Last week was a mixed bag, not memorable which is probably why I began reminiscing about my journeys in the USA.
It was the last week of winter (we always say Spring begins on September 1 here) but it has been unusually hot and the first bushfires have begun south of Sydney.
As is common for me, the change of season brings head colds. I do not remember ever being sick in Winter but rarely go through Spring unscathed. My last attack of flu (before I began having vaccinations) was on September 11, 2001. I have even suffered head colds when travelling to the Northern hemisphere in April/May (although I still blame George Bush)
So, as I sat watching my favourite TV program, Midsomer Murders last Sunday night, I felt the sore throat developing and the nose beginning to act like a running tap.
Fortunately I dosed myself up before going to bed. I had already planned to miss hiking on Monday and garden instead. Monday was cold and showery, more like the winter it should be, so I spent most of the day lying down, keeping warm and reading.
However I was still not the best on Tuesday when I had to go to work as I had promised 3 days last week, the most days I have worked in one week for over two years. At least the sore throat was gone and it did not appear to be developing into the dreaded swine flu. I was much better by the Wednesday and thankfully it has not moved to my chest.
Work was very strange. The Principal closed the library for 2 days because something special was to happen on the Wednesday. We had to tidy shelves and move furniture but all we knew was that it involved the rollout of laptop computers to all students in year 9 which our Commonwealth Government has promised as one strategy to fight the Global recession.
On Wednesday morning we were invaded by reporters and TV cameras and finally the Principal arrived with the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard who is also Commonwealth Minister for Education. With her was the State Minister for Education, Verity Firth, the Commonwealth Minister for Financial Services, Chris Bowen, who happens to be the local member and the State Minister for Finance and various other things, Joe Tripodi, who is also the local member.
So now we knew why there had been so much excitement especially by those in power within the school. Only Tripodi came over to speak with me. He was obviously bored and went outside frequently to take phone messages. He is a repulsive character who is known as a power broker, wheeling and dealing in politics, so speaking with him will not remain memorable. Perhaps he thought I lived in his electorate, I don't.
The Deputy Prime Minister did smile and thank us as she swept out. I do like her very much. The photo shows her in the centre with one of the students. Tripodi is also in the frame. Not much was actually on TV. It is old news and the Death of Senator Edward Kennedy led the bulletins as the news was just breaking here in Australia.
Finally the most frustrating part of the week has been my Internet service which has been continually failing in a most haphazard way. Fortunately I could read emails at work and even some blogs although I had to be choosy in what I read.
I have had long phone calls with my ISP and 2 of the 4 technicians were almost impossible to understand. I felt like asking them what the weather was like in Mumbai. The most helpful had a strong American accent but at least I could understand him. The modem lights were all working but we finally decided it was causing the problem and not the line. So I have purchased a new modem for $90 (glad of the extra work this week) and things seem to have improved greatly. I feel most uncomfortable when my internet connection is down, quite cut off from the world which probably does not say much for my social interactions.
No work this week and although today is cold again, it promises to gradually warm so the garden must be attacked. The Spring blossoms and bulbs are appearing everywhere.
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