Posted by: jkirkby8712 | April 10, 2011

Saturday, 9th April, 2011 – a bit of tenseness and concern

Not a great deal of sleep overnight, I’d been waiting to get a phone message from Jodie, who spent some 4 hours or more in the casualty/emergency department of the Sunshine Hospital, while they waited for her mother to be given some specific attention. But when Jodie returned home, she decided it was too late to ring ‘Dad’, so by the time I got up this morning, I was completely ‘in the dark’ as to what was going on. At that stage, I was also expecting Susie to arrive back from Bendigo.

One of the few highlights of today, was the opportunity to see [on the television] the horse, which is currently being described as the greatest sprinter in the world – all seems a bit overdone, that kind of description – however, it is a magnificent animal to watch in action. This afternoon, competing in a 1200 metre race at Randwick [in Sydney], the annual T J Smith [Group 1] Stakes, we saw Black Caviar [ridden by Luke Nolen] run it’s 12th race – and the horse has won every one of those twelve races, including today. Certainly it was a red hot favourite, and  a massive crowd of past years’ proportions turned out to see Black Caviar –  not to win any money on it, as any gains on a bet would be minimal, but simply to watch the horse run.

I seemed to be on the phone most of today, or relaying text messages to various family members, and the hospital over in Sunshine [in Melbourne’s western suburbs], trying to find out precisely why the children’s mother was there and/or how long she would be a patient. It was apparently a case of no doctors or surgeons available today, certainly not until later in the afternoon, and when James visited with Shirley’s mother and aunt, I think he might have stirred up a bit of action, because by the time Susan and I arrived at around 6pm, and Jodie not long afterwards, Shirley was much happier and feeling more comfortable, following the visit of a doctor.

As for Susie, I’d been expecting her to arrive back home from Bendigo this morning, and then go straight to work. But she must have decided to delay her return until this afternoon, and at the same time, give her job a miss this weekend – obviously the emotional upset of last weekend’s situation was going to take a while to heal, and she presumably didn’t feel able to face the people she had been working with for some years now, at this point. I just hope that that decision wouldn’t end up costing her the job eventually!  As for the description of tenseness and concern, well that was basically how this writer was feeling all day – a combination of the ongoing concern of how Susie was coping after the breakup with Jimmy, and now on top of that, her mother’s sudden overnight admittance to hospital. When I rang her this morning, with news about her mother’s ‘illness’, that perhaps encouraged her to return a little earlier than planned.

The weather deteriorated quite considerably by late afternoon, and our beautiful Autumn days  came to a sudden [but expected] end – by the time Susie and I headed off to the Sunshine hospital this evening, it was raining steadily in wild and windy conditions, and with darkness now coming earlier since the finish of daylight saving, they were the kind of night driving conditions I dreaded these days.. If I’d been tense earlier in the day, by the time we hit the highway, things were even worse. Thankfully, the return trip, which I did alone, the conditions were much better. I didn’t stay at the hospital for very long after James and the two older ladies left. Although Shirley was in no real good state herself, she had not seen Susie since last weekend’s episode, so I thought it would be nice to leave the two girls [Jodie had arrived from her work by now, and she would bring her sister back to Sunbury] with their mother, to talk, and while I wasn’t there, I’m hoping that Susie finally opened up to someone in the family. Incidentally, she said nought about the flowers and gift I’d bought for her yesterday – perhaps they had not yet being noticed, but no matter, it was something I wanted to do, and I’d half expected there would be no acknowledgement, at least initially anyway.

I was standing outside the Thai restaurant, after returning to Sunbury this evening, and waiting for my ‘takeaway’ meal order for Susan and myself to be prepared, when one of the diners came outside to have a smoke [as of course, no smoking is permitted inside public places anymore]. Noticing his actions, reminded me of a report which appeared in the media a couple of days ago.  As part of a major overhaul in how cigarettes are sold to consumers, the Federal Government is planning to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. Under proposed legislation, logos will be removed from packaging, the packet will be printed a plain olive green colour and tobacco companies will be required to print their brand in a smaller, specific font.  If the legislation is passed, health warnings and graphic pictures showing the dangers of smoking would cover 90 per cent on the front of packs and 75 per cent on the back. With a recent push by local councils to ban smoking in more public places, some consumers, and the tobacco industry, believe we are becoming a “nanny state”. I noticed in particular, that one major tobacco company intended to go to court over the matter. I think that industry is eventually going to have to accept that they are fighting a long term losing battle.

I noticed one interesting comment from someone who, while stating that they were not a supporter of smoking, did feel that the government has gone far enough on the smoking issue, for the moment. The observer noted that the haste to wipe out smoking left the assumption that it is a hot number for attracting votes. This contrasted with the hands-off approach to alcohol sales which is no doubt popular with the general public and vote sensitive. A minimum of 3 full page ads for example,  for cheap booze every Wednesday in that person’s  local surburban newspaper does not seem to balance with the current demolition job on smokers and smoking. Interesting point!

Anyway, with all these goings on through the day, I would end up missing out on the first of this year’s concerts by the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra – a pity, because I had only just arranged the season subscription yesterday, but by late afternoon, when I realised there would not be time to go to both Sunshine and Heidelberg, I rang the organisers of the concert, and told them to give my ticket for tonight, away to another worthy concert lover! So here I am – when I should be sitting in the Concert Hall of the Ivanhoe Girl’s Grammar School listening to my favourite suburban orchestra, I am instead, sitting here beside a radio,  listening to a similar concert recorded at the Melbourne Recital Centre last November [music by Beethoven at the moment], and also listening to the rain falling steadily outside – and admittedly, a little thankful that I don’t have to go back out in that weather. I imagine however, that it will be little changed when I hit the road at 6.15am tomorrow morning!  After my earl.ier trip this evening, it was good to be able to remain home, away from the rain and wind, both of which seemed to be settling in for 24 hours or so.


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