Most journeys begin at the start

I sit, immobile, on a hotel bed in Ljubljana in Slovenian reflecting on my own mortality as I stare at my left leg which is strapped rigidly into a knee-high plastic cast.  My broken foot has a heart beat of its own, each throb accompanied by a wave of dull pain.  The tablets are beginning to work.  A pair of crutches lie against the bar fridge blocking access to alternate pain relief.   I confess to being a little melancholy.

Its evening and I have time, lots of it, to  reflect on the first day of my annual holiday, a day  spent in a foreign hospital.   It passed slowly as I watched soundless cartoons on monitors that hung above every doorway in the hospital’s endless corridor of nameless rooms.  On hearing my Aussie accent, my ailment became secondary to every medical staffer’s express aspiration to practice in Australia.  More than one day’s re-run of the cartoons would do that to anyone.  X-rays, pain killers, crutches, a pat on the back and I’m discharged.  A dismissive ‘enjoy your holiday’, the parting gesture from the local medico who was in the middle of a very long shift.

And why a broken foot?  The consequence of attempting to get fit because of my middle age desire to live beyond middle age with body and mind in a fit state to make life worth living.  My first sporting injury at the age of 56. Proud as punch !  Sore as hell.

How did I get it?  I simply put a foot wrong. Not even a story to brag about.

With time on my hands my mind has returned to a recurring thought, I must start a blog. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for years but today provides the perfect opportunity to begin, after all  I’m not going anywhere in a hurry.

My professional work, my travels and today’s ventures bring me to reflect on the unexpected surprises that life’s journey delivers up to us as we pass through the cycle from birth to death.  Along the way we get the opportunity to experience many things, visit exotic places and meet interesting people.  Equally our journey throws challenges at us, some a joy, some merely annoying and others, devastating.  My blog will be a mix the ‘deadly serious’ issues of estate planning we all have to confront on our trip towards our grave,  with snippets of my travel extravagances.  Not so strange when you understand that I’m  an estate planning lawyer who spends his work life  helping people plan their future (and their passing), and my leisure time visiting remote and exotic places where I experience the good, the bad, the ugly  and the wonders that this planet has to offer. Life’s journey itself, and individual travel experiences have many parallels. They each provide insights that shed light on the other,  or with a bit of manipulation, will.
Having determined that blog only has one ‘g’ I now turn from my throbbing foot to the other thoughts that have flashed through my mind during the course of the day,
  •  is my will up to date?
  • did I pay the travel insurance premium?
  • wow, the medicos wouldn’t even talk to my wife about my injury (she is a doctor) until I gave express permission (seems the lawyers have had their impact  here too)?
  • will I get to actually take my camera out of its bag to capture some of the local delights?
  • I really should have an advanced health care directive in place!
  • how the hell do I get down 2 blocks of cobble stone streets to reach the restaurant booked for dinner tonight?

and other momentous questions of life, death and living. I’m now going to induce sleep by reviewing a paper I’ve written for presentation to a medical conference on mental capacity.  That should make the pain at the other end of my body pale into insignificance.


One Comment on “Most journeys begin at the start”

  1. Anna Booth says:

    Goodness Rod if ever there was a reason to reach for the mini-bar this qualifies. For the benefit of your potential followers let me say that prior to travel it is always good to get one’s house in order and I have recently travelled to – and amazingly from – Africa in one piece. On the basis of the possibility that this may not have been the case – returning in one piece that is – my husband and I decided to rewrite our wills to establish a framework for the support and care of our intellectually disabled daughter. Rod was tireless in his comprehensive examination of her needs and the preparation of a will and associated documents that sets her up for life once ours is no longer. So to all readers I say, let Rod guide your preparations for your demise! And Rod, please don’t do any more damage to yourself or Slater & Gordon will be deprived of your contribution and we clients will be the poorer for it.


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