Are you one of those people who are trying to find connections between things that happen, meanings or rationale? I guess I am. It is bizarre really, taking into account that I am vehemently against ideas of predetermination which mean that I don't believe in luck, fate or doom. In fact, it really annoys Caroline, my long suffering wife, when things just seem to fall into place. As an example, last year during our driving holiday around the USA, we had a day in Yellowstone. The drive and walks were wonderful, and we came close to amazing wildlife such as buffalo and pronghorn deer. On our way out of Yellowstone, we saw a car stopped on the side of the road, and so we thought we'd slow to see if the passengers had found something interesting to look at. Near to the road was a beautiful stag elk, grazing. We were just about getting ready to pull off when his head shot up, and we sprang off. And the next thing we heard was the unmistakeable howling of a nearby pack of wolves. The sound charged the air, and the wonder of hearing the wolves was exacerbated by the elemental fear that the howling puts through you. Caroline thanks her lucky start for that moment, while I was glad to be in the right place at the right time.
I was so happy to hear from one of my very best friends from England a few days ago. When one emigrates, it is so easy to get on with the new life and leave the old one behind. I guess that I have been guilty of that throughout my life. I left school, and moved from home to university, keeping in touch with virtually no one from that time (now there is only one left, and I only talk to John infrequently). After leaving university I travelled (bummed about) a bit before finally settling in Coventry. I lost contact with my university friends, only to start regaining contact recently through social media. Now that I've moved on again, I seem to have left many of the friends behind who I spent time with in Coventry. It's not that I don't think about these people, and often my mind will draw back to a moment in the past when something happened and someone who I haven't seen for ages comes to mind. When my great friend Mick contacted me through Facebook, it was really good, and I was able to catch up with him about times we spent together, and the laughs we had. I'm sure there will be more laughs and reminiscences to come. In fact I've just remembered a weekend we spent away in the somewhat less than salubrious setting of Hartlepool. OMG, there are some memories that could be better left locked away :D
I learned today that Robin Williams has died at the sadly young age of 63. While I was never a huge fan of Robin Williams, there is one movie that will stay with me for a long time, and that was partly due to the movie, and partly because I love the novel. The World According to Garp is a moving film from an equally moving book. It is a story that deals with deep themes such as sexuality and the inevitability of death. I must make the effort to see the film and read the book again. In that case Robin William's death will have influenced me, as I'm sure it has affected millions of other people.
I currently have a mass of books sitting on the shelf waiting to be read. There's a combination of genre and a mix of authors who I've read before, and who are new to me. There are even some books waiting to be read again. I lent out a copy of Joanne Harris's "Blackberry Wine" to our best friends in Australia, Nick and Zoe, and when I got home, I felt like reading it again. Bizarre! But then again, I remember reading it and thinking, 'this is like nothing I've ever read before'! I mean, how many novels are narrated by a bottle of wine? I mean, using death to narrate "The Book Thief" was great, but no greater than Harris's vintage. I guess it was books such as Blackberry Wine and The World According to Garp that took me away from reading mystery, or fantasy fiction, not that I've stopped reading those genre. I now read anything and everything....except horror, I guess.
It's been cold recently in Melbourne, and this always makes me think about trips away on holiday for some reason. Of course, we're always content when the weather is good outside. But the weird thing is that I'm heading to the south island of new Zealand where it's likely to be colder than it is here. Never mind, there will be plenty to see and the breathtaking beauty of New Zealand should be enough to recharge the batteries. The plan is to see this winter through, experience New Zealand, and then start a mad fitness drive through the spring and into the summer. So it should be back to writing occasionally about running. It's important that I start a fitness regime, as diabetes runs through both sides of my family. Funnily enough, the first time I really took tor running was in my mid 30's, which coincided with about the time that I was first reading novels such as the World According to Garp, and Blackberry Wine.
See, it's all connected, or I think too much...