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JOURNAL 100; A century of questionable merit.

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 18 November 2009 | Views [2774] | Comments [3]

The sunsets get better as my camera gets worse

The sunsets get better as my camera gets worse

Who would have thought I would make it this far? If anyone other than me gave any thought to it, you have far too much time on your hands and should try collecting stamps or something. My abacus must have a virus because journal entry number 100 is actually a miscount. As the applause in my head stops suddenly in confusion, I state that all the entries from Mongolia were deleted to become part of the fabled first novel. The novel which sits dormant on my laptop awaiting a change in my financial landscape like a vacant graveyard plot.

Irrespective of what number this entry actually is, I am going to use it to review my experiences that are detailed on this site, starting of course with my most recent trip to Asia. Plans are still floating vaguely in the ether for a return there soon, if only to be able to write about something other than everyday life in Australia. South America's on the agenda too, as is Ireland possibly. While I'm dreaming, a trip to the moon or the 16th century is just as likely as those three destinations becoming part of the next 20 or so journals.

What became of some of the characters my travels have brought me across? Harry and Volka have become victims of good intentions versus computer illiteracy. Adam suffers a similar condition and our close friendship often endures long periods of silence. He is still carving a zig-zagging path through Port Macquaries liquor supplies and is nicely ensconced there for the foreseeable future. Gemma lost all relevancy once her and Adam parted ways and I could not even speculate where her path through life has taken her. Contact with Steph is less frequent than a flyby  from Halley's Comet but I know she has found another Australian` boyfriend and together they are volunteering in Tanzania with my well wishes and envy.

Most other people my travels have brought me across cling to memory through Facebook alone. That interesting social experiment has revolutionised laziness as a sentence or two on your wall seems to count as keeping in contact now. I disagree, and only people that warrant a few paragraphs of news are considered to be any part of my current life. My America G.I. pal Shane is still slaving away in a wine factory in New Zealand and Laura still endures my stupidity on a daily basis in our house. All other people from Caboolture, Orbost and Bowen may still pass infrequently through my recollections but their lives barely arouse my interest any more.

Unfortunately and despairingly, Rachel has opted out of being an enduring feature of my immediate future. Long distance relationships are never a great idea and the only one that has lasted a significant time is my ongoing affair with Asia. The recent trip to Bowen has left a lingering legacy of crippling debt but I wouldn't change a thing about it. Like me, Rachel is considering a return to Broome next year so Fate's rolling the dice and I'm cautiously placing a small emotional wager on a reunion. My lesson in life is learning to 'let go' and only the rewards that come from non-grasping justify the pain that accompanies letting go of such amazing people and experiences.

I feel that the hedonistic trajectory of my life is balancing out to a more middle-of-the-road approach, all evidence to the contrary. Intoxicants seems to play a rather significant role in many of the journals, largely because they either catalyse the humourous events detailed, or help me dialogue them in an even more bizarre fashion. My spirituality is gathering momentum to return me to a life closer to the one I lead while living in Buddhist communities for three years. Not exactly the same sort of lifestyle, or else I'll have to go on another seven year bender to balance everything out again.

As for the journals themselves, by far the most widely read and controversial was 'Satan's summer range of swimwear'. Quite a few people took exception to my criticism of Western perverts, and many shared their resentment with me. One intelligent American built an argument around his patronage of hookers being a positive contribution to the local economy. Easily dismantling his argument on moral grounds alone, he still refused to see any fault in his actions, and claimed to have taught me a lesson in the process. Yeah mate, full points to you.

It is hard for me to pick a favourite entry because I love the process of writing so much that I enjoyed writing all of them. A lot of the time I head off in tangents so bizarre I can't rightly expect anyone to understand what the hell I am on about. With the exception of my old mate Stowaway, no one seems inclined to leave any sort of positive feedback, so I just assume no one likes my journals and write for my intended audience of about 5 friends and family members. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter as long as I find them funny. If you can't make yourself laugh, what hope have you got of making others?

The Mongolian novel is actually doing the rounds at present. Not of publishers or manuscript appraisers as you would expect, but of friends. Draft number 5 in 3 years has appeared in $10 Officeworks printed glory and I hope is inching ever closer to finding its way into legitimate print. If anyone can recommend a good manuscript appraisal service, I am more than willing to inflict my particular brand of humour upon them?

The only recent news of any relevance is the arrival of the rain in Broome. Huge towers of electrical fury roll into the bay and occasionally smother Broome in a deluge that fills our pool to overflowing. Adding more water to the atmosphere has made the days into a humid hell hole that has everyone feeling amphibious. And smelling accordingly. Staggering back from my first incursion into Broomes' nightclub scene rewarded me with a thunderous light show of unbelievable magnitude and frequency.

With orange tipped cumulus monoliths framing Cable Beach's horizon, sunsets have gone to another level of incredible. The best one yet ended a rather shit day yesterday after dislocating my toe on an innocent inanimate object of cunning placement. Every cloud imaginable was in attendance from windswept whisps up high to ominous storm clouds darkening the horizon. All took on different shades of pink or orange depending upon their altitude and partially concealed a sky that ranged from egg shell blue through lilac to a deep cobalt blue. After drunkenly dropping my 6 month old camera into the ocean just to set a new bench mark in stupidity, the camera on my phone had no chance of doing the vista any justice. So I gave up trying once the sun had sunk into the Indian ocean and dived into its warm embrace myself. The sky continued to morph into something even more magical and had I not been impelled to catch a passing wave which gave me the best body surfing ride ever, I would have just stared at the sky in awe for hours.

Riding home, with the extremes of the day behind me, the passing wind whistled through my ears to clear some of the cobwebs that have been gathering of late. An epiphany struck me, as it has done with such regularity lately that its more like a habit. How amazing is life! Even having my heart broken, my toe dislocated, my camera drowned, my bank account humiliated and my head balding cannot stop me from being appreciative of everything life gives me every day. With 100 odd journals to my credit, showcasing a wide array of idiotic and crafty schemes all considered worthwhile for the experience alone, I pray for the courage to do more of the same, the awareness to remain open minded at all times, the inclination to keep documenting everything for the sheer joy of it and the grace to be appreciative of life itself, and every manifestation that illustrates it diversity.



Happy 100th Harry! A very entertaining century.
Any chance you would re-instate the Mongolian stories?

  stowaway Nov 18, 2009 8:44 PM


G'day Stowaway,
Thanks very much for being a fan of my journals. I knew something was amiss after posting the last one and you read it before I was able to fix it up. I added a nod to you for your positive feedback and I thank you again for that. I will have a look through all my old files back in Melbourne to see if the Mongolian journals still exist. Alternatively, I could just email you a copy of the current novel draft if you're interested? All the best my friend. Warm regards, Harry.

  homeless_harry Nov 19, 2009 5:04 PM


Hi Homeless_Harry,
Congratulations on your 100th story!
We are featuring this story on our WorldNomads Adventures Homepage for a while.

Happy Travels!

World Nomads

  World Nomads Nov 21, 2009 5:13 PM

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