Australia, Beach & Coastal Walking
Comments 27

Now Is the Winter of My Dislocation


I seem to do a lot of apologising on this blog lately — here’s your latest serving. Sorry about the unforgivable delay in posting, sorry about taking so long to reply to some comments, sorry for not looking at any other blogs in way, way too long, and sorry for the glum tone I can already feel saturating this post.

Damn it, sorry for all the self-pity, too!

Anyway, what can I say, it’s a long story. But blogging’s all about the short story and the ever-shortening attention span, so I’ll keep it brief and let the pictures do the whining. I’m back home — I mean, my original home — I mean, the one before New York but after Australia, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. The home town and the one I kinda love, still, even though I really don’t wanna be here right now.


Dawn over the clouds as we approached the Australian coast.

Been back here in Brisbane’s northern suburbs for six weeks or so now. It’s been a crazy year, half of which I spent with Kate in northern New York — an often-bleak Winter, a splendid Spring, part of a fruitful Summer — and the craziness took an unpleasant turn four weeks or so back when a planned return to the U.S. was abruptly impeded by visa restrictions and associated unpleasantness.


The Little Sandhills, Moreton Island — always a treat to gaze down on one of my favourite places on Earth.

And here I am, pretty damned broke, utterly unemployed, and a long way from Kate and her little family and the pretty cool life we had made a good start on. It was always a trial run, and parts of it were a serious trial for us both, but it was starting to work out.


Brisbane River & downtown.

Don’t worry, Kate and I are still good, as Americans say (right, Kate? Hello, KATE?!), but we have to bide our time now and it looks like I’ll be here at my parents’ place for several months at the very least. A box of much-needed clothes, electronics and other essentials is, I trust, making its way across the Pacific as I write this, and this kind of thing is very good for the priorities: if you had to come up with a list of things you needed that could fit in one cardboard box (yet still cost $150 to send), just what would you choose?

Sounds like a blog post, hmmm…


The perfect evocation of how I feel when I go downtown.

Anyway, on the plus side, my long-suffering parents came through with my old room again, so I’m sleeping dry. Kate and I skype every day, 11:00am here, 9:00 the night before there. I’m walking a lot — I mean, a LOT, for someone not thru-hiking, as in 13 miles one day this week, 10 and a half yesterday, five or six today — and taking a ton of pictures.

Buying a morning coffee daily at Mug Shots, taking in reliably spectacular sunrises, sucking up the best wifi signal I’ve found in four countries at a local park where I’m now as much a fixture as the old guy with the walking stick, the squawking waterfowl and the two go-getters who start swigging from brown-bagged bottles when I’m barely finished my breakfast pastry.


All my stuff, except for one duffel bag of clothes, my camera & computer gear, and these houseplants of mine that have been living outside, is over there with Kate. Luckily, as a long-distance walker, I have some experience of this kind of domestic minimalism.

But I’m sad, very, very sad — even for me. It’s probably no secret to long-term readers that I’m prone to spells of melancholia, but the last few weeks it’s been almost alarmingly debilitating. I miss you-know-who, and this…

Kate & the "Mammoth" sunflowers I planted from seed months back -- a recent iPad shot taken by her daughter.

Kate & the “Mammoth” sunflowers I planted from seed months back — a recent iPad shot taken by her daughter.

..and this…

The new fire bowl one Summer evening.

The new fire bowl one Summer evening.

..definitely this…

My only serious competition in the cat-napping department.

My only serious competition in the cat-napping department.

..and it’s a real bummer, after three months of back-breaking labour in our Saratoga backyard, that I’ve missed Autumn and most of the climax of all that nurturing:

Another iPad shot - one of several garden beds I built.

Another iPad shot – one of several garden beds I built. Those sunflowers were half that height when I left.

(Not to mention, Kate now has more vegetables than they can eat.)

But on the plus side, I’ve caught up with a few old friends…


With former colleague and co-schemer Chris at a well-known Sandgate seafood place.


I’ve known Robert & Frank since university days in the mid-80s. They’ve both helped me out in my current scrape. (No, those aren’t their books — they came with the cafe table.)

..and most mornings lately look like this:


Distant Redcliffe & the Sandgate seawall.


A small section of the many miles of waterfront walking/cycling paths in this neck of the woods.


Bramble Bay panorama.

I manage to either take or edit photos in locales like this most days…


“Sorry, Mr Mountaingoat is out of the office right now. Can I take a message?”

..and you’ll probably struggle to comprehend how anyone could feel so low in settings like these:


What, never seen a guy bring his work to the breakfast table before?


Traffic was moving smoothly…

mmm both directions.


Low tide & another one (like me) that didn’t make it back.



Sorry about all the tedious red and orange and yellow.



Some lazy bastard who plainly has better things to do than go to work. Oh, wait a minute…

..and evenings:


Glass House Mountains across Bramble Bay, dusk.

I’ve got enough material for plenty of posts, and I’m aiming to spit ’em out every few days starting now. There’ll be quite a few flashbacks to America and beyond, mixed up with the standard coastal rambling:


Sometimes my walks are like 70s prog-rock gatefold album sleeves.


Primitive rock art adorns the Sandgate seawall.


Freak Scene.

Hopefully soon I’ll be earning an income again — my sole criterion right now is that I will remain out of school rooms for the rest of my time on the planet.

Meanwhile, I work, or at least “work”…


Under the cotton trees. Note the tools of the outdoor blogger’s trade: laptop, camera gear, pack, plastic cup and $5 bottle of red.

View from the editing suite a few nights back.

View from the editing suite a few nights back.

..and worry…


It’s uncool to smile in selfies, & sometimes dishonest.

..and wander:


Kind of Blue.

I’ve had my dark days…


Damn it, wet socks again.

..but there are worse places to be marooned:


Low tide & some bonus colour.

See ya soon!

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote


  1. Oh Goat, good to see you’re back in the saddle, ready to fight again! You’re looking a little disillusioned in some of your photos though? Then again, maybe you’re utilising ultimate street-cred with the disillusioned, urban selfie look? I need to brush up on this stuff.

    As per usual, great photos! Looks like you stored up a few beauties to unleash in this post? Next time you’re bummed out in Brisbane, drop me a line and I’ll make the eastern seaboard shuffle and catch up.

    • Thanks Greg, it would be great to meet at last. Looks like I’ll be marooned here a while. Yeah, I went a bit overboard with the selfies here. In my defence, though, I’ve walked this area so long, and in such “depth”, I’m always after some new angle, something to keep the picture-taking interesting for me. And I do enjoy playing with the selfie concept — trying to place myself in the landscape, setting up the little tripod, hitting the timer, cursing, running back and doing it again, and again…

  2. Merry Apple says

    It is hard to feel
    moved by natural beauty
    when your socks are wet.
    — Craig Arnold

    Your socks will dry, spring/autumn will pass, and you’ll be back in the snow before you know it. Sorry that visa issues are keeping you from love and your new life, but (in case you’ve missed the news here), immigration departments can be complete see you next tuesdays. Good luck and try not to judge the US too harshly — it has spawned a fantastic constitution, a remarkable national parks system, and a few good women (and men).

  3. I’m here, my Dreamgoat! So the forever optimist falls for the forever pessimist. Does it work out? Of course! Everything always works out!! 🙂 Love your face!

  4. bill murray says

    God Bless …. be well and You,Kate, Trouble, Dude, and I will party hard ….. (we may invite a few others too…

  5. Yeah I understand the problem all too well, but it will sort itself out and the solution may not be obvious, but it exists. Looking forward to your next post from NYS

  6. Yo Ian – Mike is minding the shop – if you’re after work tell him I sent you. Using all accrued spousal behaviour credit to go canoeing in Quetico for 2 weeks; back on 24th and champing to go into debt taking a walk somewhere. Good long day slogs in Green Mountains. Ride included, of course – Jon

    • I had to look up Quetico — looks great. A nice walk in the Green Mountains (QLD rather than VT variety) could indeed hit the spot. Stay dry.

  7. Darius Russell says

    Keep your chin up, Goat! I assure you that these “red tape” details with customs/immigration,etc., will find resolution. Everything in the states is more locked-down since 9/11. Just requires more patience than before.

    Great to hear from you!! (I wish I had your photographic abilities!!)

    In all seriousness, I would pay you/hire you to hike The Long Trail with me as my guide. I would love to pick your brain for tips, tricks, stories, hiking/camping expertise, because I am definitely a novice (have definitely made my share of rookie mistakes so far this on this ambitious (for me) trip. Ihave camped and hiked and backpacked before (though certainly not anywhere remotely on your level with your extensive hiking resume, but all of that was while I was still in high school and post-college, which now seems eons ago.

    Best to you Down Under (mY your return to The States, and Kate, be sooner rather than later, Darius, a.k.a. my newTrail Name, “The Artful Dodger” (I’ll explain another time, LOL!)

    • Every good trail name comes with a back story, Darius! So, are you still working on the L.T.? Man, I’d pay to be paid to be a Long Trail guide. Can’t wait to do it again! Any Qs, just hit me with ’em. It has some knee-crushing ups and downs, but is so worth it!

      Thanks for the encouraging words, luckily Kate is far more positive in outlook than yours truly. I always expect the worst — I think it’s my Scottish blood!

  8. I didn’t come to help you out with your “current scrape”. I came for the coffee and the free books that come with the table.

  9. Oh Goat, so sorry about your awful luck with the visa snag. Glad to hear you and Kate are still good though. Whew! (Can you tell how fascinated I am by the goings on of you two? 🙂 But as usual, you continue to stun and dazzle with your photos. So keep them coming. Hang in there Man and stay positive. Best of luck to you. Cheers!

  10. I just found your blog so the 2nd post I read (the first was your about page) is one where the melancholia has hit you. I hope you pull yourself out of that soon, the pictures you put up of Brisbane are gorgeous and there is nothing tedious about those oranges and yellows. They are awesome; I get the feels from Oranges and yellows, sunsets and sunrises. Hope that visa stuff sorts itself out and you get back to where you want to be.

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