“I’m sorry, I’m going to have to leave and go back to my room for a brief nap”, I said to a colleague at about 3 o’clock on Monday afternoon.
I’d reached that point of tiredness when my head had started to nod uncontrollably.
I put it down to the early morning arrival on the plane which got in at about 1.30 am. It was then a further 60-90 minutes of travel and settling into my apartment before I got into bed, and then maybe an hour or so later before I fell asleep.
I got into work at about 8.30 am and worked quite hard throughout the day until eventually, I knew I couldn’t go on any longer.
It might also be the mid-afternoon drowsiness you often find engulfs you when you’re in the tropics. The first time I visited Darwin was in 1998, and I remember we often factored a nap after lunch on our travels around the area.
“Maybe it’s also because I’m getting a bit older?”, I said to some friends over dinner last night.
It was 34 degrees in Darwin yesterday. “Hoping it’s not too hot for you?”, Rod, a reader of this blog asked me on Twitter. “No, just perfect”, I told him. In the midst of the dry season, there was a lovely breeze throughout the day. Quite a contrast to the fairly miserable conditions we’ve had in Sydney lately.
And it really is the best time of the year to be here. The weather is great, and there is still a fair bit of Darwin Festival activity going on. I’m seeing a comedy show on Tuesday night, and a play on Friday night, and then on Saturday, I’m going on a tour of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, an annual event I’ve visited on a few previous occasions, and which I’ve written about here.
Coincidentally, one of my former colleagues is also here, as is one of my current colleagues who is currently on long-service leave. They’ve both undertaken massive road trips recently. One is currently driving across Australia and back with her husband. The other had recently been on a golfing tour of outback Queensland with another former colleague, and is in Darwin, ahead of a cruise along the coast to Broome.
Over dinner tonight, we joked she seemed permanently on holiday these days. “It’s five years since I retired, and all of the previously booked holidays are now coming to fruition”, she told us, noting that a bunch of COVID-related holiday “credits” were now being “paid out”.
Neither saw their retirement plans involving a transformation to becoming full-time “grey nomads”.
They’re both active travellers, and enthusiastic about life, and it was wonderful we were able to catch up over a glass of wine and a meal at Darwin Ski Club.