I just realised as I started the month’s countdown to my 66th birthday November 17 that I’ve neglected this lifeline a bit as my life has become more interesting and less fraught with health and mobility issues. Yeah, I suffered a massive cardiac arrest in March and died but recovery now has been full and I’m actually better and healthier than I was before the incident.
Funny enough, Honolulu Airport must have a curse on it because in July, I broke my arm, bloodied myself and survived a bad fall all the way down an escalator. I had to have a cast on, but two weeks later as I was flying back into HNL from another island, I lost my passport on the plane, only to have it found two days later by the cleaning crew. Three times lucky I guess!
That incident added another $8K to my travel insurers on top of the half million I cost them in February, but much to the credit of Chubb Insurance, they offered me another annual policy, more than doubling the premium which I thought fair, so I can continue to travel globally and not limit myself to Australian destinations.
First trip I took was a return to Lord Howe Island, a Pacific paradise only two hours offshore but a time warp of old Australia. No cell phone coverage so no zombies walking around glued to their screens, subtropical with incredible diving, only 350 populace and a limit of 400 tourist which i didn’t encounter so early in the season. I managed to read 11 books and consume an equal number of bottles of great Pinot Noir which I had wisely had posted there in advance of my flight. Though the island is rich in seafood, especially the Kingfish, they don’t have great wine on tap.
That trip whet my appetite for more travel and I lucked into being invited to speak at the Maui Music Tech Experiment in Lahaina early December as a result of my SXSW duties so I decided to brave HNL Airport again on the way in and spend three weeks between Maui, The Big Island and Oahu before jetting back home after hitting the Christmas sales.
Next up is the annual trek to SXSW (cut short earlier this year) in March where I’ll long-line it to Dallas, then Austin for two weeks including a day trip to the surrounding BBQ Belt in various small towns with their hundred year old smoke pits.
From there into Cajun Country for another pilgrimage ending with the International Crawfish Étouffée Cookoff in Eunice and a cruise through the Boudin Trail. I’ll be listening to a weekend of Cajun music at places like the Liberty Theatre and Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, both of which are broadcast live. And no trip to Eunice is complete without the Saturday morning jam session at the Savoy Music Store.
From there, a week driving down the Pinot Noir Trail from Portland to San Fran and then back to Louisiana for a week and the French Quarter Festival.
Then back home to the House on The Hill in sunny Coffs Harbour where my life is filled with chilli peppers, a fascinating and loving parrot, the continuous challenge of listening to and ripping 500 pristine vinyl albums into the Celestial Jukebox on the computers as well as the morning exercise starting before first light for an hour as the sun cracks over the horizon.
Every day is a Blessing!