August (tragedy, trials & tribulations)

What an absolute tragedy this week, with the plane-crash at Kokoda. Thirteen people lost. Terribly, terribly sad. I keep thinking about all the planning they would have done, and the training, and the intoxicating anticipation that they would have been feeling as the plane circled for landing. But of course it's not just the trekkers, but the tour guide and the pilot and the ripple effect something like this has. How unbelievably awful for their families, for starters.
Part of the ripple effect includes the fact that almost every person who knows I'm off to Kokoda next year, has now taken the time to ask if I'm having second thoughts. In a word: no. The way I see it, I could get hit by a car right this very minute - well, actually, probably not this very minute as I'm sitting at my computer and nowhere near a road so the car would have to drop vertically out of the sky, which probably isn't likely. But you get my point. And I hope other potential trekkers feel the same way, not just because there's a lot of villages who depend on us fools tramping past each day, but because otherwise - it seems to me - it undermines the whole Kokoda 'spirit', which was part of the reason I wanted to go in the first place. Perhaps that doesn't make much sense, but I know what I mean (someone has to!).
And tomorrow I'll be that little bit closer as at approximately eleven o'clock, I finally get that pesky cartilage of mine re-attached! I'm actually looking forward to it, not just because it will make life a lot easier, but because I am currently so sleep-deprived that a general anaesthetic sounds like sheer bliss. See, for the past few nights Melbourne has been blowing a gale and when Melbourne blows a gale my little corner of the world, perched on the side of a bloody big hill that's covered in trees, gets - shall we say - a trifle blowy. So I have spent the better part of each night staring numbly at the ceiling while enormous gusts of wind swirl manically outside, gathering all the loose debris and flinging it willy-nilly at my bedroom window. It's like auditioning for The Wizard of Oz, but without all the fun bits like murder and mayhem and shiny new shoes.

Today I thought I'd rise above my sleep-deprived lethargy and make all this excess wind work for me instead of against me. So instead of lying on the couch moaning, I did two huge loads of washing and then lugged it all out onto the decking. There I valiantly fought the wind in order to peg the wet clothes from the string of Christmas tree lights that I had cannily left up for just such an occasion. What with the clammy clothing either wrapping itself lovingly around my head or slapping me forcefully across the face, the operation took almost an hour and then, just as I stood back to admire my handiwork blowing in the hurricane-force breeze - it stopped. Dead. Unbelievable but true. One minute a borderline cyclone, the next nothing. Nada. Then, even as I stood there with my mouth open, it started to rain. With just enough slant to target every item of clothing I had just laboriously hung up. So, yep, strap me to a hospital guersney and knock me out. Please.

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