Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Dad, This one's for you.

A couple of months ago something changed in my life. My father passed away. And I have to admit I miss him like crazy.

Dad was a solitary man. He loved the sea. He spent most of his life at sea.

That's why he was never very close to his family. He wasn't around much during my childhood, and when he did finally come home I was 12 years old, he and my mother ended up divorced. For a long time I hated my father. I think it was one of those things when you are young, you harbour all those hatreds almost closer to your heart than your loves. It wasn't until my late 20's that I forgave him. He rang me out of the blue one day, I didn't even know he knew my phone number, and we chatted for an hour or so. And that started our real relationship.

We didn't really talk often, but when we did it was usually a phone marathon. I could talk to Dad just for a chat, he wasn't ringing me because he wanted anything from me, and I never rang him for any other reason than to say hi. That was one of the things I loved about our friendship.

He moved away not long after we had resumed our relationship, all the way to Tasmania. I always said I was coming to visit but in the end he came to visit us first, at my wedding.

 I'd thought for a long time that I wouldn't have my father to give me away when I got married. To have him there to do that honour was the best thing I could have asked for, and just made my day so special.

Then of course we had to visit him, we had our honeymoon in Tasmania and a visit with Dad was a must.

Even though we weren't close, and you couldn't ever say he had anything to do with my upbringing, he still gave me a lot. There are things that are so similar between the two of us. I am like him in my contentment when I am alone, we both love animals. We both have very short tempers if we let them get away from us. I am so like my father it scares me at times, then at other times it just makes me smile, when I say or do something that just reminds me of him.

Mum says that she has compared photos of me and him at the same age, and that we look the spitting image of each other. I don't have any baby pics of myself, but I did dig up a very cute one of Dad amongst his photos. He was a cute kid!

Dad was born in Germany. He became an Australian citizen sometime in the 50's, and not long after married my mother.

It's strange, these are things that I have only just learnt about since he left us. He didn't talk about himself much, about his past he was pretty closed lipped. He did have a couple of stories that he told me, about some of his travels around the world. He used to like to tell me about Casablanca, he knew I loved the movie of the same name, he said it was one of the best places in the world. But no matter what he was talking about, it always came back to the sea, he loved the ocean and he loved his ships.

There are whole parts of his life that I will never know about. I will never know who most of the people are in his photos (and damn it he didn't write on the back of his photos, I will implore you now to write on the backs of all your photos, just in case), and I will never know about the houseboat that he is steering here. I'll never know about the other photos of ships, and oil rigs, or where in the world these streets covered in snow are, and why is that ship on the beach? I wish I had have said to him, 'hey Dad, got any photos to share?' I just never thought to ask. Someone (probably his mom) wrote on the back of that one baby photo "Klaus age 3 years" and even though it's in German, I know what that means. That's my Dad.

I also will never know the father he never knew. His father died young in the Second World War. Something I just recently learnt. I wonder how that was for him sometimes. But he did have a few things of his, including one photo which I'm convinced is him even though all the writing on the back is German.

I think he looks like him anyway. Looking through his photos has made a hungry to learn more about my heritage. I want to know about my family, but I don't know who to ask. It's too late to ask Dad.

I may not ever learn more, I might be able to find someone to tell me more, but I just might not be able to find the energy to do it. I may in the end be happy with the few photos I have left of him. And the memories of us together.

I think back now and I'm so grateful that I got to know him. He was never a father to me, but he was the closest friend I ever had. I knew he would never forget me, always be there for me, and always come to me if he needed me.

 Dad used to read my Blog, the last time I saw him, he asked why I wasn't writing on it so much, he missed reading about my adventures. So Dad, this little post is for you. I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos. I just wanted to tell you that I miss you, I'm a little upset that you left me, but I hope that you have found that wonderful endless ocean to sail on, and the only time you go on land is to party in some wonderful Casablanca. I love you.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Travelling Pink

Pink is not my favourite color. Pink is the color that the manufacturers of motorcycle gear use to try to tell you that something is for women, regardless of whether it fits a woman. Pink can be a little cliche at times.

But pink can also be pretty cool. One of my favourite animals is pink .. wheee piggy!!

And sometimes you have to be brave to wear pink. Pink can make a statement about who you are, just as it made a statement about Ally from Shybiker recently.

Actually pink often makes a statement about Ally, that she is a person who is proud of who she is and is not afraid to let people know it. A few months ago, before I got busy and stopped blogging, Ally posted a fun outfit on her blog about her plan to send her pink boxing gloves to bloggers around the world. Oh I thought that sounded like awesome fun, I put my hand up.

I got the gloves and was all excited about doing a fun post. I had plans for all sorts of posts, I needed a break from all the study and this would be the perfect reason to get back to my blog.

Then my world dropped out from under me, and for a while there everything was just too hard. And to tell the truth it hasn't stopped yet. I've just been soldiering on, just going to work and trying to keep up with my lessons at Uni. Doing what needed to be done. Then I looked at the post where Ally used the gloves, she'd been going through a rough time too when she made the outfit with the gloves. So I thought it's time that I got back up and have a bit of fun myself.

I got on the bike!

I haven't been for a ride in months, there were networks of spiderwebs on him. Not to mention the layer of dust an inch thick. When I got on him, I was a tad nervous, butterflies were doing acrobatics in my tummy. I managed to get the bike from the back yard to the front, then across the road and park while we put away the car and lock things up. I was wondering if I could even ride anymore, I was so nervous!

By the time I finally got to the end of the street my butterflies were gone and my heart was soaring!

We went for a short little ride, to a little town called Narromine about 60km from home. There's a new little cafe opened up here where we'd been for a work Christmas party and we decided that it would be a nice little ride to go check out what their lunch is like. It's called the Soul Food Design Depot and the building it is in was an orange packing warehouse. The outside of the building is still exactly the same as it was when used for oranges (I think there's a heritage listing involved there).

But inside has been renovated and feels cool and inviting when you walk in the front door. They have some art on display by local artists as well, and it's for sale. Some of it was pretty good too.

This is just half the building, but the back half is kinda empty with a couple of very large tables and some interior design things for sale, again some nice things... gonna have to come up here for some shopping with a full purse and a car to load up.

The food was, nothing spectacular but still very yummy.

Mine was a lamb wrap, with the most tender lamb that I've had in a long time, and freshly squeezed and locally grown blood orange juice. Very refreshing. We'll definitely come back to this one.

Once we'd refuelled, ourselves not the bikes we hadn't ridden far enough to need fuel in the bikes, we headed back towards home.

We had spotted a few things that we thought would be good for photo shoots. Terry thought that some of the freshly plowed fields would look awesome as a back ground, and everything was just so green as we've had a lot of rain out here lately. So we took the first turn off towards home and started looking for places to safely park the bikes with a nice field in the background. With not a real lot of luck.

We'd gone maybe 10km's up the road before Terry said "Umm .. this doesn't look familiar to me, does it look familiar to you?" Hmmm

Then he said "Have we gone over the river yet?" ... no, there's big bridge just outside of Narromine that we have to cross, and it's not this far outta town, and no we hadn't crossed it.

Then he said .. "I think we are on the road to Warren" ... ahh well that's only bout 80km's out of our way.

"Let's turn around eh .."

So after a very dodgy U-Turn on a gravel driveway we headed back towards Narromine. It was only about 2km from town that I recognised another gravel driveway that we'd done a U-Turn on a couple of years ago when Terry had missed the same turn off. Hehe, I did point it out to him, he wasn't impressed but did have a giggle about it with me.

So on the right road and we didn't see any fields with a good place to stop for a photo shoot. But all was not lost, on the way out I had decided that we would stop at the bus stop for some pics. This bus stop is in the middle of farm land, at a cross roads which is kinda surreal when you see it out here in the middle of nowhere. And there was plenty of room to pull off the road.

Time to get the gloves out!!

Terry said we needed one on the bike ... ok ...

"No no no .. one with you with the gloves on" he said.

Oh ..

Before I post this pic I guess I should warn you, I had my hair done. I'd been wanting to get it done for a while, A real fashion cut and a completely new color. One of the girls at work recently had her hair colored similar to this and I loved it, but felt kinda guilty spending the money on it, and being frivolous at a time that just seemed so inappropriate. The girls at work talked me into it saying that I deserved something for myself that would cheer me up. Ok I did it, just three days ago, and I love it! Hope you do too :)

So for someone who doesn't really like pink as a color, I think I'm using it an awful lot lately eh .. not all of it is pink though, there's a lot of purple and a bit of blue and yellow and orange as well.

So now Terry finally told me what he wanted .. a pic of me on my pride and joy having fun with some new riding gear ...

Truth be told, those gloves made it kinda hard to get a hold of the handlebars. And I don't think I coulda turned my blinkers on and off.

Now just a couple more pics .. the bikes in the lovely Australian outback after a lot of rain ...

Everything is looking so pretty at the moment, where normally it's just kinda brown.

Then Terry wanted one of just me, he said this photo looks flattering, I dunno but my hair looks nice and bright in the sunshine even though it's helmet hair, so lets just go with it.

And then there's just one more pic, this is what happens when Terry gets too smart ..

Nah it's all in fun, I didn't really hit him :)

This has been a fun post, it was a fun day out. And it's been great to write something that isn't academic. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!