Hello Australia. It’s week 8 and I’m still here.

Since I’ve returned to Australia, it feels like I’ve stepped into a real-time game of Snakes and Ladder. In my game there are 365 squares; one for each day of the year. I have to move along all of them and when I get to the last one, my prize is a trip back to Bali. But along the way their are lots of hurdles to slow my progress or even to send me back a few spots. I stepped on two snakes in the last week. My age pension was denied because they decided I was still living in Bali. A trip to Centrelink and all was eventually worked out. Thankfully I didn’t slip back, or have to start all over again. Medicare was the second snake. They required more paperwork to prove I was really sitting there in front of them. Did they really think I was a hologram. All was sorted out and no squares lost. I’m still on track to return to Bali in 312 days or less.

Next week I’ll tell you about the ‘or less.’ These are the ladders that will allow me to get back to Bali faster.

The little news. The ‘get Steve healthy project’ continues. I’m still a non smoker, am walking up to an hour a day and through modified eating, I’ve now dropped 9kg. Best of all, I feel healthier and have heaps more energy.

The big news. I’m now officially a pensioner. On the 25th May, Centrelink paid my pension into my bank account. They back-paid me to the 12th April, when I first submitted my application on line. Yesterday, I was issued with a new Medicare Card. I can now begin being vaccinated and having health checks.

My main focus. All things to do with writing remain my main focus. I’ve written a few short stories and so far have submitted, ‘Moving on,” to the grieve project competition at https://hunterwriterscentre.org/grieve-project/

I’m polishing the other short stories and will submit them in the next week.

Wednesday trip to HOTA.

Each Wednesday, Mum has a cleaning service come to her home, so Janet and I make ourselves scarce. We choose a gallery or film to see. This week we chose HOTA. Home Of The Arts, opened a few weeks ago and it is amazing.

The building is five stories high and it has art displayed on four floors. I loved the selection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Rosella Namok’s work was represented. She was one of my students when I was the principal at Lockhart more than 20 years ago. Thancoupie was also represented with one of her magnificent ceramic pots. Of course there was a floor dedicated to Gold Coast art and artists and this took us on a bit of a sentimental journey.

It is a wonderful art space with restaurants, cafes and garden bars to tempt visitors. I’m sure we’ll be visiting a few times over the next year.

So that was my week. The best is yet to come. Stay tuned.

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6 thoughts on “Hello Australia. It’s week 8 and I’m still here.”

  1. Hi Steve, we love reading your stories here in Australia as much as we did when you were in Bali! Stay safe and enjoy your amazing journey.

  2. So glad to hear things are working out for you and love the posting of the actual game, Snakes and Ladders. Delightful!
    Also, HOTA is amazing. Such a splash of color. I feel as if, through this post, I am privileged to have been given a taste of your country.

  3. I love this! Thanks for posting and kudos for the great strides toward a healthier lifestyle. I’m glad you’re enjoying the gifts Australia has to offer while doing what you MUST do. Can’t wait to hear how sidestepping the system could work to your advantage. Is that a snake or a ladder???

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