I woke at 5.54, a minute before the alarm would have woken us both. (I have that gift for waking upon need at exact times. )I am lucky.
I had a bowl of muesli, from a bag sold by the very cool Unicorn grocery. I am lucky to have this resource (many people have no such access to such reliable organic food).
I sat at my computer (a gift from my wife). I had an hour of “Q and A” as the author of this article on The Conversation. I was able to write it because I was able to do research and interviews in Australia, thanks to my parents, my passports, my income (low, but enough) and friends who gave me accommodation in Melbourne and Sydney. The article could be published on The Conversation because I am doing a PhD, because some academics took me on without a Masters. And I am published on The Conversation as an author at all only after the very cool Christopher Wright co-authored with me once, and then the very good editors (really, it’s great to have such good editors!) of the Conversation decided I could fly solo. These opportunities come from the (relatively expensive) education I had thanks to my parents and grandparents, the curiosity that I had, that was encouraged by my parents and some brilliant teachers. I am lucky.
And I got some great contacts and feedback on that article, which should make for a stronger thesis. I am lucky.
I got a backpack full of books and weights and walked to meet a good friend. We walked around a beautiful park, mist rising, trees full of colour, having an interesting conversation. I have physical strength. I am lucky.
I went to the allotment and fed the allotment cat, and got some ‘love’ from him. I am lucky.
I came home, made my wonderful, kind, staggeringly intelligent and funny (and slightly tolerant) wife a cup of tea. I am really REALLY lucky.
I found that my article had been reposted on a very very cool website that I have admired for ages. I am lucky.
I worked on a couple of ideas for future articles/academic work. I have touch typing skills. I am lucky.
We walked together towards town. I have my health and mobility. I have an amazing wife (it bears repeateing). I am lucky.
I had lunch with witty, friendly and absurdly smart young people. The noodles were almost as good as the conversation. I bought cheap fresh fruit on the way back to my office. I am lucky.
I got to work on transcribing a good interview I did with a very senior person who gave me their time and insights. I only met this person by dumb luck – a stranger struck up a conversation in Melbourne, has become a friend. She took me to somewhere I met a whole bunch of cool people. I really was lucky that day.
I finished the transcription (all this happening on a computer supplied by the University. I am paid to read and think and write and discuss. I am lucky.
I had a short useful discussion with one of my supervisors, who has decades of wisdom and experience on these matters. I am really lucky.
I bumped into a cheerful Danish student who I’d met a couple of days ago, briefly. She may become a friend or stay a stranger. This city has these kinds of people.
I met up with a friend, we had a quick meal and beer and went to an event together. It had moments of brilliance, but we chose to leave. We had a wonderful conversation. She is witty, perceptive, fiercely intelligent. To have such friends, such a blessing.
I have come home to find the cat happy to see me. My wife has phoned. I have meaningful work ahead of me, and the pleasure of a good novel too. There is clean water coming out of my tap. There is food in the fridge. I am so far ‘ahead’ that I sometimes have to pinch myself.
Yes, this is built on carbon emissions, and exploitation. I have not walked away from Omelas. I tell myself there is nowhere to walk to (and am probably right). Soon the towers of Omelas will fall. I will remember this day, and the signs of wonder.