Before going any further, I’d like to dedicate this entry to my maternal great uncle, Les Cosgrove, who died from a massive stroke in the early hours of yesterday morning. Of course, I’m kicking myself for not being able to see him during the trip (which I’ll be recapping in a few moments), and may he rest in peace just the same.
That aside, the trip went incredibly well, with only a few minor hiccups at certain times. The first two of these occurred on the way over to Sydney:
- On the first day, I was pulled over for a random breath test (which, of course, came up negative) in Buronga, and as I was caught off guard by this, the officer thought I was behaving suspiciously; and
- On the second, as I was decelerating at the point west of Narrandera where the speed limit is reduced from 110km/h to 100, I observed a flash in the distance, and I thought I’d be hit with a speeding ticket in the mail, but thankfully, that hasn’t come to pass (and nor should it).
And upon my arrival, a good deal of chopping and changing had to occur:
- My planned trip to the Central Coast to see my relatives up there had to be shifted from Saturday to Monday, as my uncle and aunt had to work, but when I heard that my cousin wanted to visit Erina Fair (a place I’ve wanted to see since 1999/2000) as part of that, I welcomed it;
- The trip to Westfield Miranda (which was well worth the 24-year wait) and lunch at Sizzler at St George were brought forward by two days as a consequence, and I welcomed the opportunity to practically drive a full lap of the Sydney Orbital Motorway as well;
- No less than six extended family members came to my grandparents’ place on the first Sunday for lunch, and while I was happy to see them, I thought for a while that my trip to Castle Towers would have to be rescheduled as a consequence, but luckily, that wasn’t the case; and
- Having already switched the day of that Castle Towers visit with the day of my planned Westpoint Blacktown visit at my aunt’s request, only the day of my Westfield Parramatta outing remained the same, but I’m still very thankful that I was able to cover all of those bases.
As for the condition in which my grandparents were, I’m also relieved that it wasn’t quite as dire as I’d anticipated. For a while, though, my aunt and I thought we’d have to take my grandfather to hospital on account of his ongoing bowel issues, and my grandmother’s growing forgetfulness nearly resulted in me receiving meals I wouldn’t have under any circumstances. Specifically, corn beef (which made me sick the only two times I’ve ever had it) and meat doused with gravy (which I don’t like, and despite my verbal interjection to stop her from putting it on, she asked me three times if I wanted it after that). So in light of my extremely tentative plans to visit Sydney on my own terms twice more this year (in August and November respectively), I might have to look into other accommodation arrangements, but I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them.
As for Lucy at Pure Platinum, she was very happy to see me again, and I was astonished to learn that she hadn’t worked there in over a month, and was only there that week to touch base with me. It seems that at the moment, she’s looking for other work to see out her time in Australia (which could be months, or even another year, depending on her working visa status), and she’s no longer dancing in Canberra as well, so I’ll consider any more encounters with her to be bonuses.
Which, of course, leaves us with the adorable Ricki at Men’s Gallery. The birthday presents I gave her – a couple of scented candles, plus a few other accessories – were well received, although I feel that talking about my positive feelings for her may have given her pause. As it stands now, she’s spoken for in the relationship department, but if the opportunity to have something more ever presents itself in the near future, I’ll grab it with both hands.