Monday morning I woke to find another year had slipped away. It was my 63rd birthday. Who cares I guess, except that my mother died about 6 weeks after her 63rd birthday so that is a bit sobering. I was on a roll and had promised everyone that I would come for a swim at Manly at 630am. It was a beautiful morning and thankfully the surf was flat. Marg Carney, Denise Elder and Gail Kennedy were there to escort me into the drink. I think I was born about 6.30am and that’s when we got into the water. It was surprisingly cold.
The swim was uneventful although it’s impossible to see direction when using a snorkel. I travelled all over the place and eventually arrived at Shelly. Coming back along the shore was a bit more predictable. Maybe it’s my imagination but the pain seems to be abating a bit. I’m approaching the water without the fear I had a couple of weeks ago and the burning sensation in my neck and down into my hand seems to be saying adios. Not regrets! The pain is going to the same place the gut bugs went. Hopefully.
Very jolly breakfast at Manly Wine bar afterwards and because I wasn’t in much pain it would have been nice to linger. I love sitting there at the breakfast table watching the sun sparkle on the ocean and listening to people talk. Unfortunately, over the last couple of months, I’v e been in too much pain to enjoy it. I am lucky to have these friends, who have helped me so much through these recent dark hours .
“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.” Epicurus said that. Clever old Greek, in the days when Greece wasn’t synonymous with financial crisis. He was thinking of me.
It was a busy day at work including lunch with Ryan Crewe Brown and Aditi Grover at the MLC Centre. Dinner was with Catherine, Amelia and Bergin at Garfish. I’m wistful at times like this. I think of Hilary a long way away, struggling to find a job and happiness in London. The circle has been broken. I Skype to her several times during dinner as I hope we could connect in the early hours of the day. Alas, it was to no avail. That is the harsh reality of children: if you educate them, imbue them with ambition and then turn them loose, they could, and do, end up anywhere. Hilary is in a cold, grey country, full of Poms, far from home and the sparkling waters of Manly on a beautiful summer’s day. I miss her very much.
Many things in life are uncertain but one thing I can be reasonably certain of is that I will never be 62 years old again. Still, it was a very enjoyable day as Pain took a rostered day off.