“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” Hunter Thompson
Phil on the balcony with his carved Tiki head for his eventual ashes to be tossed into Kilauea Crater Hawaii
August 2022 and I have revived my blog like a year long stopped heart brought back to life. In a way it was the roughest year of my life but in more ways, it was a challenge and tested my judgement, strengths, emotions, fortitude, health–both physical and mental, as well as turning my life around in so many positive ways. I’m halfway through my 71st year, just closed up my almost 40 year corporation, IMMEDIA P/L, am now three years over my 17 year SXSW representation and just back from a healing three week holiday in Broome WA. I’m off Facebook and all other social media, ditched my 30 year old mobile phone number but retained my email address @philtripp.com
It’s been a cold, rainy Winter but Spring is in the air now and the chillis are starting to bud with the flocks of birds returning to feed off my native plantings on my acres. About a hundred honey eaters are zipping around the prolific grevilleas and bottlebrushes, a family of eight King Parrots have returned to challenge the chattering mob of about a hundred Rainbow Lorikeets who cluster around the feeding trays.
The Yellow Tailed Black cockatoos are cracking macadamia nuts off the large tree in front of my balcony and the signs are that my family of five goannas–ranging in length of three metres for the 20 year old momma to the youngsters at a metre apiece–have stirred with the warm afternoons and are already demanding their feeds of fresh chicken eggs.
Such beautiful creatures, they are not bothered by me snapping pics from close up. This youngster has to bat his legs around the dish but a month later is able to grab it whole and gulp it down in just three motions. I can tell them apart by their markings and am alerted to them by video camera notifications that they are crawling up the stairs to the bowl so I can go out and greet as well as watch the meal. No fear.
Roos and wallabies pad down the drive at dawn in the mist with my beloved little bandicoots hopping around looking like rats crossed with rabbits. This rock wallaby has a little joey hunkered down in her pouch who pokes its head out to snaffle some grass when she bends over to feed herself.
The pythons are starting to crawl among the grapevines and I’m waiting for the mother carpet python to come out of her attic home and shed her five metre frame of its grey skin.
Across the pastel dawns hundreds of bats cascade over the house down from their roosts in the trees and pass through the occasional rainbow. There are thousands in a community down the hill from me and at dusk, clouds of them a hundred deep start fling up the hill about a hundred metres out from the balcony to feed in the forest behind me all night. Unfortunately, they also gobble ripe papayas which I’m lucky to have in abundance, planted by a former tenant for harvest at balcony level
Every dawn is different and a revelation as the pastel hues change before the sun peeks over the ocean in the distance. Here a fine mist coats town as lights flicker off and Coffs awakens. I’m usually up at 4:30 with my natural body clock the adjusts to the season. This is at about 5:30 am presently with sun peeking over the blue sea at 6:00. It reminds me each day how lucky I am to be above the lawn for dawn.
This whopper of a ‘bow stretched over the town from my balcony which life revolves around. A variety of playlists from among 350 on Spotify and nearly 500 on Amazon Music blasts from the four Bose outdoor speakers and two amps to fill my days with music. This morning started with the full concert of “The Brothers Live at Madison Square Gardens March 10, 2020” (look it up) which is a near 3 hour joyride of former Allman Brothers alumni Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes duking it out on guitar, Jaimo and Duane Trucks on drums, Reese Wayans on keyboards and B3 organ, Chuck Leavell guesting on piano and vocals, Mark Quinones on percussion and Oteil Burbridge on bass.
Live streaming at
https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1p44y177WU/?uid=425631703434793137375755 starting at 1:30 with music and
2 DVD Set and Four CDS via Amazon streaming on Spotify.
An early morning panorama from the balcony where entertainment abounds.
And a front view of the house with balcony at the right
And for a final chuckle, I just got out of a private hospital following a day surgery minor procedure and I can relate that a number of fellow old folk patients reacted to my mask and sneakers Day of the Dead combo through a haze of anaesthesia thinking I was coming to get them!