As I look down my corridor of memories,
I’m pleased to say I’ve made more friends than enemies,
This is very surprising as I’ve made many mistakes,
There have been rifts in the family causing much heartache.
Astonished I am that I’m now sixty something;
It appears I’m a survivor, not ripe yet for gazumping!
Two thousand and twelve marks my diamond jubilee
In Terra Australis, in terror paralysis, my earliest memory:
I dimly recall watching the waves and feeling the sea spray,
Six weeks on a migrant ship, Scotland now so far away.
East from Gibraltar and across the warm Mediterranean Sea,
Through the Suez Canal, close to Mesopotamia were we.
Down the tropical Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden
Left to Sri Lanka then called Ceylon; we were laden...
With elephants carved from an ebony tree,
Mother said, “We had the most amazing pot of tea”.
We went ashore at Colombo long having been on board,
Soon crossed the equator, where, King Neptune gave accord!
Then South-East for many weeks across the Indian Ocean,
To dock in at Fremantle; there was much emotion.
Australia at last, yet so far still to go, when do we alight?
Like an albatross in flight, we spanned the Great Australian Bight.
And put in at Melbourne and met some strange relations,
But we were bound for Sydney town: our penultimate destination.
From there we travelled to the Blue Mountains, finally relief.
Arriving in July fifty two, the Fahrenheit was too: a new home in Blackheath.