Several days catch-up. Sigh.

Intentions versus self-discipline – story of my life. Almost everyone’s life, I guess. The key things are to be realistic and routinised. So, I will try to do this catch up of the last few days and then do a daily blog post, because I said I wanted to, and I DID (and do) want to….

On Tuesday, after some diligent upper-body exercise in the backyard, I walked into town (the bike I used on previous trips has gone to the great bike graveyard in the sky). This I did via a) the parklands b) Morphett Street and, sadly c) an op shop and bookshop. So by the time I met one of my very good friends (waves at Peter) for lunch, I was a few pounds heavier. After lunch, off to the State Library to skim read Quadrant (shouldn’t have done that, needed a shower) and Simone Weil’s “On the Abolition of Political Parties”. Then schlepped up Hutt Street, got mugged by the Oxfam bookshop, and found my way to this event.

Wednesday saw me to a 9km round trip walk (uphill on the way out), with 25kgs of weight and then some writing and finished of re-reading Nevil Shute’s astonishing “Requiem for a Wren”. Er, that was about it!

Thursday had me buying a new belt (whoop!!), doing some work at Unley Library and then schlepping into town for… an event. I will blog it, “anonymously” (or maybe just name names – I don’t know) and then schlepping back hom. The good thing is I am getting better at narrating stuff onto the voice recorder and then running it through the transcription software. I made it home in time to watch “The Good Fight” with my mother. The shituation in Sydney steadily worsened, and the NSW Premier Gladys B is clearly a) out of her depth and b) responsible for a too late and too little lockdown (in the wider context of an astonishing failure of leadership at the Federal level).

Friday – lazy lazy lazy. Should have got up early to do a forced march, didn’t. Then took the bus into town to the “Festival of Ideas” at Bonython and Elder Halls. I’ve learned over the years (decades) to have quite low expectations of the Festival of Ideas thing (weirdly I’ve been present for lots of them). And they are very much following the format. There’s nothing particularly WRONG with what’s on offer (gift horse, mouth too) but quite a sense of performative public intellectualism, points being missed and opportunities being doubly missed. I’ll do a separate blog on “demography, death and decarbonisation” about yesterday’s talks. The highlight for me came after the third session, which involved a lovely catch up with one of the “death” panellists. Then, once home, watched a comedically bad film called “Just Cause” with a woefully mis-cast Sean Connery. Mesmerisingly bad.

Today (Saturday). This morning I did the yomp I should have done yesterday – strapped on 30kg of weight (bricks and steel plates) and yomped 4km in just over 33 minutes. Then took bus into town for the second day of Festival of Ideas (#gluttonforpunishment) while also working on a paper (almost done). Only went to two things today (have also learnt that there is zero point overdoing this sort of intellectual buffet thing – you gorge, you exasperate yourself etc). First session was a typically over-stuffed panel on “powering the future”, the second was a bravura (though ultimately worrying, especially in the Q&A) keynote about Australia-Chinese relations. After that I had a lovely coffee with a school teacher (the point of these sorts of jamborees is not really the talks themselves – you can just as easily watch a bleeding TED talk) but the meeting of random folks. Then did some more writing, and came home taking time to do some juggling in one of the city centre parks and getting a compliment on my (basic!) skills…

Right, so, need to finish off and submit and article, get ready for a Thing on Tuesday, build a website (watch this space) and, well, lotsa cool stuff – and also daily blog posts…. Meanwhile, Australia holds its breath – will the Victorians get out of lockdown? Will South Australia avoid harder COVID measures? (I’m not thinking any more about NSW – as far as I can see, it’s going to be as long a haul for them as it was for Victoria last year, if they are lucky. This Delta variant is a different beast. Meanwhile, the carbon dioxide accumulates, billions of animals die and I am getting smugger and smugger about my decision in 2004 to go ahead with the long-contemplated vasectomy. I can face the shitstorm without having to feel guilty that I inflicted it on someone else too…

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