Photo on 2014-01-30 at 16.55 - Version 7

Hello fellow travellers.

My name is Barbara Farrelly.

I am 57 58 59.

I live in a tiny fishing village on the east coast of Australia with Stage 4 COPD. (There is no stage 5).

I have been living with serious lung disease for 15 years — one of the millions who are, or will be, affected by emphysema. But I did start down this path awfully young and I’ve learnt a lot. I want to share that experience, strength and hope with others in the same boat.

I wear a nose-hose and consider oxygen to be performance enhancing and life preserving.
Woo Hoo! (Imagine all the coal miners who never had O2).

I am a seeker. A stargazer. Passionate about food and concerned for all creatures, great and small.

Frances Rand and I have been in love for 21 23 years. She is my rock.

I love books, films, TV and, when I can get there, the theatre and concerts. I follow world events with an equal measure of horror and optimism.

Gardening. Cooking. Cryptic Crosswords. Cats, and *Gongoozling are some of my favourite things.

Welcome to The Departure Lounge.

Join the conversation.

*Gongoozle is a lost word, meaning to stare idly at the ocean, or any watercourse.

And I love to kayak.

May, 2014. Frances did the heavy lifting, as always!

May, 2014. Frances did the heavy lifting, as always!

22 thoughts on “About

  1. Beautiful blog, barb, being a scorp i love a gongoozling also as there is something so holy, blissfully beautiful about the sea. And she’s been pretty wild at dee why lately. Huge swell and warm currents. I’m still swiming and loving walking the sand pebbled with tiny and larger pumice pieces at present. Found a weedy sea dragon skeleton whilst walking the other day. So will put it with the similar pressie you presented on one of our visits to you and Fran. The dragon was a present from the sea goddess who was telling me in her secret beautiful loving way that it was okay to be myself and to have my shadow side… Archie betsy’s cat is licking me and meowing while i tap away so I guess cats are growing on me also. I love your blog and will be an avid follower of your wonderful life and wise wily women filled words. love you beautiful woman

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Barbara: I hopped over from the awesome blogger at chasingrabbitholes.com. I’ve only recently joined her cast of merry followers but your blog touched my heart as being profoundly sincere, honest to the core and filled with wonderful positive messages: the prime example I’ll activate today is a minimum of 30 minutes of *Gongoozling.* It’s going to fit into my new taking care of me life-style changes I’m implementing as a caregiver. You are a gifted writer and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. Sheri


  3. Here is one of my favorite words as a little dessert for you: mizzle. The first time I used it, my husband accused me of making it up, because I make up words. I,m coming over from chasing rabbit holes, being an irreverent follower of Huntie. You have such a lovely blog..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Barbara! I’m laughing as I read through these comments. I wrote this everlong comment on your post today (June 1 or 2?) about Rusty and Wonky, introducing myself. I come here to your About page and find two of my favorite people, Sheri and Kanzen, citing me as the source for finding you and I suddenly remember I reblogged your singing post…. So glad I was so smart and then promptly forgot… This time, I shall not forget and I will be back for more and more. HuntMode

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heh dear Barb, Just wanted to say I love the photo of you & your kayak. What joy it has brought you both. As you love to

    GONGOOZLE & kayak you have the perfect spot @ Currarong . Gotta love that WORD!!
    Also great that Frances manages the heavy lifting for you .
    Sending lots of warm fuzzies to the 2 of you & happy to report we have found a new gym to gently unkink us up here @ Salamander . Also finally I have been inspired by you to exercise again & there are luckily 2 great heated 50 metre pools up here
    one inside& one out.The sea is still only 14 degrees ,have lost the urge to jump in!!( funny about that it is winter after all )
    Barb as always I love to read your uplifting blog & comments from your like minded followers . . There is so much LOVE & WISDOM in your Departure Lounge & I love that we can all fit & sit comfortably with you. THANK-YOU for being such a special friend in our lives , bless you . All our love Jules & Col XOX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Derek, how nice to see your name. You got me started on this blogging business. I am enjoying summer and was thinking the other day about what were the 3 or 4 best tips I could give someone with Copd. Like you, I believe vitamin D is essential to ward off flare ups. I use 3000IU daily but recent research suggests 5000iu.

    I hope you are taking beautiful photos and getting out and about. I have found a black swan sitting on a pile of sticks in a stream and have persuaded Frances it’s worth dragging the camera out and capturing this nesting marvel.

    Stay well and stay in touch my friend. I shall pop over to Wales and catch up.


  7. Hi Barbara,

    I wanted to drop a line to say a (belated) “thank you” for your lovely comment on my blog post about Oblomov — I’m glad you enjoyed reading it, and I in turn loved reading your thoughts. I notice you have not posted here in a while and I hope everything is ok. x


    Liked by 1 person

    • No Kriti, I’m not really okay. Oblomov’s death silenced me. I felt greedy and lucky. How could I still be alive and this sublime young woman not? Even the ailing and elderly Clive James, who introduced us two, is still going. But not dear Oblomov. It was depressing, to tell you the truth.

      And winter was on the way.

      I soaked in her writings after she said goodbye. I pored over the photos. I didn’t even know, beyond the word cancer, what had killed dear Oblomov. She was your best friend, you would know her hands anywhere, but to me she was a stranger who wrote like an angel. I shared her sensibilities in a way that makes you believe in past life connections.

      I have lingered longer than the doctors thought – and I have a touch of survivor guilt. I’m sure there are among my friends the less charitable who wish I would just get on with it. But this year, on our 22nd anniversary, my partner Frances begged me not to give up.

      ‘If you go, there will be no ‘us’’, she said.

      Oblomov can’t be dead. She is too young. Too brave. Too alive.

      That’s what I thought. Then I lit a candle and read aloud for her the words of Raymond Carver from the poem called Late Fragment:

      “And did you get what
      you wanted from this life, even so?
      I did.
      And what did you want?
      To call myself beloved.”

      Oblomov merited a long obituary in the Times. One that honoured her as the comet she was that streaked across our lives, gone too soon.

      I created the lounge of an airport in which to meditate on my impending death, whereas young Oblomov set herself lusciously upon a sofa.

      I have missed my plane, for now, only this year battling with pneumonia, liver issues and dire infections. But there are still more good days than bad.

      And you Kriti. How is life without your beloved Oblomov?

      Thank you for breaking the silence.



  8. Thank you, Barbara, for those moving words. The universe works in strange and unpredictable ways, but I suppose we need to count our blessings as often as we’re baffled by it. She was certainly beloved, and her last hours, when the love poured in from friends and admirers, showed her this. I know her family was very grateful for all the kindness. I wish you the very best, and hope you have peaceful (and guilt-free!) days ahead. Warmly, Kriti


  9. I have missed your musings. I hope you are well. I’m with you now with the 24/7 oxygen. I too am stage 4. New pulmonary doc. believes in mega doses of antibiotics to knock out bugs and to keep one feeling well. Please if your up to it write another blog post.


    • Thank you. I’ve had a tough winter but have pulled through. Sorry to hear your news Sharon. It’s another marker, I know. Stay in touch and tell me how you’re doing. We are shipwrecked together, in a way. Will blog soon.


  10. As an appreciative admirer and out-law of yours, dear Barb, i have been quietly tiptoeing around and ‘gongoozling’ at the waterways of your kayak-borne blogsite tonight… and have few words for the moment… but am sending love with your Kiwi travellers this weekend as you head inland from the coast to the mountains to mark up another year to your stories, and in fine company. Arohanui, traveller, to you and your wonderful heavy-lifter, to your ‘us’ xxx from across the Ditch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim! What a nice surprise.

      So very pleased to be seeing some whanau in the Blue Mountains, another place sacred to us mob. Chris will fill you in.

      Isn’t late life love a force of nature? Their happiness makes me happy.

      Thank you for visiting. It was like seeing an old friend in a far away place.

      Arahanui from me and ‘the heavy lifter’ as she will be called for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great to hear back from you, Barbara, on an afternoon when i am thinking of you and am now popping in to see Chris. Yes, a force of nature indeed! Pure gift.

        I will check out the echoes of the Blue Mountains with Chris soon. Happy flocking, up there!

        Bestest to you and Frances for the weekend xx


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