Flying. Travel by Magic.

I love flying. Every bit of it. Hearing the pilot say, ‘We are off to the south tracking via Wollongong, conditions in Melbourne are clear and 18 degrees’.

I love watching the workers on the tarmac that look suspiciously like the Doozers from Fraggle Rock.

If you don’t know what a Doozer is, I pity you. Watch this:

But the absolute best bit is the take off. Sitting there on the tarmac as the engine builds, then, with both feet firmly planted on the floor (this is important), the race forward, adrenaline rushing through your whole body and – you are in the air.

In the air people. Flying at a gozillian miles an hour – looking down on the world. A world that when you are in it can be busy and stressful and harsh. But from up there, it is always beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful.

When I’m down in the world, sometimes I look up at the planes in the sky and wonder: How do they stay up?

Well, the answer is – its magic. I know this for a fact, because when I was living in Oxford I had a few flying lessons. One of the incredible things I learnt was that once you are in the air, the plane pretty much flies itself. You don’t have to pedal or anything.

I remember thinking: Really? We just sit here and don’t fall out of the sky?

They then told me one of the most important things to learn was how to stall. Yes – stall the plane as in make the engine cut out – and then recover. I guess they thought the whole letting the plane fly itself thing wasn’t exciting enough.

Now – I am quite an expert in stalling. I do it in my Yaris at least once a day. Recovering at the lights while the person behind me is beeping I am well versed in. But recovering whilst floating mid-air in what is the aircraft equivalent of a Torana is another story. I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Chicken Run feels like how flying should be, us all peddling madly as we lurch into the air screaming at the top of our lungs.

But instead, we sit in our comfy chair, sipping our iced water, reading a book or watching a movie. We barely even notice the beauty passing outside the window. I usually take a while to get to my book. I can occupy myself for a good while watching the clouds.

The top of the clouds. You are above the clouds people.

Taken with my phone from my window seat. Yes it was in Flight Mode.

I’ve lost count how many airports I’ve been in, let alone flights I’ve taken. But still every time I go to the airport, every time I get on a plane, I love it.

How could you not? It’s magic.

Amazing Wild Gorilla Encounter

Ever wonder how animals see us? Are they curious about us? Watch this.

Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla (Non HD version)

It’s incredible isn’t it? I haven’t known anyone see this video and not be moved. It got me thinking – why is this so amazing to watch?

Maybe it touches the most primal part of us. The curious child that is in awe at finding out that there are all sorts of amazing things out there, beyond us. It is a mirror to our world, and a window into theirs – the gorilla’s world.

And with the window open, we are drawn in. We want to experience it, understand it, be a part of it. And amazingly, for a few brief moments – the man in this video is.

Some people think that all of the constant recording and photographing of the world today takes away some of the magic. We truly seem to live in a world where if there is no photo or picture taken, then nothing has happened.

This video reminds me that there is so much more to our world than we can ever imagine. So many things undocumented, so many subtleties and nuances we will never understand. And thank goodness for that.

Imagine a world where there was nothing left to learn, nothing left to explore?

Walking in the Rain

I have a confession to make. I quite like the rain.

This summer there have been a lot of rain whingers. And from time to time, I may have been one of them. But I think we can now all say that we are sick of hearing people say that they are sick of the rain. We get it. We are here too. Its raining – again.

This summer I have felt a bit like I’ve been living in the UK again. Its reminded me of those long stretches of grey, day after day. How the sky seemed to hang low, and it felt like someone had the sun constantly on dim.  I remember actually craving to have the sun on my skin. The absolute joy waking up one morning to sunlight, real sunshine – pouring right into the window onto me in my bed. I lay there trying literally to soak it up.

But that’s just the thing – it never really gets like that here. We rarely have a week without a really sunny day. Even during this rainy summer, the sun usually still comes out in between for a bit.

The thing is, Australians seem to think the world should be in eternal sunshine. Its a nice thought. When its sunny, its true that its easier to get out of bed, you feel like you want to get outside and ‘do something’. Glebe foreshore is full of people walking up and down, jogging and cycling when the sun it out.

But that’s just the thing. Sometimes its nice not to rush, for the world to feel quiet and gentle. When its raining outside, it somehow enfolds you, so that you feel just right curled up on the couch with a book.

Because I’m doing my 10,000 steps a day this week, I had to venture out in the rain today. I was almost on my own walking along the foreshore, apart from the odd walker like myself. It was so peaceful, the gentle sound of the rain on my umbrella cushioning the city noises, softening the day. The water was a beautiful silvery grey, calm with no boats rushing up and down. I didn’t have to dodge dogs, joggers, children on scooters or cyclists. I felt I had the world to myself just for a little while.

I like the rain. It gives us permission to do all those things we feel slightly guilty about on a sunny day. Watching old movies, re-reading Harry Potter, sipping hot chocolate or having a long hot bath.

So please excuse me. There is a couch and a book waiting, and its raining outside.

Embracing the Crazy

Life is crazy. Sometimes crazy annoying, sometimes crazy beautiful – sometimes just plain nuts.

Now more than ever I realise how pointless it is trying to find rhyme or reason in it all. All that we can really do, is sit back with our popcorn and and laugh and wonder.

Somehow in life’s craziness is also its beauty. It is the unpredictable, the unexpected, the stomach lurching nature of life that makes it what it is.

Here I hope to celebrate it all. Laugh with it, cry with it and just marvel at the wonder that unravels around us everyday.