Having just returned from my third work trip to Melbourne in just over a month, I have spent today catching up with housework and writing; while reflecting on the events of the last few days.
On the trip over, my mind was busy with one of my re-occurring thought-circles: what am I doing with my life, am I on the right track? My mood was not improved by the taxing taxi ride from the airport and a delay in checking in to my room.
However, my self-absorbed belly-gazing was quickly dropped after spending a couple of days with a network of dedicated people who are achieving positive outcomes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce sector.
Aside from the work goals set for this week’s trip, I had a simple wish: to experience Melbourne through the eyes of a local. My past visits to this city of shopping, food and coffee have generally been solo, which is a whole different experience. I am not a material-girl, and dining out doesn’t thrill me (coffee I like), so it is little wonder that so far what I have see of Melbourne hasn’t impressed me. Not one to easily give up, I was determined to see a different Melbourne this time.
With the work day over, I ventured out with some colleagues, including three who had at some time in their lives been Melbourne-ites. Driving through the suburbs in a mini-bus, I had footy sites pointed out to me and listened to some tales of past glory (not my thing, but for many Australians footy is sacred). After a nice meal at I Love Dumplings on Bridge Street Richmond, the group split.
Up for adventure, I willing accepted an offer to go on an impromptu history tour; so into the city three of us went. The stories I heard as we stood at the bottom of the Melbourne Library steps were both fascinating and sad; and due to their significance, I will share them in a separate post.
The tour over, we set off for some late night window-shopping; after all, we were in Melbourne. And, surprisingly, I didn’t mind this at all. Making our way to Elizabeth Street, we were soon peering in the windows at some very nice merchandise: Harley Davidson, Triumph, Ducati, BMW and more.
A girl can dream; why should boys have all the fun?
Anyway, the time is approaching that I will once again know that sense of freedom that only a motorbike can grant. In another era, with an active toddler at my feet, I gave up bikes and brought my first car. To soften the blow, I promised myself that I would get back in the saddle on my birthday – in 25 years. And how those years have flown, as that time arrives in exactly ten months from now.
So, back to those windows. Realising how soon The Day was away, this evening of window shopping became less ‘what-if’ and more ‘when’. A reality-check was also needed; for after such a long break I knew that I would need to start slowly (and safely), and find a bike that would suit who I am now. Still, I can ogle the big-boy bikes, even if I know they have too much grunt and weight for me to handle.
It was when we got to the Victory window that I stopped in my tracks: under bright lights, spinning around in the middle of the room was this custom Jackpot. The above picture really doesn’t do this machine justice. Given a make-over by the well-known Ness father and son chop-experts, and with a V-Twin 1731cc motor, this was a sight worth fogging the window for. Alas, this was also a beast that I would never be able to manage.
Returning to my early self-questioning, the ‘what am I doing with my life’/’am I on the right track’: I will probably always ask myself these types of questions, which isn’t a bad thing. However, I need to sometimes remind myself that I am travelling ok, at least for now.
And that I do have some achievable goals set; some practical and a few of a more adventurous type. Like becoming an Indie Author in 2013. And returning to riding the open road (though no longer ‘with the wind in my hair’, as with age comes a greater respect for mortality). The publishing goal requires me to find whatever time I can, then focus and write like crazy. With the bike goal, I have ten months to save some money, and decide what to buy.
If you have been following my travelogue ‘Rooms with a View’, you may be wondering where the next post will be coming from. I would expect it to take an interesting turn away my recent urban-focused posts, as I will be traveling to the very heart of Australia, into the desert.