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I’ve been banished to the bed and the gentle recovery for another week. I’m on more drugs for pain relief and relaxation than I have ever taken in my whole life before. It’s a funny thing, I’m not usually one for pills, preferring to use other methods to seek relief from pain, pressure points, meditation, sleep – none of which worked with this particular bout of sciatica.

Anyway, it means that I have had a chance to look at some readings for university, but not many and not for long periods. concentrating while your leg feels like it is one fire can be somewhat problematic. It also meant that I could get over to see my pup and her new house. That’s right, I said new house! There has been not only a move out from my place but also a move from the hell house to a much nicer house for her and her housemates.

It’s in a nice part of ‘the rat’ as Ballarat is affectionately known by its inhabitants. It’s certainly within walking distance of the main city centre, not out in the sticks, and surrounded by a number of small businesses that can supply the desire for alcohol, fast-food and automobile repairs. The house is a post-federation Edwardian place that has been bastardised through a number of decades, most recently the 70s. Nonetheless it is a sound, quaint and perfectly liveable house and it was lovely to go over there and see her so lively, excited and busy planning her future.

We had a lovely lunch out and on the way back to the car she bumped into an old school friend, a serendipitous occurrence. I had a daughter who spoke to me without rancour, didn’t argue all the time and seemed genuinely pleased to see me. Ah, absence must indeed make the heart grow fonder.

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