Martini Dry – Abu Dhabi 

people turn up for brunch by the beach around the courtyard fountain – not all at once – but gradually the place is shiny with tourists and locals – who must realise this might be the better brunch in town today. 

Today is a Friday – a holy day in the Muslim week – which we all probably do our best to hold too. Malls are open. Ferrari world is open. The blue mosque too. But people in the courtyard have maybe seen it all before.

I haven’t yet I’m tired from the tumultuous week at ADIPEC and maybe jet lag too quietly dulling out the brainwaves in the sunny afternoon.

So many people at that show. Cars people security parking badges delegate or exhibitor or visitor. Still with 100,000 people expected over the last 4 days, it had been all rather well organised. 

The paper, too techies for some maybe had to be written. Presented in minimalist form in a 20 minute slot. Of course there is a whole calendar of work starting May with the abstract last chance. How easy to write an abstract with keywords, but work and bits trashed searching through the argument and all the while looking for how to explain in only 6k words or less. 

Anyway that’s just the beginning. There will no doubt be a return visit next year with another idea extending the thoughts of others with another new insight.

But not today – too hard – too bright and the population too shiny under the Abu Dhabi sun reflections of the shiny buildings in the courtyard pool beside.

Writhium Skin-Revisited

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The Writhium Skin

The color of writhium is a light titanium grey  – the new new surface of the electric skin of the world. Each day more edges add to clouds of big data rumbling around in dark halls with blinking lights. The mistakes I’ve made and the memories mislaid. I know where to find them if I’m that keen. But the map of the surface is just writhium.

Could anyone care that it rains,

large grey splashes on whats remembered right

or left behind in the writhium brain.

Grey like it’s skin it is, wrinkled and stained

with the things we all desire to get

and then those

we ever want to forget…

when the writhium stretches

and the wrinkles un-hide

the electric lights blink

on the wrinkle water tide

and fills the our sea of memories

we feel sad with what we had lost

and happy with things we’ve re-found

the joys of our living create unbound

 

The hairy Egg of an Idea

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Sometimes there comes a point when you hold it in your hand

an egg of an idea fit to fit in the can,

its all a bit rough though, still a bit hairy

so to make it work, you tie it with string and present it carefully…

…it would have been interesting of course,

had the lecture been more terse

reading my phone  quietly while the powerpoint rang loudly

you missed the essential piece of technical slang

never mind the acronyms, the instant NEW.

you pulled too hard on the string

so they’ll be gone by tomorrow, gone by tomorrow…

when the strangled egg turns blue.

The Red Center of Memory

IMG_2375_1_The Gap

Last week I was running around like crazy, trying to get stuff done. So many things on at the same time, including organising things for work, managing builders at the house and my dear dad’s birthday. God bless him, he turned 95 and still in pretty good shape, but his memory had definitely been going or fading recently and I’d been out there to his flat quite a bit. Anyway I should have thought of it before, getting him a cake, some things to take around to his flat for instance.  In the end I forgot the time and was late when i finally went over there. Even though I’d knocked on the door, he didn’t respond so using my own key, went in, and there he was, had gone to sleep in that hot afternoon, storms and things, with the cricket game still on the TV. Some days things just don’t go right.  I didn’t wake him up,but put the cake on the table with some flowers I’d picked up. Nice mix of tulips, to remind him of the old days.

The mobile phone rang…

“Hello John, you there son”

“Yes dad, I’m here, how are you ?”

“Well, not too bad .. ahh… I’m in Alice Springs…  I can’t get home !  How come you left me behind ?”

“What do you mean, Alice Springs, how on earth did you get to Alice, out there in the middle of nowhere.”

“Well… I really don’t know. Didn’t you bring me here …? It’s just too hot…. to stay here. They have air conditioning,… but it doesn’t …work”

“No… I didn’t take you to Alice Springs dad…. Who are you with then ?”

“I’m with Connie my sister,…. She is out here.  She… lives here. But she must’ve gone out … gone out for a while.

Where are you then ?”

“Dad, I’m in Sydney.  I never drove you to Alice Springs.  It’s too bloody far anyway, why would i do that ?.. Besides, you can’t possibly be in Alice Springs, you couldn’t catch a flight and there’s no way you can drive there and you’re birthday was last week” – I said

“I don’t know how I got here, but I’m here now and I need to get back.” said dad, getting a bit louder.

Mate, how did he get to Alice Springs, I’m wondering.  I look at the phone, it says “DAD” and the number of the call is right.  He must have his phone with him.  Who would have taken him to Alice  ? The idea was crazy.

“Anyway” dad continued, “at least Connie remembered my birthday, which is more than I can say for you !!”

The phone was quiet for a bit.

“Dad, I’m sorry about your birthday, yes I did forget..” I said, feeling a bit like well, actually I hadn’t forgotten, but then he had been asleep at the time.

“Dad ?”

“Yes ! John !” he said, quite angry now

“What kind of flowers did Connie get you ?”

“Well she got me a nice chocolate cake !. I don’t know who got the flowers.  A bunch of tulips.” he said

Ok.. then he thinks he is in Alice Springs with Connie, but actually he is in Sydney in his flat. Perfect.  I got in the car and drove round to the flat, kept the phone on handsfree. I’ve never seen people buy tulips in Alice Springs, and it was no doubt the chocolate cake I’d taken around to his flat last week and more significantly Connie had died quite some time back.

“Dad, I’m coming around to see you”  I’ll pick you up in my car and take you back home.

“OK Son.  At least that’ll be something.. forgetting my birthday.”

It’s strange, I had to smile to myself at least, each of us now comfortable in our own imagined world.  I knowing that he was in Sydney, and he, knowing that It was no problem for me to drive the 2700 kilometers through to the red center in the middle of nowhere – Alice Springs.  Whereas I said I’d be round in 10 minutes, it would’ve actually taken 30 hours of continuous driving.

“Hey Dad, I’ll pick up some beers along the way, we can watch the cricket for a bit before we come home.”

“OK son, thanks.  See you then.”

I flicked it off handsfree, knowing I’d be there in around ten. I knocked on the door of his flat, the TV still on, I went in, there was the cake, untouched, and the flowers, open and wilting in the heat. I walked over to the air conditioner, grabbed the control and turned it back on.  That’ll get him back to Sydney I thought, with a smile.

We sat down together, got some beers, and checked the score on the cricket.. for old times sake.