Sunday, April 17, 2011
Thank You for the Music...
Thanks to the genius of one Meaghan Holden I was able to treat my family to some brilliant tunes designed to remind me of Melbourne and cheer me along my travels – Thank you mate!!
So I believe I’ve mentioned my 26yrs-separated parents previously… well here’s an odd one for you: On Saturday afternoon we all took a trip down to Cornwall for the night (the ‘leg’ of England, famous for Cornish Pasties, clotted cream and smugglers of the non-budgie variety in days of old) with the aim of undertaking a long walk across the Cornish countryside on Sunday. When I say ‘all’ I am referring to my mum, my dad, my step mum, my step dad, my brother, me and three dogs (Buddy, Talisker and Indy) that may seem like an odd start to those who don’t know my family. Listen further... For accommodation we stayed at my grandparent’s place… It’s nearly five years since either of them was alive… The flat is part of an aged care facility and is completely unfurnished. So effectively all four of my parents, my brother, me and three dogs camped on the floor of an aged care home for the night. Good times for the gang!
I got to test run my new sleeping bag and the lovely walking sticks I was gifted (thanks Floss ;)) all of which worked a treat. I totally out-nerded my family and slightly horrified my brother by wearing my lycra running gear for the walk – a sight my work colleagues are sadly very used to (because I exercise after work a lot, not because I wear lycra at my desk), but one my family was previously unfamiliar with… I believe my brother exclaimed “Oh my god, I don’t want to have to look at my sister’s arse in lycra”… I helpfully pointed out that a) he shouldn’t be looking and b) it’s not my fault I’m so booty-licious. I take his silence as a victory.
So we set off on the All Saints Way, leg 2 (my four parents had done the first leg a while back… Just the four of them… this kind of weird shit happens all the time in my family). Starting in Lanivet and ending in Lanlivery – those aren’t the weirdest names for Cornish villages I think we passed a sign for Bodderdick at one stage, also not the weirdest.
Another unusually stunning day in England as we rose and fell with the landscape. Up tiny tracks, over ancient stone stiles and through kissing gates (no kissing). We passed farms, walked through fields, saw cows, geese, rabbits, horses and pheasants. We were guided by the occasional stone cross, placed by the original pilgrims on the trail centuries before (note I’m skimming over detail… I didn’t listen to the story too hard) and supported by a series of wooden posts with the cross symbol to indicate the All Saints Way.
In classic Oliver style my dad, my brother and I failed to resist the urge to make bizarre and loud noises as we passed under a motorway bridge. My brother does an astounding impression of a didgeridoo, just for your information. Possibly the result of being born in Australia, or a freak throat development, we’ve never been entirely sure. Anyhoo, it sounded completely awesome under that bridge.
Three hours later we ended up at a gorgeous little pub in Lanlivery where we had well-earned roast dinners (Yorkshire puddings!!!) and pints and the dogs collapsed.
In my personal tradition of over-sharing I’d like to share something with you… I was recently lead through a visualization exercise by my therapist (there’s the overshare) in which I had to picture a scene in nature. The upshot of the visualization was that every element in my image was relevant to something in my life. In the scene, among lots of other things, I pictured there was a single huge tree in a big field. I lay in the grass some distance from the tree, but it was a significant element in that image. For me that tree is my family. It stands clear and strong in my world. It’s a complex structure, but it is what grounds me. We’re connected by the ground beneath us. Today was one of those days where I felt myself slide easily into the rhythm of this family that forms my foundation. It might be complicated (and this has only described part of it), but it is without a doubt the most important tree in my world. Thanks Oliver/Barbieri/Williams troop. I had a lovely day.
Loads of love