Raye’s Outdoors: The Day You Went Away
On Thursday the 4th, a cool April morning at approximately 1am, our friend Raye left for the UK. Although she’d be stopping by Dubai for a week, the remainder of her trip will be spent in London where she would (hopefully) be working as a registered nurse for a span of preferably 12 months or more.
This trip has been brewing for some time and for many, it’s a day we’ve dreaded coming and didn’t even think it would happen. The original date she was suppose to leave was in April 2012 but that continued to be delayed. In some ways, good for us but not so fun for her.
In many ways, Backseat Ballads wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for her and her easily amused/adventurous ways. As explained in my previous entry, the trio (consisting of me, Raye and Peter) would go on our random cruising trips either checking out nice houses in rich areas, late nigh coffees or exploring the great outdoors. It was by December when our proposed daytrip to Maroondah Dam would become our very first camping trip with Law as well.
We had created a list of 5 places we had to see before she leaves and amazingly we managed to tick off the whole list. A lot of these trips were initiated by Peter who wanted to try to make the most of his time with Raye in grand fashion, what better way than exploring the great outdoors and seeing what Victoria had to offer? (You can read his entry here). Obviously it spiraled into something bigger than the three of us and for that I am so thankful. We like to think she is one of the ‘forefathers’ who helped establish Backseat Ballads: she may not post on the website but without her involvement I wouldn’t even be here writing this entry.
Some are trying their best to cope without her being around, some are doing ok. Personally, I’m doing fine. Though that’s not to say there haven’t been times where I’ll think ‘I should msg Raye and see if she’s up to do something’. And it’s then when I realise I can’t do that anymore. My random dessert eating/cruising around to cheesy love powerballads/exploring buddy isn’t around anymore. Kind of sucks I think.
But as the cliche goes: life goes on and change is inevitable. I don’t think she’ll ever read this, personally it might be best if she doesn’t. I honestly wish her the best with her travels and hopefully her nursing registration does go through. Although it is saddening she won’t be a part of the adventures we’ll go on from this point on, she’ll be having her own and one day we’ll reconvene and share these experiences. In a car. With the Raye’s Outdoors mix is playing in the background.
Best of luck Raye, we’ll miss you. I hope you continue to learn how to cook because I expect an awesome home-cooked dinner when you come back!
Quarter of a Century
The last few weeks have been a rather strange one to say the least. I’ve been meeting up with a few old friends; catchups that we’ve organised months back but have simply never found the right time to actually hang out. And as I talk to them and my other close friends, it seems we all tend to return back to one topic:
We’re turning 25 years old.
A Rite of Passage
This is an entry I first wrote when I started this blog early last year. Obviously alot has happened since then, but the sentiment still remains the same. Was hoping I could find photos from my school camps but that has been a futile mission, nevertheless I hope you enjoy reading this… which probably accounts to like 3 people haha.
Maroondah Dam Revisited
I’m trying to come up with a good title and these were the potential titles:
Full Circle: Maroondah Dam Revisited
Back 2 Square 1: Maroondah Dam Revisited
Triangles: Maroondah Dam Revisited
How 2012 Shaped My Life.
Do you see a trend happening?
I’m writing this well past my personal deadline but it’s never too late for anything. Food for thought but don’t get bloated, just a note to myself. I was asked to do a reflection of our first camping trip, well, more like relegated to write one up. Initially and now, I believe that it was appropriate for me to do this. If you asked me 18 months ago that I’d be witnessing beautiful sunrises, stunning sunsets, be scaling mountains, trekking through the Australian bush and overall viewing Victoria in a different way, I would have told you, “You’re lying! I never hit you! You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”
2012 was a year where I found myself at a crossroad in my own personal life. I can clearly remember the day where I was in my room contemplating what I would do to change and give myself a positive outlook on what was happening at that time.
A lot has changed since. Early 2012, I found myself reconnecting with old high school friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. To be brutally honest, you could say I ‘abandoned’ them. 2010 – 2011 were points where I just needed to be secluded from the world; push people out because it would be easier that way. It wasn’t easy at all. It wasn’t until one of my close friends invited me to a camp that a few of them were going to embark on during the summer. That’s where it began.
I hadn’t ever been on camp before, aside from the school camps you go on. But those are totally different experiences when you actually pitch tents and see things in YOUR OWN FREEDOM. That’s the best part of it all. I won’t lie, I was kinda nervous seeing the guys again in such a long time, and just being thrown into a camp for 2 nights with them would seem and feel a bit intrusive. But what the heck, they invited me afterall.
Baroka Lookout, Grampians: This was the place that truly became the catalyst for my wanderlust of wanting to travel and seeing everything that I could possibly see. It wasn’t even overseas or in another state; and that was the beauty of it. Here in my own backyard in Australia were these places that I had never ever seen or heard about, and I was able to bear witness to these places. The hot Victorian sun scorching down, the fear of heights as we scaled up the mountains in our car on windy roads, the hazy blue and miniscule looking towns and mountains in the distant horizon. This was it. I wanted to see, hike and camp some more. And with my refound companions, I didn’t want to have it any other way.
The first camp for me as mentioned was at the Grampians. It’s kinda funny, I didn’t think I would be learning life lessons from hiking and trekking out to places. If you really want to see it, you gotta earn it. You have to physically dredge through whatever weather, be it blazing hot or freezing cold, and keep going for that goal. Thinking of giving up? You’re probably already half way there. Really want to give up? You’re giving up a highly potential gorgeous view with some of your best mates, that you can take glorious photos of and make everyone on your instagram and facebook jealous of. You also give up those minutes of serenity and meditation when you finally intake and view your surroundings. Of course, the same can be said for all of the other camps I’ve been on. You get to learn so many things whilst out on these adventures. The night time stories that you can tell each other; whether it be the personal deep and meaningfuls, the stupid drunken analogies being said, tent talks, and even true colors being shown in the heat of frustration.
And then you also get the really memorable and fun side to camp as well; the controversial and questionable song choices that people choose to listen or want to hear/sing/dance along to, the mishaps that happen to the unfortunate (pants being split, wearing the wrong shoes, forgetting sleeping bags etc.), and uncontrollable laughter at complete boredom; meaning VERY DEBATABLE conversations, top 5 lists, would you rather questions, fireburner at the campfire, and of course crae-j and tswizzle appreciation time.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m very thankful for having been invited to partake in these amazing life changing adventures. I know it’s hard for others to see because they don’t know half the stories that have happened during these outings, and to many it’s “just camp”. Understandable. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just the one that got to appreciate it more than others because I know that these opportunities are far and few; there’s just nothing like having stories to tell to others and why you are so passionate about it.
Aside from camp, lots of other things have happened in 2012. Meeting new people has become instantly refreshing, it’s great to be able to have interesting and new perspectives on old things you’ve had a viewpoint on for your whole lifetime. I finally started to become more active physically as well, exercising and keeping an eye on my health is quite the challenge, along with kicking those tobacco sticks. I miss it sometimes, but then I don’t. It was a vice that I really needed to let go of as well.
My taste for music has also expanded and broadened out to artists that I never thought I would ever be listening to. Don’t get me wrong, I love my heavy music to bits and I don’t think I’ll ever let go of that. But there are times where I’m just not angry anymore. It’s okay to listen to music that you enjoy. Like I’ve been telling other people, who gives a shit? Why live a life being scared of being judged on your questionable music taste? If you enjoy it, that’s all that matters. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
I’m just really excited for 2013, already so much has happened within these 30 days. I got chased by people in a car and managed to escape them. But I’ll have to tell that story another time. I’m hoping to read a lot more books, especially the Game of Thrones series and stories from Haruki Murakami. All these new things I want to try out and see.
I can’t wait.
Anyway, thanks to everyone within the group, you all know who you are. Thanks for being patient, and most importantly understanding. Trying to be positive really does have its perks.
I guess this is what it means to be in your mid twenties.
Here’s to 2013, the year where most of us are turning 25. We’re getting old, but we’re always still young at heart.
Bring on the camps this year.
M’s Higher Than Heaven: Epilogue
It was already dark when Neil pulled up to my driveway, I was so wrecked by this point in that I’m pretty sure I fell asleep for pretty much all of the drive home. Walking inside home was so satisfying feeling the toasty heater in my room, and dumping my corpse onto my bed. So good. But then I realised I forgot something; I left my suitcase in Neil’s car and knew I wouldn’t be seeing that anytime soon. Doh.
I had a shower and scrubbed up real nicely. As soon as I was all dry I laid in bed and just reflected on what I had seen in a short timeframe of a day.
I went and slept on a mountain in the freezing cold.
I had a great time with my friends and talked to them on a really personal level like never before.
I enjoyed and appreciated life just from standing atop, and overlooking everything. It made everything else just so insignificant, and made anything petty pale in comparison.
This is where it began.
My wanderlust to see more.
M’s Higher Than Heaven: Part 6
The Horn revisited was a great decision by the group to check out; it was evident that the skies had cleared up a lot in comparison to the other day. You could now see all along over the whole landscapes and valleys on the horizon, where I was able to see where we came from. The trek to the top wasn’t as difficult as last time; the weather was a lot more pleasant now. That didn’t stop me from getting sunburnt though, even though it was Autumn and felt a lot like Winter, I got Summer burns. No clouds to protect me this time.
This time we were able to take a lot more photos and upload them to le Faceybookey and Hipstagram for everyone to see. Funny, I remember the reception up there being quite strong. Viewing our surroundings we were able to see that we were really high up this time; so high up that I got lightheaded and queasy. But I fought it, because I knew this view was definitely worth it.
On the way back down, there was this crevice on the side of the wall in which we kept noticing. It was located still fairly high up the mountain, so we decided to brave it out and climb over it and check out the other side. This side of the mountain was really nice, the edge of the cliff had enough space for all of us to walk out and sit on. The small water ponds were ice, and it literally felt like you were on the edge of the world up here. One step off that ledge, game over. Lawrence wanted to check out the ledge by going on nearly all fours and crawling his way to it; I was sweating bullets by this time and couldn’t watch. Some more snap shots and pleading with each other to never go near the edge were had, then finally decided to go back to the car and head down to another lookout which was halfway between The Horn and our campsite.
Unfortunately, I was entirely exhausted and it was still only the morning. Mark was feeling tired too so we slept in the cars while the rest of the gang went to go ahead and check out the next place. It only took them roughly an hour or so since the lookout was quite close to where we had parked. When they got back, I finished all my muesli bars by this time and we came to a decision that we’d finally leave Mt. Buffalo and head on back to bright for some lunch, and explore the town some more.
Back at Bright, it was roughly around noon’ish and we got a tad lost trying to find each other once we had separated due to finding parking spots in different locations. The Beige Bandits decided to have some Fish ‘n’ Chips and were located at the local park; this park was lovely. It had a nice sort of water/lake thing going on with a pier, and even a water slide that looked like it hadn’t been used in years on the opposite side to where we were standing and hanging out.
Also by this time, the weather was a lot warmer in comparison to the mountain where we were high up, so we were treated to a lot of sunshine since most of the sky was nicely cleared up. After most of the guys had finished eating, we took the liberty and time to enjoy the next few hours just doing whatever we wanted to do; a few of the guys walked around the park and going on a mini adventure, some took it easy and just chilled. Mark went around doing his artsy fartsy sketchy stuff. Neil and I were exhausted so we grabbed the foam mats that Thai had brought along and had a nice snooze on the grass with kids running around everywhere.
When I awoke from my short slumber, most of the guys were nowhere to be seen so by some pure luck we all ended up meeting together somehow in the middle of the park. Once everyone was intact and the group banded back together, someone mentioned the idea of grabbing some fresh ice cream and gelati (gelato) from the local dairy store that was on the main road of Bright. Next to this ice cream parlour was a real estate agency where we had a look and talked about the places that were up for sale. The houses on the market look nothing like the ones you see in the suburbs closer to the city; it definitely wasn’t like St. Albans. Discussions about retiring and living in this sort of environment and area were common, it’s totally not impossible seeing one of us guys going through with this transition.
The ice creams were all finished, and it was time for us to head on home. With a quick lineup change in the teams, I was now switched with Huy; So Lawrence, Neil and myself were in the Beige Bandit. Huy, Mark and Thai for Blue Balls (steel). On the way home the walkie talkie was now put into proper use by talking rubbish to each other, asking each other if we saw the attractive weemen walking by, or if we needed to make a pit stop. Which we did.
Just before the town Bright, there was a pine-looking’ish forest that you could stop by and that’s where we went. I didn’t get out of the car initially because I was still fatigued and feeling ratty from whatever illness I was coming down with. The other guys were outside and checking it out, the floor was really spongy and springy for some reason because it was covered in the fallen branches from the pine trees. I decided to suck it up and join the rest of the guys who were already walking on the path following the forest. What we found were actually lots of rubbish, and even a couch. I think I even remember seeing some sort of skull from an animal like a deer. Except we don’t have deers here. Or so I thought.
The area started looking like a sepia photograph now, the sun was coming down and after about 30 minutes of exploring and checking this cool place out, we headed back to the cars and finally trekked towards home.
KISS vs RED - CRAE-J vs TSWIZZLE
As the end of the year dawns near, it seems there’s one debate that’s still raging. Something has to be done; a decision has to be made.
The question was posed to me: if you had to listen to one album for a whole week, which would it be? Carly Rae Jepsen’s Kiss or Taylor Swift’s Red?
But we all knew the truth, read between the lines and you’ll find the true question: which is the best pop album of 2012?
Me and Mike have suffered these last few weeks trying to reach a verdict. It’s hard enough trying to decide between Curiosity and I Knew You Were Trouble as best pop song, but both albums? It’s gotten to the point others have forced an ultimatum on us (thanks Tom) on who were prefer. Most of the guys preferred Carly Rae, but me and Mike were on the fence.
So I’ve made a new playlist, added both Red and Kiss onto it and have listened to it the whole day. I’ve made my decision but I’d thought I’d go through a list of reasons why… plus Mike has to finish his Mt Buffalo posts as well!
Backseat Ballads ‘Family’ Christmas Party
On Wednesday 19th of December, the Backseat Ballads crew had our ‘Family’ Christmas party at my house.
Venus Bay: LJ entry from years ago
[Jan. 25th, 2007 | 04:03 pm]
[Current Music | Jennifer Paige - Crush (ULTIMATE BEACH SONG!)]
Ok people, Tom is here with me and we’ve begun planning a ROADTRIP!
We’ll be going to Venus Bay, which is in South Gippsland near Phillip Island. An approximate 2 hour drive, we’ll be leaving early and we’ll stop for breakfast at maccas! Exciting isn’t it.
Plenty to do at Venus Bay: theres fishing, awesome/radical beaches with big waves (BOOGIEBOADING!!!!!!!) And it’s pretty empty so the beach will be all ours! It’ll be a great place to have a picnic! Oh and apparently it’s got the LONGEST picnic table as well.
It’s still early so we’re still planning things out, but this is just a notice to let you guys know IT WILL HAPPEN. Me and Tom have made a pledge to make this roadtrip happen, and noone can stop us! Since it’s unlikely for most of us to stay overnight at the beach LOL, we’ll just go back and sleepover at Toms :D
So start saving up money to pay for petrol (yes we will be paying for petrol Francis), food and also buy yourself a boogieboard cause Venus Bay, HERE WE COME!
Movie/Favourites Night: One Year Anniversary Edition
On November 14th 2012, we celebrated the one year anniversary of Favourites (Movie) Night. How we’ve managed to keep it going for so long still boggles my mind when I think about it. It’s strange how some traditions can come about and I know exactly how this one began.