Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not another book?

You may not have noticed but I have written a book. Not only have I written one, it is now available in bookshops, stacked right alongside other books written by other people.
Yesterday I visited a local well-stacked shop with a new young friend. He went straight to the science fiction section and bought one book and got another book free. Then, perhaps a little embarrassed, he asked: “Where’s your book?”
I showed him. He picked it up, flicked a few pages, and put it down.
We separated. He went back to sci-fi and I went over to history to search for something different about Rome, or Athens, or Isfahan, one of those great ancient cities from which great empires ruled what they thought was pretty much the entire world, expect for the bits ruled by the other great empire next door.
While there a woman approached me: “I’m sorry, you can’t even hide in a bookshop, but now I have seen you I must ask if you would sign this, please?”
She held out my book. I slapped it from her hand and screamed: “How dare you!”
No I didn’t, I took the book, smiled, introduced myself to her two sons, signed, smiled, and wondered if I should make a habit of standing in a bookshop as though trying to hide?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Does this happen to you?

A lot of people I know think their brains are melting.
They aren’t. Mine is, or has, or is in the process of melting.
Right now as I key in these words I am waiting for a Telstra person to answer my abusive cries. Ok, not abusive, because I know it is not their fault, but certainly impatient.
Here’s how it started.
Some time back we moved house from the big smelly city to the delightful rural paradise. The move was fraught with danger and accident, but we made it only to find that Telstra didn’t like it.
People, or equipment, decided to make our lives miserable by refusing to let our other phones die the natural deaths that other phones do.
And they did this by charging us double the rates for our new phone and by charging us for the phones we no longer had, didn’t want, and did not use.
Crazy, huh?
All right, the thing is I hear you cry, the way the modern world is, everything is designed to make life easier for us, the punter. So how hard could it be to fix?
Don’t ask.
But fixed it was, eventually, by an exceptional human being I had the luck to happen upon within the bowels of the monolith. She was hiding there, waiting for desperate folk such as myself and, get this, she even returned phone calls.
But today she couldn’t help.
Today I discovered that the 101 service on my mobile had been removed. Why? By whom? For what purpose?
I blame the Americans.
So, here I sit, waiting for someone, who comes on, tells me what’s what, then disappears, so I wait some more. And wait.
Hang on, there’s this Lisa from Victoria, what a find. She’s funny, sassy, and reckons because she’s from Victoria she can fix the unfixable.
She does. It’s fixed. I can’t believe it.
I ask her where my car keys are, my blue sock, my Swiss army knife, and could she help with the video recorder, is she married, would she like a holiday in the Whitsundays, could she work on the Middle East crisis?
No answer. Phone dead. I’m talking to thick air. Just when I thought I had met someone who could stop the melting, it starts all over again.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sorry, been busy, but I'm back now

I may have said it before, it’s not easy making the big Sea Change.
First we had to sell our house in the city and then we had to buy another house by the sea.
As usual, we didn’t do it the right way around. First we bought the house by the sea and then we tried to sell our house in the city.
I know what you are thinking: “Clever, innovative, imaginative”. Not really, because we chose to buy just before the market began to scream, kick and fight its way into a dive and we chose to sell as its plummet gathered momentum.
We are not, you see, the classic Baby Boomers. No, indeed, we sold out city house to a Y-Generation couple who didn’t have enough money to complete the transaction and they still don’t, seven months later.
What’s more, we were not cashed up after years of real estate manoeuvres, or share market profits and I had not decided to retire from my advertising agency after selling it to a multi-national.
In short, we are a couple of late-starters who met on a communal farm in Israel during the hippy boom of the early-middle 1970s.
Indeed, we belong to that group of Boomers who will have to keep working until the man in the suit comes to measure us for the box.
That’s ok with me because I’m one of those blokes who has difficulty sitting still and if there’s nothing to do I’ll find something and do it, or re-do something already done, or undo something so I can do it again. Or even write a blog about it all.
Oh yes, there are benefits. The beach is only three steps and one jump away and on a good day I can be there for three hours, running in soft sand and body surfing.
Fishing is one thing I have to get back to. Haven’t fished for years, mainly because I grew up in a family that only fished or played tennis and when I hit eighteen I changed them for activities more in keeping with a young man who thinks he’s in the prime of his life.
I was wrong, the prime was up ahead. I’m there now. I’m excited. And exhausted.
Ps: Don't forget to buy my book. Or I'll have to get a real job. BUY JON'S BOOK