Category Archives: Memory Lane

Thinking Back

My real diary

My real diary.

I’ve got a diary, a real diary. A square note book with a spine so that I can turn the page over 180 degrees, this enables me to write neatly and with ease – on the lined paper.

I love my real diary: it lives in my handbag and it travels with me where I go. On the lines are words. Words of things that come to mind, like a place I want to visit or a person I need to contact. Maybe some special gin I think of or a movie I should see; a café that I heard about and like to explore. And goals, I write down goals that I aim to achieve; I make a note of a word that I hear yet not recognise: things I need to google. I write it all down, within the lines with my special pen. Once in my real diary, all my thoughts are safely stored for a later date, when I open my diary to read what I wanted to remember.

During the year my diary, my real diary, becomes a kaleidoscope of words, thoughts and sentences, references and quotes I hear along the way.

The only entries my real diary doesn’t have are my appointments. My appointments go into my smartphone. I plan, arrange, invite and share my appointments on my iPhone. Once the time and day of the appointment have passed, the screen shows a grey reminder of the details before they eventually disappear.

But my real diary is an overview of spontaneous thoughts, book- and CD titles, names of people I meet, gift ideas for loved ones, anything that moves me is written down in this book: a collection of inspirations. Those entries stay in my diary so that at any given time, I can flick through the 52 and some pages.

The entries don’t get binned or deleted: each entry in my real diary is a reminder of what moved me on a particular day in a particular year. A bundle of thoughts, my thoughts that become memories, memories that over years I enjoy to read again and again.

And that is why I’ve got a real diary.

Time flies or Living your life to its full potential

Hotham River

  Boddington along the Hotham River

The other day we drove back from the Stirling Range where we had spent a few days with our friends. On the way back home to Perth, we came passed the Boddington sign, a 120 minutes drive South East of Perth along the Albany Highway. We turned off for a visit to this sheep farming- and gold mining town.

In November 1986 we were newly married and we moved from The Hague, the Netherlands into this sleepy Australian country town along the Hotham River. With open eyes and an open heart I threw myself into the country life, knowing full well that I had to earn my place in the tightly knit community. We enjoyed some very good years but in April 1989 we left Boddington to be relocated to another Australian town at the other side of the country.

Years later we moved back to the West and whenever we had the opportunity we would nip into Boddington, or visit the annual rodeo there. On those occasions we always drove passed our “old house”.

So last Friday we drove into Boddington and we stopped again at the house where we had lived the first three years of our marriage, the first three years of our Australian life. While we parked opposite, the current owner, whom we know well, arrived with her two grandchildren. It was a very warm welcome that she gave us and she invited us for a cup of tea. Hesitantly we walked inside and shyly we looked around. After a bit of encouragement, I relaxed and showed our friends around: this is were we lived and through there you will find the formal lounge. And over there, that glassy area, is the atrium where ekidnas kept us awake at night.

An hour later we left this beautiful house on the hill and we continued our trip back to Perth. My heart was full with memories and an feeling of panic overwhelmed my thoughts. Twenty nine years since we moved to Australia, twenty five years since we left Boddington – so long ago yet it felt like it only happened last week. Where had time gone? Unexpectedly that confrontational question crept up – what had I done the last twenty nine years?

I rested back in the car chair and I closed my eyes while hundreds of pictures went through my head like a slide show gone viral. I  wondered had I lived my life so far to its full potential?  With eyes still closed I concentrated on this question. After a while an easiness got hold of me, I relaxed and I opened my eyes. I looked out over the road ahead of me: silence, not another car insight; the blue skies above me and my soulmate next to me. I felt contentment – yes, I have a very good life and yes, I live my life to its full potential. How lucky am I?