Coming Down

Almost like the Lost Weekend.

No snakes came out of the walls, no bats flew around my room.

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Scene from The Lost Weekend, a Billy Wilder film starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman (1945).

But I had some really weird dreams and I was pretty much incapable of doing normal things without being clumsy.  I walked into walls and felt disoriented. On the up side, I felt none of the usual leg pain.  That was remarkable.  It was actually a pleasant buzz and I sort of liked it.  But I was fully aware that I was not in operational mode and should not, for instance, be driving a vehicle.  The GP did not mention any side effects like this when she prescribed this medication.    I learned about it on the web.

Maybe the GP did not anticipate my reaction at the dose prescribed.  Perhaps I am sensitive to this drug, or the other medications I am on interacted in some way.

Whatever, this morning I still felt a bit wonky so after tending to the laundry, feeding and playing with Zeus, I spent much of the day in bed enjoying some more weird dreams.  All a bit surreal, if not psychedelic.

Before I did I spoke to the neighbours who were up early raking up leaves in their yard. They asked how I was and I told them I was still a bit stoned and told them why.  My natural honesty and frankness coming out.

It may be coincidence, but shortly after I spoke to the neighbours, the boss called on the phone.  I told her about the state I was in and why.  She was very supportive.  I promised to get back to normal before I drive up to town.

I shall not be taking any more of these pills until I have spoken again with the doc.

When I was 16 I had a similar experience taking some medication prescribed by one Dr. Ogg at the Bexley clinic in Remuera.  He was supposed to be curing my stammer.  I know he started me on Mogadon, then switched me to something else.  I don’t know what it was; the pills were stamped with the letters OCPA.  I was stoned out of my head for months until Peter Gruebner, my form teacher and subsequent friend and role model, contacted my mother to say the school thought I might be a drug addict.  She flushed the pills down the loo.  I went through a difficult withdrawal period.

Mind you, I never stammered while I was taking those pills.

I was riding a 250cc Triumph Tigress at the time.  FSM only knows how I stayed alive.

I did not like giving them up though.  The withdrawal was difficult.  I don’t remember much about that time, except while coming down I had a fight with my brother for some reason I do not remember and smashed my guitar over his head.  That ended my future as a rock star and set me on a different path.  I never did learn to play.  A tragic loss to the world of music.

That is not going to happen again.

 

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Stolen Dreams

Caledonia

I don’t know if you can see
The changes that have come over me
In these last few days I’ve been afraid
That I might drift away
So I’ve been telling old stories, singing songs
That make me think about where I came from
And that’s the reason why I seem
So far away today
Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me
And now I’m going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything
I’ve ever had
Oh and I have moved and I’ve kept on moving
Proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing
Found others on the way
Oh and I have tried and kept on trying
Stolen dreams yes there’s no denying
I have traveled far with conscience flying
Somewhere with the wind
Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me
And now I’m going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything
I’ve ever had
Now I’m sitting here before the fire
The empty room, the forest choir
The flames that could not get any higher
They’ve withered now they’ve gone
But I’m steady thinking my way is clear
And I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands are shaken and the kisses flow
Then I will disappear
Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me
And now I’m going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything
I’ve ever had

Dougie MacLean

 

Learner Pilot

My drone education continued yesterday with a few more flights successfully completed, though that was more due to the quality of the aircraft rather than the skill of the pilot. The first flight over Caroline Pool came up with a high wind warning as soon as the aircraft was higher than 60 m. Then the drone disappeared from my sight just as communication with the controller was lost, so I could not even see where it was on my iPad screen.

I was about to give it up as lost, when it hove into sight and connection was reestablished. Viewing the recording later I could see it had hovered for a short time then plainly concluded that it should head home by itself. Once communication returned I could see it was now in charge. I had only had to watch without interfering as it returned under its own control to the spot from where it had taken off.

The second flight went better. I kept it fairly low and always in sight. However when I told it to return to home by itself, this time it became confused and tried to land in a tree. A warning flashed up that the landing site was not suitable and asking me to guide the aircraft to a better spot. This I did. Smart little machine.

My third and fourth flights were out over old Halls Creek.  There I just practised manoeuvring.  I tried to follow some wild horses, but lost them. I am learning, but I need to remember to turn on the camera to record all the flights.

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Outback Spaceman

I’m the outback spaceman, baby; I’ve got speed
I’ve got everything I need
I’m the outback spaceman, baby; I can fly
I’m a supersonic guy

I don’t need pleasure
I don’t feel pain
If you were to knock me down I’d just get up again
I’m the outback spaceman, baby; I’m makin’ out
I’m all about

I wake up every morning with a smile upon my face
My natural exuberance spills out all over the place
I’m the outback spaceman, I’m intelligent and clean
Know what I mean?

with apologies to Neil Innes
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Back to Billiluna yesterday and finally started on cleaning up the donga.  Committed genocide on a billion spiders that festooned the walls and ceiling.  Some looked as if they might be redbacks who had moved in during my absence.  I spent a lot of time cleaning up the deliberately spilt food and herbs and spices, scrubbing and bleaching and sorting out the stuff thrown on the floor, at least where I needed to walk.  Bedding all washed and sanitised with Domestos.  Unpleasant little gifts uncovered and removed as I went.

I got a better idea of what was gone, and what was not.  I hate to add up the cost of what I have lost.  Sentimental value aside, I think it possibly amounts to around 15 to 20 grand.  It is ironic, isn’t it, that a few blogs ago after the first burglary, I wrote that I had too much stuff and I needed to figure out what to do with it.  I guess that problem is solved.

Finally, having made a good start on the mess, and finding myself psychologically stable in the face of this shit heap,  I decided to sleep and start again in the morning.  I set up my CPAP and settled down on my mattress with a sleeping bag. Within minutes my skin was crawling and I was being bitten by something tiny I could not see or catch. Cooties?

Sod this.  I can cope with the smell of pee and the other adversities, but this was too much.  I pack up my kit and drive back to Halls Creek, itching all the way, arriving at the SPQ around midnight.  Hot shower, clothes into the washing machine to soak with hot water and bleach, then to bed in what seems to have become my second home. I shall try again next week after giving the place a good permethrin spray and airing out.

For those newcomers who have not been following, the story so far:
I live in a remote community in the outback in a small portable home called a donga.
I was burgled twice in a month while I was away from the place, the second in particular being very devastatingly thorough in removal of my property and destruction of what was not taken.
CPAP: Constant Positive Air Pressure machine. A device for those who suffer sleep apnoeia. I am one.
SPQ: The Shire of Halls Creek Single Persons Quarters,  A sad lonely place for people who have no one to love them.  Elvis called it “Heartbreak Hotel”.

Now read on…