Ordinary Things

I am sitting at my desk with half a chicken sandwich. It is taking up less and less room in my cubicle as I process its transfer from outside my body to the inside.

My colleague, Brendan, has just likened his working here to a tree with roots that won't let go of the earth that sustains them. His intention is to put down a tap root so deep and so strong, that he will be here as long as the oak trees outside. I resist reminding him he is both new and young. Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing and oughtn't be distilled for anything - time will work its wonders soon enough.

This lunch hour is devoted to writing. First to you; then to my Grandfather. I am also poised to answer my phone should it ring, as my cousin mentioned she might call. She is another with abounding enthusiasm and creativity - a joy to spend any time with and Lord only knows, I don't spend enough time with her.

It's a fine, clear, cold day in Melbourne today. Most people are coat and scarved, with the exception of a few young girls this morning who shivered, dragging their sleeves over their hands trying to be warm, in wholey inappropriate clothes for this weather.

I'll away to write my scrawl across some paper to send to my Grandfather and leave you with something nice to read:

As I stood on the roof of my house, taking in this unexpected view, it struck me how glorious it was that this was exactly how this land must have looked to centuries of people, quietly going about their daily business – eating, sleeping, having sex, endeavouring to be amused – and it occurred to me, with the forcefulness of a thought experienced in 360 degrees, that that's really what history mostly is: masses of people doing ordinary things. Even Einstein will have spent large parts of his life thinking about his holidays or new hammock or how dainty was the ankle on the young lady alighting from the tram across the street. These are the sorts of things that fill our lives and thoughts, and yet we treat them as incidental and hardly worthy of serious consideration.

Bill Bryson