I’ve never been into numbers (I failed maths at high school) but today’s date of 2.1.21 feels beautiful.  

We’ve just got a new kitten after – believe it or not – 21 years with our old cat Eve.

Our new kitten is now named Nina. Or No! Nina, more often, or Hell Nina as she chews through the electricity grid, mangles our indoor plants, hangs from the chandelier and window frames, smashes everything not made of metal or stone, and jumps at your face like a feral limpet. Just when you thought she was going to kiss you.

In the mornings now, when we let her upstairs, we lie in bed and pretend to be dead. We don’t even blink. The slightest movement will attract a psycho cyclone of paws with claws and teeth like a baby shark.

The only consolation for all this trauma is that she’s gorgeous. We laugh out loud at her energy, marvel her eyelined beauty, many times every day. After a shit year she is a joy.

Mostly it has rained in Sydney since 2020 ended with a locked down bang. So this is how it ends. Wet crackers just as Gladys wanted. That’s a good thing after last year’s smoke and doom.

In 2021 I’ll be retiring again. The great experiment of working for a living will be over. Again. The thrill of it all.

It’s a fine thing to share a working life with so many people in different States over so many years. I’m still enjoying it but I’m happy for someone who wants and needs it more than me to move in. They’ll need to adjust the chair.

Me? A teenaged lawnmower enjoying Mrs McAfee’s homemade lemonade, Roll-a-Door installer, nursery garden grunt, strawberry picker, babysitter, unemployed, election official, clerk, poet, newspaper columnist, media manager, corporate communications manager, content classifier for the Office of Film and Literature Classification and for most of our free-to-air TV stations, and (so far) unpublished novelist. Wallington. Geelong. Melbourne. Hobart. Sydney.

My wisdom after a lifetime at work? Find out what you want to do. Do it. In spite of the difficulties and inevitable failures along the way, my experience is that it works. And keeps getting better.

There were a few times when Robinson and I got off the tram halfway up St Kilda Road in Melbourne and said we’re not going to the office, we’re going to the Botanic Gardens. Keep that spirit. Do it.

Wag school now and then. Wag work. Get a kitten.

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