My new flatmate just called me to say he's running late, so that's given me the chance to write something here.
Yesterday I didn't want to get back to Wellington and this never-ending cycle of impossibility. I was hoping some massive storm would brew up and we'd circle for a while before being diverted somewhere, anywhere, I wouldn't have cared.
I felt pretty terrible a lot of the time I was away. Sometimes I was visibly upset, and that made Mum upset and both my parents very worried. I was still able to do things, but most of the time I felt sick to the stomach and like I was running through treacle. Mum took me out for tennis three times - we just hit the ball; no scoring. I was hopeless the first time, much better the second time, and dreadful again the third time. Mum was rusty to begin with but steadily improved - if she played competitive age-group tennis I'm sure she'd do really well. The last time we played, a bloke perhaps a shade older than me turned up with his two small daughters on bikes with stabilisers. He was cleaning up the area around the courts. His girls were clearly giving him a lot of pleasure and this made me upset because in all likelihood it's a pleasure I'll never experience.
Mum even took me to the golf course - we did nine holes but I didn't even finish some of them. I hit trees, mounds, boundary fence posts, even the trolley once. Sometimes I hit nothing at all, not even the ball. I would have racked up scores well into double figures on a few occasions if I'd been counting. And amongst all of that I managed a par three.
On Friday we saw Captain Phillips at the cinema in Geraldine. It was a gripping, if rather scary film about Somali pirates. It starred Tom Hanks and was based on a true story. My brother has been on armed patrol ships in the Gulf of Aden - most of the time he didn't have a lot to do.
Before going to the cinema we had fish and chips. I think I could have eaten my plateful all over again.
We talked about the few months I spent down in South Canterbury before moving to Auckland. I was very organised and motivated in my job search. One afternoon I drove into Timaru and knocked on doors of banks and finance companies (both South Canterbury Finance and Mascot Finance were in existence then). I had a chat with a very pleasant woman at BNZ. She eventually offered me a job, but by that stage I'd already taken the actuarial job in Auckland. Things could have turned out very differently. (Nearly all the jobs I applied for were in Christchurch or Canterbury. Maybe a couple were Wellington-based. Only one was in Auckland.)
We met my uncle; he's done much better with his lung cancer than anyone predicted. But his cough was back and he was extremely negative about, well, pretty much everything. Regarding the situation in Christchurch, he said they should take dynamite to the cathedral with Gerry Brownlee inside it.
I started this blog five years ago. Things are a lot, lot worse than they were then, and I've now got five fewer years to remedy the situation. The good news is that my counsellor is back on the scene and I'll be seeing her on Tuesday. And the flatmate is, on balance, good news too. Having someone to talk to should make a big difference.