Skunks and Coconut Coffee



I have been and gone. Travelled across North America, via car, boat, bus, plane and train. And it was incredible. It felt complete and I felt so relaxed, so inspired.

OK now the contrived sentences are out of the way…  I fell over onto a lady with my iced tea on the train, I was too scared to paddle board on the lake in Seattle, but redeemed myself in a much shallower lake (about 1 foot deep) later in the trip in Maine. I was given a T-shirt with my face printed on it as a gift. I wrote about 10 postcards, paid for postage, but then never posted them. I sat and watched San Francisco buses asleep at 1am, in their parking lot. I drank so many iced coffee and coconut milk beverages, I smell like a bounty with a hint of arabica beans. I read all the accreditation of the people from the cuddle shop in Portland, Oregon. I said hello to my first skunk by English Bay in Vancouver, and my first chipmunk at Crater Lake. We got along, to the extent I usually get along with wild animals.


I walked through a park at 9am on a Sunday in LA, and was the only one awake, and one semi-awake person dressed up like a Starbucks worker. I sat in a dining car travelling across North Dakota with an Amish couple, learning about their world. I filled my wallet with many one dollar bills, that I awkwardly pulled out and handed bar staff a lot. I read six graphic novels, for the first time. I slept on a sailboat in Seattle. I got to know my friend Jim much better, I got to know a black beetle more so. A cat and I exchanged sleepy nods in North California.

Now I am back. Many choices ahead, and do I get a puppy?

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Empty Lot.



The carpark sat there silently, beside the dark brick building. Inside the car, he merged with the faded vinyl seat. he wasn’t ready. Obedience is what was overpowering him. Guilt and obedience. Leaving the warmth of the car and many other secrets.

Knocking on the dull door, his acne scars is what he noticed first. Tony, in his 50’s. Walking in, he had expected to sit on a couch, to complete the cliche, but he was offered a seat in an old desk chair.  Throughout the session, he would sub-consciously he fiddled with the height adjuster, that ignored him, broken.

“Your mum has mentioned you wanted to talk”

“Yeah, I need to”

“That’s great to hear. Really good. The first step is the hardest, and you have already done that”

“I just dont know what the next step is.”

“That is where I come in. I have dealt with this many times, for many years. You can be rest assured you are not alone”.

Tony had the notepad. And the writing that he could not read upside down. I didnt want him writing things. Things I didnt know.

“I have worked through many different struggles with people, mate. From child sex offenders to prostitutes. I spend most my week in the prison system, so much change and reward there.”

I dont think he asked Tony for his CV. But it felt good to know he wasn’t alone, perhaps.

“Martin, I am sure it is all very overwhelming. We dont need to talk about everything all at once. Let’s start in one little corner.” Tony’s voice was calm, but the calm a pool closed for the winter would be, way too cold. Way too still. And this corner he spoke of, was where a naughty kid should be sent.

He swallowed. Then breathed. This is where he had to jump in.

“Well, I just have got to a point where I never want to hurt. Hurt anyone else, most importantly. And God has led me to be honest outside, not just inside.”

Here is where the lies were about to start.


Walking back to the carpark, did he feel any better? Mum was already back at the car. She had a slight smile on. “Don’t worry mate, you are doing the right thing”.

“It was fine Mum. I know it feels right.”

“Good mate, good.”

The slight smell of cigarette smoke hung there. Mum had been doing it again.

The car began moving onward to home. The steep hill made no difference to the speed. Cruising silently, there was a lot that could be said but the words lay inside. Each bend in the darkness, wrapped around them, mother and son.


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Music Sunday – “We Can be Friends” by Francis and the Lights feat. Bon Iver

Good to hear Bon Iver. Funky and different, I like. It will be playing high on my 2016 list.

Music Sunday – “Hyperballad” by Bjork, cover by Ben Abraham

This song came out just over 20 years ago. The music, the words, one of the first songs that really washed over, and grabbed me. Carried me out and I explored such a clear and powerful set of imagery. I only heard it in 2003, but it has been one of my favourite songs ever since.

Here is a beautiful cover, by Ben Abraham. Adore the arrangement.

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Our Part

We all have our part. Whatever you believe, the reality is we are all here. Some of us make others laugh, some of us have an abundance of love to share, some are making sure others don’t die, and so many feel unnoticed cause who they are seems to be insignificant. But we all have our part. And we all have helped someone else, whether we know this or will never find this out. And you will help someone again. And someone will help you.

I like my bike. It makes you feel fast, and free. Except when the chain falls off, and you have to awkwardly pull over in the middle of the major intersection, semi straddling it awkwardly on your tippy toes. Then you get your hands covered in grease, and you didnt casually put a grease rag in the back of your workpants. Other than that, I love my bike.



Music Sunday – “Don’t Worry About Me” by Frances

One of the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time. I am just thankful Frances has shared her voice with the world.

Makes me think about where I am right now.



Weekenders remind us we have so much more to live for. Went to a getaway last weekend, to a beautiful part of the world, the Great Ocean Road. Had a house overlooking the ocean and we felt the coming winter coolness, jammed with the warm lingering sun. Celebrating birthdays and just good company.

OK enough of that, it sounds like the opening to one of those articles where you want to rip the page in half but you cant, because it is an online article. So you close the window with a slow click, to get more satisfaction.

But yes, good weekend.

I have finally found the story I want to write. And it was in front of me the whole time. I have given myself until December to have the first draft complete. I am having so much fun with it. I have dropped to four days a week in my job, to give myself one day a week dedicated to it. It felt really adult doing that, as it is a financial sacrifice so I better get something out of it. Which I am. Its like reading a book you cannot put down, but it doesnt have an ending yet, the words appear in the book. Like the Never-Ending Story, but hopefully there is an ending.

Speaking of.. here is a photo of a cake with Falcor from Never-Ending Story.



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Three Stories

When you look, you find what you expect. When you focus on what is given to you, then the stories start to unfold.

The past few months have become filled with stories. Not the type necessarily to always tell others, but the type that simply tell you more about who you are and so you can better help and encourage those around you. That sounds like a lot of wank. I know. I guess that is a way of saying, I do not want to share all, as it is not always for others to know.

One story, is of love. One story is of sadness. One story, is of challenge. You could say that all three could mix to become the one story, to make them three dimensional and true to life. And you cannot have one without the other, without the other. And all three stories, are not over yet. THE story, is not over.

But beyond the tease, of what they are, are the little everyday observations, conversations and events that create those stories.

Close up, an ant walking along the rim of the glass I used to drink orange juice, drawn to the sweet smell.

Far away, the hills in the distance that I have seen since I was little, from the upstairs window where I grew up. The smell of dusty carpet and newly painted rooms next door.

May these next few months, next few years, continue to inspire me and encourage others. Let us all continue to do what we love doing.


Music Sunday – “Better Place” by Rachel Platten

Happy 2016. Entering now my 11th year of this blog now. And as I enter it, plenty is changing, plenty is good. Even though that is terrible grammar.



I pace the room, look back at the desk. What do I say. I close my eyes and try and think of the words yet nothing will truly wrap around the grooves that represent how I feel.

This year, my acupuncturist said, was the year people come across important like minded souls. Not necessarily the ones for romance, or friendship, but just to collide and say hello sometimes. I feel there have been a few this year, and as it comes to a close soon, I am a little weary.

I like how if you watch the water run down the window, you can never predict the way it will run. There is a greater chance to predict the path, if it is not the first drop that paved the way. But even then, a new direction can swiftly appear. Gravity asking for it’s damp.