April (and it's over)

The title says it all. After nearly two years of planning and booking and training, I won't be going to Kokoda in July. I am somewhat devastated, but philosophical at the same time. After all, there's a lot worse than can happen. And I still will go - just not this year, and (most disappointingly of all) not with the group of friends who are all locked in for July.

The problem is, as it has always been, my knee. Answers are hard to come by so I'm still not sure whether:
  • a) the surgeon stuffed up,

  • b) I have a new injury

  • c) I put too much strain on the old injury, or

  • d) a combination of all three

Regardless the bottom line is that the knee has been getting progressively worse over the past two months and now complains loudly (actually it's more like an elderly whine) whenever I push it (or pull it, or tug at it, or just use it at all). A return visit to the surgeon resulted in ongoing physio, the probability of more surgery in a few months, and the strict injunction to avoid hills and stairs. Which sort of rules out Kokoda, as it's just a tad hilly. Given that my front door sits at the top of a flight of ten steps, this makes even domestic egress rather challenging. And although the whole Kokoda business started because I was after a challenge, having fun accessing my house wasn't quite the sort of challenge I was after.

So now I have some friends who are (rather flatteringly) unhappy that I won't be joining them. I also have a mound of near-new hiking equipment, including microfibre towels that are next to useless when you have a non-micro body. I also have an (expected) battle with the insurance company, and a ten-day gap in July when I'm not going to be welcome in my own home (if anything my offspring are more disappointed than I am - little darlings that they are), and a single night's accommodation in Port Moresby that I suspect I won't be using. And of course there's also the book I was planning on writing about the experience. All that's on the back-burner too. I hope it catches fire.

Anyway (deep breath), onwards and upwards as they say - although perhaps I should stick to the onwards and avoid the upwards. And while I've been sulking over the past month, I also spent some time playing around with an idea for a non-fiction book as my next project. That's what's called multi-tasking. And I think it's brilliant (well I would, wouldn't I? But fortunately my publishing company was also keen on the idea - so it's full steam ahead). The book is tentatively titled The Invisible Woman, and other remarkable phenomena of middle-age, and it will eventually explore all the different facets of middle-age for women - the good, the bad, and the indifferent. From the intangible, like invisibility and the empty-nest syndrome and 'cougar-ism' and mid-life crises, to the tangible, like those damn chin-hairs (what the hell is going on with those?!!). But I don't want this to be just research, or a self-help or how-to book, or even a (self-indulgent) story of my own close encounter with middle-age. No, I want it to embrace a whole variety of women. To hear their stories, and give them a chance to vent or purr or praise.

So the upshot is that this is the last entry for this blog and I'd like to thank all of you who sent comments, whether through the blog or through my email, over the past year or so. It's been a fun journey and I hope to pick it up again in a few years but for now it's officially on hiatus. And in the meantime, I'd like to introduce my new blog, which will complement the new project. It's called the middle-aged spread and can be found at http://themiddle-agedspread.blogspot.com/. Please come visit, and feel free to stay a while. See you there.