Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Yesterday I carried a big cardboard box home from the bike shop, a distance of 1.5 miles. My arms are still at least a foot longer. The perils of non-cardom. There was only one available and it was full of rubbish, the mechanic said. Oh, I don't mind, I said, thinking he meant a bit of bubblewrap and polythene, and didn't even look. Outside the shop I discovered he meant all manner of rubbish - cans, bottles, paperwork, etc. I put some in a bin in the street, then started to feel guilty that I was putting too much rubbish in a public bin and I should be recycling most of it anyway. I also worried that if I filled the bin up, passers by would be more likely to drop their litter. It was windy as well and the bin had a big enough opening so that it could easily be stirred up. My life is full of conundrums such as this. I only put about 10% of the rubbish in that bin, then moved on to another. Several bins later, the box and I continued our slow progress. I had to keep shifting positions as it was such an awkward shape to carry - and the wind tossed me about like a ship with a sail. I had to stop at the supermarket for a few things and worried that someone would throw away, rip up, dispose of, or urinate on my box. I couldn't very well take it around with me and it was too big to go in a trolley. The box was still there and even assisted me as a container for my shopping! It's now safely stowed behind the sofa, ready to be filled with freshly cleaned bicycle bits.
Today it's even windier, but I'm working at home. I know I go on about the wind a lot, but really it affects my life a lot.
My friend Lucie in Canberra has given me some advice as well. She says it's illegal to cycle without a helmet everywhere except the Northern Territories. I have to wear it for insurance purposes anyway. Here are her top tips :
1. Turn your shoes over when you take them off in case a venomous spider crawls inside.
2. Squash any spiders you see by treading on them.
3. Wear long pants in the bush in case of snakes and stomp loudly to warn them you are coming.
4. If you are bitten by a snake get a good look at it so you can describe it to hospital staff.
5. Pantyhose is an adequate material for keeping jellyfish stings at bay.
6. When you are about to sit on a rock make sure it is not infested with ants.
I certainly will NOT be squashing any spiders. She also says there are green ants in the north whose abdomens taste lemony. I will not be eating any ants either. While I'm on the subject... being a carnivore myself, I have no problem with anyone eating the meat of any animal. However watching TV 'personalities' wincing as they chew witchetty grubs and dressing it up as entertainment is dispicable animal cruelty. They call it a 'bushtucker trial' in I'm a Celebrity. It's a bit more of a trial for a helpless insect (that would one day become a beautiful moth) to have its head bitten off actually.