Feeling the fear

My last blog entry was not very long or interesting. However, in it I flagged a trek I did in Zimbabwe, New Year 1996/97. What is interesting (to me) is that when I had my astrological chart for 1996 drawn up, Gail told me that I would end the year on a physical high.

I was in Zimbabwe to do research for Honours. I stayed with family in Harare until Christmas and then at my brother’s farm.

After Christmas my brother and sister-in-law took me to Aberfoyle in the Honde Valley to spend New Year with a group of friends. The valley is beautiful, there are tea and coffee estates, mountains, cataracts and some pretty scary treks. The plan was to walk up to a waterfall on New Year’s Eve day. I have to say I was not keen. I’m scared of heights, snakes and rickety bridges and ladders. Nevertheless, I said, “Yes!” After all, what did I have to lose?

 

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A recent photo of Aberfoyle in the Honde Valley (thanks Fen)

Mozambique is a stone’s throw away. The countryside was (and probably still is) wild and woolly.

The first part of the path was not difficult but quite soon it became rugged, broken and uneven. The first crossing seemed to be reasonably easy … although, as you can see, I was a tad apprehensive (that’s me hanging back, arms akimbo, thinking about giving it a go). The bridge was wobbly but not as wobbly as some of the others that we crossed.

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Made it!

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This crossing was a question of balance and hanging on for dear life.

Then there were ladders that had to be climbed to get to the next level …

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There were cataracts to be crossed, wet and slippery and so damn exciting!

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The destination was an amazing cataract but I have to admit that by this stage my courage had deserted me so I waited on the other side while braver friends crossed over the final bridge and stood under the waterfall. I was, if I remember, shaking from the exertion and the adrenaline.

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Not forgetting that as we went up, so we had to come down again …

Later that evening we celebrated New Year and I danced until I fell down on the floor, totally exhausted. Someone took this photo of me and I’m grateful because how often do you get such a candid shot of yourself? And for those who thought I was dead and/or drunk – I wasn’t!

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And then most of us jumped into the pool and had a swim.

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Aberfoyle 1996/97

It took me days to come down from the high and I made a vow to myself that I would in future say “Yes” if these frightening adventures were offered. Life is too short (or too long?) to be sitting home and turning into a couch potato.

Unfortunately I have no way of crediting the photographers. My camera decided to stop working and never worked again, ever. I do thank you all for your photos and for my sister-in-law and my friend, Fenella, for passing on the photos to me. Twice. I lost the first lot and only found them again recently.

 

 

 

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Feeling the fear

Astrology, fortune telling and real life

Blogging is quite difficult. Short blogs seem better than longer ones but sometimes longer blogs are required.

Next week I will have been married to the same man for 53 years. In anyone’s book this is a long time. A life time. I could witter on for quite a long blog but I’m not going to. Here’s a photo of the bride and groom. So young, so callow …

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Years ago, in Australia, I went to a Chinese astrologer. This dear old man told me that, because in Chinese astrology I was a monkey and Roland was a tiger, there was no hope for our marriage. He then asked for our Western astrological signs – a bull and a scorpion. Even worse! He was flabbergasted when I told him how long we had been married. I think at that stage we had been married about 25 years. Oh well, you can’t be right every time.

In South Africa, a Greek lady once read my fortune in coffee grounds. She was quite accurate about my history – possibly because her daughter was a friend of mine. I can’t really remember what she had to say about my future and, in the event, it would all happen as it happened anyway.

Even further back I had a reading done by a strange man who was more concerned with how I pulled faces when I spoke (I do, I know I do). He was also concerned that I should pay him immediately. I remember nothing that he said but I do remember that he was pretty creepy.

There was one astrologer I visited annually, here in Western Australia. She would draw up my star charts and her readings were usually excellent. She would tape the reading and give me the tape. Her readings for the year ahead were quite specific and accurate. I was sorry when she stopped her work as an astrologer and went to uni to do a psych degree. I imagine she would have excelled as a clinical psychologist.

Many of the times I visited soothsayers, astrologists, fortune tellers and the like was when I was in a state of flux. When I was at the crossroads, so to speak. I can remember sending a friend a cartoon of myself standing at the crossroads with signs pointing north, south, east and west. This last weekend when I was at a mindfulness retreat I drew a picture of myself with many pathways leading who knows where. In my drawing I’m heading off the page following a magpie. You’d know it was me because of my purple top and dark sunnies.

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I’ve learned now that life keeps on whoever I consult. I make decisions which may be right and may be faulty but I do what I do.

Astrology, fortune telling and real life