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Posts Tagged ‘#MicroblogMondays’

  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

Microblog_Mondays

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In Western society, it seems that the sun is king; people who live in sunny climes gloat about their good weather, their beach lifestyle, their skimpy clothes for months (or all year round), and deem it fashionable and acceptable to laugh at those of us who live in temperature-challenged environs, even if those warm-climate folks live in air-conditioning (or wish they did) for much of the year.

It equally seems fashionable here to criticise our own weather, and yes, I know I did my fair share of that this year when summer taunted us with a fleeting drive-by, but I have to say that I am glad I don’t live somewhere where the temperature goes to extremes. I loved living in Bangkok, but that was despite its heat not necessarily because of it; Bangkok’s average high is about five or even ten degrees C too hot for me.

40C isn’t good weather in my world, it’s ridiculous, and so is 35C and humid; likewise, for those freezing temperatures some of you endure over winter! The sun too brings other dangers and in my view, lying on the beach or beside a pool in the full sun is the act of a crazy person; tans are evidence of damage, and promise wrinkled, leathery skin with the risk of skin cancer and possibly death in years to come.

I think I had to wait until I was in my 40s to meet someone (Helen, a favourite former blogger) who said that she preferred winter (and a Canadian winter at that) to summer, and I was shocked, as her view went so completely against the norm. But I realised instantly too that as much as I love the freedom that comes with warm weather, I know what she means, and this is one of the reasons why I’m relishing (I hope) wrapping up warm and experiencing some cold weather today in Iceland.

Do you chase the sun and heat, or hide from it?

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As you may have realised, the photography challenges I leapt into at the beginning of the year have disappeared. A brief period of illness, then travel, then rain, and then travel planning all meant that I just didn’t have the time or the inclination to get out and take photographs. I hope to try it again, or maybe pick it up after our trip. Of course, when we’re away I’m going to be taking pics madly (and perhaps sharing some with you via a new Instagram account – look for TravellingMali), although I had hoped to have had more practice before I left, but isn’t that always the way?

I’ve joined a couple of social media groups – one for the challenges I was doing, and one for my particular camera – and have been learning a lot from them (eg. how little I know), and I’ve also been reading various websites to learn more, so I don’t feel like a complete failure!

It’s possible I might get to see the Northern Lights when I’m in Iceland – though with the nights getting lighter when we’re there, I am by no means counting on it – and I’d dearly love to be able to show you all a photograph of the lights … or a puffin. Ironically, the Southern Lights were visible from Wellington last Sunday, but I didn’t know about it until the next day. Typical, isn’t it, that I plan to cross the world to see the phenomenon, and all I needed to do last week was cross the city!

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Last year one of my nieces gave me a lovely three-year writing diary, a thoughtful gift as we both share a love of writing (though our writing topics are very different).

I come to my computer in my office above the garage, and as the laptop warms up, I grab my book and answer the day’s question. Yesterday’s was, “What are you most proud of this week?”

Sometimes I’ll give a one-word answer, other times I’ll respond, “seriously?” – especially if the question is better aimed at a much younger adult (for example, “what was the best date you went on recently?”). Sometimes my answers to the question are instant, and they might make me happy – thinking of friends or travel or ice-cream – or they might make me sad. Sometimes I’ll have to think hard for an answer, or will have something to say that can’t be fitted into the space available, and so I have several topics saved up for blog posts.

Today’s question is “what is your guilty pleasure?” and instead of instantly thinking, “ice-cream!” as I usually would, I realised that the answer, this week anyway (when I should be travel planning, and there is no ice-cream in the house) is probably “blogging.”

I’ve just passed the one year mark and I’m not bored yet, so I have to say, “thanks, Nicole!”

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Today, I realised it was Tuesday. “Hang on a minute,” I thought, “that means that yesterday was Monday, and that means Microblog Monday.” Yes, I completely forgot, as yesterday wasn’t really a day of the week, it was Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, the day when you don’t have to do anything, or you can go for a walk, or join the other millions at Boxing Day sales (we did briefly, but only because my husband was hankering for Indian food for lunch), or you can nap on the couch in the afternoon (also did this), or lie there watching old Dr Who episodes in anticipation of last night’s new Christmas Dr Who special. Yesterday, in fact, I remember walking past the stairs up to my almost-an-attic office and thinking, “no, I’ll do stuff there tomorrow,” without a speck of guilt, or a glimmer of realisation that Microblog Mondays were calling.

Personally, I’m glad Christmas is over, as all the hype dies down, and hopefully, now summer can begin. There can be walks and picnics and barbecues and summer salads, I can play around with my new camera, we can do some house maintenance, and get some Vitamin D (though not too much) in the sun, and – one of my favourite things about summer – stop hunching against the cold and wind, and stand tall and relaxed in some warmer weather. The usual New Year resolutions will occur, but that’s next week’s post for Microblog Mondays (as long as I don’t forget.)

But first, there’s the Christmas chocolate – oh, and the few mince pies left that I haven’t yet given away – to finish.

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This morning was a morning for birds, and it was a lovely way to start. I heard the kaka squawking like the parrots they are, though I couldn’t see them, but as I drove down our street, I saw three kereru at about 100 metre intervals perched on telephone wires, and then when I returned home, there was a tui attacking the cabbage tree next to my driveway.

I went to the dentist this morning, and as the dentist reached into my mouth with sharp metal implements, I hoped that an earthquake wouldn’t strike for the next 30 minutes or so, which isn’t an unreasonable fear when you know that there have been 57 earthquakes of at least a magnitude of 5 in the last month. I had to laugh last week when I saw an article giving advice about another of my occasional fears – what to do if you’re in the shower (or otherwise involved in the bathroom) when there is an earthquake.

I’ve written before about the tyranny of northern traditions at this time of year, and the fact that they really mean little to anyone growing up in New Zealand. So I was delighted to see that Air New Zealand has addressed it, coming up with an alternative, Kiwi-based Christmas carol. Watch the video about making the carol below, or listen to the finished version here:

 

 

I also highly recommend the movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople that stars the boy in the video – he’s a gem – and so as a treat, here’s the trailer:

 

 

Microblog_Mondays

 

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I’m still waiting for winter to really kick in. We’ve had some windy weather – I live in Wellington after all – some rainy weather, and some windy and rainy weather. But we’ve had some almost balmy weather, and with clear skies and bright sunshine. As I try to strengthen my foot – it’s taking as long as I was told, but so much longer than I expected –  I’ve been able to take advantage of calm, fine weather, and walk around the Bay.

Oriental Bay jul 16 ed

I do hope though that we get a few cold days, although I’m probably tempting fate by even saying that. I like to wrap up warm and have an excuse to wear a hat and gloves, and then I can truly appreciate spring when it arrives. To be fair, I could also probably experience much colder weather if I went for walks early in the morning. But I don’t have the same appreciation for getting up early in the cold and dark!

 

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