Just now, carefully going about my business, I picked up on quite a bit of tension in the atmosphere .. that nervous pre-public holiday kind of mild panic. I just counted my blessings that at least, small mercies indeed, I didn’t have to drag Mr Madopar into a huge shopping mall.

I don’t think he or I for that matter would have enjoyed freezing up in aisle 5 for instance – the chocolate aisle – barring the way for those in a mad hurry to snatch away the last remaining Roses, Cadbury’s et al.

“Get out of the way,” they might well have suggested helpfully. “I would if I could mate,” I might have retorted. “Don’t worry, I should be agile again like a leaping gazelle within the next 30 to 40 minutes, no worries. Lovely day we’re having by the way, don’t you agree? So, what’s shaking? Got a busy Christmas planned then?”

But that was the old Mad Opa. Mad Opa Rapid, or Madopar 2.0 – is an altogether much speedier agent of change, in itself at times of course also a bit of a worry. But you can’t have everything, apparently, and at times the mere concept of a medication allowing any kind of enjoyable base-level daily life seems to me (but only on those more Winstonian down beat days) to have been chucked into the ‘way beyond too hard basket’ aeons ago.

Lord knows I’m dreading this Christ Mass and Sylvester Eve. For a million and one reasons. But there are always, always, always things, people, insights, new startling memories created against the odds, kindnesses shown and received – often when we feel so very much less than deserving – for which to be thankful.

I think there is precious little left in my raggedy bag of tricks to offer any one single human being at this stage. But every now and then, I do notice people taking note as though having that YOPD badge instantly comes with some fair dinkum accreditation.

This could be anyone anywhere, I find Uber drivers worldwide tend to value a half-decent convo. Could be a massive burly but jolly Grab driver in Geylang,  or a former local CEO of a major software firm, now having reinvented himself towards something more meaningful, and fascinated to hear my tales of telecom tragedy as he drove me back to my coastal lair – bruised and hurting in so many ways following my recent Amsterdam jaunt.

I interviewed the chief exec of NBN Co and was shocked to the core to discover by the look on his face and that of his assistant, that my speech had deteriorated to the point of embarrassment – leading me to decide then and there to call time on the Telecom Times era.

Before we even touched down in halfway hub Dubai, I’d cancelled the three remaining scheduled invitational trips; two separate ones to Los Angeles and a great annual critical communications event I’d always loved attending  in Melbourne.

This is how the biscuit breaks or the koekie kruimelt. I have absolutely nothing to gain by dwelling on how this enigmatically sinister disease – even without some of its unintended arcane add-ons – has waylaid my erstwhile life and not just my own life either for that matter.

And it’s not noble for me to say things like, ‘It’s all relative. Some are a lot worse off.’

IMG_20191222_185449It’s not a desire to be thought of as noble or even courageous. It’s ok for those near and dear to me to express those kind of feelings.

But I’ve had to force myself to move on from that fruitless well of despair, fear and utter self-loathing. After all, it’s in my interest to shuffle onwards as best i can. Towards what exactly, i do not know.

Yet as I’m only a slightly greying precocious 54-year old, I do feel it’s a tad too early to sigh a sigh of surrender and sorrow and go, ‘Ok, then. Just hand me my standard issue pipe, slippers and white and blue striped PJs.

You can then issue me with my very own geranium and the number of the allocated window in front of which to place said geranium and myself.’

Nunca!

But at the very least, I can and will urge you – Uber drivers and all – to Carpe Diem!!!!

Merry Christmas to you all, near and dear and far and wide. I will be mostly forcing myself offline, so don’t be surprised should you find me ducking out of the seasonal mayhem in real life, social media or what-have-you.

One promise I can make is that I shall be investigating ways to do something about that fuse of mine which appears to be getting shorter and shorter as Mr Bloody Parkinson’s is increasingly making his tiresome presence felt.

Embrace your loved-ones, those present or elsewhere.

Because remember: until it’s too late, it’s never too late to say, ‘I am sorry’, or ‘I am thankful’, or to tell those closest ‘I love you’..

In the end, that will be the one thing left Love – Agape; which is the Light of this World, without which this fraught, wild and wondrous place would be rather cold, dim and dismal.

Which is exactly what we’re celebrating in a few days.

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