Archive for January, 2014

A day off for Wellington anniversary day. I had a dream overnight that there was an earthquake and went online to check, but there didn’t appear to have been one during that time.

As It was a dull, cloudy day, I finally got around to sanding the walls in the spare room. I had started a while back and told myself I could do a bit each evening. Yeah right. Anyway, I did the whole thing, while also listening to some old CDs to decide which to keep and which to give away.

Covered in dust, I finished the job and then started filling holes, particularly one that had previously just been wallpapered over without filling.

That done, I was about to listen to another CD when I felt and heard a ‘jagged’ rumble and thought ‘oh no, this seems like it’ll be big’. I held onto the door frame and sure enough it was a big one. I let out a yelp of fear – it was the first time I had ever felt scared during an earthquake. It was like someone picked up the whole house and shook it. I could hear the “rattling” of wind chimes which were hung up against the sunroom window. The iron fell off the ironing board (set up in the spare room).

When it stopped, it felt like I was still shaking. I gingerly went around the house checking for damage. The French doors were still rattling quietly. A few pictures were askew, a stone bottle and a wooden goblet had fallen sideways, and the computer monitor had moved about three inches. Other than that no apparent damage. I was surprised that glasses in a cabinet were fine and that a tall, narrow shelf of DVDs was still intact.

I went online to discover it had been a “strong” 6.3 magnitude earthquake, 65 km deep, 10 km north of Castlepoint, not far from where my brother lives. This was later changed to a 6.2 “severe” earthquake, 50 km deep, 15 km to the east of Eketahuna (and even later reduced to 33 km deep).

A few texts and phone calls were exchanged. Bro’s place was fine, just a couple of books off the shelf.

It was not a pleasant experience. I don’t want it to happen again. We’ve since had a few aftershocks, one a jolt in the middle of the night, which woke me, or perhaps I was awake already because of the strong winds.

This morning, still strong winds and my bench seat outside had fallen over. On the way to work I saw an overturned twisted trampoline on the side of the road, and a small slip (where they had removed trees and I predicted there’d be problems).

The wind has eased off, but I keep feeling like there are a few tremors still. Now the rain has started. Actually, I was amazed the house painter guy turned up this morning to water-blast the house! Good on him.


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Started off well.  I pruned back plants against the house to make easier access for house painter.

Then took hem up of a top I bought (too long to wear with a skirt) and one of the pair of black pants.  The other pair is still soaking in white vinegar to try and get rid of the smell.  I shouldn’t have bought them but I couldn’t be bothered looking round for another pair.  Serve me right.

Converted some more tapes to mp3.

Finished a library book which is due back tomorrow.

Feeling tired and lethargic.  Slightly headachey.  Might go outside now the heat’s off (summer at last), to dig up a few weeds.

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This morning’s mission was to go into town to buy various items as well as drop off some old records, etc.  I wasn’t looking forward to it.

Somehow I’d found a website that said the Red Cross was open on Saturday morning and intended to go there.  This morning, I double-checked the Palmerston North one, and no, they’re not open on the weekend or outside of my work hours – completely useless.  Not knowing where else to drop stuff off, I decided on the Hospice shop (who can be very fussy).

Before heading out I went through some sheet music in the piano stool (now a coffee table).  I put a large pile in a plastic bag to add to the records and a couple of trays and box of placemats.  I also went through some 45 rpms and added most of them to the bag of records.

Armed with list, I headed out – first to a cheap Asian store for a bag.  I had tried all the more expensive bag places around town for a carry-on bag which would fit my netbook for the Melbourne conference, and not found anything.  Parked outside the shop, went in, spotted one I liked, and bought it.  First success!

Next stop the Plaza – a place I hate.  First looked in Farmers for large pillowcases, as I’d just got a large pillow which doesn’t fit any existing pillowcases.  Unfortunately, they weren’t “standard” and “large”, but had measurements, which I’d neglected to check.

Onto a shoe store where H had bought some super-light, super-comfy shoes.  I wanted some for walking around Melbourne rather than in my heels.  Nice shop assistant helped me find the right brand and I tried a couple of pairs.  They didn’t seem so comfy, but I bought a pair which looked nice.  Shop assistant mentioned the sale – 20% off a second pair, eg sandals.  I looked over at the sandals and spotted a style I go for.  Tried on the display one and it fitted perfectly and was comfy.  In a fit of madness I bought both – $220 worth.

Next stop K-Mart for black pants.  Looked around for tops as well, but nothing I liked.  Tried on two pairs of pants – one pair was nice, the other awful.  Bought the nice pair.

Heading out I passed another shoe store and spotted the shoes that H had bought.  I picked it up and it was really really light.  These were the ones H had.  Same brand, slightly different style.  Shop assistant said to try it.  I was standing there thinking I was mad, having just spent so much on shoes.  However, I tried it on, and omg!, they were so comfortable!  Thankfully on sale (at $100).  Completely off my head, I bought them as well.  Wow.  I wondered what was wrong with me – me who had previously hesitated at buying any pair of shoes at $99.  I briefly considered taking the other pair back to the other shop, but figured they would be good for work anyway.

Having finished in the Plaza, headed down Rangitikei Street via Guthrie Bowron (for wallpaper paste) and Mitre 10 (filler) and LightingPlus (new lampshade for dining area).  Disappointed in the very limited range of lampshades but ended up buying one which was the same as our one in the lounge.  Boring but serviceable.

Continued to the Hospice shop.  Chap in there accepted the trays and placemats but said he’d look at my records and sheet music.  When I complained I didn’t know where to take stuff because Red Cross was never open at convenient times, he accepted both.  I said the records were in excellent condition anyway.  If they didn’t want them, they were welcome to take them to Red Cross, who appear to accept any old crap, judging by their book/record sales.   Success!  More junk gone.

Next stop Ezi-buy to look at their dresses and/or skirts.  Disappointing.  I did try on a pair of black pants (another pair would be good) and they fitted nicely.  However, they stank of that chemical shit.  They would need a few washes to get rid of it.  Shop assistant reckoned she couldn’t smell it.  I bought them anyway.

I was about to continue to the fruit and vege shop, etc for food items, when I made a detour to Warehouse to look at dresses.  I had met two people the previous night who were wearing rather nice dresses they said they got from the Warehouse.   I couldn’t find the same style they had been wearing but tried on two others.  One was dreadful.  One was ‘maybe’.  I didn’t feel that comfortable in the ‘maybe’, so didn’t buy.

Fruit and veges, then eggs and meat, and I got home at last, starving.  Three hours of madness and $538 poorer.

House painter man will start water blasting on Tuesday.  Washing machine repair man will be back on Tuesday with the parts to fix dud machine.  In the meantime, I will have to hand wash my work clothes.  Apparently house painter man also does wallpapering.  I’m seriously considering getting him to do it, as I listened to the complicated instructions given by the Guthrie Bowrie woman on using the paste.  I hate wallpapering (and that was with ready-pasted).

Anyone would think I’d just won Lotto, the way I’m spending it at the moment.  If only.

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It’s amazing how little things can make you feel grumpy.

I sent the friend a recording of her mother. Heard nothing back, not even an acknowledgement of receipt. Rude, I call it. Ok, so she might not have wanted it or might have had it already, but just an acknowledgement would be nice. It’s like when I sent nice photos of someone to them, or helped out someone with some genealogical research and got no response. Why do I even bother thinking of others? Fuck ‘em.

I mentioned shopping for clothes the other day. One person at work said “Try to get something that’s not black”. Then today I wore a new top with red in it and I mentioned that I wasn’t sure about it. Another person at work assumed it was because it had colour, and I said “no the style”. Anyone would think I wear black all the time. I wear blues a lot because I HATE pink, white, and pastels. Mostly the only clothing I can usually get is plain blue, black and purple. Anything colourful is usually a ghastly mix with pink or yellow in it, or a combination of orange and green, or some horrendous flowery pattern. I also own red tops and have worn them but these people obviously forgot about them. Fuck ‘em.

I sent a quick text to one of the house painters yesterday morning to say go ahead. I didn’t have time to call. Heard nothing back yet. I will call him after work. It’s the same as when I wanted a builder to fix my bathroom. Told him to go ahead and never heard from him again. Fuck ‘em.

On a different note, I was just thinking, as I make my way through another day of tedious sameness (every day I do the same boring things), of someone I heard recently saying that they loved their work, that they didn’t think of it as a job, but as a hobby. I envy them, and yet I have no idea (and never have) of what I might do for a job that I would actually enjoy. This obviously isn’t it. In any case, I can’t concentrate on my work, as I plan ahead to next month for my trips to Melbourne and the South Island.

Well, back to boredom (and the cougher’s back – oh joy).

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I didn’t get a lot done over the weekend, but I suppose every little bit helps.  I went through the top cupboards in the kitchen and took out loads of jars, giving some of them to a friend who makes jams.  Also put aside several items to give away or sell.

I’d mentioned sorting through vinyl records.  I put aside several to give away (but where?).  Some I have kept back for a possible garage sale – they’re more popular artists and the records are in excellent condition.  I once gave a colleague one of my records and he said it looked brand new.

A couple of years(?) ago I bought a small turntable stereo with the ability to record onto usb.  I had never done anything about doing that, but thought the weekend was a perfect time to try it out as I sorted through records.  I recorded parts of two records (British comedy and Victor Borge) so that there were two more records I could get rid of.  Ideally I want all records to be in the same place, but there are many to get rid of still.  There are some I can’t bear to part with because of the related memories growing up.

I then remembered some audio tapes which had been made of the girls when they were small.  I recorded those onto usb too and had a tear or two listening to the voices of the girls at ages between 6 weeks and 4 years.  I also had a recording of a friend’s mother speaking on national radio, so recorded that and sent a copy to the friend.  Also on tape, the recording of a phone call made to me by a radio station on my 25th birthday, organised by my then husband.  I can tell by my tone of voice (even though I can clearly remember) that I was not pleased with being surprised by the call and joked with on air.  However, H had happened to hear the recording on the tape and wanted it kept.

Took Jasmine to the vet for a vaccination, so she can go to a cattery next month.  She needs dental work.  She hated the car ride and was a little disgruntled with me.

I managed to mow the lawn.

The washing machine broke down.   I only bought it three months ago.

Some board games were picked up – more junk gone – hurrah!

I found homes for surplus garden tools and a cake mixer – another hurrah.

Two painters came round to give me a quote on painting the house.  One of them was a nice chap, straightforward.  The other kept talking and talking – exhausting listening to him.  One has given me a quote already – cheaper than I expected (sigh of relief).

So, I suppose it wasn’t a bad weekend, but it just felt like I achieved little.

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I’m currently sitting in the office, freezing. It’s supposed to be summer but it’s just 14 deg C. I don’t feel motivated to do much at work. I’m going through the motions but am bored. I’d rather be continuing my decluttering at home, which is saying a lot. I’ve been thinking, that while at home for two weeks, I could see what needed doing and could do it. Once back at work, however, you see something that needs doing, but you can’t do it because you have to go to work, so you forget about it. Then I look around when I feel the need to declutter and don’t know where to start. The flow is broken. The mind is interrupted.

However, I’m trying to focus the mind on what needs doing while still at work, and this is rather distracting. Perhaps I should make a list while I think of it.

Yesterday after work, I made a start on one wall in one room. Currently it has a bookshelf and a “telephone table” which my mother made. They were both covered in books and papers. I went through the bookshelf and moved some dictionaries to another shelf in my room (now there’s space). I threw out one book which was falling apart, and put aside about four to give away. I’ve donated two to the library. I went through some papers and recycled some. I can’t do anything with H’s stuff – she has to look through them. I also went through a jar of paintbrushes and threw out some which were no good. I put the others in with an existing box of paintbrushes (I still aim to get back into watercolour painting at some stage!).  Anyway, there is now a little less clutter in that area, but there’s still quite a bit to do. The “telephone table” has a cupboard for long playing records. Part of my parents’ collection is in there. I need to sort through those and sort through my own records beneath the partially broken stereo (which needs to be biffed) and put them together.

Next, in the same room, a need to go through the junk on the computer desk.

During the break, I sorted through one of my wardrobes. I have a collection of stuff which I had gathered with the intention of making a dolls’ house. I’d always wanted one (I love miniature things) and have some nice wooden furniture and little knick-knacks. I think I might have to sell them and recycle bits. It’s been a long time and I doubt I’ll ever have a properly furnished dolls’ house. It’s stuff like that which is hard to part with, that make some decluttering difficult.

Well, I suppose I’d better get back to work. The sun has appeared, but it’s still cold.

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My last post was my final free week-day.  Today it’s the final day – back to a year of work tomorrow.  The weather’s crap (it’s currently pouring with rain and has been for hours) so it doesn’t look like I’ll be missing anything.  It would be typical if the weather suddenly turned hot and sunny while I’m at work.

I finally finished painting the ceiling as mentioned and yesterday stripping the wallpaper.  I then started sanding the walls yesterday.   It’s a lot quicker than stripping so that shouldn’t take too long.  Then the task of wallpapering.  I haven’t wallpapered in 20-odd years and then it was ready-pasted so this should be fun.  First I have to buy some size and paste.  Not sure why I didn’t buy any at the time of purchasing the wallpaper, but I tend to do odd things like that – everything’s unfinished.

I don’t think there’s much in this house that doesn’t need fixing or replacing.  The curtain rail in the room where I will be wallpapering, was bent in places so that parts of the curtain kept falling off the track.  Yesterday I got the track down and beat it into submission.  I hope it works.  It seems ok, but I won’t know for sure until I put the curtains back up, but there’s no point doing that until I’ve finished papering.  Then I noticed that part of the window sill needs sanding and repainting.  If I do that, then I have to repaint all the sills and doors to match.  A certain swear word entered my mind…

Also finished yesterday was the game L.A. Noire.  The main missions at least.  I haven’t finished doing street crimes or finding all the different cars or even started finding film reels.  Good game.  I enjoyed it.  Some think it was boring compared to GTAV but they’re completely different games.  The idea of L.A. Noire was to find evidence and question suspects, not go round destroying everything and killing everyone.   I said it was set in 1950s LA in my last post (since amended) but only because the guy who told me about it had told me that.  While I was playing I kept thinking that the cars were not 1950s and the music didn’t reflect the period either.  (Nor were the fashions for that matter.)  Nope, set in 1947 to be exact and some of the cars dated from the 30’s.  The characters look exactly like their voice actors.  They caught the facial expressions really well.  I went on imdb and saw that females  over 45 gave it (and GTA5) 5/10, while males over 45 gave them both 8/10.  I’m with the males.  I’m not a typical female, evidently.  I’m actually surprised there were other females over 45 playing but there were just 18 and 23 of them respectively, as compared with a few hundred or thousand of other age groups/genders.

More sanding today, I think, and mentally preparing for work…  Never mind.  In less than four weeks I’ll be off to Melbourne for a conference.  Something to look forward to.  One must have something to look forward to when counting the hours at work.

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