I’m on the flight from Perth to Singapore and it’s not full. Before boarding had finished Dan moved to the empty row behind Mum and I, and I moved into Dan’s seat. It’s been a hot week in Perth, hitting 40 degrees today when Dan drove me home from Murdoch. Trump has been the U.S. President for a week. The Australia Day Skyworks last night were cancelled because a plane crashed into the Swan River, killing both aboard. We area already 4 weeks into 2017 and I still think it’s Christmas 2015.
For the next 13 days I’m on a family vacation. No conference to attend, and consequently no excuse to purchase business class flights. Mum planned to visit family friends in North India and we offered to join her. As usual, Dan has booked the flights, accommodation and transfers. So far we’ve managed to all get along, probably because we are sitting separated by empty seats.
Last week Dan and I deleted the Facebook and Messenger applications from our iPhones. Both of us realised that we’d mindlessly find ourselves scrolling through feeds habitually, frequently. The latest change to their privacy policies were also a concern, but probably nothing compared to the invasions of privacy from all the other applications. I don’t know what application it is but “suggested posts” (targeted advertisements) have used content that relates to topics of conversations I’ve had, not on my phone, but with my phone in my pocket. How soon will it be before doctors are required to power down their cell phones when at work, consulting patients? Where is this data being processed?
I’ve tried to stop watching news from the U.S. Despite the majority of my friends and social circles comfortably left-wing and anti-Trump I am only saddened each day I wake to hear some new small atrocity has been signed towards the American citizens. At a family-friend breakfast last weekend, all right-wing voters apart from Daniel and myself, I was listening to persuasive positive arguments that Trump brings a freedom of speech unfettered by any concern about being politically correct or confined to conventional thinking. I agreed that this may encourage more creative solutions to difficult problems (such as foreign policy) but was not convinced that the cost should be everybody gets to be a cunt towards everybody else. I frankly don’t care to hear white men cry about their loss of small privilege when needing to be “politically correct” or having to be “made to feel guilty” (Barnaby Joyce) by doing the right thing – whether this is referring to a person by that person’s declared gender identity (instead of by what their genitalia most closely resembled at birth or was foisted upon them as a child, irrespective of genetics, feelings, identity or behaviour) or perhaps leaving the choice of terminating a pregnancy to the woman who’s body the pregnancy is growing in. What angered me most is the constant whining from privileged white men about criticism of them being “unfair” and that they should be given their entitled “chance”.
Yesterday we planned to sleep in but I had forgot to lock up the cat and she woke me at 5 am again. It was already warm. I watered the garden. I cleared my emails, getting ready for vacation. We had made plans to go to the beach (an annual trip), and met Ben Jones there. The water was cold but refreshing. We sunbaked. I slept all afternoon, after we returned home from visiting Dan’s grandmother. I had fallen asleep on her bed, woken by the nurse walking in the room loudly declaring, “Well he looks bored!”. We had an impromptu dinner with Ben & Dion last night, a quiet barbecue in the courtyard of their new house. It was a low-key evening, just what we’d needed.
I tried to help my single sonographer working in private today by arriving her next patient onto the scanner in the second room, and recording the biometry for the third trimester follow-up of a low-lying placenta. Despite having navigated the newer equipment compared to the public hospitals a few months ago I managed to use the wrong probe (no presets for biometry), cancel the patient details (who knows where the images saved to) and the fetal head was covering the placental lower margin so the patient needed a TV scan anyway. I don’t think my help actually helped. When did I get old?