The Week Before The Isolation

That week seems long ago.
Back then we could still go out.
Not go out to rub shoulders or any such thing. When it comes to physical contact, I’m all for social isolation.
Don’t try to hug this lad – he might bite!

That week before the Great Isolation, I wandered the streets of Adelaide while my Joy, and Amelia, and my infant grandson Little Bear shopped.
I wandered to Eckersley’s Art Supplies and bought a big wad of watercolour paper
– accidentally fortuitous because, even though I had no idea the virus would lock us in our homes just a week later, that wad of paper has served me well during the lockdown.
Who knows when I’ll be able return for more?

In King William Street, just outside the art shop, I was approached by two pretty young women.
That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me very often these days. It is no longer the 1970s, and I’m starting to look a bit grey and worn around the edges (just a little bit grey and worn).

Yes, they were pretty young women, apparently so friendly, and ever so chatty.
They tried so hard to talk to me about the book of Mormon.
Perhaps I look like someone who would be impressed by such an opportunity to partake in random theological chat and fancies.
A younger more impressionable bloke might have been pleased to be followed around in the street by two such gals, but alas, their love and admiration proved fickle.

Now, I didn’t tell them that, as well as being a past student of the sciences and some of the arts, I was the posessor of degree in theology (a real one).
I’d prefer them to simply see me as a retired, still handsome, old gentleman.

I don’t like to use my official title – but sometimes it can prove useful.
People often like to use so-called “ice-breakers” to facilitate communication.
Well, fortunately in this situation, my official title proved a real “ice-maker”.

When the head-girl flashed her million dollars worth of dental work in my face saying
“If we are going to talk, we really need your name – what can we call you?”
I replied, “Oh, ‘Reverend’ will do”.

Strangely this pair of religious enthusiasts lost enthusiasm. .They suddenly lost interest in me and wandered off in search of easier prey.
I wandered off happily with my watercolour paper, and sought out my family.
We shared tea and biscuits, and motored homeward carefree and content.

Then came the virus lockdown.

Memories and Awards

From my diary – November 2011

“On Monday I received an award from the ‘African Field Conference 2011’ in recognition for my service with the African communities (Sudanese ).

The citation reads -“For your contribution to the empowerment and commitment to the African Community“.

I have to admit that I was a wee bit embarrassed to be singled out in such a way and felt a bit guilty that I have been unable to continue my service with them.

But at the same time, tinged with the sin of pride, I am very touched and grateful for the award and my years with the Sudanese people.

(I have to say I do miss the Africans).

A good Birthday Present with lots of memories.”

The memories live on.

Michael and Me – The Dynamic Duo

The Destination Can Be Better Than The Journey

Tuesday Morning – Fox thoughts on exercise.

The GP looked over his specs at me and he said, “I prescribe for you – more exercise! … More exercise or you’ll die!”

Well, I can take a hint.

But he is a nice man, the Dr., he isn’t one of those rabid neo-exercise-tastless-lycra-gymjunkie-sweat nazis … he is a man of taste, a man of culture, a man who likes Dr Who – he understands the ageing body. “Walk … walk long … walk steadily” he said.

So I am walking morningly, longish and steadyish.

I even purchased a pair of walking shoes – a hard purchase for someone who despises exercise as much as I despise all forms of unnecessary exercise (except for mental intellectual exercise of course … and that and physical exercise so often seem to be mutually exclusive things, alas.)

So I walk … one walking shoe on each arthritic foot – one arthritic foot in front of the other.

It’s not all sweat. There are birds to watch … magpies to annoy … flowers to smell … small dogs to pat … large dogs to avoid.

And then, after the weary kilometres there is the destination … always the same destination.

The smells and sounds of a favourite cafe – the welcoming chairs, the clean tables, the luxurious brew.

Espresso in a double shot.

Ahhh.

Dr, your prescription isn’t all bad.

“Cold winds can never freeze, nor thunder sour The cup of cheer that beauty draws for me”. (William Henry Davis, not Fox)

At 5 in the Morning

5am and fast asleep.

The doorbell rings …

The rough-sleeping man, tall and bearded, is back in town.

He’s hoping for coffee.

Possibly he is hoping for money, but I think he believes me when I say I don’t keep cash around – it’s true.

I give him two cartons of chocolate Get-Up And Go milk drink, two packs of breakfast biscuits, and a pair of socks.

Year after year he is back.

He says that he has been going through rough times – and I am sure he has. But it is his life – his career … I think now that he actually likes rough times. Spare him a prayer.

But “Lead me not into temptation” – keep your doors locked, lest you get him into trouble.

No chorus yet – just a distant pair of carolling magpies, black and white in a monotone pre-dawn.

Another True Story

The Compliment ….

She came up to me and she said –
“I’m not saying that you are completely insane, but you are more insane than anyone else I know”!

Thank you … I am reaching my goal!

‘The Aged Pastor Dreams He’s Free and Wandering In A Forest’
– coloured ink, pencil, and acrylic on a piece of unstretched canvas
– roughly 15 X 24 cm.