May 2020 – Reflection on Life and Death

May 2020 – Reflection on Life and Death

Posted on Jun 20, 2020

Hello all, a bit of a sober title in celebration of moving into our beautiful space.

I grew up in Tasmania. My parents were young “ Ten Pound Poms” who left the UK to start a new life in Australia.

My dad started teaching physics at Devonport High School and I started at the local primary as a pale, bespectacled, heavily accented red head. I was 8 and had told all my friends back in Cornwall that I would be back by the time I was 10, which seemed an incredible time away.

My mum and dad were 28, with 2 small girls and a lot of energy.

We travelled all over Tassie in their renovated VW hatchback and their love of the bush and wild places has been woven into my sense of self. My only regret is that we wore no hats or sun- screen.

Their confidence in the resilience of children gave me an adventure filled childhood that was at times challenging, but never dull. My dad took me on bush walks in weather and with clothing that would terrify many in this age of Gore-Tex and light weight merino wear.

My dad is now 73. He has severe Parkinson’s Disease and has also got stage four cancer ( that’s medical code for terrible) which has not responded to treatment and causes him agonising pain. His time with us is going to be far shorter than he wants it to be.

It is in tribute to my dad, and to the bush that he and I both love that I contacted and worked with a wonderful timber merchant and carpenter, Ray Cross, from Devonport, the same town in which dad started our Australian life.  Ray has created the Huon Pine screen at the entrance to my new clinic in the old ANZ building at 409 High St. in Northcote.

Hon Pine smells amazing, it is an ancient timber that is incredibly slow growing. The timber reminds me that our time on the planet is finite.

My dad is in too much pain to get to see it, which is just a little heartbreaking.

I know my dad will be saying “ I’m not dead yet”, but I love you dad, and thanks for believing in me.