Sorry for the silence. I’ve been extremely busy, and enjoying every minute of it. Well, almost every minute 😉
OK, now I have time to write. Phew! The past two weeks have been the most enjoyable, but also some of the busiest of my life. I’ve had a guest, and I couldn’t have wished for a more welcome guest. We did everything together, and I mean everything. Frankly, we are inseparable. That’s the way I want it.
My life has changed forever. I have a future now, still a bit hazy, but a definite aim, a path to follow, a plan. It wasn’t this way before March 13th this year, that’s for sure. That’s when I got onto the Kura Kura bus in Kuta, (see https://bullsroar.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/last-day/ ), started talking with the woman in the seat in front of me, and we haven’t stopped since. It’s been both a shock and a wonderful surprise for both of us. We were lost, and now we are found. Goodness gwacious, I’m even quoting scriptures. We’re both seniors, pensioners, and thought we were past it, but we are NOT!
How two people can be so compatible, so similar, so perfectly matched is nothing short of a miracle. We keep using that word, miracle, (I do, that’s for sure), but it feels to me as if the blokes up in the sky have said, “Oh, that guy PJ Croft, we’d forgotten about him. OK, he’s suffered enough, let’s give him a go.” And the doors opened, and the goodness suddenly showered down on me. At last, at last, at last, I’m not alone any more. I’d got used to the idea that it was never going to happen for me, but at last it has. Thank goodness. I know these feelings are reciprocated. For me, this is it. The idea of us ever parting is unthinkable. Those are words to tempt fate, I know, but I feel I have to say it.
We keep using the word “amazing”, because that’s what it is. We both had worries, we both had insecurities, we both had things we thought might prevent a relationship developing. But we have both found we needn’t have worried: we fit together like a horse and carriage, as the song says. Blimey, song titles keep coming up. We’re singing to each other. Everything we say seems to have a song title in it. There’s a song in my heart, it’s true. I’m thinking of writing a comedy sketch consisting of nothing else but song titles. Can be done.
She’s gone back to Bali at the moment, sorting out where she’s going to live for the next few months, and I’ll follow as soon as I sort out a medical appointment or two. I have a pre-paid hotel in Sanur booked from mid-May, so I’ll be there for sure, and I’ll go up as soon as I can before that. After that, with my love beside me, we’ll go up to the north side, Lovina, and I’ll stay there for a few weeks. I’ll be trying for a social visa so that I can stay longer than the normal 30 day visa.
There’s a real plan that I didn’t have a few months ago. It’s all good. There’s more besides, into October.
This past 13 days has almost been a blur. I know my house has met with approval. It really is a great house, let down by being so far “out of town”. It’s too far in the northern suburbs for friends to casually visit. I know this, and I’m not wedded to this house, so a move might be possible. I know what my love wants, and it’s fine with me. I’d welcome a change. I’d hoped not to have to move again, but it would be much easier this time, now that I’ve got rid of most of my “junk” from the last move. Yow! It wasn’t junk, but I had too many possessions. I miss a few of them, but not many.
What did we do? First, on the Sunday of her arrival we had dinner at the Dome Cafe overlooking the lakes. It was a balmy warm evening so we sat outside, with some nice wine and good food. Yum, it was a good start.
Then on Monday it was a visit to the shops to get some local money, a few clothes and to find a couple of things V wanted, including a new camera. She’d used one of mine and liked it a lot, so that was it – decision made. She also bought a local SIM card and was in communication again. Crumbs, ATMs, smart phones, wi-fi, Facebook and internet …. they’ve become so important.
Then on the Wednesday it was lunch with a long time school friend and her husband. Big smiles all round, I can assure you. It turned out that this friend had actually been born in Austria, in a town V knows well, before emigrating here with her parents, so they had a common theme immediately.
The next few days are a blur, but my longest friends Geoff and Georgie came out here on the Saturday night and we dined out again. Another great night.
On Monday 18th, after an early appointment with my GP, we headed off down to Margaret River to stay with my friend Alan on his small farm. On the way, we stopped off at another school friend’s place, Jim and Linda’s at Bunbury. It was good to catch up – we don’t do it often enough. I hope I’ll become more sociable as a result of this new partnership. It’s more than a hope: I will. Life of the party, mate.
Next, after a pleasant drive, we reached Alan’s farm at about 3.30pm and, after the warm greetings, unpacking and talks, had dinner in the town. It was a nice day, but it rained that night, even so, very welcome rain.
Next day we planned a couple of things and I realised we didn’t have to go back to Perth as I’d thought, we could stay another day. Why not? There’s no-one to tell us what to do, no schedule we have to meet. As a result, Al drove us to Augusta for a lunch in a pub overlooking the estuary and ocean.
Augusta WA (C( Veronika 2016
Augusta, WA (C) Veronika 2016
We saw a flock of pelicans wheeling majestically across the water. Magic.
Karri forest, Caves Road, WA (C) Veronika 2016
On the way we saw the magnificent grove of karri trees on Caves Road. These are like the columns of a cathedral, tall, slim and straight. It’s a striking site, well worth a visit.
Hamelin Bay, WA (C) PJ Croft 2016
Hamelin Bay, WA (C) Veronika 2016
With Alan, Hamelin Bay (C) Veronika 2016
We also visited Hamelin Bay to see the sting-ray beach, then the fossilised water wheel,
Fossilised water wheel, Cape Leeuwin, WA (C) Veronika 2016
then the headland overlooking the junction of the Indian and Southern Oceans. It’s a stirring sight.
Cape Leeuwin, WA, junction of the Indian and Southern Oceans (C) Veronika 2016
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Al cooked for us in his usual meticulous way, a very nice meal. He’s one of the neatest, most conscientious guys I know. Dunno where he got it from, he wasn’t like that at The Hut. Was he? Well, he never made my bed.
Daredevil diving at Canal Rocks, WA (C) Veronika 2016
Next day, Wednesday 20th, we came back through Busselton to do the underwater observatory at the end of the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world. It’s 1.7km. We were too late for the train and V didn’t think I could walk it. Damn, there’s a challenge, so I did it! Non-stop, fast walk, the full distance. I was a bit sweaty at the end and would have liked to sit down, but we were late, so we had to start the descent, down the spiral staircase with the window openings at the side to see the fish and pylons.
Well, long story short, in the semi-darkness I missed the very last step and went down hard. On my right knee, right elbow and right wrist. I got up with some help from a guy, and then we noticed the blood. I was bleeding a bit, not especially in pain, just skin removed from my elbow and knee.
They took us up in the lift, thank goodness, and Kate, one of the guides, ambulance trained, took over. My knee had swollen up by now and when I stood up, GAAAAAH!, stinging pain. She dressed it expertly, used a pressure bandage on my elbow to stop the bleeding (I’m on blood thinners) and applied much TLC. Much appreciated. Then they called the “mule”, a two-stroke mini truck, to take us back. I couldn’t have walked it, that’s for sure. V enjoyed the ride sitting on the tray back, and I had a good chat to the driver, another young lady, and going Meep Meep to all the smiling kids who saw us coming. Nice! It was a nuisance to have fallen, but not a disaster.
Receiving TLC from Kate at the Busselton Jetty after my fall. (C) Veronika 2016
Then it was back via Port Geographe. V was very taken with the canals and yachts. The idea of living there is very appealing to both of us.
However, on the road again, V described her ideal place of living, her dream. Working port, boats, yachts, bohemian lifestyle, proximity to major city … Say no more, squire! You’re describing Fremantle. Say no moah! Nudge nudge, wink wink.
So, it’s a new idea for both of us. Nothing definite, just a pipe dream at this stage. I’m not wedded to my present location. I really enjoy this house, but I’m prepared to move. Watch this space, although this is a long way off.
On Friday night we returned the visit to Geoff and Georgie and had dinner at a restaurant in Woodlands, the Bada Bing. I name it, because I wasn’t too keen on one aspect of it.
I had another fall! It wasn’t my fault. We were the last to finish, at about 10.30pm, and they’d mopped the floor leading to the counter. We set off, my feet zipped from under me on the wet floor, and down I went. It wasn’t too hard, but it hurt, and I couldn’t even begin to get up as my foot kept sliding on the wet floor.
Eventually, I got up, and they said, “But we put signs up.” Bah! Bulldust. They were at the end, and I didn’t see them. I felt they were trying to shift the blame to me. They shouldn’t have mopped the floor while customers were still present! In my usual way (V, take note), I kept a pleasant face on, but I was annoyed. To cap it off, we asked for band aids to put over my bleeding knee, but they didn’t have any. I ended up with makeup pads strapped on with sticky tape. Grrrr. No reduction in the bill, either. Double grrrr.
So, Bada Bing resaurant, Woodlands — if you go there, watch out, they are not too sensible. Food was nice.
PS: I’ve just had a close look at the bill, and discovered that they’ve charged us for two entrees when we only had one and shared it. That means I will definitely write a real paper letter of complaint, listing the things I was annoyed about, rather than, er, letting it slide.
We also had a picnic on the beach on one day. This is half way through autumn here, yet it’s been balmy warm, enough to go to the beach and enjoy it. V tried the water but it was too cool for her. Next time, maybe. I’d go in if I could feel safe at staying on my feet, but not yet. I’m still having cold showers and I can feel myself getting stronger, but not yet.
Wheeling pelicans at Augusta WA (C) Veronika 2016
Finally, yesterday, it was time for V to leave, going back to Bali. It was a sad parting on my part, for sure. I kept my good face on, but I was near to showing tears as I walked away. Not too long, my dear, until I see you again. It’s been a wonderful two weeks. Thank you. Big bussis!