Thursday, 12 September 2019

Jacaranda Chapter 2

Distracting himself, he looked at his clock and thought it was almost time to call. He usually rang reception to be put through to her. He couldn’t time it exactly, so she’d be free to talk, often, though she was.

As he called, the familiar ‘beep, beep’ left him anticipating the connection he was about to make.

“Hello, welcome to Mary Hares, you’re speaking with Raven, how can I help?”

“Hello, could I please speak with Rose-Bud?”

“Won’t be a moment, I will see if she can take your call.”

He waited expectantly as the elevator music sprung to life as he was put on hold.

And then he heard, “Hello, Rose speaking.”

Breathless, Jac, replied, “Hello Rose, …. Jac…,” he trailed off.

Delighted Rose said, “Jac, it’s lovely to hear from you. How can I help?”

“Err,” he said, “Would I be able to top up my account?”

“Mmm, let’s see,” said Rose.

She went through the mandatory checks and then said, “Ok, yes, you can put up to $10,000 into it.”

He paused and then added, “Thanks Rose, your help is always appreciated.” Wanting to continue the conversation, he said, “How are things in Rotono?”

“Good, thanks for asking, Jacaranda.”

He laughed when she said his full name.

 “You know what, you’ve spoken to me so many times now, call me Jac.”

Laughing Rose, said “Yes, Jac it is. Jacaranda’s are beautiful though.” 

“Yes, I grew up surrounded by Jacarandas and moved north to the coast during my service.”

He went on, “Mum loves Jacarandas and she named me after them. I did get a bit of ribbing for it – but you know, he said wryly, you always take hits for Mum.”

“How funny,” laughed Rose, “It seems Mums have a thing for blossoms. My name’s Rose-Bud and I go by Rose.”

They both laughed at their similarities before Rose realised her talk-time was blowing out, “nice chatting.”

As they rang off, Jac focused on his photos.

Rose finished her shift and raced to her car.

It didn’t matter where she was, the light never disappointed as she glanced up at the pink hues amongst the wispy clouds.

Keen to get home to work on her canvas she sped through traffic. She’d been out in the reserve and snapped a kookaburra resting on a snow gum which she was painting.

Her thoughts switched to Jacaranda, or Jac as he liked to be called. She enjoyed the calls and was flattered he asked for her and since she noticed the time he called was roughly at the same time, she worked it so she’d be free to take the calls.

Smiling, she couldn’t help but think of the similarities they shared from their names to where they lived – even though she didn’t live on the coast, she did spend a good deal of her life there, especially since her parents had retired there and more so now after the break-up with Will.

She was relieved in many ways Will had initiated it. She’d been thinking about breaking up with him for years, especially after he got in with a druggy crowd and spent his days smoking bongs. It got worse when he brought his mates around and they encouraged her to share a joint with them. She didn’t want to, but Will encouraged her. Then when he came home one day and delivered the news, she was mildly relieved. She thought he’d realised he could handle it as she suspected he was seeing someone, for months prior to making the announcement. It still, though, had been a difficult time for her being with him for eight years and she spent a lot of time out running in the reserve and spent time by the ocean – the rejuvenating effects gave her courage to move forward.

When she arrived home, she changed into casual clothes and went for a jog in the reserve to get rid of the stiffness she’d acquired since starting in the job. When she returned, she chopped up vegetables, steamed them and boiled noodles. Squirting sweet chilli sauce over the meal she ate it quickly to be ready to paint.

As she delicately applied feathery strokes filling out the kookaburra’s beak, her thoughts turned to Will and their dreams of a life together. She took the break-up harder than she had anticipated and she realised how dependant she’d become on him. 

One morning, though, she recalled about one year after the split, she awoke and accepted that she was alone. It was then she applied and got the job at Mary Hares.

Sighing, she put down her paint brush and looked outside across to the distant mountains…....

The next day at work, it was business as usual for Rose. As the afternoon approached, a call came through from reception.

“Hello, Rose, are you right to take a call? It’s from Jacaranda Holdsworth?”

“Sure,” said Rose.

With that Raven transferred the call and it wasn’t long before Rose heard Jac’s familiar voice.

“Hello,” she said.

“Rose, thanks so much for taking the call.”

“You’re welcome,” said Rose. “How can I help?”

There was silence as Rose waited for Jac to speak.

“…. Rose,…I …. I’m after a balance….”

He trailed off, making up a question as he only called to…. hear her voice.

He continued, “I’m looking to buy property and a balance on the account will help…”

“Wow,” said Rose, “that’s exciting. Let’s run these checks first.”

As she did, Rose said she’d never visited that part of the world where Jac lived. Instead, she said that a lot of her time had been spent on the coast a two-hour drive from Rotono.

She went on to say, her mother had planted two jacaranda trees at Bagola, and they had grown to be massive shade trees, and it was now, early summer that they displayed their brilliant purple-blue blooms and she was travelling down there tomorrow for the weekend.

She repeated, “It’s Bagola,” Jac, Vincent St – first street back from the turnoff.”

Jac roughly calculated the distance by car and reckoned if he set off at 6.30 am tomorrow morning he’d be there by late-afternoon.

“I’ll send that balance off to you now and in no time, we’ll be buying you that new property.”

Clearing his throat, Jac replied, “I better go Rose, just realised I need to fill the car up – as it turns out I’ve got a lot of driving to do tomorrow……...” 

Go Back - Chapter 1 Jacaranda

Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay - Jacarandas

Image by Lauren Kelly from Pixabay - Kookaburra

Sunday, 11 August 2019


Jac eased himself out of his chair to walk the short distance to the kitchen where he filled the jug with water ready to have his 6th cup of tea for the day.

Waiting for the jug to boil, he thought how good things were. It had taken him quite a while to get to this point, but now he had hit his sweet spot, he embraced it.

He’d been able to turn two hobbies into income streams, one as a rafting guide taking groups down the mighty Rallye River and the other, snapping shots for publishing houses where he’d get royalties each time his photos were used.

Thinking back to his early years, he never thought about what he’d do when he left school. His parents kept him on to matriculate but there was never any mention of University. Instead, when the armed forces arrived, it seemed natural for him to sign up.

He served 20 years and did three deployments. In 1991, he went to Northern Iraq during the aftermath of the Gulf War, working with soldiers from other nations to provide a safe environment for Kurd refugees to return to their homes and supplied humanitarian aid. Then there was, Rwanda, 1994 – cleaning up the country after the genocide.

To aid his own healing, Jac recently returned to see both the people and economy doing well, and he was proud of the clean-up. In 2004 he provided humanitarian relief for tsunami victims.

Army life was not without its challenges but the comraderie he shared with others meant there was understanding without judgement, particularly when it mattered. Little did he know how much this would come into play until the day of his toughest assignment, learning about the break-up with Raylene while in Rwanda.

They’d pledged their love for one another before he left and exchanged rings. Raylene thought it better to wait until he returned before getting married. They spoke of kids and building lives together.

Optimism about his future prepared him for the challenges he faced. When he arrived, he was an army driver, but instead was given the job of scrubbing out rooms in the morgue to get them fit for purpose after being left filthy from the war.

The work was difficult knowing atrocities had been committed there. To stay upbeat, he snapped locals in the streets and in their homes – and was always amazed how people made the best of what they had. He came to realise, hope was universal. There was also Raylene. She was the reason he got up every day.

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time, he’d had a gruelling day and it was his 28th birthday. Returning to camp, he was ecstatic to discover he had mail. Looking at the postage from home, he anticipated birthday wishes. Excitedly he opened it. To his dismay, though, it was not birthday wishes that greeted him but instead a stark message, ‘it’s over for you and Raylene.’ There was no explanation, no talk, just the blunt message.

Astounded by the news, it took him a few moments for it to sink in. When it did, he could only cry. His colleagues concerned, asked him if he was alright. He waved the letter their way and reading it they rallied around seeking to support him the best way they could. As the night wore on, they got him some sleeping aids and helped him back to the barracks where he barely moved due to the heavy sedation.

The following morning, despite knowing it was over, Jac had to speak with Raylene. Officers gave him permission to put a call through. When he finally spoke with her, she confirmed she had met someone else. Someone, she said, who she could love as much as she’d loved him.

Speechless, he dropped the phone and heard the line click before it dropped out. It was the last time they would ever speak.

Suppressing his pain, he threw himself into work and his actions were noticed by superiors. He moved up - leading troops, but it was his improvisation when it mattered that impressed them the most. The years of rafting and camping out on the mighty Rallye weaved resourcefulness into his psyche. Everyday challenges were easily overcome on his watch.

He’d found the army validating as it gave credence to his ability as a leader and showcased his talents. He gained, though, the most satisfaction from the work his regiment did out in the field and he developed great commitment to them with safety uppermost always in his mind.

After 20 years, however, he felt he’d gotten as much as he could out of his career. Hankering for civilian life, he hung up his army fatigues. He was 39 years old.

After resigning, came the arduous task of it – the whole Raylene thing and the aftermath of the experiences on deployment. He’d already moved north from his hometown during his service, preferring the coast but also wanting to forget…her. He did though make trips back to his hometown during his service and was relieved to learn she’d moved to another state so he wouldn’t run into her. He took rafting groups down the mighty Rallye River and attributed his recovery to his work which took him out into nature – therapy it seemed, was right on his door step.

Still, he felt there was something missing.

He hadn’t actively looked for love again…... It wasn’t that he didn’t want to….it was more that he feared…. vulnerability.

Read More - Jacaranda - Chapter 2 

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash - mountain
Photo by Fabien Maurin on Unsplash - army

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Shadow Of The Day (Official Video) - Linkin Park

I close both locks below the window
I close both blinds and turn away
Sometimes solutions aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way, oh
And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you
In cards and flowers on your window
Your friends all plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way, oh
And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you

Photo by from Pexels

Songwriters: Brad Delson / Chester Charles Bennington / Dave Farrell / Joseph Hahn / Mike Shinoda / Robert G. Bourdon
Shadow of the Day lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

Saturday, 6 October 2018

YOUTH GROUP: Forever Young

Let's dance in style, let's dance for a while
Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies
Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?
Let us die young or let us live forever
We don't have the power, but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music's for the sad man
Can you imagine when this race is won?
Turn our golden the faces into the sun
Praising our leaders, we're getting in tune
The music's played by the, the madman
Forever young
I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, and ever
Forever young
I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young
Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later they all will be gone
Why don't they stay young?
It's so hard to get old without a cause
I don't want to perish like a fading horse
Youth's like diamonds in the sun,
And diamonds are forever
So many adventures given up today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
Oh let it come true
Forever young
I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
Forever, and ever?
Forever young
I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
Forever, and ever?
Forever young
I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
Forever young
Songwriters: Bernhard Lloyd / Frank Martens / Marian Gold
Forever Young lyrics © Budde Music Publishing GmbH

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Lyrics

"Learning To Fly"

Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well the good ol' days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn


Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I've started out for God knows where
I guess I'll know when I get there

I'm learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down