I had two companions for my last planned Sleep Clinic Friday ride to Albany. By chance on Thursday I had called round to Braeside school to drop off some signs that must be erected to warn passers-by that treated effluent is used to irrigate the playing field. (Or will be again when the weather dries up). There I learned that Brenton was on leave, so on the off chance he might fancy a ride, I called in to see him at lunch time. By coincidence Andrew dropped by too, and it just so happened that both were free on Friday.
So next morning at 0820 we met and set off. We were all rugged up with extra layers of polypropylene thermal underwear, and it was just as well because after a promising looking sunny start the sky turned heavily overcast and the air temperature dropped to chilly. Fortunately the threatening rain held off. The wheat fields are emerald, and even more canola fields are turning gold. We flew through several flocks of bright colourful parrots.
At the sleep clinic Hayley downloaded the data from the SD card in my ResMed sleep machine, and confirmed what I already knew; that we have got this sleep problem licked. She asked me a few questions about my behaviour and my feelings during the day in reference to the issues which I had mentioned I suffered when I first came for treatment. The responses made her nod and smile happily. She commented that it is really great to be able to bring about such significant changes without medication; just the simple application of air. I could only agree. I am still in awe of what a difference it has made to my life and to the way I feel. The latest benefit I told her about was that apart from waking once again with that refreshed feeling that I had never experienced in the last couple of years, I had found that breathing filtered, warmed and humidified air all night meant that my sense of smell was very acute in the mornings. Not only does this make the morning coffee smell wonderful, it encourages me to ensure the house is clean, the floor washed with lemon scented cleaner, the laundry done, the shower and bathroom scrubbed and disinfected. I notice the scent of everything in the morning. I notice even my own deodorant and aftershave again! I am not going to become a smelly old man!
It was time for me to have my own machine. The options were to rent one for $80 a month, or buy one. The math was pretty simple really. Assuming I live longer than the next two years it makes sense to own. If I don’t – well, it will hardly matter to me how I have spent my money. Of course there is always the possibility that at some stage in future I will not need it any more, but I would not count on it. So Hayley set up a brand new unit with the settings we had arrived at on the trial machine.
Of course such an intimate piece of equipment has to have a name. The rental was R2D2ZZZ, but this one must have something more personal. So I have named her after the Celtic Goddess of Sleep and Sweet Dreams: Ms Caer Ibormeith (KyreeBURmee) which translates, as far as I can tell, as Yewberry Castle. I am quite taken with that name. I feel she may become a character in my Other Writing.
She blows gently into my nose all night, bringing me sweet dreams and restful sleep.
The consultation over, Ms C seated securely on my cissy seat, the lads and I set off into town for a little shopping and lunch. I was in such a good mood I offered to treat the other two. We went to Hungry Jack’s (Burger King in the rest of the world – here is why). There, as we ate, we were talking about the retro photos and posters on the wall. Brenton asked if anyone could name the actors featured, and managed to identify quite a few himself. Being the oldest by some substantial years, I was able to fill in the gaps.
In the middle of quoting from Casablanca –
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
– a well-dressed and quite attractive lady of a certain age nearby perked up and gave me a big smile. She stood up. “That is my favourite movie ever”. I smiled back. “It’s one of mine too”. She kind of hung around a bit and passed backward and forwards a few times, then asked if we had seen today’s West Australian (paper) which is usually available for reading at Hungry Jacks. She said she likes to do the crossword. We told her we had not seen it and after hovering a little more she moved off. Brenton said “She fancies you Alan”. Andrew agreed. “Flirting outrageously” he added. I had not noticed. My radar battery must be flat.
Next we went shopping. On Thursday my new GoPro Hero camera had arrived and I needed to buy a microSD card for it. The specifications called for a class ten or better and the first shops we tried did not have them, but finally I found them. I purchased two quality branded 16Gb cards for $20 each. Not bad I thought. When I first started using digital cameras the memory cards were almost as expensive as the cameras themselves.
Then a pleasant and leisurely ride home, stopping for coffee at Mt Barker, where the lads like to flirt with the young ladies at the bakery. No pies this time, but we bought a banana cake for $6 and cut it into 6 pieces with my knife. Thats two pieces each, which works out considerably cheaper than buying by the slice.
One of the matters I pondered while riding, was the degree of camaraderie demonstrated by bikers in Western Australia. in NZ I used to count those who responded to a friendly wave, and on any ride it was usually about seven in ten. there were quite a few riders out on Friday and as we passed each other, I waved at them all. Not one response, which is a lower return than ever. I usually get a response from about three or four in ten. In my younger days at least 90% of motorcyclists waved at each other, and I had noticed when driving my VW that about the same proportion of Volkswagen drivers did too.
Does this mean people are less friendly nowadays, or that they do not consider they have any common bond any more?