I'm back in Swan Hill as I type this, ready for the second half of the coxswain's course. It's been a big couple of days and I'm looking forward to some sleep tonight.
Wednesday evening I drove down to Melbourne, as I was booked in to attend a government lawyers seminar the next day. I stayed at Second Oldest Sister's place that night and it was great to catch up with her and brother-in-law.
I was surprised how light traffic was the next morning - much better than I remember it being - and I was in town with a full hour to spare. Once again, it felt strange to be back in a part of the city I'd worked in for years.
Lonsdale Street looked about how I remembered it.
I stopped for a coffee at a Hudsons about half a block from 600 Bourke Street, where I'd once worked. I felt sad looking at that building. It was a good job and I wish it had worked out.
Bourke Place (600 Bourke Street)
The seminar was being given by a top tier law firm on the corner of Bourke and William Streets. Walking around their offices, with their fishbowl meeting rooms, floor to ceiling windows, and look of total professionalism, I felt a bit of a yen to return to that sort of work. Not that I think that's a realistic goal: I don't have enough expertise outside of injury cases, and I doubt any of the injury firms working in that sphere have forgotten what I screwed up in the Before Time.
I did think that I also miss Melbourne quite a bit. I miss the sense of possibility you get from city streets, and the way the city seems to have a kind of consciousness of its own.
The seminar itself was informative and valuable, and definitely worth the trip. I even saw an old friend I'd worked with in the Long Ago. Wonderful to see her doing well.
I drove back up to Tatura and straightened up a few things before going down to SES early. The Seymour Unit had invited us and a number of other units to come down to their training session on railway accidents. We'd arranged a small bus to get all of our interested members down, and I think the total attendance was about 70 emergency responders from across the region.
Part of what we were taught covered how people can be safely evacuated from trains, and how far rail carriages can be lifted to remove a trapped person.
At the end of the evening, things got a bit more hands-on, as we had the opportunity to practice extricating a person from a car after it has been struck by a train.
The night ran incredibly smoothly, especially given the numbers involved. Even though it was a long night, nobody I heard had a bad word to say about it.
Today was straightforward and productive at work. This afternoon/evening I came up to Swan Hill with two other SES members for the second half of the rescue coxswains course. I'm still feeling pretty positive about it and looking forward to the challenges the weekend will throw my way.
Definitely time to sleep now though. I'm feeling pretty well back to normal, so hopefully I'll even be able to squeeze in a run tomorrow morning. It's promising to be a pretty great weekend!