Day: September 2, 2009

around the grounds

August has been a huge month! I’ve been away from Royal North Shore Hospital doing a stint at Cumberland (mental health) over at Westmead, which has been humbling and fantastically stimulating. I hope to share some of my reflections soon, but I’m still processing a lot of it.


Cumberland Hospital, poised over the Parramatta River

An added bonus of travelling out to Westmead twice a week has been what Natalie calls the ‘guilt free reading time’ of the train journey — I’ve knocked over Dave Eggers’s moving new book Zeitoun, puzzled my way through Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘story suite’ Nocturnes, and finally finished Difficult Conversations.

Natalie’s had her head down completing her first scholarship application for next year. And even though our next step probably still won’t be obvious for a while yet, it’s great to have cleared this hurdle.

Elsewhere, we’ve been following some interesting stuff:

lives of luxury

I read this on the way to work this morning:


“…it did not seem to [Howard] that he travelled so very much, though when he did it was often more and further than he wished. He thought of his own father again — compared to him, Howard was Phileas Fogg. Travel had seemed the key to the kingdom, back then. One dreamed of a life that would enable travel. Howard looked through his window at a lamp-post buried to its waist in snow supporting two chained-up frozen bikes, identifiable only by the tips of their handlebars. He imagined waking up this morning and digging his bike out of the snow and riding to a proper job, the kind Belseys had had for generations, and found he couldn’t imagine it. This interested Howard, for a moment: the idea that he could no longer gauge the luxuries of his own life.”

Zadie Smith “On Beauty” (2005, p25, Penguin)

I found that last sentence a particularly incisive comment about our times and, often, my own heart. I was rebuked.