I’ve arrived in Broken Hill
for the poetry event! I am really tuckered out and short of sleep. I was going to forget about having left my script at the chemist for my new meds and collect them when I got back to Adelaide, but I realised that they also had my pension and medicare cards – and I’d need my pension card to travel on a concession ticket. I’d like to give you some unsolicited advice – don’t go travelling straight after moving house. It’s very stressful! I have shifted most of my furniture but I’ve barely started unpacking. My clothes are still in garbage bags, my food in boxes… I was trying to keep track of all the essential paperwork I’d need throughout January, enrolment forms and suchlike. Last night I started looking for the ticket to the train to Broken Hill, and an hour and half later I managed to dig them up. I couldn’t lay my hands on my travel vouchers but as they’d already authenticated my pension card I figured that shouldn’t be a problem. By 4am I’d managed to set the house up for the pets to be minded, find my enrolment forms to bring with me and finish online, rearrange my room and put all the drawers in my dresser so I could put clothes away as I upended bags looking for bathers and other essentials for Broken Hill, removed all my journals from my suitcase to start packing it, and handwritten 26 poems because my printer was out of ink. Up at 7am, with my new sleep inducing but hopefully pain reducing med in my system, to hand keys over to my neighbour, pack clothes and toiletries, eat breakfast and head off to the train station. Between lack of sleep, weeks of high pain levels, and the heat I was pretty at the end of my tether. So, it was pretty shattering to find out that without my travel vouchers I couldn’t use my ticket. They couldn’t accept the electronic authentication, I couldn’t contact Centrelink and verify over the phone, or have them emailed or faxed. The federal government has mandated that you must have the original blue tickets to travel on them. So, it was either go home, or pay an additional $160. I decided to go on, but that completely demolished my savings and put me into the red. I see a lot of noodles and tinned soup in my future! Paying for all the courses up front as well as the costs of moving has left me pretty stretched.
So, I found a quiet corner and cried for a while, then dozed quietly on the train. They were a bit draconian on the train, the air con was set at 22 degrees, which I found cold. I hadn’t thought I’d need a jumper, and although they had a stock of nice towels, we were forbidden from using them for warmth. Half way through the trip I admired another travellers lovely plush blanket and she kindly lent me her second blanket, which warmed me up enough to reduce my jaw pain to manageable. Next time – bring the darn tickets, and a blanket!
I’m anxious about the pets in the hot weather, Charlie and Loki are sick so I hope they’ll be okay. Loki doesn’t eat when it’s warm, so I’ve been having trouble getting food down him. The vet have said there’s not much they can do for either, just keep them safe and lots of water and love… One of my lovely neighbours is a pet minder so I know they’re in great hands, I’m just worried!
Now that I’m here, I’m glad I came. The train trip was very relaxing and soothing. The folks here are friendly and welcoming and as it turns out the temperature is much lower here for the next week than in Adelaide. Much happier at the prospect of a week of swimming and poems instead of heat stress and misery in my un-airconditioned unit. Now, if I can just get a few more hours sleep I’ll be much happier. Have to run off now to find some tinned soup at the local shops before they shut. Take care of yourselves in the hot weather!