Sleepless in . . . lots of places
Am always very skeptical of gimmicks and advertising promises. And governments. And Melbourne weather. And Swedish enlargement pumps. But when I was searching for some thoroughly good sleep-in ear-plugs, at a non-refundable $300 – and they don’t even come with a free tv or anything – I took a chance. They’re quickly becoming one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
Squeezing foam into your ears to get a cast is an odd but not unpleasant feeling. Like washing your hair before going to a hairdresser, you hope your ears are clean enough that the cast doesn’t pull out full-size candles. The silicone, erm, implants, come back a few weeks later, specifically moulded to your ears. Being an insomniac, quiet is important, and I’ve taken to wearing a sleeping mask now too. Proper princess level sleeping requirements!
In other news, I’m continuing to chip away at a book on leadership, gathering my notes on over a hundred books and distilling them right down into a single, easy-to-read 300,000 page manuscript! OK not quite that bad, but it’s coming along. I still have to keep approaching publishers for the last book, and pondering attempting one more editorial rampage, which is essentially akin to murdering your own children – things you creatively gave birth to (am sure words and children are exactly the same, right?). Am halfway through two books currently: the excellent dystopian, Orwellian, New York Times Best Seller They Both Die at the End tracing two young lives impacted by a phone call announcing their deaths, which will absolutely be a tv-series; and Kristine Stewart’s Out Turn empowering women in leadership roles. Oddly, there is a kinship with typically more feminine leadership traits: according to research, the new generation of leaders seek to inspire their team; have high emotional intelligence, social and interpersonal skills; form relationships; enjoy participatory decision making; and set realistic expectations and rewards. Male traits tend to be less agreeable and more confrontational, which I don’t really align to. I have no real despotic, megalomaniac desires. Well, no more than usual. I haven’t wanted to take over a country for hours, and my current crop of serfs don’t protest too loudly. Not since I got my new ear plugs, anyway.
Getting back on the bike
I’d forgotten how much fun motorcycling is. Yeah ok, my ass-cheeks are hanging off me, and my nerves are shot to pieces but hey, that’s motorcycling in Australia for you – there’s nothing like hurtling along and thinking, ‘is that a wallaby? Don’t skip into the . . . fuck fuck fuck fuck!’ Then there’s the burnt trees now in full verdant flurry, a reminder of the horrific fires last year. But the down-sides are paltry in comparison to the benefits: a pretty coastline, long winding bends, feeling the cool morning air rushing through the jacket, dappled sunlight dancing through trees casting long shadows across the road. It’s blissful. As I was Miss-Daisy-ing up the Pacific Coast, within 48 hours of leaving Melbourne I felt like I’d been gone a week. I think it says something about me that when planning a weekend trip four-hours away down the coast, I still have that mentality to think, ‘well I’m going all that way, if I just continue for another . . . I don’t know, two days . . . ’
And thus, a motorcycle adventure was born!! Yup, not only leaving Melbourne (wow!). Not only heading out of the state of Victoria (omg!) but into the city of Sydney (shut that door/close that border!!). In the end, it was a lovely eight-day trip, working from Sydney for a few days, and catching up with dear friends in Canberra and the twin cities of Albury/Wodonga too, covering a neat little 2,000km loop. And now come the purchases! It was my first big trip on the motorcycle I bought last June and I have to immediately fix the lack of cruise control. I’ve never had this on a bike before, but my throttle wrist was buggered. I’m unsure yet what I can do about my broken arse . . . I already have a sizeable soft-gel seat. Wondering if I can get some kind of travelling blancmange I can rest my buttocks in. Perhaps just gently dip my arse into a bucket of Savlon as I ride.
Apart from the wildlife, including - and I shit you not – an eight-foot gargantuan snake crossing the road, the coast has received a battering in the last few weeks, with once-in-fifty-years type flooding. Fortunately, I was very well prepared for adversity (albeit extremely mild adversity), having just finished Extreme Ownership! The authors, gravel-voiced Navy Seals, use their confronting experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to relay life lessons. They are undoubtedly the real-deal, but being part of the US Forces it’s dripping with Hollywood; they didn’t use force, they used deadly, unfathomable force; they didn’t have a tank as back-up, they had a 120mm M256A1 smoothbore gun of the Abrams death machine at their disposal. You get the gist. To summarise, and very much in alignment with one of the key tenets from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuc&, make less excuses, take responsibility. Could I have taken that snake on with my bare hands? Probably. Would I have lived? Unlikely, unless it wasted all its energy biting my blancmange butt.
Feeling I needed even more grit, I started and then finished Grit, a book very much in the line of Malcom Gladwell, in which Dr Angela Duckworth investigating the power and passion of perseverance i.e. why some people have grit and some don’t, and what it takes to be an elite athlete, leader, expert etc. I’m now 109% grit. You can use me on roads for winter. My buoyancy will now be tested with the dystopian, uplifting New York Times Best Seller They Both Die at the End. Will carefully check the plot for motorcycles, wallabies and snakes.
Writing and writing...