I love Charlie Pride, Slim Dusty and Dolly. The smell of rain coming in from the bush is my favourite smell and it wells up so many amazing memories. I prefer a heavily wooded river to the ocean and driving down a dirt track not knowing where it will take me. Sleeping in the open with a blanket of stars. I am still a country boy at heart. I grew up in the West Australian goldfields, living in Kambalda and schooling in Kalgoorlie. We were surrounded by extended family and had the most amazing childhood. At the time Kambalda was a mining town owned by Western Mining and the company looked after the population with all the amenities of a small city. You could play pretty much any sport and we had a well resourced schools and facilities. It was very much a family town. My brothers and I spent countless days camping, shooting, hunting and playing in the bush with our Dad (Mum used this time to iron and watch movies in peace and quiet). We were never really bored and could always find something to do. Especially with numerous cousins and friends around and the freedom to roam far and wide. I really am attached to those memories, especially the time spent in the bush.
What was hard was being different in a way that I could not share. An old story now told by so many others as to be somewhat cliche and I am not going to elaborate because I do not feel that I can add to this. What I will share is that I was actually jealous of my brothers and many friends who got to continue living in the goldfields. I knew that if I was going to become who I was, I had to leave and the city was the most likely place that I was going to find what I needed. So I always new that I would go to Uni as a means of escaping. I have also never shared that I would have loved to have taken on a trade, in particular carpentry, but I was not strong enough to stay and hide. I could never work underground though. I do suffer from claustrophobia and the few times that I did venture underground cured me of any thoughts of a underground career. Don't get me wrong, I did want to go to Uni and could not wait for the life that it afforded me. I just felt wronged that I could not have that life at home and I have never regretted the path I trod. But deep down the country boy still rears his head regularly. Vince has asked me on numerous occasions if I would like to move to the country and I often think about it. I know that I would really be happy in the country. I love what the city has to offer and really enjoy the creature comforts so close at hand. If I am honest though I have to admit that the reason I say no is that there is still that scared boy inside me afraid of rejection, bullying and the unknown. The city is still safe. At least in my mind. Things are changing and I know there are towns out there that pride themselves on tolerance and diversity. The fear I hold may be unfounded but I grew up amongst blokes and I know that their fears are just as real as mine and some of them still fear what they don't understand. The indirect homophobia also leaves deep scars.
Vince and I attended our friend Gemma's baby shower today and had a really enjoyable afternoon. There was a lot of old colleagues from ICU there and it was great to catch up. Again everyone was so supportive and positive about our new family as well. We were asked a couple of times why we were not having a baby shower. We said that we are going to have a get together when we got home with Patti and Poppy. Truth is we have not had time to organise one and not sure if it is kosher to organise your own. We both agree that we would rather have the family and friends get together when the babies are here. Gemma and her husband Bill are also country folk and we have been camping with them in the past. I think today's event triggered the theme of this entry tonight. Especially because I really hope we get to have many more camping trips in the future. The best thing is that these guys are not glampers. They like to camp in the true meaning of camping. Gemma is due around the same time as us so the kids will be the same age. Gemma and I are also planning regular coffee meetings and play dates!!! A highlight of the day was talking to my friend Amy about breast feeding. Her little 6 month old boy will not drink from a bottle and so she has all of this frozen expressed milk. Amy offered it to us and I was very overwhelmed and touched because I knew she was serious. So we will have to see what we can organise.
Well today we reached 28 weeks. From all the Dr Google reading this means that we are now in the home stretch and everyday from now means a much greater chance of a successful pregnancy.