Dog paddle

The Macquarie River is full and running swiftly after all the rain we’ve been having. Steve and I drove down with Bertie and a pentagram-shaped floaty blue thing Bertie got for Christmas from Rosemary (the woman Steve was visiting at Bathurst Hospital when he went out cold). Steve said Bertie might lose the blue thing if I threw it in the fast-flowing current. I said No, it would be all right. I threw the blue thing in the river and Bertie plunged in but the current sped the thing away. Bertie desperately tried to find it but it was floating off down the river, quite fast. I took my jeans off and plunged in myself, intending to swim out after it and get it myself. Bertie and I were furiously doing dog paddle together. We’d lost the blue thing but I was hoping to catch it up. I felt like an Olympic swimmer – swimming with the current, I was a fast, strong swimmer. Bertie fell back and gave up, scrambling up over the muddy banks. I admitted defeat myself. It was just a little bit dramatic, just a bit of adrenalin, when I realised the current was sweeping pretty fast and it wasn’t clear where or how I’d get a hand and foot hold, enough to get out. The banks were lined with broken branches, nothing firm, nothing to hold. Then I found the council’s chicken-wire and rock bank, a toehold at last. I got out and picked my way back over the mud to Bertie and Steve. I said, You were right, we did lose it, the current was going too fast.

In other news, I am the current High Bidder for the 1972 printing of the 4th edition of the Brownie Guide Handbook. eBay sent me a message saying I’d been outbid, which seemed intolerable, so I went back and upped my maximum bid. My excuse is that I need the book for research for my novel, but actually I’d just like to have it.

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