Monday, July 6, 2015


C stayed the other night, which was great fun. She is not long back from working on a remote sheep station. I liked the fact that she loved the flat country, an old love of mine. Traditionally, those with published voices have described it as boring, whereas I find it challenging. Its enormity is confronting. Dazzling. Its lack of physical interruptions to the eye means that in some way all is reduced to you, the earth, the sky. You either "get" that, or you shrink from it.
I hate that expression "get" that. But it's useful.
One young man I once knew was on the Greyhound from Adelaide, awoke somewhere past Mildura, saw the sun rising over the Hay Plains, and grew a dimension to his soul.
The 10 hour round trip to the supermarket at Broken Hill  C described as "beautiful and terrible." One thing she wanted to do was restock their Royal Flying Doctor box: evidently it contains everything that you might require, from morphine to the morning after pill. Theirs was seriously depleted.
Evidently, with a medical issue, you phone the RFD and, using the box contents, they guide you while they are sending help if necessary.
C brought with her to my place brie, sharp cheese, olives, dip, fizzing stuff and her own home made quince paste and quince jelly. Would you like me to give her your address so that she can visit you too?

I have finished the novel that I was writing. C hasn't read it and pointed out that I had promised to send it but hadn't done so. When I suggested my low chances of publication, she tactfully suggested that I was self-deprecating: somewhat more polite than my offspring who say that I am negative or pessimistic. Realism is how I feel.

An ABC programme on telly followed up, on "Australian Story", a young woman in mid-Queensland, whose arm was torn off by a post hole digger some years ago. The helicopter sent with aid took hours to arrive. ( because of the distance).  A neighbour - neighbour meaning someone at considerable distance -, recalling the event was in tears as she told how she had to pinch the arteries closed with her fingers for these hours because the artery - arterial? - clamps were missing from the Flying Doctor box. C's RFD box was not the only one missing things. I suspect that it is quite common.
But why would you ever need arterial clamps? They could be just the shot with other problems, say with animals.  Why not use them? You'll never need something to constrict an  artery, will you? That would be an emergency, and we are young and healthy, energetic, capable and resourceful. Let's use them. We can always get more from RFD if we go through the red tape.
It seems to me that the default position for people is optimism. It is often, but not always, helpful.


Elephant's Child said...

I find very flat country confronting. There is nowhere to hide might be part of that. It is frequently beautiful in a stark (albeit elegant) way. Natural minimism. A state which doesn't come naturally to me.
A C would be more than welcome to visit bringing gifts of that calibre and her gentle realism.
The RFD stories are frightening. Unsurprising, but frightening.

Frances said...

It happens quite suddenly after a time, EC. Suddenly you feel as if you are standing on top of the world, that the globe curves away below your feet.
After a time, to then see the land rear up in a hill is simply astonishing.