I stepped off the tram, and out into a blustery, wet Monday morning. I made my way down a deserted street. The left side was filled with tired looking town houses and units, most of which were hidden behind fences and overgrown trees. Behind the fences on the opposite side of the road, I could see stagnant wheels and rollercoaster rides of what would almost certainly be a deserted day at Luna Park.
I reached the end of this tiresome road. Across it I could see palm trees, which were bordering an observation deck that looked out onto a very grey and rough looking ocean. I crossed the road, and made my way towards what I could only assume was an entrance to St Kilda beach.
When I reached the deck, a very long stretch of boardwalk extended to both my left and my right. In front of me, I was greeted by one of the flattest, gravelliest and dullest looking beaches I had ever seen. It was a miserable day, or course. But any West Australian would still tell you that this was not really a beach.
At the instruction of my iPhone, I veered left in search of the Pier. My Lost Highway jacket was flapping in the gale. I stopped, and tucked the umbrella in my hand underneath my right arm. I felt around for my FreeStyle Libre, mobile hotspot and digital camera in the pockets of my jacket, before tightly zipping it up.
I made my way past deserted cafes, fish and chip shops and kiosks, which I could only assume would be packed on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The wind only seemed to pick up even more as I reached the Pier, by which point I attempted to tighten the strap on my satchel. After a failed attempt, I decided that securing it against me with my right arm would likely be the best option.
The icy cold wind was whipping against my face, and I could feel the spray of the sea as the rough waves made their way across the pathway of the Pier. I could hear the constant whirring of the wind, a wind that makes you hope all the loose items in your backyard are fastened tight before a storm. I began running at one point, to avoid getting a drenching from the waves. Well, I minimised the drenching, at least.
This was the most miserable day one could ever imagine.
Yet it was oddly exhilarating, too.
For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t stressing over work. I wasn’t thinking about all of the things that I need to do, but haven’t done yet. I wasn’t exhaling my exhaustion loudly, like I normally do. I wasn’t looking at my phone. I wasn’t thinking about my diabetes, either.
As I stood at the end of the Pier, drinking in the sights and trying to snap photos without letting my camera fly away, I didn’t have a worry in the world.
For the sake of disclosure, Medtronic Diabetes Australia flew me from Perth to Melbourne to attend Diabetes Advocates Day on Saturday. I decided to stay in Melbourne for a few additional days at my own expense.