Archive for September, 2006

Not much to write

I hadn’t really intended to update today as I couldn’t think of anything to write about, but now I’m here…

I’ve been addicted to watching belly dance videos on www.youtube.com.  I think the more I do belly dancing, the more addicted I become.  I found a lovely CD of belly dancing music at www.cdbaby.com.  They give you the option of sending the CD without the case, making postage cheaper – much appreciated.  I’ve browsed the local auction site www.trademe.co.nz for belly dancing accessories but there’s nothing much on offer at the moment.  Belly dancing costuming is very expensive no matter where you look.

Daughter is back after weeks staying with her father.  Naturally, he didn’t bring the car with him.  So it’s up to me (again) to 1) get rid of the old car, and 2) arrange to get the other car up here.  He’s ‘much too busy’ to sell the car himself.  Grrrrrr.  At least he paid for a couple of professional driving lessons while there, but I’ll have to fork out for a couple more until she’s confident enough to sit her test.

Daughter complains that this house is cold.  She’s not wrong.  It’s not insulated at all and it’s a freezing hole every winter.  It is quite depressing living in a house that needs so much doing to it and without the money to be able to do it.  Ah well.  Such is life.  At least we have a house.  Musnt’ complain.

Felt a little depressed this morning after a dream.  Thought of writing about it in my other blog, but there’s nothing much to write.  It’s just the feelings the dream left me with, rather than the dream itself.  However, got through the day ok….

The weather’s appalling – very cold and very wet.


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Well, one bit done

The sun didn’t shine today but at least it hasn’t rained – yet.  So I managed to finish mowing the front. It takes almost as long to do the bit by the road as it does to do the lawn at the front of the house!  And when I say finish – the lawnmower decided to pack it in just when I had one small clump to mow.  Why?  Why, why, why does it always happen that way.  Why must the lawnmower give up just as you have one tiny patch left?????  Naturally it refused to start again.  Oh, I do hate mowing the lawn – which is why it gets long.  Vicious cycle – hate mowing it because it takes a while but it  takes a while because I don’t mow often enough.  But I also realise afterwards that there’s another reason I hate it and always forget – I can’t breathe afterwards.  There must be some local who can do it for me without having to pay extra for someone to drive out here from the neighbouring ‘city’.  Oh the joys (not) of ‘owning’ your own home.  The back lawn will have to wait for the next fine day.

Pretty gloomy outside.  Only 6 hours of the weekend left and then another boring week of work.

I need a beer – but alas, have none.

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Brighter when the sun shines

My title might seem superfluous.  Of course it’s brighter when the sun shines – but of course I mean my mood.  We’ve had a week of cold and wet and I was feeling depressed.  Didn’t look forward to work at all and came home to chores that seemed neverending.

But today, for the first time in ages, the sun shone and I made a start on some of those chores.

I got most of the front lawn mowed.  But, inevitably – I got to the last little patch and the petrol ran out.  Went to the petrol station to get some more, come back and of course the lawnmower refused to start (as if to say – ‘nope, that’s my bit done for today’).  Moved the car to do the strip down the middle of the driveway as well, so half of it is done and the other half isn’t.  Great.  I hadn’t got around to doing the bit on the roadside either.  I do dislike mowing that – there’s no footpath and it’s quite a big area with a ditch running through the middle of it.  It would have been nice to get that done so it looked tidy from the street, but no.  Blasted thing.  I’ll have to try again tomorrow if it’s fine.

Meanwhile, the back lawn is still a jungle.

Washed daughter’s car.  Haven’t had any enquiries about it at all.  No-one wants to buy a little car it seems – of course petrol just went down in price so it’s not so urgent to swap a huge petrol-guzzling machine for a more economical one.  Daughter and I agree that if it’s not sold by the time the father arrives with the replacement, he can bloody well take it back down with him and sell it himself.

Neighbour’s out mowing his lawn now.  His blasted dog kept me up half the night, barking its head off and chasing the neighbours’ cats.  I lay there stewing and mentally writing letters to the council and leaving rude notes in the letter box.  The dog obviously sleeps during the day or they have it under control.  Not a peep out of it all day.

Anyway, it’s time to feed my animals and myself.

I’ve managed to kill a houseplant.  First time in years.  I used to be an expert at killing them (usually by over-watering) but have gone through a patch of a few years without killing any.  A friend used to marvel at how my neglected orchids would flower every year and her lovingly-cared for ones didn’t.  That’s what happened you see – I started giving this plant attention.  Trimmed off the dead leaves and ‘fed’ it.  It couldn’t handle the sudden change and promptly ‘carked’ it.  I do not have green fingers….

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Mood: starting to feel stress

I can handle pressure at work – no problem – although too much of it gets to be a pain in the nether regions.

It’s home life that I don’t like feeling pressured. 

The ex had bought a small car for my daughter and she’s had it to learn driving on.  Now, however, he’s bought a bigger and ‘better’ car and expects me to sell the current one.  It’s an inconvenience I can do without, but I put up a notice at the local university and hope some student wants to buy it quickly without any hassle. 

The lawn is way too long and I tried to phone a local lawnmowing man but the phone number has been disconnected.  There appear to be no locals so I suppose I’ll have to pay for someone to travel here which costs more than it’s worth.  I would do it myself but time is something I don’t have a lot of.

I’m wondering how, or hoping that I can, get this damned grant proposal written before a 4-day conference early next month.  There’s just so much work to do on it and I don’t know where to start.  Starting these things is always the biggest obstacle for me.  Once I’ve got started it’s ‘reasonably’ straightforward to keep going until completion.  It’s the thinking about it that stresses me out.  I tried to download a small, free program to produce a Gantt chart, but this didn’t work out either.  Doing it on Excel seems very fiddly.

Excuse me while I close the back door – some idiot is burning plastic again….

Put out some ant bait – there are thousands of the pesky things.  Streams of them came for the bait over two days and today I came home to a clear bench.  I have another little bait elsewhere and they’re still going for that.  I hope it does the trick – sick of the buggers.

Have to drop my car off at the garage tomorrow morning to have the cam belt replaced – going to cost a few hundred dollars.  Lucky I still have the little car to use while mine is there. 

I have a headache just thinking about all these things…..

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I often feel overwhelmed by all that needs doing.  The garden is neglected but I have some work to do inside.  I have a grant proposal to write and need some background reading on that.  I got waylaid by a link to some government records and starting entering my surname for family history research which, in turn, led to more sites….  Before I knew it I had bought my grandparents’ marriage certificate (which I’m surprised I didn’t have) and signed on to a Scottish genealogical site to do some searching which resulted in no hits (which was very disappointing).  If you’re not sure where your ancestors lived (ie the actual parish), how do you search the census?  I’m sure there were plenty of Sutherlands in Glasgow in 1881 but it came up with 1 result and wouldn’t let me see it without paying 6 pounds.  Sure sure – buy some stranger’s details.  Useless.  It’s all very frustrating and time-consuming. 

Belly dancing last night was great.  It was my second ‘public’ performance – actually more public than the previous dinner because this time it was in a restaurant with the public and not an invitation only event.  We did the dance perfectly.  The only problem with these dinners is that there is too much time spent sitting and eating and talking and not enough time up dancing.  It’s interesting watching other dancers.  Everyone has a different style – some make big movements and some very subtle.  Some are graceful and some are mechanical.  I sat next to a woman from my class (several classes were there) and as we watched others we realised – hey we can do those moves.  And we’re not that bad either.  We’re even prepared to dance a duo at the next dinner (instead of being part of a group of 4 or 6).  At my first dinner we had only done about 5 lessons and so we watched with awe at other performers.  Nine months on and we’ve learned so much more.  Our little group is now joining the smaller ‘intermediate’ class.  Fun!  It’s my weekly highlight.

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Books and music

I always feel much better about the world when I listen to music or bury my head in a book.  I can forget the annoyances which make my life seem dreary – forget about work, forget about the house, forget about relationships.  Just find a quiet corner away from it all and lose yourself.

I’m reading a fascinating book on the history of the English language.  I have read books on English language before, but this one is particularly interesting and more comprehensive (can something be ‘more’ comprehensive if it’s already comprehensive?).  Written by David Crystal, called “Stories of English”. 

I do love the English language and enjoy the company of others who also take delight in puns and the different ways English can be used.  It’s a very versatile language and no two people write in the same way (except of course the more technical stuff).  I read with interest on how wordy legal documents came to be – using two words which mean the same thing.  It was originally done to avoid ambiguity as English had different words from different origins – eg an Anglo-saxon term, a French term and a Latin term.  Which one to use to make the meaning clear to all?  Use both or all three – so you get “cease and desist”, “give, devise and bequeath”, “null and void”, “have and hold”, “aid and abet”….  Legal tradition being legal tradition they kept doing it!

I just read an amusing little legal document from the early 17th century in which neighbours are complaining and one talks of the other “holding oute two of his fingers … in the manner of hornes”.  Hilarious.  It makes you realise that people back then were not so very different from us.

And music?  I grabbed a random tape (my car doesn’t have a CD player) and pushed it into the car tape player and my mood immediately lightened as Irish music played.  I just gazed up into the clouds and smiled.

So during those little interludes I can forget my worries.  Which is what life is all about really isn’t it – forgetting the trivia and enjoying what really matters.

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In a rut

Today was one of those days when I ask myself “what the hell am I doing here?” at work.  Not content with taking away more staff, leaving us short-staffed – they give us more to do.  Now jobs that were done once a day are being requested twice a day.  Too bad about the jobs we normally do in the afternoon.  I’m so sick of the bureaucracy too.  There seem to be committees and sub-committees for this that and the other and things are discussed in about 3 different meetings before going to another one further up the line and then they might actually act on it.  These are for simple things which could be done tomorrow without discussion.  But for things that actually effect our work – those decisions are made unilaterally without discussion.  No input from those who are affected.  I’m so fed up with it all.

So that’s the work side of it.  I’m also unhappy with where I live – so much needs doing to my house and I haven’t the money.  I got a free valuation on the house today and while it was better than expected it’s still not enough to be able to afford to move closer to town.  It might be  worth doing up certain things (if only I could afford it).  I figure if and when I sell this place I will have to rent.

So a little irritated….

My irritation is intensified by some wanker burning plastic.  The smell has permeated the house (before I shut the door).   It’s not even cold.  I hate ignorant, selfish people who don’t give a damn about the environment.  (More rants reflecting my current unhappiness.)

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