Not a reference to The Importance of being Ernest.
Well, OK, it was, but a poor one. The sick friend is me. I had a day off work to go to Bunbury today. I had a surgeon to see. The GPS was still set to take me on the most direct route, and to disregard whether the road was sealed. So she led me down some very weird roads. That is certainly the way to see the backwoods of Western Australia. Finally, however, in the middle of nowhere she suggested I turn up what looked more like a firebreak than a road. I baulked at that, and carried on following the road I was on. She was confused and clearly frustrated for a while. “Recalculating”, she muttered a few times, then suddenly perked up. “In 1.4 kilometres turn left onto mispronounced road”. I did. at the next “P” stop I adjusted her settings so she would take me by the fastest route while keeping me on sealed roads. As it happened I quickly knew where I was, because I soon passed the giant bucket.
Despite my peregrinations I was early for my appointment, so I went down to the seaside to eat the bread roll and mandarins I had brought with me. The beach was deserted and I was alone with the surf and the seagulls. I thought the sound of the surf was the finest thing I had heard or a long time. It is difficult to live so far from the sea when it has been such a profound part of my life for such a long time. In fact the sound turned nostalgia to grief and I had to leave the beach. I went to Cole’s and bought the ingredients for the Waldorf salad I am about to make for the Melbourne cup luncheon tomorrow at the Shire. I also had any icy caffeinated drink.
Then it was time to visit the surgeon.
He tisked over the x-rays, and the report from the radiologists.
“Out of date and useless. I shall need more images”. He wrote out a slip and gave it to me. “Go to Narrogin Hospital”.
That is as close as a medical professional will come to criticising the work of another. Then he prodded and poked and asked me to perform some simple movements.
“This is more serious than I thought” he said. “You need urgent surgery. i am putting you on the list. I can fit you in next year. The wait will be about 5 months”.
“That will be three hundred dollars please.
Send in another victim of industrial disease”.
The drive back was comfortable and conventional. Main roads.
Wildlife score: 7 bobtails seen on the way out, none on the way back. One live kangaroo and three deaduns. One dead snake. White and grey herons in the estuary at Bunbury, lots of galahs and twenty-eights. One peregrine. Crows and magpies everywhere of course.