A Thanksgiving

June 30, 2011

I’ve been a bit bleak of late – in order to snap out of it – I have at least another 4 months here – I decided to change tack in my thinking and here are some musings I had throughout the week.  I’ve come out the otherside a lot more positive than where I sat  this time last week.

I guess being here is making me appreciative of all the life experience I have had so far.  Driving to work listening to Pulp very loud (I have an obsession with Jarvis at the moment), thinking that these folk will never know the experience of dancing in a field, loved up and hedonistic twisting to random tunes as the sun rises.  Whilst I am a million miles from this is age and place – I’ve done it, lived it.

It's Not All Beige

I’m very nostalgic and thankful for the diverse range of experiences I have had thus far.  Some of my life choices would be distasteful to many here and at home.  I fully appreciate that I am judging by my own set of values – I have not grown up indoctrinated in an orthodox religion – and for this I am truly thankful.

I think to back to Bellingen and my green wooden house on stilts – from the back verandah I could see nothing but green – 10 mins from the Never Never Creek in the Promised Land where I’d pitch my hammock in the shade and you could skinny dip with no-one batting an eyelid.  Here I need to cover my shoulders and knees to swim at the local beach.

My Green Wooden House

12 Years in Sydney – living the party life – clubs and dance parties – good mates.  Living in Bondi – Saturday brunches and afternoons on the beach – Vanessa’s Drag Races – hilarious afternoons in the sun.  Bad Dog parties – dirty grimy disco trash.  Mmmm mmm mmm.

The Nephews Visit Me in Bondi

Growing up in Perth, riding push bikes, weekends at the beach, Sunday drives with Grandad in the car.  Post adolescent days of the Red Parrot and The Underground – goth picnics in the hills – getting pissed on cheap white wine and walking through abandoned train tunnels.

Goth Picnic, John Forrest National Park, 1988 (?)

London – Europe at my doorstep.  The best job ever – creative freedom for a TV channel with a purpose in the heart of Soho.  Living North, East and South; cycling my way through the city in the dead of night, just me and the foxes.  Kat on her Penny as I flank her through Critical Mass rallies.  Nude bike rides, Pride marches and anti-Pope rallies – the freedom to congregate on mass to celebrate, protest and express opinion without fear of reprisals.

Pete and Penny (and Kat)

Learning crafts from an amazing myriad of women eager to share their knowledge and talents on everything textile.  Being taught how to spin wool literally from the sheep’s back at the farm every weekend.

Beauville Nightmarket

European summers with Karen and Rich in Beauville – melon and floc and petanque.  Visiting mates in Switzerland, snow and spas – Easters in Italy – missing flights due to traffic jams in Florence.

Sienna

So as I sulk in the desert backwater that is Qatar I am mindful of the fortunes I have had and that I am lucky – lucky to have the freedom to live such a diverse range of experiences and to have such an amazing family and group of mates flung far and wide.

I must look at this time, this sabbatical from western culture, for the unique experience that it is.

Knowing that the day will come when I’m sitting in my garden, mates visiting, bbq on, beer in hand and I will relay tales of my time in Qatar with mirth and fondness – and perhaps a little relief – along with a gratitude for the tax free income and the cultural experience.

Home

This isn’t forever.  The future is bright with rain forests, deserted beaches and churning oceans, old mates and new friends.  I possess one of the greatest gifts this life can afford – an Australian passport.

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