I have the correct invoice for the Tour! And I've paid it! So I must be going to Europe soon!! By the way, if you are reading this, and you are in Europe and would like to catch up, send me a message, and I'll let you know all my dates and where I will be, so we can give it a try. Sadly, I won't be getting to England this time - I'm really only away for three weeks, and I'm spending the first 12 days of them racing around east Germany, Austria and Prague - but if you are able to pop across to the continent, I will be winding up in Paris, so that might work.
It's been a bit of a mad week. My wrist is still causing me grief, and the exercises my physio gave me weren't helping (and with 4 repeats of a half hour routine every day, they would have had to help a lot and fast to be worth my while), and I felt that she wasn't really listening when I told her the issues I was having, so when she forgot to ring me to touch base, I decided not to bother following up. Ghosting on one's physio is probably not the best move, but at this stage I know SO MANY wrist exercises and I think I'm really better off resting my wrist and trying those for a week or two and then trying someone new.
Despite this, I managed to write not one but two short stories for my Stories Under Paris site. Basically, I had Chardon Lagache station, which clearly required a thistle-related story, and depending on how you translate gâche it means all sorts of things, ranging from 'trowel' to 'spoils'. I had this plan to do a whole bunch of drabbles, but then I realised that one of the drabbles wanted to be a proper story about Sir Gareth of Orkney (also known as Sir Gareth Beaumains), who spent his first year at Camelot in the kitchens and was notably mild tempered, and thus clearly my sort of knight. And then I realised that I had another story I could write about him crossing paths with the princess from Donkey Skin, because really, if any knight of the Round Table ought to be sympathetic to someone who was trying to escape the threat of incest, the mild-tempered brother of Mordred ought to be that knight.
So I wrote The Trowel and the Thistle: Two Lost Stories of Sir Gareth Beaumains
, and I think they are both rather sweet, provided one ignores the fact that one starts with attempted incest and the other one has sort of got cannibalism in it. (My choir friend told me that she thought I had found the blurred line of cannibalism, which is not a line I had ever wanted to blur, but there you go.)
Meanwhile, Australian politicians continue to turn out to be not quite Australian enough (there was a nice article today suggesting that actually, since New Zealand recently changed its laws regarding the rights of Australian citizens, nobody in Australia is eligible to sit in Parliament
any more. I don't think that this will fly, but it's a pleasing thought.). I emailed my parents to check whether I was still the only person in the family who was eligible to sit in Parliament, and they said yes, and then Dad went to the Italian Embassy website and said, oh, actually, maybe not. This is frustrating, because I was told when I was 18 that not only was I not Italian, but I couldn't even apply for citizenship without living in Italy for a year first, which was thoroughly annoying, since my brother, being under 18, got citizenship when Dad got back his. Except that, oops, I was advised wrongly, and I've been Italian all along. Which is really quite infuriating, because I would definitely have made some different decisions about where I was going to live long-term if I'd known this back then.
Also, apparently I can't become a member of parliament unless I renounce my Italian citizenship, even though I've never got any good use out of it. But, on the bright side, I could compete in Eurovision for Italy, so I suppose that's a silver lining...
Work has been interesting this week. One of my favourite postdocs came and asked me to join the Women In Science Parkville Precinct group, because apparently they have lots of brilliant ideas and very little ability to bring any of them to fruition, and she thinks that I can get them sorted out. I had never thought of myself as someone who could do this, but yes, from what she is describing, I certainly could get them focused and pointed in the same direction, and it's an interesting opportunity, so I've said yes. I'm going to regret this for sure.
In politics, oh Lord. I'm finding it very hard to read Facebook and Dreamwidth at the moment, because there are so many posts that are saying 'You need to be doing something about the Nazis, yes, you, and if you are not, you are complicit', which make me feel terribly guilty because I am not currently doing anything specifically about Nazis, but that's mostly because I'm way over here in Australia, where we have our own horrible government doing terrible things, and I'm pretty sure I have to make that my priority. I mean, I only have so many hours and resources, and we are in a very big glass house when it comes to racism in Australia, and I'd rather put my energies towards preventing home-grown racists here. And I already feel guilty about not doing enough about that. Feeling guilty about not stopping Nazis in the USA seems excessive. And I know those posts are not necessarily directed at me, specifically, but my emotional brain inevitably reads them that way, because she already thinks that she is responsible for every single bad thing happening in the world that she is not actively fighting (which, realistically is everything), and it's all a bit much.
It's tricky, because a lot of the people doing this sort of calling out are writing other important things that I think I really do need to be aware of and understand better (racism, for example, is something that I know is an issue everywhere, and it's something I rarely comment on because I don't feel educated enough to do so), so I don't want to mute them entirely. But I don't know what I can do, and I'm feeling overwhelmed at present, with so many people around me suffering from awful things and wanting to support them, and our government determined to make everything worse.
I think it's a matter of sorting out useful guilt from useless guilt, which I can do to an extent on an intellectual level, but I'm kind of bad at emotionally.
I may have to give myself a social-media-free day once a week to clear my head. I can't leave entirely, because it's how I promote the political action I *do* manage to do. And the fun stuff, too.
Of course, all this stuff about how I should be putting my energies towards acting locally is less justifiable when I'm not doing enough about that, either, but I'm overwhelmed on that front, too. How do people manage to support multiple causes at once? How do people manage to survive at all? It boggles the mind.
Anyway. Right now, I'm kind of doing Marriage Equality stuff to the exclusion of all else, because it is directly affecting my friends, and because it might actually be something where I can be effective. I wrote a post today updating people on how to register to vote
, and also included a link farm for people who really needed to read something affirming and non-depressing about LGBTQI people right now.
So at least I've done that. Still feeling guilty about refugees, of course.
I wish I could stop being politically aware. It must be so nice.