Saturday, 19 February 2011

Last days with the pilot and first days in Sydney

I’ve been putting off writing this blog because I’m in the difficult position of trying to convey how wonderful, joyous and happy the last few weeks have been, whilst writing from a place of sadness and longing. But I will try and leave my current state of misery at the door and start from when they let me out of hospital on Tuesday 8th Feb. (For any new readers – I wasn’t momentarily sectioned – I had a kidney infection).

I am so very grateful for having met this wonderful family, who I just happen to share blood with (I mean in the familial sense, no weird rituals). When you’ve been really poorly, there is nothing better than going home to a comfortable bed, good food, people who love you, and a wonderful little dog called Mojo. Simon and I spent a few days just resting up at Viv and Pauls. And by ‘resting-up’, I mainly mean shopping/dining/drinking.  Those who know me well will know that clothes shopping for me is like going to the fairground for pikey kids. I fookin love it. 
So meeting a man who will willingly spend 2 hours in an Op Shop with me has been very lucky, to say the very least. After some v. successful finds for us both, we spent hours on busses (Gold Coast public transport needs to take a long hard look at itself) to go to Saks, a swank restaurant on the marina, where we ate the most ridiculous sea-food platter for two you have ever seen, followed by swimming in the sea/frolicking on the beach. 

That evening was Elliot’s gig at The Basement. It was Simon’s first Oceanics experience, and he was suitably impressed. We had a super evening. Word of my skills in the burger-making arena had reached Andy, the fantabulous Oceanics drummer (who also happens to be one of the nicest boys I have ever met), so I agreed to make them the following night for all.

So Friday night was burger night. Andy ate 3. What a hero. Sarah came over to say goodbye, and so did Marge. The drink flowed, and before long the guitar was out (Along with Pauls thirty-year-old hand-written song books) and we all had a good singsong. Saturday Nic and Elliot took us t The Spit and we walked along the pier and then got sushi. Viv, Paul, Nic and AJ went off to Michael Boob for the evening, leaving me, El and Si to have a divinely nothingy night in. I called a doctor (nothing too dramatic), just to get some more antibiotics and she gave me some pots to wee in incase I’m on the wrong antibiotics and another lot of heavy duty AB’s. 

On Sunday Nic and AJ drove us down to Byron Bay. We had a fab day, but Nic and AJ had to go home to be sensible which was such a shame, as the 4 of us would have made a brilliant team for a short holiday. Never the less, Simon and I soldiered on. We booked into our romantic room at the Arts Factory Lodge where Simon had stayed 15 years before. The room was like an old gypsie canvas caravan, with a front porch and a back porch which backed onto a large pond. It was perfect. We spent the evening at the Railway Friendly bar – Simons’ old Byron haunt, and then bought some wine and went down to the beach to drink it on the rocks whilst the sun went down.

Monday was Valentine’s Day. Not a day I’m usually one for celebrating with much enthusiasm. We got up and sat on our back porch, legs dangling off the deck over the pond. A mummy duck and her ducklings were wading around. I had honestly not expected to receive a valentine’s card from Simon…. I don’t know why, I just hadn’t. So when I asked him if he wanted his card before we went out for brekkie, and he replied ‘yes, do you want yours?’, I was quite genuinely, pleasantly surprised. Nothing had prepared me though, for what is by some distance, the nicest thing I have ever received.  (With the birthday card he painted me firmly in second place).

I do hope he doesn’t mind me explaining this…. It’s funny with writing the blog, it has become such a useful catharsis to me, that the things I thought I’d probably keep to myself, have become the things I want to write about most. So Simon, apologies in advance if I now shatter the illusion for the millions of readers of this blog, that you are in fact, a macho-tough-guy, and not, (as your card making skills imply) the biggest romantic softie that ever lived. 

I’m sure lots of you will know the importance of the  balloon-in-the-tree in Westcott. But for those of you who don’t, I will give a brief explanation.

Knowing that I was going away for a year, and Simon’s inability/lack of interest to have a long-term relationship, we had a few early symbolic rituals or turns-of-phrase that kind of helped us communicate when discussing our early, new, foetal-like but blooming, relationship. To kind of make sense of, or interpret, how things were going. So when we met in the depths of winter, Simon would often say ‘as long as you are here to see the spring bulbs…’. And we would say this often. And then of course the spring bulbs bloomed and disappeared, followed by the veggies, the late summer flowers, and the early autumn planting of the following year’s spring bulbs. An entire gardener’s cycle and we were still in love. 

So around the beginning of last year, we happened to notice a heart-shaped balloon trapped in the tree by the burial mound, on Guildford Road, near The Bothy. This balloon kind of took the place of ‘as long as you get to see the spring bulbs’. Seeing someone’s gift of love trapped in a tree is an emotive image anyway. But for us it became this kind of metaphor; As long as that balloon is trapped in that tree then our love is safe. The weeks and months went on, and we watched the balloon transform as it slowly degraded. The weather had bleached it and torn it, and towards the time I was preparing to leave, it was barely recognisable as a balloon, bar the long ribbon-like strings intertwined in the branches. But we knew what it was. Many times, I would drive home past the tree, look up to make sure, and send Simon a message; ‘it’s still there…’. And sometimes we would jibe that if it came down, that would be the end. Or that perhaps it would fall the day I left as some kind of cruel but apt analogy – an emblem of my departure. But it didn’t. It was well and truly up there. We even went on a half-hearted rescue mission with the intention of maybe keeping it safe somewhere, but it was too high up and we couldn’t get it.
So I guess when Simon saw that the heavy snowfall had finally brought down the beloved symbol of our longevity, there really was only one thing to do with the remains. Inside is scrawled, in his lovely Simony handwriting: ‘The balloon fell down in the end, but my love for you never will’. 
Sorry Simon. If it makes it any better, I made a sickeningly saccharine book of love which is just about the most puke-inducing bit of craft you can imagine. The long and short of it is, we are a couple of weirdo’s that just so happen to have managed to find each other in a world full of normallers. And I am very happy.
Anyways, after that, we got some lovely breakfast, then did the long walk to the far end of the beach around cape byron, to Watego’s beach. Lovely lovely day. We spent the evening on our back porch having a candle-lit smorgasbord with the prize bottle of Villa Maria. Tuesday we made a den on the beach and barricaded ourselves in with a low wall made of sandcastles using my urine sample pot as makeshift sand-bucket. (Unused I hasten to add, they gave me two).  

We were driven home by a nice chap from CS called Mitch who lives pretty near aussie nan and pop. We got to Reg and Vals at 7pm and had wine and pizza and farewells. It was lovely. We looked through Reg’s brothers photo album (he was killed in a spitfire during WWII). Therte is a photo of one of his many lady companions wearing his pilot’s jacket, which made me chuckle for reasons you can imagine.
Wednesday  we got up early to say our final goodbyes, it was horrible. Elliot, lovely boy that he is, took us to the airport where we caught our plane to Sydney.

We cabbed it to Stu’s and had a wonderful night out with him, his housemate and lovely dutch Erik – delish thai. Slept badly, the knowledge of it being my penultimate night with Simon creeping into my shallow dreams. Thursday we got a cab to Helena’s house, which is not a house, but the most beautiful living arrangement I have ever seen. We had a lovely lunch, then spent the afternoon/evening in the park watching the planes go overhead and finding a bottle shop (which involved several trips to various pubs of course!). The night was lovely, great company, great wine. I woke in the night weeping. a sign of things to come.

We got breakfast Friday morning and tried to be very brave. Simons cab collected him from my arms at 1.30pm. I didn’t even watch it pull away. That night Helena took me to a very interesting fetish nightclbub, ands when I got home at 4am, the incessant crying began. Saturday was the Drum n Bass BBQ which I was so looking forward to, but I felt tired, weepy and under the weather, so came home at 8.30pm and did some crying.

It’s now Sunday and, despite the wonderful people, beautiful place, and exciting travel plans, I cannot seem to snap myself out of weepsville. I won’t write a long and protracted explanation of my heartbreak and sadness – other than to say, I am heartbroken and sad. For the first time, I have considered coming home.
We are off on a road trip to Byron and Brisbane this week so will hopefully see Viv and Paul on route, and the busyness of travel will hopefully reduce the weepings. And then its time to find work. And I suppose in the grand scheme of things this is all probably a good sign, but at the moment I am struggling to remember why on earth I am doing this to myself when I could be living in domestic bliss with the love of my life. Also living out of a backpack is starting to seriously do my head in.

The following pictures go someway to describing my current abode:

Until next time bloggalettes.


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