Kick It In, Lassie!

Oh, geez. I really stirred things up on SMOG last night.

I really didn’t think it would be commented on in such volume. I thought maybe a few of us would still be waiting for the book to arrive. Not as many people as that would still be waiting for it. But lo…

Then Ronnie Gurr and THEN Richard Houghton add comments and my toes were starting to curl with the fuss I had made.

I honestly didn’t mean to drag them into it!

I genuinely just wanted to get a handle on who was still waiting. Whether I could get an idea on if the book was just trickling through to fans or whether there were quite a number receiving it and us still waiting were just stragglers not having much luck with the postal service.

And so goes yet ANOTHER time I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut! I mean…it did help to alleviate my concerns about the book’s slow arrival, but conversely I felt like the girl that kicked the hornet’s nest.

Always acting with the best of intentions. Always ending up inadvertently stirring up trouble.

Anyway….too late now. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle.

Another day is upon us…and still I wait. With a bit more quiet reserve this morning.

The “watched kettle” is yet to boil…

Foggy City Orphan

I arrived in Sydney nearly 24 hours ago. The smoke haze on the approach stretched on for miles. It started long before the plane’s descent.

Of course I arrived on a scorching hot day. I got some rest on the plane. I had my first (and what will probably be my only) experience as a business class traveller.

I flew out with Lufthansa under a Star Alliance co-airline flight. Glasgow to Frankfurt – Frankfurt to Hong Kong – Hong Kong to Sydney.

At Frankfurt there was announcement at the departure gate that some business class seats were available for ecomonmy/economy plus travellers to buy at a discounted rate. I thought… well, I can just enquire and see. If it’s stupid money, I won’t. So… I upgraded. Wow! The seats actually FULLY recline prostrate! It was amazing. The leg room. Wow. A MENU of food. I slept properly for about 4-5 hours. Even laid on my stomach at one point. I mean… when do you get to do THAT on a plane!?

Back to economy for the final leg, which was with Cathay Pacific. It was my first experience with Cathay Pacific and I have to say their economy class is VERY good.

We landed almost an hour ahead of schedule. Sydney was humid but cool when I arrived. I took my time. Alighted the plane last. Tidied myself up in the first toilet I saw. Took a seat and filled out the immigration form.

The e-passport thing blows my mind. All electronic. No 20 questions of why I’m the country, etc, etc. Scan and go.

My poor suitcase had hardly any friends left when I got to baggage reclaim.

Going through customs was fun. Some of us weary travellers were guinea pigs for trainee sniffer dogs, so it took a little time to get through there.

Out in arrivals I got myself a coffee and a bite to eat. I got a local SIM for my phone and then went to the train station and got myself to Central to get a connecting train to Liverpool – which still leaves from trusty old platform 19.

On the way through we passed Lidcombe Station. Lidcombe is where my mum grew up – not too far from the station itself. Two stops down is a tiny station – mostly it served workers for the big rail depot there. The station is called Clyde. And… all the time I lived in Sydney, the link never really occurred to me! I know! Silly. But how it hit me yesterday. My mum starting out in Lidcombe, just a short stop away from Clyde… and here I was, home to say goodbye to her. Never being able to say “Oh, mum, guess what? I live near Clyde too now.”

We say goodbye later today. To have been able to talk to her one last time… I wish.

I Wish You Were Here

Is *not* a thing I imagine Jim is thinking right now of me. Lol. He’s probably relishing being 12,000 miles away! If there is even a thought about it at all.

In the story of the Kerr family’s ALMOST emmigration to Australia, I am also glad his mum had a change of heart, because there very well may have been no Simple Minds had the move Down Under taken place.

And I can well understand his mum’s change of heart. It’s no easy thing to do! It’s a life-changing and life-long commitment to up sticks and move half-way round the world. Esp. back in the 1960’s. Little chance of you ever flying back home to visit family for a couple of weeks a year, or every couple of years back then. One, plane travel would have been damn expensive and, even then, it would have taken at least double the amount of time it takes to fly to and fro now. It still isn’t THAT cheap, but it is far more affordable if you have a place to stay once there. These days it’s the accommodation rather than the price of the flight that is the biggest expense.

My own story of emmigration to the UK was not an easy one. When I got with my partner, the plan was for us to stay in Australia. But…for several reasons, it became apparant that was not going to work. What’s a person to do? I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…so as much as it pained me to leave my family, I took the move. They were the options – end it wth the love of my life and stay with my family, or leave my family to be with the one I love. Being an Anglophile helped that decision immeasurably.

So, here I am, some 20 years down the line. Did I ever regret that decision? In recent times? Perhaps maybe a little. But…only a little. For the distance it takes to travel. For the past 10 years only having had one opportunity to return home, instead of the serveral times I travelled back during my first 10 years in Blighty. I could continue with the personal aspect of this, but pefer not to. All I will say is…on the whole…no regrets. The past 10 years have been much harder than the first. And…I missed David. My brother, David…lost to liver cancer in 2014. Mum is aging, getting more and more decrepit. Those aspects about being so distant by geography are hard on the old emotions. Anyway…enough of the maudlin personal stuff. There’s wonderful stuff happening down there. Simple Minds have arrived! Well, Jim has at least…seemingly. I get the impression he’s been there a number of days already…possibly swinging down via Bali (as he was pondering to do half-way through the SM North American tour).

Let the Oz fans rejoice! How I wish that Gillian could have returned the favour and put me up at her place for a week. She was more than willing to do so! To be reunited with her and Nicola would have been grand. Have Ally join us on the day. Perhaps have met a few more of the Oz SM fans I’ve yet to meet. Had I not met Gwenda at the gig, we’d have had the chance to have met at some point, as she doesn’t live far from my sister. In a stupid small world, it was Simple Minds that got us knowing each other. We grew up living only one mile apart, but had never met!

Then there is the chance of seeing my best mate, Steven. Well, if I am out there next year, and I am sure that is on the cards, no matter what…we can celebrate 30 years of friendship! The life I’ve had…I never expected I would ever have a friend for 30 years. Lasting friendships were hard to come by for me. And, well, Steven and I have had our ups and downs too, but there is an amazing bond there and I absolutely love him with all my heart. That person you can be fully, totally, wholly yourself with. That “no filter” friend. Worts and all. Thick and thin. He’s it.

And, this time had I made it out, I couldn’t have gone to Adelaide and Janis. But now when I *do* go…the Hills will be alive with th sound of us chomping on the best food in the world! And if I am there to see Simple Minds, then GODDAMN, Janis is coming too! I doubt they’d do her favourite (Somebody Up There Likes You), but they SHOULD (hopefully, fingers crossed…Jim, if you’re reading this – Lol – as if – I am putting this request in early – next gig in Adelaide, PLEASE do Let There Be Love) do her second favourite song.

Anyway! Enjoy your fleeting visit to Oz, SM. At least PRETEND to be a bit gutted that I didn’t make it out there to see you, Sir. Lol. Yeah, I know…you were secretly thanking the almighty (Buddha) that I didn’t make it. I’ll delude myself anyway.

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The link in the post is this one – and a memory for me of every journey I took into the city on the train from mum’s. Sons And Fascination on the way in, Sister Feelings Call on the way back. Images of train tracks and the landscape of the inner city suburbs of Sydney now synonymous with the title track.And artwork I do for it that contains a skewed view I took from mum’s kitchen window in it.

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