Ken Boddie

10 months ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Tis the Season to be ... Wary?

Tis the Season to be ... Wary?

I was out on my late afternoon walk along our stretch of the bay a few years ago, when I was overcome by a sudden urge to cool my feet in the salty water, and so I left the concrete footpath, frequented by walkers and cyclists, and descended to one of the many sheltered little sandy beaches between Victoria Point and Point Halloran.  The water was cool and refreshingly soothing, and the sand tickled and massaged my toes and feet as I paddled ankle deep, looking out towards Straddie (what the locals call Stradbroke Island) off in the distance.  I was soon lost in thought, as my mind drifted away from the rigours of the rush up to Christmas and I started to relish the few days of festive holidays ahead.  Today was Christmas Eve and it looked like it would be another stinking hot and humid Aussie Christmas Day tomorrow.

Suddenly I was startled by a, "G'day. The water's nice and cool, isn't it?" 

I turned towards the shore and was immediately confronted by a strange sight. The figure that greeted me was rather corpulent, but in a jovial sort of way, and had obviously been around the traps a few times, being "no spring chicken" and "built for comfort rather than speed", as my elderly aunt would have said back in my days as a young lad in Scotland. Although his exposed arms and legs were 'milk bottle white' (a dead giveaway that he was a visitor rather than a local) his cheeks were rosy red and he had an endearing twinkle in his eye.

He wore a short sleeved red and green cotton shirt with a telltale cheap palm tree print on it, much loved by festive visitors to our shores, open at the neck and chest, but with the buttons around the belly struggling hard to be released from their thread entrapments. His bright lime green elasticated Stubby shorts had lost the battle many years ago to contain the muffin top which was obviously spilling over them, despite the best endeavours of his boldly coloured shirt above. His legs were bare apart from a pair of rubber thongs, or chandals.

Although his attire, below the neck, appeared somewhat alien to him, above the shoulders he seemed much more at home, familiar even, sporting a long white, bushy yet well-trimmed, curly full beard, while, atop his head, he wore a red floppy hat with white fur trimming and a white bauble at its conical end, jauntily flopped and set above his right ear.

We started chatting, as strangers often do when out for a walk and with some time to kill in between tasks. His name was Nick, or that's what he suggested I should call him, but, somehow or other, he didn't ask my name and I didn't offer it.  It  transpired that he was from the northern hemisphere (as I had guessed by the lack of tan) and would only be passing through the Brisbane region briefly, being on somewhat of a mission.  He wouldn't elaborate, other than to say he was fortunate that he had a regular commitment, every year, to make many of the young, and young at heart, forget their troubles and cares for a short time and to bring them a little magic.

I immediately wrote him off as either a bit of a crank or one of those weird social workers who also does card tricks.

We continued chatting and I found him amicable enough. I told him a little of myself and he nodded knowingly after each brief offering, as though I was confirming what he already knew. I asked him if he'd been long in Oz and he told me he'd been out beyond the black stump, rounding up a few kangaroos.  He could see by the expression on my face that I thought he'd gone 'troppo', but he insisted he needed a few 'boomers' for the transportation part of his business and that he'd had help from an aboriginal young man he'd known since the same fella was a youngster on the 'nice list'. Again I shrugged this off and assumed he'd been spending too long in the sun, much like so many other visitors from the northern hemisphere who fail to 'slip, slop and slap' in our subtropical climate and who often become dangerously dehydrated and even delusional in the process.

Eventually it was starting to get dark and we had to part company.  I offered him a lift, but he assured me he had his own mode of transport, then jokingly added "faster than the speed of light."  As we shook hands his parting words were, "I'll be seeing you then, Ken", and somehow I got the impression that this wasn't a mere throwaway line but that he would actually be seeing me again.

As I drove back home from the bay, it suddenly hit me, "How did he know my name?"

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2c68b057.jpgWhen not researching the weird or the wonderful, the comical or the cultured, the sinful or the serious, I chase my creative side, the results of which can be seen as selected photographs of my travels on my website at:

http://ken-boddie.squarespace.com

The author of the above, Ken Boddie, besides being a sometime poet and occasional writer, is an enthusiastic photographer, rarely leisure-travelling without his Canon, and loves to interact with other like-minded people with diverse interests.

Ken's three day work week (part time commitment) as a consulting engineer allows him to follow his photography interests, and to plan trips to an ever increasing list of countries and places of scenic beauty and cultural diversity.



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Lada 🏡 Prkic

9 months ago #25

#24
#25 Ken, you never bore the reader. :) Thank you for asking about the recent earthquakes that hit Croatia. Fortunately, non of my family and friends were affected, but the damage is huge in the whole region southeast of the capital Zagreb. Many of my fellow engineers are participating in urgent inspections of damaged buildings. Unfortunately, two of them were seriously injured during the inspection. :-(

Ken Boddie

9 months ago #24

#23
Forgot to wish you and yours a Happy New Year, Lada. I trust you and your family are not affected by the recent earthquakes inland. "May your troubles be as few as the teeth of a hen and may your lummy reek [chimney smell] wi' other folks' coal."

Ken Boddie

9 months ago #23

#23
The challenge with verbosity, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, is to paint a picture without boring the reader. Let's aim to play with words, alliterate them, and let them dance, prance and trip the light fantastic to the music of the merry tale. You've hit the mark with your proposed "fun writing mode". Let's reverse the repetitious recycling of the news bulletins, and the umpteenth re-awakening of assorted conspiracy theories, with their negative mind numbing doom and gloom, and escape to the land of "what if?", awaiting our first steps down the road to Lalaland. Let's "follow the Yellow Brick Road" and go "off to see the Wizard." 🤗

Lada 🏡 Prkic

9 months ago #22

Good morning Ken! I have read your buzz once again this morning while drinking my coffee. Outside is cold and rainy and I'm still on my winter holidays (from Christmas to Epiphany). What a vivid and verbose description of Santa in his "summer look". By the way, yes, there is much beauty in verbosity. :) I wish to all of us who still write on beBee to get into fun writing mode in the New Year (me first) instead of what we see in the newsfeed past months. As you once said, I live in hope but am not holding my breath. Wishing a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your loved ones. Hoping next year Nick bring a little magic to more of us 'young at heart'. :-)

Ken Boddie

9 months ago #21

#20
And to you and your family, Ian Weinberg. Didn’t know you were a soil compaction specialist also, mate, what with your “stamping ground”. 🎅🏼

Ian Weinberg

9 months ago #20

Charming tale Ken Boddie Just passing through my old stamping ground. Season's Greetings to you and yours.

Ken Boddie

9 months ago #19

#17
Tale, Paul Walters? What tale?

Ken Boddie

9 months ago #18

#16
Apparently he comes here every year, Robert Cormack. I guess I’ve been on the wrong list or I’d have bumped into him before.

Paul Walters

9 months ago #17

Ken Boddie A nice heartwarming tale during this strange festive season. However, we endure. Have a splendid Xmas and new year and may 2021 be a lot better

Robert Cormack

9 months ago #16

Nice piece, Ken. Who can't enjoy and respect a story bringing the Noth and South together in such a creative (and possibly historical) way. Nick came to you, Ken, with a message, one I'm sure left you wondering (like the rest of us) why a rose-cheeked fat man would take the time to visit an Aussie when the rest of us are shivering in our beds. Had to be the roos, Ken, doing what reindeer can't (hopping). Have a "hopping" good Christmas, Ken. Hopefully we'll talk in the New Year.

Ken Boddie

9 months ago #15

To one and all ... A very Merry Christmas and many tides of yule, I hope that your stockings will all be stuffed full, As you settle for the night and a well deserved break, Think of Santa and his boomers and leave out a piece of cake ... and a wee dram won't go amiss either.

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #14

#12
ever wondered, John Rylance, why the horse stall at the racetrack are labelled A, B, D, E, F? You see there’s nobody who wants to bet on a C-horse. 😂🤣😂

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #13

#10
#11 Thanks Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador for reminding me it’s time to do some gardening with my ho, but you just need to tell me once.

John Rylance

10 months ago #12

#7
antilabelist: someone who doesnt believe in labels. labelfreeman:- someone nobody can put a label on. Labelaversive:- someone who hates the label given them.

Ha ha and ho ho ho Ken Boddie!

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #10

thats a ho ho moment me thinks :-)

#8
hahahahaha

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #8

#6
I checked every legal document I could find on this, Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee, but I just couldn’t see a Santa Clause.

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #7

#5
A close encounter of the furred kind more like it, John Rylance. I can see you are a nonbeliever and hence on the big man’s naughty list. Incidentally I hate labels. I wish there was a name for that. 😂

Aw, Ken--it's a Santa conspiracy...

John Rylance

10 months ago #5

I think you have had a close encounter of the third kind, a manifestation of an upgraded ET on speed, but dont worry it will soon be safe to go back in the water. I wonder if someone has been doctoring your Amber Liquid. As to knowing your name he probably read it on the label in thongs you left on the beach when you went for a paddle.

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #4

#3
Have you tried writing him a letter? 🎅🏼

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

10 months ago #3

#2
Well, when you see him next, be sure to send him my way! I could use some Christmas cheer these days :-)

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #2

#1
Funny you should mention beBee, Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris. Old mate, Nick happens to be quite active on here and has previously written a few posts about this time of year. BeBee is allegedly one of his favourite sources for editing his ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ lists. 🎅🏼

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

10 months ago #1

Maybe he knew you from beBee! Anyway, I hope you made it to his "who's nice" list :-)

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