Pain

Another sparkling, warm summer day, 25degC in this room, a bit windy outside but no problem. We had a 38C a few days ago but it’s been a pretty mild summer so far.

But the floods up North! Wow, a huge rain bearing depression across the Kimberley region of WA, from Broome eastwards, far into the “desert” areas. I put desert in quotes because it’s not really desert as people visualise desert, like sand dunes etc. Yes, there’s some of that but it’s mainly red dirt, thousands of square kilometres of low scrub, rocky outcrops and some spectacular gorges and river country.

But it’s the Fitzroy River in particular which carries away all the water from this huge area, and at present in parts the river has risen 15m in height and is up to 50km wide! I can’t imagine it.

Here’s the bridge at Fitzroy Crossing in dry conditions:

Fitzroy River crossing in dry normal conditions.

Here it is now (or a couple of days ago). The water level is over the road, around 15m above the river bed:

Many animals are struggling to survive.

Kangaroo Island.
Fitzroy River flood plains

The news says that the amount of water flowing down the Fitzroy to the ocean each day is equal to Perth (pop. 2.09m) city’s water use for 20 years! That’s mind blowing, for me.

I know the arguments, but the south west of WA, including Perth, is in perpetual drought, a shortage of water. Our main dams are around 30% full. The winter rains don’t replenish them any more. We’re spending over $1bn building our third seawater desalination plant, a few km up the road from me, actually.

If only, if only, all that humungous amount of water up north could be brought down here. I know, I know, a pipeline is not feasible. The cost would be more than a $billion, for sure, and it’s not flat land. Pumping stations would have to be built, and that takes energy. Where from? Solar is becoming more feasible, but I’d like to see the sums.

Anyway, while we wring our hands, all that enormous, massive amount of water is flowing out into the sea. Sob.

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My title is pain, and it’s partly a report on the bodily pain I’ve been having, and partly another type of pain.

My bodily pain, the sharp, stabbing, needle pains that I was having from May to December last year, is mostly gone away. I can still feel it a bit, right now, but it’s bearable.

Last week, around Tuesday, it had become bad enough that I had to reapply the pain patch that worked so well before Xmas. As before, it stopped the pain in its tracks. It works wonders.

But it took me a few days to realise that the vague sick feeling I was getting was due to this analgesia. I had to remove the patch again. The sick feeling went away. But importantly, the pain stayed away too. Up until now. It slowly comes back, but I’m not at the stage of needing the patch again.

As a result of this, I cancelled the nerve block operation which was scheduled for last Thursday. I feel there was no 100% guarantee that it would have fixed the problem permanently, and I don’t like the idea of cutting or blocking nerves unless absolutely needed.

Interestingly, if I had had the operation, they would not accept me getting a taxi home. They insisted that I had to be picked up by a family member or a friend, who would stay with me at home. Problem: I don’t have any family members any more. They have shunned me, abandoned me, treated me like dirt. The feeling is mutual.

I have two great friends, but they both work and I don’t like to ask them. They would come, but I feel uncomfortable about it. I have other friends, but one is losing his sight in one eye to macular degeneration and shouldn’t drive, and the other has cancer and needs chemo. It’s gettin’ a bit difficult these days.

The other pain I referred to is psychic pain and I might leave that for now.

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Dammit, I’ve been driving since November 1965, that’s 57 years and a bit, and I got my first speeding ticket the other day. Damn. At first I couldn’t understand it, but slowly it dawned. I was driving back from Joondalup towards Marmion Avenue, avoiding the freeway. It was late afternoon and driving into the setting sun (this was November) I could hardly see and I couldn’t see the speedo.

So they got me. A speed camera. Doing 77km/h in a 70km/h zone. I can’t dispute it.

BUT! This is a double lane, divided road with limited access, and the camera was set up at just the time when the sun is shining into your eyes. UNFAIR!

Bugger it, I’ll just have to pay up, but you get no credit for being an exemplary driver! You’re treated just the same as the hoons and the habitual speeders. Unfair.

However, there’s another thing – the photo on the ticket shows my front number plate (on the Peugeot). Thing is, I’ve lost that number plate. It’s missing, fallen off, gone. At least I know I still had it in mid November.

I don’t quite know how to go about this, getting a replacement. Look it up on the web, I suppose. I hope it doesn’t cost too much.

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