I am away from home having escaped from Sydney this morning. Was in Sydney for complicated reasons.
I need to write and express my feelings. Maybe if you read it, you may find it helps you understand other people more clearly.
|Michael with his sister Anne|
Poor Anne was just feeling a little off-colour. Off to her GP she went and has never returned home again. It has been only six weeks and she is now bed-ridden, paralysed down one side and needs to be spoon fed. The positive side is that Anne has a constant stream of visitors from the Lithgow community where she and her husband have been active in many clubs and organisations for forty years.
|Anne loves the great outdoors |
and bushwalking in the Blue Mountains
It looks as if this is an affluent family with opportunities galore. No, not at all. Lithgow was a small coal mining town when Anne and Don met. Her parents strongly opposed the marriage, but the young couple were deeply in love. Five children followed and everyone went to Catholic schools. Anne eventually returned to teach in one of those schools after the children had left. The family grew most of their own vegetables in a massive backyard garden. No music lessons or anything fancy. Don worked as a pastry cook and eventually bought the business where he was employed. Not all the children went to university, but those who did paid their own way. Four of the five backpacked and worked in other countries. Two have never married. It is a family where everyone makes a big effort all the time. And everyone loves each other.
I was lucky enough to have accumulated some points and so we were able to fly business class from Darwin to Brisbane and then Brisbane to Sydney. That was comforting. No ambulance was needed for me this time.
The hotel we booked in Sydney, the Mercure near Central Station, was a nightmare. Yes, there were positives. The shower was fabulous. The sheets and towels were meticulously clean. The location was brilliant. We had booked for two people well in advance but it was non-refundable so we were stuck with it. The housekeeping staff did service the room while we were there and so I know that what we experienced is the recognised standard for this hotel. I like it when the phone works. Not at the Mercure! I like to have toiletries provided. At least there was soap and toilet tissue. I like it when the drains actually work and the water drains from the hand basin instead of just sitting there for an hour. I like it when the TV controls work too. I like to have a pillow for my head. The brochure about a pillow menu was completely false as no such service existed and I did not even have a pillow. The Mercure in the Sydney CBD thinks those things are unnecessary. But they were happy to take my money. Our stay was absolutely ghastly. The staff at Reception would not even serve me when I approached. Weird men in the foyer kept trying to steal my luggage even though I was holding it firmly. No-one tried to steal my husband’s luggage, so it was very unnerving. NEVER EVER book into that place. Sleeping in the gutter would be better!
Good to see family members who live far from us. Sad times. Horrible accommodation. Lovely flights. Wonderful meal at a nice restaurant last night. We went to a café this morning for breakfast and the girl tried to charge us $60 for our food because she did not know the difference between 60 and 16. I expected the weather to be cold and packed accordingly. No, it’s not cold. There are pretty flowers. The public transport system here is wonderful. I realise I am in an emotional torrent. Up and down, tossing, bumping. To anyone who sees me there is no sign.
The next person who annoys you could be just like me right now. Or worse. Try to imagine why. It might help you to maintain your equilibrium. Someone needs to stay evenly balanced.