Yallingup 2017

I’m a firm believer in finding your tribe – that group of people where you are accepted and supported. I’m fortunate in many ways, I have several tribes. My oldest tribe is my Cystic Fibrosis family. There is no one who understands me quite like my CF family. After my transplant, my CF tribe had a subtribe — those of us who’d also undergone a double lung transplant.

Lately I’ve been expanding that subtribe into a tribe all of its own. Most contact between transplant patients occurs in a hospital setting – which is why the WA Branch of Transplant Australia actively offers all of its members opportunities to get together in a variety of social settings, including representing WA at the Australian Transplant Games. So I joined the committee to assist with community engagement, and in particular education within schools.

The most recent social event organised by the committee was the 2017 Getaway at Yallingup, a weekend which caters for both recipients and their family. It kicked off with Welcome get-together with nibbles at Caves House in Yallingup on the Friday evening. This was a chance to mingle, for some to catch up with old friends, and for some like me on their first getaway, to meet new friends.

Saturday was a free day, so Jarryn and I took the opportunity to explore the area. We started with the Ngiligi Cave.

Ngiligi Cave – thanks to the wonderful lungs that I have guardianship of I had no trouble breathing in the depths of the cave

After lunch I put my methodical maze cracking skills to the test in a race to reach all four towers in order before Jarryn did. All was going to plan as I reached Towers 1 and 2 in order and before my boy, however I missed the trick door to Tower 3 and skipped ahead to Tower 4. By the time I backtracked to Tower 3 and missed the trick door multiple times Jarryn had made it to Towers 3 & 4 for the win.

Methodical Maze cracking does not work with trick doors.

Sunday was Game Day in Bunker Bay. I didn’t do so well at Archery … or Petanque. (Let’s face it unless there is a reading challenge at the Transplant Games I’m not likely to attend in the near future). Game Day was followed up by a sit down dinner at Caves House.

Games Day

Never underestimate the importance of spending time with your tribe. It’s a chance to relax, recharge and most importantly to talk to people who understand what you’re going through because they’re walking a shared path.

Book Launch. Pepsi the Problem Puppy

Preparations for the book launch went well, that is, until Pepsi realised she wasn’t invited…

They’re ALL licked!

Aśka made sure we were surrounded by dancing and prancing Pepsi’s.

Norman launched Pepsi the Problem with aplomb – in his trademark style by tossing a copy into the audience.

Photos courtesy of Denis Knight — DenisKnight.com

And I hopefully remembered all my thankyous – which I’m going to repeat here because a book’s journey to print is never a solo effort.

    • Pepsi for all the bouncing, prancing, peeing and pooing that ended up in this book.
    • Grant for always being my first and last reader.
    • Deb Pidco and her year 3 cohort in 2014, for being my beta readers.
    • Bassendean Writers Group & my SCWBI Critique group for their input into Pepsi’s story.
    • Sally Odgers & Teena Raffa-Mulligan for their editing.
    • Maureen Eppen, Suzie Eisfelder and Julian Vinciullo for their proof-reading expertise.
    • Bassendean Library for the use of their facilities, both for the writing group and for the launch tonight.
    • My Publishing Mastermind group, in particular, Rebecca Laffar-Smith and Karen McDermott, for their support & expertise on this journey.
    • Karen McDermott for enabling me to use her contacts at KS Printing and letting Pepsi hitch a ride to Australia with Fergus the Farting Dragon. (It should be noted that any bad habits Pepsi has with regards to farting were not acquired on this journey.)
    • Norman Jorgensen for believing in Pepsi’s story.
    • Aśka, who took on my crazy project and brought to life the spirited characteristics of the real Pepsi Parsons in her fictional counterpart.
    • Last, but never, least – the generous stranger whose lungs are keeping me alive and giving me additional time to write.

*****

The launch was held at Bassendean Memorial Library – chosen to complete a circle.
I’m not meaning to sound cryptic, but referring back to an essay I wrote on What The Bassendean Library Means To Me.