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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

  • I heard about a journalist who had a gig reviewing noodle soup, was jealous, then realised I could, if I put my mind to it, do that on my own, so I’m thankful for the idea.
  • I am once again appreciating our free medical services here in New Zealand, as over the last week or so an elderly relative has been going through diagnosis, ED (emergency department), hospitalisation, x-rays/CAT scans, tests, specialists, etc. We don’t have anything to worry about in terms of cost, and can focus on her ongoing comfort and well-being.
  • This is however unlike my travel insurance, where one incident – a fall that resulted in broken glasses and smashed up face – was treated as two separate claims, and so we had an excess payable both for my glasses and my medical costs; but I’m still grateful, as I got 75% of the costs of a new pair of glasses paid. I picked them up this morning, and I still like them (better than the ones I broke), which is a relief too.
  • A week or so ago I ran into someone I used to buy a lot of clothes from back in the late 90s and early 2000s, who charmingly said that I still looked as young as when she met me 20 years ago.
  • I’m currently going through all our holiday photographs to edit and put them into photobooks, and the whole process lets me relive the experiences all over again, which is an added bonus.
  • The free time I have currently is slightly bittersweet, as neither of us has any work right now, but it means that I can have an afternoon nap later (after two consecutive nights of watching the finals of the Wimbledon singles in the wee small hours) if I feel the need, and it meant that we could sit and watch the first episode of the latest series of Game of Thrones this afternoon, and that was fun.

 

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I have just cancelled my gym membership. I became a member at this chain of gyms in 2004, after my former personal trainer and physiotherapist, along with one of his colleagues (and one or two former clients as investors) set up their first gym. I’ve watched his company expand and achieve success, and have worked out at three of his gyms, each with a very different character and clientele, but each with high quality staff and facilities. Their own excellent physiotherapist clinics attached to the gym facilities have treated me with injured wrists, calves, knees, and a broken ankle. And every year I have enjoyed a free birthday massage, sometimes the only massages I get these days.

But I’m not driving into the city now on a daily basis, the only suburban gym in the group – the one with the amazing views and the wonderful drive around the bays to get there – is no longer working for me, given its distance from home, and the fact that other businesses are taking up all the available (and free) parking.

I need to change my workout routine, get into swimming, and have a cheaper gym membership nearby that I can visit regularly without taking up half of my day. But right now I’m mourning the loss of my lovely gym, the friendly people staff and the other members I have chatted to over the years, the views across Evans Bay, the scenic drive I took to get there, and the cafes where I would stop for a delicious coffee on the way home.

 

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There’s a difference between travelling to a destination and coming home, which I know is stating the obvious. Whilst coming home does not have the same excitement of new or exotic pleasures, the relief of the familiar, and the pure comforts of home at the end of the journey are nonetheless worth celebrating.

It’s always a pleasure turning on the tap and drinking delicious water after a trip overseas, but I have to admit that on this trip, both Iceland and Norway provided very drinkable and even quite tasty water, unlike the ghastly stuff that comes out of the taps in places like France and Italy and the rest of Europe.

Even though it is winter here, the light seems so much brighter than the early summer light in Scandinavia; here, the colours are vivid and the landscape sparkles.

After five weeks away, it is nice to have a washing machine on call!

Cooking again, and not having to pay the exorbitant prices of Iceland and Norway for food, is fun – or it will be once I recover fully from the jet lag.

Speaking of jet lag, according to the experts it generally takes about one day for each time zone changed (with eastward travel, because you lose time), which means that we still have two or three days to go to consider ourselves fully recovered. I can usually tell when I have adjusted back to NZ time when I stop waking up early, so I figure that I’m almost there, as I noticed a familiar desire to stay in my warm, cosy bed this morning!

 

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  • We arrived home last night, 40 hours after leaving our hotel room in Oslo, and that is just too long. But, as I told my disbelieving father-in-law (who is not enamoured of travel), it was worth it.
  • Five weeks of dust is actually quite a lot, considering I cleaned the house the day before we left.
  • It’s a bit depressing coming home to a dusty house, especially since – did I mention this? – I cleaned it the day before we left.
  • The seasons have changed since we left, with only a few sad brown leaves left on our oak tree.
  • It was the same temperature here in Wellington as it was in Oslo when we left, even though we are in opposite seasons.
  • It’s quite nice though to go to bed under a cosy duvet and in the darkness, as it never got dark in our five weeks in those northern reaches.
  • My body might be in this time zone, but my head is not, as it tries to fast-forward 10 hours, so I really wish I’d written and scheduled today’s post before I left!

 

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(because I’m an adult)

  1. Write about what you love most about not living at home with your parents.
  2. Top 10 reasons why you are glad you are done with school
  3. Write a list of 10 reasons why you could not be a real housewife from any county.
  4. If you were reborn as a dog, what breed would you be and why?
  5. If you had to choose a Disney princess to live the rest of your life as, which princess would you choose and why?
  6. Show us your favourite place to catch Pokemon.
  7. What is on your Spring Break “to do” list?
  8. If you had to dress your pet up for Halloween this year, show us the outfit you would choose.

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  1. A hot shower
  2. A sharp knife (in the kitchen)
  3. Birdsong
  4. A long walk on a still day
  5. Clean sheets
  6. Sleeping in or getting up early
  7. Writing with a good pen
  8. Curling up with a good book

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  • Drivers who stop in the middle of the road with free-flowing traffic to let me (also in my car, sitting comfortably in a turning lane) turn in front of them, but they block traffic, don’t realise I can’t see the cars coming in the lane outside them, encourage risky manoeuvres (either by me because they won’t move out of my way, or by others who are inconvenienced by them), and then make me feel guilty because I get irritated when they’re just trying to be helpful.
  • Hearing someone described as a “self-confessed feminist” as if feminist is a dirty word, when it is, in fact, a recognition of past and present injustices and a desire to change that, a badge of courage and insight and hope for the future, and is nothing that needs to be confessed.
  • Going to a movie only to discover that the main character has an American accent, when it is not required for the story line (but only for marketing in the US); recent examples included Benedict Cumberbatch (an English actor) in Dr Strange (whether the character is from the US or not is irrelevant to the story), and Emily Blunt (also English) in Girl on a Train (based on an English book, set in England). Are North Americans so unaccustomed to foreign accents that the use of one will seriously affect how well a movie might fare at the box office?
  • I saw a book on sale recently with the title Inside of a dog.
  • Long-term bloggers who never ever return comments or engage in community discussions; it’s all about them, their numbers, their profile, and of course, selling their books.
  • In urban areas, birds are apparently 14% louder (than a previous study sometime some years ago I assume) to drown out city noises, and though I love that birds can adapt, I feel sad that they need to.
  • The combination of ageism and sexism.

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