Wednesday, 22 March 2017

I must have been crazy to be out there all alone ...

Last weekend was just gorgeous. I finally got the chance to disconnect from the internet and spend time out in nature on a big bushwalk. I arrived at Maroondah Dam in the very early morning only to find that the entire place was still barricaded off to bushwalkers due to the storm damage last year. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there so was shocked to see so many of the massive trees uprooted and lying on their sides with their root systems up in the air. Not one to be dissuaded easily from an idea, especially when it comes to exercise, I drove through the gates that said “strictly no entry.” What could possibly go wrong, I thought, eagerly. I was the only one around and had no idea what lay ahead. Okay, it’s true, sometimes the writer side of me takes over and I find myself doing really crazy things because I think it’ll make a good story, if not for the public then maybe for my kids and grandkids. This is what was going through my mind when I crossed what would usually be very well maintained lawn area that was entirely strewn with fallen trees, bark, branches etc to reach the bush track. It was only a matter of time before I realised why they were trying to keep everyone out. If you watch the video you’ll see how virtually every metre of the uphill part of the track was strewn with fallen trees and branches and so I had to jump over and crawl under quite a few until finally I reached the summit only to find that the track was so overlaid with fallen trees that I had to scurry down into bush and walk along tree trunks to make any progress at all. I don’t know why so many trees had fallen. Curiously, on the other side of the track no trees had fallen at all. Go figure! And then I reached the dam wall and as you’ll see on the video, the view was breath taking.

I love how the bushwalkers have knocked the barricade down and entered anyway :)

This is the dam wall from the other side. If this wall broke, you wouldn't know what had hit you.

The overflow was flowing fast and from down here I could see the track I'd come down at the top.

Maroondah Dam Bush Walk

The beautiful view from the top

I've collected quite a few blue wrens over the years :)

Driving home I was convinced it would be the perfect day to gather up my daughter and get out for a drive into the mountains. We had a lovely time together browsing through shops and having lunch at Little Joes in Warburton. Autumn is just starting here so the leaves are starting to turn and there’s that “cool in the shade, hot in the sun” feel that makes you start to feel more indoorsy and domesticated ie: soups, casseroles and knitting. And then we finally had time to finish unpacking the house. It was such a joy to find all of my little collections and ornaments that I’ve collected over a lifetime. And unpacking the books – well, you can just imagine J

... and I was finally able to get my craft desk organised :)

That night as I hopped into bed I was just making myself comfortable when my daughter came into my room and flopped down on her belly. “Mum,” she said with great emotion, “I just have to go to America, I just HAVE TO!” she declared. This was not the first time we’d had this conversation. You see, my daughter hopes to break into the showbusiness industry hence all of the ballet, dance, singing and acting lessons. She’s quite serious about this whole thing and is so driven that she leaves anyone else I can think of who may be considered ambitious behind in the dust. She’s been at me to go there for a few years now. “Mum, you don’t understand, I just ache to go there. I just have to go, with or without you, I know that's where my destiny lies!”

I have my own reasons for being drawn to that land but I didn’t mention them to her. She said she’d even live “right down South” if that’s what it took to be there but would prefer Hollywood or New York. A part of me thinks she’s living in a dream and would get eaten alive out there, even if I was there to protect her. Another part of me thinks of my other children and grandchild and how it would feel to be living apart from them. Career-wise, it would be so great for both of us but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee any big breaks. There’s more happening in the Arts there than here, that’s for sure. And then we started the City versus Country argument which is what always happens when we talk about touring the States. She wants the glamour and glitz of the high life that the cities have to offer. The cities would drive me nuts for more than about a week and I’d start to hyperventilate and crave country life again. My idea is to tour east to west taking in all the South has to offer. Northern states and Canada can wait until next time. We did a budget for the trip last year when this subject came up and ended up deciding a two month tour would cost about $10,000 and then we could decide whether living there was an option or not. We’d probably come home declaring we could never go back there again but then again … who knows what can happen and what the future holds. We decided on Summer ’18 – ’19 but some serious saving has to happen between now and then.

In the meantime, it’s head down and bum up with my Uni studies. Hopefully, by end of ’18 I’ll have nine units under my belt toward the Bachelor of Communications which will mean I’m basically half way through. Hopefully, with that as a feather in my cap career opportunities will open up and I’ll be on my way to either screenwriting, journalism or – who knows – writing for Mills and Boons. I should be taken more seriously as a writer anyway and may even go on to a Master’s if time and finances allow.

There’s a lot to look forward to. Working hard really does pay off. And dreaming big does too J

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