Up above Brisbane
Summer time here in Australia, that is. Memories of cold and windy back home, this is nice and getting nicer. Spring is here with summer on the way.Before I left Brisbane Davy and Renee brought me here:
for a birthday party. Davy has performed here in the past. I was sad to depart from Brisbane, but here I go.
Could you imagine this sign in America?
SUNDAY, October 16,2011–I’m enjoying writing to you. Throughout the day I take notes to be used later in scripting this, can’t rely on memory. On the bus right now heading to Casino and then from there down to Sydney on the train. Leaving Brisbane now, I feel like my trip is over now–yet, just that portion, many new experiences coming. Last night I took an over-night train to Sydney. Flying would be twice the price, and with the train I could see some of the country. When I was with John Fox in Europe years ago we would be able to get a whole sitting room for our self over-night, then stretch out and sleep well. I was hoping that this train might provide the same, but it was packed with people. Not being very comfortable, I slept as I could. If I flew down I would not have many memories from it, but this train, I will hold memories, not all of them so good. Actually, I very much enjoyed, first, my four hour bus ride down to where to catch the train, then my 16 hour train ride down. The most interesting thing to see are the different people, some unique on this train. Everyone is so different, yet we mix together well.
During the bus ride down
At a hostel now to stay a few days, arrived about 8am. I had contacted them before I came and let them know that I could entertain and teach juggling and wondered if I could get the room for $10 a night, they agreed, so here I am living low-cost. Arriving on the train, I asked where the hostel was and walked here. Sydney is much bigger then Brisbane, and older, and not as clean. I must say, Brisbane is the nicest city I remember ever seeing. In both cities all the roads and parks are maintained at such a high level, yet, I have not seen one gardening person or cleaner. No trash, no graffiti, private yards and public parks are kept so nice. I think it is the mentality of the people to keep it clean and nice.Decided to be a tourist today and go see toursty things. The Opera House was calling, so I listened. While walking I saw a walking street, took that route, and so glad I did. First I saw and heard street musicians–they were quite good–gave them money. On I walked on this street with no cars. A clear sky overhead, a crowd around me, spring in the air. On I walked and what did I come upon–a juggler–Christobal Solto, from Chili, spoke no English. His control over one football was amazing (America stole the name “football”from Europe and had to call the game “soccer” there.) He also juggled 3 big balls. I showed him my book and he seemed impressed. Then I told him about Rudy Cardenas, who used to keep 2 footballs going in the air using only his shoulders, he seemed happy to hear that. As I wrote, he speaks no English, so I had to pantomime the moves. Next I came upon a musician who uses an assortment of instruments including a digery doo. The music he made was a feast for the ears. I never before heard a digery doo played so that it sounded good as an instrument. It is good for street performers here because they have $1 and $2 coins, so the “spare change” adds up.
The Opera House, but I did no singing
Finally arrive at the Opera House. People here often call it the “Oprah House” because the lady made an appearance there and they made a big deal out of it. It’s just like in pictures (I took a few), so no big deal. Many tourists walking around, me included. In Australia they know about beauty and using it in designing their cities. Such wonderful parks, great fountains, lovely lay-out of cities. Found a big beautiful park where I am writing you from while sitting on a bench. The white and pink blossoms are just now coming to life, a nice setting. Various bird sounds filling the air, as well as my tinnitus filling my ears, as well. The fresh smell of flowers and trees, comfortable.In the hostel and on the streets I am hearing languages from around the world–French here, German there, Korean and Danish in the room I am staying in. Also, often they have a dual sex bathroom. As you know, with stalls you never “see” anyone, so it is fine to share this room. I saw them in Europe as well. Americans would be too strange to allow this.Found a big beautiful park where I am writing to you while sitting on a bench. The white and pink flowers are blossoming. The smell of spring is in the air. Various bird-sounds filling the air (that constant sound from my tinnitus filling my mind, as well.) The sun is bright and cheerful overhead. People sitting or milling around–a splendid scene. What’s that I hear? A man’s cell phone is going off, the most unique “ring” I’ve heard, it said, “Answer the phone, answer the phone, come on, answer the phone” with a powerful OZ accent.For dinner I ate with three young guys who I taught to juggle. One could do balls, I taught him clubs, he loved it. One I taught with scarves, he moved on to balls quickly and was surprised at his skill. They fed me well. I’ve taught about 10 people to juggle so far, and am trying to inspire as I go. Trying to change people’s lives for the better. Slept well, usually wake before the sun shows his yellow face, this day I slept until after the sun had risen.
MONDAY–Walked many kilometers today. Saw on a map there is a china town, time for a visit. On the walk over there many more beautiful parks and big fountains. Before today I did not see that many oriental people, except for Japanese tourists. Upon entering the china town area, about all I saw was Chinese. Lunch was a chicken chow mein with crispy noodles, delicious it was. Seeing sites today and exploring Sydney. As you see, I have pictures.October 17, 2011
- Sorry I haven’t written you, I’ve been busy at the juggling convention.,Before the convention I spent a day here, helping and coaching:They have built an excellent school for circus and have many students.
Someone who works there, Earl Shatford, has told me repeatedly that my book, Juggling with Finesse, inspired and taught him much, and continues to (very nice to hear, of course.) Earl is an excellent juggler, he is here:
watch?v=WGHI8vfncs2cI am at the Melbourne Juggling Convention. http://mjc. juggling.net.au. I’ve been doing some workshops and went around helping various people with juggling. The convention runs until Monday and then my workshop takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m glad I brought books to sell, already sold 8. Because I have a limited number with me I raised the price from $19.95 to $30, people are still saying that’s a great price. I’ve attached a photo of a ball bouncer juggler who is one of the best I have seen. Also you will see a shot of the gym..‘The people I am staying with are all jugglers. They keep two chickens on back, fresh eggs from the chickens daily. The chickens do not make noise, we should be able to have where I live, but cannot legally, that’s not good.One strange thing is people drive on the left side of the road here. I have done my research and what was written was that the English are on the left side of the road because of the old days when people were jousting and fighting. They wanted to use there good hand, the right hand, for sword fighting. Then, when the Americans broke away from the English they wanted nothing to do with England so they started driving on the right side, bad reasoning I think.Right you again soon.You know who>>>>>>KitSeptember 24, 2011
In the airport now, about the only one in here. It’s so strange that they have me flying out of Palomar airport to LA. This is such a tiny airport, but they have free wi-fi. Thanks so much for the ride, Larry.My suitcase is stuffed full of books to sell. Very heavy, with effort I lifted it onto the scale, worried. And, of course, he came at me saying it was too heavy, it would cost me an additional $200–what was I going to do! But, get this, we took “one” book out and it passed, what a joy.Found out the flight from LA to Melbourne will be 18 hours, oh boy. I brought many things to read (no, besides all the juggling books I brought.) I have trouble sleeping on flights, last time I flew to Japan I was up all night. Hopefully I will get some shuteye.Here I am>>>>>>KitSeptember 20, 2011
- Loving my journey around the world. Memories of driving through Colorado and Arizona still are at the tip of my thoughts. Sleeping in my van out in the forests, how pleasant. Clear and bright, you could see for many miles. Out there all alone on a road in the mountains, out of any views of any civilization, evoking a sense of mystery and wonder as I imagined myself as the only human within miles of the area, a nice feeling. In fact, while on this trip I am keeping my eyes open for a new area to live. Tired of where I am living now near Philadelphia, and, I’ve done San Diego, so not here. I’ve heard good things about living in New Zealand, could I end up there? Right now what appeals to me are in the mountains or woods somewhere, away from people. Not that I don’t like to be with you, my mind just likes the away-ness that the mountains provide. I plan on living off the grid, with solar and a water collection system, totally self-contained.Yesterday was Mary Ellen’s birthday. I called to wish her a good birthday, we actually had a nice conversation. It was like the old days when we were good together. I must say, I was quite full of anger after she broke up the family. In fact, I said right to her face, “You’re evil.” In the last couple of years she did do and say some very mean things. It was just hard to believe that we broke up after 23 years of marriage, yet, I see how that can be. Most friends I have contacted and/or met with here have been married two or more times. Yet, the couple who lives two houses down from me where I grew up and I went to visit, has been married at least 50 years? so I know it can work. Yet, their two kids have been married two and three times.The other day, with my friend, Chris, we made salsa. I made enough to give out to friends of mine, I recieved rave reviews (now, someone tell me, what is a “rave”) Planning to make more tonight, should be fun. Seems that I developed a good thing with the salsa.Enjoying having meals out with friends. The other night I was out with two lovely ladies for Mexican food. We had a nice talk as we talked about old times. The last time I was living in San Diego they were my neighbors. Now one is living away from SD, just came down to see me, the other lives in the same place. I was surprised at myself, I was attracted to the blonde and was stroking her leg under the table. She took my hand and we held hands for a time. And, I have been feeling like I could not attract any women these days, I guess that’s not true, was a nice feeling to hold hands. Yes, there is hope for future romance.Yesterday for lunch my friend Tom invited me to ride bikes over to Ocean Beach to have a meal and talk. So, waiting out front with my bike, Tom shows up driving a tandem. I quickly put my bike away and jumped on the back seat and away we pedaled. The restaurant was over-looking the beach and we had a good view, how superb. The shrimp taco was the best I have ever had. Tom is a fireman in Coronado, he rides his bike 20 miles each way to get there, impressive. Tom thanked me for getting him into biking back when we were in high school. I used to race and I kept my bike in top shape by constantly cleaning it and working on it. Tom and I rode with another friend up to Pine Valley, quite a ride back then.As far as eating my delicious shrimp taco, we all do it, usually we just scarf down food and don’t really enjoy it. With the taco I ate slowly and enjoyed every bite, much. If you take the time to really enjoy your meal it will add to your life. Rather then just eat to eat, make it an enjoyable time, you must retrain your brain to think differently about food. In fact, I just finished my daily salad, savoring every bite. Some years back I started eating a salad daily at 4m, a good habit to get into (now, do they have salad in Australia–come on now, just kitting around) I started this habit about the time I gave up drinking any and all soda. My eating habits are changing more lately, getting away from meat, dairy and prepared foods. Kind of fun to live a new life with new eating.In the last few days I went to the elementary, Jr. High and High School that I attended. I promoted my school assembly program. That is something I would very much like to get back to, speaking and motivating people. I am trying to set up to go to those schools the first week after I return, I’ll let you know..I just read what I wrote, seems kind of rambling. I will write soon, perhaps from the plane while flying over the Pacific. Next time the words will be more precise and descriptive.I care about you>>>>KitSeptember 20, 2011
- Today I rode a bike to the place of my childhood, the place where I grew up, OB (Ocean Beach, San Diego, California.) Everything is different, everything has changed, as I have. Talk about change, I feel that on this trip I have been changing. I am seeing and feeling what is important to me. The freedom I have been experiencing is a good thing. I like being with other people, but even with other people we are often alone. We must be comfortable with that. I’ve wanted to keep people I have known over time in my life still, but am seeing that people move in and out of your life, more will come, more will go. Fear of the unknown, I have none. Fear of death, this fear is not a part of me. I’ve lived my life and have tried add to people’s lives, which I think I have, satisfied with that. When death comes, I am comfortable. Nice to live life without any fears.Getting back to my ride. I cruised down streets where I used to play, passing a recreation center where I used to practice juggling. Then I got to Newport Street, the main street where I grew up (I actually grew up at 4522 Newport Street, up in the residential section.) You will find Newport Street here:I remember riding my 7 foot unicycle up and down Newport Street, hard to imagine. In high school metal shop class I had built a 14 foot unicycle, if you can believe it, I even rode that down Newport Street, ducking under power lines. (hard for me to even imagine that.) I talked with some shop owners who remembered me and my unicycles.Although this is where I grew up, I am beyond OB now. Not sure where I will end up spending the next segment of my life. It’s certainly fun to explore where I might want to end up. A tiny home on wheels is going to be my next place to live, I just don’t know where I will place it. I plan to build it myself when I return from down-under (does that mean we are up-over?) Here is the tiny home, hope you are as intrigued as I am:Write you again soon>>>>>>>KitSeptember 17, 2011