Friday, 30 August 2013

Wild imaginings.

My imagination has been out to play lately.  I think that the physical constraints I'm under as I recover from my knee injury are resulting in my mind saying "yippee!".

As I've been nursing my injury and waiting to discover how serious it is and what my recovery will be like, I've had all kinds of thoughts.  As I struggled with pain and lack of mobility, I started to see myself as instantly decrepit.  Before my very eyes, my shoulders hunched, my ankles thickened and I lost inches from my height.  All colour disappeared from my wardrobe.  And from my hair.  All heels disappeared from my shoes.  Hair appeared on my chin.  Nooooooo! I railed against this.  No instant ageing for me!

My thoughts were interrupted by a phone call.  It was from a blocked number.  I answered anyway.


"Oh hello darling.  How are you?" a fruity male voice said.

I thought this was an unlikely greeting from the bank.  If my phone doesn't tell me who is calling I have no idea who it is.

I scrolled through my mental list of blokes who would ring me and call me darling.


"It's John!"

"Ohhhhhhh.  Hellooooo."

During my appointment with the physiotherapist the other day, we were accompanied by incessant hammering on the floor above the treatment room.  The Novotel Hotel is up there.  We wondered what could be going on.  Here's my list:

1. It's a carpentry convention and there are regular and rigorous demonstrations of hammering - perhaps a new hammer is on show.

2. It's the honeymoon suite in the hotel and they are reattaching the bedhead.

3. There's actually nothing up there and now they are building a hotel.

4.  It's not hammering at all, but an Irish dancing, clogging or tap dancing gathering and they are practising.

5. It's a training session for the International Synchronised Hammering Championship.

6. It's a physiotherapy clinic for people with wooden legs.

7.  It's an avant garde percussion group rehearsing their original composition, "Hammered".

8. It's an avant garde performance art piece and our reactions to the incessant banging are being filmed as part of a projection festival to be shown in Iceland.

9.  Santa's Workshop has gone global.

10.  There's a cockroach infestation and the only eradication method available is manual!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The road to recovery

The knee injury is healing slowly.  There's only pain if I try to bend too far, twist or roll over in bed.  Putting a shoe on my right foot is becoming less of a production too.  It will be one week since I fell over and I'm at about 85% capacity.

Every night as I watch the television news I look at the footballers and the injuries they sustain and wonder how on earth they can go back on and play with torn and broken bits.  Firstly I do know that I do not have the same level of fitness as an elite athlete so my recovery will take longer, but even considering that, bodies work in generally the same way.

My issue with walking properly is not really pain, but a lack of ability to fully bend and extend my leg.  As the physio said yesterday, it's like a rusty hinge which has to be worked and worked and worked until the rust is gone and the hinge moves freely.  As a result of my altered gait, I now have a sore lower back and hip on the other side.  It's actually more painful than the knee.

Physiotherapists are miracle workers.  I always approach them with trepidation.  I know that they are probably going to cause me pain but that I will be much improved the next day.  It must be a hard job to do where you know that you will be causing someone pain but that it needs to happen if they are to feel better.

I've recently discovered the television program "Embarrassing Bodies".  After previously writing it off as voyeurism I stumbled upon it a couple of weeks ago and found it to be informative and interesting.  Last night one of the segments featured a baby girl born with talipes (club foot).  The baby was being treated with plasters and boots to straighten the foot.  In between plasters, which were applied weekly, a physiotherapist worked on her tiny foot.  The physiotherapist looked gentle and kind and seemed to be handling the baby's foot carefully.  The baby was screaming and the mother was crying.  The physio continued her work and then reassured the mother that she wasn't hurting the baby and explained exactly what she was doing.  It turned out that the baby was hungry, but it was intense watching this scene and I wondered at the focus and commitment to healing that a physiotherapist needs to have in order to help their patient.

Yesterday's visit was my first encounter with this particular physiotherapist.  From my point of view, the first visit is all about trust and rapport.  Am I confident that they'll work with me?  Do I trust that they won't hurt me?  Are they listening to me?  I'm happy to say that the answer to all of these questions was "yes".

The rusty hinge is squeaking away and the initial treatment made a world of difference.  I'm heading back tomorrow and expect that I'll be nearly right as long as I keep up my exercises and take  my own share of responsibility.   Perhaps this is the key to athletes' recovery - physiotherapists and doctors on tap from the moment of injury.  I hope it's that and not "performance enhancing" drugs.

My performance in the Global Corporate Challenge has taken a severe hit too. My daily average steps has now slipped below 9000 steps per day and I'm annoyed that I can't be active.  It's been interesting to notice the steady increase in daily activity as the days since injury.  I was barely reaching 1000 steps per day over the weekend and yesterday almost made 6000.  Can't wait to crack 10000 again.  No performance enhancing drugs for me!

How are you going?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

My first political poll

I was just polled!  It's the first time in this election campaign.  It was all automated too.  I just had to press buttons on my phone.

The first question was about whether I am eligible to vote in the seat of Melbourne.  I'm not.  I expected the survey would finish but it didn't.

I was asked about my voting intentions and how firm I am in relation to those intentions.

I was asked about how I voted last time.

Then I was asked what I thought of the job done by sitting Green member for the seat of Melbourne, Adam Bandt.  Clearly they missed that first bit where I said I wasn't eligible to vote in that seat.

Lastly they asked me how old I was and for my gender (press "two" for female...always second).

Curiously, I have a silent number at home which is where they rang me.  Wonder how they got the number?

Have you been polled?  Do you do the survey?

Monday, 26 August 2013

On hold - is my call really important?

One of the advantages of being housebound and under doctor's orders to rest, is that it frees up time to do some admin.  This morning's task features being on hold.  I've had a lot of time to consider what makes waiting in a telephone queue bearable and what is likely to cause me to throw the phone at the wall.

I have two case studies.  This morning I called the Tenants Union of Victoria for some advice.  They are a small, not for profit community organisation.  I expect to wait when I call them.  While I was waiting I received regular updates about my place in the queue and useful referrals to their website and reminders about what I'd need to have handy when my call was answered.  It turns out that I was on hold for about 25 minutes before my call was answered.  I didn't resent any of the time because the organisation kept me informed during the wait.  My call was cheerfully and helpfully addressed when it was answered.  Regular updates about my place in the queue enabled me to continue doing other things while I was waiting.

Contrast this experience with attempts to contact Crazy Domains.  This organisation has driven me to the point of rage.

I have a simple relationship with Crazy Domains - I have a couple of domain names parked with them.  They came up for renewal on 5 August this year and so began the psychodrama.

Firstly, when I attempted to pay online, via the link in the reminder email, I couldn't remember my password.  I clicked on the link to get a password reminder.  I'm still waiting!  Somehow, I managed to pay on my mobile phone without the need to log in to my Crazy Domains account.  I was happy about that because I didn't want my domains to be picked up by someone else.  When I made the payment through Paypal I received the email confirmation regarding the payment, but no tax invoice from Crazy Domains.  When I continued to receive emails advising that my domains had expired I started to wonder what had happened to my money.

Their website proclaims 5 star, award winning customer service and 24/7 support.  My experience doesn't even get one star and I am beginning to think that the slick front is not representative of the one-person-in-a-room-with-a-phone that is the reality.  On three occasions I called and was on hold for 25 minutes before the call just disconnected.  I was offered the option of requesting a call back which I did on a further three occasions.  The service promise was that I would not lose my place in the queue and that I would receive a call back when I reached the front of the queue.  It must be a VERY long queue, because I'm still waiting!

Meanwhile I was bombarded with messages about how fantastic the organisation is.  Questions like "Are you sick of your current provider?" made me laugh my head off.

I tried different things.  I selected the "sales" option when calling, thinking that they might be faster to deal with prospective clients.  No luck.

I then went to the email link to lodge a complaint.  I sent my first email on 6 August 2013.  I received an instant response with a ticket number and a promise that "One of our highly trained and friendly support consultants will review and reply within 24 hours." I received a response ELEVEN days later that failed to address any of my issues.  I responded and am still waiting for a response.

Over the weekend when I was confined to the house, I decided to try calling again.  This time the number was engaged.  All weekend.  Maybe that one person sitting with a telephone had decided to take the weekend off.

Today, I've made three phone calls.  They have been cut off/dropped out at various points.  I'm currently on hold and the phone call has been in progress for almost an hour with no resolution.  I've heard every excuse under the sun including that they just moved offices.  I asked when.  They said they were in "transition".  I asked when the transition started and when it would be over.  She responded by saying that there was a large volume of calls and if I wanted to make a complaint I could send an email.  Which I've already done.  To no avail.  I've now resorted to public statements on twitter and facebook in the hope that bad publicity might result in some action.  Reading the twitter feed is fascinating - it's populated by fed up customers complaining about the lack of service and difficulties making contact.

Now they claim that they're not Australian and don't have to provide tax invoices compliant with Australian law, yet the website provides an ACN (Australian Company Number) and is trading in Australia with an Australian address listed.  

They've *promised* to send me a receipt within 24 hours.  Somehow, I don't believe them, but I am gaining a new insight into their may be their name, but driving customers crazy is their game.

If you've had success with this organisation I'd love to hear how you did it!  What drives you nuts when you're trying to call an organisation?

Friday, 23 August 2013

Spectacular trip and I'm off to hospital

Regular interaction with the health system is a feature of my working life, but usually I'm a simulated patient, rather than a real one.  Today I experienced the emergency department of one of Melbourne's main hospitals from the perspective of a real patient.

Following my usual routine, I had enjoyed the walk from Flinders Street station to the office South Melbourne.  There's something refreshing about a brisk walk in the cold air.  I arrived at the office just after 9am and entered the foyer.  I took one step, felt my left ankle slip, I corrected and over-balanced the other way, landing on my right knee as I went for a spectacular slide on the ground.  I lay on my face for a moment (elegant!), gathered myself together and sat up.  Several people walked past and then a woman stopped to help me up and ask if I was okay.  It was then a few steps into the office.  I sat in reception, burst into tears and announced that I had just had a fall.  

An icepack was brought immediately and a team of people sprang into action.  I had been able to walk, but bending the knee was causing a nasty twinge at the back/side.  I peeled back my leggings and discovered a nasty bruise and some swelling.  We quickly decided that I should head to an emergency department for xrays and assessment.

I arrived with a work colleague at 10:10am and could immediately see that it was busy.  My colleague joined the queue for me while I sat and waited for the three people ahead of her to be seen by the triage nurse.  She was lovely but had an unusual definition of pace and urgency.  I was thankful that I had someone with me and that I wasn't really, really sick or injured.  Several people in the queue looked terrible and there was no one to go to for help except the slow moving triage nurse.  

After about 30 minutes I made the front of the queue.  I gave my name, date of birth, address and gave a description of what had happened and a rating for the pain.  I was directed to take a seat and wait to be called by the administration clerk.  After a further fifteen minutes, I was seated in front of the administration clerk and asked exactly the same questions again as well as details of my Medicare card and employer.  These two people were sitting a metre from each other and using computers, so it seems incredible that my information hadn't been passed on.  Several times when I was trying to respond to questions, the administration clerk turned to talk to other people or answer the phone.  

Soon a very friendly physiotherapist came to see me.  She did a quick examination and then took me for an xray which was done quickly and I was back on a bed.  It was good news: nothing broken or torn, but some local bruising, likely deep bone bruising and soreness.  I discovered that one part of my knee is very sore to touch normally.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when she pressed somewhere that I hadn't realised was sore.  When she checked the other knee in the same spot I had the same reaction.  Apparently I just have sensitive knees.

Two hours and ten minutes later I was in a taxi on my way home, wearing a sexy compression bandage with a list of instructions for regular application of an ice pack.  

When I came back to the waiting area, there were more people and people who had been there before me were still waiting.  None of them looked happy or comfortable.  All the seats are upright and there wasn't even any way that I could sit with my leg elevated while I was waiting.  

I put my brother down as next of kin and called him to tell him what was going on.  He's a veterinarian and immediately performed a lameness exam over the phone and promptly ordered a full body cast while laughing maniacally.  I started to reconsider my decision to have him as next of kin.  After I had been seen and was waiting for the paperwork to take with me I called him again.  He obviously still thought the whole thing was hilarious and asked me what  he should say if he got a call that said I was unconscious and they needed to know whether or not to amputate.  My response was "wake me up and ask me!"

My final instructions to him were that he wasn't to plug me in or unplug me.  Nothing like a sympathetic little brother to lighten the mood.

A weekend of lying in bed reading or lying on the couch watching TV with hourly trips to the freezer to retrieve the icepack stretches before me.  And I don't have to feel guilty!  I'm pleased that I haven't sustained a serious injury  and can't imagine how much pain I'd be in if I had!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Life in the tropics

Yesterday it was 13 degrees in Melbourne.  It was 33 degrees in Darwin.  It is much the same story today, except three degrees cooler in Melbourne.  Yesterday I sat outside a cafe on the edge of the Smith Street Mall  and ate lunch.  Nearby a man dressed in a collared shirt talked too loudly on his mobile phone.  I wonder if he's a minder for a politician as the conversation moves to management of Twitter, Facebook and media dates.  The name "Warren" is mentioned, so it's either Warren Snowden, Member for Lingiari (ALP) or Warren Truss, leader of the National Party.  I shudder as I realise that I was him a few years ago.

Politics seems a long way away as I enjoy a day off, even though Darwin is synonymous with politics for me.  As I move around the city I recall the long days of campaigning in the 2007 election.  Streets are familiar and I know I must have door knocked particular houses.

I restrain my attraction to brightly coloured clothes in tropical prints and Balinese batik, reminding myself that I live in Melbourne.  

Yarnbomb! Darwin
© divacultura 2013
I noticed a tree in the Smith Street Mall has been yarn bombed, including a cheeky caterpillar and reflect that you'd have to do something with your knitting up here - too hot to wear it!

It's a beautiful time of year up here.  The air is dry and warm.  The skies endlessly blue.  The mornings and evenings are gorgeous.  This morning, I woke just before dawn with a breeze blowing through the wall of louvers in my bed room.  Palm trees planted close to the house combined with the sound of unfamiliar birds give the feeling of being somewhere in the jungle.  What a beautiful environment in which to surface to consciousness. 

I took my friend for dinner at Stokes Hill Wharf to take in my final night in Darwin.  The boats out in the harbour shone their lights and the water changed colour as the sun set.  We ate oysters so fresh they tasted of the sea, barramundi and prawns.  It was dark when we left and the place was still crowded with people.

Whenever I come to Darwin I find the place so appealing.  The lifestyle feels more laid back and the tropical weather lends an air of permanent holidays.  Thinking about winter back home in Melbourne, I feel the lure.  Then I hear about rents and remember the cost of living and the distance from everywhere and remember what the build up to the wet season is like.  I wonder whether I can find a way to work here during the dry season and be in Melbourne for the rest of the year?  That would be ideal.

Night sky from Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin
© divacultura 2013

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sunday in Darwin...bliss

It's far too hot and humid for the dry season in Darwin.  There were even clouds this morning.

After checking out of my hotel, I met some friends for breakfast at the Roma Bar and caught up on news.  Then I went to the art gallery to see the Telstra Awards (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards).  There was some gorgeous works and some that did nothing for me, but it did provoke thought about the lines between art and craft.  When does an everyday item cease to be what it is and become art?  The answer today was probably a) when it's made by an artist and/or b) when it's in an art gallery.

A quick market fix at Nightcliff resulted in a purchase of a dress from the $20 rack.  Mindil Beach markets yielded little in the way of interesting purchases (there's only so much batik and tie dye you can have in a Melbourne wardrobe), but I did stop to admire the view.

Mindil Beach, Darwin
© divacultura 2013
© divacultura 2013

Friday, 16 August 2013

Hotel room rule book

My hotel room is fine, albeit full of strange requests, directions and statements.  For example, in the bathroom, hanging on a hook, is a laminated photograph of a hairdryer which includes the following statement: "FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE A HAIRDRYER IS LOCATED IN THE 2ND DRAWER OF THE DESK".

I'm confused about a few things.  How is it convenient to put the hairdryer in the desk?  Where the hell is the desk anyway? Why is it in the 2nd drawer?  What's wrong with the top drawer or the bottom drawer? Why is there a special hook on which to hang this laminated card when the hook would be the perfect place to put the actual hairdryer?Why does the hairdryer need photo identification?

All of these questions are unanswerable.

Then there is a sign that hangs over the doorknob which declares itself to be "your green card for the environment".  It contains six points, mainly about linen choreography (where to put the towels if you don't want them washed, or if you do want them washed, what to do if you don't want the sheets changed), and a stray instruction to turn the television and lights OFF when you leave the room, before we discover point five:

5. Please be aware that excessive steam build up in your bathroom may activate smoke detectors in your room.   Your co-operation on this matter is greatly appreciated.  

Cooperation is something that I am happy to do where I can, but I'm  confused by this statement.  The only way it can be understood is that it is a request for steam build up to be created.  I washed my hair this morning, but couldn't get the smoke detectors to go off.  The only thing that did happen was the shower wouldn't drain.

Finally, point six on the card is a charming reminder that I'm in the tropics:

6. During your stay in tropical Darwin, you may encounter small insects and ants in your room.       Climatic conditions make them very difficult to eradicate totally.

Now I'm nervous about the other creatures which may find their way in, but relieved to read the fine print on the card.  I am advised that I can call the manager on extension 9 for further clarification.  If I had more energy that might be entertaining.  Instead I'm off to build up excessive steam in the bathroom.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

On approach to Alice Springs

A quick turnaround in Alice Springs en route to Darwin has turned into a four hour extravaganza.  I'll miss the afternoon I had planned to reacquaint my skin with sun and my body with the hotel pool as I'll now arrive at dinner time instead of early afternoon.  Ah well, this is not within my control so there is no point being anxious or angry.

Since last week's bag-falling-on-head incident, I have switched my seating preference from aisle to window and enjoyed the view as we flew over the heart of Australia.

It is a red heart, nothing but sand stretching on and on and on.  Ten minutes later there may be a smattering of vegetation, small wiry clumps looking like the stubble on the chin of a dark haired man.  Rocky outcrops appear.  Some of them look like a partly submerged crocodile, the khaki-coloured lumpy spine curving to meet its head.  Beyond the head I see a formation that looks like foot prints from a gigantic prehistoric bird.

The land changes again and I understand the paintings made by the Aboriginal people.  Looking at the land below, I could be standing before one of their canvasses covered with dots and lines and concentric circles.  Small sandy circles appear.  Perhaps they are water holes.  Without access to an aircraft I wonder how the Old People knew what the land looked like? A ribbon flows through, the centre of the bed tattooed by trees.   I wonder if this river of sand once - still? - carries water.

I see no houses.  I see the veins of dirt roads but no vehicles.  There's the glint of the railway line, proudly declaring its straight, true lines in contrast to the deceptive softness of the harsh country.

The rocks change and I am reminded of drawing contour maps in grade 9 geography under Mrs Rosenthal's instruction.  They have meaning now.  Other memories of that class come to mind - learning about barchan sand dunes out in the long jump pit and writing out one hundred times that a wind is named according to the direction it comes FROM.  (Of course I knew that the grammar was wrong, but this was geography, not English, and the formal "from whence it came" would be unwelcome as a piece of smart aleckry.)  Patches of white stand out against the dark grey-green of the rocks - sand, salt or ash? I wonder.

We near Alice Springs. The vegetation thickens again.  The road is bitumen and the markings are visible.  I count four vehicles going about their business.  The geometry of buildings contrast with the natural shapes.  The township pulsates just ahead.

The plane's shadow is tiny on the ground and I have to look slightly backwards to see it.  I know we are descending as this shadow grows larger, finally meeting its creator as we gently touch the tarmac.

Disembarking down the rear stairs and onto the tarmac, the warmth is welcome.  It was 9 degrees Celsius when my cab picked me up from home this morning.  It feels like a very pleasant mid-twenties with a very light breeze.

I will find a way to make the most of this delay.

Flying over the heart of Australia - view from 20F
© divacultura 2013

Red sand, red sand, red sand
© divacultura 2013

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Oh no - where's my CV?

Currently I'm working with a group of workers who have been subject to a restructure by their employer.  The employer is offering a series of workshops to assist them to get their resumes in order, reflect on their career plan and prepare for interview.

The typical profile of these people is that they have been with the one organisation long term - anywhere from twelve to thirty years; sometimes in the one role or part of the business.  People attending the workshops are experiencing a variety of emotions - some are angry, others feel betrayed, but most are quietly nervous and fearful.  They know they need to dust off their CV but don't really know how to do it.  They've been in the one place for so long they can't imagine themselves anywhere else.

The amazing thing is that as participants go beyond thinking about their skills and think about what they really value in life, there have been some big breakthroughs.  Chins start to wobble, lips thin and eyes start to fill with tears as realisations about how they don't really fit the place they've been in for the last decade or two.

I didn't know how much I was suppressing part of myself  while I worked for one organisation.  I was exercising one part of myself, but the other part lay dormant and actually had to be put away every day.  I'd put the armour on to the enter daily combat.  I didn't know it at the time; it was only after I left that I gained this perspective.  Friends told me that I was nicer to be around and it was great to see me be more like myself more of the time.

I find this experience is profound for me as well as I listen to them describe how they have to suppress their natural inclinations five days a week in order to fulfill the requirements of the job.  Worse, at the beginning of the workshops they tell me that they're wanting to apply for one of the new roles in the new structure.  By the end of the workshops they have the skills to do that but they're feeling uneasy because they know they should look outside.  I wonder whether they will?  Will they hold their resolve to be happy at work or will they succumb to the economic realities of a well-paying position and fight to hang on to something they don't really want?

I hope they hang on to their resolve, but I know that most won't and it will take the universe giving them a kick up the backside to make them act in their own true interests.  There is pain ahead, but at least they're equipped.

Are you in the right job?  What do you truly value?  Are your values and the values of the organisation for which you work aligned? If they're not, what do you need to do?

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fixing the hole

Suddenly there's a flurry of urgency to fix the hole in my ceiling, caused when a broken roof tile let the rain in and turned the ceiling into a soggy mess and the light into a fizzing danger zone.  This all happened in May.  After the initial stream of tradesmen and insurance assessors the interest in the hole in my ceiling returned to zero.

This didn't really bother me.  Although finding clothes in my wardrobe was like mining underground and applying makeup required a leap of faith, the prospect of living in a space where the ceiling is removed, replaced and painted kept me quiet.

Last week I had some missed calls from the insurer's builder.  It seemed like he thought I was the owner so I referred him to the real estate agent.  A couple of days later, I received an email from the agent asking if it was okay for her to give the key to the guy for a couple of hours on Wednesday morning so he could "do some insurance work".

I knew from the conversation I had with the insurance assessor on the day they made the assessment that the ceiling would need to be removed, a new one put in and the room painted, so I wasn't quite clear about what was going to happen on Wednesday morning.  I called her.  She didn't know anything and told me to speak to the guy.  I did.  He said they needed the room emptied and it would take at least three days to complete the job.

I called her back and repeated what I'd already told her about the works to be done.  Where was all my stuff to go?  Her suggestion was to put it in another room.  I live in a small two bedroom flat where all the rooms are used.  There's no space to just transplant a whole room of furniture and clothing!

Before I head interstate again (which would provide an ideal opportunity to do the works) I need to pack up my small personal items and find somewhere to put them.  This is easier said than done when I have a lot of work on and doing it at night time is challenging because it's dark!  My bedside lamp is designed to create a mood, not a work site.  A local charity will discover a donation of several handbags which I had forgotten I had, so I dusted them off and hope others will appreciate them.  The benefit is an enforced clean out, but the timing is awful.

Apart from these logistics, there's the issue of providing unsupervised access to my home for a bunch of work men whom I've never met.  A friend who has lived through plastering said to be prepared for the whole house to be covered in plaster dust!  None of it is good.  And it's made worse by the fact that the extent of the damage would have been minimised if the agent had done something when I first reported that I could hear dripping in the ceiling!

There's nothing I can do, but embrace the opportunity for a clean out.  Embracing with gritted teeth.

Friday, 9 August 2013

My favourite things... this week

I was away in Sydney this week having a very busy time.  The days were long and time available to think and write was limited.  Prioritising sleep was critical.  So, sorry there were no posts this week.  It's a freezing, wet and windy Friday in Melbourne so coming back from lovely weather interstate was a bit of shock.

Here are my favourite things this week.

1. Time spent walking up and down the long driveway of the place I was visiting - to retrieve a forgotten item from the car, to meet a visitor, to make an appointment with a colleague - was to be relished.  I spotted this marvellous tree.

© divacultura 2013
 When I looked out the other way, this is the view I saw:

On the third trip up the driveway, I stopped and took in my surroundings.  I could forgive the long days and the lack of space to do my own work.  It was like a mini relaxation session.

2. As I was reading a notice advertising changes to train services over the weekend I noticed someone had failed to proofread:

© divacultura 2013
Last time I checked, Melbourne did not have a suburb called "Footscary".  There is one just down the road, along the train line, called "Footscray".  Footscray gets a bad rap.  Any wonder when the people running Melbourne's trains can't even get your name right.  When I tweeted this photo, many responders advised that the misprinted name was more apt.  #changefootscray2footscary

3. Sitting in my assigned seat aboard a Qantas flight yesterday afternoon, I was reading my book.  The flight was full and it seemed most people had 27 pieces of hand luggage.  (Why don't they enforce the limits?)  Suddenly I was hit directly on the top of my head.  A man was moving bags in the overhead locker and a very heavy one landed on me.  I cried out and then burst into tears, both from pain and shock.  It really, really hurt.  The man said nothing.  Didn't apologise.  Didn't check to see that I was okay.  
A fellow passenger who witnessed the incident asked if I was okay and asked me if I was bleeding (I wasn't).  He advised me to tell cabin crew and told me he would be a witness if required.  
Qantas cabin crew were amazing.  They brought me pain relief immediately and checked that I was okay to fly.  Throughout the flight most members of the crew checked on me to make sure I was okay.  I was most worried about my neck and I had a hell of a headache.  
You might be wondering why this is a "favourite  moment"?  Firstly the care I received from cabin crew was wonderful.  Secondly, so far, I seem to be okay.  I'm monitoring myself for any evidence of an impact injury.  I've also changed my seating preference from aisle to window.  (It's the second time a passenger's activities in the overhead lockers have resulted in something landing on my head!)

4.  It's great to be home!  (Even if it is cold and miserable!)

What were your favourite moments this week?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The world's most frequent and pointless conversation.

"Hello? Hello? ....Are you there?"


"No, I'm on the train."


"On the train!"


"No...I said I'm ON THE TRAIN!"


"Are you there?  Hello?"


"Hello?  hello?...Are you there?"




*Phone rings again.*

"Yes.  No.  I don't know what happened."


"You dropped out."


"I'm on the train."


"About ten minutes."




"Are you there?"




"I couldn't hear you."


"I don't know what happened."


"I'm on the train."






*Phone rings*

Rinse and repeat.

This represents the content of an estimated 98% of all mobile phone calls taken and made on public transport during peak hour in Melbourne.  (Based on random methodology of eavesdropping on the 20 people sitting near me.)

What's the point?