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Archive for November, 2011

I think it was yesterday, about a change of attitude.  I couldn’t do anything about the depressing weather – the cold, the grey cloud, the wind, the rain, which has dogged us all month.  So I decided, one morning (was it yesterday?) to just be thankful that I was alive.

When I got up and did the usual routine, with Jasmine following me into the toilet and miaowing for breakfast, I pretended I was looking back on my life and realising I should be thankful for what I had/have.  Then I drove to work and admired the way the leaves moved in the wind and the half dozen birds flying together above me.

I listened to world music, that my younger self had recorded a decade ago and put aside, and marvelled at the beauty of life, which is still around us, even though we might not be able to perceive it.  Listening to world music reminds me that my world is not the only world.  There is so much out there that’s both better and worse, but, mostly, different.  It felt like I was looking at the world with fresh eyes.

And then to work.  I endeavoured to smile and at morning tea I spoke to someone who never normally speaks to anyone, and he had a conversation with me!

I did my work without complaint, grateful that I have a job that pays the bills, appreciating the people around me instead of finding fault.  Each one of us has our own frustrations and delight.  We were each brought up in different ways and this colours our view of the world.

And strangely, people noticed that I seemed brighter and someone said I was “on fire today” because I had amusing comebacks or made some smart comment in response to something (I can’t quite remember the reason for the comment).

Then the end of the day, grateful it’s a Friday – time to relax and reflect.

I must do this more often.

And as if as a reward for my more positive outlook, today the sun is shining.  I was able to go out and enjoy it, finally mow the lawn so the place looks more civilised, and smile.

I’ll forget about the fruitless journey to town.  These things happen and they’re only material possessions that don’t ultimately bring happiness, right?

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After a tedious week, it was good to reach another weekend. Daughter and I headed to Feilding on Saturday morning to go to the European delicatessen ‘Edelweiss’. We bought some sausies and free range pork (we’ve missed pork since giving up buying the factory farmed stuff and haven’t found free range in the supermarkets). Good ol’ Freedom Farms.

We happened to see there was a plant and craft fair down the road at the school so drove down but it wasn’t obvious there was one and it was close to the closing time so we didn’t bother walking through the school to find it. We had also spotted a book sale in the same street so we went for a browse. I had not intended to buy any books but went just out of curiosity. There was a good range of fiction – good nick and cheap so bought a few (about 6) for summer reading. Daughter bought 3 books also. Coming out we spotted a friend from Palmy across the road! Small world. We briefly considered going into the second-hand shop on the very same street but decided not to. Headed home and watched the disappointing weather – occasional glimpses of sun through dark cloud and the occasional downpour. Bloody annoying. At one point I was sitting under a blue sky but there was a very light drizzle (from where, I couldn’t tell). I could look up and see the drops falling – they looked like small bubbles.

Daughter spent the night elsewhere and took the netbook with her. The old laptop worked fine for a while but then didn’t shut down and was still on in the morning. I had to let the battery run flat before I could try and start it up again. Oh dear. It did not like it. It couldn’t find the ‘profile’ and the internet didn’t work. One dead laptop, essentially. Bollocks. It was shit anyway, but it was useful as a backup. I had to wait for daughter to return to do my daily writing for NaNoWriMo.

I felt quite depressed the whole of Sunday (the cold, gloomy weather didn’t help as well as lack of a working computer) so I did bugger all and played quite a lot of “The Lost and Damned” on Xbox360.

Another week of gloom and tedium coming up by the looks of it.

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Weekend update

Apart from the weather, which continues to be extremely disappointing, the weekend went well.

I got up early on Saturday morning to get a WOF (Warrant of Fitness) for the car. I was a bit doubtful about a tyre. There were two cars lined up ready before the place had opened. I was number three. It didn’t take long and it was all good. The tyre’s good for another 2 warrants, he reckons.

Elated that I didn’t have to spend money on tyres, I headed off to the shops, but it was too early. I still had ¾ hour to wait for anything to open. So, figuring I’d just go home I was heading that way when I passed the market. Here was an excellent opportunity to actually go when it was still early. I bought some veges and fruit and told myself I must come here more often. Once back at the car, it was close enough to opening time for the shops so I headed to the electronic stores to get a replacement landline phone (the battery on ours only lasted 10 minutes before giving up). I was quite overwhelmed at the range of phones. A second handset sounded like a good idea until I was told they would also need mains power. My house doesn’t have power points everywhere, so there went that idea. I got a cheapy cordless.

While in the store, I had a look at the Xbox360 offers. Ours died earlier in the year and I didn’t want to spend the money (especially after having to replace the car). I had a look and thought ‘na’, then I went across to the store on the other side of the carpark and saw they were the cheapest I’d seen all year. I justified buying it by saying to myself I’d saved money on not buying tyres and this was a bargain probably never to be repeated. Drove home very pleased with my purchases and achievements.

I spent most of the rest of the day writing 5000 words for the novel. Daughter was out and I didn’t expect her home. I hid the Xbox360 to keep away temptation while she’s studying.

Daughter came home late raving about ‘Skyrim’ the latest Xbox360 game that she’d watched her boyfriend play. She then mentioned the various prices around town that we could buy one at. Rather than listen and agree, pretending we didn’t have one, I told her I’d already purchased. She reckoned another place was a better deal because of the games it came with, so I felt a bit deflated.

Next morning I wrote another 1000 words before daughter got up. She said there was a market down at the local RSA so we had brunch and headed down (in the drizzle, which later turned to a downpour). Most of the market stalls had packed up by the time we got there so there was only some jewellery and knitted goods left. We walked down to the newly opened $2 shop and I bought a couple of items. They had a good range. Fancy walking out with a bag of shopping in the village! We headed across the road to the village café for a coffee and admired the resident cats. The menu at the café is better than the place booked for our work Xmas lunch.

Did some pruning of driveway trees and bushes while it wasn’t raining.

Daughter said we may as well connect the new Xbox and try out the Kinect game. Kinect is a camera thing which monitors your movements for virtual games. The game allowed two players so we stood beside each other jumping and stretching. Peeled off layers and I was exhausted at the end of it. Good exercise! I’m even more pleased now with the purchase. Daughter conceded that it was a good deal after all, because the other deal she’d recommended didn’t include Kinect games.

Overall, a successful (and fun) weekend.

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Work is tedious at the moment – basically I only have one task to do at the moment, which gets extremely boring all day, all week. To be perfectly honest, I could do another colleague’s job as well, no sweat. I did some while she was away and it was a piece of cake which didn’t take much out of the day. Someone else took over her other tasks, and I imagine they were pretty easy too.

Oh well.

I keep thinking about NaNoWriMo while I’m under-utilised. I had a look at deviantart for a picture which would vaguely represent my main character’s home planet. There is some amazing art work there but, sadly, nothing that looked like what I had in mind. I figured I could photoshop one of my own pictures to look something like it. But there’s the rub…

My computer is still just a piece of useless metal under the desk. IT guy has been too busy to look for parts. It’s been nearly 3 months now since we had it up and running. I haven’t been able to upload any photos or slides or do any genealogy-related stuff.

Yep, Nano is all that’s keeping me sane at the moment. Certainly the CRAPPY weather is nothing to be inspired about. I am FED UP with fucking grey cloud hanging over us day after day after day after day after day after day….. It’s nearly mid-November – we should have some fucking sunshine by now.

Sorry, starting to lose it there.

Back to the relentless grind in silence and despair…

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Just because

Thanks to a friend starting a new blog, I’ve discovered a poet I like.  It’s not often I come across poetry that speaks to me, but hers does – Mary Oliver.  Here’s an example:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press

© Mary Oliver

I need to read more stuff like this to remember what’s important and not get bogged down in daily trivialities (such as the current tedium of work).

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Another day

I feel much better today than I did yesterday.  It’s funny how your mind can change your outlook.  Getting out of the house today probably helped.  I took the computer to a work IT guy to have a look and tell me what I need to get it, or a new one, up and running again.  He looked inside and said the hard drive and power supply was good.  He said he’d try and find a motherboard.  He knows what he’s looking for.  I don’t.  It’s all very well to go to a website and choose different parts to rebuild a computer – if you know what the hell is the difference between one and another.  Anyway, he’s so very helpful.  He’s the one that helped me find my car.  I gave him a bottle of beer for his 2 minute look.  He was very happy as it was a new brand he’d wanted to try and hadn’t yet.

After stopping by his place I went to the weekly meetup of the local NaNoWriMo group.  It’s always interesting to see how others are doing and hearing about their different characters.  One of them has a whole range of different dragons in her head – there was even a discussion about the likely evolution of dragons – and she showed some drawings of some of her dragons.  I wish I could draw like that.  She quickly sketched a pegasus as well.  Amazing.  I really should drag a sketch book out.  I haven’t drawn or sketched anything for decades it seems.

I’m ahead of schedule in my novel writing.  The content is mostly very dull but I’m not re-reading it.  At the moment I’m still following my outline.  When I get to the part where my outline stops (which is not the end of the story), it will be interesting.  I wonder which will come first – the end of the outline or 50,000 words?

A full day at work this week.  I’ll be counting the days until the end of December when we get a couple of weeks off.  The weather is currently shit which is good for being indoors typing on a computer.

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The day so far

Bla bla.. depression and anger.. bla bla.. sit in the sun, read book… bla bla feel better.. bla bla.. reach 12,000 words for ‘novel’.. bla bla.. phone call, invite to dinner – nice bla bla oh, btw, T is here… bla bla oh great – the bitch who called my daughter a loser.. bla bla… stave off returning anger and depression.. bla bla… sit in sun, read book… bla bla.. feel better. Evil, superior, but silent “look who’s the loser now, bitch” laugh aimed at T – ready inside.  Bla.

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