Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hell on Rails

My day began so perfectly.

I experienced a delicious night of sleep in a very comfortable bed. The weather was just right, with the window open and the ceiling fan on low.

Upon waking, I was able to spend 20 minutes in bed, enjoying the solitude and easing myself into the day. I showered, dressed and repacked my suitcase so that I was ready to leave at a moment's notice.

I walked out of the bedroom to find Rebel Mardi sitting in the kitchen, so I greeted her with a happy good morning and she offered to make me a delicious 'real' coffee. She made my coffee with lots of love and it was quite delicious!

The Lifesaver shared with me, his junk mail ... oh how I miss junk mail!! All of those lovely catalogues with all of those lovely sales!

Rebel Mardi and I spent a leisurely hour or so sitting on the deck talking, talking, talking and talking (we are pretty good at that).

Eventually, we packed all of my gear into the car and headed of for a morning of adventure.

The Lifesaver took me to a shop that he was certain I would love. He was right!! I could easily have spent a couple of hours wandering around that huge warehouse sized gift store and thanks to his generous offer of looking after a big item that I wanted to buy, and bringing it to me on their next visit, I bought a gorgeous big 'abundance' buddha which is now sitting in a box in the boot of their car!

From there, we drove to my favourite organic marketplace, Kunara, where we all enjoyed an early lunch and more talking. Before we left, I bought 3 delicious sweets to take on the train. I got a raw mars bar, a beetroot chocolate cake and a key lime tart.

Rebel Mardi and The Lifesaver were kind enough to not only drive me to the train station, but wait with me until the train arrived. They made me feel very special!

A big thank you for making me feel so welcome in your home and for being so generous with your time. Even though we only had 24 hours together, it was quality time and I really enjoyed myself.

Thank goodness I had such a wonderful start to my day.

I climbed onto the train and had nowhere to store my suitcase. The luggage compartment was overflowing with backpacks, suitcases, folding prams, walkers (for the elderly) and other assorted travelling paraphernalia. The two of us who boarded the train, had to leave our luggage in the walkway.

I walked to the end of the carriage where my seat was located, to discover that it was already taken. There were seats spare, but the people who were sitting there had only gone to the food kiosk which was located about 4 carriages away.

I decided to walk into the next carriage and discovered that there were only 6 people in that one, so I sat in a seat there and made myself comfortable ... for about 10 minutes ... until the conductor came along and said "This carriage will be filled to the brim at the next stop. I'm sorry madam, but you will have to return to your carriage."

So I told him of my dilemma and pleaded with him to NOT send me back to that carriage. He apologised, stating that they were unusually busy today and that all of the carriages were very full. He took me back to my carriage and sat me in a spare seat beside an older lady, who I discovered later, was also going to Howard.

I sat down and was surrounded by young people. There were eight of them in one group, plus a grandmother to one of the babies.

Young people drinking rum and coke from cans.

Young people who smelled of alcohol, cigarettes and sweat (body odour).

Young people who were talking loudly and using language that even made ME blush!

Young people who had young babies - one about 4 weeks old and another about 6 months old.

Young people who were either stalking people in Facebook who they didn't like, or were watching offensive videos in Youtube.

Young people who were bragging about their friends (or 'bros') who drive on the highway at 180kph while texting, or who spin out on roundabouts five times in a row, or who turn off their headlights while speeding down mountain roads to scare their passengers, or intentionally 'drift' on the road in competition with their mates.

Young people who were complaining loudly about Centrelink and their payments, and how they were breached for not attending interviews.

One young man (who I guessed to be 16 or 17, but was buying alcohol, so must have been at least 18) said to his 16yr old girlfriend (with the 4 week old baby) "I'm just going to buy one more rum and coke and then I'll give you the keycard so that you can buy stuff for Bub okay babe?"

She asked him to buy her a rum and coke too and he replied with "No babe! There is only $16 left."

On the trip between Nambour and Cooroy, which takes less than 30 minutes, he drank 4 cans of rum and coke. Who knows how many he'd had before I boarded?

The 16 yr old girl then began talking to her baby. Oh the language and the threats that came out of that mouth. It made me feel nauseous.

Meanwhile, at the front of my carriage, there was another young girl. She looked to be about 18 yrs old. She was sitting on the very front seat with twin babies, a boy and a girl, about 3 months old and she had her top off and was breast feeding them (which is not a problem for me) and she also had two other children. A girl of 4 and a boy 2.5yrs.

The boy was out of control. If he wasn't climbing all over his seat or other passengers, he was running up and down the carriage or he was having a tantrum, for no particular reason that I could tell. This poor girl was doing her best in very difficult circumstances, but didn't appear to be stressed at all!

There were two other men sitting together, one of them with particularly evil looking eyes (in my opinion) and he was playing what appeared to be 'mind control' games with the other. He was chanting in a low voice and clicking his fingers in his friend's face and telling him to repeat certain words and feel certain emotions.

It was at this moment, I had an epiphany! I was feeling so stressed and so uncomfortable in this environment .. and knowing that I was going to be on the train for 4 hours, I couldn't bear the thought of sitting in that seat and listening to this for another moment.

I remembered that these old diesel trains have a club car!!

I gathered up my gear and began walking. It's quite a hike to walk the length of 4 carriages!

Then I saw it.

It was as if the heavens opened and these beautiful rays of light shone down to reveal that beautiful club car with those comfortable booths and the sound of peace and quiet. You know the sound of angels singing? I heard those angels.

Just as I opened the door, a lady stood up and left, leaving just one booth available ... for me.

Oh the relief.

I sat down and opened my little box of sweets from Kunara, then opened my iPad and found Netflix, which automatically opened to 'Grace and Frankie'.

I sat back and breathed a sigh of contentment.

For the remaining 3 hours, I giggled my way through three episodes of Grace and Frankie, shared my booth with an older couple for about 20 minutes and eventually found my way back to my seat for the last 20 minutes of the journey.

That's when I had a conversation with the lady sitting in the seat beside me.

I was SO happy to reach Howard and see Adoring Husband waiting on the platform for me.

I was SO happy to finally get home.

Today, in Australia, it is Vegan Chickie's birthday, but in USA where she is, it's not yet her birthday. So ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY VEGAN CHICKIE! I hope this is your best birthday ever! Big hugs and love from your mother in the Southern Hemisphere!

I think I need to sleep now.

Nite all.    


❦❧Judi❦❧ said...

We binge watched Grace and Frankie on Netflix and laughed so much. The next series starts on Netflix today I believe. We are also halfway through Suits. You gotta love Netflix!

Age said...

I love Grace and Frankie! Have watched the first two series twice now and can't wait to watch the third series! I would sit up all night tonight if I didn't have to be up early for my art class tomorrow lol. Netflix is the best :)