Monday, January 12, 2009


In Dubbo it was hot, and we stayed in a motel with air conditioning positioned straight over my side of the bed. Best Beloved gets very cranky if he gets hot when sleeping (he emits so much heat naturally) so we left the aircon on all night and in the morning I awoke SICK. Dry, sore throat, glandy, headachy, grumpy.

Three days later, I'm still sick & grumpy. I get this way towards the end of a holiday/break anyway. I ache to be back with my bone folder or my keyboard. I get sick of moving, sick of being reliant upon others. I get to be one antsy Ducky. It doesn't help to be physically sick as well!

Sorry, I don't mean to be churlish. Today I stayed in bed, sleeping and sucking lozenges. I feel better, but not well yet. I've been reading Simone de Beauvoir's The Mandarins, a book I've been thinking about reading for years, and am happy that I've only started now, because I seem to be the right age for it. It's funny how procrastinated reading works like that. I think if I'd read this when I was 21 I wouldn't have enjoyed it.

I'm in the Blue Mountains at the moment, staying with my parents-in-law. Usually I'd be spending some time with Dr Sista Outlaw, but she's choofed off to Vietnam with her sprog. So I might as well be sick & wurty. Tomorrow I'll get up and do some vintage book and clothes trawling, which is something I love about the mountains. I don't know why I'm complaining, I could be stuck in a factory, chicken-sexing or something.

I really enjoyed Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. All day there was a dark purple thunderstorm off to one side of the sky, threatening to engulf us, booming and sparking. It made us appreciate every moment in case we were rained out, but in the end it passed us by as slowly as the Galapagos Turtle heaved itself reluctantly out of its mud puddle to get a mouthful of leafy greens.

I was completely taken by the giraffes, such elegantly alien beings, eating carrot sticks from children with long ultraviolet tongues. They walk like supermodels but are far more attractive than any human bearing that tag. I hadn't noticed before that they have three horns, not two. The third is on that ridge of forehead leading down to the nose.

And the siamang apes were hilarious, putting on a show worthy of an experimental dance troup capering to jazz, providing both the deep booms and the trumpet top notes from the incredible black balloons on their throats, swinging and chasing and suddenly halting as if playing statues, arms up in a Vogue pose. The crowd roared, delighted. They lapped it up and continued until they were bored, at which point they all sat down, backs to the humans, ignoring us utterly.

Meerkats, otters, baby cheetahs, elephants, tapirs, hippos: all delightful. We picnicked beside the zebras, but with our backs to them, more interested in watching the other people around us.

While I'm sick and grumpy, I'm going to take the opportunity to say that lately I've developed into a staunch hater of smoking in crowds. I have no problem with people choosing to smoke (apart from the fact that they're killing themselves), but how anybody can think that smoking next to or inside of a group/crowd of other, non-choosing-to-smoke people is acceptable is beyond me. The smoke may go inside the lungs, but when it comes out, it is in the shared air. It doesn't just magically get wafted straight up and out of everyone's way!

I had problems with this at Woodford, sitting amongst thousands of people watching music (one young woman in front of me just held her lit cigarette beside her and let it burn, only taking about three puffs, leaving all the smoke to me), and I had BIG problems with this at the zoo, like when we were watching the otters being fed. A large group of people, mostly kids, and some bastard lit a cigarette without bothering to move away from the group. I have absolutely no problem with asking such a person to put their cigarette out. The thing that bothers me is the way they then look at me as if I'm being unreasonable and prudish. GAH.

It's my resolution to be more unreasonable about this. I'm sorry if this means I'm a wowser in your eyes.

Sigh. Sick. Grumpy. I'll be better next time, trooly.


JahTeh said...

Dr Copperwitch speaks. You've just had a big op and your immune system is still re-booting so don't let this go on too long before seeing a doctor.

On a good note, when you arrive home there'll be two parcels at your p.o. box.

Doorbitch says ofulagi which sums up how you feel.

Mummy/Crit said...

Dubbo zoo is lovely isn't it? sorry for the smoking idiots. I got militant when I was pregnant with D, so I understand your plight.

phil said...

The zoo didn't exist when the family left Dubbo for Canberra but I took offspring no 1 there in 1989 and we enjoyed it immensely - really should go back at some stage. Depending on where you stayed - and Dubbo has a LOT of motels - you could have been at our old address, where the house was removed and a motel built.

Also, get well soon!

jac said...

Melbourne Zoo has banned smoking as of New Years Day... so maybe Dubbo will be next!
Secondly, I also wake up with a terrible throat after sleeping in heavily air-conditioned rooms - hotels are the worst.
Thirdly, my doorbitch word is "phedge". I am seeing a charming small bird, or perhaps a porcupine-type creature.

Poppy Letterpress said...

Hrm, a Ducky working in a chicken-sexing factory. Thanks for the giggle :)

I think your resolution re the smokers is a very wise one, and one that I really need to adopt being pregnant. It still amazes me how many people out there are happy to kill themselves smoking, and couldn't care less if they take someone down with them. If I were more confrontational, I would tell them all to bugger off if they come near me. Must work on that.

Did you know 17% of pregnant women smoke still?? Twas on the news last night, I couldn't believe it.

Doorbitch says "tally", like Tally Ho, which I believe is the paper for rolling smokes in, is it not? How appropriate.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

people who smoke in crowds, especially near children, are knobs. so you're not a wowser.

I also get a bit ick with air-cons on for too long, it dries all your mucus membranes up and leaves you dehydrated. I find a big bowl of water in the room helps a bit - discovered this with having the dog's water bowl in the same room - don't know if it's just my imagination or not.

like Dr Copperwitch says, though, do keep an eye on it. you are newly recovered still, dear Duck.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

I saw a tapir chasing a peacock at Dubbo zoo. The peacock was ambling along the tapir's wall, the tapir was trying to grab the feathers in her mouth, the peacock lazily frisked them away at the last moment. This went on for about ten minutes.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Sorry to hear about the sickiness. Snufflers don't get nearly as much sympathy as they should.

cristy said...

Oh I am so with you on the smoking near groups - especially children - complaint. It makes me so cross.

Luckily Lily now says "Eww, stinky cigarette" and that seems to help matters somewhat (and makes me feel better).

Have been meaning to go to Dubbo zoo for ages. We are members too, so we really really should. Perhaps in autumn. Not sure about the heat right now.

I hope that you feel better soon. Air con during sleep is always a sickness creator in my experience - especially of the sore throat variety.

Annie said...

Dear Duck,

So sorry to hear you're not the best. Totally agreed with the ignorant smokers.

When I was young and foolish, I smoked for a few years, but dear God I went to extreme lengths to keep my second hand smoke away from non-smokers.

I get angry when it's done to me but I have never said anything. Just fume (sorry) and frustrated. Only this morning at Canberra Hospital I walked past a herd of smokers, most of them in wheelchairs for %(&^% ssake.


Doorbitch is telling me 'spudede'. Which about describes the mentality of those who smake in the presence of non smokers.

Feel better soon. You are never a wowser for standing up for your health.

Annie said...

Er sorry, that should have read 'smoke' instead of 'smake'.

Doorbitch now says 'strubma', which reminds me of a fat motherly strawberry catapillar...

Dr Sista Outlaw does Vietnam not so stylishly said...

Smoking in crowds de rigeur over here - have ommitted a postcard Duckie, but also feel wurty, not least because camera was nicked and the little snapper I bought appears more expensive here than anywhere else in the world, with few options for reclaiming duty ... anyway, miss you, wish I was with you (Perfume Pagoda and Eva's silk village bound to lift spirits tomorrow) xxx

Adelante4 said...

Poor you. I get the same way with aircon...makes me feel awful. Hope you get better soon though!

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