A week ago we arrived home from a short holiday to see family in the Top End or Darwin, Northern Territory. It is about 4,800km N/NE of where we live. We visited the Aviation Museum as you will gather from the photos above. I was really taken with the size of the B52 Bomber. It was a central feature and the other planes were placed around it. I actually bumped my head on it (trying to get underneath) and wouldn’t recommend it!
We also went for a drive of around 100km to Mary River on the Arnhem Highway. I lived in Arnhem Land for a stint in the 1980’s so enjoyed seeing the landscape once again. The ocean shots are taken from the The Esplanade park area in the City of Darwin (population around 150,000). To me the water looked a bit sinister with the knowledge it is crocodile territory.
The weather was wonderful. I was a bit amused about the newspaper article about the cool weather. It was much warmer than we were getting at home.
Today I searched for quotes to motivate me to continue my work on a current writing assignment. I need to have a 2,500 word draft piece of fiction ready for editing by Monday at the latest. I have written about 3,000 words so far but it lacks energy. I need to do a lot more work on it. I am basing my short story on some of my experiences living in outback Australia.
As part of my studies I need to further develop some stories. I would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks 🙂
SYNOPSIS – FANTASY The Magic Tunnel
A little four-year-old girl finds a magical world just beyond Grandma’s back fence. Only Lindy knows the secret entrance. A blue wren whispered it in her ear and made her promise to keep it secret – even from Grandma. Lindy carefully lifts one of the pavers on the patio and jumps into the beautiful rainbow tunnel. The bright colours swirl like a kaleidoscope until Lindy reaches the giant rainbow coloured bubble. This is her secret, best ever, place to be. She is safe there and everything is beautiful and kind. The blue wrens also live in the bubble and they tell Lindy about all the bush creatures while they sit around a little table having a tea party.
SYNOPSIS – NON-FICTION The Pros and Cons of Lifestyle Villages
The ageing of baby boomers is influencing many aspects of Australian life in the 21st Century with many people aged over 45 and over 55 moving into a Lifestyle or Retirement Villages. This is a big decision with lasting consequences financially, socially and health wise.The writer currently resides in a Lifestyle Village in Busselton and brings her personal observations to the fore. This book also draws on Australian and international research to substantiate its claims. Areas covered include the following chapters:
1. What are the financial implications of moving to a retirement village and what is a lifetime lease?
2. What legislation is relevant to Retirement Villages in Western Australia
3. Age considerations – when is the best time to make the move?
4. What are the expectations, and how does reality measures up?
5. Case studies with divergent points of view
6. Links to resources and further information
CULTURE SHOCK – FICTION Up- side- down in the Northern Territory
John and Raelene live in the idyllic rain forest environment of Belgrave, in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne with their two young children, Nigel and Belinda. A unique opportunity arises, tempting them to give up all that is familiar and move to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory for John to take up a position as Store Manager for the remote Indigenous community of Numbulwar. The Community Store, owned and operated by an Anglican Mission, is in transition of ownership to the Indigenous Corporation. The township has around five hundred Indigenous people and around a dozen non-Aboriginal people who hold positions in health, education, plus the Store Manager. With no previous experience working with Indigenous people and no training provided, they quickly discover they are way out of their depth. As culture shock takes hold, they begin to question everything they once believed about their values and ideals. This is the story of their enlightenment.
In 1980 my former husband and I took up an opportunity to work in a remote Indigenous community in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. I was twenty-six at the time with two sons – one was four years old and the other was only six-months old. It was a big adventure for us all.
At first I was even scared of the local Indigenous people but I later learned that I was experiencing culture shock. Everything was unfamiliar to me and communication was difficult. In time, my children helped me overcome that barrier as children tend to do.
There were deadly snakes to be afraid of too – Death (Deaf?) Adders and other venomous species. It wasn’t unusual to find snakes in our yard. Once I found one in my pantry cupboard!
A wild buffallo in the bushes
Swimming in the billabong
The town’s water supply
Little girl and dead crocodile
Barge Northern Territory
Numbulwar from the air.
Probably the scariest experience was a trip out bush to a billabong. It was a sandy track only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles. We were in an open cabin Land Rover. Some way into the journey we found ourselves confronted by a wild, male buffalo.
It was snorting and stamping its feet while it considered what to do with us. We sat still (apart from the shaking!) for several minutes. It was very angry and showing it! Each of us said lots of prayers that we would get out of this alive and the buffalo would get bored with us. I am pleased to say it eventually found something more interesting to frighten and left us alone. Phew!
We were only a minute’s walk from the beach too but the fear of crocodiles meant we didn’t go there often 🙂