To Travel is to Live (And Warm Beer)

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”

I was reminded of this eloquent quote from Hans Christian Andersen as Mrs Landy, Janet-Planet, and I took an early morning stroll in the picturesque village of Dittisham, situated on the River Dart in Devon, England.

Yes, I hear the chorus ring out…

“There is no red dust or never ending blue skies in the South of England Baz”…

Crikey, I can live with that, for a week or two, but seriously, warm beer?

Mind you, after a couple of pints down at the Ferry Boat Inn, okay Janet, three, I didn’t realise we were counting, one can almost get used to it…

“To travel is to live”.

Photos: Baz – The Landy

Shop till you Drop (Gold Medal Result)

Janet and TomO
Janet and TomO

The jet-setters, Janet and TomO arrived back home from London this morning and for sure it is about time we got something to smile about into our lives once again.

And you’ll be pleased to know that Janet stood at the top of the podium…

You remember – the big event.  The dash to spend cash down The Stand, suitcases under one arm, credit card in the other, you know, shop till you drop.

Okay for sure, I did say give it your best shot Janet, you deserve a great win.

But let me tell you – she’s won the gold, hell, a world record…

And I know the little rooster, TomO, would have been cheering her on, but just how did she manage so much, in such a fast time?

Strewth, I’ve had to take a Bex and I’m now heading to the couch for a lie down after lugging all those suitcases from the baggage carousel to the car.

Um, welcome home, darling…and TomO,

And by the way, where’s my present, I did get one didn’t I?


Strewth, talk about Jet-setters (They’re diddling off)

Scarborough - Redcliffe Penninsular
Scarborough – Redcliffe Penninsular


Today marks the first day of TomO’s mid year break from school, and let me say it seems like only yesterday the school term had begun.

Crikey, why wasn’t school like that when I was a young whipper snipper?

Hell, hang-on I’m still a young whipper snipper, at heart…

Janet and TomO aren’t ones to waste a moment of living, so today they will jet-set out of Sydney, accompanying Janet’s mother, Clare, on a visit to her sister who lives in the wonderful Devon area in the south of England.

For those who visit regularly you may recall that Janet’s father, Archie, passed away about a month ago after a long and wonderful life and not too far short of his 100th year.

Archie - Have Pith Helmet, will travel
Archie – Have Pith Helmet, will travel

Archie always had a passion for travel and seemingly with all the travel TomO has done over the past twelve months it is becoming quite obvious there is only a “sheet of tissue paper” between Poppa Archie and grandson TomO!

It’ll only be a matter of time before TomO will turn up in a Pith Helmet, for sure!

Of course, as many will recall we had all planned to be in Nepal later this year for my climbing expedition, but as I am still recovering from my recent Achilles tendon operation we’ve put those plans aside for the moment.

After all the mountains aren’t going anywhere!

Usually, we travel as a family to experience this wonderful world together…

Always together - Always smiling (Well mostly!)
Always together – Always smiling (Well mostly!)

But now is the time for both of us to spend time with our families.  Janet in support of her mother Clare, and me with my family.

It would almost seem a cruel twist of fate, but having just lost a great mate in Janet’s father, Archie, my father, Brian, has been admitted to palliative care in his hometown on the Redcliffe Peninsular, suffering from an illness that will take him from us shortly.

Brian and Fay - 50th Wedding Anniversary
Brian and Fay – 50th Wedding Anniversary

Mind you, he is a man of great faith and he is showing tremendous courage at this time. I said at the time of Archie’s passing that it was hard to be sad when we have so much to be happy about, to have shared our lives with them.

Life, you never know what it is going to dish out to you, but one thing for sure is all you can ever do is live the best way you can…and only one moment at a time.

Life, Death, and Grief (We’ll miss you, mate)

archieon lakecaribou007

During these past few days following the passing of Janet’s father, I have been pondering on the cycle of life, death, and grief…

Surrounded by his loving family, Archie peacefully slipped away from us last week, while Clare, his partner of almost 60 years, held his hand, tenderly…

There was a feeling of deep sorrow and sadness as Arch let go of his final breath, tears were quietly shed as we sat silently in the dimmed light.

But there was also much to be thankful for.

Marys Birthday_0046

Archie was in his 99th year and he never experienced any major health problems during his lifetime. His love of life alone would have been enough to see him through many more years, but his aging body had simply become too frail to stave off what would normally be a minor illness for most…

We were lucky to have been able share his charm, wit, wisdom…his warmth, for so long.

In the predawn darkness following his passing my thoughts drifted to memories of times I had shared with Arch.

The early childhood stories that Janet and her brothers and sisters have shared many times. Of the travel to wonderfully exotic places that Clare has spoke excitedly of at every opportunity, and with whom she had shared with the love of her life, Archie, Archie Fawthrop…

A smile eased the tension in my face.


I thought about Archie’s life that began with his birth in Burma, of growing up in India, and boarding school in England, of his time as a Captain in the British Army during the war years. Of a sea voyage he took with his young daughter, Mary, to the country that claimed him as one of its own, Australia, and of the family that Clare and Archie so beautifully raised at Garden Grove


Archie welcomed me into his family with open arms and over the years I have valued his advice, his friendship, the stories he has told me…the laughs we have shared together.

The mere mention of his name will surely bring a grin to your face, and we’ve all got an Archie story, for there are many. And as the years pass they will be recounted like it was only yesterday that we were all together sharing the moment.

But on life, death, and grief…

Yes, we will all pass one day, but for me grief suggests I have lost something;  that something has been taken away from me.

But quite to the contrary.

Archie has given me much to be thankful for, beautiful memories, his wonderful daughter, Janet, with whom I am lucky enough to share my life, and our son TomO, who has more than just a shade of Archie in him, an overabundance of that wonderful “boyish-Archie-cheekiness”.

Currawinya National Park, Outback Australia

And as first light was beginning to pierce the eastern horizon and the warmth from those first rays of light filled my body, I swear I heard him whisper his most famous line, the one that always brings an infectious smile to your face, the line that sums him up perfectly.

“You don’t know how lucky you are”…

Take care Arch, we’ll miss you, mate…