So nice to see you.
May always seems to come upon me by surprise. Generally by the end of April you do realise that the year is rushing by at the rate of knots, but there are so many Public Holidays and Birthdays and such to trip you up, then WHAT HO May is already a week gone by and the delayed reaction is definitely one of surprise.
There was a fleeting moment in time, months ago now it seems, that I was told I had a referral to a doctor who would possibly assist in the fore-knowledge on odds of dodging breast cancer bullets and would I travel to the Big Smoke to undertake this journey.
I thought Wow We Could Make that a Long Weekend completely ignoring the fact that funds would be required and school and work juggling would be requirements. It was set for a Friday, which was a double-bonus because (a) it was adjacent to a weekend, and (b) my work on a Friday is of a permanent nature which means that I could still be paid for the time I would have to take out to travel to an appointment over 400km (250 miles) from where I reside.
But (erased long paragraph because) and so it was half-relief and half-curveball when I was told the appointment was going to be on a TUESDAY at a hospital off the rails (trains, that it) rather than a FRIDAY. This was doubly-nowhere near as economically viable, because (a) Tuesday is not within spitting distance of a weekend, and (b) my Tuesday work is casual, and therefore a day away is a day without pay - and given the number of public holidays of late, a 20% hit to the income stream is another heart attack.
To add salt to wound, a girlfriend from Big Smoke sent me a message that she would be visiting ON THE MAY LONG WEEKEND.
Do you know what that means?
THAT MEANS that (a) Tuesday has suddenly become weekend's neighbour, and (b) ANOTHER freaking day without pay for the week, which means we are 40% down the tubes on the week...
And the economic benefit of going a day early with my mate back down to Big Smoke was negated, as the savings from cashing in one of my train tickets was more than wiped out by the taxi fare to get home from the station - as well as (more stuff deleted here) which means there would be no joy in me going early for most of us.
Thus, my day on Tuesday past began rather early.
I had decided, as my trip to Big Smoke were not stressful enough, to incorporate a fast day into the equation. (I am doing 5:2. Its not a diet, its a lifestyle change. Don't drink the Kool Aid - unless its an NFD...) My figuring was I didn't want to spend any more money that absolutely necessary, and history has decreed that hasty decisions made in Food Courts (and other purveyors of convenient refreshments) in Big Smoke wreaks havoc with my intestinal fortitude.
So my early Tuesday began with Black Coffee and being so darned organised I made myself proud.
I had the backpack packed with smart stuff:
- A warm wrap that is as good as a blanket - I chose the green one, the warmest green one that rolls up pretty tight and is comfy. I am old, I choose comfy especially when we are talking rather early autumnal mornings - I really give little fig about my fashion critics who have arisen before dawn.
- A gorgeous little red pillow, embroidered with a butterfly, the words "Sweet Dreams are Made of These" and impregnated with hugs.
- My folder of bits of paper pertaining to my appointment. How freaking organised am I talking? I am talking printed out instructions on the THREE buses that would be required to get me from the train station to the hospital within the timeframe of WHEN THE TRAIN WAS DUE TO ARRIVE and WHEN THE APPOINTMENT WAS SET FOR. We are talking a time gap of 65 minutes. The three bus option would have taken forty-eight minutes - slower, admittedly, than the thirty-seven minute two bus combination that required a 758m WALK at the end of it.
- A folder with worky stuff and a few job opportunities that may be pertinent. I had hours to kill. I should tailor the CV in my spare time. (See above note about stressful enough incorporation)
- Two magazines - a lifestyle magazine and a cooking magazine. Because what better time to read food porn than on a fast day well away from your own kitchen.
- A book. Not the book that I am currently reading - I am currently reading "The King's Curse" by Phillippa (either too many ls or ps) Gregory. Fantastic, but about 20kg (44lbs) and 2 inches thick - the backpack was getting full. And Heavy.
No a book chosen on the merit of "its thinner than most of the others", "it isn't important enough if I decide to ditch it" and "well, its in the pile of I-haven't-got-around-to-reading-after-discovery-in-an-op-shop and so it had to happen at some point anyway" - and it delivered everything that it promised. Disappointment. But more on that later.
- Wallet with emergency $50, card bought for public transport in Big Smoke, gift card given to me for my recent birthday by Queen Jeanie for a store in Big Smoke, lip gloss, emery board, tissues, tweezers (how organised?) and room for the mobile phone.
And you will also notice that "glasses case with other pair of glasses" in there either. That was my first clue that Tuesday was going to be one of THOSE days.
That moved my drive to town from "leisurely pre-dawn cruise to the station" to "oh darn, I hope this hasn't made me late for the train panic" mode. The radio in the car wouldn't work properly, I had noticed that the phone had already dropped 4% just by being unplugged from the charger for 3/4 of an hour and so didn't plug in my audio book.
Thus, I ended up finding the ABC pre-dawn radio host interviewing an expert in the life and times of Julius Caesar. That was the first glimmer of joy that was to also be a feature of my day. Yin and Yang baby. The car that pulled up next to me also had the same radio show playing.
"I wonder" I asked him "how many of us hopping on this train are newly learned in Roman history?"
I have learned the trick of knowing whether or not you have a good seat on the train to Big Smoke. If it is divisible by 4 evenly. It means a window seat. It means on the side not pierced by sunrise - and sunrise on the train is not as beautiful as one in a location of your own -choosing. Sunrise on the train seems always to be on a rather glary vista of fields and crops. Divisible-by 4 seats get to look out over trees and creeks dapped with the sunlight peeking through the train.
(To be continued)
(might even be back with photos)