I am going on a Road Trip, with my son.
We have decided to take the opportunity to visit some rellies, who live at the top of this State, New South Wales.
This is a trip that Gom and I had long planned to take, but somehow events conspired, and we did not take the journey.
Son and I are planning to be very flexible, and just take it all as it comes. We have no destination, apart from the rellies at some stage. We will see where time and tide take us.
I have always wanted to do a trip this way. Leisurely and slowly, with no rush or time limits. And no definite destination.
Gom was a man of 'plans'- though he seldom let me know of his intentions, and calculations, before the journey was begun.
We would set sail, and he would then inform me that we would be at So & So by 5pm and heaven help us if we needed a comfort stop, or were dying of hunger, it was all go go, until we reached the destination, and we could wet ourselves or suffer dehydration and starvation.
Arrival as close to his estimation as possible, was what the trip was about.
At times this was almost alright. Howcver there were times when it was breathtakingly, clenchingly, uncomfortable, in the case of the toilet breaks. Hunger would often make both the children & I grumpy to the point of misery. To say nothing of thirst, once we had used our supply of beverages.
The most horrible of these regimented trips was a time when we were booked, for the 6pm sailing, on the Inter Island Ferry, which sailed between Picton, in the South Island of New Zealand, and Wellington, on the North Island of New Zealand. This was a four hour trip, and not always pleasant, as Cook Straight can be notoriously rough.
We left Christchurch in plenty of time to make a visit to his daughter, who lived with her mother, not far from Picton. When we arrived, our daughter was not home, so off went Gom, hell bent for Picton.
The children and I were starving, as well as needing a comfort stop, but there was no stopping Gom. He was very reminiscent of Toad of Toad Hall, behind the wheel of the car.
We reached Picton around 1.30pm, and Gom became convinced he could get the car a berth on the 2pm sailing of the Ferry. I told him that was all very well, but our needs came first, and with 2 young hungry children, we needed to refuel. Gom, not to be thwarted, dropped us off in Picton township and motored off to the Ferry.
Imagine my horror, when once more, relieved and refuelled, we ran to the dock, to find it empty and no cars in sight and the Ferry about to sail.
The children panicked, cried and felt abandoned. I felt quite murderous thoughts, towards Gom.
A man appeared at the car ramp, and beckoned us to 'Come this way!' 'Has father left you behind, haha?'
I spent most of that Ferry trip in aggrieved silence.
Thankfully, we spent that night in a Hotel in Wellington, but had Gom been alone, I am sure he would have begun the long drive up to Auckland immediately, upon driving off the Ferry.
In other news, Beloved Brother has taken a Sky Dive.
I was rather horrified to learn he was to undertake this venture, and said to my Son that I have lost my sense of Adventure.
Son asked if BB was "adventurous", and I replied that I felt the word was "foolhardy".
Here is BB about to leap from the plane, with his second born son, giving him the thumbs up, in the plane. Second Born's turn was to be next.
Here is BB flying. I wondered "Is this the face of terror?"
He tells me it was not, but remarked that the rush did strange things to his face and beard!
I told him I had visions of cheek flaps beating off his ears, but I can see they were well protected by the helmet!
Here he is, in what he tells me is the magic part of it all, flying and soaring above the earth, with the panoramic view, and the wonderful feeling of weightless flying.
He did land safely, and says he would do it again, in spite of an initial exit, halted, due to a 'problem', and a landing to refuel before taking off again, for his actual jump!
Second Born says he will never jump again.
I wondered how the photos were taken, and BB tells me the tandem man has a camera strapped to his left wrist, hence the wonderful shots of all the action.
I do admire BB his bravery, (or foolhardiness.)
Of course, I am extremely glad he enjoyed it all, and landed safely back on land.
In other joyous news, he is to be a grandfather again, so he is looking forward to that, very much.