There was a clear picture in the dream of an old man, just sitting, looking at nothing in his loneliness. I had the dream a couple of nights in a row. Then a further few nights the picture kept me awake. So I decided to write it down with a bit of a story. And so I became a bit of a writer – a short story that became a lot longer. Then U3A started a Writers Group in 2014 and so my association with U3A started!
Around the same time, my daughter moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with her young family. They had two cars, a trailer and two young children to transport. I offered to go along as a third driver, and then fly home. It was on the drive from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane to catch my flight home that the next event occurred – we passed signs to places that rang a bell from my childhood.
Caloundra and Redcliffe were the towns. But it was a bit hard to remember the correct order of things. As a family we had travelled by train to visit family living in either Caloundra or Redcliffe. There were six of us – mum, dad and four children. So when I arrived home, I contacted my siblings to find out what they remembered about this trip, and the family association. This resulted in some more writing as I started writing as much as I could remember from our early childhood. And I invited my siblings to add to the document.
So, yes it was a dream, and a trip to Queensland that got me interested in writing. But it was really U3A that made a change. At U3A I met another new arrival in Benalla who lived around the corner from us. She got me interested in walking around the lake every morning. A neighbour of hers, plus a friend of the neighbour joined us, and we became a regular foursome. As things have unfolded, many mornings I am walking by myself for a variety of reasons.
So from a dream, a trip north, and joining U3A, I am now a regular walker around the lake here in Benalla and really miss this if something prevents me from walking.