Month: December 2011

The wireless and its crackle

I’m quite proud of the fact that none of the gifts I was blessed to receive this Christmas could be classified as an iFad of “must have” 2.0 gadgetry. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Instead, I received many happy reminders of how lovely it is to take pleasure in the simple things.

First there’s the cackling wireless, or radio, I received, complete with manual tuner and valves that need a few minutes to warm up before they’ll speak the gospel of AM radio. Yes, only AM radio. Even better, the number of stations available to you varies greatly depending on whether you use your body as a human conductor for the aerial.

There’s something so totally enjoyable about having a wireless humming away in the background bringing news from far off places. What makes it better still is the satisfaction of going fishing in the sound waves for the blue marlin of AM radio – the BBC World Service. I haven’t found it yet, but I remain ever hopeful that it’s out there.

Complementing my cackling wireless is the stationery I received to write hand-written notes to friends and family. The beautiful set of notecards offer just enough space to let someone special know you’re thinking about them; a sentiment we seem to discard far too casually these days.

Personally, I think there’s nothing sweeter than receiving a letter in the mail from someone you love who took the time to put pen to paper, just because. It’s something I’m going to take great pleasure in doing as I’m listening to my wireless.

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The fidget and her food

Sunset over AustraliaI sat next to a very fidgety lady on the plane home from Perth recently. She had that impatient air about her that left me convinced she’d climb out on the wing and flap her arms if she thought it would help us reach our destination sooner.

As someone who loves travelling and, more specifically, air travel, I found her behaviour just a little odd. But there was one thing she did that I found odd for all the wrong reasons.

Not long after take-off my neighbour was lucky enough to have a special meal delivered straight to her seat. As an avid fan of in-flight dining, I looked on in frustration, and envy, at her bounty. Particularly as the food trolly delivering my meal was quite a way off.

In the 10 minutes that passed between her meal being delivered by VIP courier and mine arriving battered and bruised by snail mail, she did not touch her meal once. She didn’t so much as lift the lid on her meal for a sneak peek. It was the only time during the flight that she sat patiently watching the world fly past our window.

It wasn’t until after my meal was delivered and I’d started devouring it like a cave man that I realised what she was up to. She’d been considerately waiting for me to receive my meal before even contemplating touching hers.

Manners like that are few and far between these days. I found it so refreshing that when her elbow slowly started staking a claim on our shared armrest a little while later, I was more than happy to surrender.

The journey and the destination

There’s a well-worn path between Sydney and Orange that my car could probably drive blindfolded. And dotted along the familiar escape route from the city are hundreds of landmarks that regularly cajole me to stop chasing the destination and instead enjoy the journey.

Last weekend I did just that. My partner in adventure, Matt and I interrupted our return journey to Sydney and took time to survey the wide expanse of the Blue Mountains from the Pierces Pass lookout on the Bells Line of Road.

It took us just 20 minutes to reach the lookout, but it felt like we’d walked to the edge of world. The contrast from the bitumen track we’d left only a kilometre behind us was magical. Everywhere you looked, nature was happily enjoying its own company and creating moments of beauty just for fun with a simple shift of the sun, or a whispering breeze. 

In the distance we could still hear the odd car hurtling toward its destination, but in front of us lay a big ol’ view that could take days to drink in. It only took a second to realise how much time we’d wasted in getting from A to B.