Archive for the ‘Just life’ Category

A favourite blogger (I can’t find the link, I’m sorry) recently wished she could buy enthusiasm. Wouldn’t that be great? I’d buy enthusiasm for cleaning, decluttering, spending time with elderly in-laws, living in Wellington instead of travelling the world, working for unimaginative, ego-driven men. And so much more.

But I fear my funds would quickly run dry, so I’d have to trade on the EMS (Emotional Skills Market), which sadly doesn’t really exist; though now I mention it, if I could set up the EMS, I might make my fortune and compete with the Nasdaq or NZX.

But what could I trade? Relaxation, saying “no,” putting other people first, seeing the best in people, brushing off disappointment, prioritising the occasional afternoon nap, finding happiness in the small things of life and looking on the bright side (or as my mother would put it, being a firm believer in Pollyanna, being glad), and, as perhaps my friends and family reading this might suggest, self-deception.

What could you trade?


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I vs We

I say “we” a lot. When I talk about my childhood, I often find myself saying “we” meaning my family, or (often) my younger sister and I. These days, I talk about “we” including my husband in the experience, and generally always make it inclusive. I was taught not to focus on myself, or to take too much credit for what I did – such a typical female upbringing. My husband, on the other hand, might, for example, see a photograph and exclaim, “I’ve been there.”

“Goodness,” (or some other suitable word I won’t write here) I will reply, “I wonder who you were there with?”

He doesn’t get it.

Do you experience this too? 

Edit: With men OR women?

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Has anyone noticed? I feel that suddenly, last week (or perhaps on the weekend), my WordPress sites suddenly have extra advertising. I always knew there were one or two ads after my posts, and that was fine because they have to pay for the service somehow, but now they seem to have encroached into the top of the sidebars as well, and the ads are impossible to miss. I do not like it, and yet I do not want to succumb to their obvious pressure to opt into their paid service (though that’s their prerogative, of course), thereby rewarding their strategy, and encouraging them to engage in this activity again in the future.

I’m so sick of having a hot bedroom at night, going to bed with a cold compress, and waking later feeling as if I’m having a constant hot flush, which I’m not, because that’s why I’m on HRT.

The neighbours are subdividing their section, and building their retirement home in the trees that are currently our northern boundary. It will substantially change the character of our house, the privacy in the garden/on the decks, and in our bedroom and reduce the value of our house, and I told them so because we’ve been far too nice and accommodating so far, even though they themselves are trying to take our wishes into consideration in the design of the house – except for the fact that they’re building the damn house in the first place.

More curses, because there was something else I wanted to write about, but I’ve forgotten, so I hate that too.

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Right now … (#3)

Still unashamedly copying Loribeth’s regular series, I wrote a couple of posts in this series back in 2016, and completely forgot to do any in 2017. So here is my first attempt in 2018:

Reading: I’ve just finished The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi. Oddly, the last time I did a Right Now post, I was reading Night Train to Lisbon, so Portugal has been a theme. Eventually, I decided that life was too short to read Night Train to Lisbon. I just didn’t find it compelling. But I enjoyed the first part of The High Mountains of Portugal, though it was one of those pieces where you suspected the hapless main character was always going to do something wrong. The second part confused me a little, though I grew into it. And the third part is a fascinating conclusion.

Watching: At the end of last year, I had binged on (embarrassing admission) White Collar, and then The Good Wife (only embarrassed it took me so long to watch). So at the moment, I’m only watching a few things as they become available, rather than binge-watching anything. All my new 2018 projects are keeping me too busy.

Listening: I’m listening more often to audiobooks, when I go walking or when I’m editing photographs. I can’t listen to audiobooks at the same time as I write or read blogs, unfortunately. My most recent book was Two Brothers by Ben Elton, which was excellent.

Following: My camera course. And global politics, as always, though with less and less interest. I was going to write enthusiasm, but that left me some time ago.

Drinking: Chardonnay. I’m making the most of Pasta and Chardonnay Thursdays (aka The Husband’s Golf Nights). But as it is summer, and has been warmer than usual, I’ve been having the occasional beer too, on top of sauvignon blancs or rosés. And last week was our wedding anniversary, so there were a couple of glasses of champagne involved.

Eating: Zucchini noodles (trying to lose weight) to eat the zucchini from my husband’s little vegetable patch. Homemade ice-cream, because it is summer. And a new discovery, homemade beer bread.

Anticipating: Not too much. We had a big trip last year, so we won’t be going too far afield this year. My husband has a big birthday next year, so that might involve some travel. In the meantime, I just have to focus on little things. Anticipating having a clean office, via my decluttering project, is exciting!

Contemplating: How to make these difficult remaining years of my in-laws’ lives easier, without losing myself in the process. And at the same time, remembering my mother, as it was two years ago yesterday that we lost her.

Loving: My new blogging project, my decluttering project, and my camera course. But you know that already!

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I seem to have developed a small collection over the last couple of years. They have added to my clutter, but they make me happy, so I’m keeping them. Baking tins are pure nostalgia to me, remembering the years growing up when the tins were always full, for the family, or for visitors, especially as I don’t bake much just for the two of us.

But the last few years I have started baking a little more, to share with the in-laws or family or friends, and I’ve felt the need for baking tins. Plastic containers are practical but lack the romance, the memories. I started thinking about buying some tins, but there are very few available. But then Christmas arrived. If you want to buy good-looking tins, Christmas is the time to do it, as they are filled with chocolates or biscuits or gingerbread or mince pies.

Two or three years ago, a local biscuit (cookie) manufacturer advertised that it was issuing a limited set of three textured tins for Christmas, filled with their biscuits. One was made to look like a flax basket or kete, a traditional Maori basket. I made one like that for my Maori badge at Girl Guides when I was about 12, and remember having to find and cut the flax from a bush on the side of our road. I had to go to a bit of effort to find the second tin, which looks as if it is made from red corrugated iron. The farmhouse where I grew up had a red, corrugated iron roof, and having this as a tin in my kitchen is very nostalgic. The biscuits inside were irrelevant.

Then last year, I was hunting for round tins to house whole cakes and found two. I bought one that was filled with Rose’s Chocolates, perhaps because I was again feeling nostalgic, as my mother’s maiden name was Rose and she never let us forget it. It wasn’t very big though, and weeks later, forgetting I’d bought the Rose’s Chocolates tin, I found another round tin and bought it too. It was much larger and is a better size, and although I feel less emotionally connected to the decoration, it does the job. It was filled with Danish butter cookies. I gave a lot of them away, ate some, and then we just threw the last of them away. An added bonus is that the Rose’s Chocolates tin fits inside this one perfectly!

This year I wasn’t looking for a biscuit tin, but we had to buy some gifts for a secret Santa and I saw some very Christamassy tins filled with biscuits for the right price. Next to the display were other tins, and one, in particular, caught my eye. It is a classic New Zealand Christmas scene, and I couldn’t resist it. Even my husband likes it!

I’m hoping I will stop collecting tins now, as I have plenty. I’ll just have to keep baking, to fill them up and use them. Even when I see them in my pantry, though, I smile.

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  • When I was doing my Christmas shopping, I paused to sniff at an array of room perfumes. I luxuriated at the scent, the exotic beauty of it filling my sense, taking me back to spas in Thailand, peaceful, happy places. These days, I don’t wear perfume, don’t take long baths, get massages or facials, or anything that’s too luxurious, and so I don’t smell beautiful scents. I realised with a pang how much I missed it, so a week or two later, I treated myself with some new perfume.
  • I read an article about a visit to an art gallery recently and it struck me how long it had been since I had done this. I generally really enjoy a museum or art gallery, and when I first became self-employed, would often take a Friday morning visit to an exhibition. These days, with more time but less time to myself, I never get around to doing it. So I resolved to do this more this year (and no, this is not a New Year’s resolution) … or … okay … at least once.


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January Projects

I seem to be collecting new projects this January, but not the ones I should be focusing on.

  1. I’m now a week into my year of blogging daily, using word limits each month, over here at x365 Take Two.
  2. I’ve just signed up for a photography course, as recommended by a friend. The first lesson has blown me away, and I hope the rest are as easy to understand.
  3. I’ve copied the lovely Indigo Bunting who did this last year, and I’ve started a project to declutter 2018 things from my house in 2018. So far, I’ve thrown away five things, which means I’m already 39 things behind schedule, but I figure there’s time. Do you think discarding a project would count towards the 2018 total, and would a x365 project count as 365 things?
  4. Theoretically, I’m also going to try to delete 2018 emails, but that seems futile, because they just keep coming.

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