Ashley Robinson.
Ashley Robinson. Patrick Woods

Tugboat tales: Signs are in the zodiac


Three more sleeps and we are into 2019. Wow!

The year went pretty fast and I must say, if I make the next 72 hours, I will be pretty glad to put 2018 behind me.

I had a read of my Chinese Zodiac for 2018 and 2019 and it wasn't overly enlightening apart from two pieces of advice: one I wish I had read earlier and one that makes me slightly nervous for next year.

The first one was a health warning for this year about possible food poisoning and avoiding street food - knowledge of which would have been particularly handy in August while over in Bali with my son.

We have this wonderful friend over there who is a local and helps out when we are there.

On this particular day, we were taking my young bloke to the airport to go home.

Now, just like his mother, he has a cast iron gut and can eat anything.

So while we had been over there, the young bloke and our local friend had been eating street food every day - unlike yours truly, who is a delicate soul.

As we dropped the boy off at the airport, he said to old mate driving to take the old man for some suckling pig on the way back.

I was pretty sure he and I knew he was joking, but not old mate.

We ended up at the first Warung he could find and because his English isn't great and my Indonesian is limited to speaking English very slowly, I was sort of in a bit of a corner as he is always keen to please.

I decided to do the right thing: I bought him the pig and I had rice and vegetables. What could possibly go wrong?

A few hours later, I was lying in a pool of my own sweat, with guts rumbling like the next volcano to go off at Lombok.

After a delirious night, I dragged myself up the next morning, deciding it might be malaria.

So I googled the symptoms and was sure that was what it was.

I rang the better half at home who, between intermittent laughter, reminded me I hadn't been over there long enough to incubate malaria.

I then received some medical advice over the phone from a friend and while I was considering what I had, the dam broke.

After about 17 trips to the toilet and half a tube of Amolin, I was sure the Warung had got me.

If only I had read my horoscope for 2018, I could have avoided 24 hours of sweating, pooing and having a rear end that looked like old mate at the zoo (and by the way, I was walking like him as well).

So the other piece of advice was as follows: "In general, people born in 1957 will find stability in love and career in 2019. However, it is predicted that they are likely to be involved in scams. Make sure to keep personal belongings well and ignore those so-called high-yield or risk-free financial products. As for health, it is suggested them to pay attention to personal safety. For example, do not go on a long trip alone or take part in risky activities.”

Bali, anyone? Looks like my year is going to be interesting.

I hope yours is everything you deserve as I think maybe that's what my 2018-19 is all about.

Happy New Year!

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