It’s Monday night and I’m sitting at home just surfing the net and I’m kinda haunted at the moment by the sadness that a few people I know are feeling.

I received an email today from a friend who, twelve months ago, joined the “dark side” of public relations, about which she’s not happy. In fact, she’s quite depressed about things. I wrote back saying…

I hope the job situation for you works itself out. If there’s one really good thing about being “on the other side” is that you should really trust in your own integrity to know that you’re doing a good job from the “inside” (if you know what I mean)!

I also got an email the other day from a friend who is working overseas at the moment who told me…

Life is slowly slowly thawing after a protracted winter in the capital. It was the first Spring-feeling day two days ago, a lovely crisp 8 degrees. I had a big smile stuck to my face all day. Amazing what a bit of temperature does for the mood. Today back down to minus 3. Work is OKish. Sounds funny, but I’m at a stage where I’m learning things very quickly and I get bored very easily. Next challenge please! Bring it on. Ya know?

I wrote back, telling him…

What you said about the weather influencing your mood is soo true. A friend lived in Sweden a couple of years ago and she said it got to the point one day where she just burst into tears, after weeks of snow, and 4 hour days. “It happens to all the Australians who come here”, her boss declared, giving her a few days off to go and buy a sun lamp. Seriously, it works. And the thing about learning new things at work is that just when you think you’ve learned heaps, a new challenge suddenly presents itself. Last year there were a few occasions when I was cruising along and then all of a sudden I thought, “I can’t do this”, as something unexpected came along.

And then I read a post by Mark who is a very nice bloke living in Sydney, but who has lived in Perth most of his life. After a few months back in Perth, he’s arrived back in Sydney and is now feeling a little lonely. I actually thought about him over the weekend, recalling that twelve months ago, he’d gone to Fair Day and had seen the stall declaring the need for a “Clitocracy” (I’m still pondering how it’s pronounced, let alone where it’s found!). I thought for a moment on the weekend that maybe I should have invited him, but decided not to, thinking it probably wasn’t his thing anyway. But anyway, Mark is a really nice guy and I hope he gets through this difficult period, a period which I totally understand, given my experiences in Perth.

Speaking of Fair Day. The weekend was reasonably busy, with yesterday being the busiest of all, with a visit to Mardi Gras Fair Day. It was the first time I’ve been to Fair Day in years – maybe five or six years – but with a visitor, I thought it was a good thing to do. The heat, however, was almost unbearable and, after a couple of hours wandering around and drinking beers, we headed back home. Harley, whose blog I read, provided an interesting insight into Fair Day with this post in which he declared…

Sunday was Fair Day, a lazy daytime gathering where Sydney’s GLBT community and its elite mingle from across the VIP seclusion ropes. Crowds wear singlets, thongs and sunglasses – to show their muscles, affirm their aussieness, and hide from ex-trade respectively. A mere 20 minutes was all it took before I found myself too overwhelmed to stay. Agoraphobia agrees with me, but it was nice to see so many of young and old enjoying themselves.

Ok yeh, I wore thongs, but they weren’t glamorous ones, just the thongs I bought from Woolies in Darwin in 2002. And I have no muscles. And “ex trade”. Well, when approached to fill in a sexual health survey, I told the bloke “You’re assuming I have sex”… which gave him a laugh.

Harley is quite an interesting writer, with a good ability to combine the humorous and the touching. Today, he wrote about his feelings about the Mildura car crash story. In case you’ve missed the news, Grief turned to anger as a man appeared in a Victorian court charged with ploughing his car into a crowd of teenage partygoers, killing six.. He’s from Mildura, a town I know well, having lived nearby for a couple of years and having extended family in the area.

After expressing his initial reaction to the news being “just another car crash”, he wrote today that…

Not until much later did I fully recognise the connection of my home town. Those kids are ten years my junior, I don’t know any of them personally. But I know those families. I know those streets, and I know those parties. I’ve waited by an isolated road for a taxi at 1am, hours from home, watching the once-every-half-hour car drive by, and considering commencing the long walk home. I also know those schools. Ten years ago they would have been my friends. But I don’t know any of those kids, and I’m not one for gratuitous displays of consolation. Life carries on. Monday, lunch-time, Big City Boy walks into the empty bathroom and in the briefest lapse, Small Town Boy had his moment.

I know exactly what he means. Living in Sydney, one minute you think you’re the sophisticated urbanite, the next you realise, having grown up in the country you’re connected to something intangible which you sometimes forget. I won’t say deeper, however, as that implies people in the city don’t have that level of connection and of course they do, but in a different kind of way. Without wishing to oversimplify things, it’s like in Tenterfield Saddler when Peter Allen declares…

The grandson of George has been all around the world
And lives no special place
Changed his last name and he married a girl with an interesting face
He’d almost forgotten them both because in the life that he leads
There’s no where for George and his library or the son with his gun
To belong except in this song

Those memories of what it’s like to be a “small town boy” were also re-ignited by an email I received from Richard, a friend I met in Wagga Wagga, but who grew up in Lismore. He sent me an article from “The Northern Star” about the refurbishment of an old Lismore pub as a gay bar. Although it’s been “gay” for several years, new owners have spent a LOT of money refurbishig the place. I wrote back to Richard…

In some ways I have mixed feelings about what’s happened to the Winsome. It’s fabulous that it’s been renovated and the guy is putting money into the town and trying to build a sense of a gay “community”. But I also question some of the investment – I understand he’s turning upstairs into a gay sauna (hello??) – and whether or not it’s appropriate, imposing a city-based culture on the country. But by the same token, I guess there must be a demand/interest, so maybe it’s not so bad. But on the other hand, I found that, aged 40, the pub was going after a mucher younger clientelle and was not all that inclusive. And I also have those mixed feelings that a bit of history. I thought the previous refurbishment which modernised the pub, but which paid tribute to the history by keeping the old flood markers on the wall was appropriate. I’m not sure about this incarnation.

Nostalgia is an interesting thing, eh?

Sorry if this post has been a little bit down, because that’s not how I’m feeling right now. I’m feeling pretty good about life, which is a nice place to be. So I’ll leave you on a fun note, with a link to Melodifestivalen, the Swedish Eurovision Contest. If you want to find out wha’ts happening or to listen online, here’s the link. My favourite, by the way, is a track by Anna Sahlene, called “This Woman”. Totally fab!

4 Replies to “Sadness”

  1. I just got home from a stressful and somewhat down night, and it took 4 slices of vegemite toast, pineapple and coconut juice and peppermint tea to sort me out. Then I come on here and read this and Im back where I started!

  2. You were probably right about Fair Day. I just went for the novelty value last time. Thanks for the thought though – you make Sydney a whole lot easier :)

  3. Cello, youre such a dag! Hows it all going? I caught up with Monty in Melbourne the other week and saw the Bergster a couple of times last week at HQ.

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