Walking for My Dad.

Walking for My Dad.

In Australia October is the month of Mental Health Awareness.

https://www.onefootforward.org.au/fundraisers/cassiewidayat/one-foot-forward

The Black Dog Institute the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health. Has organised a fund-raiser which simply involves walking.

I am partaking in the fund-raiser as Mental health is something very close to my heart.

My Mum had Bi-Polar and my Dad sadly passed away due to his illness in December 2018.

I miss him each and every day.

I long for our coffee catch ups, the ever so competetive games of Scrabble and Uno.

I’m forever grateful for my Dad getting me into classic rock. They are the soundtruck to my everyday life.

He taught me to skateboard, ride a bike and how to kick a soccer ball.

My beloved Dad will be walking by my side as I reach my goal of walking 60km for Metal Health Awareness Month.

Love you forever and always Dad.

Thank you for everything.

Love,

Cassie

Melbourne’s Ghost…..

Melbourne’s Ghost…..

I live in Melbourne, Victoria and I think I speak for the whole of Victoria.

From late 2019 till the current times of 2020 these times have been extremely hard for us all.

2020 ‘welcomed’ us with quite literally fire and brimstone. Smoke canvassed our skies for months.

Worry and concern plagued us for the safety of our firies. Our rural Victorians, their accompanying wildlife and our livestock.

Instead of morning alarms, for months we rang in the morning with Vic Emergency updates from our fire chiefs and our Premier.

Contact to outer Victoria was scarce.

Towns affected by the fires, their phone lines and electricity was gone for weeks.

Instead of friendly phone notifications from our friends and family, our phones pinged and dinged with the messages that another fire was out of control.

As time burned on. Acres got lost. Damage increasing 10fold.

Our hope was fading as clouds of smoke covered our horizons both literally and figuratively.

Once the fires were finally extinguished. Just before Autumn I may add.We continued to hold charity events, benefits anything that could send money to the townships and wildlife destroyed by this devastation.

Melbourne, Victoria as a whole was begining to gain our spirits back.

Joy started to fill our lives again. The air was clear. Our rural nature, the essence and beauty of what makes Victoria Victoria was finally recovering.

Remember….

We are descendants of Bush Rangers. We are strong. We can get through anything. We will be triumph through our struggles…..

Well…..

so we thought….

Mid March came along and along with it came covid.

With just over a months rest. We Victorians and along side us our Premier had to pull our bootstraps up once again.

Instead of alarms, Victoria welcomed the days ahead with death total. Case totals. A variety of different numbers and so fourth from the Premier.

Hope was deminishing once again. We had already been through so much in such little time.

We couldn’t see family, friends. Meet under ‘The Clocks’ do the things that make Melbourne. Melbourne. We were now the shell of once being the No.1 most liveable City in the world. Seven years running.

Most of us stuck to the rules. Staying in. Not seeing anyone outside our household.

Numbers started greatly decreasing.

Some restrictions were lifted.

Five people could visit one household.

Then 10 people could visit a household.

We were getting though this.

Remember….

We are descendants of Bush Rangers. We are strong. We can get through anything. We will be triumph through our struggles. We got this.

Or so we thought….

A month or so had passed.

Stage 3 was shorted lived. Numbers weren’t moving.

Then the numbers and stats were ambushing us.

Stage 4 was quickly put in place.

Yet again the days were ‘welcomed’ by numbers and stats.

All Melbourne checking their phones for the notification ping of ‘The Premier is now live.’

When the Premier would finish discussing the latest updates and changes to Victoria as a whole.

Some Jurnos asked questions that would actually help Victoria feel reassured and informed. Other Jurnos on the other hand would repeat and recite questions on a political stance. To stir the waters in the political atmosphere. Not helping the current situation at all.

A witch hunt towards Melbourne began….

So many people and Media all over Australia were also repeating and reciting negativity towards Melbourne and Victoria as a whole.

Our spirits had already been crushed , damaged and pierced since the end of 2019.

To have most of Australia against us. Causing more grief and anxiety to us Victorians. Wasn’t helping the current situation either.

Why turn on your own family?

I ask.

We are one. We are many.

But now it seems more like Most of Australia is one…and Melbourne, Victoria is not. Anymore.

Melbourne, Victoria. We had been through the ringer so many time in such a short period of time. Spirits crushed.

I will admit some people screwed up. Others did not.

Please think of us….

Fires prevented us from seeing our loved ones for months. Then Lock down continues to prevent us from seeing Family, Friends and ‘Meeting Under the Clocks’.

Each days that goes on in Lock down. We are alone. We are even more alone when most of Australia hates us.

As the ghost of Melbourne essences vapours on through the empty streets and cobbled stone lane-ways…..

We can only hope that things will get better.

Remember…..

Melbourne’s. We will come out stronger than before.

We are descendants of Bush Rangers. We are strong. We can get through anything. We will be triumph through our struggles. We got this.

Coffee in hand we will march through this. Together. As Melbournians.

The Roads Less Traveled. To Gitgit We Go.

The Roads Less Traveled. To Gitgit We Go.

Bali’s humidity encompassed our bodies as we shuffled into the rental car. Alternative retro CDs were haphazardly placed in the glove box. A choose your own adventure soundtrack for our drive ahead.

Our car boated its way though the ocean of traffic bustling throughout the main roads. Cars honked loudly whilst scooters whelped to be heard.

To drown out the chorus of everyday Bali, I lucky dipped a CD out of the glove box. To my comforting surprise, I had selected a CD of ethereal Aboriginal Music. Oh how those songs reminded me of home.

I turned up the music, the symphony of chaos drowned out.

I looked to my Husband. We shared a secret smile, of being Newlyweds. Excited for the adventures we will encounter on our honeymoon. Anticipating the wondrous site we will soon see at Gitgit Waterfall.

The car juggled along, as mainstream Bali slowly transformed into acres and acres of freshly watered rice paddy fields. Waves of pe-tan-ie hats glimmered in the sunlight.

Slowly but surely we were getting closer to Gitgit.

The digital clock on the dash, flick, flick, flickered as the Kilometres rolled, rolled over.

I looked out the window, taking in all I could see.

Scooters, were fewer and further in between.

I turned to look to the horizon.

Villagers all in white started clustering together.

Offerings of fruit and flowers were carried upon women’s head. Elegantly and effortlessly they were following a pa-tu-lan-gan (bed like structure) held high, adorn with native flowers.

Silently I paid my my respects as we passed the procession.

As we journeyed on, we took a quick break.

My Husband thoughtful as he is brought sun-dried banana chips from a village vendor. The crisp banana chips melted in the mouth.

We sat upon the rocks and took in the vast landscape around us.

We were nearing Gitgit Waterfall.

The GPS droned on and on, telling us to go this way and that.

It took us a way, we least expected.

A mud road. With only two narrow concrete panels embedded in the ground. Indicating to us, to be precise as you drive along. If you turn the wheels ever-so slightly you’re surely to get bogged.

My heart galloped as my nerves were tested.

This road will surely test me. I thought to myself.

My husband recited words of comfort to me as we slowly drove along this questionable ‘road’.

I clinched my eyes shut. In hope it would bring comfort.

My hands were pressing against my lap. To which they would leave a hand-print on my leg for weeks to come.

We had finally met better roads.

A sigh of relief.

It was short lived as we got closer and closer to Gitgit the road was becoming ever-so winy and narrow as we drove down the mountain.

I looked out my window again.

The second I did.

I deeply regretted it.

All I saw was a great big drop along the mountain side.

Hands pressed against my lap once again. I clinched my eyes shut.

My Husband gave me a gentle nudge.

‘Look we are finally here. Here at Gitgit Waterfall’ he said with smile.

Relieved that we were no longer driving, I rushed out of the car.

We found a tour guide. Well more like he found us.

We started our stroll towards Gitgit.

Our tour guide pointed out trees of cocoa beans hidden between the walls of Mother Nature.

When we got closer and closer to the waterfall, vendors sat in their shops, pointing out all their intriguing items and clothing.

A whisper of flowing, rushing water slowly got louder and louder.

Gitgit was singing her welcome, to all that visit her.