Waiting to board a domestic flight in Australia and my phone rings.
It's my father - Mums been bitten by a brown snake, she's in hospital and awaiting toxicology reports so they can administer an anti Venene.
My heart misses a beat. Scenarios flash through my head.
I picture my mother a few hundred metres from the house feeling an intense jolt to her leg, looking down and seeing a snake rear then bolt away. Though overcome with an imminent sense of dread she fights panic and heads towards the house, trying to maintain calm and prevent the acceleration of envenemation as she calls out to my oblivious father.
I'm stunned to receive the news as my flight is called to board and I tell my dad I'll call him as soon as I land.
The seatbelt light goes out and I'm up and dialling my dads mobile, he tells me that mum has been transferred to the largest regional hospital and she is under watch with bandaging from foot to groyne to slow the passage of the venom, blood tests are undertaken every few minutes to establish the extent of danger .
I am on the opposite side of the country and I am due to board a plane to a foreign country in less than an hour. I place a call directly to the emergency department of the hospital and they patch me through to my mum who is loaded on anti anxiety medication and pain killers.
She's blissed out and telling me to continue on overseas as she's alright - of course she is , she's off her head - but she swears she is fine and the nurse backs her up saying there is nothing I can do and that brown snake venom is very slow as it travels through the lymph nodes as opposed to the blood system and it could be hours before anything reveals itself. Dad says go so I go.
But not before ive googled brown snake bites and have reeled at the statistics of most deaths in Australia , loss of limbs, necrosis, kidney failure and permanent disability.
I land in Indonesia at midnight after a few hours of mental turmoil in transit.
My father won't answer his phone.
The horror of the night is resumed as soon as I open my eyes after a few hours fitfull sleep at 5am .
I call my old man and my mum answers sounding like a 16 year old girl, the doctors have released her from hospital and she's ecstatic . Apparently the snake , despite leaving a couple of puncture wounds that the doctor described as akin to being stabbed with a fork , failed to deliver enough venom to endanger my mum
Relief overwhelms me and it's an indescribable weight lifted from my shoulders.
The stress of the night gone and I'm exhausted so I drift back to a blissful slumber only to be woken soon after by the glorious feeling of an amorous partner's hand on my groyne.....
Now I'm awake - and very relaxed - and a tropical downpour greets the dawn and it's just what I've needed . Fat raindrops cascading and the boom of thunder drowning out the roosters as they proclaim the arrival of the day.
A casual breakfast amongst friends then it's time for a surf.
The waves aren't amazing but the water is warm and the dying swell still makes for imminently bashable walls that run for a hundred metres.
The usually deficient sea life is in strange abundance and I'm stoked to watch numerous small sharks, reef fish and a particularly healthy and vibrant blue trevally swim below in the crystal clear waters.
A tiny crowd that is courteous enough to surf within their limits as I exchange waves with a newly acquired friend from South Africa, a good surfer and a good bloke. We share the Stoke of a fun surf, realise the limited size of the international surf community through mutual friends ,trade stories and waves for four hours before the arms give out and I flail my way the few hundred metres across the lagoon and wash away the salt with a fresh water rinse.
Fresh , mixed juice drink, seafood nasi goreng then a spine tingling massage to soothe the aches.
Back to our place to chill and reflect as the sun goes down and I realise that this is the beauty of life...it doesn't always go your way, in fact it can often knock you from pillar to post with the vagaries and unpredictability of the whole fucking thing.
One minute you're flying then you're sitting on your arse with the wheels falling off.
It's definitely nice to be plucked from the fire before you get burned to realise that you've got to appreciate what you've got when the goings good , but it also makes you realise that the dark can descend any time it fucking well feels like it .
And if one thing is guaranteed in this life, it's that bad times will be visited upon you, me and everyone sooner or later.
So don't wait till the good has been defined by the bad, enjoy everyone and everything you love right now.
Because nothing is forever.
You always said the cards would never do you wrong
The trick you said was never play the game too long
A gamblers share the only risk that you would take
The only loss you could forsake
The only bluff you couldn't fake
And you're still the same...