It is evening and I am sitting on the stairs of the verandah and writing. The silver light of the half moon is painting some tree silhouettes on the fields in front of me. Earlier in the evening I went for a walk on the property, with Darcy of course. Everything was very peaceful, slight wind, smell of freshly mown grass and the light of the moon illuminating our path. It felt so good, so peaceful, so full of love. I could feel you Buddy everywhere around me – in the wind and in the noise of Darcy running through the high grass on the paddock.
George tries his best to make Xmas as nice as possible – especially for his mum (today we picked her up from the nursing home and she will stay with us for 4 days).
He prepared the house and even asked me to put in some decorations (a bit surprising as last year he was complaining about all the decorations I made). He bought a
lot of sweets (he loves sweets) and other food for Xmas, everything he believes that could make Xmas better.
It is a bit of a pity, he tries hard, but he does not
understand that not everybody is like him, not everybody likes the things he likes, not everybody feels like he feels. Therefore, actually all the food is mostly
for him, as mum because of her illness, cannot eat everything she would like to, and I have my allergies... So George tries his best and the only problem is... me.
If I only could be the person he wants me to be, if I could speak the way he wants me to talk, if I could behave in the way he wants me to behave. If I only could
be somebody else then he would love me and we could have a perfect Xmas. Is not Xmas all about love and family?
Unfortunately, I am who I am and I cannot change (or what my father would say – I do not want to change; Every time, when I said that I cannot do something, my father replied: “If you say you cannot it means you do not want to”). I tried to change myself one time, I tried to be somebody whom Adam wanted me to be and... it ended in a disaster. He was not happy and I... was almost crazy. I even did not know who I am. No, I am not going there again. Now, at least I know who I am, I accepted myself as I am and I am happy with who I am. And if this means that I cannot be loved, then... I have to live with this. If I changed and I was somebody else and if George was happy with this and loved me, it would not be me who would be loved, it would be somebody else... And anyway there is always Darcy who loves me and she is always happy to be with me :)
Somehow, I got very sentimental today – must be because of the moon ;) I am not in a Xmas mood at all. Taking into account everything that has happened in the last
few weeks or even months, the only thing I want is... to be alone. Somehow, I remembered my first Xmas in Australia, first Xmas without Adam. It is quite remarkable
as actually it was for me the worst Xmas ever, but somehow I have very nice memories from that time. I was on my way to Tasmania. On Xmas Eve I rode from Port
Macquarie through Sydney, Blue Mountains and in the late evening I arrived in a little town somewhere between Port Kembla and Shell Harbour. In the morning that
day, the weather was marvellous – not a cloud in the sky. In the evening however it changed – it got very cloudy and from time to time some light rain fell on the
ground. I stopped at a pizza place and got take-away pizza which I eat at my motorbike parked at the edge of the road. It was after 10pm when I finally started to
look for some camping place. The rain became heavier. I put my wet-weather gear on and rode to the nearest caravan park. It was closed and I was told by the security
guy to go somewhere else, as they do not have any free places anyway. I rode for a while in pouring rain and could not find anything else – everybody was telling me
that I should go somewhere else as they do not have free spaces. My leather suit got completely wet – the wet-weather gear could not protect me from this heavy rain.
I came back to the first caravan park and told the security guy (an elderly very skinny man) that I am not leaving. “I cannot find anything else, everybody is telling
me I should go somewhere else. I have nowhere to go. If necessary I will sleep here in front of the door underneath the awning – the rain is too heavy to continue
riding and to look for some accommodation and I am anyway too tired”. The poor security man was very perplexed and did not know what to do. He did not have the heart
to send me away. Then he said. “I am waiting for my dog now. When he arrives I will see what I can do for you. I cannot let you in, but I will try to talk to the owner
and maybe he will agree to let you in”. Half an hour later the dog arrived – a German Shepherd, very nice looking animal. The security guy called the owner and we talked
on the phone. The owner agreed for me to stay. “I can pay now and leave the money with the security man or I can come tomorrow and pay you in the office” - I said to the
owner and he laughed and said “It is OK. Have a Merry Xmas”. And so I got free accommodation. I set up my tent in the rain and changed from the wet leather to some dry
clothes. I was ready to go to sleep when the security man came again and called me in front of my tent. I opened the tent and first, what I saw was the German Shepherd
who gave me a big kiss on my face. It made me laugh. Then I heard the security guy saying “I brought you some cold water to drink and some biscuits so that you can
celebrate Xmas a bit as well. You can give me the bottle back tomorrow (it was a double insulated, stainless steel bottle, very good quality). And we have driers here,
so if you like I can take your leather and dry it in the drier”. “Thank you very much, but leather cannot be put into a drier... But it is not a problem, it will dry
quickly tomorrow when I ride on the bike. Thank you very much for everything and have a Merry Xmas too.”
During the night the rain got heavier again. A few times I woke up as the rain was coming into my tent (I had a very cheap tent – for $30) and I had to rearrange my things to keep my sleeping bag dry and to not get the leathers even wetter. In the morning it was very cloudy, but the rain stopped. Water was standing in one corner of my tent. Only my bags were laying there in the water. It was not too bad as everything was packed in a plastic shopping bags as well, therefore my clothes stayed dry. When I came out of the tent I could see children running around and playing with the toys they got for Xmas. In the daylight I could see that all the caravans around me are quite old, many of them set up permanently . The people staying in the caravans were not rich, but very friendly. They were coming to me for a chat, wishing me Merry Xmas and somebody even brought me cup of tea. It was a very odd feeling as actually I wanted to be alone, I did not want to talk to anybody, I wanted to forget that it is Xmas, the time of love and happiness, as I was heart broken (I was happy that it was summertime here, as Xmas in winter would make it all even more difficult for me). Nevertheless, on the other hand, it was lovely to talk to these people, seeing them so happy and relaxed, enjoying the wonderful time of the year.
I looked for the security guy, but he was already gone, the shifts changed and somebody else was looking after the safety on the camping ground. I gave the water bottle
to the security man and asked him to please pass it on to the man from last night shift.
I used the fan in the bathrooms to dry a bit my leather, packed everything on my bike and off I went in the direction of Melbourne. Next day at 8am I had a ferry from Melbourne to Tasmania. I could not miss it, I could not afford to buy another ticket. I know it was less than $300, so not much, but at that time it was a lot of money for me.
During the day the clouds disappeared and the sun was shining again. My leathers got dry pretty quickly. I was riding on narrow roads from one little town to another
stopping every few km, taking photos and admiring the scenery. I did not think about the time at all. I rode through Batemans Bay, Bermagui, Tathra. I just enjoyed the
moment. At some point I had to refuel my bike. I went to the first petrol station, but it was closed. OK, I still have some fuel in the bike and 5 liters extra in a
jerry-can, so no panic I will find something. After I passed a few petrol stations and all of them were closed, I got a bit disquiet... I saw a sign pointing to a
recreation area with boats and a petrol station. I rode there being sure that for tourists they would have something open... Unfortunately no... There was a big petrol
station, but it was closed. I was not the only one who was disappointed... Quite a few people came there hoping to refuel their boats. They had to wait until the next
day... I continued riding through Merimbula and Eden. No, nothing there... everything is shut for Xmas day. This was getting stressful – I have only 5 litres in my
jerry-can and this will not take me to Melbourne – about 600km away... The day was coming to an end, the sun was setting down and I only thought “Never ever give up.
There must be somewhere some fuel”. I was riding on the Princes Hwy when I saw a “Fuel” sign. From the Hwy, I could only see an old building in between some bush-trees.
I turned off and stopped in front of the building next to the fuel pumps. It was a private house with a section for a shop and sign “Welcome to Kiah Store”. I looked at
the door and I could see the sign “Closed”. I was standing there looking at the closed door and thinking - “Yes, it is shut, but it is private house in the middle of
nowhere so there could be someone and maybe they will allow me to refuel my bike”. In this moment the door opened and man with long hair and a beard appeared in front of
me. “Hi, I know you are already closed, but would it be possible to get some fuel? I am on my way to Melbourne...” “No worries mate”. And so I was able to refuel my bike.
I went into the shop to pay for the fuel and I was also able to buy something to eat. Through the open back door I could see some other people, probably members of the
family living here and they all smiled at me and wished me a Merry Xmas and a safe trip. The people here were very simple people, close to nature, very warm hearted and
good natured. It felt so good in the house, so peaceful. When I was leaving I could see children playing in the back yard. I do not think that the kids got many presents
for Xmas, but I am sure that they could really feel the spirit of Xmas being surrounded with such a loving family.
And for me – my hope paid off, my bike was refuelled and I was able to continue riding.
With regards to hope, I just remembered that some people are amazed how much hope and faith I have and they are telling me that they wish to have even part of the hope and faith I have... it does not matter how bad it is, I always believe “Everything will be OK” and I always hope for the best. Hmm, no wonder I need to have so much hope and faith taking into account how little brains I have and which risks I am taking... Without hope I would be lost...
Slowly it got dark and I still had 500km to ride. There was not much traffic on the road, the danger of animals suddenly jumping on the street was quite high, therefore I had to slow down. As the night progressed, it was getting colder and colder. At some point after midnight I was almost frozen and falling asleep on the motorbike. Then I saw a sign to a petrol station a few kilometres away and open 24/7. And again I hoped it will be open on Xmas day and... it was. I came in and stopped at the hot food cabinet with pies. “Do you mind if I stay here for a bit next to the cabinet to 'defrost'? I am really cold” - I smiled to the sales man there. “No problem, you can stay here as long as you like” - he laughed back to me. I spend about 10-15min there, then I went outside, lay down next to my motorbike and slept for about an hour.
I arrived in Melbourne about an hour before the ship was due for departure and at the terminal about 20min before the departure. I rode my bike in and went to the deck. There I met a few other bikies. One of them was a woman of the same origin as I am and what seemed to me to have a similar story, suffering from broken heart; later this got kind of confirmed, though we never discussed the details. We chatted a bit, but I was very tired so I fell asleep on the deck. When I woke up my hands and face was completely burned – I had never have such a terrible sun burn. Luckily, because of the cool breeze, I was wearing my full motorbike suit, otherwise more parts of my body would be burned. It is a wonder that I do not have any scars on my face from this adventure... I could write more about my burned-face experience, but it is a story for another time. This story has also some funny episodes, as in the first few days I had to keep my face covered with balaclava most of the time otherwise my face would be terrible painful. You can imagine how people reacted when I took my helmet off and went for a walk with the balaclava on...
These are the memories from my worst Xmas ever. In my mind I often like to go back to this Xmas, it was a great adventure and when I think about it now it makes me feel somehow...
There are other times at Xmas I have beautiful memories of – some from my childhood, but also with Adam, when we went skiing to Arraba (Italy) or Vent (Austria) or somewhere else. Nevertheless, I have to admit that the Xmas on my own is the one I am thinking mostly about.
I hope you will have a great Xmas...
Lots of Wings,