Monday, 31 December 2018

New Years Eve 2018: Good news is a rope and a muddy dog

And so New Years Eve 2018 has hit.  I'm at the kitchen table on a borrowed computer typing this post at 11pm.  I have a nice chilled white wine at my elbow though, and that's good enough for me.
I should have some deep insightful post to share, but everyone has them.  Everyone also seems to have a list of great things they'll achieve.  My final observation for 2018 is (on its face) a little macabre but also perhaps the best of recent times.
I imagine most of you (I'm assuming I have actual readers) know I have a history with depression.  The recent years of unstable (often demoralising) employment and still more frequent unemployment have taken a psychological toll too.  At some point I took to keeping under my bed a rope tied in a noose.  During that miserable job in Mooroopna I started carrying it in the boot of my car.  I wasn't actively planning to do myself a mischief.  I just found it reassuring (for want of a better adjective) to know that I could make the bad feelings stop if I really wanted to.
Yes, it's a noose.
Now, this is usually where people leap in with a variant of "are you OK" or "you should talk to someone".  I am not a fan of doing that, at least where it concerns myself.  To me, this feels like too heavy a cross to ask someone to bear on my behalf.  It doesn't help that one of the greatest of exponents of RUOK Day I know is also a relentless virtue-signaller.  Besides, I haven't felt like that since I got my life back on track, so it's kind of academic.
Which brings me to today.  Oldest Sister Economist has her dog with her on this visit.  She's been loving having the whole farm to roam around on, and she even enjoys paddling in the dam (the dog, that is).  Well, today she was roaming a bit too independently and then, when she was coming back, decided to go for a paddle where she got stuck in the muddy bottom of the dam.
Dog, bogged
The dog was cajoled to make the effort to un-bog herself, but it was decided that a little time being tied up might be a good thing.  And what seemed to be the best piece of rope for the purpose?  The one in the boot of my car.  It was with no regret at all that I broke the hangman's knot and untwisted the rope.  What knots took their place?  Good, simple workmanlike ones.  Ones I used in my general rescue training.  Ones that (as part of a broader operation) can be used to save lives and alleviate suffering.

To secure the rope to a post in the garden, a reef knot (right over left, then under; left over right, then under) -

Reef knot
And to secure the dog, a bowline (form a loop in the rope, then "out of the hole, around the tree, back down the hole and away goes he") -

Bowline with Solomon Islands dog
This year has been the most incredible roller coaster.  And this seems to me the best conceivable way to finish it.  To break the nodum informis leti and convert it to a simple tool to keep man's best friend safe?  That looks pretty good to me.

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