It is said that things, both the good and the bad, come in threes. I am never quite sure how to interpret this idea, especially when, as recently, three linked things happen which may be seen as either good or bad.
It’s all about Australian rites of passage; things which seem dauntng at the time, and then turn out to be things which everyone, or almost everyone, has done..
The first was in September, when we drove to the red centre of the country, covering 1,000km of gravel roads including the iconic Birdsville Track. In dry conditions the journey was uneventful except for two dramatic punctures. We went because our son told us we could not count ourselves as Australian unless we had been to Birdsville. And we returned with stories similar to those of the many others who have travelled the same road.
The second is continuing. Claiming for the Age Pension is akin to entering a mysterious labyrinthine world full of complexities, intricacies and eccentricities understood only by a chosen few. Rounds one and two have proved unfruitful, but I hope to score at least a technical victory in round three. Again, this process seems to provide most entrants with a fund of intriguing stories.
And thirdly this week I have submitted myself to the skin clinic for them to scrape bits off several parts of my anatomy and send them for testing. Which is why I was not at Choir last night – I have to sit for a few days with leg elevated until the wound heals. I had thought I was special to receive this treatment. But no, it seems to be a routine procedure for most of my fellow-countrymen and women. I feel something of a wuss for having made so much fuss about it.
So there we are, three things, good or bad I am not sure. But it is good to feel ever more Australian, having experienced these particularly Australian rites of passage.