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Thursday, 1 January 2015

The passing of time

I have been going to see mum in her nursing home every day I am in Sydney and sometimes I stay to eat lunch in the nursing home dining room. The food is usually a little overcooked and the portions are a bit small for me but the diet seems to agree with mum as the food is both easy to eat and tasty. Each day I visit I go over the Harbour Bridge and up through the Lane Cove Tunnel to the M2. I make tracks in my rental car. I make my way to be beside mum in the nursing home where she is making her home among the present cohort of residents, each of whom has his or her own physical or mental limitations.

Yesterday I took mum to Hornsby to buy some underclothes as she said she was running short of them. When we got back to the nursing home we had lunch at a table with another resident. The conversation was quite lively. Mum loves a good chat. And after lunch we dropped by the room of mum's neighbour and sat and talked for about 30 minutes about old family members, about illness, and about the inevitable decline of old age. I went back to my hotel room on the last day of the year and had a few beers with some deep fried pork crackling from the little Thai place just up the street. I watched the ABC's New Year's Eve coverage until the fireworks - which I could hear outside from my hotel room in Chinatown - ended and everything became quiet again.

Today I went up to see mum and we went on a drive in the rental car through Sydney, at least some parts of Leviathan, before returning to the nursing home to have lunch, which was vegetable quiche and steamed vegetables. I returned to my hotel room to think about the passing of time. One thing that strikes me is that this year will be my tenth year of blogging. During that time I have blogged only with this blog, and no other. I think that anyone who takes the time to look back can see immediately that the writing has changed in that time. The writing has become more sustained, more intricate, and more able to express complex ideas. I think that is a good thing, although there is no way I could be truthful if I said that it was my intention to develop my writing to this state, in ten years of blogging, when I started the blog at the beginning of 2006.

At that time I was just starting my journalism degree and everything seemed possible. Now, things have resolved themselves into a more structured pattern but with the new year there are emerging other kinds of possibilities as I prepare to move back to Sydney. What I will be doing in the year ahead is, at the moment, anyone's guess. Will I get a regular job? Will I return to freelance journalism? Will I do further study? At the moment I am too busy with the move to be able to say anything with any degree of certainty. It does seem though, as I look back over the past year - and the past decade - that I am able to find resolutions to difficult life problems. I hope this will also be true in the near future.

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