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Name: charlotte mccabe

Bio: on the way home, the long way..

Photos: charlotte's photo libraries

not so united states ( 9th May, 2005 )
in context in england ( 9th May, 2005 )
flamenco ( 4th Apr, 2005 )

not so united states

hi everyone,

im home in melbourne!
...slowly making friends with my jet lag and trying to adjust to all the wonderfulness and weirdness of being home again.

i just want to share a few USA stories with you and try to find some closure for myself after all this time/

being in america was excellent primarily because my cousins are FANTASTIC and it was totally priceless to be able to spend some time with them. we had some great adventures and they took me around to so many gems of San Franscisco and Colorado life...

some of my favourite San Fran ones were :
-the extensive breakfast menus that we regularly indulged in while doing some top quality people watching on the streets.

- the down stairs red carpet blues bar where a sultry singer and her band with full brass section had couples spinning each other around on the dance floor -old school style.

- the japanese country singer who had a wonderfully subtle difficulty with his R's and V's, an immense knowledge and passion for country classics and a gift for yodeling.
the crowd were wild about him, several cowboy hats were being sported in the bar and he was forced to play half an hour of encores. i thought it was a nice representation of the san fransican desire to re-invent their identity and culture, as im sure a straight shooting texas fella wouldn’t have been getting the same reaction.

- also getting out of town was magic. really i think that's where i loved san fran the most. although it must be miarculous for some americans to be able to see gay couples holding hands on the streets, to hear the kinda politics that's going down on cafe tables, the cultural mix (especially central/south american), the yoga mats being carried everywhere......i guess im used to such things in melbourne, but i was told often what a precious bubble of existence it is.
For me though, the setting of the city is what makes it spectacular. the coast is really beautiful, and it doesn’t take long to drive out of town to check out some ancient red wood forests, deer, birds GALLORE, really beautiful, diverse forests and bushland.

In colorado i was in the mountains where the snow was starting to thaw. here too the wildlife totally blew me away . herds of elk, bears, cyotes and mountain lions are all managing to exist in much greater numbers than i had realised. its wonderful. my cousin and i spent many a happy hour following tracks in her woods and tanning a road kill rabbit hide- two of her new found skills from the 'tom brown' tracking school. check him out if you're interested in native american survival/bush skills.

and of course i cant resist a bit of a political tangent here.
it was kinda crazy being in california and reminding myself that i was in the land governed by BOTH Bush and Swartzeneger (sp?). can you imagine?!
it was interesting to note the car sticker war that’s going on between the yellow ribbon 'support our troops' and the other 'peace is patriotic' types. the polarisation is evident in day to day life, i guess its a good thing if people are being politicised and the ones in the middle are having to come up with an opinion one way or the other.

the election has had a huge effect on people there.
maybe some of you know this already, but it took me six months to learn that
i have attached some information for you to have a look at if you're interested. they're radio transcripts from a great show called 'democracy now' with amy goodman. im going to sign up for her email updates. also 'air america' with al frankin and the 'mother jones' journal are some new US sources that im going to start getting my news from....amongst other independent media ....
clearly the papers are as good as toilet rolls these days.

im still reeling from the effects of discovering this- how easily he got away with it, and other things about his latest political moves- particularly in his policies on the environment which are seriously dangerous for americans and all the rest of us. He has taken greenwashing to new extremes.

all i can say is that this world is WAY more crazy than i had realised or ever dreamed possible.
things are changing fast, and im dealing for the first time with a very real sense of losing hope.
i really never thought id say that.
it just totally breaks my heart.

the only things that keep me going now are all the beautiful BEAUTIFUl places and people that i have known in my travels and in my life, and i know that they are all worth fighting for

and i am continuing on now holding tightly to the sense of human spirit that i found in my travels.

despite all the flaws that human nature possesses, we do also have an unbounded capacity for compassion, for respect, for generosity- creativity, and that is the humanity that i want to be part of.

i will remember that people - grass roots society- operates at a level that is separate from the political windstorms that are whipped up. i know now from personal experience that there are people all over the world who are keeping their hearts and minds open, despite being told to fear and despise. and there are people who are doing everything they can to change the direction of this global corporate hijack operation.

i feel like im being ever pulled down one way by all the depressing information that i come across, and ever lifted in the opposite with all the inspiration that comes my way. i guess this is what modern life is all about.

thanks to all of you for listening to my stories all this time.
ive been so blessed to have been able to travel for so long and to so many beautiful parts of the world.
actually i dont feel that my adventures are ending- really things are just as exciting and new here, and im going to do my best to keep my fresh travelling eyes with me in my melbourne life.!

i hope this finds you all well and shiny.
tell me your stories
love from charlotte :)

in context in england

Greetings all.

so, now that things are coming to an end, im going to make the most of my last opportunities to rant to you all!

here i am in london, while dean (my man) is in the middle of the sahara with a camel.!

after all of dean's encouragement for me to explore england and ireland as a means of 'finding my roots'....i couldn't imagine really what sort of life changing experiences i would find here.

i have to admit though, after the initial novelty of being able to eaves dropp into everyone’s ENGLISH conversations, i then started to notice big pennies dropping everywhere, and this strange sensation of finally being 'in context'.

the biggest one of course was my tea addiction. suddenly i felt totally amongst my kin with people putting the kettle on more times during the day than i had ever dreamed possible. and ancient tea houses dedicated to the fine art of high tea and treaties, felt like places that I could happily celebrate a cultural/ genealogical ‘homecoming’ !

ive been lucky to catch some beautiful sunny days, and to get out of the city to experience scenes of english countryside in spring. bunnies hopping through huge green fields, fox dens and black berries....explosions of daffodils and innumerable spring flowers being visited by their huge fury bumble bees....

and wonderful warping tudor houses (the ones with the dark beams crossing though white plastering)

and birds that i know so well from story books are suddenly in the flesh in front of me....

seeing this made me realise why all those early colonisers of australia would have longed for such scenes again. and seeing all these creatures and features....even the seemingly innocent front lawns....has helped my to understand their 'in context' side of the penny, as opposed to their 'huge headache' side at home.

it's been great to catch up with relatives. to talk about family. to brush up on the family tree. to revive some old stories.
To expand in my mind the web of myself to these people and places.

I find it amusing that every man and his dog seem to want to get into this country, but so many english are trying to get out. the pound might be healthy, and .99p international flights a serious perk.....but lifestyle seems to be getting harder and harder. prices for everything are rising quickly. Blair has tried some very interesting social experiments, attempting to make things 'more liberal' the control to the individual. but now police, teachers and parents have less rights to restrain. On top of this, they’re still clinging on to their idea that all pubs should close at 11.30, so everyone is stuffing their faces full of larger at the call of last drinks, and then finding themselves out on the streets that are packed full of other equally drunked lads and lasses, looking for some action. they say that some parts of the city have become lawless, particularly during the nights. nottingham is one of them which is an interesting cycle back to its robin hood days.

For me all this has been another reason for me NOT to follow the anarchy band wagon. There is something about us as a species that makes us very bad at controlling ourselves. Greed, desire, violence and chaos seem to float to the top when given the opportunity. That’s what I think.

and now, with tea pot in one hand, and daffodils in the other.....i will cross to the other great empire of our times. getting inside the belly of the beast...... the Un-united states of the false president.

im really excited about this final stop in the states because i have some very cool cousins there to play with.......and because i've realised that if i was to sit in the psychiatrists chair on the day that i couldn’t deal with things any more..........and he was to show me the stars and stripes, id only respond with ‘BUSH’.

but of course america has so much more to offer. and i intend to come home with a much enlightened and de-politicised version of events.

love to you all

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