Outing #46: Last outing, for now.

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Day 1 – Friday – 9 March 2018

I’m in a remarkably good mood this morning, you know. 

I slept about 4 hours last night so I’m not exhausted, had two orders of waffles and focused a bit of karmic payback on behalf of the pigeon got mowed-down there yesterday. Poor fuckin’ thing.

Don’t you worry Bro I got it.

I have all my ducks lined-up to go down to the forest this afternoon too, though it’s meant to rain about the time I usually head for the staircase, but if it does I’ll just go tomorrow morning instead since I’d rather a rainy afternoon in town dry, than I a dusty cave dry.

8:39 am

Come at me bro. You want the waffle yeah? It tastes fuckin awesome good bro. Just come at me..”

“… naaah course ..anyone else want some fucken waffle?”

Quickly escalated to that. β‡‘

Glad it’s not my car: they were using the edges of the front windscreen as a slide-toy before long.

I counted 7 birds at one point: all scratching the shit out the enamel with their landing, sliding, walking and playing on the roof like that. I could hear their nails making little screeching sounds against the paint.

For context to any overseas readers who’ve never met our wildlife: the Yellow-crested Cockatoo is a large parrot of the old-world variety, weighing over a kilogram (2.2 pounds) with sharp claws the size of a medium dog.

I’m stuffed like a pig, but they’re pretty good and I’m off downstairs first thing tomorrow morning so I want to stuff as much real food into me as I can before I spend another week eating powdered-milk and dehydrated shit for dinner.

Actually I’ve done some additional shopping and have added custard powder, pasta, pizza sauce, kraft singles, hob-nobs, cadbury chocolate buttons, m&ms, shit there’re other things but I forget the rest.. more variety anyhow.

More variety and more weight though, and my shoulders are tight just from walking-up the street with it.

A backpack full of sand; that’s about how it’s feeling this time.

4:37 pm

Twenty minutes until the library shuts, though I’ve only been here an hour because I spent some of the day at the church packing and snap-lok bagging food and I didn’t even get there this afternoon until midday because I had other things to do. 

I didn’t even use their coffee-making facilities today because I didn’t need anything at all except to go to Woolies a few times for things I’d forgotten and packing those things: I went today because they’re pretty laid back and as mental as some of the clients are, the volunteers are mostly excellent: housos and degenerates like me – we’re on the same page for attitudes and values.

Hang on.

Burger AND chips for dinner, because I think I may fit both in tonight..

Better eat it.

Some whining, spoilt brat won’t shut the fuck up with a tantrum and the mother won’t shut her up because clearly any other people here trying to eat their meals in peace mean as little to her as she and her child do to everyone around her.

Bitch is just staring out the fucking window like she wishes she could be anywhere else oh oooh wait: brat wanted tomato sauce, so mummy’s just squirted the shit all over the plate for brat to lick off.

Classy.

Brat wants, brat has a meltdown, brat gets: what a fucking steller model for healthy early childhood development.

The woman’s made dumb by her own hormones.

Silly way to raise a child.

They’ve finally left thankfully and the mood in the room elevated the moment they’d left: everyone resumes conversation as normal.

My burger’s cold now.

I managed to eat chips and burger tonight, so I’m well fed and wasted nothing.

You’ve almost got to be a magician to fit everything you need for 6 days in a pack the size of a school bag, but I manage it every time.

Today, I remembered to pay the irrelevant sum of $2 for a nail-brush to try and scrub the suede on my boots: might work well with just a stiff brush and water, or it might scrub the brown silt deeper into the leather, but I love these shoes and don’t like seeing them completely stained brown and trashed but keep forgetting to get one at Coles or Woolies when I’m there.

It worked! .. makes me love them all the more. They’re still completely waterproof too: no seams, stiches or glue have given water a chance to get in. Scarpa you rock.

*…

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Day 2 – Saturday – 10 March 2018

9:19 am

Eggs and bacon this morning.

I’ve just had breakfast and have ordered waffles to finish. I haven’t gone anywhere yet because it’s sucky weather for walking..

 You can’t see by the photo but the mist-fine drizzle keeps stopping them starting, getting
slightly heavier, then easing and stopping and starting etcetera. Walking down in this would just be stupidity: everything would be wet just from the mist settling on it and I’d start out wet all over in a dusty cave.

Wait, I’ve gotta eat the waffle.

Two scoops of vanilla ice-cream, banana and maple syrup. Surprised I managed to eat it without feeling sick – after the eggs, bacon and toast, but I did.

Tell ya what: I’ll just not take photos of food I order in town from this point on and then I can’t upload them.

I’m not starving: they have illustrated this abundantly and served their purpose.

~10:30 am

I’m waiting for the bus to Echo Point while two old guys are in the bus stop shelter itself talking about whatever – I heard one talking about how love is the only thing that can destroy selfishness or hate or some similar bullshit (love, hate, selfishness: they’re all just emotions and there’s no destroying any of them any more than you can destroy any colour in the spectrum), which can’t be done because they’re ingrained and inside all of us for a reason: emotions like jealousy are the most natural reaction to what is – in essence – a perceived threat taking an interest in a mate and becoming more familiar, closer or even intimate with the person we want; potentially threatening to take our mate from us.. I’ll cut that thought off there, because I’ve said it before and don’t feel like typing repeats.

These old guys are talking shit while I’ve already unstrapped my backpack and put it on the ground, as well as the two grocery bags I was carrying: one of which had a cheese & bacon pull-apart inside.

A moment later, a cockatoo swoops down and perches on the hand-rail or whatever it is and fluffs himself up: a sign a parrot is relaxed.

Moose did when he wanted a pat, and it’s an invitation to preen actually, but he had a much smaller beak than a cockatoo and knew me very well so I didn’t bother trying to pat this cockatoo.

Within the space of a minute he’s flapped-down to the footpath, waddled-over and stuck his head in the bag to check, then he’s trying to chew his way to the bread.

Of course this behavior should be rewarded, and was.

A hippie chick – attractive but for the hippie clothes – was watching this while waiting to cross the road and gave me a thumbs-up before a break in the traffic let her cross, which she did and I carried-on mouth-feeding the animal until that third peice, which evidently left him fed enough to fly away and a moment later that hippie chick was there again looking at me so I went over and talked to her.

We both agreed cockatoo are awesome and feeding them should be encouraged, and both agreed that not owning a house neither of us give two shits hkw they chew verandahs apart. I told her, that although I’m here waiting for the bus I’m not to sure I want to with so much mist and drizzle all morning.

I told her I was going downstairs into the valley for five or six days, and – not having a tent – I’d rather not start-out waiting in a dusty cave to dry-off from the walk down there. She told me about nicer caves further around the cliffs and I told her maybe I’ll find out where they are sometime, which I probably won’t because I’m a creature of habit, and caves are only a rainy-day last resort for me.

We spent a few minutes trying to call the weather: she thought the rain would set-in while I didn’t much care either way now since I’d already decided to skip the bus and the walk out there this afternoon.

After a bit we wished one another a great day, and ahe told me wherever I’m going, just “be safe while you’re out there, okay?”.

“Always do :)”, I told her, and with that she smirked then walked back over the road again and vanished down the street.

Intense but warm, she was. Had a very relaxed, sleepy voice and grey eyes: she managed to out-do me and I ended-up breaking eye contact several times to break her gaze. Mmm.

11:55am

Okay it’s almost midday and I’ve decided to cancel walking downstairs again today, …though, you know looking out the library window now.. I’ll show you…

The sun is out finally and there’s even blue sky here and there since I took the photo a moment ago. I could go this afternoon, ..no reason why not as long as it stays sunny long enough to change my mind. Even then I’d go about 4pm so there’s that many hours for the weather to show me it’s not going to go arsehole on me on the walk down there.

We want to sleep on the grass under the stars remember, not some filthy overhang and not wet in a filthy overhang on the first night.

We’ll see.

I haven’t written anything worth reading lately really: all just chronoligically ordered, time-stamped record-keeping. Mmmm, have to get on to the actual editing: many paragraphs will just be backspaced out of existance once it’s replaced with the story-version of the day, but god look at all the days and there’s still a shitload of weird interactions around town that could each make a story in themselves.

*sigh*

Speaking of boring writing: I remember doing a tafe retail course back when I was in my 20’s and one person in the class, he was the weirdest fucker you could meet: quiet and shy like a fuckin serial killer waiting to happen he was, though he was about 50 then so he’d probably left it a bit late to start that kind of thing, though who knows what he might already have had under his floorboards at the time right?

This weirdo was talking to a chick in the class called Shani – an attractive slim brunette with long, straight, fine hair. Shani and I hung-out alot because we were both attention-seekers and managed to feed off one another: we both demanded the others attention and both paid attention to one another, though we never hooked-up.

She was trying to start a career modeling and that was enough to make me just assume she was too hot for me though – in retrospect – she wasn’t.

She was pretty hot, but not enough to make me nervous – now πŸ™‚

I walk in the classroom one morning before the class started and this weird old man is quietly talking to Shani about something: I have no idea at all about what because even in the small, quiet classroom the cunt was nearly whispering to her, and she’s just nodding and “uh huh” and telling him “that sounds different” or wherever.

So I figure – since he’s a lonely weirdo in his 50s while Shani’s my age and y’know what none of that mattered because this fucking dirty old pervert is practically whispering shit to a girl I’ve got the hots for.

I go over and ask what’s so interesting and Shani fills me in a few seconds: the old man is working on a book.

** A book? How boring why the fuck would he be whispering about shit like that for? **

“What, a novel?”, I ask him taking a step closer and leaning in closer for

He takes a step back from both Shani and I and tells me it would be kind of a diary.

“You wanna publish your diary?”, I ask him, “What for? Most people keep diaries a secret. What’s in it?”

“Just, a diary of things that happen..”, he tells me, and I know he doesn’t want to continue telling me anything because he knows that no matter what his big idea is I’m about to rip it apart and shit on it.

He knows the only reason I’m asking about his boring old-man shit is so I’ve got enough information to make it look like a joke.

“You got some big adventure planned? Travelling across the country on foot? Going to the Antarctic with the next expedition?”

“No”, he tells me, “nothing like that.”

“What’s in it then? Dirty secrets?”

..”just interesting things that happen.”

Interesting.. ‘got up, had muesli breakfast, went to tafe, came home, had dinner, went to bed,’? Mm I dunno – not sure many people wanna to read about you eating your breakfast dood.”

Point is how ironic it is, that twenty years later I’m doing exactly what I ridiculed that old guy for: writing about shit that happens.

Later..

If I stay another night in town I can make fully 100% sure that 100% of my batteries are 100% fully charged: that’s one pro to staying until the morning: these lithium-ion/lithium-polymer battery packs take a long time to charge. Most people have the little 2,300-5,400mAh power-packs to top-up their phones or whatever, but I’m packing a LOT more battery than that: let me add them all up..

Yeah 57,400mAh – just in battery-packs alone – leaving-out the batteries inside the tablet, phone, about 9,000mAh worth of 18650’s for the vaporizers and all these things have to go down at full (or near full) charge too, else I’m sucking mAh’s from my power-packs right off the bat.

Last week, I went down without charging the vaporizers or tablet, and with the 12K power-pack half flat: I was running low on charge after 2 days and by the forth everthing was dead – can you imagine anything more useless than an electronic device that’s battery is flat in the middle of the bush? – too expensive to just dispose of in the bush, but flat you cannot use them at all, so you end-up having to carry KILOS of dead weight everywhere you go *and* be semi-precious with the devices insofar as keepng them dry and dirt-free.

So they HAVE to be charged from the time I leave town until I can get back to town to a power-point again or they’re simply straining my back for no reason whatsoever.

Mm.. suns gone again, clouds are lower and heavier looking.

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Day 3 – Sunday – 11 March 2018

7:09am

I’m at Coles getting an iced-coffee (for the bottle mostly), and anything else small I might’ve forgotten, and about packed to leave.

I’m loaded like a fuckn mule going down today so once I start moving I do not want to stop: just get down there and get this shit off my back as soon as possible: it’s just no fun at all to have strapped to you when it’s this full – there’s easily 10kg in the bag and another 5kg in the shopping bags, which in themselves are 5 bags inside one another so they don’t tear open the first time they’re snagged on anything.

Goodness though, I’ve got some things packed this time, including two brand-new 16cm saucepans – one for cooking savoury things, the other for coffee and custard.

That’s right, I’ve brought custard powder, powdered milk, demerara sugar and devondale long-life cream: add some of the hazelnut syrup I also have and I do believe the custard will be very much awesome πŸ™‚

Goats are hideous.

I can’t believe they’re charging $5 for less than a litre of milk from an animal too ugly to look at.

8:38am

It’s the Clean Slate cafe this morning (because the waffle place was packed and didn’t have a single table free) for the last cooked breakfast until next week sometime. I was only going to order coffee, then changed my mind the same way I wasn’t going to take anymore photos of cafe food but did, and here it is.. sorry..

Buttermilk pancakes with ice-cream and Canadian maple syrup.

Soon as I’ve eaten I’ll go wait for the bus to Echo Point.

9:48am

Here’s the day we have: knew it’d be worth holding-off coming down for.

12:15pm

Here, we, are.

Ten minutes after I arrive and make the first coffee I hear the familiar swooshing sounds of wings flapping air followed by leaves on a nearby tree branch rustle, look over and see the Currawong regular is here.

Three minutes later he’s on the ground trying to remove a bag of pasta left hanging out my pack, I had to go over there and get something for him.

I’ve just incinerated my first leech of the visit: put my hand in my pocket to get out my phone and felt something snotty stick to my finger.

Goodbye, arsehole.

.. speaking of leeches: that wicker leech ornamental has had plenty of rain to soften the bark – needs to sun-dry now to shrink to a snug fit. I’ll take it up soon and leave it with someone or just give it to someone who wants an ornamental sculpture that started as a sick way of burning a bunch of leeches at once.

This new phone camera is something else: look at that colour and detail!

1:58pm

So for this outing I’ve up upgraded my menu options and bought a few bits and pieces.

Hang on the Currawong wants more ..

Not a cloud in the sky.

*…

4:53pm

7:39pm

You know the cockatoos have just stopped with their sunset squawking – all at once too – and all you can hear is that faint hum of crickets and the creek water sloshing downhill. 

Very hard to not fall asleep with sounds like that going on, quietly and rhythmic and constant and ooking up all I see are stars in the sky: still cloud-free.

Nuh, I’m sleeping..

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Day 4 – Monday – 12 March 2018

It’s 7:48am and I’ve been up about half an hour now, got my first coffee of the day cooked in one of the new saucepans and I’m already looking at the no-longer-cloudless sky and wondering how long I’ll get before I’ve gotta pack everything and fuck-off up to the overhang this afternoon. It won’t be until then, but y’know it still bugs me that rain is coming in the next few days: impending is what it’s doing, and I’d rather it didn’t.

I’ve gotta wash myself today too, I’m able to smell my own muskiness, though I actually like it.

It’s not the smell of any body fluids or waste on me, it’s that musky smell your groin just seems to aquire when it’s not washed every day and it’s kind’ve a warm, sweet smell.. yeah you know I’m sure that smell is there to attract the opposite sex because it actually smells good and it’s a mild scent that takes a minimum of several days to get there and unlike the nasty smells that come from armpits, arseholes and actual genetalia – all of which smell very offensive very quickly – this scent stays muted and subtle.

Here’s the sky anyway..

The new pot’s a bit slippery on the stove, I should really scratch some texture into the bottom to give it some grip, but I won’t because I’ve got other things to do.

The flies and bees are starting too piss me off already. They come for the sugar in my coffee and all day there’s one or two of then hovering just outside my body-space trying to scab shit I’m eating.

I’ve already stunned a blowfly, torched it’s wings off and thrown it away for the ants to eat alive but there’s always more stupid fucking insects.

** Just come close enough for me to hit you cocksucker **

I sometimes stalk blowflies sitting on nearby leaves once they’ve got my attention: sneak over and sloooowly kneel-down without casting my shadow on them, then slap ’em off the leaf or paw them into the ground.

Once you stun them you’ve only got a few seconds to grab the fly and singe its wings – then you win: doesn’t matter what you do with it from that point on: you’ve removed it’s ability to fly and it’s fucked – a walking snack.

Only takes that first ant to bump into it and the blowfly is dragged-off on the spot, until the first ant bumps into a second ant; then it’s a tug-o-war with more and more ants gradually joining-in to chew bits from the live blowfly as it frantically kicks and huzzes – trying to get it’s wings to work.

Takes over an hour for the fly to finally die that way; much better than instantly squashing them dead, I think.

Excellent to watch too, when an insect’s been pissing you off a while: 100% satisfaction guaranteed πŸ™‚

There’s one now…

Here’re the new pots: they’ll stay right here stashed in the bushes until next time. I didn’t even bother thinking about taping the lid shut or stuffing newspaper inside it because I wasn’t even going to take any lids – one of the girls at the church offered, then started stuffing the inside, then taped the lip on. Can’t remember her name, maybe I haven’t been told it, but names usually take me a bit to remember. Lovely of her though πŸ™‚

11:00am

I’ve gotta go up to the escarpments this afternoon. Fuck you mother nature. .. Bitch. The forecast is, gloomy..

6 o’clock tonight the chance of rain starts rapidly increasing. Too much chance for me to stay. 

The new Galaxy S7..

I’ve never owned a galaxy s series phone, but have finally put it down long enough to take a photo with the tablet, because it’s the last phone I’ll need to buy for several years, because it’s a high-quality device: masterpiece of engineering, really.

The Samsung Galaxy S7: beautiful phone.

I had a choice when I purchased the Note 3 some four years ago now to go with the – then new – Galaxy S3 or whatever they were up to back then and I remember googling comparisons from review sites and seeing the Galaxy was ipx6 water-resistant to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, as scratch, dust and dirt resistant. Since I was smack in the middle of the 16 months in the camp I figured that’d be a good feature for a new phone to have.

But the difference in screen sizes.. the Note 3s’ screen was almost an inch bigger than on the Galaxy, and the Note 3 had a bigger battery. On top of that, the newest release of the Galaxy was $899 – another hundred bucks.

I went with the Note 3 (the Note 4 had just been released) for $799 and was still happy with that phone until it wouldn’t let me accept two incoming calls (from my now ex) in I a row and I shattered it in anger. Have to not do that with this one.

Five or so years later, I’ve got a Galaxy S series that’s four generations better for hundreds less than they were back when I bought that Note 3 πŸ™‚

A National Parks and Wildlife truck just drove through! Believe that shit: they actually DO exist! .. WOW πŸ™‚

“Hey, dood”, National Park workers say as they slow going past. 

“Afternoon!”, I reply.

“All good?”, they ask.

“Yep, all good.”

That was it: short and sweet then kept on driving  πŸ™‚ 

2:10pm

The sky was without a cloud a while there, but new light clouds are drifting overhead.

I’ve got pasta cooking because if I’m going up to the caves I’d rather eat now with the creek right here, than have to fill my bottle from the spring up top just to clean the pot afterwards.

I’ll take a pot up though and have custard in the cave. Wish I had a 2ltr bottle up there actually.

Here’s a lovely golden-toned, sunlit shot of the creek I took a minute ago; while washing the coffee pot and filling my drink bottle.. new featured image actually. Why not.

3:02pm

From waffles with ice – cream and maple syrup at a cafe to camping-grade pasta with pizza sauce and kraft chedder slices: bit of a downgrade, I’ll spare you the photo of this meal πŸ˜‰

Here’s the macro I took earlier. No idea what it is bit it’s about 2mm in size, and taken right under the fern leaf in the photo back up a bit.

Tiny 3mm head of what appears to be moss just sprouting-out.

5:29pm

All packed except for the sleeping-bag, which I’m using as a cushion at the moment but I dunno: no animals are making any unusual noises and there’s still hardly a cloud in the sky.

Wish I had someone in town to tell me what it looks like upstairs in town, I can’t see anything of the sky beyond the 500 meter high wall of cliffline that blocks it.

I’m in a valley; I can only see skyline for about 90Β° of the 360Β° around me but it doesn’t even look overcast right now..

I don’t think it’s going to rain though.. I’ll go for a walk up around the corner and see I can see more.

I couldn’t get a decent photo through the trees, but too the east where the rain’s meant to be coming from; all I see is haze like there’s been a bushfire or back-burning.

To the west .. cliffline and very few light clouds.

I’ll finish packing anyhow, because there’s not just a quick shower predicted here: it’s supposed to be on and off for days so I’ll have to go up. 

Hang on.

6:40pm

I’m going up. I’ve just got a view of this coming from the east..

That band of cloud runs the whole length of the eastern side of the valley and it’s gotten closer since I took this photo.

7:13pm

Barely 30 minutes later and I’m a racing against the clock. Well I was until I got to Dardanelle’s Pass: only a few hundred meters to the first escarpment now so I’ve just gotta beat darkness, which is also right up my arse.

7:43pm

Made it just on dark. No custard tonight unless I really wanna mange it with a torch in one hand, which I don’t..

.. that’s what it looked like getting here tonight and it’s not even *started* raining.. if I start seeing clear, starry sky now I’ll be spewin‘ ..

Now to plug this phone into a battery, hotspot it and seal the lot in a snap-lok bag: I’ll use the cheaper tablet connected to the phone as much as possible while I’m in the cave – to at least reduce the amount of dust and dirt getting to it.. then roll out the sleeping -bag in.. that..

I gotta find a better cave. I only use this one because I know it’ll stay dry underneath: the one on the other side of the base of the staircase seems dry and even has a flat bench cut out at the front that’s pretty clean: but only until the rain gets slightly more than a drizzle – then it starts spattering  the bench right to the back.

Hang on.. let me grind-up something better to smoke and organize this phone/tablet swap: you’ll have to use facebook messenger instead of text the rest of the night, ’cause the phone will be sealed away and the tablet has messenger.

9:16 pm

Okay, there’s no more photos because there’s no more natural light, and although I shot that last photo above, it was only for illustrative purposes: I’ve come to the conclusion that natural lighting is the only way to take a really nice photo – electronic illumination is simply inferior, and that same photo above proves it.

Natural daylight or no point bothering.

10:40 pm

The rain finally started about 10 minutes ago coincidently, and although it’s only pattering at the moment it sounds as though it’s gradually getting heavier. 

The meteorologists were out by 90 minutes tonight.

I’m going to find a decent story to read on reddit.

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Day 5 – Tuesday – 13 March 2018

9:33 am

I found a story, but fell asleep reading it.

Just caffeinating for the day. The day is rainy, but should reduce walkers and walking to the spring to get water I had the thought that it’s a perfect day for hot custard, maybe for lunch.

My Currawong regular has followed me up to the cave again, and I know you’d naturally be thinking ‘He can’t know that’s the same animal’, and while I cannot state with absolute certainty that it is the same bird within a rainforest full of birds, the law of probability leads me to believe it’s the same bird: he’s the same size and shape as the bird at the creek, makes the same whimpering-dog noises when there’s no food or he’s eaten it all, he’s got the same personal-space range as the one at the creek, and the place I usually am when it’s not raining is only ~50 meters downhill from the overhang: “as the Crow flies”.

Being a member of the Corvidae family I can flip that popular expression and use it as a literal. Don’t get to do that every day πŸ˜‰

So I think it’s the same bird is my point, though I’m certain now that he’s not the Currawong who sits at the base of the staircase begging: that bird is a lot more comfortable around people and walks right up to you, while my regular at the camp won’t come closer than about 4 meters or 12 feet.

The slylight is behind him and overcast, so rather than take a rubbish photo of him with this tablet I’ll just keave it out: trying to reduce bad photos where possible, because they make me look bad when usually I’ve only taken them to document something more important than the quality of light available at the time.

Anyway he’s eating crushed-up hobnob buiscuts while I type this and reheat my coffee which has gone cold – also while I’ve typed this. I’ll get more water soon then pack up in case the sun comes out later.

A little later..

You know I actually had a split moment where I wondered how long it could be in there, without air..

As the sexy-as-shit new phones’ always-on display indicates, it’s almost time for the tourists to start. At around 10:00 am every day the train from Sydney pulls into Katoomba Station packed with the fuckers.

From Lawson and Springwood, I’ve stepped onto trains going up the mountain so filled with arseholes you cannot take more than two steps in the doors because even the vestible is chock full of people: standing there, squashed together like sardines, and – incedentally – I cannot see any forseeable situation that’d see me able to use that figure of speech literally, ever, ..sadly.

Anyway they offload from the train at Katoomba like cattle – all rushing to get off first – and the population of the town only increases until late afternoon, when they’re reduced to a trickle.

Soon they’ll all start scrambling for the Feeee Siztars and Cinny Wohld and, yep, it’ll already be packed, less so because of the rain but these idiots still go in the freezing rain to the Echo Point lookout, hoping they’ll get a glimpse of the brootaful landscape we locals see all day every day; even without going to the lookouts the valley and sandstone cliffs are a visible backdrop to the town from most places in town.

Anyway even on a good day, 99% of these Echo Point tourists are too lazy, morose or stupid to do anything more than walk to the lookout, take some photos then spend arseloads of money in town.

1% seem to be all that make it down the staircase and into actual rainforest but since numbers drop on rainy days, it’ll only be 1% of a lower overall number of people. Seen about four so far, maybe five.

11:33 am

The rain’s still falling pretty steadily, and I want it to stop fucking me around. It’s rained on-and-off for weeks now and I’ve had my fill of changing location ever other day because of the weather.

Hopefully it clears by this afternoon I can go back down the bottom. Has to stop-stop though; not just a break in the rain.

Just had to recharge my phone so I’ve had to remove it from it’s little protective bag, though with the rollover data I’ve got 23Gb now, and a site freshly paid for another full year.

Excellent.

Still not many tourists. Still rather be down by the creek.

12:12 pm

I’ve gotta get more water for now coffee, oh the depravity πŸ™‚

Mm deprived isn’t all bad though: depravation makes me fully appreciate both the basic conveniences and opulent things like waffle breakfasts on the main street and brand new phones.

That’s probably 80% of the reason I get such a rush I go back upstairs into town. You really should try it; like saving to buy something, working all week for a paycheck or … hang on..

I’ll have custard I think.

*…

2:07 pm

For todays custard – which will be our lunch – we’ll be using thickened cream, demerara sugar, vanilla custard powder as well as a half-bag of buiscut crumbs with a sprinkle of sugar mixed-in as a topping. Hobnob buiscuts.

4:23 pm

The custard was excellent once I finally got the shit cooked and thick enough, though the photos are on the tablet and it’s not connecting for some reason. The phone isn’t doing much better for reception I don’t know but I’m pretty sure the rain and cloud are.. ooh the rain just stopped.

Yeah bad reception all the time down here, but they clouds are blocking what signal there is.

What it looked like before the hour of stirring and adding more custard powder, milk and cream.

*…

7:38 pm

It’s dark now.

I’ve been for water – with the pot rather than little bottle – and made a last coffee for the night; it’s still raining – though it doesn’t really matter much at this time of night because I’ll read myself to sleep in a while. Oh and the net has been shit down here all afternoon I’ve been trying intermittently to update and the internet just keeps not connecting. 

9:27 pm

I’ve been trying for 2 hours to upload this photo: it shows that for dingy cave photos, artificial light is acceptable.

FINALLY: Here’s the photo..

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Day 6 – Wednesday – 14 March 2018

You’ll just have to wince your way through this morning because I don’t believe in badword filters and this mobile network is pissing me off, so self-filter the bad language.

Finally, the weather is clearing enough I can have internet accessibility..

10:09 am

Alright so far this morning we’ve all had our species-specific breakfasts: two Currawong followed by two yellow – breasted robins had buiscut crumbs I had coffee and smoked drugs.

Fuck this net down here.

How much money goes into mobile communications these days? Still too much to ask the cheap fuckheads to stick a few more towers around the place or up the voltage or whatever they have to do. 

I’m paying for a service that’s only being delivered half the time. 

First rays of sun in 48 hours.

I’ll edit this when I’m not losing my shit over network failure. 

My bags are a hundred meters away, no doubt with currawong going through my shit right now while I’m standing here twenty minutes straight just to get a photo of a slug to upload. I feel like spitting in a telco workers face.

I don’t know what kind of slugs these are and though they look poisonous to eat, he didn’t leave any rash or whatever from all the slime it left on me. When he’d had enough he just sorta rolled into a ball and plonked to the ground. Pretty smooth escape there, slug. 

12:17 pm

I’m at the creek and the ground is wet and crawling with leeches, though the sun is making enough of an appearance to have it dry by tonight – assuming there aren’t any more showers, I don’t think there will be.

I’ve burnt about seven leeches so far this morning.

As soon as I’ve killed this blowfly I’ll get out the microfibre cloths and wash myself – the offensive smells are offending me.

I just overtook two girls walking down Federal Pass ahead of me, and as I approached, told then that I’ve been out here four days without a shower, so “I’m trying not to walk past you both but it’s gunna have to happen.”

These mosquitoes today… gawd..

See how pasty I’ve become with all this rain πŸ™‚

2:05 pm

I’m getting better reception, though my stuff is at the creek and I’m running out of gas because I didn’t count on the custard taking an hour to get right, butI had to get it thick and edible – I wanted custard. 

I still want custard. Like that 60s movie The Stuff: a strangely addictive supermarket desert that people couldn’t stop eating, until one day the stuff itself came alive inside everybody, exploded out and joined into an unstoppable alien blob. …maybe not quite like that, but I know I’ve consumed a grossly insufficient amount of vanilla custard to date and figure on rectifying the issue one pot at a time. 

3:49 pm

Alright I’m calm now I’ve washed myself and found the last half-dozen cheese slices I hoped I still had to use with dinner.

Not a single bug flew into the pot of coffee I had sitting there the last hour or so, though a hairy caterpillar crawled into my black shirt and molted hairs all over the inside I doubt that’ll be comfortable until it’s at least rinsed well.

For dinner tonight I’ll use the other pack of thickened cream with the cheese slices and macaroni pasta, though it’ll probably need more salt than the cheese will contribute and I did actually remember to buy salt at the supermarket, then remembered I have burgers and chips for dinner and told myself to remember to grab some salt sachets at the take-away tonight.

Of course I forgot.

You know, it’s too early to cook dinner, but if I do it now I might be able to squeeze enough gas out for a quick lumpy custard after the macaroni and cheese.

Here’s another macro while I start cooking. It is 4:09 pm.

The Turpentine tree. Every part of this smells amazing, but the flowers smell best, a kind’ve camphor smell, but sweeter and more floral.

If I ever get the opportunity to pick scents for my own cologne, natural turpentine will be in the bottle, along with amber, ..maybe a tiny bit of musk.

Cooking now, scuse me. 

5:59 pm

Here’s the macaroni and cheese .. turned out perfectly, though more cream-cheese than cheese. 

The custard was so lumpy it’s embarrassing, so I’ve used the buiscut crumbs again to hide the incompetency πŸ™‚

It’s looking a lot like rain.

6:53 pm

Bit mm.. hard to call the weather, but if it’s only light for a minute here and there I’ll stay and just dry out in the morning. Bit of a gamble, but gambles make it interesting and maybe it won’t rain at all.

The awesomely lumpy custard is right beside my sleeping bag – cooling down completely and sitting there until I start reading before bed – because although it’s lumpy, it’s still made with enough cream, milk and sugar to taste just fine.

Forgot to wash my face too. I’ll do it in the morning and shave while I’m at it.

How can you possibly call that.. The animals don’t sound at all bothered though and the weather app says it’s completely clear from about midnight right through tomorrow: sunny all day.

8:34 pm

I’ve tasted the custard and it’s excellent – even with the lumps. Fact, the lumps just give it a rice-pudding kinda texture.

I can see a star. Let’s see I can get a photo if it

9:10 pm

Just amazing that a phone camera can take photos of stars.. you’ve really gotta view it in darkness – it’s stars-on-black y’know?

Directly above me now, in bed: every one of them the sun at the middle of another solar system.

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Day 7 – Thursday – 15 March 2018

8:56 am

I’ve been up about an hour now and finally pulled the clothes out of that garbage bag to deal with them: they’ve been in the same leaky but sealed plastic weeks now and have begun to grow mildew or mould on them, which is fine – it’s only on the surface so far.

I’ve got the green pants in the creek getting good and wet and shortly they’ll join the $100 shirt in the sun for the day.

I can wear a shirt to town tomorrow ?

Strangely though, it doesn’t appear to have any fungus-looking shit on it at all – That’s already hanging on some fern leaves in the sun, which is out today in all it’s warm, dry excellence.

Never thought I’d be so happy about warm, sunny weather – I’m really more a lover of rain, but not out here. Out here sun means a chance to simultaneously sunbathe while my washed clothes do the same.

That’s later though.

It also means less leeches and mozzies and not having everything damp: even avoiding rain the wetness of the mist and fog and well, the air, plus the fact that all the decomposing plant material on the entire forest floor holds water like a sponge sees everything sticky or moist – certainly after days of on/off rain – because there’s no way to stop air seeping into your stuff.

You need a few days of sun just to dry everything out.

For now we’re only on our first coffee so there’s more of that to do yet, and eat or dump what’s not needed going back up.

Reception seems relatively good now t’s clear and I’ll take another super-macro of something sometime today too. Can’t believe I managed to photograph STARS with a phone camera, let alone that many.. beauuuutiful.

10:29 am

Moods are a funny thing.

Sometimes I’ll flip four times in a day; other times not for days and it takes a string of frustrations to actually give me the shits.

Years ago I came to the conclusion there’s no point fighting a bad mood, because everything operates on a cycle: from the planet’s and galaxies to each individual life – everything spins through it’s cycle over and over and moods are just as susceptible. Better to just let your mood – good or bad – have it’s way until the cycle flips again.

Trying to maintain a perfectly happy, contented state of being is just as obsessive as wallowing in a bad mood: it’s for small-minded people who haven’t the intelligence to see past all the bullshit and plug into the ground-floor basic truths.

So thankful I’m not one of the countless great-unwashed morons on the planet πŸ™‚

11:48 am

My hair is unwashed though ..feels like straw and hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned for what a week or more. I’ve wet it plenty, but not incorporated soap at any point. I’ll wash that too. I’ve washed the pants and hung them while the shirt soaks.

I’ve just ripped a leech out the weave of my sock. It’s burnt dead, but I’m already itchy where it’s bit me.

The so-called tiger leech.

Last thing he ever bit.

1:47 pm

Same fern that’s always behind me, but this time of day the sunlight hits it in just such a way, it almost looks frosted with icing sugar.

Alright a macro …

3:46 pm

Super-macro of the day goes to some kind of tiny fungus..

Again on the ~2mm scale: a little colony of fungii.

The rotting stump they very passively colonize.

This was going to be the super-macro of the day, but flying ants are even more common than fungus here and the fungus was more attractive.

One more – a flower for you. “You” being whichever of “You” random lurkers are currently viewing it. About 4mm across.

And here is all my shit hanging to dry right up to the log. I gotta cook dinner now, it’s getting late. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain until 6:00 am, by which point it’ll be time to get up anyway and since I’m going up tomorrow either way I’ll get wet walking up if it’s gunna rain, so fingers crossed though I’ll end-up wet with sweat anyway – we’ll consider the rain a final rinse cycle for my clothes.

4:51 pm

I had to put a top on even though it’s already cool and I’m colder with the damp top on now than before I put one on: it’ll be dark in a few hours and one body-dried top is better than several damp ones hanging from trees. The pants are pretty-well dry though.

5:58 pm

Third time’s the charm – I’ve got the hang of custard. There are np lumps and it’s thick, but it’s an awful lot of stirring, behold ..

You can even see the dent the sugar has made in it. Perfect.

Like last night I’ll leave it to cool and have it when it has. This whole thing for custard only came about because of the custard flavored nicotine e-liquids tasted so sweet, and plain and creamy.

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Day 8 – Friday – 16 March 2018

It drizzled rain last night from about 3:00 am onwards, and yet I stayed dry just by pulling the sleeping-bag up over my head. Clearly the rain was light enough for body-warmth to hold it back because both the tops I’m wearing are also completely dry.

We’re taking the scenic world rolly-coaster up today, because why not.

Actually I decided to do it to catch Julia before she leaves at midday, then realized I’ve got $200 in the bank and don’t need anything but a hamburger meal for dinner and iced-coffee, plus a few replacements like powdered-milk, gas, custard powder whatever, point is I don’t give a shit if I get up there by midday, but I’ve already decided on the railway so that’s the way I’m going.

Tacky contraption that railway.. I’ve complained to the staff on prior occasion that there’s nothing about all the convicts who died making all this shit while our native majority sat around sucking guts out of grubs: all you ever see here is how great aboriginal culture was, and as a 7th generation descendent of convicts I’m genuinely offended by the complete lack of credit to the workers who cut huge trails, roads and paths through a mountain range and died doing it.

Dreamtime animals didn’t build the house you live in, the roads you use, the trails everyone loves to daywalk on.

Dreamtime is just a story: great contribution to the caucasian-run marketing industry though – lots of white businessmen making all the money.

Here are a currawong parent and baby finally eating the pasta I’ve been throwing on the ground: apparently the buiscuts have spoilt them out of seeing ordinary pasta and cheese and anything much.

Oops that’s one currawong, the other one’s just out of frame one the right I suppose.

Better roll this wet sleeping-bag up so I can get vertically ascending. Hang-on..

9:46 am

I can recommend Black Wolf packs: super-tough bags, I’ve been using this 24ltr daypack five? Six years?

And though it’s starting to rain and I’ve gotta go, here’s how empty it is going back up to town – how it should be too. I’ve used my boot as a size reference..

11:49 am

Sarsaparilla: tastes like a cough-medicine version off the drink and it’s sweet – it was used as a replacement for black tea by convicts who’d – obviously – run out of tea.

I’m up and heading for town for food.

The base of Furbers’ Steps. We won’t be walking up those today though because there’s still an awful lot of walking to do all day once we get up to town. Still, it’s at least a nice walk down. None of the steps out of the valley are “nice” to walk up, just work.

The Scenic Railway: don’t let the beauty of the mountains fool you – it’s an ugly, freshly painted contraception entirely metal and mechanical and noisy and fuckin’ *pfft*. It’s also $22-fucking dollars; $16 last time I used the fucker.

..course this italian tourist chick proved more than enough a distraction to make the whopping few-hundred-meter ride up, alright.

Yeah yeah I’m a pervert, whatever. I could not take a photo inside of the ride without her being in the frame. πŸ™‚

Regardless’ it’s simply a biological drive, and all my subconscious male-mind sees is fertility and fertility demands fertilization. Whether she’s 23 or 32: she’s looks fertile and my brain is set to track such women as constantly as auto-focus on a digital camera, which is why attractive women are the most beautiful thing any normal man will lay eyes on, which is why it’s so hard to not notice.

Sorry women reading: just trying to dissect that reproductive mechanism for what it is. 

You can think that’s off-putting or slam your laptop shut or whatever: biological urges will still exist, and those urges don’t give a fuck about socially fashionable bullshit like the “objectification of women” – sorry, but that kind of thinking is of women, for women and nothing to do with the natural chemistry of attraction.

I saw a guy older than me in the vestibule of the train back from Lawson today trying to crack-onto a gorgeous blonde who looked in her early twenties: guy looked like a sleaze and embarrassed himself badly, in a train full of people. 

I wouldn’t even entertain the idea because they’re half my age, but that doesn’t make a hot 20 year old any less attractive to most members of the opposite sex.

World of difference between noticing and acting-on πŸ™‚ 

Course all the above will be deleted next woman round, so I don’t know why I bothered writing it.. 

5:36 pm

God that Librarian.. I can feel the air change when the she walks past.

I’ve ordered a burger at the place up the top end of town – cattlefish and though I doubt I’ll be able to eat everything tonight I’ve ordered chips as well anyhow. 

See, no photo: I resisted the urge. 

7:38 pm

My sleeping-bag’s been rolled out for an hour now because it’s pretty wet thoughI know it’ll still be warm and dry very quickly once I’m in it. 

I ate the whole meal again tonight.

10:03 pm

Sorry for all the watermarks, but I’ve just batch-processed all of them and set it up to stamp uploaded images automatically. When I get the chance I’ll create a more attractive watermark, but for now I want to protect my originals: I’m going to print-up some calendars – little glossy things that’ll fit in anyone’s bag – because I was thinking today that I’ve got more than enough print-worthy photos from all the times I’ve gone down there.

12 beautiful images won’t be hard to dig-out the memory cards.

I’ve spoken to a group from the church who seemed interested in handling the printing, for a small royalty of sales to the church or charity – whichever it is.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

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Day 9 – Saturday – 18 March 2018

8:23 am

I know I promised I wouldn’t, but here’s breakfast πŸ™‚

Wonder if I got extra ice-cream for standing up for the lowly pigeon last week: the chick certainly scooped it on good. I promised her I wouldn’t waggle dead birds around in front of customers today.

12:39 pm

That’s how beautiful the weather in Katoomba is today πŸ™‚

I’ve disabled automatic watermarking. Having every photo uglied-up like that annoys me, so I’ll just manually stamp the good ones.

At the library now going through the stupid number of photos I’ve taken out in the valley; trying to pick the better ones for a first-sweep for prints.

I know I’ve got enough a-grade photos to create several 12 month calendars, but I also rarely delete the bad photos as I go, so I’ve gotta wade through a build-up of garbage to dig-out the good ones.

One day maybe I’ll be in the habit of deleting shit pics as I take them, but then, memory cards are so cheap these days so deleting stuff that’s just wasting space; who’d fucken bother right?

Lightroom syncs all the originals and keeps them safe while I fuck around adjusting them: I’ve paid the $6/month subscription for it. 

I’ve left my bag at the church for Becca to keep an eye on and while I trust all the volunteers at the church, there’s this really shifty fucker been hanging around a week or so now who I don’t trust at all: nobody else does either – everyone hates the cunt and the best overall explanation of what it is about him is that he’s the literal stereotype of the cheesy, sleazy, used-car salesman – a parody of one. 

Parody of a human being.

Fuck I hate fake.

From the 55 year-old acne-scared face and the slicked-down, bleeched, straw-yellow hair or whatever is on his head, to the rehearsed, deliberate, exagerated hand gesturing: like a very poor actor in a bad 70’s comedy. Everything about the dickhead is synthetic including the top row of teeth that are too big and jutt out way too far – gag teeth, they look like: gag hair, gag smile, gag everything complete with stupid straw hat and red bow tie and I couldn’t testify to how slimy his handshake is ’cause I never offered and would refuse if he did.

He’s got a personality like rubber dog shit – why nobody at the church can stand him.

I’m talking 30 fuckin’ people – market stall owners included – who can not bear his presence, yet he’s been there all day even knowing from everyones’ body language he’s not liked by anyone.

Yesterday – at the group who told me they’d help by printing photos up for 10% -there’s this woman who’s daughter is on ice and has a crackhead boyfriend who slaps her around every night.

Most nights, the woman said, she goes home and finds something in her house smashed to peices.

She went on after that and the other women listened but I’d had enough touchy-feely and left the room to go and do something else. Library I think I went.

About 3 o’clock, I go back to retrieve my bag before they lock-up for the day and all the volunteers are bitching about him. Takeli tells me that after I’d gone, he’d made a show of yawning in front of them all while the woman with the crack-head daughter kept talking about her problem child.

Yep, he’s that much of a c$#%.

Yesterday I was told by the volunteers he’d been in the kitchen drinking from the mouth of the cartons of milk, opening a new carton here and there, using the microwave to heat the church-supplied pre-cooked meals so long they’ve exploded and spattered all over the inside of the microwave and left it that way and helping himself to cupboards, the pantry, the fridge.

When asked about the microwave he said it was like that when he used it, but he was the first one in the kitchen microwaving that morning and the glob coating the inside of the microwave was still warm and fresh.

I’d only come up from the bush an hour or so earlier, and hadn’t been in town at all for 5 days, yet they all filled me in on the gossip without hesitation πŸ™‚

Just today while I was about to say hi to Rosa he’s come-up to us and told us he’d been “jumped” last night: apparently by several teenagers, but they didn’t look local (like he’d know what local youth are like after a week in town, mm … unless) and that he thinks they were probably from Penrith.

As evidence, he’s pointed to a small red spot on the side of his spray-tanned head, and then ran a sausage finger along the side of his eye to demonstrate something was damaged there.

All I saw were pock-marks and nasty little veins.

Rosa asked him whether he’d reported it to the cops, and he said he’d rung them last night when it happened but haven’t heard back from them.

“Sounds like bullshit to me.” I tell him.

*…

2:05 pm

Anyway if Becca gets distracted and leaves the room empty I’m sure that cocksucker will be in my bag – or anyone elses – in a heartbeat. 

7:12 pm

I’ve got two thermal tops on only yet I’m hot tonight. Not sweating-hot, just a bit warmer than I like.

I’ve been back here two hours or so now and have charged the old phone enough so I can use the samsung Smart Switch app to suck the photos right out the belly of that poor dead phone and I’ve been waiting a while to do this because all the photos from the first 16-month round in the bush are on the old phone. I remembered today at around three pm when I got my bag, and asked Rosa when the office will be open next: that I’ve got the battery for my old phone in a snap-lok in there stored, but I wanna try and transfer all the photos over so I can toss the broken handset in the garbage.

Anyway I finally get to plug them both up together, only to find the S7 can’t access the files on the Note 3 because the Note 3 is locked.

Believe that shit?

The screen is back and shattered: completely fucked, so I can’t swipe the pattern to unlock. Mm. My laptop’s the only option left now, though with Ubuntu Linux on the laptop and so many apps, hacks and scripts available for it there’ll be a way to by-pass the lock – assuming a simple USB hook-up doesn’t allow me to manually copy/paste them.

Won’t know that for a while: my laptop’s stored at TAFE and Ican’t go asking old Ray to let me just get a few things here or there; I’ve gotta move everything in one hit when I’ve got somewhere for it, because I don’t wanna get him in any shit just for doing me a favour – so no laptop until I can move everything,

To organise my photos plus have the full suite of patented editing tools Photoshop has always set the standard in, I’ve subscribed for the month and installed it on both the phone and tablet.

I’ve already got a few of the better recent photos in the list of contenders, though any single image can be a print of varying sizes too..

For dinner tonight I’ve got a fresh hawaiian pull-apart. They’re better than the cheese and bacon rolls: flatter with more topping and there’s not four, just one big piece. πŸ™‚

I forgot to get a torch – battery pack with a torch I men – and it’s gone too dark to see, but it’s nice and warm tonight outside: no freezing or rain or cold winds. Like a spring night.

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Day 10 – Sunday – 18 March 2018

I’m still at my “in-town” designated man-made cave because it’s the weekend and outside business hours so I don’t have to give a shit about anyone showing-up for work. There’s even outdoor tables here. My “neighbors” over the road can see me in here packing up: nobodies said anything or got in my way I don’t even bother being sneaky where they’re concerned at all.

You only need to be stealthy going IN and going OUT: just like in my camp.

I couldn’t be arsed going for waffles this morning. I’d have had to get there at 6:30 am if I wanted a table: last Sunday it was packed by 7:30 – not even a free seat.

In a little while though, I’ll go to the Sunday church lunch: if not to see how crazy the place is with every homeless fucker packed-in for their hot meal of the week, then for the hot meal itself: I’m a homeless fucker too now πŸ™‚

What if it’s a roast with potatoes and gravy? Who’d say no to that?

Only the pretense-addled vegetarians and vegans would say no to meat and mash potato, though I’m none of the above and my appetite isn’t exactly crankin’..midday’s pretty early for a full meal and I’m just not very hungry.

It’s apparently three courses: there could be custard.

Anyway, I’ve seen enough blurring of the lines between staff/client/market stall owners and people who have homes and can afford to buy whatever they need all use the church and the food that goes through there for their own benefit and although I’ve never actually eaten any of their meals and have bought everything myself since having money again, I’ve become far less conceited as far as all that shit goes, the longer I’ve been there.

Since I like to do a morning photo, but everything’s in shade and there’s neither anything particularly beautiful (or remarkably ugly) here to take photos of anyway unless you’re really into macros of concrete textures, this little runner of Ivy will have to do for the beautiful,

And this single-strand of red toilet mop will have to do for the ugly – sorry, we’re not exactly spoilt-for-choice in a concrete location.

Ray would’ve discarded that there: I never did toilets and so never used the red mops.

*…

11:40 am

I’m at the church out back having a smoke; there’s only 12 people or so here, though I’ve just been told it doesn’t start ’til 12:30 pm, so plenty of time yet.

.. looks like it’s been stepped-on, of course.

12:18 pm

I’ve just found another fallen baby pigeon, even smaller than that one outside Woolies.

I’ve put him in under the bushes until I can decide .. well there’s not much to decide: I cannot carry him around with me but cats and shit will be out after sunset.

Bad photo, but I didn’t wanna hang there drawing attention to the area.

2:48 pm

I left him there on the ground.

Can’t carry a baby pigeon around everywhere with me, can I.

Can’t point him out to anyone because there’s no telling who’d do what once they knew, so it’s best nobody knows of him, so I’ve left the bird sitting on the ground in the sun unable to fly and it’s extremely windy here today too, why he’s on the ground in the first place.

Soon as it gets dark he’ll be a chew-toy: a terrified baby animal, alone in the dark waiting for something to come and get him. He’ll sit as quietly as he has all day – trying to not be noticed by anyone and he’ll still be sitting there right now as I type this scared and hoping he doesn’t get noticed.

But at least one cat *will* notice once it goes dark: the fucking cats have all night to sniff him out.

I wanted to wrap him inside one of my shirts with his head covered, carry him back here and feed him, but then I’d be stuck carrying the animal everywhere with me.

I wanna go back and get him now: half-chew some banana cake for him so it’s nice and wet: all he’d have to do is swallow.

4:15 pm

Finding it a bit hard to just sit here listening to music while that pigeons still there, flightless and defenseless.

Even if I brought him back here, once I fall asleep later tonight he’s defenseless again: I’ll be unconscious, the bird doesn’t make a sound and neither would any cats who’d sneak in while I’m snoring.

Fuck.

7:09 pm

Though I feel like I’m letting the pigeon down, I’ve decided to let nature take its course.

The universe reclaiming energy.

Can’t save every bird: there’d be plenty of them blown out of their nests today too since we’ve had near-on gale-force winds all day.

Maybe all the other fallen birds around town will keep the cats too busy to find our pigeon. He only has to stay alive long enough to fly away right :/

Lunch, almost forgot about that.

9:28 pm

Turns out I’m more conceited than I thought, and the church lunch was not for me – three corses or not: the tepid temperature of all the food didn’t bother me at all though, it was the wait.

First up the entree was a vegetarian pastry and a few pieces of garlic-bread. The pastry enveloping the bland vegetable mush inside was fine though the garlic-bread was almost cold when I finally got it after a 20 minute wait in a line with 30 people in it and that’s what killed the whole idea for me: having to wait in line.

I can’t remember the last time I had to wait more than a few minutes for anything. Maybe a minute or two at a cafe waiting to tell the barista what I want and a minute or two at Coles or Woolies waiting for the next self-serve checkout to be clear but this line at the church stretched right back to the entrance door, and by the time i’d waited nearly half an hour just for the entree I’d already run out of patience for the whole event.

The main course was a choice of several sides, but again you had to line up for it so I didn’t bother until the line was smaller – that took about half an hour too – only to find they’d run out of sausages and gravy, which was all I wanted from the main.

Desert was banana cake and that was actually excellent: super moist with big chunks if banana mashed through it. I took some of that cake with me and I’ve already finished it.

*…

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Day 11 – Monday – 19 March 2018

It’s 7:30 in the morning and I’m packing the little food I’m taking outside Coles this morning because I didn’t want to go back out to shop last night ..I would have come back with a baby pigeon plus the groceries and what would I have done with him this morning?

I’ve gotta finish the lunch write-up for yesterday yet too.

Classy, I know πŸ™‚

On the way into the supermarket at six o’clock, I stopped to say good morning to the chick who cleans there, then talked about whatever a bit before the topic of noodles and teenagers came up: lately, instant noodles seem to have become the trendy thing to eat – both before and after school – and since the parents change-room has a microwave, the more useless kids in town go there to heat their nasty shit, then just leave all the packets and rubbish sitting there for the cleaners to clean.

I use the parents change room myself because well, they’re the cleanest toilets and there’s a sofa in a cubicle there I can use to sit and grind-up my drugs using the armrest as a table, plus there’s always paper-towels, plus one of those dual hot/cold taps with ice-cold water for iced coffee.. it’s much nicer the disabled toilets and pft if I ever use the actual male toilets at all anymore.

If I cannot lock people out while I wash myself there’s not enough privacy for me.

Few weeks ago I’m inside this parents change-room making coffee in my drink bottle, and just as I’m tipping sugar in the bottle this blonde I’d seen at the library frequently the past few weeks opens the door, sees I’m in there and kind’ve swaggers on in and stands at the sink next to me to fill her water-bottle.

“Cleanest toilets here”, I tell her.

“Just come to fill this”, she says – wiggling her drink bottle to show it’s empty.

“No sign sayin’ you GOTTA have a baby to use it.”

“They can’t. That’s discrimination :)”, she says.

This is in a public toilet right, and reminded me of the 90s TV show Ally McBeal – co-gender toilets are a strange concept to grasp.

She walks into the actual toilet and I left before she’d come out.

Anyway teenagers are dumb enough to think instant noodles are suddenly worth eating – god knows how – and leaving their mess behind like dickheads. Also leaving the room smelling like artificial chicken and beef flavoring, which smells like a fuckin cats pissy litter tray – and making more work for the cleaners so I’ve mentioned what lazy fuckheads they are, to this cleaner.

Of course she’s the one has to clean their mess several times a day, not me, so she had a bit to say about it, but then started empathizing with them: musing that some of them are homeless and whatever; mess is mess, regardless which arsehole has left it there.

She’s asked whether I’d got my job back, I said, “Nuh. Don’t even have centrelink until the bitch emails me my seperation certificate.”

She tells me that’s terrible, “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to make prints of the nice photos I’ve taken in the rainforest and sell ’em. The beautiful ones:”, I told her, “from cleaner to photographer – what an upgrade πŸ™‚

Of course, before I’d even finished telling her that, I realized every idiot takes a million photos every day so I’ll have to show her, and before I’d finished that complete thought I’d reached into my pocket for my phone, pulled it out and opened Lightroom to show her some of the better photos I’ve taken recently.

I swiped through some of the nice ones – careful to point out the shit ones that wouldn’t make a photo, but could be used as a cover for a calender or whatever..

She loved them – especially the two mushrooms.

EVERYONE loves those two, ordinary mushrooms in the dappled morning sun: my first, already popular print waiting to happen right there πŸ™‚ 

Just four more photos, some money to get them printed, and I’ll start selling them. I’ve even got the sales gimmick: I live down there part-time – took them all with a mobile phone πŸ™‚

*…

9:13 pm

The pigeon is still alive and in the same place pretty much. I didn’t take a photo because someone was sitting in the seat in front of the area. I walked down to the vet and asked them what they could do, but euthanasia was all she said they are able to do since they’re considered a pest species.

A second chick came out a few minutes later and was quickly filled-in on the baby pigeon situation, and she agreed that yes they could take him and ‘treat’ the bird, though the understanding was there. I told them I didn’t want the bird “treated” – I want it to have a better chance of living, not make him dead.

11:54 am

I’m downstairs, and almost finished the last of the fresh milk I made my morning coffees with ..

The two currawong are here for snacks, one moment: always ALWAYS feed the animals!

Gotta catch-up on the morning before continuing with the day. I’m sunbaking in the forest while I do that, and I’ll make more coffee in a minute.

3:49 pm

There’s a fucking brown snake just slithered around my coffee area and it’s disappeared into the concrete drain-pipe right where I stand.

That’s with inferior digital zoom max’ed-out at 8x: I didn’t get the urge to get any closer – the snake moved like it didn’t appreciate my attention.

Awful lot more unsettling than the black snake and twitchier. I took a step towards it at one point and started leaning-in for a better shot and the fucker’s changed direction and started moving towards me which made me take a step back before it’s turned back the way it was headed:for the run-off pipes.

It didn’t go straight to the pipes after seeing me either; it went I  and out of different holes in the ground so it could’ve been checking burrows for food.

I’ve gotta make coffee but the drain is right at my feet.. I should get a large stick and wiggle it around inside the drain hole. 

4:59 pm

Last train up from scenic world left only minutes ago now, and I thought for a second: wouldn’t you be spewin’ if you were an unfit tourist who’d planned to take the scenic railway back up to town, only to misjudge how long the walk was and get there after 4:50 pm.

Hang on there are two or three blow – flies I’m starting to lose my shit at. I cannot concentrate until they’ve fucked off for the day and I’ll update in a bit.

8:47 pm

I discovered earlier how to make the best chocolate milk I’ve ever tasted. The flies have long gone and the mozzies have mostly stopped, while the sky is packed with stars.

Even earlier than that however I’d been googling photos of snakes, and Wikipedia told me Brown Snakes don’t inhabit rainforests, but I’ve disproved Wikipedia before and both the internet AND locals have stated there’s no koalas down here: they only live around the dry basalt areas in the tablelands, yet I’ve got photos of a Koala taken no more than a few hundred meters from where I’m laying right now. 

Considering a way to find out whether the snake was just inside the hole so I didn’t get struck in the ankle repeatedly making coffee, I figured the stick in the hole might go enter way if the sucker’s still there: if he’s out of reach of the stick no problem – he’ll just slither away from the banging stick and I don’t have to keep one eye on the hole while I’m making coffee or dinner.

Not actually a pipe at all, but a hole in the dirt: is it five meters deep or one foot? .. you come and shove your hand in and find out πŸ™‚

Course if the snake was just inside the hole because the hole is really only two feet deep then I’d most likely hit the snake – causing it to come back out of the hole pretty pissed off at me.

Anyway, rather than using a stick or whatever I ended-up just pissing in the hole.

I figured if he’s just inside the mouth of the hole he’ll not much like having hot urine splashed all over him, and if he isn’t right inside the opening, that’s cool – I needed to piss either way πŸ™‚

He wasn’t just inside the hole entrance – or certainly didn’t come out the hole entrance – so I hopped down there and made coffee, then dinner and that awesome chocolate milk.

9:49 pm

Dinner tonight was a half pack of supermarket cheese pastries warmed in the pot with the lid on and this amazing chocolate milk..

Wasn’t bad at all either.

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Day 12 – Tuesday – 20 March 2018

Right it’s 9:19 am and I’ve just started on my first coffee. A runner just ran past – pretty sure she’s a regular down here but it’s not like you get a bunch of time to learn a face well enough to be sure, Not when they’re bouncing up and down running and have passed then run-off in seconds.

Very attractive, medium tan, fuckin’ super-fit and with brown hair: that’s 90% of the female runners I see down here.

God fit women are hot.

Anyway we said good morning then she asked I slept well, I told her “yes”. That’s how long most interactions with them last of course – they don’t stop at all, just talk to me as they’re running past.

I’m glad I left that shallow bitch. The only 44 year old woman I’ve met still as popularity-obsessed as an anxious teenage girl.

A middle-aged teen-queen.

A woman who’s only claim to supremacy over me is that’s she’s got stuff and I don’t: talent envy, what she had πŸ™‚

Oh and a kid she slurped out of something looks more like an upright walking pig than a person, because he was the first sucker to walk past at the exact time she’d decided she needed a dick with money to play the fool and sponsor her pregnancy.

Good catch if you’re as bankrupt in moral decency as she is.

Coffee, one tick.

I’ve gotta wash my top, underwear and socks before it gets too late for ’em to dry, scuse me for a bit.

11:18 pm

There’s this gorgeous parrot just metres away picking at grass..

He’s been there about an hour, but won’t come out to eat the weet-bix ive thrown around, for there are Currawong watching you see πŸ™‚

Washing, yes..

I’ve washed most of it: two tops to go.

The currawong are dominating the area so the parrot gets bullied-out anytime it returns.

1:22 pm

I just stunned and singed a blowfly, and considering it’s usually leeches I burn, figured this’ll be something new to try, burning a fly, (my oh my), then decided that’s too fast and dropped him in the grass for the ants to chew, tried and true, what will he do!

The parallel race is now on: between my clothes drying and the rain closing-in this afternoon: they’re mostly dry already though and there’s not a cloud in the sky from where I’m standing, soI guess the race is really my washing, shaving and getting changed before the rain.

My money’s on the rain.

I’ve determined through trial and error that the grass is the best place to dry clothes here: more direct sunlight, spread out with the grass holding them up an inch or so off the ground itself. Approximately a 1.5 hour dry cycle πŸ™‚

4:53 pm

Time to mooove.

6:32 pm

I’ve made it up well before the rain, and it hasn’t so much as spat on me once. Matter of fact I’m watching the sky darken up right now, waiting for the first drops.

I’ve run-out of tobacco and papers, but as long as there’s a vaporizer charged it’s no longer anything to panic about since I know I’ll get more nicotine out the vaporizers than any combustible dried plant can provide anyway.

So why do I keep buying tobacco? ..mm

I’ll try and upload a photo, but if it fails enough times we both know I’ll become enraged and have to force myself to stop, so let’s have a bash and see.

You know, I think it’s actually getting dark: at 6:43 pm? Daylight savings finally ended huh? You’d think our phones would notify us that daylights savings time is over – rather than simply changing – but then again: I’d left my 16-month camp and been back in civilization a further year or so before someone finally told me we’d changed prime minister’s..

“tony abbott yeah?”, I’d asked at the time

“What? Fuck are you serious!?”

“Mmm, dunno, who ca..”

“..it’s been malcolm turnbull for like, two years, you idiot”

*shrug*, “like it really affects my day-to-day life.”

Yeah can’t be the rain I can still see the cliffline along the opposite side of the valley as well as at Wentworth Falls.

8:28 pm

I’ve made my last coffee of the day; about to go find a short-story about something creeps around forests, because they’re the best reading out here in a forest in the dark – the good ones anyway. Out here they’re excellent.

Still no rain.

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Day 13 – Wednesday – 21 March 2018

There’s sure as shit rain now and I’m going upstairs this morning.

Arsehole clouds.

It’s 9:09am and I’ve decided to give myself a two-hour window for it to ease some: 11:00 am’s the deadline though – if there’s been no break by then, bad-luck, up we go, least it won’t be sweat I’m dripping.

Considering the sun usually raises the temperature at least very slightly around midday, there’ll likely be a break in the rain between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm but I’m about to put everything I don’t want getting wet in a new garbage bag (including two dry shirts and electronics) then I’ll shove that in the pack and strap it up.

I’ve seen only one person go past so far.

10:20 am

Know what, tobacco aint getting any fuckin’ closer while I stand around waiting for the rain to stop, so fuck you weather gimme your best ’cause I got shit to do and I’m going up – NOW.

.. wait the sleeping-bag..

NOW.

Have a warm bath ready πŸ™‚

11:26 am

Left the cave at 11:15 am, up here already.. only what 5 flights of stairs left?

Had I kept going I would’ve made the top in under half an hour: that’s as a heavy smoker and regular drug user I’ll add: I’m no fitness-obsessed wanker – destroying all my joints by the age of forty, just to feel fit a while before the crippling arthritis takes over my life.

I only exercise to get things done.

The rain has indeed eased for me and the walk up – knew it would πŸ™‚

1:06 pm

I’ve been up a while – hang on I’ve got shit to do.

~3:45 pm

I’ve been to the church and left: turned-out Wednesday is delivery day for a busload of food so I helped unload, though even with about 8 people it still took about half an hour.  Awful lotta food. I got a wheel of triple-cream brie out of it, but everything else was vegetables and what the fuck am I meant to do with them right? May as well eat leaves right off a fuckin tree branch or rip plants out and start eating the roots, so once it was unpacked I carried several boxes full of 2ltr juice bottles to an old woman’s car in the rain before saying bye to everyone and leaving for the library. 

I’ve been at the library not twenty minutes when some old man wants to browse the books behind my chair and says “Excuse me..”

I look up from my phone at him a moment, then assumed an appropriately sympathetic facial expression and told him “I’m not moving dood.”

He’s pissy and tells me that’s an unnecessary attitude to have, but I’d already gone back to fucking around with the phone and ignored him.

“Enjoy the rest of your stay”, he quips, but I’m still trying to export photos and get the watermark positioned right and the dialog was done three sentences ago for me. 

Minutes later a hunched old woman with a died-brown mop of hair rattles past then stops: I watch her adjust her 360Β° fringe in a reflection off a plastic pamphlet holder before shambling-off and disappearing behind a row of books. 

** Oh I get that, lady: Nothing worse than frizz, I hate it too **

My drug dealer texts seconds later – he’ll meet me in half an hour.

I start texting my reply then look up and find that the old woman’s coming back towards me, I shut the distraction out and finish my text as the old lady kinda starts hovering around.

** Am I a lunatic magnet? My shirt have “come and talk to me crazies?” printed on it?  **

“Excuse me dear”, she sheepishly asks me.

*Sigh*

“Hi.”

“I can see you’re busy, but I wondered if you might be able to help me..”

** Here we go ..she’ll tell me she’s lost her purse and needs money to go home or some shit – heard that one lovey **

“I need to ring this number you see, and thought you might let me use your phone?”, she’s asks, touching a barely legible number written on some paper. 

** Yeah my new Galaxy S7 you’re fuckn trippin **

“It’s just, the usual people aren’t here today and I’d normally just ask one of them”

“Yeah you know I’d love to help, but I’m using my phone right now. Sorry.”

“Oh I understand dear, that’s perfectly fine it was a bit rude of me to ask wasn’t it.”

“The librarians should have a phone you can use.”

“Oh, yes, no, they won’t let me use it”.

The whole time she’s talking to me she’s been showing me a sheet of paper with a number on it.

Persistent..

“Okay”, I tap the paper with my finger, “this number here? I’ll ring and get it for you”

She nods, tells me yes, thanks me for being a dear, then starts instantly reading-out the number.

I punch-in the digits in and hit the green button then wait a few seconds, an old male voice answers the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hi, I’ve got a lady who wants the address of your website or something?”

“Hello? You’ll have to speak louder”

The old woman leans closer and whispers, “you’ll have to speak louder dear, he’s a bit deaf”

“There’s a lady here who wants your website”, I repeat, at a slightly higher volume.

“..  I’d like the the class notes.”, she whispers

“She’d like the class notes.”

“.. I think they’re on the website but I don’t know where.. heavens.”

*…

7:04 pm

Fuckin cold tonight, I’ll have to get the sleeping-bag out in a minute, still coated in cave silt.

8:21 pm

Nup: I cannot feel my fingers well enough to type properly; I’ll finish this in the morning.

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Day 14 – Thursday – 22 March 2018

7:03 pm

A 2-in-1 large hot coffee and hot water bottle.

~7:30 am

I’ve just spoken to the cleaner at  Katoomba Village, initially to discover her name – so I can stop addressing her with “Morning Cleaner!” and “Afternoon, Cleaner.”

I told her, wait, lemme guess, “Amelia. You look like an Amelia.”

She laughed and told me that was really funny, in a not kinda way and corrected me, “Rebecca. What’s yours? You’ve probably told me already but  I ..”

“Jason”

*… hang on I’ve gotta do stuff I’ll finish this later.

7:33 pm

Okay, I’m in the sleeping-bag and warm up to my shoulders, which are out the bag so I can use my arms.

I’ve finished bits of the past few days this afternoon too, back to Day 11 and typoes here and there as I’ve seen them. 

Last day of the “outing” today too, so I’ll get time to fill-in some of the *…’s that are placeholders for a continuation of a particular train of though or the like.

●x15

Day 15 – Friday – 23 March 2018

Okay 7:59.. 8:00 am and I’m late all round this morning.

4:20 pm

Sorry for the complete lack of updates all day, though I haven’t been doing nothing: my day was divided between volunteering at the church and creating a store-front on redbubble.com then adding, well, only three photos but adding new ‘work’ is a pain: uploading the photo is just the first step; then you’ve gotta add the tags so random searches for keywords like “rainforest”, “mushrooms” or even “pair” add my photos to redbubbles’ search results – no matter how far down the list they might be listed.

Then you’ve gotta go through all the available merchandise, enable/disable the ones you want, then align and edit the image on each product you’ve selected. 

Then, finally, add the link here on the site. 

Anyway there’s only three so far, but there’s everything from pillow cases to wall clocks, phone cases and standard photographic prints for each photo: it’s not as cheap as using a local print-shop, and I’ll make more out of locally sold prints, but there’s no way i could offer a range of options like redbubble can – they’ve been around over a decade and handle everything from printing to courier delivery. 

Soon as I’ve got more than $2 to rub together I’ll order a print, and I’d love a snap -on phone cover for my S7.

Any money I’ll make will be made locally selling prints to tourists, but I’d have to be selling buttloads of prints before I could even consider things like phone covers and scarves myself. Here’s the new page: I’ll add a shortcut to the homepage too later..

https://psychaesthetic.com/photography/

Edit: Sorry the page was set to restricted whenI created it and I only noticed an hour ago. 

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Day 16 – Saturday – 26 March 2018

Okay so yesterday I spent most the day at the church “volunteering” right, drama all day there, especially surrounding the kitchen and some chick ripping $20 of a regular.

I’m back there today but that Lorraine’s already managed to annoy me: not only is the woman half deaf and completely in denial about it, the old fool is completely insane.

I call her over to ask about who from her “craft group” I’ve got to talk to about getting some prints, printed, four fucking times I had to ask her 5 syllable questions only to have her admit she doesn’t know shit and the “craft group” is just a few women knitting, but she then starts dribbling shit about whether I’m really homeless or really have money; trying to inquisition me about my personal finances like she’s the overseer of church ethics.

She’s not by the way, she’s just a nobody like all us homeless and the only reason she’s got a roof over her head now is my ex landlords feel sorry for the senile, mud-brained old hippie nobody wants.

“Well you’re telling everyone about all these expensive things you’ve bought, but then ..”

“What’s that got to do with printing my photos and selling them?”

“Well if you’ve got money for other things ..”

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

“Oh I’m just curious, since you’ve got the money for all these expensive things and”

“All I asked you, was who’s the best person to talk to here at the church to get some prints actually printed. Are you on drugs?”

I’ve then informed the other two volunteers sitting there, that the craft group did indeed offer to help print a calender, said something about helping with printing and wanting 10% of sales, “So I wanna know who I should talk to about it because I’ve got the photos for single prints and they’re not getting printed fast enough like this, are they.”

“Well it’s just some people have taken advantage of the church before and ..”

Like you Lorraine?

“.. it’s probably a discussion people should hav..”

“You’re winding me up right?”

“I just .. you keep saying you’ve got no money but then ..”

“No, I keep saying I want prints of my photos so I can start selling them. I don’t wanna hear a spiel about morality from the mentally ill.”

“.. so I gotta wonder which is it, you’ve got money or ..”

“Alright I’ve had enough of you now stop talking. You’re insane.”

“Ahh see, so if you’re not that poor..”

“You’re not right in the head: you know that right? You MUST know how crazy you are.”

*…

Like a resident at the ritz in the grips of a dementia-induced outburst she was, which would be fine if she knew her brain’s obviously started fraying on her, but she just refuses to acknowledge it.

 She’s all pretend.

All of the above isn’t what’s intolerable about her though: if she ever actually believed anything she said – herself – well, at least she’d speak with conviction. 

Within the confines of her own fortress of delusion, out there on planet Lorraine, she’s the most amazing, intelligent creature in existence. 

Here on planet earth, she’s a charity parasite with a scattered brain who attaches herself long-term so she can pretend she’s got something to offer people but all she offers is shit that’s never hers too begin with.

5 years ago, while I was doing the 16 month Rainforest Journals, Lorraine was in a backpackers sponging off charities. 

3 years ago, while I was working 7 days a week, so tired I felt like a walking-corpse and making $1200/week; Lorraine was sponging off charities.

2 years ago, while I was down to $800/week but feeling much less tired but still working 5 days a week; Lorraine was still unemployed and sponging off charities.

And here’s this hag questioning ME about money I’ve entirely EARNED by working while she’s made a career of being a charity cling-on?

A weak, faded old husk of a woman who’s done nothing for years but live in la-la land and slurp-up even the food other people throw away pretending to be all righteous and moral at me?

Go fuck yourself, nobody else ever will πŸ™‚

At Junction 142 – this charity/church I’ve frequented lately – she’s joined under the guise of doing good things for the poor and needy: all she’s actually trying to do is inject herself into another minor, unimportant role to give herself a sense of usefulness which is – in reality – non-existant because the woman is so fucking messed-up in the head, the core of her being is as black as cancer – twisted, resentful, tired, miserable and it’s all right there to see under a thin film of pleasantries: self-pity is always ugly and it dominates everything from the drooping face and slumped posture to the habitual snigger she does every time she talks to anyone and the need to cling-on to things, people, anything.

That’s why the woman grates on me, and many other people.

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