Nov 17 2010

This is as high as we go (until next time)

I write from Hervey Bay, the northernmost tip of our Australian Hundreds & Thousands Speaking Tour. These are heady heights for me, but alas! No more of the whimsical ‘ah, I recognise that rest stop, skated there back in [insert necessary date] 2007’ moments that have long since driven Seb to distraction. The road clear of Brisbane has been refreshingly new and our schedule has deliciously compacted, feeding our joint eagerness for experience.

 

For the sake of spicing up our tour documentary Seb and I have decided to have a bloke-off, pitting ourselvs head to head in a variety of very serious disciplines. Heading north we came across a Go Karting track and popped in, a chance decision that resulted in a five-lap race between the two of us and Charlie, a ten year-old with a sharp mouth and a predictable nickname – Stig! Sadly, being a non-driver, I was pipped to the post by both Seb and Charlie in the karts, but revenge was on the cards when we brought the skateboards out. A one-lap race (for which I gave Seb a little head-start) ended in him stacking face-first into the grass and then being mauled by a large dog. Quite funny. Thanks so much to Hervey Bay GoKartTrack for their welcome, it made our day!

Charlie challenges Seb and I to a karting showdown

Charlie challenges Seb and I to a karting showdown

 

Later on that day in Hervey Bay we briefly met Gabriel, who had driven down to loan us a FreeCross, a cross-trainer on wheels upon which I’ll travel a thousand miles across Europe next Spring (watch this space for more on the Freecross). Then to dinner with Hazel and Andy. Hazel had been a great help at the beginning of my Murray paddle last year and showed me her new iPod, upon which she’d engraved the words ‘It’s Time’, the same motto embroidered onto my trans-Oz skate shoes.

It's Time - is there a better motto for life?

It's Time - is there a better motto for life?


Nov 4 2010

A little update from our Australia Tour

Let me share something with you. Today I saw a grown man knowingly do a knee-slide on a carpet, and he was wearing shorts that finish above the leg joint. His knees are now torn to shreds and there are even some little burns on his feet, and he won’t stop going on about it. That man is Sebastian Terry, and he damaged himself while having a dance-off with a 10 year-old. Embarassing.

Embarassing, but very, very cool. Today Seb and I are in Melbourne and we’ve just finished our third talk of a five week speaking tour around Australia, which we’ve named Hundreds and Thousands. I flew in just six days ago and in that time we’ve put together our show from scratch and begun something that I think will last for a very long time.

Our first talk in western Sydney

Our first talk in western Sydney

 For those of you who don’t know, Seb is currently travelling the world ticking off items from a bucket list called 100Things, and this involves carrying out tasks as diverse as marrying a stranger and skydiving naked. After our first talk in Sydney yesterday we popped ourselves on a plane this morning and headed for the other Australian city that thinks it’s the best! Almost instantly Seb ticked off No. 26 of his list, ‘Help a Stranger’ in Altona. A young 10 year-old named Billie has recently been having a tough time at school and her Mum asked Seb to pay the school a visit. So off we went, and I daresay we made several children (including Billie) and their teachers smile with gusto. Naturally, Seb rounded off the talk with a pair of raw knees.

Seb pulls out a knee-slide

Seb pulls out a knee-slide

Afterwards a quick dash across town to speak to a class of teenagers who’ve had a pretty hard time of it, and right now we’re both absolutely bursting with excitment. Sponsored by the Ardoch Youth Foundation, the kids at the Southern Teaching Unit have a range of issues including depression, sexual abuse/assault, ADHD, Oppostional Defiance Disorder, Asperger Syndrome (high functioning autisim) and more, the list of things these kids have had to deal with is frankly upsetting. BUT, they’re amazing! Bright, attentive and absolutely rammed with potential, they stayed half an hour after school to chat. We brought out a few hugs to say goodbye, what a great bunch.

Talk by talk this thing is growing, we’re both so excited to be doing what we’re doing and have had the privilege to chat to such a variety of people. The response we’ve had so far has been nothing short of thrilling, and taking into account that we’d only spent four days in each others’ company before this Australian outing, our subject matter of taking an idea and running with it is being acted out right here, right now, and boy does it feel good!  Seb turned to me as we drove across Melbourne inbetween talks this afternoon, and said, ‘Mate, I can’t imagine being anywhere in the world or doing anything else that gives me as much pleasure as what we’re doing here.’  

With kids from the Southern Teaching Unit, Moorabbin, Melbourne

With kids from the Southern Teaching Unit, Moorabbin, Melbourne

Before I disappear, I’d like to share with you a list of some of the things on the bucket lists of the kids from Altona Primary, who we spoke to this morning. Please remember these children are just 10 years-old:
- Ride a donkey
- Get kicked out of Disney World
- Eat raw goat’s testicles
- Don’t look at your hands for a day whilst using them
- Dance in the city wearing a penguin suit
- Buy a porche, then destroy it
- Build a model house, then destroy it
- Kiss a dolphin
- Sleep on a bed of jelly

To find out more about Seb take a look at www.100things.com.au
Dave’s website is www.davecornthwaite.com