Thursday, 24 March 2022

I'm back! and I'm annoyed.

 It's been a while since I last blogged, I hope nobody was worried. There is never going to be a reason to worry. Obviously I'm always going to come back, sooner or later.  

Plenty has happened. I moved house in September last year, during lockdown, in order to live near David. I got covid in October. Proper Delta covid lad, not your pissy mincing other little kind as minced through by Barnaby Joyce, Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, the Queen and Clive Palmer amongst other people who God should have taken, if he really existed which obviously he doesn't. 

While I was in a fortnight's solitary confinement my best friend of more than thirty years died of cancer. We finally sold the house in Brunswick the weekend I was released, for a shocking sum of money, but not actually enough for me to buy another place to live, it turns out, my insultingly low salary means I can borrow very little. So I'm still considering what I should do with the money now. 

I went back to work on 7 November and have basically been there ever since, excepting a 2.5 week period in summer when I had recreation leave, booked in order to go to Germany and Finland but a few weeks out, just at the turning point of the omicron wave, we decided to postpone it another year. I'll be surprised if north-eastern Europe is in any way a safe travel destination come next January, but hey probably anywhere is safer to be than in an Australian summer in the second decade of the twenty-first century.  

I've just finished another week-long solitary isolation period at home, no illness just the full logistical nightmare of trying to do my job in an increasingly dysfunctional working environment. Like the Victorian state opposition, I keep thinking it can't get any worse...and then it does. 

I started having piano lessons. In Preston. I think I'll be able to play the piano pretty well eventually. My piano is under the stairs.

Where I live now there are beautiful windows at both ends of the two levels and the outlooks are four different yet uniformly gorgeous combinations of buildings, sky and leafiness. Out of my bedroom window there is a view down to a spectacular, decadent enclosed shared garden with lawn, paths, pergola, crepe myrtles, azaleas, rhododendrons and a quirky assortment of mature tall trees. Birds zap and dive round, yelling, mapping 3D paths between trees so you see glimmers of how the neighbourhood looks to birds. At eye level there are interestingly Rear Windowesque buildings opposite with lit windows framing the silhouettes of people who I know more about than I really should, thanks to the magic of the private facebook group for the complex and my insatiable hunger for little details that can be recklessly assembled into a narrative. Beyond the buildings are rooftops and more trees and a single big new apartment complex that always looks to me like a cruise ship gliding up alongside the pier. Nestled below the sky is the tall elongated cupola of a Ukrainian church. 

It took me a long time to recover from the cove - months, really. It was heart and lungs for a considerable while, plus deep fatigue. Now I'm just really unfit and when I get tired it's from being flabby and weak rather than from any more ominous reason.  I hardly ever ride my bike any more and I can't understand why. I have got to lose weight. Menopause and 50 is coming for me.  My hair is well past shoulder length. I'm going to let it go all the way down to elbow length and get a heavy fringe cut into it. Like many people I have lost a lot of hair post-covid. I did have a lot to lose so it's not too alarming as long as I don't think about it much. It's growing back, shorty and fluffy bits sticking up over the crown of my head.

My cats have been really lovely and kind lately. I mean, they broke a big arched mirror in my bedroom by jumping all over everything, and they still won't let me pick them up, but Chanticleer in particular really gets a lot of satisfaction out of coming over to me and looking at me. Just because anthropomorphising is a long word, people think when they say it it means something. I have known this cat at very close quarters for two years now and I know he feels immense and complacent satisfaction when he sits on the floor next to the couch or the table and stares at me. In the mornings when I get up they are so anxious and worried that I might not feed them, it's completely adorable. They love the windows too. What they see is the cat from next door who is allowed to go out in the daytime. She's a real sourpuss. She goes down to the garden and we all watch her picking her way crossly through the grass and fallen leaves. And like me they also dig the hell out of all the bird activity. In the afternoons Pompey likes to lie by himself on one of the beds. He has a pretty good time.  

I haven't bought a new pair of shoes for five years. In December I got new prescription glasses and sunglasses, then I left the glasses on a tram, so I bought another pair. Then I lost the sunglasses too. All my underwear is worn out and disintegrating. The problem is not funds but time to go to the shops and do the shopping. I just can't make myself do it. This has happened before, now that I think about it. I think there was a stretch of some years around about 2002-2005 where I would have to pull my knickers up several times an hour, if walking, because of dead elastic.

I've been to some good places; Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, Canberra, Williamstown, Oakleigh, Brighton, Ballarat, Warrnambool. I didn't swim in the sea once last summer and I regret it now, but it made sense at the time. The last film I saw at the movies was Licorice Pizza and it was excellent. This quarantine I watched Yellowjackets on tv and it too was excellent. I had to end my subscription to the LRB, after twenty years, because they just would not or could not (i feel convinced that it's would not) transfer billing to a credit card which is not the old last remaining joint one with my ex-husband. They've got form. It took several years of persistent complaining before they removed the unrequested Mrs from address labels bearing my name. I get the New Yorker by post, it's more frequent than it needs to be but I do read it. I also took out a print subscription The Atlantic in November but have not yet received a single issue, fair enough, I didn't really expect to.  I also have Crikey, the Guardian, The Age and the New York Times. When I wake up in the night i listen to podcasts. It's a wonderful insomnia session when there's a new Guardian Politics podcast. The bread and butter of this affliction is a three-times-weekly US foreign policy show called Deep State Radio. It's good. I've been listening to it since 2017. The ecstasy of their hatred of Trump in 2019 carried me through the tormented nights of the very last weeks of ended marriage and before separation.




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