97. Straight to you




I travelled 16,618 km (103256 miles) to be with my wife. At least, that is the distance, as the crow flys, between Melbourne Australia and New Jersey. Of course, I made the trip five times before that final permanent one. Five times both ways; 166,180 km plus the final trip bringing the total to 182,798 km or 113,585.411 miles.

Any way you cut it, that’s a lot of travel hours; a lot of time spent jammed into undersized airplane seats listening to babies cry and people snore, a lot of time dashing through strange airports trying not to miss my connection, a lot of time being irradiated in body scanners and harangued by the TSA.

Add to that the heartbreaking farewells at the end of each of those five visits and the weeks of depression once I’d returned to Melbourne and the whole thing feels a little Homerespue; at the very least, it is an epic(ish) poem of devotion and unflagging determination.

Was it worth it? Was all the lost sleep, longing, anxiety, and sheer discomfort worth the final reward?


Jersey girl and I recently passed the one year mark in our real life together. One year living under the same roof. One year living as a family. It has been challenging, rewarding, vexing, and, at times, downright confusing but mostly it has felt like home. We live well together. Our chemistry has survived close and prolonged proximity. If there was a honeymoon period, it is still very much in effect.

I wake up every day and thank the universe for this woman with whom I now share my world. She has shown me what true love and devotion really are.

And my new adopted country?

America, much to my surprise has become a strange fascination to me. I have felt myself falling in love with her too. Her seasons, her moods, her people, and her beating heart (New York) have captured me in ways and with an intensity, I never would have guessed could happen to me.

There is a feeling that anything is possible here, that you might discover who you truly are as this vast melting pot of ideas and cultures reflects your persona, your mask, back at you. America will not let you hide from your true self. She demands that you simply be – you.

Challenge accepted.










The shortest distance

Between two points

Is no distance

If gravity tugs

If you begin to drift

Remember the string

That warm red thread

tied at each end

Around your soul and mine


And reel in

that shimmering fish

Of rainbow scales

My wandering mind

Don’t fear the labyrinth

Lie down here beside me

I’ll encircle you

Pull you closer

And get lost in you again.



Words and image are my own.




If you sleep always like this




This town where Jersey girl and I currently live is tiny, really tiny. It is more properly a village than a town. It was officially established as a turnpike village around 1806, however, tucked away in an almost forgotten corner is the original cemetery dating back to the mid 1700’s.

I’ve visited the spot once before back in the Summer but it was so overgrown with bushes and Ivy that it was hard to read the inscriptions on a lot of the stones. I remember thinking that this was a cemetery that kept its secrets well.

As I mentioned in the last post, my son has been visiting with us from Melbourne and a few days ago he and I went back to the small cemetery to take some photographs. Upon arrival, we discovered that the place had been considerably cleared since the Summer.

It was much easier to gain access to the stones and we quickly discovered something quite amazing. This tiny place holds the remains of not one but five soldiers of the Revolutionary War.

This was a great surprise to me. Even today the village population is far less than two thousand. At the time of the Revolution, this wasn’t even a settlement, just a collection of scattered farms. And yet, somehow, we have five graves of men who fought in (and survived) the great war for independence.











We even have a soldier born on the 4th of July.




Words and images are my own.



The Cascades



My son is currently visiting us from Melbourne and we’ve really been enjoying showing him around the county (it’s actually his third time here but there’s always more to see). He really seems to love the place (not to mention our proximity to both NYC and Philly).

Yesterday, he and I took a hike along the Columbia trail in High Bridge. I’d never done the walk in winter and was amazed by how different it all looked.

Several times along the way we came across little patches of wonder. I don’t think I ever realised before how beautiful mere frozen water could be.























The ice was very thick.


Rather than retrace our footsteps, we followed the Raritan River back to High Bridge.


Words and images are my own.








Under Ice


Jersey girl and I took a little trip to Clinton the other day. It was just after the recent snows but, on that particular day, the sun was out, the air was warm, and the snow had all but melted away.

On our way to get coffee, we passed by the river where I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, despite the warmth of the day, there was a full covering of ice. Understand, I come from a country where you rarely, if ever, see frozen rivers (perhaps the odd high mountain stream) and, except for that first visit to Clinton three winters ago, I hadn’t really seen this kind of beauty up close before (a frozen duck pond in a London park when I was eight doesn’t count).

I wished I had my camera with me but had to make do with the ubiquitous phone shots. I just loved the ring patterns that had been formed, I presumed, by swirling waters warming up beneath the ice.

Anyway, I thought some of you (probably not the East Coasters) might enjoy the images I got, so here they are.








All images are my own.






Strange fascinations






You were the Moon

And I the ocean

Your gravity pulled me in waves

Around the Earth

Inexorably towards

The point in space where

Heartlines cross

You pulled me upwards in tiny drops

Until the all of me

Hung in the air beside you

There we shone like polished silver

Until all the stars went home.



Words and image are my own.






The Melting Point Of Wax




Unlikely bird


My heart was a tumbledown shack

In the black hills of despondency

My spirit a beat up old Ford

Spinning its wheels in the soul sucking mud

Every day my mind went fishing

In the empty stream of unconsciousness

Each night the bugs made a meal

Of yet another piece of my misbegotten soul

The day came when I finally railed

Against the helpless hopelessness of my futility

I climbed the mountain then and looked out

Across the endless peaks

And there, atop a pinnacle of stone

I saw you staring back with that same wild look in your eyes

I knew then I must learn to fly

But unlike Icarus

I would keep my head

I could not fall

There was no place left to go but up.



Words and image are my own.