Dear Inner Circle,

Walking down toward Circular Quay the other day, hand in hand with my 10-year-old granddaughter, filled me with a sense of wellbeing like no other time and no other situation. There were people everywhere which caused us to duck and dash just to make progress. Suddenly my beautiful girl said, “Step on a line, break your spine. Step on a crack, break your Mum’s back”. I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting a serious injury so the both of us started to take sideways jumps; tiny steps or huge leaps in an effort to ensure our feet landed right in the middle of the squares in the footpath. No doubt those around us thought this was inconvenient and perhaps antisocial but we were both laughing so much, neither of us cared. I guess people don’t mind much when 10-year-old girls behave like 10-year-old girls but they probably mind a bit when an old grandfather behaves like a 10-year-old kid.

Quite a young man yesterday asked if he could see me and assured me that it would just take 5 minutes of my time. We stepped away from the crowd in order that we could hear each other. “I can hardly believe I’ve got a few minutes for us to have this conversation” he said. “Well,” I said, “I apologise that I’m really pushed for time but that is the kind of day I’m having.” A few awkward moments passed while I thought he must be wrestling with express whatever it was that was bothering him. “Can you tell me a joke?” he asked. I started to gather that this man was not very well. I told him a Dad joke! He told me it was the worst joke he’d heard ever! I was looking for a way to get on with my day so I explained that I was hoping to get away on a short holiday but that there were many little jobs for me to squash into the next few days. He looked quite concerned and said, “I suspect I’m not really old enough to fill in for you while you’re away.” I thanked him for the kind offer but explained that telling dreadful jokes was part of the job description.

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