Millions of years ago, a big coral reef covered much of what is now South East Asia. Just as they do now, coral polyps living in the reef secreted limestone as they built the coral, and other marine critters like shells and urchins deposited calcium.

Fast forward a bit and the tectonic plates below started to rub against each other and rumble. The continents started to move. The reef was thrust skyward by the movement of big slabs of rock and the sea level started to change.

Fast forward a lot more and where there was a reef, there’s now hundreds of little islands. Rock pillars jutting straight out of the sea.

Fast forward a bit more to present day. The islands in Phang Nga Bay in Thailand are spectacular. But it’s what is hidden within that is most impressive. Weather and time have carved their way through the limestone rock to produce caves and inner lagoons. Karstic formations ripe for exploration!

For more about exploring the hongs in Phang Nga Bay or sailing around Thailand, check out my sailing blog: the Alpha Odyssey.

Fear. Bravery. Courage.

“You only have to be brave for the first twenty seconds”, We Bought a Zoo

This week’s coagulation of ideas is about fear and bravery. The seed was planted when I rewatched the feel-good movie, We Bought a Zoo. I love Matt Damon movies. Throw in Scarlett J and lots of animals and you have a winning combo! But the opening premise of the movie is so true: you do only have to be brave for the first twenty seconds. Take a deep breath and … go for it!

My thoughts started to take more shape while I was reading possibly the worst memoir ever written: How to amputate a leg, and other ways to stay out of trouble, by Nathan Mullins. I applaud people who serve in the military and emergency services, but this guy was a self-serving tool who exaggerated stories to try and sound heroic. A particular low-point was the chapter on shark attacks, which was little more than a few interactions with a reef shark and a wobbegong! Anyway, I gave up reading it about halfway through, but I did flick through the chapter on fear. Mullins thinks he may be an expert in the field: “I suppose I have experimented with fear many times in my life. Maybe I’m an expert.” But he was right about one thing: being brave and being unafraid are two different things. Bravery is being scared about something and doing it anyway. If you aren’t scared, it isn’t bravery. This was also a point drawn out in the audiobook I just finished listening to: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. A novel based on historical fact. Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator who was the first person to fly non-stop from the USA to Europe was unafraid of flying. In contrast, his wife Anne, who he taught to fly in order to be his co-pilot, was sh*t-scared of flying, but was brave enough to do it anyway.

From all this stimuli, I’ve noted a few ideas for the sitcom. (If you are new to this blog, I’m collecting ideas for a sitcom. Read more here). In each “episode” the storyline will include different house guests at the health retreat. One of the guests can be a Nathan Mullins-inspired know-it-all idiot. He’ll be called Mac (an unflattering acronym which I won’t spell out here). And another can be an olympic athlete. Maybe of a really obscure olympic sport that noone has ever heard of. Or maybe it could be a cameo from a real olympic athlete, like Hussain Bolt.

Anyway, I traded in the crappy memoir for Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – still sticking with the themes of courage, survival and resilience. I haven’t seen the movie version yet, but I’m keen to.

I’m also:
-catching up on the Mamamia Out Loud podcasts
-up to Level 1853 on Candy Crush, and playing 9 people in Words With Friends.
-and trying to live by Eleanor Roosevelt’s motto:

“Do one thing every day that scares you”.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening in my world. Hope you are enjoying yours!


Precious Things

When I was little, I loved treasure hunts. We’d dress up as pirates, and with a hand-drawn map, march ourselves around the back yard looking for a shoe box filled with “treasure” (an odd assortment of marbles, lollies and chocolates, little shells collected at the beach, feathers and sticks, or whatever was lying about). X marked the spot!

As I got older, that morphed into more of a scrapbook-cum-diary where I would paste in magazine collages of the latest craze, movie ticket stubs, or postcards from friends or notes from boys. When I started travelling overseas, it morphed again into a travel journal, meticulously recording the sights, sounds and smells of my wanderings. And all the while I would jot down observations, or cool quotes or just random stuff I wanted to remember.

Then two things happened:
(1) everything started being digitised; and
(2) I moved onto a boat (where space is a limited commodity!)

So the next logical step was to digitise my scrapbook-journal-thingies. Enter “the blog”.

I actually already maintain two other blogs – basically my digitised travel journals (see my About page for more info) – but this one is just for all my other precious things. A place to muse. To share my thoughts on books I’m reading/podcasts I’m listening to/television or movies I’m watching. A place to observe the world, and celebrate its miracles of nature or lament its destruction by the human race.

This is my personal space. It’s a place to practice my writing and share my photography … and feedback is welcome on both. But I’m not trying to “grow readership” or “brand” myself, or any of that. I’m just “putting it out there” for anyone who might feel so inclined to share some of their preciousness as well.


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