wait and see

I’m currently reading The Cider House Rules by John Irving, and there’s this recurring theme of “waiting and seeing”. The main character, Homer Wells, is an orphan, and knows all about waiting and seeing. This week, I’ve also come to know a lot about waiting and seeing, but perhaps in a different way.

At some point in the middle of last week, it started raining. We’ve had a lot of rain this summer — part of the deal with the La Niña weather system — so when it started and didn’t stop, no one really thought much of it. But then the rain continued into the week-end, and it was unrelenting. Creeks were filling up, the river was rising, and damn levels were climbing steadily. By Sunday, countless streets were flooded, people were evacuating, and many had lost power.

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thought fragments

This year has disappeared in a whirlwind of long days and late nights.

It has been a year of plaintive farewells, and cheerful greetings.

I have done so much, and not enough, and there’s still so much to do.

But it’s a humid Summer’s day, and all I want to do is lie on my bed with the aircon on.

Or maybe go out and have a few drinks with friends.

Or listen to classical music while reading a good book.

I want to share the music of Rachmaninoff, but I can’t decide which piece I like most.

Not long ago, ABC Classic played part of his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and I stopped whatever I was doing, and listened until the end.

Earlier this year, I learnt that Rachmaninoff struggled with depression throughout his career. He received harsh criticisms about some of his compositions, which made him question his worth as a composer.

But he sought help, he did better, and now he’s remembered and celebrated as one of Russia’s greatest composers.

I wonder if next year will be “quiet”.

The years seem to alternate between tranquil and turbulent, and there aren’t many ways in which this year could have been more turbulent (although there are still about two and half weeks left, so I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened…)

Or maybe the years don’t alternate, and I just made that up.

Thick, grey clouds have gathered, and there’s a cool breeze blowing now.

Maybe it will storm later.

not the house I was expecting

One Sunday afternoon, when it was scorchingly hot, I went to the study, which is eastward facing, to open the windows up and let some air in. Upon doing so, I discovered a small fly, buzzing around the fly-screen, perhaps trying to figure out a way to get out.

(I remember my mum saying a number of times that day that it was probably cooler outside than it was inside, but I’m sure it was equally humid outside despite the breeze (when there was one). Besides, we always had the option of air-con if it came down to it. (Even in extreme heat, as it was that day, I like to use air-con sparingly because, you know, it uses a lot of electricity, and apparently I care about that kind of thing.))

This particular window, at which I found the fly, has bars on in, so it’s not exactly easy fly-swatting territory. I also didn’t want to use fly spray because, well, that doesn’t always work effectively, and they fly off to die somewhere else, possibly not to be discovered until some days later. Besides, the wind was blowing inward, so that probably would not have worked. (Truth be told, I think I was suffering so much from the heat, I didn’t even think about fly spray at all.)

As luck would have it, though, there were some small plastic cups on a table nearby (not for drinking purposes, but from some craft thing my sister had done and subsequently finished/abandoned). I’m sure the fly was also struggling under some form of heatstroke (I exaggerate here, because I don’t think that I was really that out of it, but I’m sure the heat has affected my memory to some degree) because it didn’t take much time for me to trap it in the cup. Once this was done, I took it outside, to the furthest corner of the backyard, to release it, with the hope that it wouldn’t follow me back inside.

I think I must’ve been wearing something quite lucky that day because when I got to the back of the yard, I happened to notice that there were not one but …several (honestly, who thinks about counting things when all you want to do is get rid of a fly and go back inside and read a book?) – several spiders’ webs in the apple guava tree in the corner.

Perfect, I thought, I’ll release it into one of these spiders’ webs, and then I’ll know it’s not going to follow me back inside.

And it actually was as easy as that: I held the cup up to the nearest web, removed the scrap of paper I was holding over the opening, and the fly flew right into the web and was thus ensnared.

I watched it for a moment, and the first thought that occurred to me was, Perhaps there is a bit of Slytherin in me.

I don’t know why I had this thought – I hadn’t been re-reading or re-watching the Harry Potter series; hadn’t had any recent discussions about it with friends; hadn’t even been thinking about it that day (not that I remember, anyway) – but there it was, that one off-hand thought.

When I was younger, and I did those personality quizzes that told you which House you’d be in if you went to Hogwarts, I usually got, well, pretty much any of the other three (mostly Ravenclaw, if I remember correctly, because I was a bit of a nerd – and arguably still am). I cannot remember ever feeling inclined to select the options that would put me in Slytherin (they were always multiple-choice, and it was always obvious which options leaned toward which House). (Side note: I’m really liking how my spell-checker is fully accepting all of these HP-related words.)

But, of course, in life, there are rarely absolutes when it comes to things like personality categories, especially as determined by poorly designed quizzes. I must say, though, that I released the fly into the web as a matter of ensuring it would not bother me again, not because I wanted to be mean to the fly. (I also kind of wanted to see what the spider would do with the fly, but it just completely ignored it. How rude!)

tomorrow, I don’t know

I’ve taken a liking to the song “Reality” by Lost Frequencies (ft Janieck Devy). Last night I listened to it on loop for an entire hour, up until I went to bed. Even so, it’s not surprising to me that when I woke up this morning, and as I went about my day, I seemed to have every other song playing in my head apart from “Reality”.

It’s kind of weird how the mind works like that. It’s just like those days when I might listen to a song – maybe only half of it – and then this will be followed by countless other, better songs …And yet, the next morning, it’ll be that half-listened-to song that will be in my head.

Sometimes I won’t have heard a song for what seems like years and years, but one day it’ll just spontaneously appear from the depths of my memory, like a jack-in-the-box that’s finally been wound enough.

“Reality” played a lot on the radio and TV while I was in Rocky (I watched a lot of Channel V and Max while I was there). Perhaps I’ll always associate that song with Rocky, or at least with my memory of that time in Rocky. Perhaps not. At least it kind of captures the uncertainty and just “going with the flow”.

I think it’s a great chilled out summer song. I was a little bit afraid that I’d get sick of listening to it if I had it on repeat for an entire hour, but I could probably listen to it all day and still like it. And I would probably still not have it stuck in my head the next day.

Such is life.

wasting time

It’s been a whirlwind last couple of days. I flew up north to help with cover at our group’s pharmacy up there while HR recruits a new pharmacist. I was there for maybe a grand total of 31-32 hours (just one night) but, gee, it was pretty intense.

And now I’m just exhausted.

Strangely enough, I did some laundry and cleaning this morning, and I’m probably less tired, but still sleepy. I kind of just want to lie down and not move for the rest of the day.

It doesn’t help that it’s super hot today – around 36 degrees Celsius. I’m just going to stay in my room and enjoy the aircon.

And the laptop has made a triumphant return! I am back on my laptop for the first time in over a month because, as much as I would like to lie here doing nothing, I’d feel bad, so I’ve brought my laptop in. Still going to be wasting time, but I’ll be getting something done – like this post!

Isn’t it terrible that we have to feel guilty about doing nothing. I mean, sure, if you’re at work, or there are jobs people are expecting you to get done, then doing nothing is probably not the best plan; but if it’s the week-end and you need a rest and there’s nothing that desperately needs doing, then surely you can be allowed to laze around doing nothing…?

Well, I suppose it’s this whole notion of opportunity cost (one of my favourite / most remembered economic principles). It’s that voice in my head that says, “Yes, you can sit here and do nothing – you’ve probably earnt a break – but think of all the other things you could be doing!”

But it’s ridiculous to be expected to be constantly making the most of every minute.

Hmm… I feel like if I keep going with this post, it’s going to quickly devolve into a weird internal argument, so I’m getting out while I can. Good-bye!

someone new

This has been a bit of a weird day in which I didn’t really feel like doing anything at all. What I ended up doing, mostly, apart from eating, was reading journal articles and getting CPD points, which isn’t something I usually do on days when I’m lacking general motivation (it’s not even something I tend to do on days when I do have motivation).

I did some leisurely reading too, though. Just started One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (by Ken Kesey). It’s one that I’ve wanted to read for so long, so I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it.

I’m going to blame this general lack of motivation on the beginning of summer. Yes, it’s that time of the year again… That time when the temperature is regularly above 30 (talking Celsius here – I wish it was Fahrenheit), the humidity becomes stifling, and every second thought has something to do with rain or cool breezes or air con.

I could also just be tired because I went out last night to see Hozier at River Stage. It’s quite a nice venue (my first time seeing a concert there). The forecast kept saying there’d be storms or at least some rain, but luckily it held off the whole night – pretty much until I got home. All the lightning seemed to be happening out west, which meant there was this lovely light display in the sky just above and around the stage. It was pretty cool.

The concert itself was pretty good too. Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with Hozier’s music as I am with The Script or Maroon 5, so I wasn’t as psyched up this time, but I was quite pleased overall. The support/opening act, Rhodes, was also pretty impressive. He’s possibly the best support act I’ve seen out of all the concerts I’ve been to.

If you haven’t already guessed, “Someone New” is my favourite Hozier song. Also really like “Work Song” (which, despite the name, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with actual work). There are others I quite like but I really cannot remember their names right now.

Hmm… Maybe I’d benefit from an early bedtime tonight. Then again, maybe I could just put on some music and not worry about bedtime. It is the week-end, after all…