A Change of Pace…


Australia – Tourism Shopping Australia (TSA) – Conference & Incentive Centre (CIC) – wonderful change of pace.  Only 1 trip through Asia & Japan for TSA and a few domestic sales trips for CIC, allowing time for 3 marlin fishing trips!  During the AIME Conference in MEL, Carl Wood mentioned that the ABC ‘Australian Story’ wanted to do a story on Carl and Carla on her 20th birthday.  My legal friend from Hong Kong came to stay ‘for a few weeks’ – and bought a yacht. “One day we’ll sail it back to Hong Kong…”

Sep 01:  An email from David Hodges… “By any chance… are you the John Polson that… in 1966… in an old blue truck… Sahara Desert?  So I replied “Only if you’re the David Hodges that… (inserted picture) …and I’ll be in the UK in about one week!  His repy was immediate – and quite rude – no appreciation for the fact that I had kept perfectly indexed photo files for all those years… But he did invite me to visit… So we did…

My legal friend from Hong Kong is also English and owns a 1947 Bristol – we had planned a driving tour through Europe during September and October – we arrived in Ickham (Kent) at EXACTLY 2:00pm GMT on September 11 – 9:00am in New York City. The world had changed a lot in 35 years – but it changed a lot more in the following 35 minutes… For three days, our reunion took place in front of the TV – and CNN broadcasts from New York.

Our afternoon visit lasted for 3 days – our advice was to ‘stay put’ – so David and Patricia kindly gave us sanctuary while the world went mad.  Finally we packed ourselves back into the Bristol and spent the next 7 weeks wandering around Europe staying with friends as we went… Hannover, Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Innsbruck, Geneva, Cannes, Valbonne, Cap d’Agde, Cadaques – where we decided to go back and explore something we had seen a week or two earlier… back through Geneva, and Munich to Cesky Krumlov.  We stayed another 2 weeks and negotiated the Japanese Wedding rights to the famous (and fantastic) Krumlov Kastel… then back through Hannover to Ickham.  An all too brief overnight with friends in London & Windsor – then to Heathrow and through Singapore to Bangkok.  A few days later, return home.  In December David & Patricia visited me on the Gold Coast.

Carla’s studies going well and JB playing serious inter school and pennants golf – I get to caddy…


Australia – Conference & Incentive Centre – JB’s Golf Clubs got stolen at Indooroopilly and I play amateur sleuth, get them back about a week later.  Hong Kong friend pulls out of the Cesky Krumlov deal – “doesn’t understand it”.  How DO you explain Japanese Weddings to an English Barrister?

Bought a Fishing Tackle shop – shouldn’t have done that.  Carla’s turns 21 – it seems like only…  I discover that I’m type 2 Diabetic – with Cholesterol issues.  JB plays Pennants for Southport, wins TSS trophy and plays in the Greg Norman Junior Classic.  I manage to squeeze in just 2 marlin fishing trips.

Nice quiet year with the family.


Australia – Conference & Incentive Centre and The Fisherman, We buy a boat, only 26 feet – but fast – the 50 fathom line in an hour!  Daiwa host a fishing trip – try jigging for the first (and last) time.  JB runs his first half marathon.  We take part in the ABC’s ‘The Way We Were’ – Carl is out of character – Carla notices – we contact his family.  JB and I do the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb – and win the TSS Father & Son golf tournament.  2 more fishing tournaments and a couple of local marlin fishing trips.  Late in the year, Keith deB Percy (Canada) comes to visit for a few days.

He and David had met in London earlier in the year and discussed a possible Old Blue Truck reunion trip, all four of us together again, with partners – perhaps on the Canal du Midi.  Starting in Le Mans… What did I think?

What did I think?
What do you think I thought?


Australia – Conference & Incentive Centre and The Fisherman, Start the year with a marlin trip with my Melbourne Policeman buddy – Carla leaves for an exchange visit to a Singapore law firm.  JB runs (well) in the Gold Coast Half Marathon.  Annie (Border Collie) arrives into our lives.  We enter the TVL Billfish Classic – and come up one fish short of a win! (Nowhere).

JB & I win the TSS Golf Father & Son tournament (again) and in November he graduates. In December, Carla graduates from UQ Law School – and discussions on our reunion trip continue…


Australia – Conference & Incentive Centre and The Fisherman, In May JB is invited to run in a team entered in the Byron Bay Triathlon, they win their age group and he loves it, buys a bike. Starts at Griffith University studying Sports Science – In November I turn 60 – shit! and JB runs in his first Noosa Triathlon, another team entry, and again they win their age group. December, Carla is admitted as a Solicitor, and leaves with Dan for a few weeks in Asia. In October this website is born. Serious planning for the Canal du Midi trip begins and we find Florence and the Drouin family in Le Mans.


Australia – The Fisherman. In January we sneak in a couple of marlin fishing trips, and then, late in the month, my Melbourne Policeman friend arrives and we score 5 marlin in one day! That’s a PB for Ken and me! The last fish was a triple hook-up (which is a bit rare) and the story is here… In March, JB has his first age group win at the Bribie Island Triathlon.

And, finally, June arrives – JB and I leave for the UK, to join Keith and David & Patricia for what had become known as ‘Trip Two’. Carla joins us later – in France.  The story begins here. The trip lasted 4 weeks longer than planned – and we returned in early August. Closed down The Fisherman – should have done that years ago. A friend within Accor tells me that they are looking at expanding their Vacation Club into the Japanese Market – and arranges initial meetings for me.


Australia – Accor Vacation Club, I spend a couple of months getting my head around the sales process, then head to Hawaii, and inside Hilton & Marriott Vacation Clubs Japanese operations. JB wins Gold Coast Triathlon, and starts proceedings to get his professional licence. I become a triathlon groupie. Geelong, Mool’aba, Raby Bay, Sydney 1/2 Marathon, Doomben 1/2 Marathon, Capricorn Iron Man, Gold Coast 1/2 Iron Man, Raby Bay and Noosa – have camera – will travel.

In November Brian and Krissa Duffin arrive from South Africa and spend a week with me.  Sadly, one week after they leave Brian is diagnosed with cancer and dies early in the New Year.  In December Anthea turns 60 – the kids give her a party.


Australia – Accor Vacation Club, I begin trans-cultural staff training sessions, translation and design of all marketing collateral. Cultural sensitivity in a time-share environment? Probably never! JB turns professional and is competing in both/either the Elite division and U23, we travel to the Geelong Iron Man, he wins the Gold Coast Triathlon again, Bribie Island and Mooloolaba. We celebrate his 21st birthday at home. Carla commuting regularly between Sydney and New York, preparing for her Bar Examinations.

In July JB leaves to compete in Europe for the Summer; Ireland and Switzerland and he is selected to be Brad Kahlefeldt’s training partner at the Australian Pre-Olympics Training Camp at Aix-les-Bains in France. He ends his European Summer with an invitation to join the France Iron Tour. In November he gets an 8th place in the Noosa Triathlon.


Australia – Back to the Art Table, Anthea has been negotiating to buy an Art Gallery – finally decides to open her own.  The Great Logo Design contest begins – perhaps my best effort ever, and I lose – to a triathlete?  WTF?  JB wins QLD Sprint Distance Triathlon. Competes in Gold Coast Tri., Mooloolaba, Noumea and Byron Bay.  It’s all here.  The Gallery opens in June. JB competes in the ITU World Champs on the Gold Coast – and takes a 4th in the Aquathlon.

Keith comes to stay for a couple of weeks – and we start discussing ‘Trip 3’. Commissioned to shoot ‘point of sale’ posters for JB’s new major sponsor, results here. He wins Raby Bay, and wins Robina. Santa comes to the Gallery. Carla passes her Bar Exams and is admitted to NY Supreme Court.


Australia – Still at the Art Table, surrounded by websites, cameras, brochures, art gallery and publishing deadlines (again) – and loving it! Spent New Years Eve in Sydney, watching the fireworks from Carla’s office. Back home for the Robina Tri, Caloundra Tri, and the Raby Bay Triple Sprint. JB takes me to Wellington for the ITU Oceanic Champs, and I take him for a few days in Rotorua (to meet some family). We return in time for the Mooloolaba Triathlon, before he takes off for a 6 week tour of events in Singapore, Cape Town, Subic Bay (Philippines), Noumea, Fouzhou (China) and Beijing.  It’s all covered here.

I go to Sydney to cover Jessica Watson’s return and Carla & Dan’s run in the Sydney Half Marathon. Skye (our younger Collie) developed cancer, and left us. And JB finished his year with entries in the Gold Coast and Port Maquarie 1/2 Marathons.


More from John’s Story…

From To.. Page Name
 1967 1970  Into, and Out of, Africa
 1971 1980  A Quieter Life
1980  Offshore Racing
 1981 1990  The IVF Years
1987  It takes Three to Tango
1990  Cassy’s Story
 1991 2000  Going it Alone
 1991 2005  Tourism Marketing
1998  A House Somewhere
 2001 2010  A Change of Pace
2001  Fishing Trips
2005  More Fishing Trips
 2011 2020  Three Score Years and Ten?


Leave a Reply