I had a dream last night. My sister, Millie, was a little girl again. She was smiling and happy. She was pushing a tiny pram that contained her favourite teddy bear, Belvedere. He was brand new with a plum-coloured velvet jacket. My Mum found Belvedere a few days ago under a pile of newspapers. He’d had a cigarette put out in his soft tan fur. I wonder how it is that things can have changed so much; that things which were once valued have been so cruelly discarded.
My sister won’t talk to me. She says that if I loved her I would understand that she can never leave her husband no matter what he does. If I hadn’t been sitting down her words would have knocked me clean over. Never is a very long time. I give up. I can’t bear to remember the way it used to be. Belvedere looks at me with his sad eyes. I have washed him three times but I can’t get the cigarette marks out. Sometimes I wish I could just fly away…..
I love Aussies and their spirit. Their sense of larrikinism and adventure. Some people would call this story sheer madness but I say it is embracing the true blue Aussie quality of having a go.
Justin Jones, 24, and James Castrission, 25, have just completed the first kayak crossing of the Tasman, the sea which lies between Australia and New Zealand. It took them 62 days, 20 days longer than expected because strong currents and winds kept pushing them off course. At one stage they were caught in a current that caused them to go round in ever-increasing circles for days. On day 46 they were circled by two very large sharks. All up they covered 3300KM, almost running out of food and stamina.
I have always admired explorers and adventurers, particularly the explorers of yesteryear like Columbus, Marco Polo, Magellan. Hitting the high seas with no idea of what lay ahead of them must have been so daunting, yet incredibly exciting. How different our world would be today without men like that. Maybe we’d be sitting in our houses thinking the world was flat with no idea that other countries even existed.
So I applaud the spirit of the adventurer that drove Justin Jones and James Castrission to cross the Tasman. Imagine looking out at the day for days on end and seeing only the blue melding of sea and sky. Your soul would be full of sunlight. And to have such faith in your own capabilities must be so empowering. Good on ya, boys!