November 30, 2010

places i shall go


There is a whole world out there. I love that there are different places and cultures and people and history and languages and food just waiting to be experienced. I am going to see it all one day and I cannot wait. Living in Tasmania often feels like I’m shoved down in the corner away from the rest of the world. But really, it’s not that bad. One of the three major things I want to do with my life is travel. I know that whenever I get the chance I’m going to go to overseas destinations and see it all for myself. Even if the chance does not arise on its own, I will make it happen.

An internet travel test has informed me that I have travelled to 3% of the world. For me, this is a rather depressing statistic, until I mentally slap myself and remember to be grateful that I have seen 3%. That’s more than a lot of sixteen year olds I know. Some people are happy living their lives in the same suburb they were born in. I have nothing against that. However, I don’t think I could ever be as complacent. I am a constant desirer of change and under that banner comes location. I want to see more than the one country, the one state, the one town. I want to see the world.

I have a map of the world on my wall in my bedroom, and I often find myself just staring at it, imagining all the places I will visit one day. I’ve been tempted to place red pins on the places where I want to go but that would cause the outlines of land and sea to be invisible beneath the field of red. If you asked me where in the world I most want to go, I would reply by saying “Everywhere!” For me, it is SO hard to choose, as I really just want to see it all. France, San Francisco, Brazil, India, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Africa are just a few.

Lately, after thinking more in depth about it, I have chosen three cities that I want to visit the most. This was quite difficult and I will probably change my mind by next week, but here they are! My first stop would be London. I have always wanted to travel to England and I reckon I always will. My parents got married and lived in London for about a year during the 1980’s and many of my cousins have also lived there. Hearing their stories have made me excitedly await the day when I will travel to the beautiful city which is full of interesting places and very cute accents. I can imagine myself living there (and marrying Charlie McDonnell) and loving every minute of it.

Next, I will go to Berlin. Last night as I was peculiarly enjoying my Society and History revision (yes, laugh at the nerd!) which was on the fall of the Berlin Wall. Just thinking about all that had taken place in the city, from a Hitler ruled holocaust to a communist governed East, made me appreciate how the city had suffered but managed to triumph. I want to see the last remnants of the Berlin Wall and lose myself in the deep history that the city of Berlin has overcome.

Lastly, I am going to New York. Quite the typical tourist destination, but I can’t wait to visit. I will listen to cute jazz bands in Greenwich Village and have a picnic in Central Park. I will eat hotdogs and madly race after yellow taxis while pushing my way through the crowds. I will visit Ground Zero and remember the lives that were lost. I will scope out famous New York publications and maybe even attempt to write for one. But most of all I will make New York my city.

I really cannot wait to travel. Maybe I should start saving now! My dream job is to write for a newspaper that requires me to travel to various overseas places to report on people, life, culture and history. Most of all, my dream is to see the world. I hope that dream comes true.

November 18, 2010

deathly hallows baby!

This morning when I woke up I was very disappointed. I had seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and it was absolutely crap. But then I woke up! And I was excited again! I have been not so patiently waiting for today for quite a while now, so come this morning it was easier to get out of bed than usual. Me and my best friend Sarah had planned to go together, so we purchased our tickets online last week for the (then) earliest session at our cinema, to make sure we didn't miss out. Both of us being huge lovers of the Harry Potter series we decided that we should take a step further than our normal viewing attire and buy costumes.

A trip to town yesterday saw us purchase some cheap plastic Harry-like glasses and scour toy stores for voice activated wands until we found what we really wanted. Junior Harry Potter costumes from Target, complete with a Gryffindor scarf, hat and robes, a pair of surprisingly realistic glasses and the best of all - a 'real' wand. After Sarah shouted "WHERE?!" at the shop assistant who told us about the costumes and I got over my hysterical laughing fit that had me on the floor, we forked over the $40 each which cleared both our bank accounts. The guy who served us didn't even give us a bag, so we had to brace the walk of shame down the escalator and through a busy aisle carrying Harry Potter costumes designed for five year olds. We ran into one of our school teachers and we blankly mumbled "Harry Potter" as I avoided eye contact because my tears had almost reached my chin.

We lost our courage when we arrived at the cinemas today, so we hastily shoved our robes in our bags and distracted ourselves by spending six bucks on Chico's and sour bricks. Apparently arriving 50 minutes early, wasn't early enough to be at the front of the queue, so we sat on the ground and gradually readorned our costumes as our excitement grew. Once we were in our seats, I shoved my feet on the seat in front to prevent anyone sitting there, and sat throughout the ridiculously long ads. At last, when the movie began with a shot of Rufus Scrimgeour's face, my heart was beating so quickly that I almost wanted to jump up and down in my seat.

The movie was brilliant. I loved every minute of it. There was far too much detail that was misused or wasn't even mentioned - but that's a Harry Potter movie for you. Sarah and I have read the books so many times that throughout the film we were groaning at the things that were wrong and celebrating the things that were correct. The details are often misused, the motorbike during the first chase (which Sarah participated in: hurriedly muttering spells under her breath) and Ron discovering who R.A.B was. And some were completely forgotten, like Voldemort attacking Harry at Godric's Hollow. This is my only criticism for the movie and the thing that frustrated me the most. But I got over it, frankly because it's Harry Potter.

I've heard a few people complain that the movie goes for 2 1/2 half hours and nothing happens. Well a lot happens actually, and it is basically the same as the book. Part 1 has obviously been used to lead in perfectly for Part 2 - so much so that we stayed til the very end of the credits, just hoping that it would continue onwards. The next movie will of course be better - especially if we hear Molly Weasley yell "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!" before she duels Bellatrix - so I am very keen for July. But for now, I am pleased with Part 1. I judge a movie to be good by wether I want to see it again as soon as it has finished, and oh boy, will I be seeing this again.

November 15, 2010

i've missed you grandad

Graham Hesp after being in hospital in Italy, 1944.
I met my Grandad for the first time last week. Well, at least that's how it feels. My Dad's dad died just over a year before I was born and I was the only grandchild he didn't meet. Evidently, I have always known about him, but often that was as far as it would go. The younger version of myself had no interest in 'some old dead man', him being my grandfather or not. I understood that he fought in the Second World War, went by his middle name, had a fond taste for music and loved my Nanna, but I had no personal connection. To me, he was long gone.

It saddens me that these were my impressions of Grandad. That even though he was a strong blood relative, I never took the time of day to discover more about the man he was. Well very recently, that has changed. I'm currently studying for a project that queries into what life was like for ANZAC soldiers during war. This reminded me that last time we visited New Zealand, Nanna gave my dad all of Grandad's old war letters. Grandad fought in Italy and Egypt during World War II, a part of Wellington's 22nd Battalion. He regularly wrote letters to his mother, a Mrs. E Hesp, who kept the letters which have become a great sentiment that the family treasures. The yellowed letters tell the tale of his trips with the chaps to the pyramids and waterside towns, his spurt in the general hospital with yellow jaundice and how much he misses his family.

Reading them was an emotional experience for me, as the stories of war are so powerful, but also because I was touching a page that connected me to the young man that once wrote on it. Grandad wrote beautifully and cleverly and included in the box of letters were two poems he wrote, one about how he was sorry for all the bad towards his mother and the other desiring after his discharge paper. I love to write and discovering that I may have inherited this somehow from my Grandad made me feel so proud and sad and joyful at the same time. Those words, written in the 1940's, have given me a connection to a man I never knew or cared about and have caused me to feel the complete opposite.

November 2, 2010

summer = ruined


Every summer me, my friends and family regularly go to the local dam. When I go with my family we swim, take the boat out to a secluded spot and take turns biscuiting on the boat with Dad. When I go with friends we stay in the water for hours lazing around and talking and we jump of the jetty. When I go with a bigger group of people we take the jet skis out while everyone else wades around in the shallows. Its fun and I love it. It's my favourite spot for summer and I can't imagine a summer without it. Until today, when news was uncovered that a dead body had been found. IN THE DAM. MY DAM.

Clearly, my reaction was not a positive one. I found out through Facebook, which is going crazy with dead people statuses (this and Mel dying on Packed to the Rafters) and at first it didn't really hit me. I was possibly in denial or just thought that the body must have been found far far away from where I ever swim. Well, have a look at the picture above: that is criminal investigators carrying the body bag up the jetty WHICH I REGULARLY JUMP OFF. Ew. The ironic thing is, today at lunchtime I was telling my friend that I far prefer going to the dam in summer, as opposed to another popular spot. News reports have stated that the body was found at almost the exact same time that I said that.

The corpse was discovered by a fisherman who saw something suspicious floating in the water. It was located about halfway between the dam wall and the boat ramp and was floating face down near the bank. Two officials collected the body at about 3pm this afternoon, travelling by inflatable dinghy. Having been identified as a man, it was believed to be there for approximately two to three weeks. The death has not been deemed suspicious but investigations are still taking place. An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow morning.

As sad as I am that my summer spot has been ruined, I keep reminding myself that the body is not just a body. A man has somehow lost his life, whether it be by drowning, murder or suicide we do not know. All I can do is hope and wait that it is something not too gory so that there may be a chance of me getting my spot back after all.