Article History

September 2010




Mum and Dad rang me from China, the first direct communications during the whole trip. Yesterday one of them asked “how's things going” by SMS. I had replied by telling them that the lump in my bum wasn't getting better and might still need treatment (i.e surgery) but that I should be able to hold out until they got back. That had naturally alarmed them, so they rang. Mum told me to make an appointment for the doctor's on Monday.

I intended to do the mowing today, but the mower wouldn't start. That damn thing has been the bane of my existence for the last several years.


My bum had been okay yesterday and most of today, so I put off making the doctor's appointment. But right after 5pm it started acting up. Damn. Once again I had trouble getting to sleep, at one point I woke up thinking "this is it" and worrying about how to get to hospital in the early hours of the morning.


Andrew drove me to the computer fair. He wanted to get some gear but I just wanted to look at a few things. And go shopping afterwards, which I'd been meaning to do the last two days. Andrew then invited me over to their place, which included lunch. I'd also been meaning to visit the last two days and apparently Sarah was disappointed when I cancelled yesterday. She's got her first loose tooth, which we all thought was a little early for a girl who's not even two months past her fifth birthday. But apparently not.

I hung around doing the usual - watching a video Andrew had downloaded (a high-definition doco about the U.S. Lunar programme) and being climbed on by my niece and nephew.

When I got home I put Con on his perch in the family room because the weather was awful.

Doing various cleaning chores for a few reasons. Andrew hopes to leave around 6-7am tomorrow morning to pick up our parents, returning about 1-2pm. They also need to be done. Plus, there's a distinct chance I may have to go off to hospital tonight or tomorrow. So I'm trying to get everything in order.

The aches and pains in my bum settled down and I went to bed.


Andrew drove to Sydney to pick up Mum and Dad. He left at something like 6-7am, way too early for me to tag along. They got back around midday, not long after I got up. They had all sorts of souvenirs for us and the grandkids, and lots of digital photos. And lots of stories.


Saw a doctor about my continued problems with my rear end. She thought I somehow had some scar tissue on one of my sphincters (from the surgery?) and prescribed a cream.

We visited Andrew and Alissa so Mum and Dad could hand out their souvenirs. The kids were just as impressed by the small toothbrush/toothpaste sets, as the hand-carved name stamps.

Even though I had first applied the cream before visiting Andrew and Alissa, I only read the complete instructions afterwards. Its active ingredient is glyceryl trinitrate a.k.a nitroglycerine. That's right, I'm sticking nitroglycerine up my bum three times a day. It dilates blood vessels, giving me a head ache and a general feeling of unease.


Went and saw my somewhat-regular doctor. He must be getting sick of me complaining about my bum and told me to book a consultation with the surgeon that relieved my abscess back in March. I rang the secretary there and got an appointment for the first of next month. I hope it doesn't get worse in the next three weeks. And being a surgeon I bet he'll be eager to cut me open.


Mowed the back yard. It really needed it. The mower eventually started, but became clogged up with grass pulp twice. I‘ve used the mulcher attachment/insert many times and it’s never done that before. Perhaps the grass and other plants were extra moist from all the recent rain.


Finally got around to mowing the front yard. It really, really needed it. There was a huge area of thick clover (a good 30 cm tall) and a few other weeds that Con likes to eat the seeds of. The mower again became clogged up, which wasn't surprising with the thick clover. The mowed remains almost glistened with moisture and was a very strong green from all the chlorophyll.


Photographed the flowering bush/tree out the front of the house. I‘m really trying to finish off the roll of 800Z I put in back during Andrew and Alissa’s house-warming party. I want to get onto some Velvia to shoot the flowers that are blossoming now. I already missed the cherry tree in the backyard.


Went for a walk with my camera. Photographed some wild flower growing behind the stonecutter's hall. Whatever it's called.


Finally finished off the roll of 800Z photographing more of the flowering bush/tree out the front of the house.


Andrew took me to a rally meet out at Dark Corner. He had met the drivers and photographed the cars in the morning out front the courthouse. I put in the roll of ‘replacement’ film from BigW and started shooting the camp/service area.

The next stage/event was about to start so we and a bunch of other people wondered over to a viewing area, through a logged area with lots of blackberry. Prickly stuff. We were on a long, sweeping left-hand corner not far from the start. I put on my fisheye lens and got one photo each of most of the cars that went by.

I started off standing, but found an area where I could sit a bit closer to the side of the road. As soon as we heard a car coming I would raise my camera to my eye, aim for a large rock on the other side of the “road” (really a logging track) and trip the shutter just as the car was in the centre of the frame. The sweeping road vanished off to the side of frame and hopefully the car isn't too motion blurred. I was getting fast shutter speeds between 1/1000~1/2000 even though I had the aperture shut down to about f/8.0.

I quickly finished the 24-exposure roll of ‘replacement’ film and put in a roll of Velvia 50. This much slower film lowered the shutter speeds. I opened the aperture to f/4.0 and was getting around 1/500th or less. Andrew said he was needing 1/500th to avoid motion blur, but he was shooting with a longer focal length, getting the cars just as they appeared around the corner.

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