Archive for April, 2015

Heading out to brunch in town this morning.  It’s supposed to be a sunny warm day but it’s currently 4deg C.  There’s blue sky out there at least.

This is my last weekend before my brief trip to Melbourne.  I seem to procrastinate a lot.  I forgot completely to shop for more clothing during the week (there’s only Thursday to do so, realistically).  I did top up my cellphone.  I’m going to have to rethink my carry-on  bag, as I’m wanting to take my DSLR – so will have to fit shit in the camera bag instead, I think.

Yesterday was a day of washing.  I didn’t get round to the vacuuming.  I did knit another poppy (to add to two I did during the week) for the work ANZAC display and made a couple of paper ones.  Vacuuming later today, methinks.  Also on the to-do list another flea treatment for Jasmine before she goes into the cattery.

It gets dark shortly after I return from work.  Soon the sun will set while I’m still sitting at my work desk, then the “long dark” begins in earnest.  I hate winter.

Already it seems like I’m drawing curtains all the time and travelling back and forth to work within about 6 hours.  I have limited music in my car (tape deck and I’ve thrown away most tapes) so I come up with stupid games for myself when driving.  Does anyone else do that?  I count different coloured cars coming my way, or the types of cars, or the make.  Last week it was mentally describing a road as I drove it:  red-shed corner; cabbage-tree straight; fishbowl straight (named after the solitary exposed house); toi-toi or slow van straight (named after the slow van I sometimes follow which turns off into their property there); pine-tree bends; cowshed bend (near cowshit crossing); and blind exit dip…  Small minds, easily amused.

I’m nearly finished with watching “The Bridge” series 2.  Excellent series.  Saga is so funny.  I’m going to miss them when I do finish the series.

I’d better do some “more” tidying up.


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Wonderfully short week at work.  Next week will be a full five-day week – might need dark chocolate in the afternoons.

Lucky that Facebook reminded me this morning that it was H’s birthday today.  I knew yesterday but this morning had forgotten.  Uploaded photos and posted message and pic on her page.  Would have liked to have sent her something, but I’ll see her soon.

Two weekends before I head to Melbourne for a too-short break.  Had to sort things out in my head.  I wrote down a schedule of when I had to be where when – i.e. dropping off Jasmine at the cattery, when check-in times were for the various airports, etc.  Couldn’t really call it an itinerary.  The flight back is without food, so will have to have a huge breakfast. Made a list for groceries.  Then started a list of what to take.  Changeable weather in Melbourne so hard to plan.

Finally ordered some duty free alcohol online, using the work discount.  Got that done after thinking about it all week.  H wanted spiced rum and I got some nice NZ wine for C.

While online I paid for just three months of car registration due early May.  Fees are reducing in July so they suggested paying for a short time so you don’t waste money – nice of them.  Also paid electricity bill.

Next on the list, checking whether H’s duvet cover she wants would fit in my small suitcase.  Went to try it out and discovered some damage from the last trip.  I hadn’t noticed when unpacking in February.  I sewed what I could of the stitching that had come undone, but it’s now not strong enough for rough handling.  It’s had its last journey in the luggage hold – will only be good for carry-on now.  This meant a journey into town to buy a new suitcase.  I know I bought one recently but it’s a big one – unnecessary for a week.  I needed a medium-sized one.  I hadn’t planned on going to town today but now there was a reason other than groceries, I wanted to get it done now.

Dutifully headed into town, parked the car and went to the Plaza.  I had a brief look in K-Mart for hoodies while I was there but saw nothing.  Will have to go to Warehouse.  Went to Strandbags and they conveniently had a sale on.  Some of the luggage is still overpriced (over $200), but I found a nice purple one for $89, down from $200.  Job done, I came home again, via supermarket and fruit/vege place.  I had forgotten the list, typically.  I had also forgotten to go to Warehouse to look for hoodies.

I suppose I should do some weeding while it’s not raining, but I really can’t be bothered. AL had invited me up to her son’s 21st next weekend, but it’s my last weekend before Melbourne and I don’t want to use it driving up to Tauranga and back.

Finished “The History of Scotland”  It was ok, I suppose.  Tried watching “Hunger Games” on TV last night but thought it was rubbish.  I don’t understand why people rave about it.  I’ve never been interested in reading the books.

I’m procrastinating again.  Time to do stuff around the house.

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[I woke up a little grumpy.  I had been thinking about the annoying antics of the toddler at the house of last night’s dinner hosts.  They are late parents (in their forties) and let the kid rule their lives.  He was playing with his food and flinging it around the place, creating a sticky mess.  The carpet was revolting.  The parents did nothing – just let him do it.  (What happens when they take him to a restaurant or friend’s place?)  Later he pushed an opened packet of crackers onto the floor and walked over them.  Again they did nothing.  They were forced to listen to a CD of children’s songs all day because the kid wanted it.  If they put on a CD of their own music he removed it.  They’re making a rod for their own backs.  If they let him get away with such things now, it’ll be worse as he gets older – he’s not even two.  I wouldn’t have stood for it.]

Anyway, today is a work holiday so I left anything that needed doing in town until today, knowing for sure that everything would be open.  I also took advantage of people not being around in places they otherwise would be in the weekend.

A few months ago, while tidying up the garage, I found the box of my father’s ashes in an old trunk.  I had had no idea they were there.  My bro had left a lot of shit with me when he lived overseas and I still had some odd bits and pieces.  I thought my parents’ ashes had already been scattered.  When I mentioned it to bro and asked what to do with them, he just shrugged.  Obviously he didn’t want to think about it.  My subsequent plan was to empty the box into the local river.  I didn’t give a damn whether it was legal or not.  It seemed the right thing to do.

So this morning I headed down to a quiet spot by the river.  No-one was around.  It was calm and peaceful.  The thought of doing what I was about to do had put me off for a long time and got me uptight.  However, my father’s been dead for over 31 years and it was better this was done than the box hanging around in a damp garage for another few decades.  The weight of my father’s ashes hung on my shoulder and swung as I walked along the river’s edge out of sight of any visitors that might come.  It felt poetic.  The sound of the trickling water was gentle and “inviting”. I found a spot.

I emptied the ashes and thought that tears would run, but they didn’t.  It just felt right.  I would want the same done with my ashes – returning back to the earth through water.  I watched for a while as they spread…  I thought of the times we’d come there as a family with the dogs:  Sooty and Snowy and later Eve and Jackie.  We’d had good times there.  I took a few photos of the area for remembrance, then headed back to the car.  I hadn’t been to the spot for about two years.  I rarely visit the place now I don’t have a dog.  It was done.  It was a release.

From there, I headed over a back road towards Feilding to go to a shoe shop that had been recommended to me.  It was a lovely road.  I don’t ever remember being on it, certainly not driving it.  I stopped at a lookout over the valley and took photos.  Some tourists were there cooking on a camper stove.  They ignored me, as if I was invisible.  I laughed to myself – it had often been the story of my life, feeling invisible.

The shoe shop was good.  I bought a pair for a reasonable price.  I would need more as winter approached, now that I have a standing desk at work.  It’s so difficult to find flat, comfortable shoes.

Next stop was the centre of town.  I dropped off some old camera films to be processed to negatives, then headed to the Plaza to get some Aussie cash for my trip (I’d only just remembered and took advantage of passing by the bank).  Town was busy.  Was it always this busy on a week day?  The negatives would be ready in an hour so I had a cup of coffee with a savoury muffin and people-watched.  The free hour of car parking was almost  up so I headed over to a free car park on the other side of the town square.  I looked at movie DVDs in the library for a while and chose a couple of foreign movies.

Only one of the films had been developed to negatives.  The other two were black and white (which surprised me) and would need to be sent away, costing an unbelievable $30 each just for negatives.  I had no idea what was on them but agreed anyway – there might be some treasures of my old dog or something.

Next stop the supermarket for some fruit and veges, wine and beer – it was incredibly humid, and a beer would be welcome.  It’s been so unseasonably warm lately – the hottest March and April in my memory.  (I had put flannelette sheets on my bed when it got a bit cold and regretted it after a couple of nights when it turned warm again.)

The penultimate stop was Bunnings for a fly swat (my old one is disintegrating with every swipe) and to look at anti-fatigue mats for work.  Fly swats had sold out and the anti-fatigue mat looked very industrial and, frankly, ugly.  I should get work to pay for one anyway.

Last stop the local fruit and veg place which apparently sold locally made cheese from up the valley.  They didn’t have any.  I had been the fourth person to ask about the cheese.  Sold out because of some local media attention in the paper recently.  I bought some late season nectarines instead.

Everyone I spoke to today had been very friendly and chatty.  When I sat and had a cup of coffee, which I rarely do, it felt like I was on holiday and I enjoyed the time out.  I really should get out and about when I have time alone at home, instead of moping and getting grumpy.

Oh, before I go, I had to share a couple of photos of Jasmine watching a TV programme “The secret life of cats”.  I didn’t think she would watch it but she did, for quite some time.

apr06 007

apr06 008Back to work tomorrow but a nice short week.

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I’ve had a lazy Easter, not really knowing what to do with my time alone.  I seem to have spent the whole time playing Sims 2, when I wasn’t mowing the lawn or washing or some other tedious, routine thing.  I did get invited to dinner last night, and again tonight (two different invitations) which is nice.

I’ve had a gutsful of Facebook.  I find I get irritated and bored.  Some friends “like” inane shit, or stuff with grammatical errors in it (which I can’t stand – makes me want to scream); or they post thousands of pictures of themselves, or some pointless religious saying, or want you to “share” a meaningless statement; or boast about some crap they’ve been doing lately, or something that makes me cringe.  I’ve had enough.  I can’t be fucked.  I need a holiday from it.

You’d think a few days off would make me happier, but it doesn’t matter how much time I have off work, I still don’t ‘want to go back.  That’s saying something.  I realise I’m quite unhappy.

Time to make a few changes, if at all possible.  Sigh.

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WOMAD already seems a distant memory.

Nothing much has happened since then. The local festival of cultures took place the following weekend. As there was (again) no schedule I took pot luck and ended up at the start of it with half an hour of boring speeches, some Irish dancing and a brass band. There was some nice food on offer though.

While waiting for the speeches to end, I popped into the library nearby. Two days beforehand I had seen that the DVD set of series one of “The Bridge” was showing as available. When I went in it wasn’t there, so it seemed that someone had beaten me to it. The library staff member put a reserve on it for me. The following day I received a text message to say that it was ready to pick up. I figured the other copy of the set must have come in in the meantime. I went in to collect but they couldn’t find it. So it was, that on the Saturday I went into the library for the third time as their catalogue now showed both copies of the DVD set as “available”. No. They weren’t. I complained to them that their catalogue was misleading and unhelpful. The woman at the counter agreed but evidently nothing was done as two days later the status was still at “available” and my reserve had not been triggered. I was not impressed, to say the least.

Work colleague said he had it, so lent it to me. I have one episode left to watch. A very good series. I won’t bother searching for series two at the library. Colleague has that as well.

Last weekend I did little other than to go to a friend’s 50th celebrations at a bar and restaurant on Saturday, then brunch on Sunday. It was very pleasant, despite the sometimes poor service. Other than that I tracked down the distant relative who was killed at Gallipoli (one day before they evacuated, so sad). While browsing a WWI site I found another distant relative who had been killed in the Somme. Both were cousins of great-grandparents, one on my mother’s side (British forces) and the other on my father’s side (Australian forces). Fascinating stuff. Who knows what other distant relatives died in the war. You can find possible ones on everymanremembered.org, a lovely website of commemoration.

This weekend is Easter. I have nothing planned and am going nowhere. I might delve some more into the family history.

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