249 Days to Antarctica..."I'm Still Standing" Elton John




 “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” – H. G. Wells

Approximately 8 minutes reading time

This has been quite the week.

My week started off great then disintegrated but has finished off being good overall.

I’m still standing.

My house is being built, finally. The slab has been poured.

A few days ago, a man composed an impromptu song for me and about me and serenaded me in front of my guitar teacher. This was an unexpected joy and delight and completely wonderful. It made me smile. It made me laugh. I'm sure that it made me blush. This was not romantic but still a wonderful gesture. My guitar teacher asked him if he made it up or it was already a song. He made it up, for me. He walked up to us as we were talking and he’d finished his conversation and started singing to me. This was easily the highlight of my week. It has been a long time since a man has composed and sung a song for me, this is number five. I feel humbled. This was very special and the last thing I could have anticipated or believed possible.

Johnny, my guitar and I had a good lesson. The weakness in my fingers is making the harder chords and songs more difficult to play. My hands are hurting more. I am struggling with certain chords as my fingers and hands are not strong enough to comfortably hold the strings and get the right sounds. I’m working on it. These are good signs. Phil showed me a work around where I will hold the strings individually, one at a time instead of together. He said that my finger and hand strength will improve. My teacher is very encouraging, positive and optimistic about my progress. I’m enjoying my lessons. Johnny and I enjoy spending time together. I am glad.

Yesterday my neighbour told me that the building works have caused movement in the land and two fence posts of our new and very expensive Colorbond fence are no longer secure and sent me photos. Another problem to resolve, hopefully at no further expense.

There were only two of us playing trivia this week and we won, even though I missed the first half. It was an hour earlier because of the State Of Origin Football Competition and I forgot.

The next night my fabulous team of five won second prize with a five point handicap carried over from winning last week. Both nights were so much fun and a necessary respite and distraction from everything else that I was dealing with this week.

My first Shri Matiji Meditation was great and helpful. The ladies in the group are lovely. I felt better. It eased the pain in my right shoulder and arm. Everything they said about my chakras and energy was so right, bang on as they say. The pain is stemming from my heart chakra being blocked and injuring to other chakras. This will improve and heal. I am delighted and optimistic. I look forward to next week.

Murphy stayed for a visit, which was lovely. Schrodie and I have loved our walks, as always, freezing as it has been. I have fought the temptation not to walk but to stay home out of the cold. The walks are good for us both and make us happy. Schrodie absolutely loves our walks, they make him so happy and excited, which makes me happy and excited.

People really care about me, as I discovered when I had gone to my new Meditation Group and didn’t take my phone with me. They were checking in on me to make sure that I was okay, especially as my car was still parked in front of my home. Also, that Schrodie was home alone. Luckily I had engaged in a lengthy early morning chat in the cool brisk air, with a couple of my neighbours. The fact that I had been seen and was well, helped allay their concerns. I feel incredibly privileged and fortunate.

I finally felt ready to tackle an outstanding car claim with my insurer, the nrma. This was to fix my car from when it was hit by a Semi-Trailer on the Hume Highway as I drove home from work on 29th November 2019. The driver was changing lanes, didn’t see me and almost swiped, me off the road which would have sent me to my death. Danger was averted thanks to my quick wit. His bumper bar did smash into my boot where it left its mark. It was a terrifying and traumatic experience. I’m still standing.

I had logged into my online account to pay my comprehensive car insurance, roadside assistance and could not find any details for my premiums or cover. Everything was missing and there were no payment options. I couldn’t understand what had happened.

As I was preparing to call the nrma, I received an email from them telling me that my outstanding claim had been closed. To contact them if I wanted my claim re-opened. I was told that my car needed to be fully repaired, at my expense before they would re-insure me. I had done nothing wrong. I had told the nrma consultants that I had not been in a position to deal with this claim given my extraordinary circumstances and situation. I was horrified and shocked. I burst into tears and shut down. The next morning I wrote and sent them an email. By Friday I had heard nothing and my insurance cover was due to lapse on 30th June 2021. I cannot be without a car. I cannot be without a fully-insured car. I was broken. I had not slept at all since this happened. I broke.

Try as I might, I could not find contact details for the Executive Team at the nrma, to escalate this matter. I found contact details for someone that I hoped could help me and sent an email. By Friday afternoon when I had my appointment with my Trauma Psychologist I was not functioning and in a terrible state. She helped me with contact details and told me that she couldn’t believe the blocks I was putting up to get help through Advocacy. I explained to her I had lost faith in third parties after being let down so much over the last year. I told her they were too slow and time was of the essence for me, critical in fact. There was one person, a wonderful and reliable lady at the Prime-Minister’s Department who has been helping me and may be able to help with this matter, in a timely, efficient and effective matter. My psychologist told me that I had been re-traumatised. She said that it is unbelievable and incredible how much trauma I am dealing with and managing. We laughed as she told me that my cup was not yet full. I told her that my cup had overfilled and was overlowing for a long time now. She disagreed. We laughed again. We agreed that I would reach out for help and send another complaint to the nrma. I was told that I would resolve this as I have resolved everything else. I was grateful for her support and vote of confidence. We said goodbye so that I could do what I needed as it was already, once again 4pm on a Friday afternoon and we were heading into the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend.

I was a frantic mess. I made a call and sent an email. I logged into my nrma account to get my membership number for the complaint form. Then I noticed that the payment information for my insurance cover, my policies was back. The claim had been re-opened under a new claim number. I was in shock. I was relieved. I kept checking to make sure that I was not mistaken, that I was not imaging these details. I decided to call the nrma to proceed with my claim. The online system did not allow me to choose my smash repairer of choice, an extra premium that I pay. The nrma insurer is dishonest and I will never take my car to them again. They thought it appropriate and acceptable to keep my car for three months once and then take it for a fifty kilometre joy ride. The local Assessor was supposed to check twice a week and it took him three months after I lodged continued, formal complaints. He too found the situation acceptable. I did not believe their action or in-action was either appropriate or acceptable. They didn’t add an important part in the repair, which still needs to be fixed.

It was a Philippino Call Centre that I reached. The woman was rude and dismissive. I couldn’t believe it. This was the last thing I needed. She was unhelpful. I told her politely that I didn’t want to speak with her but to an Australian. She said that she would make a referral and that I would receive a call within 48hours. I knew that this would not happen because of the long weekend and the Public Holiday on Monday. I didn’t have any success paying my premiums either. I will wait until Tuesday morning. I got off the phone and was so unbelievably tired. I sent an email update to notify the lady at the Prime-Minister’s Department of the situation and positive outcome. She later called me to discuss the matter. I am so grateful for her assistance and support, especially that she cares and is trying her best to help me in any and every way possible. I was a mess. I was completely exhausted and needed to sleep.

Rest is what I have needed and is how I have indulged myself this weekend. Unfortunately, I have declined offers to go out but I have talked to my friends and family which has been great. I did see some people I really like this week, which was lovely.

I had dinner with a couple of ladies I had met through my political pursuits. Another Independent Candidate had a political fundraiser and I went along to my first event. It was very interesting and unlike anything I had been to before and made me nostalgic. I saw my old GP which was a lovely bonus. He cared about how I was and remembered me. I was so deeply touched. I didn’t tell him about everything that had happened when I ran into him again at Dinner. It was a conversation for another time. A lot of Greenies and old hippies were at this fundraiser. The music was good and very different to anything I’d heard before as people sang enthusiastically about soil, dishwashing powder, laundry detergent and compost. There was a song written about a true story about giving a wounded Wallaby a marijuana joint. Some of it was hilarious because they were smart, educated people. I felt like I had been invited into someone’s lounge room for a private jam session of their friends. The lady responsible for us have Recycling Bins and creating different coloured ‘Dust Bin’ as we Aussie’s say, lids was there in the audience. I think that is really cool. The couple responsible for the Recovery Store at the Tip were there as well. I think the Event was a success and I am glad for this Candidate and have a feeling that she’ll win a place on the Council.

I attended a meeting about the Council Policy and new Submissions that were to be made, with some of the other Candidates which was good and interesting. It was certainly a learning experience for me.

The candidate sent me a lovely email about the meeting and my contribution. I decided to give her my campaign ideas about inclusion within the community to encourage safety and sustainability for the Community and Council. This I did because my concern for my community is genuine and I care about what happens. Inclusion benefits everyone. Inclusion makes our communities safer and stops anti-social behaviour. I gave her detailed initiatives that I had wanted to implement for Social Infrastructure, as I call it, which was for Council funded cooking, art and other classes and much more. Attendees will contribute their own ingredients and materials, as required. If set-up and run properly these initiatives can be implemented at little or no cost to the Community or Council. I believe that the Community would back such initiatives. I told her that the empty shops throughout our communities was bad for us all and somehow Council has a part to play in resolving this issue, even if only at a Consultative level. I pushed the importance of our built environment through careful and considered town planning and development, including infrastructure. These matters are often overlooked and we all pay for this as they are critical to our communities functioning well and to people living well. The way we live directly impacts our health and well-being, including emotional and mental health. I am passionate about these matters and have a long standing interest in them. I didn’t hear back from her. I’m hoping that I get an acknowledgement for my contribution, I know it is valuable. We will see.

I’m cooking pork ribs, dry-fried in their own fat with steamed potato and broccolini, dressed with lemon and olive oil. Really simple, quick, easy, healthy and cost effective.

It is time for me to go.

I’m Still Standing. I am happy.

Hoping you have a good, if not great week.

Take care, stay safe, happy and well.

Until next week....






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