I’m sure you forget how hard all that is when you've done it automatically ever since the time yo momma did it for you until you were 5 or so. But tomorrow - I’ll be there. You betcha. Even with this cyclone looming up east of the Queensland coast, it should be fine here for the next day or two.
Oh, my foot's swelling has gone down. So it really more a circulation thing, by the look, and ambient temperature isn't so much the issue. Took me only eight months to figure that out....
I used to think that one of the limited advantages of dying comparatively young was that you would escape practically all the trials and tribulations of aging. You know the ones.
That may be true if your life is suddenly snuffed out by some event - some accident perhaps. But now I realise that for me at least, there seems to be little chance of escape. I am going to have to go through many of these indignities and trials, only at a much greater rate than the elderly. Please may I be spared the worst of them, if only for the sake of the people I love.
Two years ago I was vain enough to believe people when they reckoned I looked ten years younger than my age - in my early fifties, they said. Now, the sad truth is that most of my physical reactions are like those of a man in his early eighties. You think I’m exaggerating? If only.
8.45 am Thursday, 3 February.
The time is flying by. I am really enjoying this beach holiday. I will be sorry when it comes to an end. It’s mainly that this house is so perfect for our needs. A 5 Star luxury apartment on the Gold Coast wouldn't serve so well.
Looking forward to the pool again when the shade comes over a bit. Right now would be ok as the pool is shaded by the date palms - but Tracey and Christian are both asleep still and I won’t disturb them. I woke early but I suspect the ‘effortless’ effort of yesterday made me exhausted enough to want simply to go back to sleep.
And what strange dreams. A toddler on the edge of a high waterfall with crocodiles waiting, not in the water below, but in the folds of the cliff face that the water was pouring over.... and this was being filmed by someone! I was able to pluck her off the edge [not sure how I would've managed that!] She looked puzzled as if wondering why I was spoiling her fun.
The pool was again beautiful yesterday, but like any experience, never quite the same when repeated. The present memory of a past experience always affects the present experience. Happily, getting in and out we did much better. The feeling of freedom, and the profound heaviness when leaving the pool - those didn't change.
And so it is Thursday. And what have I done? Another day older, a new one just begun... the drama with the cyclone will unfold more today with reality and not speculation. The ABC has done a superb job with its broadcasts. I heard some reporting on commercial TV when I flicked over and was annoyed by the appalling exaggerations - 10 even reported as fact that 285 kph gusts were hitting Cairns at 11 pm last night! And the expressions they were using were all over the top. I‘d call it hyperbole but you aren’t meant to take hyperbole seriously. Apparently they think we should.
No wonder Bob Katter was complaining about the media terrorising people in the affected area. Now I understand why. He must have heard that sort of exaggeration dished up as reporting. Don't these idiots understand that a Class 5 cyclone doesn't need any extra dramatising? Dammit, it's already sensational! You don't need any 'angles', nor to make anything up. You’re way too used to dressing up a story about some starlet’s failed romance than real news. Just report what's happening when you have a genuine story and stop behaving like dropkicks.
I sound like a candidate for Grumpy Old Men, don’t I? So be it. I qualify. I’ve got lots more where that came from, but maybe not just right now.
Still, at this time, we don't have any real assessment of the cyclone damage, though one thing's for sure - you are going to be paying lots more for your sugar and sugar-based products, and for bananas!
Perhaps the best thing that could happen for the health of the nation is that sugar prices go spiralling off the high end of the scale, and people start to buy real food again and not junk. 'Pure, white and deadly'. Sugar is a drug and has us totally enslaved.
Friday 4 February, 8 am.
Joy is to feel 'normal' after a long stretch of feeling otherwise, even if it’s for a fleeting time. A bit like Avatar, I guess, when what's-his-name in the wheelchair becomes one of those ... very tall green people, all bits in excellent working order.
I have an avatar and he's maybe ten years old. And can swim like a fish.
Remember that, O ye who have nothing worse to complain about than that it's Monday again and you can’t wait till Friday. You are wishing your and my life away. The blessed memory of feeling normal will help me to put up with the increasingly difficult struggle just to get up from a chair, walk through the house.... get in and out of the car, climb stairs. And, I hope, the memory will help to deal with the unknown, yet to be experienced challenges looming ahead. It's a roller-coaster as I've said many times, and parts of the ride are fine. The others? They stink. But it could be worse.
I started out this whole story with the header, ‘Do you want the good news first or the bad news?’ That story I started out on has nothing to do with anything I wrote above - not a skerrick! It's about something else entirely. It'll be my next project, perhaps.
Ernest Hemingway, you may have had your stream of consciousness and your Old Man and the Sea. I had a king parrot visit me, and a weightless swim.
Sunday, 6 February 2011 7:30 AM.
I also know another thing. A new chapter has begun. But now I draw a line under this one.