What? Ok, I’m back. I’ve been in Australia over ten years, and during that time I’ve seen some irreverent beasties: this is their environment and they do not give a flying fu** about anything because they are poisoned up to their eyeballs. The most-deadly snakes and spiders on the entire planet inhabit these fair shoes, and so it was with some distinct alarm that, finally, I realised I had succumbed to a classic boobie-trap: being bitten on the ankle after putting on my boot.
I should bless my cotton socks I haven’t had to cut off a limb. Yet. I would love, dear reader, to adumbrate my accoster, but unfortunately they have vanished without a trace, only to leave small marble size swelling near my ankle that ached all night and only started to reduce after two days. Without any guidance as to what my attacker looked like, I set upon the shadowy figure of a small phantasmagotric shoe-panther. It’s the only explanation.
The swelling was in fact fairly minor, but for illustration purposes I had intended on showing an entirely different spider bite of what it could have looked like . . . yet when I googled the images on offer were so horrifically grotesque that it has quite put me off my tea. I patiently await my next transformation.
Obsessed by Achievement
But all this excitement aside, it did stop me striding about a bit since my entire leg was painful and stiff the next morning, which in turn made me rest and relax. Well, as relaxed as one can be wondering if I will need to amputate my own leg with a pair of chopsticks left over from last nights takeaway. To paraphrase Captain Oates, I may be some time.
As people we are obsessed with doing things, and I certainly fall into that category. What did you do on the weekend? What are your goals for this year? What have you achieved? Yet the antonym of that is not achieving relaxation, it’s almost the antithesis of doing. No one says they achieved doing nothing. Only a real pedant would point out that doing nothing is in fact doing something, but let's ignore that.
Relaxation has become almost a myth on occasion, like the g-spot: many people talk about it but very little proclaim to have found it. Performing pursuits can appear relaxing, yet they are paradoxical: there are very few times when you actually do nothing. Yet this is exactly what I crave on occasion, and it’s something that has led me to travel far and wide searching for that quiet escape on some hallowed outcrop to simply sit.
When I talk to friends and family that claim they did nothing, it often transpires that they did quite a few things: they read a book, chatted with friends or played with their phone which basically equates to a million things such as stalking, porn, reading the latest news and gossip, and watching porn again. But that’s my mum for you. It is immensely rare to actually stop and just sit, yet it has become one of the things I most adore in the entire world. At some point, at least once a week, I will spend five to ten minutes simply sitting on the couch with a cup of tea and do nothing. I will stare out at the people passing by, I will look through the window at the cityscape, I will let the mind run wild. Yet I will not touch a phone, make a mental note, write anything down on one of my many to-do lists. It is pure joy. And lets my mind relax. It’s like a slice of paradise.
This slice of paradise is proudly brought to you by the Shoe Panther. Roaawwwrrr