I'll Meet You At Hachiko

Hachiko monument, Shibuyu

Hachiko monument, Shibuyu

When I went to Japan  I didn't expect to hear about the faithful dog, Hachiko. It was a story that brought tears to my eyes and I want to share that story with you today.

Hachiko, a homeless, Akita breed of dog, came into Professor Hidesaburo Ueno's life one day in 1924. Hachiko became his loyal companion. Every day Hachiko met his master at Shibuya station where the professor stepped from the train after his day's work at Tokyo University. In May, 1925 Professor Ueno died of a brain haemorrhage. Hachiko waited for his beloved master every day even though in the early days he had no food. People who got to know Hachiko knew of his master's fate and brought food for him. Hachiko continued to wait for his master until his death in March 1935.

A film titled, Hach: A Dog's Tale, was produced in 2009 to make this true story real to movie fans. The monument is a favourite place for people to meet when they arrive in Shibuya. The station is a busy place. The Hachiko memorial is an outstanding landmark that had me thinking about loyalty. Can we humans understand the loyalty of this dog to his master? What was the instant connection starting the relationship that kept Hachiko coming back to greet Hidesaburo every evening and even after his death?

I have a connection with a special friend that started way back in the early eighties when we met in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. She now lives in Melbourne and I live in Gold Coast. We are always there for each other when we need to talk. We have been through high and low times. We speak on the phone often and it is a deep connection that takes us to a deep level with each other. She is my confidante, my sounding board to try out new ideas and most of all she loves me for just the way I am warts and all. I know I will be loyal to my friend until the day I die.

I believe this is the connection Hachiko had with his master, although the level of loyalty Hachiko and his master shared may be on a level I will never understand. So when you and I are meeting up in Tokyo meet me at Hachiko in Shibuya.

I'd like to hear about the special relationship you have with your pet or friend. What is that special something that means so much to you?


Thank You Melbourne

I felt sad as we left Melbourne this week. I thought about the time we spent with family; time spent with friends from my husband's teenage years; and time spent with the new friends I made at my book signings.

Kooyong Bookstore - Blackburn Vic.

Kooyong Bookstore - Blackburn Vic.

A very special thank you to everyone who came to my book signings at Koorong Blackburn and Koorong Melbourne CBD, and a special thank you to radio Light FM 89.9 for interviewing me. You all made my day special.

You see, I spend a lot of time behind the keyboard, or scratching with pen on paper hoping to write a saleable novel, and often I'm plagued with doubts about my work. When I have the opportunity to showcase my work it's so humbling to know that someone is going to take the time to read it.

Everyone is short of time, so to come to my book signing made me feel really valued. A special thanks again to all who came.

From the city to the bush at Eagle Point: I just had to share what happened yesterday.

A family of swans came to visit us at our camp site. I'm not sure if this is mum or dad with the cygnets, but the other adult is chasing up a wayward young one while the others watch with interest....could we get away with a bit of adventure just like our brother?

Feeling safe and secure with Mum

Feeling safe and secure with Mum

Best wishes to you all for a blessed Easter with family and friends.

Goodbye Mornington Peninsula

Beach sheds Mornington Peninsula

Beach sheds Mornington Peninsula

Autumn has arrived on the Mornington Peninsula: the days are getting shorter and the temperatures lower. Bit cool down this neck of the woods for this Queenslander so I'm ready to move on, but I look forward to re-visiting in the future.

Next Monday we leave this interesting peninsula and move to the next stage of our journey which is a week in Melbourne before heading east.

I wanted to share this photo of the beach huts at Dromana. They reminded me of Enid Blyton's Famous Five series I read as a kid. When I read those books about secret tunnels and sheds by the beach my imagination was hooked. Do theyreally exist? Perhaps in England, but I hadn't thought about the sheds being in Australia, nor did I picture them being as colourful as those in the picture. Locals have told me the council recently required they be kept in good condition, hence the bright colours.

Now I'm curious to know what is stored inside of them. Perhaps a small row boat that can be lifted into the water; fishing tackle; beach umbrella/shade cover; or perhaps the owners use it for storage of all those surplus items they have no room for in their homes. During our stay here I kept my eyes peeled hoping I'd see someone accessing their shed, but no luck, so I'm left more curious than ever.

Another interesting thing was these sheds were advertised in a real estate magazine ranging from $50,000 up to $250,000. Puts a completely different meaning on 'men's shed' doesn't it?

In Melbourne

We've been away for a week and already we're meeting new people and enjoying the green countryside after the drought years the country has experienced.

Here is a photo of our home while we're on the road.

Our Home On Wheels

Our Home On Wheels

We spent the first night in a truck stop, a freebie which came with a bush toilet so that was okay, but all through the night the big trucks came in for some well-deserved rest, too. We met another traveller that night who camped with us. He was on his way to Coolangatta. A caring man who had provided foster care for at risk children for most of his life.

The second night we stayed in Forbes by the lake. Everything was going fine until a storm blew up and the water started rising again. A young man came up to us and said we should move out of the park because we could be flooded by morning. We wasted no time in packing up our caravan and heading for higher ground. Fortunately, the lake only rose a little, but it was better than having to move at two o'clock in the morning if the water had risen into the camping area.

Our third night we stayed in Denliquin in a caravan park which was luxury. Great to have a hot shower and some quiet time away from the trucks. We visited with friends and they showed us the highlights of Denilquin which was really interesting. Every October, the town hosts a Ute Muster which brings about three thousand visitors to the town. I can't quite imagine how this event might look, so perhaps we may need to time our next visit in Denilquin so that we can be part of the fun.

Our adventure hasn't been without a couple of problems. For some reason I don't understand, the battery in the van blew a cell and '"cooked" the battery, so we had to buy a new one; and the fridge heating element has decided it doesn't want to do the job anymore, so we have to tow the van to a caravan repairer tomorrow to have it fixed. The positive is that it happened in a major city where we can get help before we head out to somewhere more remote.

It's very cold and rainy in Melbourne. I'm glad we're staying with Frank's sister. She has ducted heating which is making our stay very pleasant.