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Archive for the ‘Melancholy’ Category

So it’s been nearly two weeks since my last entry – 2017 is flying by so quickly already. Hot cross buns are in the supermarkets. Back to school advertisements appeared from the 1st January.  Retailers seem to contribute to the sensation that the year is flying.  Ignore them, I say.

Just as I have decided to ignore Facebook.  More often than not, I would get annoyed by Facebook – for several reasons.  Over the years I’ve searched for alternatives but found none.  Google Plus wasn’t a valid one, I thought. Folkdirect seems a good basic alternative but no-one will switch.  Everyone is too glued to Facebook because their friends, family and other connections are there.

Anyway, the reasons:

I found that I was scrolling past a lot of updates because I found them boring, stupid, badly spelled or grammatically incorrect, or were photos of strangers. Why the hell should I see photos of a friend’s friend?  Most of the posts were totally irrelevant.  If I counted just the posts from friends I wanted to see it made up less than 10% of the “feed”, and even then I didn’t see all friends’ posts because Facebook decided I didn’t need to see them;

I loathed the “suggested posts”.  I could make them disappear with an app on my computer, but sadly not on the mobile and they pissed me off more than I can say.  At one point I wanted to throw my phone with force, I found myself so irritated.

Lurkers – the vast majority of my friends never posted anything, never commented, never liked anything – I forgot they were on Facebook.  What was the point of them being on Facebook?  To spy on others’ lives while offering nothing themselves?  It’s all take and no give.  Why should I share what I’m doing when they share nothing at all about themselves?  What I should have done, in retrospect, was just unfriend them.  I get nothing out of it, so why should they?  I’ve heard one say, as an excuse, that they didn’t know what to put up.  Well, how about what you’re doing?  That trip you went on? An opinion about something? Something that you read about in your friends’ feeds every day and never comment on.  I don’t know – I just find it a bit rude – like writing to someone and never hearing back.

The absolute waste of time.  I spent way too much time checking facebook for updates or possible comments or likes on something I posted.  If I got none, I felt disappointed and even rejected.  Not great for the ego when you thought something was worthy of posting.  But perhaps they didn’t see it?  I’ve had friends comment that they didn’t.  Thanks, Facebook.  Also, there were numerous times I went online for something specific but would check Facebook first and forget completely what I was going to do.  Not good.

Facebook can actually contribute to feelings of loneliness and negativity.

My family don’t actually use it much if at all.  Cousins, brother, and daughters rarely comment or post anything on Facebook.  I was getting nothing from them – the people I most want to keep in touch with.  Viber and email are the ways I keep in touch with bro and daughters.  I barely know my cousins anyway.

So there you go.  I’ve ditched it once and for all.  Already, after about one day, I feel more at peace and less irritated.  It’s a shame no-one will switch to folkdirect.  I’ll be there on my own.  There’s always instagram and twitter, but I don’t get the same sense of connection with twitter. Everyone tweets something but few actually have a conversation.

I’m also trying to ditch gmail accounts, which is harder.  I would have to let so many different organisations know.  I hate how Facebook and Google are so insidious.  They’re everywhere.  You can hardly do anything on the internet without having to link to them, and they follow your every movement for advertisers.  Google search has become really bad, coming up with totally irrelevant results.  They’re a joke.

Where there are alternatives, I will use them.

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Happy New Year.  It seems that a lot of people thought 2016 was horrible or expressed hatred for the year.  How can you hate a year?  It’s just a period of time.  I don’t think I’ve ever expressed a feeling of being glad to see the back of a year.  Time is precious. During any year you have good and bad.  Treasure those memories.  We’re still alive and have more to live.  Don’t take it for granted.

Anyway, I said that I would write about my trip.  I haven’t felt motivated, I suppose, because I kept a diary while overseas so felt like I’ve written about it, and also shared a lot of photos on Facebook.  I still don’t feel like writing about it all and uploading the photos again.  Perhaps in a few days.

So, I don’t have anything to say right now.  It’s a gloomy sort of day.  I guess I’m reflecting with sadness on past years and don’t really know what to do with myself today.  I got home about 2.30 am from C’s place and slept in until 10.25 am (after first being woken at about 6 am).  Since then I’ve mucked about, finally updating my genealogy blog at least.  I had thought about going out today but the afternoon is nearing the end and the weather isn’t inviting.  Tomorrow perhaps, although I’ve got to go and buy groceries yet again.

Sorry, a blog entry about nothing.  I’ll write later perhaps.  I’ll end here with my favourite photo of my mother (far more attractive than me), who died 38 years ago tomorrow.  She would have been 92, but she always said she didn’t want to grow old. (She got her wish. She never did. Be careful what you wish for.)

anne

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I will

I will write about my trip eventually.  At the moment I just can’t be bothered.  I can only put it down to depression – I just don’t want to do anything.  I have no energy, nothing seems to interest me, nothing seems to make me laugh, I just get annoyed at things (especially on Facebook).

I’ve only just recovered from bronchitis which I picked up thanks to sleeping in a mouldy hotel room in Yangon.  (Do not stay at the “East” hotel.)  So the constant coughing and wheezing hasn’t helped.  I was on antibiotics for a week (had to visit a doctor in Singapore) and antihistamines.  They seem to have worked.

Now I have a colonoscopy to prepare for this week.  I only found out last week that it was all on – very quick, but I can’t think of anything else.  I dread the preparation – drinking lots of revolting “preps” to empty the bowels and then the procedure itself.  It’s just hanging over me, so it feels like the whole of this week is a write-off.

So much for getting into any “Christmas spirit”.  It’s just a day of enforced “happiness”, eating, drinking, and maybe a gift or two.  It was easy to spend Xmas at my brother’s – he didn’t celebrate other than to have good food and alcohol – that’s all you need.  It helped being in the middle of nowhere too so you weren’t bothered by noisy neighbours or kids with toys.  I shall spend Xmas at C’s and it will be nice in their spacious house, but it’s still just an artificial day of meaninglessness.  The period between Xmas and New Year is also one of loneliness and heartache.  My parents died during this period so I just think of them and feel sad every year, especially if I’m on my own.

Meh, sounds like a dose of self-pity.  I need something to look forward to…

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I can safely say I’m sick of cold, wet weather.  Sunshine has been sporadic for the past month or so.  Apparently, so far, it’s been the coldest, wettest spring in Melbourne for several years.  Great.  I shouldn’t complain – it would be the same or worse in the Manawatu.

I am still jobless, sadly.  I have applied for a few jobs but haven’t been able to get an interview as the other candidates were of a “high calibre”.  Great.  I am disappointed in the agency I’m signed up with.  I’ve had two phone calls from them in three months.  I called back immediately after missing one of the calls but by the time I managed to contact them, the position had gone.  Thanks.  Not impressed.  The woman I had before was brilliant.  This guy doesn’t sound like he gives a shit.  I saw a job advertised this morning.  It was for a one year contract at the same place I had an interview at late last year.  I figured I should apply for it, after fiddling with my CV again, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t do it.  The interview had been one of the most humiliating experiences of my life: – a panel of about five people seated around me, unsmiling and unfriendly.  I stuttered, spilt the glass of water, and seemingly didn’t answer their odd questions to their satisfaction.  Just to get to the interview was a one hour tram ride from the CBD.  I can’t go through that experience again.  I willed myself to apply, but then just cried.  I can’t do it.

Some days I’m really depressed about the situation.  Other days I try to think positively and fill the day with interests.  I’ve done a couple of (free) courses online, the latest one being a four-week photography one through RMIT, after a six-week genealogy one through the University of Tasmania.  I am doing weekly blog entries about genealogy.  I have just written another one which has taken most of the day.  When it’s fine (which it certainly isn’t today), I go for walks and take my camera with me.  In the evenings I watch one of many excellent TV series and movies on SBS On Demand.

A trip is planned with the girls in November.  C wanted to celebrate her 30th birthday overseas, so we are going to Thailand, Myanmar, and Singapore.  If I applied for a job, or got given a temporary contract, I would have to say I can’t work for about three weeks in November/December.  Perhaps I’m better off being unemployed until then, although that’s a long time to be without a job.  The trip is something to look forward to in any case.  I feel in need of a holiday.  It gets very lonely being at home all day every day (even with the company of a cat).

I’m rather disappointed in the lack of communication from some friends.  Perhaps they are embarrassed for me being out of work, after my “great move to better things”.  I don’t want their pity.  Some positivity would be good, but I get nothing at all.  Disappointing.  When I don’t get responses to emails or messages, I feel there’s no point trying again.  Isn’t it rude not to respond?  I don’t get it.  I just don’t understand people.  I found an old email as I was emptying an account before closing it.  I guess I kept the email because it reminded me of the duplicity of some people who call themselves “friends”.  In the email she called me a bitch (among other things).  She said as a friend she could say such things.  Yeah right.  With friends like that, who needs enemies.  She’d said some nasty things about me to others as well, so it’s no loss.  Needless to say, she hasn’t been a friend since.  It just made me aware, after reading it again, that I just don’t understand why some people behave as they do.  What did I do?  I’m totally unaware of whatever they think I’ve done.  I grew up preferring animals to people.  Still do, for that matter.

I’ll continue walking my path alone.

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Kalang park, Blackburn

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I led a pretty spartan existence for the first week or two.  I made up the furniture from IKEA : a desk, drawers, and bedside drawers.  I needed help with the couch and bed.  The washing machine and fridge were delivered.  The fridge was a smidgen too tall to fit under the kitchen cupboards, but I’d got the cheapest fridge not the smallest (and it was still smaller than the one I used to have).  Electricity was connected ok.  Gas supposedly, although there was no hot water.  Had to get instructions on re-igniting the pilot light, then all ok.  Telstra a couple of weeks later.  Suffice to say they’re a nightmare to try and contact.

I had no TV to watch or music to listen to (the iPod, typically, had run out of battery life – it always does even when I don’t use it).  I bought myself a cheap transistor just for some noise, and joined the local library to be able to read something.  I did, belatedly, remember that I had an ebook reader and read about four old books on it before realising the battery was running flat and hence the visit to the library.  Eventually a guy had to come round to get broadband working, then I could use the tablet to watch SBS TV programmes on demand, including series 3 of The Bridge.  The rest of the time I played a couple of games on the tablet and went for walks to nearby parks.  I couldn’t buy much as I was limited to what I could carry (which wasn’t much if you added just one heavy item like cat litter).

It was a lonely time, but I just needed to go for a walk to re-confirm that I was in Australia: the birds, the gum trees, the heat, then I was happy.  I have always loved Australia from childhood on the family visits to Sydney and Melbourne.  My love for Australia does not mean I dislike New Zealand, but it was always a dream to live here.

Without my stuff around me it still didn’t seem real.  I had spent so much time and effort decluttering and preparing for this move (for at least two years), that I had not been indulging in my usual interests much.  And without the stuff around me, I was at a loss as to what to do much of the time.

However, my belongings were delivered and the place started looking more civilised and less empty.  I am still unpacking boxes.  I have about three boxes of stuff I don’t know what to do with (i.e. where to put the contents); about five of photo albums (no idea where to put them) and two boxes of my parents’ old crockery and antiques (again, where to put them).  I’d moved from a three-bedroomed house with sunroom, to a two-bedroomed unit.  Cupboards were even fewer here than there.  I will have to invest in an IKEA cupboard or some set of cane drawers or something to put family archives in.  I will need to start digitising the stuff or at least better organise it.

I have just managed to empty about another three boxes.  As I did so, I took a critical look at everything (with space at a premium) and have already put aside a bag of clothing/linen I don’t want and thrown out a few things.

There is a space in the kitchen, presumably where a table and chairs would go, although it’s a dark corner, which is currently chock full of flattened boxes and newspaper.  Once that’s gone, I will have room for said cupboard and/or drawers.  It will,  however, take me some time to get rid of it all, as recycling is only collected every second week and the bin is half the size of the one I used to have.  C and W are looking to buy a house so I can save the better boxes for them and put them in the garage.  I’m reluctant to put stuff in the garage as that’s where spiders tend to reside (and they’re not so harmless here).  I haven’t yet seen any (except for a jumping spider) but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.

My stuff came on a Thursday, and I had gone into the CBD to see about a casual job starting the following Monday.  I haven’t, therefore, had much time to deal with all the boxes, but I am finally making headway.  I will need at least those drawers though.  The space has to be cleared if I want to get a single bed in the room.

Anyway, the job is good.  I’m enjoying it and the people are friendly and welcoming.  At lunch I can go to the Treasury gardens or Fitzroy gardens and enjoy the sunshine.  Commuting there is as easy as could be.  A six-minute walk to the train station, a 20-25 minute journey to the CBD, then come out of the station and cross the road.  I am very lucky.  Others who work there have commuting times of between one and two hours.  Wow.  Of course they probably own homes and homes are cheaper the further out you go.

Well, I think I’ve rambled enough.  Oh, forgot to mention the TV.  I was happy to see it delivered and got it out to set up.  Couldn’t find the aerial cable, which really pissed me off as I was keen to see The Bridge on the bigger screen.  I had to go and buy one, but the TV still couldn’t find any channels.  Frustration.  I had no idea who to call, then remembered I had a local rag, picked up from the library, which had trade advertisements.  Rang up a TV/aerial chap and he came round just yesterday.  Who knew that TVs are regional like DVD players?  I just assumed that TVs could be transported anywhere and work, but nope, my TV was only good for New Zealand.  If I’d known that I would’ve made sure to buy a multiregional one when purchasing it, as it’s not that old.  Anyway, the guy had a “set top box” which could find the channels and transfer them to the TV.  A bit of a complex way of watching TV (press this button on that remote, and this button on the other, etc) but at least I finally could.  I had at least been able to watch DVDs during the working week (including “Jeeves and Wooster” and “Snatch”).

And, finally, I was able to set up the computer with the help of a purchased Wifi adapter.  The modem is in the lounge and I didn’t want the computer there so had to get this adapter (computer wasn’t Wifi-compatibile).  Works like a dream.  I had to ask an old mate about what to do.  I had envisaged having to get a very long cord to connect the computer, or having to move the bloody thing into the lounge.  Now all sweet.

On that note, I’ll end here.

 

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So, today’s the day I have to get everything I’m not taking out of the house.  I’ve been through all kitchen cupboards and am about to head to a charity shop to get rid of excess pans, plastic, crockery, etc.

Yesterday morning I headed down to Tawa with Jasmine to meet the pet exporter.  She miaowed all the way.  Either the pheromone stuff didn’t work or it made her only slightly calmer.  Once there I asked if they gave her something to calm her.  During my initial inquiry I was told that yes they would give her Rescue Remedy.  The guy I met said he didn’t have any.  I was disappointed.  The main reason I chose this company was that she assured me they’d give her that to calm her for the trip.  The guy was going straight to the airport, so the poor girl would be stressed all the way.  I cried as I drove away.  I felt so cruel.  She didn’t know what was happening.

When I got to town I got a message that the flight was delayed three-and-a-half hours.  Poor Jasmine.  The flight would arrive 10.30 pm Melbourne time and C said that it took another hour and a half to process her, which meant that C wouldn’t get home until close to 1 am (3 am NZ time).  I was pissed off, but there was nothing I could do.  I wanted to cry again for Jasmine, but had an appointment with the solicitor.  Quick meeting to sign papers and see the final balance I’d receive.  Very easy money for the real estate agents for one week’s work.  I felt ripped off, but again, not much I could do about that.  I like how they quote a percentage for the sale but don’t really mention that it was plus GST.  Wankers.  Felt even less inclined to get rid of things like the garden hose or the metal shelving in the laundry.

I got back home and vacuumed the car, then, still feeling grumpy, headed out to dinner with friends.  They’re new parents in their 40s so everything revolves around the kid, now two years old.  I’m not a great fan of kids, even though I had two of my own (and they turned out beautifully, so don’t think I didn’t love them).  A pleasant enough evening when able to chat above the kid’s attention-seeking.  I still felt a little stressed, so maybe wasn’t as caring as I might have been.  (Who am I kidding?  I try to avoid other people’s young children where possible.)

Once finally home, I tried to watch TV, but missed Jasmine and went to bed.  I woke about 2am and just cried for her.

This morning C sent photos of her at her apartment.  She seemed ok.  Huge relief.

Right, get rid of this junk and this will probably be the last time I update this blog for a while.

Tomorrow the movers come, then I’ll head into town where I’ll be dropped off at an ex-colleague’s place to stay overnight and she will kindly drive me to the airport on Friday.  It’s actually happening, after so long.  I wonder what it will be like.

Thanks for reading.

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As you can tell from the previous post, I’ve been feeling rather tired and stressed lately.  Also, being alone all day every day is very isolating – with no-one to bounce ideas, problems, worries, thoughts off.

Waiting for items to sell, or not, waiting for items to be picked up, waiting for relevant businesses to get back to me… while everyone continues their usual lives in the lead-up to Christmas.  Weird to think of that.  If I was at work as usual, I’d be counting the days until work finished, organising Christmas at bro’s, going to Christmas lunches and drinks, thinking about putting a tree up or decorating.  Instead the house is in chaos.  Stuff that’s not in boxes, strewn here and there, waiting….

Hard to believe that in 10 days I won’t be here and everything around me will be gone.  And for others it probably feels like I already have.  Out of sight, out of mind.  When I do retire, I’ll have to make sure I get involved in clubs/groups so I don’t feel so isolated.  A friend whose sisters are in Melbourne said they reckon the men there are more easy-going and friendly.   Hey, I might even meet someone.  I certainly haven’t done in 25 years.  Any men I’ve met were married/partnered or gay, and the rest were just not appealing.  But I won’t count on it.  I resigned myself to living alone for the rest of my life about 10 years ago, when I gave up looking.

This is not supposed to be (another?) self-pitying post.  Just stating feelings.  I need somewhere to offload, and this is it, as always intended.

Hopefully, a person will arrive shortly to pick up an item, after which I can go to the vet’s to do the paperwork.  What to do with other items that no-one wants – I have no idea.  They’re too big to put in the rubbish or recycling.  Dump them at a charity?  It’s not as if they’re broken or useless, just that people these days seem to want everything new.  Sigh.  Onward.

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