Monthly Archives: September 2009

FOR ALL THE COWS – Ponderland.

Being on your own on the other side of the world leaves you with a lot of time and energy(sometimes to much) to think,ponder and take in your surroundings. With my job i have a lot of free time in the afternoon,usually spent in the park or sitting around the city. I have been trying to read more but my heart really isn’t in it.I have never been a big reader. And i have established that i make up far more elaborate fairy tales and stories in my head, than i will ever read in any book.And at least i know i will always be interested in reading on and turning the page. The beauty of my book is that it lasts a lifetime,its for my eyes only and it has the all important draw factor. I don’t know how it will end.

I can spend hours of the day dropping pots and pans in my brain,making a racket and still make it sound like a beautiful symphony come the end of the day. I can also spend my time playing with butterflies on floating clouds and make reading as inspiring as the nutritional values on a foot long,meatball sub. It may not make the most sense and contradict itself on occasion, however I’m happy to read on. My book is the most important thing in my life at the moment. I am the writer,the editor,the main character, and when i feel like it – the publisher. It’s not every one’s ideal read – Lets be honest. Not everyone wants to read a chapter. And that’s fine. Sometimes its the only thing left on the coffee table.

Some people look at the cover and walk on.Others read the back for a quick fix and realise it’ll probably be shit. However one thing I’ve learned (apart from this phase of writing in metaphors) is to write freely,uninfluenced and as much as possible. I’m enjoying my book. And as long as it makes sense to me,its the only book worth reading.

I’ve pretty much kicked the terrible smoking habit i had. However i must stress, that this really wasn’t my choice. My heart (unlike my brain)writes its own material,has its own book and owns the right too most – in fact all of my body. My brain owes my heart an apology. And it seems that putting it in writing just won’t do. I started getting sharp pains in my chest in Christ Church and its been kicking around ever since. Even too much sugar in my coffee angers the ol‘ ticker. I decided the best plan of action was to cut down on the booze,the fags and the……..well nothing else really. A bottle of gaviscon,a healthier living and some wish full thinking later and it feels alright i guess. Still get lingering pains but it doesn’t stick around long enough to warrant any great concern.I’m more worried about that evil monkey in my closet.

I have an idea of when i will be home and by the end of this month,i will know for sure.I realised that I’ve had a year to be as selfish and self indulgent as i like. Next year i should come home and see my friends and family,before jetting off again.I don’t intend on staying in the UK for long. But coming home is only fair. So folks i will be seeing some of you again very soon. I’ll be doing this experience all over again.Maybe somewhere more challenging.I have an abundance of ideas ranging from teaching English in China to travelling Africa top to bottom. But these are merely pipe dreams at the moment. In reality anything can happen in the next couple of years. I have the right idea,wanting to make the most of my time but sometimes things don’t work out.

But i take confidence in knowing that dreams are there to be made and targets made to be reached.’

The world is a book – and those who do not travel – read only a page.’


FOR ALL THE COWS – Bus Business.

I’ve noticed the bus drivers in Brisbane seem to have some strange public service vendetta against myself. Most of the time, my daily journey to and from work goes without a hitch,however occasionally the weird and the wonderful men and woman of the cities bus routes, see’s it appropriate to give me a dressing down, for reasons unknown. Much like the door staff of bars and clubs can turn you away for looking the way you do,dressing the way you dress or showing any sort of personality – ‘How much you had to drink tonight mate? A couple? Congratulations – your face,walk,smell,accent and anything else that belongs to you has qualified for refusal to entry.Take the next bus home pal.I’m sure the driver will happily take your money and service’. Last night i had a whole bottle of wine confiscated off me like it was a hand made nail bomb,ready to kill woman and children on the way home from church. The sad part was – it wasn’t even open.”You can’t take wine on the bus” said the grumpy old cock sucker. Left with the choice of paying for a taxi since it was the last bus or ditching my deadly weapon that was a threat to thousands if not millions of innocent Australians i opted for option B. Not to worry though. He let me on for two dollars less. What a top guy! The fact i was on my own,orderly and going home must of been enough information to reward my actions with a discounted journey. At 3 dollars a pop they are practically giving away bus rides! And now a discount?WOW.The saving i made there practically paid for the wine! I can’t stress enough how much i love that guy. He’s like a father to me.

I’ve also had four or five separate encounters with bus drivers in the city. One really stumped and puzzled me. ‘Please flag down the bus’ reads at the top of all the buses. Getting on for work one day with a group of other commuters,the female driver somehow randomly selected me(shock/horror) for a random grilling.”You are lucky the other people flagged me down. Otherwise i wouldn’t of stopped for you”. Oh I’m sorry! I didn’t realise it took a group of people,waving their arms erratically in sync to the macarena to stop a moving vehicle. If we were stranded on a desert island perhaps. But on sunny Toohey Road? Geez i apologise. Next time i will take my high visibility vest,emergency whistle and a flair – just in case you miss me.

Working a glassy shift for the first time in the club was a strange experience for me. The first thing that popped to mind, was that i was sober. In fact i think it could be the first time I’ve ever been sober in a club.And that in itself was a ‘sobering’ thought. I started off brightly enough.I adopted a well trodden route,lapping and pacing around the club like a caged animal,picking up some glasses but not really giving a fuck about most of them.But as the night wore on that little flame i had going gradually disappeared into the realms of boredom and frustraton.The caged tiger wasn’t content with pacing back and forth killing time. He wanted to jump the fence and maul any drunk person within striking distance. Smashed people constantly tapping on the glass,taking pictures and screaming in my ear made me wild once more. All i could think of was breaking free and running back to the jungle.But i knew this was fantasy. The only thing that would save me from this fake habitat,purpose built for my insanity was time. And that wasn’t coming to save me anytime soon. No vests,flairs or desperate blows of the whistle would save me this time. Strangely – i also felt pretty sad and down on the whole thing . Being surrounded by young,loutish drunk people when you are sober is a very lonely place to be.God knows how i feel when im the designated driver.All the other glassies share the same distant,tired look upon their faces yet if you look closely into their eyes you can see the aspiration and will to be back into the wild once more. They have seen what’s over the other side just like me. Only the money keeps them there.The evening wore on and i was kept on my toes by head glassie ‘Doug’:He seems like a social misfit but an incredibly nice guy.One of those people its hard to say no too. You would just feel to bad. He had me cleaning up sick,sweeping the street and cleaning up shards of glass. I’m happy to do it for him.

The girls are stunning.Well – they started off the night that way.By the 40th time you circle them and clean after them,the more you notice how much of a mess they are getting in.There was plenty of tears and casualties. I ended up conjuring up fantasies. Girls throwing themselves on me,handing me numbers and asking me to parties next weekend so i can put my name in the time off book,to save me from more work.Sadly – this was merely make believe.

I jumped off the late night bus (which was amazingly well behaved.The service in Aberdeen comes with a witness statement,a black eye and a court case) and some how thought i knew my way home. I mean come on? I’ve been to the wild before. Who needs a map when you have raw instinct? I walked around looking for my house for a good hour,accompanied by bird choruses and morning joggers. My energy finally burned out and i gave in. A 30 second taxi ride later and i was home. Turns out i was standing one street away from my house.Nice one.

And so its on to a new week. A new pair of socks,a new pair of boxers but the same old shit on tele. It’ll be back to work on Wednesday and back to glassy work on the weekend. But the broader picture is there and fully alive. I will have the cash to travel again. And that thought alone is more than enough to keep me going. The Tiger will once again see the towering forest,smell the fresh air and be free to roam wherever he likes.It is inevitable that i will be darted and captured again somewhere else in the world. Still. There is always food for thought wherever i end up.