Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Goodnight from Sydney

Tonight's photo: "Sea School"

Sometimes relatively simple things can be a significant landmark in a person's life. I discovered that today while grocery shopping.

It all goes back about four months ago when I decided to do a bit of time shifting and go for late afternoon walks along bays and bush tracks. At that time of day, most of my clients are asleep and my work is mostly done in the morning and then from around 7pm till about 1am.

Although I have developed what appears to be a "beer belly" (I haven't had a beer for around two years as far as I know!) I was more interested in mental fitness rather than physical appearance. As my doctor had told me there is little even exercise can do to lessen "the beer-belly," my main aim was to achieve a feeling of mental fitness as well as not feel totally shagged out after tying my shoe laces.

I started off tentatively along a bush-tack I hadn't used for 14 years. I was exhausted by the time I had reached the start of the track - about 7 minutes walk from my apartment! The track looked precarious to my eyes and I approached the walk as though I were walking along a minefield on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Not only that - I would hang on to trees or branches along the way.

I must have looked a strange sight to those who live in houses and apartments bordering the track - a track many use as short cut home. As I hung on desperately, panting away, sweat dripping from every imaginable part of my body, I would sometimes get a breezy "good afternoon" from businessmen carrying attache cases, or smartly dressed business women, (who at least wore trainers) happily and easily making their way home.

I began to realise that my perception of myself as an intrepid explorer far exceeded the reality.

But all that changed today.

I was faced with a dilemma. I need to get some groceries and the only time I could do so was around the time I go for my walk. I decided on the grocery shopping.

As I was walking home I started to cross a road that led to the bush-track. I stopped for a moment and had a little think.

"I can do this" I said to myself.

So off I went - a bag of groceries in each hand and a camera bag slung over my shoulder.

I breezed along the track, sure footed and only needing my hands to hold the grocery bags. I even found myself whistling along the way.

Now you may think it strange for someone to go bush walking with two bags of groceries - and a bloody long way to come back from the shops (about four and a half miles altogether), but II would like to think I didn't look quite as strange and out of place on that track, as I did four months ago!

Wherever you may be - be safe.