sensibleTAGS: mini-nanowrimo-scrino, responsible, senseless, sensible, unreasonable
There is something about being a responsible person for most your life that makes you crave things that, when you examine them honestly, you don't even want.
It isn't the tales of wild times and barely-escaped adventures. It's the insouciance. The completely carefree, nearly selfish approach to everything. See these people needing help? I don't know how to write the sentence that describes what goes through a person's head as they walk by, carefree and unconcerned. This is not my problem. They need help, but it doesn't need to be me. See this group of people - they need to be away on time. Who can they rely on? Not me, we all know that. Not reliable, so we won't even ask. See this task? It isn't creative, but it needs to be done. Who can they ask? Not me, I'm creative and it isn't my thing.
And it isn't just the caring, responsible thing. It's something more than that. I don't wish to be untrustworthy, unreliable, and, sure as hell not uncaring. And, I know, I know, people who are unreliable are not the same as uncaring. Not in anyway. I'm not to be relied upon for remembering dates. Don't expect the keys, phone or important document to turn up. I'm as a good a bet as anyone else to forget it. But it's not because I'm not trying.
I think that might be it. I'd like to be (except that I wouldn't) the person who doesn't make the connection of the consequences. A person who tries to be responsible, but isn't able to connect it to so many damn things. A little smaller dose of the conscientious if you would be so kind.
If you would be so kind...
And with that phrase, we're back to where I started. I don't wish for this. I don't want to be so cool that I don't care. I never remember being like that and, unless I fundamentally become another person, I recall that I never will. Paint me a picture of Little Ms Sensible and leave it at that.
But, be sure to draw her with boots on.
returning to the scene of the crimeTAGS: adventures, boot, the rambling boot
(the origins of boot)
Let me tell you a tale. A tale of long ago.
There was once a young woman, barely 18, as memory has it, who longed to travel. To see the world. She had very little money, so she thought to begin seeing the world from home.
The young woman, of course, was young boot. Supple of skin and trusting of heart.
Young Boot Takes to Her Heels
I can't be sure, but I think it was close to 25 years ago, I decided I wanted travel somewhere. On my own. Unfortunately, I had very little money and couldn't drive. So, I looked at maps of the country and picked out interesting looking locations and then found out what buses would take me where. It's astonishing where the old Greyhounds would go. And back then they were far cheaper than an airflight. One of the places they took me was the Flinders Ranges.
I bought a tent, a backpack and some rudimentary cooking gear. I bought a ticket and that's about it. No hiking boots. No wetgear. No maps for hikers. Wonderful! The roadtrip for the licenseless.
At one point, hiking around on my own, I stopped, literally breathless (it's a long way up!) to admire the view. It was then I realised that I had no proof I'd been there. I'd been taking photos all around the ranges, but only of the scenery. So, at Wilpena Pound, hanging precariously over a cliff, I took a photo of my foot. Ever since then, my foot, with or without boot, has been in almost every holiday photo set I've taken.
On the same trip, I met a lovely guy from Switzerland. He turned up in the ranges even less well prepared than me. It was pouring with rain and he had a mat to sleep on. And that was all. So, I invited him to share my tent, the poor wet soul. His name was Gunther and we shared tins of food and that's all. Sometimes trust leads you nowhere but good.
The next day I went walking around these mountainous ranges with Gunther. Here's a tip for you: first time up a high place, don't go with a man who has grown up clambering up the Swiss Alps.
I still have a letter from Gunther and a photo of us together. The trip was part of the making of me and I'm still a little surprised at my own audacity at the time. He'll always be a part of that. ... As will the boot
Polishing the Boot
Of course, after this long, this photo was not in a good way, the negative was scratched and had been poorly taped by whoever had procesed them originally. If you're curious, you can see the untouched, or 'unplugged' version.
Returning to The Scene of The Crime
A couple of weeks ago, a few of us declared roadtrip and took off to the Flinders Ranges for a couple of days. Happily, once we'd gotten up somewhere nice and high, my husband remembered that this was where (or thereabouts) I'd taken the first boot photo. So, here we are again. Fancier walking boots. Fancier camera. Same magnificent scenery. Same young woman, at heart.
There aren't enough words to say how much I enjoyed both of these trips. The two trips span 25 years of growth, but the love of this place has not diminished. Nor has the rugged love for the roadtrip itself.
Been a long time for you? What are you waiting for?
opening the door cautiouslyTAGS: block, blog guilt, busy, the rambling boot
Not much to say, except that I thought I might wash off some of my dusty blog guilt. It's always good to see the cupboard isn't bare, even it feels that way.
I'm looking for a theme to write about. The world of full of wonder and lush, vibrant words.
You wouldn't think it would be that hard would you?
my bumTAGS: adventures, bottom, my bum, my stories, night, wandering, wombats
(a wombat's tale)
No doubt you have heard of the wombat. If not, you certainly should have by now and I feel that this particular adventure may contain material too fascinating for your young years and you should look away now. One of our nights on our great local adventure was spent cavorting about in a mini-bus with a dozen other tourists, shining lights at the local wildlife. Also known officially as a spot-light tour. I should, at this juncture, point out that this is done without guns. This is eco-tourism at its best and weaponry features nowhere. Many wallabies and a possum or two were spotted by our over-excited crowd. There was even a Mexican stand-off between two possums, half-way up a tree, with one possum upside down. Apparently, it was a particularly fine tree. The animals most likely to get our little crowd cheering, however, were the wombats. I don't know why, though I suspect, for myself, it has something to do with our much loved Fatso the Wombat. Not as dexterous and multi-talented as Skippy, perhaps, but much loved nonetheless. Why did the people from the other countries love the wombat so much? Who can say. Your guess would be as good as mine. Our driver even took the time to tell us about the amazing tunnel blocking and foe-crushing abilities of the wombat's bottom. Amazing stuff. Not a bum you'd want to mess with, I can tell you. Even if it is the tallest tale I've heard spun in quite a while, it was done well and it was done by cover of night. Let the tale live, I say. Beware the wombat bottom! In a particularly hair-raising moment, one wombat we spotted - Wombat on the right! Wombat on the right!! - was particularly close to the side of the road. Not a problem in itself. Unless your wombat thinks the bus looks like a great place to go under for a midnight stroll.
"No! No! Not under the bus. Not under the bus!"
At this point, all the passengers were crowding at windows trying to find the waddling rascal. He's here! He's safe. The bus driver was most relieved. He hadn't been looking forward to explaining to his boss how half of his passengers had become injured by late night traffic while trying to protect/look for a foolish wombat. Most fun I've had in ages. No photos, sad to say. It was pitch black, lined with ghostly gum trees and a soft spotlight gently highlighted each animal. The next day, however, is where I got my bum. Driving around Australia, you will occasionally, if you're lucky, spot a wombat or two. Only for a moment, mind you, before they waddle remarkably quickly back into the bush. This time, however, we spotted a wombat right by the edge of the road. We pulled up and he sat about nibbling on various tid-bits of fauna. He was in the distance at first, really only a speck, but it's amazing what your eyes can bring close. Not wanting to upset him, I walked slowly closer and closer. Then suddenly he dashed, in a waddling way, across the road. Not into the bush! So, there I was playing traffic warden for the wombat. As you can see above, he did make it safely to the other side of the road. Wombat bottom and all.
my countryTAGS: adventures, my country, my stories, traversing, wandering
Ah, adventuring is such great fun.
There's the preparation. The thinking about it, the doing of it, the lying in bed worrying at it. Then, eventually, there's the adventure itself.
This adventure takes place in my country. Not my home, exactly, but a little bit further south of where it lies.
Let's kick up our feet and start from the top. Which is not the same as the beginning.
I've always loved to walk. Not quite so much as a swim, but it's that same feeling that if I didn't have a reason to stop maybe I never would. I can see that the older I get, the easier it will be to stop. But that's for then and this is for now. Of course, there's walking and there's walking.
Walking around hills and mountains is an unbelievable high. (Pun fully intended.) I wouldn't describe it as a feeling of conquering. What an odd notion that would be. A human conquering a mountain? With what? A shovel and an awful lot of time?
It's a mixture of feelings. It's a feeling of fatigue and aching muscles. It's astonishment at the raw beauty of the landscape. A dizzy sense of flying, on sight of the view from the top. It's a sense of quiet and of stillness. It is, for me, a gentle sense of achievement and of overcoming the physical body. It is unbearably, bodily beautiful.
I'm no mountain-climber, but even little strolls, like those around Crater Lake, may give you an insight into what that would be like. One thing is for certain, whatever it takes of you to make the walk, it gives it back to you a hundred-fold.