Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Twenty years ago, old chum Andy used to present a radio programme, which would sometimes feature inserts that I had produced. It was entitled "The Late Show", so I guess when Andy was mere moments overdue picking me up from the airport on Tuesday, perhaps I should have baited him with some sort of clever pun on this title.

But, y'know, it had been 15 years since those days, so maybe it would take just a little catching up before we could start cracking jokes at each other's expense again.

Wrong. Within a mere quarter of an hour of seeing each other, Andy was enthusiastically showing me around the local radio station with which he was now associated, and we were bouncing off of each other's quips like we saw each other every day. Dropping in on friendly people so soon made me feel at home straight away.

Then we went for a meal. Then we dropped in on his relatives. Then we went to his house and I met his wife Ally and two sons. Then we headed out again to enjoy the delights of Coles supermarket. Scarcely an hour went by that we didn't travel somewhere new. This evening was turning out to be pleasantly packed.

Which, as it happened, was also how the next 45 lively hours in and around Port Macquarie would play out.

The following morning, Andy and his whole family drove me all around… no, hang on, why don't you come along with us?

Whew - what a day!

On the second and final morning, I had again been planning to catch the early Countrylink coach down to Sydney, but realised that my whirlwind trip along the east coast just wasn't proving to be about the place, but the people. Flying again might be more expensive, but I would really be paying the extra for another daytime with my friends, so Andy and Ally easily convinced me to stay on.

Andy and I also took ten minutes to redub the lines to a movie that we'd starting making in London 20 years ago. I'd compiled the guide-track in Auckland using Mr Hippy's cassette-radio, printed the script using flatmate Cathy's printer, borrowed a lead from flatmate Dave, bought an adaptor for it on the way to the airport, copied the audio file using Tim's computer in Brisbane, and finally this morning played the lines to Andy off of my phone, for him to repeat them more clearly as I re-recorded him. To be 10,000 miles and 15 years away from the original performance, but still united in our efforts to see its completion, felt somehow cool to me. Well, I like making these connections.

Anyway, it kicked off another rollercoaster of a day:

Until, finally, we rolled a little gloomily back into the airport again.

As we waited for the gate (door actually) to open, Andy and I went through a ton of photos of old friends and events. As we prepared to go our very separate ways once more, somehow the Australian sunshine outside looked a little harsher. Andy told me from where he, Ally and the kids would be waving when I took off, but alas in the event I couldn't see them. At least inside, I was waving back anyway.

I can't remember quite where it had happened, but the image that I took away in my mind of Andy was of him alternately pushing his two boys on the swings. I could see on his face that his concentration was focused on making each individual push as good as it could be.

It was a good impression to take away of Andy's life now, especially given that he and his family had done everything that they could to make my stay with them as good as it could be too.

Return To Oz episode #1
Return To Oz episode #2
Return To Oz episode #3
Return To Oz episode #5
Return To Oz episode #6
Return To Oz episode #7


2 comment(s):

At 11:07 am, Blogger Maurice Mitchell said...

Awesome pictures! Imagine being that close to a kangaroo. Thanks for sharing.

At 3:53 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Thank you Maurice for reading! :)


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