Camping time looks like this:
No phone reception, no electricity, no traffic, no hordes of people. Just simple things like boiling the billy, collecting wood for the campfire, throwing the ball to the dog 1000x times, eating a lot of food, and having a good rest in the tent in the middle of the day because time is just a biscuit and there are no rules.
Annie showed me how to brew tea bush style - two big handfuls of leaf tea in a billy, boil it, let it steep, but not for too long.
We stopped at the best places on the way to the campsite. Annie's lived up here for most of her life and knows so many people - we'd be driving along on the highway and she'd go "Oh here's Vermins house we'll just pop in and say hi." So we did and I wasn't even my usual I CAN'T MEET NEW PEOPLE self. It was all really laid back. And calm.
Annie and I talked SO much, laughed so hard, cried. We're both in recovery ... there was a lottttt to talk about. And meetings to go to.
On my first swim in a waterhole I realised that I was legit scared about being snapped up by a crocodile. There's designated places to swim, and then there's place with signs saying NO SWIMMING. So we walk six kilometres from our camp and there's this most beautiful waterhole complete with waterfall and it was so inviting but before I went in I had to just make peace with the fact that I was about to be eaten by a crocodile, even though the area was deemed "safe."
We walked back, Annie had already cooked her steak the night before but I fell asleep early so I put my steak on to cook with knobs of butter and mushrooms and told everybody I make the BEST steak. You know how long that fucker took to cook? Twenty minutes - and that was before I turned it over. I handed out dry scones I'd grilled, most people politely said no because they were so shit and Annie was PISSING herself laughing at my mad camping skillz. My god we laughed. We were talking on the phone just before and she told me that there were certain times when I was up in Darwin and camping and sightseeing and stuff ... and I just dropped it all, all the hard stuff fell away. The worry about my kids, my circumstance, the panic, the pain. That I was just in the moment. So comforting, and hopeful. I want to be more like that.
I also would like to see more street signs like this:
DICK WARD. I made us pull the car over so I could take this photo and it took me ages because I couldn't stop laughing. Imagine the roll call at school.
I'm so lucky to have gone up to the territory and done and felt all this new stuff. It's important to go to places we've never been before.
Now I'm back home to Freezingland but not for much longer because spring is coming. I can hear the birds, Fernando! My flat is warm but still quite empty but I ate cheesy crust pizza last night and finally, finally have been deemed suitable for government support after trying to prove my circumstances for a whole year. I've taken the PayPal button off this site and I'm only halfway through writing thank-you's to people I don't even know. So embarrassing, but thank you. I got this.
Good Stuff is now happening. I'm walking around with huge garbage bags getting rid of objects and clothes I don't need. My counsellor checks in with me constantly. She even gave me a few garbage bags of her own to help with the clearout. We laughed and then I told her I REALLY need to throw out the anger and resentment and piled-up shit in my heart. She agreed. It'll take a while but I'll get there.
My medications are all now a fraction of the cost because I've got a healthcare card. Things are looking up. I'm thinking of a new surname ... Eden Wolfe? Eden Stone? Eden Blue? Whatever the fuck I want. Stop taking everything so seriously and personally. I could even change my entire name to Dick Ward, make people laugh in the cemetery when they glance at my headstone while on their way to visit Aunty Mavis.
HERE LIES DICK WARD
DID THE BEST SHE COULD
TAKEN BY A CROC UP IN DARWIN
BUT ENJOYED THE HELL OUT OF HER LAST SWIM.
(Kidding. I don't want to be buried I want my ashes mixed with glitter and cast into the ocean.)
(I don't know why I'm always talking about death sorry.)
(We actually die every night and wake up brand new people true story.)
(Thank you again. I'll still be writing here like before but different. Better.)
Last pic ....