious hairy legs peeking out from behind the toilet roll.

Arrhhhh . Out I went, screaming to myself, ( no one about to hear me.)

I hurriedly found the insect spray and ventured close enough to fill the small room with fumes.

That should do it, I thought. A foolish thought though, these creatures seem to thrive on the stuff.

I waited about an hour before venturing into the small room once more. I just had to go, couldn’t hold on any longer.

There was no sign of the beast so I relaxed a little. Now to wash my hands, I did so and then picked up the towel to dry them. OMG. I grabbed the spider, he was a little drunk from the spray but still alive. Another scream, towel dropped and now I sweating in fear even though it was only 10C out there.

This time I got the broom and dealt with it. I am sure I will have nightmares tonight.

Spiders and I have a long history. One other time, I was driving along the road only to notice a slight movement beside my arm. I knew what it was, without looking closer. In a semi frozen state, and holding my breath (although I don’t know what that achieved), I pulled over to the side of the road and leapt out.

It was then I looked back onto the seat where I had just been sitting and saw the biggest hairiest spider ever. My heart was thumping and I was sweating, I had to pull over an oncoming car and ask for help.

Luckily the gentleman was not afraid and he swiftly removed the thing. He had a weird sort of grin on his face. Probably made his day seeing someone so scared. I was so grateful.

My daughter loves spiders and always told me they were harmless. I proved her wrong though, I was bitten by a redback a few years ago, I have never known such pain. I was extremely ill and spent a few days in hospital.

That redback had been lurking , unseen as well.

It was in my shirt, it must have been in there all day, and waited patiently until evening to actually bite me.

Even now, some of my children delight in wrapping a plastic spider in gifts they give me.

I am always very cautious about unwrapping these gifts.

I am seriously thinking of being desensitised against those horrible things. I know they have a place in this world, although I fail to see why.



Where do you keep your watermelon?

Where do you Keep Your Watermelon….?
A story of chat by emoticon and innuendo…
Recently I commented on an
article online. The article was about losing ones libido.
The comment I made was that I had not lost mine, but was finding it difficult to meet a male over 60 who hadn’t lost theirs, and who thought along the same lines as I do.
A few days later, I received a message from a gentleman who was more or less in the same boat as I was.. the only difference, he was finding it difficult to meet a like minded female.
Thus began a weird and wonderful series of flirtatious chatting….(texting or is it sexting?)
I agreed that I was a little flirtatious but drew the line at downright filth and crudeness..
Let’s give it a go and see what happens I thought..
Well, the conversations flowed, (as much as they could by texting). Emoticons are a marvellous invention, one can speak a thousand words…
Take a watermelon for instance….. it can conjure up numerous scenarios… Especially when an emoticon with a tongue sticking out appears in the chat window….
As he said,” Watermelon is not just a Food….”
One chat consisted solely on emoticons, or stickers as they are called…..
A cup of coffee, a cake and a smiley face……as well as a lot of other little stickers… suggestive? Yes, some were , but all made for fun , and got the old brain thinking.
I found myself laughing and smiling more than I had in years… This had to be good for the soul.
Heck, I was even singing when I went about my daily chores…
Another chat was started by an emoticon of a fox taking a shower. Something so simple took me too places I hadn’t been for years…
I don’t think he had been there either…
There are millions of those little suckers out there, emoticons I mean…
They are fun, they are harmless, I am sure some of you readers will think I am right out of my tree, but that doesn’t matter to me, I am who I am, and make no excuses.. I am unique….
I say, get adventurous, if you have a partner , or husband, and things are a little stale. Find your watermelon and let go of all your hang ups, you never know where it may take you….
This bloke has a sense of adventure, and a sense of humour, a rare combination in most over 60 males….
We don’t always have flirty chats, sometimes we just chat about everyday types of things.
It is a good mix…
Who would have thought one small comment would take me to such heights…..

Do you believe in Astrology?

What is it with the Libran Male and I?
I never used to believe all that weekly spiel about Scorpio (my sign) .
I thought it was a lot of mumbo jumbo, but , over the years I have changed my views somewhat.
First hubby was a Libran. I read the stars, and they told me that it was not a good match. What do they know, I thought to myself. This guy is my dream man, he has it all, there is nothing about him that could possibly annoy me, let alone make the union fail.
There was everything about him that annoyed me, he was rude, he was arrogant, he was a bully, and worst of all , he was a philanderer.
Two children and 10 years later I had had enough.
Life had to be better if I was in my own.
I travelled far and wide, met lots of people, and ultimately fell in love again..
This time, he really was the man of my dreams. Tall, dark, good looking, fun, in fact perfect…
I didn’t even think twice about marrying him, even though he was a Libran.
I checked the stars to see if they had changed their predictions on the Scorpio/Libra union. Nope, they still said it wouldn’t work.
What do they know, I thought once again.
Well, the stars won out again. This one was twice as bad as the first. He was arrogant, rude, a bully, a philanderer and worst of all a psychopath.
Three children and 6 years later I had to flee for my life and the life of the children… Close call that time. We escaped by the skin of our teeth and spent many a year looking over our shoulders.
Time went by, the kids became wonderful adults, and not a Libran amongst them.
I went on a trip to Florida , to stay a while with a girlfriend.
Whilst there I met her cousin, recently widowed.
We got along like a house on fire, the cousin and I. We had such a good time, he was keen to take it further, but I had to ask the question, what star sign are you?
Oh No!!
A Libran.
My heart was trying to rule my head, it was a battle, I looked up the stars compatibility chart again.
It hadn’t changed, it still said no.
What to do, what to do.
I knew what to do, I had learnt my lesson, it just could not be.
I am sorry, I told him. My star sign is not compatible with yours.
He, of course, thought I was crazy. But I stuck to my guns, I didn’t give in. I was proud of myself.
To date I have yet to meet a compatible partner. I know my stars say a Pisces or a Cancer male are ideal for me, but where are they?
All I seem to meet is Librans.
It is kind of like a 30 year curse.

my first trip to indonesia

I love to travel and to my great joy, my oldest son took up a position in Jakatar Indonesia.
Before too long I was winging my way over to visit the son and his family. When the plane landed I followed the throng along hallways , up and down escalators and along more hallways. Hopefully these people knew where they were going.
There was much noise and the heat was stifling. My son had told me I would have to pay $USD 25 for my visa. It sounded like a simple thing to do, but where did one pay this Visa I thought. Oh, over there, in small English was a sign that said pay visa here… Good oh.. I paid and was directed to wait for an immigration officer to stamp my passport. Wait I did, a long queue formed behind me, people with little patience I might add. Hurry up, someone said. I turned around and explained that I couldn’t hurry as there was no one in the booth. I spied a security guard and asked where the operator of the booth may be. He promply went behind the booth and kicked out with one foot.. Up rose the booth operator, who had been fast asleep behind the booth. Great…passport stamped, I was now on my way, to collect my luggage..
I rounded the corner into the luggage hall and almost had a heart attack…. How on earth would I find the right carousel amongst all these people.
Over the loudspeaker came a notice that luggage from flight 607 ( my flight) could be collected at carousel 12… Good.. The numbers were in English.. I duly went to carousel 12 only to be told that it wasn’t the right one that flight 562 was being unloaded on number 12. Well back to square one… After asking several porters, I finally found my luggage at carousel 3. Quite some way from number 12.. Luckily I always pack a shocking pink suitcase. There is no other like it and that suitcase has saved me hours searching for luggage, provided of course that I find the right carousel.
Luggage collected I made my way out of the airport….. Ye Gods, how would I ever find my son? There were literally millions of bodies seething back and forth. Almost another heart attack!
I was working up the sweat of fear when out of nowhere…. “Hi Mum, what took you so long in there…?….”
What a relief… the 20 mile trip from airport to son’s home, is another

how long does it take to travel 20 miles

20 miles is a long way when travelling in.
After making it through the Soekana International Airport in Jakarta, and finding my son, or rather , he finding me.. I thought good oh.. only 20 miles to his house….. that won’t take long……..Wrong!!!!!!!
We will just wait here and the driver will come and get us said John…. I looked at the masses of cars and wondered however John would know which car was his… They all looked the same to me, all 4 wheel drives and silver or black in colour.. Don’t worry he told me , the driver will find us… I was starting to sweat again, but not from the heat….it was the sweat of fear…
Here he is…… quick get in… in we got, now it won’t be long I thought foolishly… The breakneck speed and sheer volume of traffic had me gasping for air…How long will it take to get home I asked.. Oh it will be a little while said John.. The driver smiled into the rear view mirror, he must have been thinking I was a bit naïve.. I was barely able to look outside the window.. if we weren’t going breakneck speed amongst millions of other vehicles, we were stuck in a traffic knot, there didn’t seem to be any traffic lights, or police traffic controllers. It was just first there first through, buses going up on footpaths, scooters with whole families on board, hurtling towards us, beggars running madly in between the traffic, little children , no more than three years old, running throught the traffic… I watched in horror at all this…We will be lucky to get there in one piece I thought to myself. The scooters , incidently, have the right of way and can chose which side of the road to go on, there is hell to pay if anyone knocks a scooter.. Amazingly none of the cars seemed to have any dents on them. Damn good drivers is all I can say…
After about 2 hours, I asked how much further it was, about halfway John said and added that it was lucky it wasn’t not peak hour… Hmmm..I was glad I didn’t have to have a toilet stop as this would have been impossible . There was no way to get out of the throng of traffic. May as well get the kindle out and have a read I thought… Finally after 5 hours, we pulled into the driveway, oh what joy.. the family all waiting and smiling, it was worth the hassle. I would have a month to get used to this new way of travelling before going back through it all in reverse….

snippets of my life as it is and how it was