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Archive for the ‘Just life’ Category

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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I’m writing this at my desk, with the wide open large skylight above me, and the window behind me – creaked open after a winter closed tight against the cold, wet and wild southerlies – is poised to bring in a cooler breeze, though so far without luck. The sky is blue, and the sun is heating the house, and outside I can see butterflies and hear the tui and other birds chattering away.

After I renewed my driver’s licence (a quick and efficient process, though one that, annoyingly, doesn’t allow me to approve the photo they take for the licence) in town this morning, my husband and I decided, for a change, to drive around the harbour for lunch. The water was blue and calm, and the temperatures warm, and we wound our way around the bays, amazed at this uncharacteristically balmy November weather. Even the pohutukawa are all coming out weeks earlier than usual – I’m hoping they’ll still be in fierce, red bloom when the overseas family arrive in a few weeks.

We stopped at a café that has a lovely view back across the harbour to the city. We found seats under an umbrella to shade us from New Zealand’s fierce UV rays, and enjoyed a delicious lunch of decidedly summer vegetables and flavours.

An elderly couple sat near us with their glasses of chilled white wine, and we looked at each other in disgust, wondering why on earth we didn’t think of that!

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I need to keep it short and sweet on today’s Microblog Monday, after my last post, which was not a microblog post, despite it being about Microblog Mondays.

I’ve broken away from my usual modern literature reading in the last month, to read some enjoyable and interesting non-fiction, including Hillary Clinton’s What Happened, Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B, and most recently, Sue Perkins’ Spectacles.

Some thoughts about aging, the first being the need to plan well in advance, and to make decisions before you think it is necessary, because by the time you need to have made some of these decisions, you’ll be much less capable of doing so.

Secondly, people often talk about maintaining dignity in old age, confusing it with pride, and implying that this is only possible when you are independent. However, I become more and more convinced that true dignity is being able to admit when you need help, and to accept that with grace.

The weather is warming nicely, and we’re all starting to be a bit hopeful that this year we might actually get a summer, after the disappointments of last year.

With spring well and truly here, with bright light earlier in the morning and later at night, the need for spring cleaning is becoming more and more obvious, and will need to be tackled soon.

I may not have cleaned, but I’m feeling quite smug that I only need to buy three more Christmas/birthday (thanks to my sister and a sister-in-law who both have birthdays on 20th December) presents before the end of the year.

 

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In thinking about the #me too posts on social media from all the women who have experienced harassment, abuse and assault, I found one instance going over and over in my head, in which a senior executive of our company humiliated me for absolutely no reason, pushing the backs of my knees at a party so my legs collapsed and I ended up on the floor, inevitably leading people to assume that I had had too much to drink. I never took him to task, just as I never complained to my boss about the off-colour joke he told in our staff meeting that felt directed at me, just as I never told anyone about the two boys who attached me in a ditch when I was about 15, but I managed to fight off. Women are taught to feel embarrassed and ashamed when we have done nothing wrong, and so-called “decent” (and even not-so-decent) men are given a free pass when they use their power against us. #Me too; I’m really angry that this is the case, so angry that women are still treated as second-class citizens, and furious that we are expected to be quiet about it.

It was announced in the last week or so that the US have increased entry requirements for flights, and airlines have said that there will be increased passenger screening, including that we may have to attend interviews before boarding flights, and so I have to say, “sorry, my US friends and family, but your government is making it very hard to want to come and visit!”

I keep hearing people (on media and social media, though less so in real life) referring to people as having Resting Bitch Face. I’ve never liked bullying, and ridiculing someone for their looks is simply another example of that, when they can’t help having a down-turned mouth any more than someone can help having blue or brown eyes, or ginger hair (also an area of discrimination I find childish and despicable), and I find the use of the “B” word, which I try never to use as there isn’t a male equivalent, is just adding salt to my wounds. And for the record, although I have a mouth that turns down naturally, I also have a happy smile, and if you dare to say that I have RBF then you’ll never damned well see it.

 

 

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September and October in New Zealand (and I believe Australia) is birthday season. One day last week I had four Fb friends with birthdays, we passed what would have been my mother’s 84th birthday, and today it is my baby sister’s birthday, and I have to admit that it is scary the big numbers she has tallied up – because that means I have even bigger numbers.

Today also is day 13 of illness for my husband, and day 11 for me, and although we’re both feeling a little better, a venture out to the supermarket has left me feeling exhausted.

Last week was disappointing worldwide, and personally I felt it, as an overseas friend (one I haven’t met for 30+ years, but we are still Facebook friends) made what seemed to me to be a kneejerk response to the reaction to her chosen President’s actions, and so criticised Puerto Rico, its people and the San Juan mayor in a way that I simply felt was beneath her, and that made me sad. But my long-standing policy on Fb is not to get involved in political debates, so although I said nothing at the time, I still feel it’s needed here.

You know how people say that if you haven’t used something or worn an article of clothing in the last year then you should throw them out? I have to say that I disagree entirely, both for clothing (eg last summer I didn’t need my most summery summer clothes at all) and for possessions. This winter we’ve been enjoying soup for lunch quite regularly, and I was happy to rediscover some pottery soup bowls I’ve had for perhaps 20 years or more though I’ve not used them for several years, and they have been perfect for our lunches. Unfortunately, my husband broke one, but he was doing the dishes so I’m not really complaining!

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No matter what age we are, this statement is always true, and – as recently I’ve been strongly reminded of this fact – it is a good reminder that the things we say we hope/should/must do one day, especially those that involve others in our lives … well … we need to do them and do them now (or soon).

This isn’t a bucket list (which I can do alone, or with my husband, and includes broader activities), but is a quick list that typically comprises mainly travel adventures with people I love, that we’ve talked about for a while but have not yet managed – perhaps because we have not yet had that ever-elusive lottery win – to organise:

  • A wine trail in the Barossa valley in Australia (though organising one just over the hill has proved to be hard enough) with family – I talk about it with both my sister and my sister-in-law, and we’ll either do it with the first family who comes up with a designated driver (I’ve been waiting a long time for a niece or nephew to get their licence), or if we have to wait too long, we might have to do it alone, because the wine is too good to ignore forever.
  • Meeting overseas friends overseas – meeting unmet friends in the US or Canada or that long-dreamed about x365ers reunion in Italy, or an AFS reunion of fellow exchange students last seen (except for just a few) in Bangkok in early 1981, more likely to be in the US, but ideally in Thailand, though it would be a good idea if I started with the kiwis who live much closer.
  • Gatherings somewhere exotic (a northern beach in NZ or maybe a safari in Africa or a chateau in France) or just a big fun family Christmas somewhere beautiful (and there is no shortage of beauty in NZ).
  • A girls’ trip to Sydney or New York or Bangkok, or anywhere with some great art galleries and massages/facials
  • Write a damn book – which I’ve almost done, but the idea is actually to make it a book, rather than leave it as files in my computer, and as this is also important to other people, who have helped me along the way, I need to get it done.

What’s on your list?

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An Odd Monday

Eight things that contributed to an odd day:

  1. Not having a job
  2. I didn’t go to bed until the wee small hours the night before
  3. Then at 8 am there was the US Open Tennis Open Final to watch
  4. After that, we decided to check on Hurricane Irma, thinking particularly of several Florida friends, three of whom had evacuated from their homes and were in the main path of the storm
  5. Without a gym membership, exercise timing becomes flexible, rather than getting it out of the way first thing in the morning, and that leads sometimes to not going for a walk at all, or delaying it for the sunny afternoon
  6. Then my husband went off to play some golf
  7. All this led to me forgetting that it was Monday, lured into the sense of a relaxed Sunday afternoon, and
  8. I fell asleep on the couch. 

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