Oh bother, it’s time; and, look, outside it’s dark and raining again. No, it’s hail too, wow, it must be cold, time for the Swanndri.

Bah, it’s a struggle, what is it now? Oh of course, yesterday on the river with the whitebaiters in the rain, must’ve gotten wetter than I thought, and the fire didn’t dry it out, and the bush shirt still feels wet as well. Sometimes it’s hard being driven, as I struggle to pull on the Swanni on top of the thick bush shirt. No feeling in the fingertips again. Bugger, oh well, it’ll warm up as soon as I get it on and I get going. Ah, that’s better and far too cosy now.

Sooo grateful I don’t have the morning stiffness of the bones that a lot of AS (ankylosing spondylitis) warriors struggle with, and thankful for the toasty warm cup o’ tea.

Fingers still struggle with the tripod, extending those lower sections. I’m sure they get tougher each time. Nah, just cold is all – head in sand again.

In praise of medications
I love my meds – all of them. If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t get here, and wouldn’t be here where I am now. They keep me at work, and working for up to 12 hours a shift; usually, though, my work hovers nicely around a 50-hour week. It’s the meds that, right now, let me wade through the riverbank high grasses, slither ungracefully over the edge and negotiate the balancing act over the rocks and onto and into the riverbed mud.

Even with my meds, my tripod now doubles as a support structure, both to help me get into shooting position and then for the camera. This weekend photographer is not quite as supple as he once was, and the mountaineer, tramper, hunter, gymnast and rock/ice climber are now but a distant memory of previous lifetimes.

My favourite meds enable me to unwind and recover from the frenetic pace of the working week, at least partially. I’m generally fatigued come Friday. The weekend’s activities rest and reset the mind to a level that enables me to connect with people for another week, and all this while maintaining a pace of activity that isn’t really sustainable.

With an already weakened immune system, and as someone who has never had a high iron count, I do become exhausted, with a bout of pneumonia every year or so. At such times I raise the levels of certain meds (most times with the quacks’ pre-approval and certainly afterwards) and I’m back at work within the week. I know I will recover over the next few months by keeping my hours down to less than 10 a day and hence working a slightly shorter week.