Category Archives: Australia

Friends are the family we choose

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Our last post saw Croc having to make a difficult decision indeed. Did he stay on an adventure, heading into the unknown with Bertie or did he join his family and stay safely huddled on a shelf? Croc chose Bertie and, like all big decisions, now he was back in the car and on the move again he was beginning to doubt himself.

Bertie had noticed Croc’s mood change, which would have gone unrecognised to anyone who wasn’t a friend of Crocs. Croc didn’t really do moods, or expressions or emotions. He did hiding, lurking in pockets and observing the world. This was a whole new experience for Croc and Bertie knew exactly what it felt like.

Eventually Bertie shuffled closer to Croc on the dashboard of the Hilux they were travelling in. Trees and red dirt whizzed by outside but Croc had turned his back and was looking most confused. Bertie nudged Croc, “What’s wrong?” He asked. Croc looked at him with big sad eyes and shrugged. “Let me see if I can help” said Bertie and he launched into one of his tails of travel and adventure. It didn’t seem to help. Bertie sat silently next to Croc and began to feel Croc’s downtrodden mood too. Looking wistfully out of the window Bertie said quietly, “You know, I don’t have a family. I don’t even know who my family are. I do have a friend. The only friend I have ever had and he is like my family. I read once that friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” Croc looked up and raised a small crocodile paw and pointed to himself. Bertie nodded and Croc began to smile!

It turns out that Croc didn’t really know his family who were all huddled on the shelf. In his short life he had spent most of it with Bertie, which meant he had chosen his family after all.

Two friends, on an adventure into the unknown. What could be better than that? Croc decided. Bertie said, “It’s not about making the wrong or right decision Croc, it is about having the opportunity to make a decision at all.” Croc smiled and nodded and watched the trees and red dirt whizz past the window. Where to next he wondered?

Croc makes a choice.

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Croc didn’t have many memories from before he was found by Bertie hiding in the dust underneath the bunk bed. Maybe he had had a bump to the head, or maybe he had just blocked the memories out, he wasn’t sure. What he was sure of that the memories he had with his best friend Bertie were pretty awesome so far!

Imagine Croc’s surprise when, after they had headed away from Darwin, he was carried into a store in the comfort of a pocket and there on the shelf was his FAMILY!!!

Croc nearly fell out of the pocket in shock. Lots of Croc teddies all looking back at him, some with darker fur than his, some with lighter, some with happier eyes, some with sadder. Oh my goodness what was a Croc to do???

Well this little Croc had to make a quick decision. Did he leap out in a completely un-croc like manner and race towards his family and risk being here forever, or did he stay in the comfort of the pocket?

Croc looked at Bertie, who seemed completely oblivious to the decision with his little travelling companion was about to make. He looked back at his family and waved, then in a complete Croc-like way he sank into the dark depths of the pocket and nestled into the tissue which was placed there as a cushion for him. Croc had adventures to go on and this was no time for sentiment.

Heading out

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As Bertie and Croc head out on a brand new adventure together they had no idea what to expect, but then thinking about it, they decided that they never knew what to expect anymore.

It had been a rollercoaster of adventure since they first met two years ago and they had no doubt that this time it would be no different. Bertie explained to Croc that he had decided that the feeling of fear and the feeling of excitement actually felt the same…..Croc thought about this for some time and observed the butterflies he felt in his stomach. Was he feeling fear or excitement?

Croc was about to leave the only home he had ever know and relocate himself with his best friend. Bertie had already been through this mixture of feelings, although the feelings never changed he had become so much more confident in himself from the bear he was two years ago when he had first moved to live in Australia.

Bertie and Croc had a rough plan and as they looked out of the windscreen of the 4 wheel drive camper van that was now to become their home for a few weeks. One thing was for certain, a whole new and exciting world was out there waiting for them, and it was time to move on!

Bertie’s pressed the pause button….

Bertie’s blogs haven’t been as consistent as usual this month. This is because Bertie and his ever keen travelling companion, Croc, are planning another adventure.

Bertie will try and continue publishing Croc and his UK adventures but it can be quite tricky and unpredictable with sporadic Internet connections, lots of red dust and bumpy roads….

Has he got you wondering where his next adventures will take him yet? 

Bertie and Croc thank you for your patience and continued support. 

All images and content copyright of Samantha Key 2016 

What are friends for?

Wow. Two years ago today Bertie and Croc first met. Croc had a different name then and over time he has developed the nickname of Croc.
It’s always good to start a story from the very beginning….

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Bertie and Colin May 2014

Bertie didn’t know much about friendships. He had always been a pretty solitary bear. He found that he had problems relating to other toys. They just didn’t seem to have had the same past as him and he found that his past did shape his views and who he has become.

Then one day, in a hostel Bertie found a friend…..under the bed, with a small layer of dust gathering on him, alone and abandoned, just like Bertie was Colin the Crocodile. Bertie was so shocked at first to see him there. As he started to speak to Colin Bertie began to realise that they had a lot in common. He had never met another abandoned teddy before and he felt a strange urge to help Colin. After all, it was not too long ago that Bertie was in the exact same situation as Colin.

Little did Bertie realise that…

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An adventure begins…..

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Bertie and Croc are on their way somewhere again. Even being seasoned travellers they still feel the excitement in their stuffing when they are travelling somewhere. Keep posted to find out where their next adventure will take them……

F* you Tracy!

The title of this blog is one of the comments written in dust on the back of the mangled wreckage of a car photographed in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy. Darwin’s Museum and Art Gallery has a great array of interesting photographs and personal accounts of what happened when the tropical cyclone hit Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974.

When Cyclone Tracy hit in 1974 it killed 71 people and cost A$837 million in damage. It destroyed more than 70% of Darwin’s buildings, including 80% of houses. There were more than 41,000 out of the 47,000 inhabitants of the city homeless and it caused the evacuation of over 30,000 people.

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A plane at the local airport, picked up by the cyclone and wrapped around a building.

Whilst travelling through the Kimberley two years ago I met a Grey Nomad (travelling retired person usually with a caravan in tow) who had survived Cyclone Tracy. I want to recount the story he told me. I can not recall his name so for the purpose of this post we shall call him John.

It was Christmas Eve. John had been living in the local caravan site with his dog whilst he was working in Darwin. He had gone out to a Christmas party with work and was looking forward to a few Christmas Eve drinks to wind down after the intense working week he had had.

The weather had had been pretty windy and stormy and on Christmas Eve it had really begun to pick up. John wasn’t too worried as the forecast had warned about a cyclone passing near to Darwin but it wasn’t on course to hit Darwin itself. A bit of wind and rain and tropical storms were nothing for the wet season in the Top End. What John didn’t realised, along with many others was the cyclone had changed direction at the last minute and was going to hit Darwin head on.

As the weather got wilder John began to get more and more concerned and decided to travel back to his caravan to collect his dog, then return to a safe place to wait out the storm.

By the time he managed to get to the caravan the cyclone had started. Knowing that he would not have enough time to get back to the safe place he decided to wait the cyclone out. Placing a table on top of the sofas in the caravan he sheltered underneath holding his dog. He had tied the flapping skylight on the roof of the caravan to the heaviest thing he had….his fridge. He watched in horror and shock as the cyclones’ strong winds ripped the skylight out and took the fridge with it. It was then he began to realise he might be in trouble. Shortly afterwards a piece of twisted tin sliced through the caravan cutting it in half and devastating the other side to the one he was sheltered in.

As the winds began to die down John realised that he was in the eye of the storm and had limited time to seek proper shelter before it all started again. Climbing out of the rubble he pushed his dog through a hole first and climbed through after him. There were a few people were milling around looking confused and helping others. John’s thoughts immediately went to an elderly man called Tom who lived in a make shift tin hut on the same plot of land. John ran to Tom’s hut only to find it completely flattened, folded neatly in on itself. After calling the Tom’s name he heard a faint reply and they began to move the debris. Amazingly the elderly man was safely hidden underneath his flattened house. John pull him to his feet and they made their way to a concrete shelter where a few others were also sheltering.

The second round of Cyclone Tracy started. The winds picking up, sheets of tin from houses and buildings flying past. John stood in the doorway of the concrete building as there was limited space, feeling it swaying and rocking in the strong winds with his dog safely tucked beside him he held on tight and waited for it all to stop.

 

This amazing story is one of many reminding us of the power of mother nature, as well as the kindness of neighbours.

All photographs in this post are displayed in Darwin’s Museum and Art Gallery.

Cyclone Tracy
Tin roofs wrapped around a telegraph pole