Lifescouts is a badge-collecting community of people who share real-world experiences online.Or you could watch this handy video...
It's a great concept, isn't it? I wasn't sure that it was necessarily something that I could get involved in, but when I visited the website and the first thing I saw was a "Sydney Opera House" badge, I figured that maybe it was something that I could do...
And given that I think there is going to be an archery badge coming up, it actually made me find and print out a copy of a Beginners Class application for the archery club that meets in my suburb since it's something I've always wanted to try.
But that's getting a little ahead of myself.... here are the stories behind my first three Lifescout badges (and I also ordered two of the three as physical badges too).
I've talked before about my ongoing love affair with Sydney. The city speaks to me in a way that none of the other Australian cities I've visited (including my home town of Adelaide) does.
But I don't feel like I've properly arrived in Sydney until I lay eyes on both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Unlike the bridge though, I always have to desire to lay my hands on the Opera House. I'm not completely sure why... whether it's the difference in apparent texture between the glossy white and matte cream tiles, or just as one of those things that you want to do when you encounter a very large animal... just to pat it and say hello. I can't NOT do that whenever I'm in Sydney.
One of the really amazing things about the Opera House is the way that it changes depending on the prevailing light... it can look brilliantly white under a sapphire sky, or take on the soft grey light of an overcast day, not to mention how it looks at both sunrise and sunset.
If (when?) I ever move to Sydney, it's one of the places I think I'd find myself drawn to a lot... and I'd hope that I would go and see concerts and performances there. On our first trip to Sydney we did do the Opera House tour, which is really interesting, especially for a first time visitor (even if they won't let you take photos inside the venues.
So far I've only been fortunate enough to see a production of Macbeth at the Opera House, but that was in one of the small theatres tucked down in the base.
And I've also constructed the Lego version of the Opera House, purchased from the Opera House, which sits proudly next to my TV.
I've watched a lot of sunrises in my life... I'm forced by circumstances (ie work) to usually be up before the sun comes up no matter whether it's Summer or Winter. It's my favourite time of day... everything is quiet, the weather (in Summer anyway) is cool and there's that very short period of time when the sky very often lights up in the most amazing colours.
It was always one of my favourite things about my morning walk... seeing the sky light up.
But when I first thought about "watching the sunrise" there were two things that popped into my head right away.
Although given the story for the previous badge, I will say that I did watch the sun rise behind the Sydney Opera House on my last trip.
The other sunrise that popped into my head was one I blogged about here... staying up all night long with J... talking crap, doing ill conceived science experiments, that kind of thing.
After I left J's place I took a short detour to the beach with the intention of watching the full sunrise and taking photos... turns out that while it was mostly light, full sunrise was still a while away... plus it was cloudy... and I was really, really tired... so I went home and slept instead.
And now I'm suddenly not sure if that's even a sunrise story...
It also reminded me of when I was a teenager and (usually during school holidays) I would find myself going to bed later and later and getting up later and later and in the end the only thing that I could think to do was to stay up the whole night long and essentially reset my body clock.
This usually coincided with one of the slightly obsessive events when I would tidy up my bedroom by moving almost everything (well, other than the furniture) onto my bed and then slowly working my way through putting it all back in either it's proper place or an entirely new place.
And there would always be that moment where I would be surprised by the fact that the sun had risen or was about to rise... one minute it's dark and the next you realise you actually have been up all night.
I came late to the whole driving thing... while you can get your learner's permit here in South Australia when you're 16, I didn't get mine until I was 22.
I really didn't have any great need for it. I lived at home, I caught public transport everywhere, or I went places with other people in their cars.
And to be honest the only real reason that I eventually caved in and got it was that I could get the government to pay for the test and my lessons as part of my unemployment benefits.
I was also really fortunate that there wasn't a big practical test to sit at the end of my driving lessons... partly because I have NEVER been able to reverse park. I couldn't do it during the lessons and I don't even both trying now... if there isn't enough space to go into a spot forwards I don't even bother.