I find that, with advancing years, my short term memory is fading; it’s getting more and more difficult to remember what I did a year ago. I understand that the ability to remember stuff that happened way long ago improves as one slips memory-less into CRAFT’s disease, life becomes very interesting because one meets so many new people every day (depending on the nurses roster and which grandchildren come to visit) and remembering one’s classmates from Grade 5 is easier than what was eaten at breakfast.
As a consequence, every year for the past decade or so I’ve written a summary of what I did during the year, as a sort of autobiography in annual chapters. Of course my life is of no interest whatsoever to others, although neither are the ramblings of so-called interesting personages including Barry Humphries, he of Dame Edna fame, whose autobiography “About Me”, read recently, seems to be simply an opportunity to pour scorn on anybody Barry didn’t like.
I usually don’t get around to writing up the previous year until well into the new year because I can always think of other stuff to do. I find putting things off so easy I have been thinking of holding classes in PREVARICATION 101, but I guess I’ll get around to that sometime in the future.
This year, because I have been updating our travels to Europe in 2001, recollecting the wonderful time we had in Hungary, the Czech Republic and East Germany, 2004 will take even longer than usual. Not that anything of much moment happened in 2004. Indeed, looking back, the year was more memorable for what I didn’t do. After a couple of months losing money on the sharemarket during the first quarter, I chickened out, sold off most of my microcap shares, got a part-time job and watched in horror as the market gained 25%.
As a rule we go overseas for the so called ‘Festive Season’. I generally hate the commercialisation of Xmas, the idea that everybody should give presents, even if they’re to people for whom you don’t have any warm and fuzzy feelings (e.g. workmates), and especially family. Some of my worst memories about families include Xmas. Everybody crowded together muttering meaningless inanities because, other than the same surname, nobody’s got anything in common.
For me the best place to be in late December is in a country where the main religion is something other than Christianity. Bali’s nice, hotels and restaurants will have a celebration (all the prices are inflated) if you want, but relaxing by the pool with copious quantities of Bintang is my choice. However my favourite place for Xmas is Thailand.
We celebrated Xmas and the new century in Chang Mai, 2001 up close and personal with some turtles on the 90 Mile beach in Western Australia, 2002 in Cambodia after experiencing Angkor Wat, 2003 in Antofagusta, Chile, because all the buses were full of locals going home for Xmas. We were going to be in Palau for 2004 but somehow, for reasons that weren’t made public, Air Palau, just after starting to fly direct to Darwin, stopped coming. Getting out of Darwin on short notice to say, Phuket or Khao Bac was just too difficult. Good joss, serene karma or whatever, whereas we’d normally be in one of the places devastated by the tsunami, this year we didn’t go.