Day 174

Written 14 September, 2020


Who could predict it? There’s so much fury from the  federal government towards Queensland and Victorian premiers over border closures- they are both being especially strict- that now the Queensland Chief Health Officer  is getting death threats! and needs constant police guarding! I suppose someone, driven to the point of madness with the lockdowns, thought they’d help the federal government out! The Chief Medical Officer says she works from 5am to 10pm every day assessing individual requests one by one, whether people’s requests for exemptions meet guidelines.  But It seems every government, both state and federal, has weird discrepancies in what they allow. The federal government has refused to let thousands leave the country, but suddenly allows Tony Abbott to go to London, and a rich man to go to collect his luxury yacht in Europe and buy real estate. Who can suss the reasoning behind government decisions. It’s dangerous to imagine we can. And 25,000 Australians aren’t allowed to come home. Only 2000 allowed a week.


As for me, in my bed, I’m finding it very hard to lie around like the doctors say I must. Yet when I go out, my feet drag on the footpath as I  try to throw my weight from one foot to the other. It’s never been hard before. i’m a tango  dancer! And GG gets impatient with me. I’ve done the same to him when his back is sore and he’s slow.  Waiting, tapping my foot, sighing.  Not quite rolling my eyes, but almost. I am so ashamed. I will never do that again.


One of my favourite people, my friend in New York, in horror, gave me a stiff lecture about resting, after reading what I was doing, the day before hospital, only going to it because I kept falling asleep. (Day 168, 167) I must not go back to the river to work.

We cannot afford to lose you.

Oh Shelley- your care has me weeping.

But how can I, as someone else said “leave the leaves” ? In twenty years, I’ve never found anyone who’d come up the river for an hour in a boat to help us fire-safe, but now, horrified, chastened – what if GG had found me dead?- I try for the hundredth time, different people now, begging Chad the tree lopper (Day  136) and  a real-estate agent that T told me about, for this real estate agent lets out an airBnB here…. And success at last! someone who works for the air BnB and knows our bay! He’ll check out the problem this week! Maybe start on Friday!


After his zoom lesson, my tango teacher rings to see why I didn’t attend. He tells me that his friend happened to find a letter dropped on the footpath, addressed to a nearby doctor and not being busy, she decided to deliver it herself. While she was talking to the receptionist, pains came in her chest. The doctor immediately sent her to hospital. She’d been about to have a heart attack, and like me, unexpectedly came out with a stent.

Stents are fashionable, he says. We joke that  I’ll wear a t-shirt “I have a stent”. I laugh a lot. I’ve been so aghast at my mortality, so ashamed of my recklessness.

He’s Sri Lankan and loves cooking.  I tell him my Indian doctor says the Western diet causes heart problems.  So he’ll send me recipes for SriLankan food.

Good for the heart, he says.

For the first time since the hospital, I go to bed at peace.



2 Responses to Day 174

  1. Dearest Sue!

    I’m met with very contradicting feelings reading your posts; a warm nostalgia, sending me back two, maybe three months to my parents little beach unit in Lennox Head, and a new anxiety for your health! A stent, you say? Are you ok? I mean by no means to drag the attention away from you, but I’m shocked and amused, as last Sunday I found myself in the emergency room at RPA in Newtown with heart concerns too (a pre-existing condition). More so, I found out a few days later that my Dad ALSO went to the emergency room in Ballina, Northern NSW, for shooting pains up his arm… what’s going on with our hearts?! I’ve been told over the years that I can be a bit of a heartbreaker, but this is getting ridiculous!

    Since I last posted on your blog, lots has happened. I returned to Sydney to continue my studies at NIDA, away from the beach, away from the open and very blue skies and back into a concrete jungle of sorts. The immanent stress of life, school, finances, relationships, SCRIPTS (oh, and getting robbed) perhaps played a little part in my trip to emergency room last weekend; AND I moved house, into a tiny (I can’t emphasise enough) TINY, Newtown terrace with two of my best friends in the whole entire world.

    Sue, since we last interacted, life has taken a turn from the casual easiness of Lennox Head: now stressful, it’s been painful, arduous and frightening, however, so much good has come from it too. Not more good than bad necessarily, but the kind of good that makes the bad all worth it – I hope your good has been out weighing your bad?

    Now, I need to fill you in on J, my triplet brother who has been stranded in the brutal New York City lockdown for the past six months. I’m delighted to let you know that J got a moment of reprieve. He and his brilliant wife, E, made it out of the melting city, and escaped to the beautiful lake side of Michigan. J, E and E’s wonderful mum (I should say ‘mom’), spent a month all together, soaking in the fading sun of the dwindling warmer months; cooking, baking, frolicking, exploring the wild beauty of the lake side area. I’ll admit, the news of their escape from NYC was met with a huge sigh of relief and gratitude from our family over here in Australia.

    J is still jumping through the loops and hurdles of his visa application, the process was extended due to Covid-19, which means another Christmas will go by and I won’t be able to see my brother. Although, even if his visa is approved, who knows when international travel will be opened up. It’s a strange and hallow thought that I think quite often: when will I see my brother in the flesh again?

    J and E are now back in their Brooklyn apartment. I spoke to them this morning in fact, as you may recall, Saturday morning is our sacred family time to do the Good Weekend quiz and throw some banter at one another. As actors they’re doing quite well, E just booked a very big commercial and J will be running an acting workshop at the Stella Adler acting studio in midtown. They’re both sending through LOTS and lots of self tapes, as obviously, in person auditions are a big ‘no no’. I had to chuckle to myself quietly this morning; J and E were voicing their distaste with how much effort and hard work actors need to put in these days with Covid changes making auditioning very difficult… I couldn’t help but assess the dissonance between the struggling actors in New York and the struggling writers in Sydney!

    I must be off, time for a billion, trillion activities which I’ll attempt to squeeze into a 12 hour time bracket *sigh* I do miss Lennox.

  2. Sophie, Thank you for putting us out of our anxiety- so good to know your brother and his wife are safe and well and working! It’s great you came back to tell us I think one of the images I’ll take out of this pandemic- I assume it’ll be over one day is that of your mother with her cooling cup of tea in her Lennox Head lounge room, the lonely and very worried audience of one listening to her beloved son your brother read Harry Potter on Instagram. A sad, true picture of motherhood.
    Join us again soon. We miss you.

Leave a reply