I'm leaving my cabin by the creek, a super affordable Airbnb hosted by the kindest woman and her family. Elise is a 'silverfox' model and I hope I'm half as glamorous as she is when I'm even a fraction older.
It's been a very low key few days of recovering and building up strength. It could have been much longer. I don't feel too bad at all. I feel hopeful and happy that today I head down the coast to see Joanne.
Elise's son gives me a lift down to Manly harbour, I ask a stranger to help carry my medium sized bag across the road (I'm getting better at this) where I join a large line of commuters waiting for the ferry. I ask whether this is a fast or slow ferry. It turns out the slow ferry is 40 mins wait and that this will get me there far more quickly. I stay in the queue of tanned office workers all heading to central Sydney. I start to feel a bit wobbly and worry that I'm not going to be able to sit down but we are all ordered to sit - this is a fast and unpredictable catamaran after all.
When I lived here I caught the slow ferries quite regularly, sitting out in the wind and sunshine as Sydney harbour bobbed past. This is the only time I'll get to see my favourite bit of the bay during this trip. Then I realise that no one will be allowed on deck.
And then I notice that nobody - and I really do mean almost nobody out of the few hundred people on the fast ferry - is looking up. Everyone is on their phones. I know they have a busy day to start and commute this journey every day. I know I'm just a tourist.
I get the smallest glimpse of Sydney Opera House and my favourite, the harbour bridge as we whizz past.
At Circular Quay I walk my small suitcase and small backpack to about as close to the Opera House as I feel is safe within my walking limits and say hello. I won't get a proper look. But that's OK. I remember how I used to hang around here, take photos all the time and go to the ballet.
Catching the fast ferry worked with my train connection. But I promise myself that at least in general, I will take the slow ferry whenever I can in life. And even if I can't, I'll at least make sure I keep looking up and out of the window as much as I can.
An ME/CFS Thriver