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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry (Day 166)

Do your plans always go according to what you think they will or do they often go awry? We don't make many plans and when we do, oh dear!

Some days, things just don’t go to plan – and that’s if there is a plan. We did plan to go for a free walking tour this morning, but something happened to the clocks in the house. Suddenly an hour had disappeared. I am sure that the clocks weren’t supposed to spring forward here. It’s autumn! Looking at google maps, unless the train went faster than the speed of sound, we weren’t going to make the walk. Hey Ho! As Robert Burns poem to a mouse says – “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.

Via Facebook, I’d discovered that the lovely Jeanine who I met in Doha a few years back (on one of Sue’s workshops) had just got back to Melbourne. She travels to her hometown here and Doha where she runs Empower World with her business partner and also lovely lady Marie. We originally arranged to meet this afternoon after our tour, so I thought I’d get in touch to see if we could bring our best-made plans forward. Luckily and very kindly juggling a few things around, we finally met Jeanine and her husband Rich. Hurrah! They live in Burnley, near to my old haunt Richmond. Rich recommended a pub called The Grand Richmond for lunch. The guy who served us was great fun, he made out that he wasn’t too sure if he could fit us in – the place was empty!

We had a delightful chat sharing places we’d all been too. It sounds as if Jeanine and Rich have similar taste to us as they love Sri Lanka. We also chatted about how we can keep travelling, based on our income matching our expenditure. We are so conditioned in society that our income comes from a salary or work, yet there are many other ways of getting regular income. Yes, I am still coaching a bit, but we also get income from the sale of my book each month, from renting our little pad in Bristol to our son and his 2 friends plus income from investments. I did get £75 from my premium bonds this month – Yippee! We are pretty frugal and that’s how we can balance it out and keep going until we no longer want to. Rich seemed very interested in the whole travel idea but mentioned that they are restricted because of their two cats – we then shared about Trusted Housesitters – they could have people caring for their cats and their property while they are travelling. However Jeanine is passionate about her work, so perhaps the time is not right yet.

As well as Doha, Jeanine runs coaching workshops in New Zealand with a friend of hers Rachel with Mauri women, who are mainly entrepreneurs and want to give back to their own society, which sadly has many problems with unemployment, drugs and alcohol abuse. We then compared the issues in NZ to that of Australia. Rich shared that often the Aborigines cannot vocalise what they want from the government. When I thought about it, if we compared the size of Australia to Europe, it’s about the same size. Would we expect Spanish/Scottish/Russians to have the same culture and ideas? No, they have their own way of living, however, in Australia, we put the Aborigines in one culture, despite there being many different tribes with a variety of philosophies. Nations who arrive into other people’s lands have a lot to answer for. Captain Cook landed in Botany Bay on 29 April 1770 – so less than 250 years. Aborigines have been in Australia for 40 to 60 thousand years…quite a bit longer.

Reading the Australian Human Rights Commission, the indigenous people of Australia are definitely having a tough time. Life expectancy is approx. 10 years less than non-indigenous Australians, unemployment is over double in % terms, 20% of women experience physical violence compared to 7% of non-Indigenous women and imprisonment rate is 15 times higher than non-Indigenous adults. I realise that this is a complex issue, I don’t have an answer. Let’s hope we can undo this mess a lot quicker than the 250 years that has created it.

We needed to pop into Melbourne to pick up our Japanese Train cards. I know it’s not for another 3 weeks that we go to Japan, but we will be travelling quite a bit in that time, so, as my dear ol’ Dad used to say “Get it done now”.

Just as we were going to the station we heard a car hoot. Unlike in India the use of the horn here in Australia is rare. A cyclist was riding across a junction with a car right up his backside hooting. Let’s just say that the cyclist was livid. He stopped riding and turned around, swearing at the driver. “It’s my right of way. It’s my right of way” he kept yelling. The driver parked up and then started yelling back. We find it so sad that people cannot see that it’s not the other person making them angry, it is how they are perceiving the situation through their own thinking. On the train back we could hear a telephone conversation with a Mum and her daughter. Again, quite a lot of swearing from the Mum. Again people getting caught up in their thoughts. They are not present, enjoying being in the moment, they are missing out so much from life. I know, I used to be the same, and still do occasionally get embroiled in the illusion that people, the weather, the news affects my emotions. They so don’t.

Back home for our last evening here. Tim took Murphy out for a walk. They popped down and walked by the Creek which was looking exceptionally lovely in the autumn sun. Meanwhile, I was cleaning so that place is looking nice for the owners when they return. We’re all packed up now as we have a fun packed day….looking forward to it! Mmm…let’s hope that what we’ve organised tomorrow goes according to plan. Does it ever?

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