By Denise ‘Mum’ Andrews

Paula & I

The strongest influence in my life was a poem I read when I was 7 yrs old, as I was teetering on an outside toilet, door open to the sights and smells of Africa.  

Reading torn up bits of news-cum-toilet paper, I discovered the poem ‘Cargoes’ by John Masefield.  

Magic words, rythmic and sparkling, exciting my imagination with visions of an unknown world to be discovered.   

A determined desire to travel sustained me through the many traumas of an unhappy childhood.   I knew, emphatically, that I would escape to the pictures in my mind. 

What happened to that little girl living in colonial Rhodesia, who seemed to have little chance of being able to travel?  She grew older, with her dreams still intact, and a strong determination to visit those smells and sounds – and she did!

Over time, life took me to adventures beyond my imagination.  

Spice Sellers, Old Jeddah Souq
Saudi Arabia

Jeddah, where I smelled exotic spices in the ‘souq’, was the jumping-off point to realising my dreams.  

 ‘Quinquereme of Nineveh from distant Ophir………With a cargo of ivory……….Sandalwood, cedarwood……….

Gilgit, Hunza Valley

I eventually looked for emeralds in Hunza,

Outback, Western Australia

breathed sandalwood carried on the wind in the Australian outback,

Vilanculos, Mozambique

sat on palm-green shores of tropical Mozambique.  

Stately Spanish galleon…………Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores….With a cargo of diamonds, emeralds, amethysts………….., and cinnamon…………

Jambiyas (daggers) for sale at the souq, Sana’a, Yemen

I found amethyst-handled daggers in the ancient marketplace in Sana’a,

Paula & I, Bisha Exploration Camp,
Rub al Khali, Saudi Arabia

lived with bedouins on the edge of the Rub al Khali,

cargo of…….  coal, Road-rails, pig-lead, Firewood, iron-ware………’

Barges on Huangpo River,

and watched boats laden with iron-ware and coal plying the working Huangpo river.

Exciting people surrounded, and influenced, me.   The experience has been humbling and exhilarating.

Looking back I believe, using the power of positive thinking, dreams can come true, but the trick is to absolutely believe in them and take advantage of opportunities and, even, coincidences – if you focus on your goals you can make them happen…..

Change the way you think and believe. A coincidence is never to be ignored because it isn’t just a coincidence. It is your mind manifesting your desires.

Magically, too, after many years since we met, I’ve retained everlasting friendships with some of the people I met along the way and we still communicate and share our lives on social media – and so the journey continues.

Much Love

Denise (Paula’s Mum)