Pom Gone Walkabout
Still very much a young boy at heart. He’s a product of the 1960’s, born of English parentage in the midlands town of Loughborough.
Forever young in mind, spirit and adventure, Dean is horribly trapped inside the rapidly aging body of a middle aged adult. Greying hair, a spreading midriff and frustrated with the world, he is forever searching for that elusive something. Dean has a yearning for the past and is never quite satisfied with his lot in life. Luckily he has always kept his sense of humour about him.
A midlife crisis? No not really it’s always been this way. “Dean! You are never satisfied, I really don’t know what is to become of you” His mam often told him. Even after all these years it still rings true in his ears and the words are etched forever, deep within his brain.
When Dean left school, he was unsure of what he wanted to do with his life.
An apprenticeship became a trade, a girlfriend became a wife, and a steady income found them a house and a mortgage. Banks love a steady income don’t they? The years went by, birthdays came and went. Dean grew weary of his mundane life and likened himself to a hamster in a cage, stuck on a treadmill. Never ever quite satisfied, Dean was still searching for that elusive something.
One day whilst reading a copy of “Boys Own Adventure” Dean started to smile, “Workers wanted" Australia the lucky country, cricket champions, A land of opportunity, she’ll be right attitude and a fair go for all” the advert proclaimed.
“Champions of cricket, my arse!” Dean muttered in disgust. True 1989 had indeed been a pretty bad summer for English cricket fans, but cogs began to whirr in his brain; thoughts and ideas were set in motion.
One Saturday morning Dean cycled into town and purchased a book from WH Smiths. “The Adventurers guide to Australia”. Not long after Dean had finished reading the book, immigration forms were carefully filled in and posted. It was only a short matter of time before his house was sold.
Months went by until one day, a large blue lorry with “Pickford’s” written down the side pulled up outside his house, the neighbours curtains twitched in unison, Dean whistled happily. Many mugs of tea and biscuits later, all of his belongings were packed.
A few weeks later and the big day had finally arrived, it was time to say goodbye. A few teary farewells were made at the airport, and then a big silver bird with a kangaroo on its tail sped down the runway taking Dean and his wife off to a new life in a land downunder. Dean worried that he might not like vegemite on his toast, or if at all.
A new home in Sydney, a career in television, an opportunity to work with the stars, life was good; Dean thought that he was happy.
One evening as Dean made his way home from work, he noticed that a very large dark cloud had formed over the harbour bridge, “something’s brewing” he thought. It was, and a divorce just like lightning came like a bolt from out of the blue. Dean was all alone in a strange land.
A few years passed, but all was not lost. One Friday evening whilst down at the pub Dean made friends with a group of English nurses. One in particular caught his eye; she made him laugh again and as it happened shared his love of travel, freedom and adventure. Life was good again.
The English nurse and Dean settled down together in a nice little flat, not far from the city and near the sea. She even let him have a Land Rover and Dean was very happy. The Land Rover took them all over the country, and to places that other 4WD’s could only ever dream of going to.
One day the English nurse said “Shall we just pack up and go” Dean’s eyes lit up; for they had both realised long ago that life in the city was too noisy and hectic. The long unsocial hours at work and people always seemed to be in a hurry. “Where’s it to be then?” asked the English nurse.
The answer was easy for they had both often dreamt of moving to a quieter place, a place that their Land Rover had taken them many times, the Great Australian outback, the final frontier?
A few months later, with a job secured it was goodbye cable TV, farewell private patients. The Land Rover was packed, fuelled and ready to go, another day, another adventure.
Their huge grins got bigger by the mile and soon the city had been left far behind. The English nurse was very excited too “Hey we could get a dog, I’ve always wanted a dog” she said. “A Labrador!” she added sounding even more excited.
Dean along with the English nurse and Banjo the yellow Lab now live 600km from the nearest city, 275km from the nearest set of traffic lights and a million miles from care.
A place in the outback, scorching heat and flies in summer, long cold winter nights, lovely deep blue sky, and red dirt that runs through your veins.
Dean really believes that he has finally found that elusive something…. For the time being, that is!
A Pom Gone Walkabout, that’s our Dean!
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