“Don’t look back. You’ll turn into a pillar of shit!”…….

Don’t look back.  You can only look forward and look toward a place you do not know until you reach it.  Sometimes, as difficult as it seems, you must learn to leave what you have grown to love be it somewhere you have lived and where perhaps your yesterdays are all buried deep.  It is an odd feeling leaving.  You not only miss the existence of the life you have built for yourself but most of all, you miss the person you have been at that time in that place and you know you will never feel that same way again.

Perhaps there are times where the bottom is supposed to fall out of our lives.  We lose what we love, we lose our trust and faith and we lose the truth of what we thought we believed so very deeply in.  When this happens, you can find yourself in a very dark place and it is from here you have the choice whether to move on or not.

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So very Southern.  The glorious magnolia flower………

Our trip home, documented in the last 15 posts, was disconcerting at best.  Amazing yet heartbreakingly difficult all at the same time.  Our lives thrown into careless turmoil and all the while dearly missing our family Gus and Zoe.  How were we to know when we packed up our home and our lives in the beautiful state of South Australia (a wonderful posting, as every one of our postings have been) in November of 2013 to begin that remarkable journey, that it would end as it did.  That life would change in an instant!   A single very ordinary instant and that we would be made to forfeit all which we never believed we could forfeit.

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November 2013.  Our entire home and lives packed up in readiness for this wonderful adventure.  How could we have known it would end as it did………

Packed and ready to go………

Last moments in Sydney Australia.  Cheers to a wonderful adventure……….

There is the realisation that one grows from something like this, as well one should, and  you will learn much.  During the most harrowing of times, although I thought I had lost absolutely everything, I gained so very much more.  I only had to look for it.

I have learnt that I need not tie myself to the weight of other peoples’ worth for when they are not made of heart they hold no purpose in my life.  I have discovered the world has people in it who will want to destroy you at any cost however the dehumanising process they use will only make you stronger and your determined courage will see you take your rightful stand.

In times such as these you also come to know your worth and you learn not to allow it to be measured by anyone else.   That although overwhelmed by sorrow you won’t give up. You learn grief has no mercy but you endeavor to fight a good fair fight even against an opponent who will play the lowest and grubbiest of hands.  That something like this also shows you that different people will spurn you in different ways and this is especially true the sly and cowardly piss weak when they have backing and the promise of immunity.

I have learnt I needed to allow my hurt to leave as though casting a stone and that in the baptism of fire of how truly cruel and hateful some women can be, you just need to hold fast your grace.  Don’t ever allow those very disagreeable trolls who favor spite, unkindness, calumny and profound negativity to ruin your benevolence.  Believe me, they are not worthy of it………xx.

I have come to understand I will still struggle with moments of bleak resentment toward those who so brutally drove all that happened.  When my forgiveness wavers, I fret at my lack of compassion for them and this is only because it sees me momentarily lose sight to empathy and humility which I hold dear.

I am also able to recognise that although some have felt justified through misguided, outdated and restless social barriers they had the right to dislocate and make inconsolable, they in turn unwittingly unleashed the singular power of my self respect and this has driven me on.  Regardless of the heinous bitter and very nasty shit they have thrown my way, I am stronger and more resilient than ever.

Most importantly though, I now know when assaulted from all sides and unsupported by those whom I should have been able to turn to yet were exiled from, I learnt to rely only upon myself.  Big tip – Trust only yourself and believe in yourself always.

We met some wonderful people and their friendships will be with us life long.  We had the most amazing time in America, as we have done in all of our postings, and we are so deeply grateful of our time there.  We made the absolute most of every single opportunity to explore, to travel, to experience and to see and do……and believe me, we did 🙂   We took road trips of thousands of miles.  Driving through the golden forge of Americas’ heartland.  Through sleepy forgotten towns where a richness often lies in such brokenness yet these places become an awfully human place to exist.  To vibrant cities of architectural beauty.  Those magnificent steel and glass cities that sound of car and taxi horns and the thrum of a million people.  We rode trolley cars and trains.  Walked hundreds of miles on streets we could only have dreamt of walking.  We flew in American skies over patchwork pastures and smog settled cities.  In moments I remember the small things such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the dusting of snow Georgia received in our first weeks there, a terrace house in a neighborhood of Washington, glorious magnolia blossom, my first Georgia peach, blackened catfish and the very spot where Elvis fried up his peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

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Touch down in America saw us touring the incredibly beautiful city of San Francisco for a few days………..

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A wealthy neighborhood where the hand of a Buddha statue held a leather catcher’s mitt.  Where Martin Luther King died for his cause and where Presidents have been inaugurated.  Blue Ridge Mountains,  dear little chipmunks and ‘bandits’, diners and corner cafes, juke joints, those long long four lane concrete freeways, the slow drawl of the beautiful southern accent, water towers and the desolate painful trail of tears in Chattanooga.  Sugar dusted beignets at Café du Monde, Spanish moss and mocking birds.  Fresh home-made waffles and pancakes, fried chicken, pecan pie and corn bread.   Sometimes it was the America I had always imagined and often it wasn’t, but perhaps this is what it means to travel.

Our teeny tiny snowman made from a dusting of Georgian snow……….

I missed the hot clotted air and heat of the south which wrapped around me, tanned my skin and frizzed my hair.  The south has a heat which is indescribable yet it lets you discover your porch, friendships, lazy afternoons and a pitcher of anything icy cold.

Once back home in Australia, unsettled and with a sorrow I could not comprehend, I unpacked my bag and shook out a raging aching heart.  It may have been over but really, it was only the beginning…………

And here in Newcastle, as unforeseeable as it was at that time, my life is all I imagined it to be.  From the moment I arrived I knew I was home.  Nowhere I had ever lived before gave the warmth of knowing I was home and you know instantly where you belong and that is the true beauty of life .  At home and at one with that beautiful ocean and where optimism, one of humanities great traits, beguiles and where soul expanding moments continually happen.

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Don’t look back.  What matters is now.  Go only forward and go with courage and dignity and summon that great value of the human spirit which is to never ever give up……..xx

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Footnote:  “Don’t look back. You’ll turn into a pillar of shit”  is a line by Ellen Burstyn in the 1974 movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.   

A little yen for Japan…….

Japan.  The land of the rising sun and such a peaceful place of immense beauty……..

Japan has a rich history and a culture which has formed over thousands of years yet the traditional and a modern Japan fit so elegantly together.   This beautiful land has a tranquil air of mystery to it and it appears to be a place where you could find yourself as a respectful outsider looking in on such loveliness.

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The people of Japan are hardworking yet delightfully courteous.  They have odd little mannerisms, they are welcoming and at times a little quirky, they have a quiet sense of composed beauty and their genteel politeness is utterly charming.   It seems too that good manners are paramount and these manners are taught at a very young age.   It makes for sweet yet respectfully dear children and who doesn’t appreciate that.

Traditional to hipster, this is modern Japan…….

Throughout Japan, and due much in part to Shintoism and the adopted Buddhism, there are thousands of beautiful public shrines and temples which you can respectfully wander through.   It is a very peaceful experience and at one temple midweek, we were so fortunate to witness the beauty of a hushed Shinto wedding ceremony.

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Japan has a troubled war history and due in part to this, they have denounced all military aggression for which I salute them.  As most reader know, I struggle with war.  Those bitter, unbearable and horrific conflicts where no one ever wins!   Japan was decimated after WWII – see previous post of Pearl Harbour – yet somehow, it rose from atomic ash to become one of the biggest economies in the world and one of the most beautiful places on earth.

There is war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t…………Leonard Cohen

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This is also the country of 6 million vending machines offering anything from ice cream, hamburgers, floral arrangements, hot ‘frozen dinners’, deep fried hot chips……how do they do it! to fresh eggs and hot coffee in a can.   Ubiquitously Japanese, your can of coffee will come out steaming hot and tasting of caffeine and your ice-cream will be frozen to perfection.  You can buy almost anything out of these machines including undies and they are incredibly convenient as they are situated everywhere.  I am in no doubt to the world having vending machine envy.

Somehow, I think one could very happily live in Japan, if only for a year, yet barely scratch the surface of this enchanting land.

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The rail system in Japan is brilliant.  It really is a great way to get around and in itself, it is a tourist attraction.  Think the ‘Mag-Lev High Speed Bullet Train’ which has a maximum operating speed of 320 km/h and which reached 603 km/h in testing.

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Image courtesy – indulgy.com

The commuter rail system is slick, fast and very clean.  It can be slightly complex to navigate at first, which is half the fun, but there is always someone willing to help you out.  In our case, an elderly gentleman helped navigated us through the underground network of tunnels and twist and turns to walk us right to our platform.  Not only was he delightful company for this brief encounter, but his gesture was also very kind.

And the trains are punctual!   I would recommend purchasing the unlimited rail card as train travel really is, apart from walking, one of the best way to get around.

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You will eat well in Japan and often only for a few yen at noodle bars or Yakitori’s.  And who doesn’t love a noodle bar.   We tended toward the smaller bars with their dark spaces and narrow benches which faced the kitchen to look upon the huge steaming pots of broth and noodles.   And do slurp your noodles as it will not only enhance their delicate flavor but in Japan, this is also the correct and most polite way to eat them.

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Another food tradition are the Bento boxes.  You can travel like a Ninja as these boxes were initially designed to eat whilst in a nomadic state.  It is quite an appealing way to eat although I suspect if travelling on the bullet train, you may not have much time to truly savor one.

Something quite lovely to try while in Japan are Rakugan.  These are sweets, not too sweet, that have been hand shaped into animals and flowers and objects of beauty.  Some of them really are works of art and I often found them just too lovely to eat.  Naturally, they come beautifully packaged – as is everything in Japan – and they are often served at traditional tea ceremonies.   The thing with the Japanese is that it is all about the aesthetically pleasing aspect of presentation.   The attention to detail, the precision and the art of giving with love and joy appear paramount from the presentation of a simple tiny Rakugan to the most expensive and elaborate of gifts.

‘The Princess and the Pee!’……. aka, my fascination with Japanese toilets!  What can I say.  The lav’s in Japan are everything I had heard and dreamed them to be.  Elaborate, modern, high tech, sophisticated, sensory, heated seats, melodic – they really do play music to camouflage any ‘noise’ – and they make for very happy travellers.  Give me a futon and a Japanese toilet and I’m a happy girl…….. 🙂

Japan Part II coming soon………..xx

Remembering Pearl Harbour………..

“A date which will live in infamy”…….President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The shipwrecks of Pearl Harbour have become the most iconic sites to ever lay upon a sea bed.  These incredibly somber yet deeply moving monuments of war, declared National Historic Landmarks, have become a place of healing, grace and contemplation and they are a very powerful national symbol for peace.

In the early hours of December 7th 1941, 353 Japanese planes from the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service which included torpedo planes, bombers, dive bombers and fighters, launched a surprise attack against the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbour near Honolulu in Hawaii.

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This really was a simple yet brilliantly executed attack where bombs and bullets literally rained down upon a Naval Base ill prepared for such aggression.  During the attack, a 1,800 pound bomb hit the USS Arizona.  The massive amour piercing missile smashed through her deck coming to rest in the ammunition hold setting off more than one million pounds of gunpowder.  The Arizona exploded into a fireball and sank with most of her crew trapped below deck.  Torpedoes struck the battleship USS Oklahoma.  She rolled then slipped beneath the surface of the water taking with her 429 crew.

The attack on Pearl Harbour lasted less than two hours.  Although short by any standard of war, most of the damage was inflicted within the first 30 minutes.  Twenty American Naval vessels were destroyed with eight of those being massive battleships and more than 300 US planes were destroyed.  In the aftermath it was realised that every US battleship at Pearl Harbour – The USS Arizona, USS California, USS Maryland, USS Nevada, USS Oklahoma, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee, USS Utah and USS West Virginia had sustained significant and near irreparable damage.  This attack however, did not destroy the American fleet.

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Inconceivably, 2,403 people were killed including civilians and 1,178 were injured.   1,177 service men were killed on board the USS Arizona alone and they remain entombed almost 76 years on.  This world shattering act of aggression altered the entire course of the history of the world forever and it has never been forgotten.

Following the attack, the United States of America immediately declared war on Japan with Australia following suit.

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The above images are photos taken from photographs on the walls of the museum………..

Sunday morning August 6th 1945, the ‘Enola Gay’, a United States B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb code named ‘Little Boy’ on Hiroshima.  Thousands died instantly.  ‘Bockscar’ dropped the second bomb ‘Fat Boy’ on Nagasaki August 9th.  There are no definite numbers on how many were killed in Japan but it is thought 80,000 people died instantly in Hiroshima with the death toll there eventually reaching 190,000 due to injuries and radiation poisoning.  70,000 were killed at Nagasaki and many thousands more were injured and listed as missing…………..

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The ships bell from the USS Arizona…….

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Accessible only by boat, the USS Arizona memorial has been built to straddle the sunken wreckage of this once mighty super-dreadnought.  When standing above the wreckage, you will see a small oil bubble rise to then rainbow itself upon the harbour waters.  This oil continues to leak from the Arizona herself.  On December 6th 1941 the Arizona had taken on a full load of fuel, almost 1.5 million gallons of oil in readiness for a scheduled trip.  During the attack that fuel fed the explosions and the fires which raged for days on end.  500,000 gallons of oil remain locked below the harbour and it will continue to slowly seep from the wreckage of that great war ship.

It is difficult to imagine that almost seventy six years on that a tiny droplet of oil still escapes the sunken hull to ascend and spread its quite reminder of such tragic loss.  It is extremely emotional to see this war grave and the oil which is referred to as ‘tears of the Arizona’ or ‘black tears’.

Although the Arizona and most of her crew were lost there is an undeniable bond between her and the remaining survivors.  In a remarkable stand for dignity and humanity, the US Navy has agreed the surviving crew members of this tragedy will be able to have their cremated remains interred in the ships wreckage.  It is thought when the last of the survivors is interred the leak will then be sealed.  There are just five remaining crew left, all in their 90’s, who saw action at Pearl Harbour on that fateful day……….

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These unit blocks were built to mark the flight path of the Japanese on the day Pearl Harbour was attacked.  At 0740 hours the first wave of Japanese fighter planes flew low through cloud toward Oahu.  They came over the mountain range and ‘through the gap of the unit blocks’ to attack the Naval Base.   Wave after wave of fighter plane, launched from four carriers stationed off the coast flew this path.  During the attack the Japanese lost 129 service men, 29 aircraft and 5 midget submarines.

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Being at this incredible memorial really does make you stop and think.  It requests of you to consider gratefulness and it will render your heart humble with quiet respect.  I often wonder what peace truly means and where does peace really exist in our tortured world.  Is peace dependent upon war for its existence?  I hope not, as I would like to think peace is of its own making but of this I can no longer be sure.

The human tragedy, horror and brutality of war will always spread itself over many generations but perhaps one day soon, there will be an awakening of the world and its leaders to finally give an accountability for armistice and peace………… xx

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Footnote:  Tuesday 18/04/2017 – A USS Arizona sailor, Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Raymond Haerry aged 94 years, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbour has passed away and been laid to rest inside the hull of the sunken battleship USS Arizona.  Mr Haerry, it is stated ‘decided he was going home, going home to the USS Arizona’…….

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Photo from KITV4 Island News Hawaii

Chicago Part III with Lady O and a little Goodwill………

I really am a city girl and Chicago had me from the moment I set foot upon its sidewalks.  Dependent on where I am, I can tend to fall in love with places…….just a little.  It is a  love of the casual kind.  An unpretentious and easy-going bond which can develop for a place one has visited, lived or a place one just longs to be.

Chicago for me was all about those frequent busy streets, those soaring skyscrapers, the cherished anonymity one feels in the presence of many strangers and the wind gusting down the lanes.  It was the colors of the antiqued copper, the dark glass and the greys and silvers of the steel.  It was the sound of the traffic, the grilled shop fronts, the symbols of great imagination and the mathematics of the city blocks made into such perfect squares and rectangles.  Around every corner there seemed something interesting, curious and uniquely Chicagoesque and even under a grim sky it was always a stunningly beautiful city.

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Wherever I find myself in the world, I also like to take a little time out.  In these quiet moments I will literally walk for miles and miles and miles.  My walking brings a blur of happiness and a deeper appreciation of all things as I see parts of a city and its neighborhoods so often lost to the eyes of others.  Solitude is something I easily slip into and when alone, I seem to garner a little more appreciation of all things.  When you have gratitude, as we all should, your appreciation can become boundless.

I was also on a bit of a mission in my alone time too as I was on the look out for a Goodwill store.  And this was no ordinary Goodwill store either.  This was the largest store in Chicago.  In the back pocket of my jeans and neatly folded I had my trusted little paper map of the city, some money for my impending purchases (always optimistically hopeful) about my person and no doubt there was a little spring in my step.   I walked up Washington Boulevard lost in my thoughts when I stumbled upon this………….

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Ms Lady O’s Harpo studio.  The home of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  The studio was huge and took up almost an entire city block.  On the day I saw the studio production had ceased so there were no lines of audience members and there was little traffic on the boulevard.  Now Oprah may not be everyone’s cup of tea and truth be told, I would rather be someone’s good shot of rye whiskey than cup of tea, but you really do have to admire this woman and what she has achieved.  Born into poverty in Mississippi she rose to become a world renowned philanthropist, billionaire, talk show host and multimedia personality.  An impressive achievement in anyone’s book.

And the Goodwill store?  Well that was everything I ever hoped and dreamed it would be and although I was travelling light on this journey back to Australia, I still managed to fit in a couple of little pre-loved purchases into my port.  Happy days x

Although I ended up walking much further than I anticipated, I did eventually make it back to the hotel room and the next day we headed out together to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Park District which is located near the shores of Lake Michigan.  The Conservatory is a beautiful Victorian Glasshouse built between 1890 and 1895.   Within its walls is an exotic, lush-green oasis of orchids, ponds, paths and rare and beautiful plants.  It really is a lovely and peaceful way to while away a few hours in Chicago.

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Next stop was The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  A charming museum founded in 1857 and now one of Americas oldest scientific institutions.

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Walk through the 2,700 foot greenhouse which is home to over 1,000 butterflies.  Wander the nature trails and seek out the sculptures hidden amongst the tussocky grasslands and in particular look for the ‘Lost Bird Project’.  This is a bronze image depicting 5 birds of North America now lost forever to the tragedy of modern extinction.  Inside the museum brows through their impressive scientific collections and exhibits of eggs, birds, manuscripts, motion picture film, fossils, artifacts, reptiles, amphibians and photographs.

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A snap shot of our final days in Chicago……

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The odd thing about time is that it marches forth even if you are not ready to do so.  The memories of the trip back to Australia are still vivid and at times achingly raw yet one day I know they will begin to fade.  How much I will preserve of this time I do not know for no matter how much we try to contain some things, we really have no control over how it can contain us.

So goodbye Chicago and next stop, lovely Seattle where it was anything but sleepless……. xx

First stop, Chicago Illinois…….

“I just flew in from the windy city.  The windy city is mighty pretty…….”

I had always thought the name ‘Windy City’, a tag used to describe Chicago, was due to the bleak and frigid gusts which must come off Lake Michigan during Winter.  According to the Chicago Historical Society however, that now famous moniker came about from an observation made in the late 19th century of windbag politicians blustering hot air!  Hmmmm, I guess not a lot has changed since those days but one thing I will say is this!  Chicago is one hell of town!

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I love cities. I love being in them and I love living in them.  For me, cities hold extraordinary beauty and a thrum of inexplicable energy which almost feels like a heart beat.  I am however, very mindful of the fact that cities, for all their allure can be as fickle and as harsh as a foe and for some, and this is particularly true of the homeless, they can be a cold, unforgiving and often brutal place.  No doubt some big cities are difficult locations for one to find their feet or their rightful place in life and everyone, no matter their circumstance, are deserving of that one small mercy………

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The city of Chicago is world class and well set out.  And the best way to appreciate it!  Well that would be on foot.  Chicago really is the perfect city for walkers.  There are a couple of very good designated walks to take including the ‘Magnificent Mile’ and ‘The Loop’.  The ‘Magnificent Mile’ is an easy walk beginning at the Michigan Avenue Bridge then encompassing the Chicago River, towers and buildings, retailers, landmarks, restaurants, the famous Billy Goat Tavern (more on that little gem later), the John Hancock Center and it ends at the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

‘The Loop’ runs through the heart of Chicago’s downtown financial hub.  This walk begins on Jackson Boulevard and takes you through the labyrinth of densely packed commercial buildings, skyscrapers and architectural history and ends in the theatre district near Washington Street.

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The people of Chicago are easy to like.   They are friendly, generous and very proud of their city and rightly so.  They have a nice blend of non-arrogant swagger, a grounding of blue-collar edginess and a little uber cool white-collar hustle.  The real draw-card however, are those towering skyscrapers.

These massive structures punctuate the skyline with their steel, glass and granite.  There is a mix of stunning Art Deco exteriors, modern and post modern facades, Gothic splendor and iconic and elegant structures.  Some buildings, including their stair-cases, elevators and fire-escapes are graced with the most beautifully ornamental ironwork.  It is timeless, elegant and very intricate and these buildings alone are well worth seeking out.

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These massive silhouettes cast an impressive shadowy gloom and this is especially true on very cold days but almost all of the buildings are floodlit in a perfect golden glow from dusk until dawn.  One building in particular, the Art Deco inspired Merchandise Mart, with its 372,000 squares of interior space was so large when first built in the 1930’s it even had its own postcode (zip code).

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This city is architectural splendor at its very best and although you can appreciate it all from the relative safety of the pavement you really do need to go up.  And when I say up, I mean nothing under 90 floors.  Up in the clouds you not only get a birds eye view but you will also get up close and very personal with Chicago.  Most skyscrapers have offered to open their top floors to the public and from these vantage points there is no better way to see this city.

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Frank Sinatra said it best when he sang ‘My kind of town.  Chicago is, my kind of town…….’ so grab an Old Fashion (or seven), sit back and enjoy the view.  The sky really is the limit in this stunning city……. xx

 

‘Gimme a Bullet’……….

I am sitting in the lovely Spring sunshine tapping away at the key board in the company of the little cat while listening to some old AC/DC tracks.  And by old, I mean tracks that originally came out on vinyl in the 70’s kids.

I guess everyone has a song which connects them, defines a moment in their life or makes them a fan of a band and this particular AC/DC song ‘Gimme a Bullet’ from the Powerage album of 1978 is that for me.  It will be on the soundtrack of my life……well pretty much anything from the early days of AC/DC with Bon Scott on lead vocals would make it as these songs forge moments of happiness, nostalgia and a juncture of rock-chickiness.

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My favorite AC/DC album cover…..

My lovely morning also began with an early surf.  Although I have two really great boards and a nipper board I decided to take my old and rather battered boogie board out for a run.  I had forgotten how much fun this little board is but I did initially take a couple of pretty good nose dives until I got back into the swing of it.  Slight compression mark to my board and major dent to my ego 🙂

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While out in that glorious surf I let my mind wander and it led to my blog.  You see I have a little niggling issue with it and that is, I have posts sitting on the back-burner.  These posts are ones to be written about the countries and places we visited during our return home to Australia from the USA.

I have let these stories stagnate without offering them their rightful and very deserving place on my blog.  I find as time passes my memories of these places have not faded.  There were far too many immense, far too many lovely and far too many majestic happenings not write about them.  All of these places, the adventures and the memories such as the incredible beauty of Prince William Sound, the cat voted Mayor of a township, spam – the spiced meat in a can variety not the unsolicited internet type, the velvety antler of the moose and how to slurp soba noodles in a dingy Tokyo café all deserve acknowledgement.

I guess sometimes you just have to make that leap.  It will not be an easy place to re-visit given it moved us into the shadow of grief and despair but there comes a time where you have to just jump right on in.  And when you take that mighty leap, jump with all your heart and whether you stick your landing or not it doesn’t matter a dot.

I could not help but wonder too that in writing the next lot of posts it will beget that which is so often lost in social media.  I know when used for all the right reasons that social media can be an impressive tool.  It can highlight injustice, it can jolt the social conscience, hope can vanquish pessimism and it has the power to make the world fall in love with something all of which, are not so bad in my book.

I can say too that 18 months on and a minor weight has lifted.  Life after all, continues on.  Grief can be a terrible place to find yourself but it doesn’t mean you have to live there forever.  The past can never be changed or erased and what happens….well that just happens.  So until my next post I hope you spend a little time doing that which nourishes your soul and brings you joy.

Be mindful, be grateful and be kind.  Happy days all………xx

l1