Category: travel

Riding on elephants and other shit I haven’t done

Shot a gun ✔ I did my firearms safety training in January, and shot my first pest roo in a string bikini Be afraid. Very afraid.

Gone on a blind date ✔ Oh, the horror.

Skipped school ✔

Watched someone give birth ✔✔ My eldest and youngest nephews, now 14 and 9 respectively. It was an absolute honour.

Watched someone die ✔✔✔✔ I think I’ve got this one covered.

Visited Canada ✔ It was lovely. I spent most of it inebriated, writing by a fire, and sledding with huskies.

Visited Hawaii ✔ Does the airport count?

Visited Europe

Visited Las Vegas ⊗ I couldn’t think of anywhere worse.

Visited Asia  India is in my future!

Visited Africa ⊗ I’ve long had visions of dancing on a beach in Zanzibar in a string bikini drinking sangria. Seriously. Except I don’t drink – make the requisite sangria an iced tea, thanks.

Visited Egypt

Seen the Grand Canyon in person 

Flown in a helicopter 

Served on a jury 

(as a point of reference, my mother has done all three ^^)

Cried yourself to sleep ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔

Recently coloured with pencils ✔ I didn’t colour as a child – I read and wrote. Taking the time to colour within the lines is fun, yet meditative gives me fucking anxiety. Not joking.

Sang karaoke ✔ 
With gusto. With my native lungs, I was in tune. Not so much after my transplant.

Paid for a meal with coins only ✔

Made prank phone calls ✔ Hey, I was young …

Been honoured with fireworks ✔ Yes! I was born on New Year’s Eve, so for my 21st I had a huge party because I’d survived twenty-one years with CF. My folks organised the crew who do the Brisbane city fireworks to stop at our place (we were living on the Brissie River) around 9.30pm. They left a whole lot for my Dad and our neighbour to detonate at midnight, and being absolutely hammered, they nearly blew themselves up (that alone was worth seeing – two old blokes jumping around like frogs was fucking hilarious). It was epic and I found out afterwards that people saw them all across the city.

Laughed so much you cried ✔✔✔✔

Caught a snowflake on your tongue ✔

Had children  I found out when I was 16 that I couldn’t have children (severe endometriosis, cystic fibrosis and eventual vulva cancer), so I’ve never had a big ‘oh, fuck I can’t have babies’ moment. It’s just something that’s never been on the table, which doesn’t mean I’ve never been sad about it. My ovaries explode like an atom bomb, and I melt when nursing a baby. Just quietly, I would have been a fucking rad mum. Exhausted, but rad.

Executed successful skinny-dipping *and* nudie runs ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔ Yep. I’ve got those covered, too. In fact, I very nearly got arrested with my bestie’s husband doing a nudie run on a beach.

Abseiled down a building  Would LOVE to. Heights and speed are my thing.

Been camping in a tent ✔

Driven a motorcycle ✔ ⊗ Does being on the back of one count?

Been bungee-jumping  I went sky diving instead. I’ll jump out of a plane, but won’t tie a cord to my legs and then jump. Nup. Not a chance in HELL.

Gone to a drive-in MOVIE ✔ The last time was to see ‘Herbie Goes Bananas’. I would have been around four and remember a human sized banana dancing out the front as we drove in. I was wearing my pyjamas, too.

Done something that could have killed you ✔ Let me count the ways … drugs, for one. I am still genuinely shocked that I am not dead.

Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life  No regrets, just lessons.

Rode an elephant  I don’t know if I could because I love elephants SO hard.

Rode a camel 

Eaten just biscuits, cake or ice cream for dinner ✔ Is this some sort of trick question?

Been on TV ✔ Quite a lot as a kid with the whole CF thing.

Been in a newspaper ✔ Again, quite a lot as a kid and as an adult with CF, transplant, my poetry, and now my deathie work.

Stolen any traffic signs  I suddenly feel cheated. And now I can’t afford to get a conviction because I work for the government.

Been in a car crash ✔✔
 Both were minor, but here’s the kicker – the second was with an unmarked police car the day I found out I had to have a transplant. Top day that was …

Stayed in hospital ✔✔✔✔ WHERE DO I EVEN START WITH THIS.

Donated blood  I can’t because of all the mad medication I’m on for transplant. I so wish I could.

Had to pay a fine in the past 12 months ✔ Fuck you, Brisbane Shitty Council. Better signage would go a long way.

Gotten a piercing ✔ My nose when I was 19, not long after I got my first tattoo.
 Hey, I was in Byron Bay.

Gotten a Tattoo ✔ ✔ I’ve never felt regretsy about either of them.

Ever driven an automatic car ✔ Yep, but I’m a manual maven. Real chicks drive sticks, or something.

Ever owned your dream car ✔

Been Married 

Been divorced  I feel as though I have …
 See also.

Fell in love ✔ Oh my giddy aunt. Madly, passionately and all consuming love? Oh, yes.

Fell out of love ✔ It was awful, for both of us. The guilt was almost insurmountable.

Paid for a stranger’s meal ⊗ I can’t believe I’ve never done this #2016goals

Driven over 100kph ✔ If there’s anyone who has access to a track, I can bring a ’71 E-Type to the table. And yes, it’s a V12.

Worked in a pub ⊗ I’m guessing drinking one out of whiskey and being *asked to leave* doesn’t count?

Been scuba diving  I’m claustrophobic. But I’ve snorkeled in Vanuatu and I loved it because I could, you know, GET UP FOR AIR. Scuba diving would terrify me.

Walked on burning coals  I have no desire to have skin grafts on my feet. I’ve already had them taken from my inner thigh when I had my cuntostomy, so NO.

Eaten snails  Clearly, I haven’t lived.

Swam with dolphins ⊗ ⊗ ⊗  ACHTUNG and fuck to the NO. It’s called animal cruelty, unless they swim up to you in the wild. Go and watch Blackfish.

Swam with sharks  See above.

Lived on your own ✔ Yes. It’s called HEAVEN.

Performed on a stage ✔ I used to. All. The. Fucking. Time. I miss it. I mourn it.

When silence is deafening

‘Silence is safer than speech’ – Epictetus

Silence. Do we ever truly know what it is? What of the white noise that sweeps over our everyday lives, or the incidental noise that punctures the air? What does silence look like? This photo I took today is what silence looks like for me, out here. Thousands of miles of a seemingly silent landscape. It’s what that lies underfoot; what the earth bequeaths us when we least expect it.

IMG_2157

It’s going to take a few days to ‘acclimatise’ to the silence. It always does.

The sky turned it on tonight, but I’m holding out for some wicked cloud formations over the coming weeks, all of which I plan to share with you.

Another glimpse of silence. The earth opening up, as though it wants to take me somewhere. Not like Alice into the garden, but to take me through the arteries of the land that lay beneath my feet. These cracks by the homestead are small – delicate and polite, even. The crevasses in the paddocks seem to invite you to sink into them, as though they want you to disappear into them.

IMG_2160

We need rain out here. We need rain yesterday. We need rain last week. There hasn’t been any good, solid rain since March. It’s dry. Not as bone dry as I’ve seen it, but dry.

We went for a wander tonight, trying to find en emu one of the dogs had attacked and dragged through the fence. We failed to find it, but it must have scarpered to stumble and die. The dog had had a really good go at its neck, so it was mortally wounded. This is country life. Life and death.

IMG_2174

^ Bird on a wire ^

Next stop, Cape Cod

So we pull into a town called ‘Sandwich’ and guess what we can’t find?

So we have pecan pie instead.

We drive on through trees that hang over our car

like they’re trying to listen to our conversations.

Pointing the tank in the direction of Rhode Island,

one afternoon we’re sitting on barrels,

scraping lobster out of their sharp shells

(a delicate excavation)

so our mouths can dance from these gifts from the sea.

Our Lincoln town car – a weapon of a thing – has that smell of air freshener

and people before us.

Same as the car in San Francisco, except I’m sure I could smell pot.

We leave with swollen fingers and happy tongues

and I question myself about what Hunter S. Thompson would be doing.

We drift to Mystic where we eat pizza at the restaurant in the movie

where Julia Roberts gnashes her tall teeth; frigid as a professional virgin.

We sway on the pier afterwards with heavy bellies –

triple cheese pizza will do that.

Plymouth now, and I miss my boyfriend, so I call home and speak to his mother.

We take a historical tour around the town and just as I’m getting on the bus,

the lady driver mistakes me for a teenager

so I get on for a kids price.

Soon, we’re in Salem.

Dad passes me shots of port under the table because I’m underage in this country.

We sit in an old pub, our ears pooling with the sound of a singer

I wish I’d written down on a napkin.

Port warms my gut and flushes through my body like contrast dye

when I have scans for my drowning, scabby lungs.

I see overwrought horses in the street outside –

their feet probably thick with hoof rot.

Too much time standing on cobblestones

and not enough time moving.

I’m moving for them.

how I long to ride the horses back in Salinas.

too much time in a Lincoln town car

makes one weary and wanting for grass.