5 days in Darwin

Lucky I am. Don’t I know it, cherish it, appreciate it.

I know some of you, in fact a lot of you have lost your mums.

My heart literally aches for you every time I read a post about your loss and sadness. I grieve for you, I grieve with you. Even though your grief is still incomprehensible to me

If you are a lucky ones like myself, do something special with your mums regularly. It may be something that may seem little to you, don’t underestimate that small stuff, it is huge to them.

My mum and I go to the Frankston food court for lunch, yes true! Why? Because she loves it. Fish and chips and a cup of tea. Then a little bit of shopping. We go to movies together, she falls asleep, I wake her up, she gets grumpy with me, we laugh, we have a ball. No matter what we do, where we go, when I take her home we have another cuppa together, if I’m not working, we will watch one of the quiz shows, we compete, we win and when I’m leaving, she cuddles me so hard. “Thank you, I’ve had a beautiful day” she will say with the biggest smile.

Those are the little things, the moments that are special to her and that I will always cherish.

I am thankful every single day that I still have my mum with me.

We aim to have a little holiday together every year. It has been a cruise for the last two years which works really well. They suit her mobility issues. She loves the food, the activities and the ease of the travel.

Boarding flights, going to tourist activities, boarding buses, boats. Then there is the places we just cannot go, bugger that we say, let’s go somewhere better! There are times when it can be really hard and tiring for her and me. But would either of us change a thing. No way!

So Darwin it was this year and we took Darwin on and we slayed it. We left no stone unturned, especially when I nearly toppled poor mum out her wheelchair. Yes seriously. We got stuck, my gaffe, she tipped, I held on tight, I saved the day. We laughed! Phew! Lucky I work out!

My mum is a trooper. I admire everything about her. The strongest, bravest women I know or have ever met.

We enjoyed a movie at the deck chair cinema, a lovely evening and yes I’m still scratching. Bugs just love me. I could be cheesy and say it’s because I’m sweet 😂

Enjoying dinners, ice creams, walks and enjoyed a beer or two.

The markets were fabulous. We hit more than one, of course, tell me a woman who doesn’t like to shop, just a little. Skinny aisles and wheelchairs make for a lot of work, the reward sitting at the end of one aisle within a smoothie and my arm around my mum. Just people watching. Isn’t watching and taking in the world, just the best!

Everywhere we park our bums my mum makes a friend. She is totally deaf in one ear and 80% deaf in the other, she has no voice, she can’t walk very far anymore and needs mobility aids, but people are drawn to her, want to be her friend and love her! With all her disabilities, I dare you to take her on… I just laugh to myself at the very thought. She is switched on, funny, doesn’t take herself or life seriously. A good role model, don’t you agree?

The markets, yes, yes, our firm favorite was Mindil sunset Market.

I was actually wondering where all the people and cars were. It was so quiet in Mitchell street (town centre) It was like a big old ghost town. Night two Mindil market was our night time entertainment. Darwin has a population of 120,000, well I found 90 % of them at Mindil Market. Luck was with us, we got a car park fairly close by.

It was colorful, food vans, every cuisine you can imagine, assorted delectable aromas wafting through the air, stalls selling their handicrafts and goods. I come from a land downunder bellowed through speakers. On the stage right at the markets edge, the band was playing, surrounded by people were sitting on the grass, fold up chairs, on benches, walls, anywhere they could, eating, drinking and socializing.

A balmy brilliant evening, where we watched the sunset over the water, made friends and chatted to locals.

Now where did we leave the car?

I am, I am, I am a museum girl, I could spend hours reading, taking in every detail, reliving the moments. Both, the War Museum and Cyclone Tracey museum affected me, bringing me to tears. There is a sound simulation room in the gallery, that is pitch black, the deafening roar that gives only a minute understanding of the experience that the people endured whilst cyclone Tracey flattened their homes. Darwin has survived some tragic hardships, they survive, they stand up again and rebuild. You have to admire the hard working Aussie. Mum enjoyed many moments, exhibits and endured some, just for me. Bless her patience.

If you love a museum, they are a must.

Being the ridiculous dog lover that I am, even though I had a brief liaison with Brutus, (not quite as cuddly as my four legged furry friends) where are all the dogs?

Brutus? Dominator? Open your mouths! Day 4 before we saw our first dog. Day 5 we headed to the botanical gardens for “ a walk-in the park” though it wasn’t it “ a walk-in the park” as there was bloody big hills and I was pushing 65kg in a wheelchair up steep hills. Exercise for the day ✅, resulting in 2 hill climbs when I say to mum “ do you think we should go for a cold drink somewhere”

The point of this conversation was to tell you I witnessed my next 4 dogs whilst puffing and sweating my guts out! 5 days,5 dogs.

I do miss my babies.

The waterfront and beach suburbs of Darwin are home to some of the most beautiful real estate I’ve seen around.

We drove around, daydreamed, talked about a fantasy life where we moved from brrrr freezing Melbourne to the tropical warmth Darwin. It really is a lovely city. Small, easy to get around. Lovely restaurants. Oh and cocktails. I made friends with Brutus the croc.. he did smile at me, he did! I’m sure of it.

We made another beautiful memory. My mum and I. We are lucky and we know it. Next trip, a cruise. ❤️

Thank you Darwin for your hospitality, I will definitely recommend a trip to Darwin. I’ll be back Brutus I promise. So much more to see and do!

So as we dropped her off at 1:30 in the morning, she cuddled me tight and said geez I love you & I love you back Mum. She thanked me for the most beautiful time. I responded, no thank you for sharing it with me!

Love you to the moon and back ❤️

#SoSC

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Never smile at a crocodile?

I did and I survived

Day three of “chicks on holiday adventure in Darwin”

Wow what a day.

Adelaide river here we come. I loved the drive inland. Only a couple of hours. Great roads, easy driving. Peaceful! It was wakeful meditation.

Mum and I head out with to meet Captain Harry, a fervent conservationist on the Adelaide River to watch him feed the crocodiles, learn and just be in the croc moment.

I pre-warn them about my mums mobility problems. She was met and escorted onto a boat by Captain Harrys son Sean. I look at her with much love thinking jeez you’re a quick worker mum. “Look at you” I say to her, “you’ve got a man on your arm within five minutes of getting here.”

I’m about to meet mine, “the dominator”a 5 1/2 metre long 80 year old, more mums vintage but I was intrigued.

Harry told us “ we have to watch this one” he is an aggressive bugger, cranky, and will eat anyone or anything who comes into his patch.

Now Brutus, while still the old man at 100 years young, larger than the dominator, was reported to be gentle and beautiful, for a crocodile that was, he would reportedly pop his head up and look into the boat to see what was going on and if there was any food for him. Gentle and beautiful is more up my alley, At 100 he has barely any teeth left but could still crush you between his jaws mind you. I chose not to test out this theory! Who knows that song, “never smile at a crocodile? “

Well I did. I smiled at Brutus, I talked to Brutus. As I do, crazy animal lady, I talk to animals. I spoke to Brutus, I smiled at Brutus, I was enamoured by Brutus. I do believe Big old Brutus smiled back at me.

Or was that him sizing up his next meal?

Captain Harry did remind me, not to hang over the side of the boat as they may confuse me with food. Do I resemble a buffalo?

I was amazed by these creatures, there very size and magnificence. The dominator and Brutus were the stars of the day for me, We did meet a few others along our path, females only 2.5 metres, young males a mere 3.5 metres, tiny! A mother protecting her babies. She did at that. As we drifted into wards the bank, she flew through the water, up onto the bank and protected. A mother is a mother human or animal. The river calm, still and peaceful even in the moments as the croc approaches, silent, a splash as he erupts from the water and the smack of jaws slamming shut on a poor unsuspecting bird. They are quick!

Captain Harry shared his part of the river and it’s history, now in his 80s, he is still trying to protect crocodiles and their babies from the money makers exploiting these “protected” animals from government which allows egg collection and the use of their skins for the luxury goods industries.

In their efforts, they try to cover the nests of croc eggs so they are not in visible from overhead. The commissioned groups that fly overhead looking for nests. Crocodiles lay round 50 eggs, only once a year, these stealers of life, come in and take every single egg, not even even leaving a few for the poor mother. It’s heartbreaking what we do to animals. But you all know how I feel about that.

The day was fabulous backed up by a beer at the famous Humpty Doo Hotel. Most famous for its hamburgers, which I did not indulge in. Buffalo, Barramundi, and crocodile burgers were not for my palate. I scoured the menu for a vegan burger. Not one insight. But jeez that beer went down well.

Now I’m looking for Duncan, coz I need to have “a beer with Duncan me mate!”

Sue Vincent Thursday Photo Prompt – #writephoto

First contact

Peeking through the window his eyes wide, aghast or surprised? Both perhaps but that quickly turned to horror

Aliens don’t exist Kyle. Granny’s words echoed around his head as the vision gurned at him through the bedroom window.

However the face that gazed at him suggested this was not true. This small ruddy whitish face with large deep black eyes was not of this world. Those black eyes stared at him as if they were reading his mind, his soul, he was searching for something. What was he looking for?

They stared at each other for what seemed forever, an eternity, in fact it was probably only a few minutes. Strangely he felt no fear.

He was curious to the language the other worldly being used. Was it words, noises, he didn’t know but he did understand that this being was asking him to follow him. The stranger beckoned him with his hand gesture, as his raspy voice whispered something, nothing, everything.

He followed, he was questioning everything he had ever been told. Why am I going? he asked himself mindfully as he opened the window. He clambered out onto the window sill, where he sat.

Again the being waved him to follow him. He whispered in his strange language again. As if magic, Kyle was levitating. Then in the next instance floating through the air towards this bizarre being.

A glowing light descended from the sky upon them. In a flash they were being beamed up.

To what?

Whoosh. Kyle’s eyes opened. Perplexed, he looked around. Blinking as if to be sure he was seeing what he was so in fact seeing. “Am I dreaming?” I am in a spaceship? What happened to me? He looked around? This place was massive, dark, the walls were green as if moss was growing, patterned, it was gothic like. It reminded him of a Harry Potter movie.

Four pairs of large deep black eyes watched him curiously. He still felt no fear, only trust. Why? He should be scared. Petrified, Somehow their eyes showed a kindness, curiosity and knowledge.

The communication between the beings and himself was just a deep understanding, between the aliens, their raspy tones, different pitches was as if a conversation was taking place between Alex his best mate and himself.

Two of the alien creatures gently guided him to a chair. In front of him, a large control panel. There were so many buttons and levers. Feeling overwhelmed and somewhat fearful,, what are they going to do to me? What did they want from him.

One of the beings gestured for him to press a button. Symbols that he had never seen before had him daunted. Again he gestured to press.

Kyles was confused ” but what do I press?”

Trust your gut, granny always said. Her words rang in his ears. Trust !

Thoughts raced through his mind. Throwing caution to the wind he closed his eyes, letting his fingers feel their way. His pointer fingers rested momentarily and he pressed.

The beings seemed impressed, they knew they had made the right choice. A few tests confirmed their thoughts. A gentle touch on his shoulder alerted him to open his eyes.

A virtual screen commenced playing before him.

His eyes filled filled tears, as he watched the horrors of his world and it’s inhabitants self destructing.

The world had been warned, that the day would arrive. World leaders had not listened, everyone was greedy and money driven. Humanity had lost its compassion and empathy. The end of the world as we knew it. We are killing our world. The alien beings had been watching the demise of the human race and it’s world for years. They are discombobulated as to why these strange beings ruin this natural beauty, that they treat living creatures with such cruelty and disdain. Why?

Kyle thought why?

He heard the raspy voice, this time it said “come!”

Kyle followed into a large white walled room. Everything was stainless steel and sterile. A trolley, equipment, probes, screens, computers so advanced, beyond anything he had ever seen or imagined.

Guided to the only bed in the room, they directed him to lay down. He did, then nothing. Dreams, vibrant lights, probes, on him, off him, aliens around him. Touching him, mesmerised by him.

His eyes open, looking around at the familiar surroundings. His hawks football poster, trophies, school medals, science awards, photos, his pet dog Prince lay beside him. Had he only dreamt it?

Lying in his warm bed, reliving the dream, it seemed to be fading from his mind as quick as he attempted to recall it. Then it was gone.

Leaping out of bed, he heads to the bathroom for his morning shower. Undressing, he catches a glimpse of his bare torso in the mirror.

Noticing red marks on his torso and neck. What? He moves closer. What is that?

A flashback. Probes had entered him, wires monitoring him, the words coming back. Humans are killing what they have. Your planet is dying.

We want to help YOU save the world.

You will be one of the earths leaders. You will help rebuild the planet. We are implanting the knowledge, the insight, wisdom, negotiation and intelligence.

Please use these gifts to make a difference in your world. Lead the way, teach humanity about compassion, guide them to make better choices, preserve dignity.

Kyle a self confessed science nerd, invented a biodegradable replacement for plastic. 20 years later, this generation has never touched plastic. They are horrified of the film clips they see of sea life dying, a polluted world that by 2050 would have been more plastic than sea.

Animals are friends, treated with love and compassion as they should, where the natural circle of life exists.

No longer a food source or commodity, not used as money generators or for the fun of tourists. Animals on the brink of extinction are slowly growing in numbers again. Less consumerism of beef and dairy has reduced impact on the rainforests, there is regrowth. The earths temperature begins to drop due to a reduced volume of greenhouse gasses.

Kyle became an internet sensation with his influence about changing habits. Encouraging society to renounce their throwaway habits. Less consumerism. Plant seeds, grow fruit and veggies.

Cars run on a fuel made from coconut. Paper and leather made from hemp.

Kyle addressed the world 20 years on from his incident. I had a dream 20 years ago that we would get a second chance. His words spoke of a United world, no longer a greedy or ego driven world. No hate or racism. One world with people who cared.

It was his time to stand, a leader, a teacher, a hero, help make a world to start anew! He still had work to do. They would continue to learn from those above, those who had the ability to see the big picture.

This time the world would do it right. They have too. They are being watched.

First contact

https://weeklyprompts.com/2019/05/02/communication

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/prompt-may-3/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/your-daily-word-prompt-region-may-3-2019/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/your-daily-word-prompt-force-may-4-2019/

#SoSC

Weirdos walkabout

We experienced the sport of Rogaining today.

What’s that you ask?

That’s a great question!

The standard definition goes like this: –

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit as many checkpoints as possible in the specified time. Here in Victoria, Australia, rogaines are typically run over periods of 6, 12 or 24 hours. In a bush rogaine teams travel entirely on foot, navigating by map and compass between checkpoints in terrain that varies from open farmland to hilly forest.

How the weirdo walkabout in Inverloch definition went is like this

Our event was more of a community based, fun event, even though we had elite athletes enter, yes we had ironman team enter our event and consequently win.

Suggestions for things we needed to bring on our event day:

* mandatory: pen ✅

* recommended: rain jacket, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, $$ for coffees, suitable footwear ✅

* consider: card table for your map during route planning ❌ next time we will spend more time pre-planning. Well this was our first rogaine.

A few of our rules

➢ all team members must remain within speaking distance of each other throughout the event –

The urge was there for the experienced runners to charge ahead. No we must stay together. Of course then we would experience the middle age bladder, the need for one to go to the toilet, the others have to wait. Of course, not everyone needs to go at the same time, so 15 minutes later, patiently waiting again as another MA (middle ager) goes.

Missing an opportunity to gain further points we would watch dishearteningly as other teams would pass us… was that a smirk I just saw on that team leaders face? Come on hurry up hurry up.

➢ go to checkpoints in any order; go to as many as you can & want to in allotted time.

We worked out about halfway through that we should’ve gone to the outermost destinations on the map. They were worth higher points. Focus more on getting our bonus points, such as eating and drinking in designated cafes and photo opportunities with the multitude of peculiar and well known stuffed toys around the region.

➢ you must go to the checkpoint to get the answer – no guessing or using Internet, or submitting answers you have prior knowledge of.

I was tempted.

➢ Start event at or after 9am :- hooter to sound at 9am.

No problems there! We arrived at 8:15 am we were ready to roll at 9 am.

➢ return completed clue sheet by 1pm :- 10 point penalty for every 1 minute late.

We handed in our map and answered questions at 12:56 pm

➢ points are the checkpoint number rounded to 10s, eg for #83, 80 points, for #102, 100 points; wrong answer gets penalty of equivalent points.

Our last hour was spent on the outskirts of Inverloch, scoring ourselves hundreds of points.

➢ Bonus points: State names of soft toys when you locate them;  where photos required, tick box once photo taken, & show scorers photos at finish; bring receipts from designated cafes (1 receipt per team per cafe at which one or more team members ate or drank)

we did, we photographed, we laughed.

➢ call Weirdo’s Walkabouts if needing clarification regarding any checkpoints or clues:- 3 calls per team allowed (mobile numbers will be on notice board at event entry station)

No calls were made by us!

This fabulous event took a group of 8 women who represent the middle age / peri menopausal group being 45 plus, to the beautiful beachside hamlet of Inverloch that saw us navigate in bush, beach, up and down hills, into cafes, checking letter boxes, climbing trees, locating soft toys found by utilising some part of the middle age brain that no longer functions in peri menopausal women. Somehow we deciphered the cryptic clues, went on to produce some classic photos taken with, Shrek, pooh bear, Spiderman, a dodo bird and many others. Basically we were running / walking all across and around this lovely town. Finding shade amongst the lush green surroundings, enjoying a quiet moment, well, as quiet as eight women giggling together can be and whilst appreciating the protection from the wind and rain in a small cavern set inside the beach mountain.

Locating weird and wonderful destinations to find yet another answer to another crazy question. We delighted in some local artwork and sculptures, for a brief moment the sun shone upon us, enjoying the beautiful scenery and surroundings that our non competitive competition took us on.

No no, this is not competition, we are not being competitive, we are raising money for a charity, enjoying the day and spending time with each other.

We laughed at and with each other over 4 hours. Stopping for a short respite at the nominated cafes, “a long black coffee please”, “a latte”, “I’ll have that pie” another of our crew yelled, “please can we have a receipt with that”. Each purchase at a designated cafe earned us another 50 points. Yesss, we would scream as we ticked yet another box to earn another 150 points.

Pre Rogaine

The morning started something like this

Alarms going from 7 am. Eight women in one apartment, however, very thankful for the two bathrooms and toilets.

“Are you having breakfast”? “No I’m not hungry”. “You better eat, it’s gonna be hours before we can eat again”. “Okay I’ll have a coffee and some toast”. “I’m going to have some muesli”, “do you want some muesli”? “No I’m gonna have scrambled eggs, who wants scrambled eggs”? “no I’m not hungry”, “oh okay I better have some scrambled eggs”. “I’ll have some avocado as well please, 2 pieces of toast”, (seriously & you are not hungry) “Oh it looks cold outside, it’s raining”. “Are you wearing a beanie”? “I’m gonna wear my crop top and my jacket, I get hot sweats, I don’t want to overheat”. It’s 9°, do you really think you are going to overheat”? “Ok I will I’ll put a T-shirt over my crop top”. “I’m wearing my thermals and my jacket, plus my waterproof jacket” “What if you get hot”? “I’ll tie it around my waist”. “Won’t that be annoying”? “I don’t think I’ll get too hot, I feel the cold”. “do you think maybe I should wear a warm jacket”? “Yes I do”. “Gloves, who is wearing gloves” ? Yes me, me , me, I’m taking gloves, “do you have a spare pair of gloves”? “yes I do, do you want me to bring them for you”? “No! I should be okay.” “I’ll take your spare pair of gloves”. “I’ve got two pair of socks on”? “I’m taking my beanie, have you got a backpack”? “Can I put my spare pair of gloves in your backpack”? “I’m gonna wear my thin jacket”, “I’m gonna wear my pink jacket”. The conversation was crazy, funny, factual, made sense, at the same time made no sense, if anyone had of been listening. Yikes!

I wish I had recorded that 15 minutes of conversation. This is this was how the whole 48 hours with this group of women went. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but this is a group of women all around the same age group who support each other, and care about each other, laugh at each other, laugh with each other, look after each other. This was a group of caring women. Caring about each other.

Piling into two cars, we head to the starting point. As we wait, the sun comes out, it begins again. Being the only backpack carrier, can I have my car key out of your bag? yes! I’m going to put my beanie and gloves back in the car.

Middle Ager arrives back to the group, the rain starts, can I have my car key back again? I’m going back to get my beanie and my gloves.

The day was rain, wind, sunshine, but, never warm.

The event ended with 8 girls exhausted & hungry.

I’m starving, if I don’t eat I’ll die, I’m dying of thirst. I need a cake and coffee, where can we go, I want vegetarian, Oh I need a hot pie, hot coffee please, I want eggs and bacon. So it went. 8 women scurried off in three different directions. Meeting back at a pop up clothes shop. Of course how can 8 girls go away for a weekend and not go shopping.

Drive back to our warm apartment and here it goes. “I’ve got a blister on the heel of my foot”, “I’ve got a blister on my toe”, “my knee is aching, look at it it’s three times its normal size” as everyone squeals in displeasure at the pockets of fluid protruding out of one knee. ” I need a massage”, “I’ll massage you” says another.

I sit back and laugh as I listen to these conversations.

This group of amazing women are a contrast of various non associated business women. Meet Gaye an online entrepreneur/sales/fitness fanatic/marathon runner, Julie a doctor/yoga instructor/cyclist, a multi talented woman she is, Janette a plant based eater/pilates instructor/functional fitness trainer dabbling in menopause coaching/writer/dog rescuer/travel lover and blogger, Karen a extraordinary hairdresser/interior designer/ski bunny/fashionista, Kathy a developer and real estate guru/animal sanctuary volunteer, extreme sports and risk taker, Mandy a personal assistant/saving the environment/a highly intelligent exercise enthusiast, Andrea a level headed, smart medical secretary/museum and history lover/can do anything she sets her mind too/ does not love exercise and finally Shelle another interior designer/vegan/entrepeneur/teaching and inspiring women to be all they can and making fabulous funky outfits, headbands & bags.

All contributing to making our world a little bit of a better place to live in.

The afternoon witnesses beautiful women having insightful chats, enjoying healthy and unhealthy nibbles, whinging about painful body parts, forgetfulness and hot flushes.

The phone call came, our teams came first and second respectively in the veteran females. Third overall.

Not bad for a bunch of middle-aged menopausal women attempting their first Rogaine. Of course you could!

Coming first in the event was the elite ironman team, who happened also to be veterans.

Go the oldies!

We veterans rock. We veterans, yes the oldies, scored first, second and third, us youngish fabulous oldies.

Veterans were in the age bracket of 40plus, hardly what I would call a veteran but ill go with it.

Time for a cocktail at the RACV beachside resort, to celebrate a our placing in the event. Seriously did we need an excuse? Karen and Andrea may have started celebrating already. Champers in hand. Shhh what happens in Inverloch stays in…. Inverloch

Dinner at the local Japanese Tomo saw us 8 hungry women over order & over eat. The food was divine. They catered to Shelle and Janette’s plant based dietary requirements perfectly.

8 Women arrived back to their Apartment before 8 PM.

Seriously what happened to the days of arriving home at 3 AM, staggering to bed? Reliving the events of the night before, the next morning.

By 8:30 PM we had cups of tea, chocolate, cake, and we were wearing crazy wigs and playing a game of Scattergories. This led to many more laughs due to our forgetfulness and inability to remember a certain word. “It’s on the tip of my tongue” “what’s that word again”?. “Why won’t my brain work anymore”? Seriously how can I be serious looking at you with that wig on?

Menopause darling, menopausal brain fog.

I used to be a highly intelligent woman.

Our final morning was not without drama. Karen and Andrea decided to head out for a bike ride around town to make plans for our last day. Mandy and Janette were heading to the gym. On arrival at the gym, a frantic phone call advised us Karen has had an accident, you need to get back.

Our dear friend Karen, the pillar of our group, larger than life, she, who laughs at everything, had come off her bike due to the wet and slippery road conditions. She was in tears with a suspected a broken ankle. Julie our resident doctor rang ahead to the closest hospital and two of the girls accompanied her, where it was confirmed she had, indeed, a broken ankle, possibly and most probably requiring surgery. This beautiful positive woman was still smiling as she lay in hospital.

48 hours of fun, laugh, hot flushes, forgetful moments and friendship.

Next one in June. Now this is a serious one how do you think we will go?

Thanks girls for the laughs ❤️

#writephoto

#fowc

#rdl

The Book

January 12, excitedly the family moved into their new house. Yes it was old, perhaps little lacklustre, nothing that a coat of paint couldn’t fix, Jane mindfully making plans. It wasn’t perfect, who needed perfect, she thought. There needed to be changes to suit the family, in any case, it was going to be theirs.

Janes 2 sons and 2 dogs loved the rural setting with the large back yard, they were all so excited, It felt like home to ALL of them.

Jane knew they were going to be happy there.

With no spare cash for the renovations, a close family friend offered his help for free, together, they managed to get building materials at a very low cost.

One bedroom was converted into a bathroom and a wardrobe. Two bedrooms were left as they were, lastly, the dining room was completely renovated and turned into a third bedroom. This allowed the small three bedroom home to now have a built in wardrobe, two bathrooms and two toilets. Perfect. Nothing left to do in their little bit of paradise.

So they thought!

Kane yelled to his mum “ my homework isn’t here Mum, did you move it? No! Knowing that there was difference between how the boys look for items and how she does, they often laugh as Jane refers to this as ” a boys look & a Mums look” Jane shouts out “Can you look again” and have a Mums look” Jane chuckled to herself.

Between the two boys this was becoming a daily question. Where is this, where is that? Jane did begin to wonder “hmmm why are they always misplacing things” distracted? Too busy playing video games”? That’s just boys, Jane smiled as she thought affectionately about her 2 sons.

Two weeks later, after moving in, Jane started to get a niggling feeling that someone else was sharing her house. She kept her crazy thoughts to herself, though took action to remedy the situation the following day Jane purchased a smudge stick to cleanse her home of past negative energies, spirits or influences.

This is something she has done every time she moved into a new house.

Furthermore she relayed her kooky thoughts to a friend who is very knowledgeable about the spiritual world, deep down, wanting to hear ” don’t be silly, there is no such thing, you are imagining it”

Helen said “it sounds as if someone is stuck there, I can bring someone to clear your house” Jane nervously replied “okay, umm I’ll let you know if I really need it” hoping deep down the situation would sort itself out.

Reluctant to accept the offer, as that would be acknowledging that there really was something there. She left it be.

During the renovations, Cam, the family friend, was working in the bathroom. He was bent over the bench, when something brushed past him. Knowing Jane had two dogs, he presumed it was one of the dogs and never thought about it again. Then, it happened again, when he turned around there was no dogs.

Janes disturbing feelings continued. Always with a feeling that someone was behind her, watching her, when she was sitting watching TV at night, could not quite put her finger on it what it was, she just knew something did not feel quite right.

One night, having a chat to Cam, he said “I think you may have a ghost” Taking a sharp breath in, somewhat relieved but also shaky at the confirmation, replied “oh my god I have been thinking the same thing but thought you would think I was mad if I said it out loud”.

What she did know for certain, it was not here to hurt or scare her.

Further incidents continued to happen. Papers moved around, (the boys homework really was being moved) momentarily, she felt guilty, drawers would open, things would fall over, constant noises at night. It got to the stage where she was uncomfortable being in her own home by herself. She found herself staying elsewhere or asking friends to stay when her two sons were at their dad’s place.

Boston her big dog would sometimes just stop and stare unblinking at nothing. She knew he was staring at someone. Whoever it was didn’t scare him, he almost seemed intrigued.

One night, having been awoken about 2 am. She got up to go to the toilet, walking into the dark bathroom, where the first contact was made with Cam, something brushed against her leg.

Her automatic reaction was to brush it away. She kept walking towards the toilet, something gently stroked the length of her arm, again a quick swipe to brush away whatever had touched her. Her mind racing to justify what was happening. What’s that she thought? Not daring to speak. She sat down on the toilet, something gently stroke her left cheek. Could it be cobwebs yes, it must be cobwebs, there’s a spider in the bathroom. Arms flailing trying to brush the imagined cobwebs away, she jumped up, turning the light on, there was nothing.

Absolutely nothing, she stood frozen for a split second, trying to gather thoughts. She went back to bed, Jane didn’t sleep that night.

The next day she contacted Helen, “please send me your ladies phone number?”

It was a Friday afternoon, 3 pm, when Jane rang the lady, her name was Susan, Jane explained what had been happening. Susan usually has a fairly long waiting list to cleanse peoples houses, however after tuning in to Jane’s house, Susan said I’m coming tomorrow.

She arrived Saturday morning at 11 am.

On entering the house, Susan a lovely older woman , sweet grey-haired petite not what you expected. I am vision and a middle-aged woman with wild hair dressed in flowing layers smelling of patchouli. “Jane you have a really good positive vibe in this house”. “You have made it your home and it feels lovely.” “However you do have a visitor”, “she loves your home and your family”.

It was a lot to take in, Jane listened and could feel the spirits vibration.

A beautiful lady who had passed around the age of 50 years old, was the mischievous, lovely, extra guest. She loved the large windows at the back of the house, with the bucolic view.

“She loves watching your interaction with your family, she misses her own”.

The visitor loved to watch Jane in the bathroom doing her hair, putting her make up on, choosing what she would wear for the day.

She was mesmerized by Jane. The unpredictable guest did not want to leave.

Susan spoke silently to my guest and helped her to continue her journey over to the other side. Before she left the visit asked Susan to give Jane a gift.

She passed Susan a book written by Adele Basheer. Jane watched as Susan’s hands opened as if actually receiving a book. Adele Basheer writes inspirational quotes to live by. The book cover was green and it was about positivity and a yearning to live your life and realising your goals and dreams. Jane was deeply touched by the gesture and said thank you. Both Jane and Susan had a tear in their eye.

Susan told me I must go out and purchase that book.

Jane did look for the book, unfortunately she did not find it in any book shops. Sadly she forgot all about it. Jane never told a soul about that book.

Approximately 12 months prior, one of Jane’s little dogs had passed away. Jane was heartbroken. Helen her friend who recommended Susan, had bought her a gift. Jane never received or learned about this gift because Helen never gave it to her for one reason or another.

About 12 months after Susan cleared Janes house, with no further incidents, Jane went to have a reiki session with Helen. Entering the healing room, she sat in a chair as she waited for Helen. Facing a magnificent book shelf, a book caught her eye. She had so many beautiful books. However it was a particular green book that stood out.

Whether it was the colour, she wasn’t sure. Jane was about to walk over to have a look when Helen entered the room. Jane had a marvellous Reiki session that day, Afterwards, feeling relaxed they sat having a cup of chamomile tea in her kitchen, just chatting.

Talking at length about Buddhism, spirituality, energy, healing, spirits, the conversation led back 12 months ago to Jane’s house clearing. “Have you felt anything recently Jane? Do you feel it’s clear? Jane replied “there has been no more visitors or incidents Helen.” Which took Janes mind back to that day. She relived that moment, that day, with Helen, ending the conversation with “I never did get that book”.

Helen gasped loudly and ran from the kitchen. Returning with the green book Jane had been eyeing in the healing room.

Helen spoke excitedly “ I bought you this book when Meg died, I don’t even know why I didn’t give it to you at the time, perhaps timing wasn’t right. So here it is.

It was the book that Janes spirit asked her to read

*

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Challenges incorporated

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/prompts-april-28/

FOWC

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/lacklustre/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/marvelous/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/yearning/

Decisions

Regretting everything she’d done in the past five hours, she said “Can I have a word with you?”

His eyes looked deep into hers, she could see the desire, sense the desire, smell it even. Like a snap shot, this is a picture that would remain in her memory, always. She had to turn away as she spoke her next words.

“I’ve never done anything like this before”

12 hours earlier, arriving at the ballet to meet her best friend, they were to see Giselle. Sipping a Dom Perignon at the bar as she waited, looking around the crowded foyer, she found herself staring into the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. So dark, it was like staring into the darkest night, dreamy, she was losing herself in this split second.

She felt goosebumps tingle all over her body, he was moving towards her. “Hello” he spoke softly , but there was something urgent in his tone. They were entranced in each other.

The stentorian voice over the loud speaker “the show will begin in 15 minutes, please take your seats”

Caught in the moment, did they hear the announcement?

Intoxicated on the sexual tension between them. She felt nicely naughty, giddy, the hotness, the fire building deep inside. She couldn’t recall a time in her life that she felt like this.

She knew deepdown where this is leading. Thoughts raced through her head, should I? I don’t want this night to end. Will it? I feel like I’m going to faint, where is my friend? is anybody watching? My husband? Decisions

Together they found a quiet corner table in a dimly lit bar, captivated in each other, they talked, they flirted, the intrigue, the want growing by the hour, unable to end this, they walked the block to the neatest hotel. Neither caring who saw them. Shivering as she walked, was she cold or excited. He wrapped his strong arms around her.

She waited by the elevator, she observed, memorized every inch of him as he neared her, key in hand, room 2121. His hand brushed past her breast as he pressed the button

She knew at the moment she was lost. Passions ignited.

12 hours later. What would she tell her husband. She left the room without looking back. She knew deep down if she did…..

#RDP

#FOWC

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/story-starter-challenge-april-14/

Sue Vincent #writephoto

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/elemental-writing-challenge-april-13/

https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/14/fowc-with-fandango-recall/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/naughty/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/rdp-sunday-picture/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/opposites-attract-challenge-april-14/

The conductor

The alleyway was a totally different view by daylight. The sinister shadows taking their vengeance by dark, intimidating innocent passers by, were gone. Now the shadows loomed larger than life, playfully waiting, to participate in a dance, to a tune that was yet to be played.

Not much action today, the watcher took a well earned coffee & smoko break. He picked up his packet of Marlboro, he knew smoking was not healthy for him, still as that thought passed through his mind, he lit yet another cigarette, inhaling the smoke deep into his lungs, his mind turned to the sheer pleasure it brought him. Little did he know at this moment that smoking would be his demise one day.

While the watcher continued with his unhealthy habit, there was some potentially dodgy action about to take place in the alley. He says potentially because, it’s a gut feeling, and he knows his instinct is good.

An elderly couple hobbled the uneven lane, the old man stopped, Doris the crowd is here, they’re waiting.

We have to give them a performance like they’ve never experienced ever. Are you ready My Dearest?” Doris, a sweet hearted woman dressed in her brown wool coat, matching hat adorned with a white flower, her coat open enough to show her deep red dress covered in matching white flowers, her brown shiny sensible lace up shoes finished of this immaculately dressed woman. Oh how she loved dressing up.

Lost in a daydream for a moment, Joe and herself were a handsome couple. Impeccably dressed, charming and talented. They met at the opera 58 years ago. Doris was 19 and Joseph was 22. He was a conductor and she played violin. Together they were impeccably dazzling and brilliant.

Yes darling Joe, we must delight this wonderful crowd. This spot was as good as any, Doris thought to herself. There was a scattered few walking the lane, barely glancing at the odd old couple. Joe took his hat off his head and placed it on the ground, top down, picking up his stick, Doris’s face softened as she looked at him with love as he lifted his stick high into the air.

With a swiftness and agility belying his advanced years, he starts waving it all around. Joe stop, wait, please Doris says panicking.

At that very moment the watcher returned his watchful eye to observe the afternoons alley scene. The watchers eyes popped. What the? No! I cannot leave my spot for a minute he thought to him self.

“Leave her alone “shouted the angry watcher. He watched. The view from his room to the alleyway, was of an old man, he knew he was an old man because he was slightly rounded at the shoulders and knees slightly bent. Along with the graying receding hair line.

He thought himself a reliable source at assessing characters. I should’ve been a detective he marveled at this idea.

Oh what are you doing ? The streets were unsafe and noisy. People chatting without a care, cars honking, music playing. Everyone oblivious to what is going on before there very eyes.

Can they not see this? It appeared to him that this old codger was hitting a woman with his walking stick. He was waving that stick all around. The woman seemed small, probably frail, her small body hidden by the width of the man’s body, with his arms flying around, it made it hard for the watcher to get a good vision of the little old lady.

She seem to be ducking and weaving avoiding the strikes from the walking stick. Why isn’t anyone helping her. That poor dear. People were walking past and throwing things at them, they appeared to be laughing and smiling. But not helping the woman. Leave her alone you cantankerous old bully he shouted heatedly.

If anyone heard him, no one appeared to be making any movement or even acknowledged his shouts.

The watcher was contemplating what he should do next, he fiddled with his phone deciding whether to call the police or not. He didn’t want to exaggerate the situation. Like he did last time. OK OK so he misjudged a character once.

000 he tapped on his iPhone. Police.. how can I help? There is an old man attacking a little old lady with a walking stick in the lane way across the road from my apartment. Hurry, please hurry. People are walking past, no one is helping. What is wrong with people? Hurry please I’m scared he’s going to kill her.

“Mr Scout” the voice on the other end of the line spoke. “Is that you again? The last time this happened you made an error in judgement, how can you be sure this time?”

“I trust my own eyes sir” and it’s what they are seeing right this instance, violence, rampant brutal violence, trust me!

The roar of the sirens, red and blue lights flashing, stopping in the alleyway. The watcher is watching, he always watches, he watches everything.

The police delighting in the beautiful music,slowly moving toward the man from behind, they appeared to approach tenderly. Joe, oblivious to his surroundings is completely unaware of their advances. The man reaches his stick high above and hears, good afternoon Joe says the kind a police man.

Joe panics, and crouches down as if protectiing himself, fearful, confused, why is this policeman here Doris? Joe, this is Detective Bongars. He looks blankly.

Standing there is petite, sweet old Doris, holding a violin, she had been playing the most beautiful music. With a tear in her eye she’s looks forlornly at Joe. “Please play just a little more Doris” pleaded the detective. Well you just stop scaring my husband” she berates him with a soft smile.

The watcher can see her, scorning the officer, what is she holding? She looks ok. Huh? She’s playing the , umm violin, beautifully. Like magic. He had heard the sweet tunes earlier, but did stop to listen to the music.

The two officers and Doris are talking. They seem fond of her, they cuddle her delicately, then shake Joes hand, Who consequently is oblivious and they turn and walk away.

They stare up at the first floor apartment. Glaring, shaking there heads. Where are they going now? Are they heading towards my building?

Doris relieves her memory again of how her and Joe met.

It was love at first tune. Such sweet memories. They have lived a wonderful life, successful, happy, five beautiful children She was always pinching herself thinking how did I get so lucky. Two years ago Joe was diagnosed with dementia. He has never forgotten his Doris. Doris the beautiful 19-year-old he met all those years ago. Sadly that is where his memory has remained.

It was not a Walkingstick he was waving around, when he placed his hat on the ground he picked up his conductors baton, he was not trying to hit his wife, he was conducting the finest orchestra in Australia. In his eyes every day he heads off to work at some hall, where he conducts his Orchestra to thousands of people. But he only ever has eyes for Doris. The love of his life

Joe would never hurt Doris. Every day the elderly couple walk the streets, in Joes mind, he finds his crowd in some grand hall, as always the only one he has the eyes on is Doris.

People were throwing things at the couple they were throwing money, Joe and Doris made them happy, they made everybody happy, the crowd would cheer, people would clap, everyone threw money into his hat. The elderly were the unintentional buskers. Everyone around the streets of Melbourne knew Joe and Doris. Everyone except one person. The watcher

Knock knock. The watcher stayed very still.

.

Challenges incorporated. Thank you to all

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/story-starter-challenge-april-11/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/story-starter-challenge-april-10/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/opposites-attract-challenge-april-10/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/elemental-writing-challenge-april-11/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/vengence/

https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/09/fowc-with-fandango-cantankerous/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/your-daily-word-prompt-brilliant-april-9-2019/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/your-daily-word-prompt-participate-april-12-2019/