REPORT A PROBLEM
OMG it is December and I have done almost nothing for Christmas. I have made lists and I have planned, but I have not yet followed the plan other than very randomly. I have to pull the finger out and get cracking. For those who don't know what that means, it means stop procrastinating and do what needs to be done. I plan to do a lot this weekend so here's hoping I can follow through with the goods. There are only three weeks to Christmas. As usual, I start everything very late. As usual I have not enough time.
I am such a lazy-arse. I feel like doing nothing this weekend. I have so much planned but do nothing. Nothing at all. When did I become so immobile? It has become a way of life. I need to turn things around to become mobile as a way of life. I want to replace the flowers on the front veranda. Surely I can manage that. Nope. I cannot. The pot sits there with half-dead, diseased plants. I am hopeless. I look beyond Christmas when I can start again, from scratch, and become the person I want to be.
I have confirmed the word count problem is with Google Chrome. The word count works with the other browser, the one with an e. Internet Explorer, I think it is. Thank goodness, because the word count makes life so much easier. Thank you, e! It is December, Summer, the month of Christmas and the symbolic leaving of the old and beginning the new. For the modern world where change is a constant, does this time of year hold the same value? Yes, it does. We still like to pause and recalibrate, and to do it together. Roll on to 2018.
The ship rose up through the portal in the mothercraft and glided into open space. Hal heard the old sound bite played to him in his youth every time he launched his ship. It was so apt. In reality, all was silence. There was no music other than that of the spheres, and he had never heard that. He loved to download the ancients. He had been named after one of them. His reverie was interrupted by a light on the periphery of his vision. The ship wanted to communicate. He allowed telepathy and made himself known. It is Hal.
Hal received his instructions. They were never issued in advance. He supposed it helped pass the time on the launch. He downloaded quickly and pushed into hyper speed to begin his mission. He was to visit outpost C-29-AX2 and report back. Disruptions had been felt and it was thought alien free-will may be to blame. It kept them all busy, free-will. It was impossible to contain. It required a human to analyse, because algorithms only went so far, but they would get him there. They hardly ever failed in that regard. He braced for the barrier.
The light blinded Hal as he broke through the space time barrier. He had reached his goal, he thought, although he would need to check the local time. His ship hovered to the ground, hidden for now. Local time would take a bit of catching up. He preferred it that way. Sometimes it would be the other way around and he would have a welcoming committee, which was not always welcoming. He was outside the ship. He zoned in on his target and ported to the arrival chamber. He sat on one of the chairs in the chamber and waited.
Hal sat in one of the two chairs in the chamber and waited for his host. Presently the door slid open and in walked a tall gentleman in a white suit. Hal introduced himself and expressed the purpose of his visit. The man introduced himself as the governor of the outpost. Both men sat. Three silent figures entered the chamber and stood behind and to the side of the governor. Hal was unsure what to make of the welcoming committee, but the mood seemed friendly. The governor invited Hal to accompany him on a tour of the facility. They stood.
Hal and his host climbed into a carrier and whipped through a tube to a building on the other side of the facility. They spoke of the home planet and weather differences. Hal noted two suns. He was aware this could wreak havoc on weather patterns. They toured the laboratories and accommodations. Hal asked if he could view the workers and the governor agreed. Hal was provided with the key and logged in to all the minds on the planet. An algorithm would spot the odd note, if there was one, then it would be up to him to investigate.
Hal isolated the suspect results of the mind-exposure of the citizens of planet C-29-AX2 and compiled a list of potential troublesome attitudes and practices. It pleased him that the powers that be went to the effort. It was seen as important for citizens to remain as human as possible, and to target problems for modification, rather than simply eliminate the person. He noted the Governor was not on the list, which would have made the task more difficult. He plotted individual and group sessions and planned his attack. It could take several weeks to complete his study.
Janice's neighbour received her bowel cancer screening kit and said to Janice "it's the bowel cancer screening kit. Have you done it? You would have got one too." Janice had not received a kit and thought she was probably too young. Within the week Janice received a letter explaining she would soon receive her kit and advising her to return it, and that she had been contacted before, but had not returned her samples and encouraging her to participate this time! That's weird, she thought, I have not received a kit, but I do vaguely remember a letter, I think.
The bowel cancer screening kit arrived shortly before the kit for her husband. He had no patience for it and let her read the instructions and set it up. She told him what to do, and she also swapped the kits. They had received them late and the weather was now hot. It was ridiculous. The samples were to be kept under 30 degrees which meant the fridge! They would wait until the weather cooled. The kits sat in the bathroom undisturbed, side by side, reminding them both each time they visited the bathroom of what they had to do.
The couple finally took their samples and sent the bowel cancer screening kits to the government pathologist. She had swapped the kits, mainly because the government told her not to. Well, they didn't say not to swap, just to not use anyone else's kit. She was sure both screenings would come back clear, but she was sick of her husband. She took another opportunity to piss him off. He was so annoyingly easy-going. She longed for the bad boy of her youth. The one who got away, his brother. His brother had died from bowel cancer two years ago.
They were both at home the day the results arrived from the bowel cancer screening tests. Hers came back advising further testing, and his clear. He was worried for her and helped her arrange the additional appointments. She accepted the coddling and let him take over all the household chores. She refused to go back to the doctor, and he tried to convince her she must seek further medical advise. She said she would go tomorrow, and the weeks stretched out. She received another letter from the hospital requesting she attend the clinic urgently. She vacillated. He held her hand.
Months went by. She stubbornly refused to visit the doctor about her negative bowel cancer results. He had taken over the shopping and cooking, all the housework, and he waited on her from dawn to dusk. To her surprise she began to feel unwell, and thought her ruse was a bit too real. She had swapped the kits and she knew it was her husband with the negative result. He, however, was the picture of health. She began to feel very grey. She listed in bed and he decided to call the doctor. If the mountain won't come to Mohammed...
"I am fine," she said. "I don't understand." They were in hospital, she in bed and he at her side. He held her hand. "I swapped the kits" she said. He took no notice before realising what she meant. He told her he saw they were mixed up and he swapped them back. All along she had thought he had the positive result, had waited for him to sicken, whilst becoming more and more unwell herself. She looked one way and he the other. "What does it mean?" he thought. He bowed his bead. How could she be so cruel.
The nephew and I put up the Christmas tree today. He helps assemble and decorate it. He does more than I. It is a silver one, like my brothers and sister and I had as kids. I think Christmas is one of the favourite times of the year for the sister and nephew. I like it too. Each year lately Christmas means more and more. This year we should have all of them over for Christmas day. He also puts up the lights. For a fourteen year old, a pretty impressive commitment. We are putting it up late this year!
I do the washing I should have done yesterday. It rains a bit but the washing dries by the afternoon. It is so hot, it dries. I go out and buy the essential Christmas food. I feel good about getting that out of the way. No going to multiple supermarkets at the last minute looking for obscure and sold out items. Perhaps the secret is I go to the local one, only frequented by locals, not a hub. I have a big afternoon nap. I buy fish and chip for tea and they slightly stuff up my order. Caveat emptor.
I leave work on time, and have got so much done at home, and here I am sitting down having finished the standard tasks, and yet it is still so early! It is worth it, then, to get out of there on time! I think things have slowed a bit, in this, the Christmas week. I enjoy a delicious drop tonight, a Chardonnay from Cudal, a cool climate wine. I do believe the cool climate wines are very good. It is so hot today I put on the air conditioning on arrival home. The next week will be hotter still.
Three paperclips lay on the fire stairs. The walker bent and picked them up. The fire stairs should be empty. She put them in her pocket. The stairs were dirty and quiet. When she met someone on the stairs they would often say hello and have a chat. You did not do that in the main thoroughfare. If you did not know the person you ignored them. The same as out and about, you would not say hello to a stranger in the city but would in the suburbs. One afternoon she made eye contact with a fellow train commuter.
She looked around and made eye contact with a man on the platform at Central station who had arrived at a free area next to her. She smiled and he looked exasperated. There was a huge crowd waiting for trains because there was some sort of fiasco with the timetable and not enough trains. She listed to a podcast and the time passed pleasantly. He walked off to try his luck further up the platform. She stood next to a bin to take advantage of it's immobility. She felt she would be in for a long wait and she was.
She rounded the corner from the corridor and began to alight the stairs. She could see the crowd at the top and inwardly groaned. She knew that meant big delays getting home. The trains were behind schedule again. She walked up to the top and tried to find a vacant patch of platform. She ended up not far from the top of the stairs but could go no farther. She got her phone and earphones out and plugged into a podcast. She listened to a fascinating story about someone who recorded trees around the world. Sounded hippy but was not.
The crowd on the platform ebbed and flowed and no trains were stopping at her station. It was being bypassed. She considered going one stop sooner or one stop farther but was concerned there would not be a connecting train. What a debacle. She waited over an hour until finally her suburb appeared on the indicator board... on the opposite platform. She raced over toward the approaching train and arrived right next to the doors just as they opened. She did not feel as though she had pushed in, but she was one of the first on the train. Win!
After standing on the platform and waiting for a train for over an hour, she really hoped for a seat, but was resigned to not getting one and having to stand all the way home. The trains were very crowded due to delays and shortages. Miracle of miracles, there were two seats free and she quickly moved over to one of them and sat down. She looked around for anyone more deserving but saw no one. She was deserving after such a long wait. Not many had been around the whole sorry time, she felt. Not many went to Panania.
The train delays caused her to be heading home very late, when she had set out for home so early! At least she now had a train, and most unexpectedly a seat. She wondered if it were the correct train after all, when it stopped at a station she did not expect. She may need to change trains anyway, after waiting for the correct train to avoid that. She waited for the display to scroll through the stations, and there it was, her station. She could chill now. She felt she had had a bit of a win and relaxed.
The reported cause of the massive train delays across most lines was because 70 train drivers had called in sick. That seemed a huge number, but she supposed train drivers would be plentiful and it was a small proportion of the total number of drivers. She wondered later about becoming a train driver herself. It probably paid well. She trudged home when the train finally arrived. At least it was a fast train. It was a very hot and humid day and walking up the hill was hard. The bike shop owner told her about all the sick train drivers.
The cats were becoming anxious when she got home. They had been shut inside all day while she was at work and she had planned to be home an hour before. She fed them and got changed. She turned on the TV to watch the train delays on the News. What better to relive the horror than by watching it happen all over again! She heated up dinner and sat down to watch and eat. It seemed every platform was affected. Amazing really. People had missed flights when they couldn't get on the airport line. That would be very stressful.
The two friends sat in front of window at the new cinema that looked toward the airport. The view was reminiscent of the view from a gate at the actual airport. It was a windy day. The flags on the crane towering over the site flapped in the wind. Pigeons took off from the roof top and soared about in the air currents. She had not seen pigeons flying like this before. She had not seen them flying, now she thought about it. She had only seen them walking around, begging for food and trying to hook up and mate.
Summer means hot and humid days, watering the pot plants each afternoon for the next day's heat. It means native bees roosting under the awning on the hanging vines. It may mean a mango crop. It may mean possums and fruit bats visiting the mango tree to eat the fruit. It means long days and the sun peering aggressively in the windows, heating the house to unbearable levels. It means Christmas and New Year and the associated end of the old and in with the new. It means the beach, sunburn, sand, salt and sea. Summer is yellow and blue.
New-season clothes are in the shops already, although it is only half way through summer. The colours are russet, yellow and burnt orange. How imaginative. These colours are the pure colour with a bit of the complimentary opposite added. That is, for example, purple with a bit of yellow. It makes a sophisticated colour which sits well with autumn and with winter also. Primary colours are a summer thing, really. I do not buy the autumn clothes. They are not my colour. I buy a nice floral summer top and wear it on a day out. Autumn can wait.
Winter is bleak and cold and the yard can be lifeless. It would be good this year to have a garden and grow some winter vegetables. The hens would be very happy with that. Right now it is still high summer and winter is merely a distant dream. Winter is light blue and white. There is a tree I know that is dead. It looks like a tree in winter, but it is dead. Birds sit in it and look winter-like. The branches have begun to break and soon it will look like what it is - a dead tree.
Light green and sunlight are the colours of spring. Baby birds are born. They are born all year 'round in this country. It is ever spring. The same goes for spiders, especially in my bathroom. I wait for them to move on or die and then demolish their webs. Summer is the hardest season for spiders. It is too hot. That is the time to scrub out the spider nesting areas, unless you don't mind killing them in which case, do it whenever. Spring, the bearing of flesh for the first time in a while on the arms and legs.
The Tip Jar