What did I get up to on the weekend ... hmmm - let's think
Transportation seemed to be the topic of conversation yesterday. We went out and had a quick look at cars. Don't know about you guys overseas, but here, our devotion to the car borders on worship. Despite what you hear it's not really a matter of economics, it's an image issue. In Australia, you are what you drive. Go and have a look at your car and there you are! So I thought a new vehicle (image) was in order.
The red Merc sports with leather everything really felt like me. The bank didn't really think it felt like me to them. Nor did the black BMW convertible. One of my friends suggested I put all of my money into drugs, stay home and take all the trips I wanted - but that's not me. I don't think you can bring back groceries from those trips. I could be wrong, however!
Saturday we had a staff party in a hangar at Melbourne airport. I wasn’t going to go, but I decided "hey, what the heck, give this a go". Boring. OK if I’m honest I tried to make up for the raise I didn’t get by drinking the equivalent amount in free champagne – I may have even drunk my way into the next tax bracket! Qantas decided to have a party because it would be a good opportunity for staff to get together, learn from and inspire each other – What they realy meant was - screw, bitch about and steal from each other!
Also on Saturday I went skydiving. I didn't tell anyone, because ... well, just because. Although I should point out, I didn’t jump by myself. I did a tandem jump. You see, when it comes to throwing yourself out of a plane, it’s the opposite to sex. You start doing it with someone else and, when you get good enough, they let you do it by yourself. Why did I do it? Well, I think the biggest rush you can ever get in the world is AD – Almost Dying. First I had to fill out so many forms that I thought the jump should be a three way – me, my instructor and my solicitor. My favourite part was the "Skydiving Is Dangerous" bit at the bottom, in small print. Well, duh, thanks for that. To be fair, the people at Skydive Melbourne were very conscious of safety, right up to the massive "No Smoking" sign on the hangar wall. Because when you’re about to jump out of a plane, you don’t want to be exposed to something that may be hazardous to your health, like passive smoking.
My tandem master’s name was Nathan. He was a great guy, but I quickly asked him if he had plans for that night. Not that I was actually interested in his social life, I just wanted to make sure he had something worth living for. Before I knew it, we were being loaded into the plane (or as the instructors call it – The Point Of No Refund). There were about 10 of us crammed in and strapped to the floor. We were so close together at one stage that when we hit an air pocket, I think Nathan and I accidentally joined the mile high club. Anyway, the jump was absolutely incredible. If you get the chance, try it. Now, who’s for a bungee jump?
Just for something a little more serious ... I was thinking about my grandfather, Sam, yesterday. It was the anniversary of his death. He lived in a ‘charming’ cottage up at Black Spur in the Victorian High Country. (If you’ve ever seen the movie "Man from Snowy River’, it was filmed at the Spur). Anyway, he called me one day and asked me to go up the mountain to visit him. I was ‘so busy’ that I couldn’t give him a couple of bloody hours! I never saw him alive, again.
He found out, a couple of years ago, he had terminal cancer. He was a doctor so he knew about dying, but he didn’t want to make us and his friends suffer through that with him. So he kept his secret, and died.
Everybody said how brave he was to bear his suffering in silence and not tell anybody, and so on and so forth. Bloody bollocks! Privately, I feel angry that he didn’t need me, and trust my strength, and it hurt that he didn’t say goodbye.
You would have liked Sam. Everybody did. He was obsessed with star watching and also the United Kingdom. He’s probably there now. If you see him, take him to the pub, let him show you the stars and you can tell him what a great grand daughter he had.
Oh, and tell him I’d love for him to come home for one more Christmas.