Anyone who has followed my bloggery for a while will know that I have a pretty special relationship with Glob. One that will survive, even after I have chosen to publish the picture of a pile of cassowary shit in honour of her birthday.
Please let me explain why it is so.
Globet was 9 months old when we moved to GOF's Paradise, an isolated, undeveloped 46 acre patch in the middle of the rainforest. Along with Mrs GOF we had one old ten foot long caravan to live in during that wet season of 1983 until we built a little house.
Access to civilisation involved travel along 7km of deeply rutted, rain sodden logging track meandering through the jungle. No other vehicles regularly travelled along this track, for frequently it was impassable even to four wheel drives. In the early years we had a Ferguson tractor located at the top of the 7km….we parked the car there and commuted to G.P. by tractor.
The road had only marginally improved by the time Globet started school. For the purpose of getting to the school bus stop she pillion-passengered with me on a little Honda CT110 "postie bike" until, after grade 7 with her long legs dragging on the ground we upgraded to a taller CT 200.
It often took more than 20 minutes to travel these 7 kilometres, and, when the road surface was too slippery or boggy, or frequently when trees had fallen across the road, we would have to make our own detour through the forest.
In her 11 years of primary/secondary school education the Glob/Gof motorcycling unit clocked up 30,000 km of slipping and sliding, and at least 495 hours of unique commuting time.
We got very wet and we often got cold, but we had some fun along the way. We shared stories and experiences and we bonded.
And not once did we ever fall off.
Those who ride motor bikes will know that successful pillion passengers must have both a sense of balance, and faith in the drivers ability. Globet had both.
I commenced this piece with a paternalistic reference to my "little girl".
She is no longer my little girl, but in every conceivable way my equal as an adult. An adult possessing far more knowledge, poise, wisdom, maturity and sensibility than I had at her age.
Just as she trusted me all those years ago, so it is that I will happily hand over to her, and all the other equally caring and concerned members of her generation, the reins of stewardship of this world. This planet, which my own generation has so deplorably pillaged for profit, overpopulated, polluted, misused, and filled with inequality, hatred and warfare.
So today, my dear Globet, is your special day.
And mine, to remember it all.
And why the cassowary shit?
It is part of her unique life experience, understanding that by dipping your big toe into a pile of cassowary poo and estimating its core temperature a useful determination can be made of just how long ago the bird passed by.