Sunday, 23 December 2012

Only three days? But it's a long post.

Hi everyone,

Has it really only been three days since my last post?  It felt like it had been fully a week.

It's been a full - or not - few days.  On the Thursday I went and got the judgment I mentioned in the last post.  We lost, which was a little disappointing as I thought we were in with a chance on this one.  Still, by way of consolation, our department lunch was that afternoon, at a nice place on Southbank.  I'm pleased to say I stayed sober, didn't embarrass myself, and even had the discipline to walk back to the office a little after 3:00pm to finish the appeal advice following the aforesaid  loss and also do a couple of liability-and-quantum advices.  Running in the evening.

Friday I was in the office tolerably early to get through the last of the work.  I was a little shocked to look at my timesheets and realise that I'd been at the office every day for about 30 days on the trot!  Friday kind of petered out: I got out what was necessary; by 2:30 people were just knocking off and leaving.  I got as far as 5:00pm, but by then it was a case of "who am I kidding?  I'm not actually working ... time to go...".  So I did.  I found my way back here, went for a run through the back streets of Brunswick - there was no way I was going to try and run on Lygon Street or Sydney Road the day most people's work finished for the year!  Got groceries in the evening and then sat up for a few hours writing a not-half-bad column on the Jon Hammar affair.  I sent it off to a couple of places and then turned in.  Naturally, when I woke up the next day I found the Mexican  government had released him.  As Bender said, "Ah crap, a miracle"!

On the plus side for Saturday, I found two of my letters had been published on the other side of the pond (here and here).  Letters to newspapers are surely the lowest form of publishing, but my strike rate on getting columns on history or law published is basically nil.  I need to get my name out there, and this is a way of doing it.  Not great, but better than nothing.  And it's a useful discipline to be able to condense an idea down to 250 simple words, so there's an upside there.  On that point, I remember something Oldest Sister Economist once told me: the reason The Communist Manifesto has been read far more than Das Kapital is because Kapital was  largely written by Marx - an economic theorist.  The Manifesto was largely written by Friedrich Engels, who had been a journalist.  Guess which one of them knew how to write?

Saturday itself I was actually up about 8:00am and on the road to USA Foods, on the other side of town.  I'll fry a turkey for the tribe for one of our extended-Christmas gatherings, so I needed to be injectable butter marinade.

USA Foods is the only place in Melbourne you could ever buy it.  When I got there I found they no longer carried it (which, when I think about it, isn't a huge surprise: how big a market for it could there have been?)  Nevertheless, while I was there I got some Zatarains etouffe mix and a bottle of - oh joy! - Crystals hot sauce.  Oh Lord, how I have missed Hot Sauce!

You may assume I've been eating it with almost everything since yesterday.  I even thought about putting it on a banana but decided I needed to draw the line somewhere and that was probably it.  I ran out of hot sauce from the before-time in about February; the only reason for not getting more is that USA Foods is (a) not cheap and (b) not really on my anywhere unless I'm going to see the parents.

For the balance of Saturday I re-edited the Hammar column into something current and emailed it off to a few more places.  As the day was warm I decided to go swimming at the Coburg Olympic Pool.  The warm day was one factor; also all the running I've been doing was drawing protests from my ankles, knees and hips, and my leg muscles were running in a fairly sullen "I'll do it because I have to" way.  Thoroughly enjoyed the swim, and it's been a long time since I've swum in an open-air pool.

Saturday evening - more writing, another column on a historical theme.  I settled that column when I woke up this morning (about 6:50am - on a Sunday?  What's become of me??).  Anyway, having finished the column I sent it to a bundle of places and then went to Mass at St Ambrose's over in Brunswick.

It's a beautiful old late-19th century church in bluestone where, mercifully, the Mass is done straight.  There's a time and a place for electric guitars, but it really isn't during Communion!

After Mass I came back here and waited to skype with the girls for their bedtime.  Oh my Lord, how cute were they this time!  Grace, my little extrovert, was a ball of energy, chattering like crazy and thrilled to tell me all she'd been doing and how she knew how to make a tunnel with a blanket and now she could do a kind of a forwards-flip.  I love how she calls me "Dad" and wants to talk to me every moment I'm on the screen and got quite insistent I pay attention to her when Joni turned me round to speak to Rachel.  Twas ever thus, though: Grace looks like me, but her personality - sunny, extroverted and enthusiastic - is all her mommy.  And Rachel was being her sweet, placid self.  When we got the skype connection happening she was already lying down in bed looking very much like a tired tiger.

But when she saw me, the first thing she started to do was blow kisses at me.  And she stood up and wanted to smile and pass things at me.  I love that she sleeps with the Kermit the frog I sent them after Hurricane Isaac.  Seriously, together or apart, I'm the luckiest man in the world to have them as my daughters.  I'm so proud of them already.

Skype dropped out and Joni needed to get the princesses to bed.  I went down to the City to get the last of the presents for the tribe.  It occurred to me that this is a good barometer for how well you actually know your family.  That is, do you know people well enough to know what they really like?  Or only well enough to take a stab at it and hope for the best?  Hmmm.

Shopping was kind of done by 5pm (need to go and get a few things tomorrow), so I decided to go swimming again.  This time I was completely beat after swimming a kilometre.  It was a 37C/104F degree day, though, and the cold water of the pool was heavenly.  Swimming done, I came back here and watched Big Bang Theory and had a shower and dinner.  Then, updating this blog which brings me to the present moment.  Tomorrow I'll finish Christmas stuff up here and then head for the parents place for the next few days: there's really nothing to keep me in town.  Looking forward to some time out of the City for sure!

OK, I guess that's the update.  I should post this and shut down, especially as my laptop's air cooling fan is making a very unhappy noise and feeling badly overheated.

Hope all your Christmas prep is coming along well!

See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I would be a little worried if you put hot sauce on a banana! I'm glad you had a nice Skype session with your girls. That church building is so pretty! I love old, beautiful buildings. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!