200/2021


winter colour

I have now reached the “buying of unnecessary items” point of lockdown.

I can highly recommend a jade facial roller. It feels very soothing and will be delightfully cooling in the summer.

I’m also planning to give dry brushing a crack, because my skin is not doing at all well in the cold and dry weather. My legs resemble an admittedly oddly shaped, very shiny (patent, if you will) and rather flaky crocodile. I don’t know if it is an advancing age thing (likely), but this seems to be worse every year. Moisturising doesn’t quite cut it anymore and although I am unconvinced that scrubbing enthusiastically at my skin will be helpful – why not? YOLO and all that.

191/2021

In really delightful news, Joan and Ovi have received permission to be married in early August!

As is the way of these things, there was much gathering documentation and organising translations and navigating obstacle courses of Swiss bureaucracy – and approval not guaranteed.

We haven’t seen Joan for over 3 years, nor have we met Ovi – and it’s very sad for all of us that we cannot be there.

But we’re really thankfully she has some certainty and can settle down, rather than applying for exemptions to stay every few months.

I will spare you the rant about our utterly incompetent government trapping 40k citizens overseas – but be assured that it is extremely ranty and extended.

Tighter restrictions were finally announced yesterday, such as you’d expect with an actual lockdown. I think IKEA is still open though for those essential tea lights and meatballs – and a recent mass exposure site.

I think the most difficult of this (for me at least!) is with first lockdowns there was such a hope that we would all come out of this to a better society, that everyone would learn and grow and things “couldn’t go back to how they were before”. So you felt like there was some greater purpose to it all. Kumbaya, namaste and all that.

Nope. Once out, it was back to as it ever was. Possibly worse.

My days off were a bit of a fizzer. For those not up on their Australianisms, despite appearances to the contrary (it sounds bright and bubbly, right?), “fizzer” is not a good thing.

I mean, I feel kind of rested and started a bunch of pretty uncomfortable inner work, which is ongoing and necessary – so necessary – not a complete loss.

I think I’ll take a whole week off in August – I’m fairly confident we will still be locked down – but I feel like I will probably have settled in a bit more and feel more inclined to embark on fun projects.

Yesterday I recommenced those lovely daily morning walks to the park. I made it 20 metres from my front door when I became distracted by a neighbour’s bamboo and twisted my ankle.

Yep, the very same dodgy ankle that was doing so well lately.

I continued my walk which was, in retrospect, not the most brilliant idea. Now it is all purple and resembles a little loaf.

In lockdown impulse buying yesterday I decided I needed a physical version of an astrology book (yes, I know – judge away!).

I tried the usual suspects (both out of stock) and kind of resigned myself to book depository – but then I remembered Gleebooks! They had one copy in stock and could ship it.

Imagine my astonishment when they delivered it to me the same afternoon, by hand, for free because I was in the local delivery area! AMAZING!

I’ve resolved to make them by preferred book vendor.

188/2021


sunday exercise outing

This morning lockdown was extended to 16 July.

This is likely to go on for some time because instead of imposing restrictions, the state government has decided to rely on asking people to “do the right thing” while being incredibly unclear what the “right thing” is. There’s a good deal of “use your judgement” and “self-assess” messaging. The majority of retail stores remain open and I could, for example, go to IKEA or the Chanel store right this minute if I cared to.

But here we are.

All that advantage squandered due to so very much hubris and incompetence.

♥ breathe ♥

I’m on leave for the next three days and the challenge is to stay away from the internet and engage in some life affirming activities. The late afternoon of Day One and I have not been super-successful in this endeavour.

On the positive side of the ledger, I did an early morning yoga session. I’ve been getting back into regular practice via Yoga with Adriene. It’s a delight. Really – you should give it a go! And reminds me that yoga doesn’t have to be joyless, serious and culty. Though I’m very thankful for the cult-yoga obsession with good form which appears to have stuck around.

I’ve also been through a ton of audiobook samples auditioning for my next listen. How aggravating that you may only stockpile a maximum of 6 audible credits! I’m looking for something a bit uplifting(ish) because I’m pretty exhausted by the whole graphic and horrifically gruesome violence against women and/or small children genre. I now have a long list.

Tomorrow afternoon I will sit in the sunshine and read my library book (wikipedia link – probably contains spoilers).

And I will make a beef stew with parsley and sun-dried tomato dumplings, and maybe cross stitch a bit.

But mostly I will try to stay away from the news.

184/2021


666: the number of the bins

The week that was seemed to last about 7 months, okay, maybe 10 months.

We got out this morning for a long walk to buy our preferred brand of ground coffee at one of the independent supermarkets. I’ll spare you the rant about major supermarkets and their increasing lack of brand diversity.

After a week of mist and rain, it was quite wonderful to be out and about in the sunny, crisp and lovely winter day.

I definitely need more long walks in my life – infinitely better than spending all my time glued to a screen.

In non-doom scrolling news:

♥ I commenced the adorbs kitty cross stitch this week. Cross stitching is not at all in alignment with how I see myself, but the heart wants what it wants. I have no idea why I’m finding it so comforting, but I’ll keeping rolling with it until it isn’t.

♥ My DFH course has kicked off and I’m excited to get stuck in. And admittedly somewhat daunted. The participants are mostly creatives (not in that advertising industry way) and let’s just say we don’t necessarily have a common vocabulary or manner of expressing ourselves. They’re often able to very eloquently articulate their thoughts, ideas and feelings. Me, not quite so much. I know I will gain much from the experience though and imposter syndrome can piss right off.

♥ I’ve just finished Who is Maud Dixon? on audiobook. It will make a real cracker of a film.

Really interesting long read in the Atlantic about the ephemeral nature of *stuff* the internet. If nothing else a practical reminder to print out those favourite recipes, for they may vanish forever.

♥ Sad to see the excellent smallquietpretty closed up her blog. I will be forever indebted to her for the intro to one of my favourite books ever. The blogosphere is definitely becoming ever quieter. Thank you to everyone who continues to share bits of their world with us.

177/2021


carl jung de-alcoholised wine: there’s a much better joke here than i can come up with

Well, that escalated quickly

As of 6pm this evening, all of Sydney and surrounds are in lockdown until 9 July.

I will never understand why this sort of announcement triggers panic buying of toilet paper – but there have been scenes of empty shelves all over social media.

I’ve spent the day glued to the news and twitter, which probably – okay, definitely – wasn’t the best use of my time, or probably the best thing for my mental health.

Our mini-break to the south coast is obviously cancelled, and it’s exceptionally unlikely that Qld will open the border for Don’s golfing holiday. I’m definitely still going to take those leave days anyway – even if I can’t actually … well, leave.

I’ve acquired two cross stitch patterns and ordered the floss for them. Fortunately I had some aida kicking about, which I’d bought for another project, but reconsidered and will eventually buy linen for that.

I guess this is all a good chance to re-establish those very good practices – like the morning walk, delicious lunchtime sandwich – that fell away when I went back to the office.

Because we may be here for some time.

176/2021

And just like that, we’re in lockdown!

It’s a bit of a baffling kind of lockdown. It only covers those who live or work in four adjacent Local Government Areas and not the whole city. This means that even though we don’t live in one of the LGAs, Don and I are under a stay home order because we work in the City of Sydney. Joe/Frank has freedom of movement because even though we live in the same house, he doesn’t work in the City of Sydney LGA. This living arrangement is definitely not a situation unique to us!

There are many other perplexing guidelines. It’s all quite confusing. What could possibly go wrong?

Allegedly this applies until 2 July, but the general suspicion is it will last longer. See above unknowable rules.

We’ve returned to remote working – which is a bit less ideal now that Project Sulfur is done. Otherwise it’s a bit confronting when being ordered to stay at home has very little impact at all on my usual activities.

Must address that in the event we do get to leave!

175/2021

For Xmas, Bessie gifted us with a very thoughtful voucher for the Belvior St Theatre. We redeemed it for The Cherry Orchard and headed out for a date night two weeks ago!

The audience was at 100% capacity and while it isn’t a huge space, it was definitely the largest crowd I’ve been in since the Before Times! Obviously this was prior to the recent outbreak – we’re now back to much lower capacity and compulsory masks indoors.

I really didn’t care for the performance in the first half, indeed I used “loathed” (no half measures here!), but warmed more in the second. Not one of my favourites, but I’m very pleased we went!

Afterward we dined at Bill’s, the vibe was really cosy and the food delicious – and I am highly covetous of these wonderful chairs.

I really did miss being out amongst people enjoying (or otherwise) a collective experience.

I will try not to forget this when we can move freely about again!

174/2021


the ideal life – enjoy your life – it has a feeling of cleanliness

Amazingly I resisted the siren song of this excellent mug in the magical Diaso.

I’ve been wearing a pair of small diamond studs in my ears daily for maybe 10 years. They were a long-ago gift from the before-Don-times – but they are simple and elegant and oh-so-sparkly and make me look a bit polished. Because they are pretty lightweight and small I wear them all the time and only remove them for cleaning.

A week or so ago I woke with a sort of ache in the earlobes. It was pretty unpleasant. There was no redness or inflammation or anything other than throbbing. So I took the earrings out and left them out.

Such a relief! Both physically and maybe a bit psychically. I feel really light and free – which was slightly unexpected.

Many days later and I’m still marvelling at how light and free I feel, and and have resolved to never again wear earrings.

I’ve finally abandoned the ridiculously impossible quest to arrive at the perfect daily routine. I mean is there such a thing? And isn’t doing the same thing every day really kind of … boring? Also what exactly did I think would happen when I landed on this imagined perfection?

What I am now attempting is selecting a thing I want to do – yoga for example – and rather than trying to find this curated place for a one hour yoga practice in the schedule, I’m slotting in a quick session whenever I have 10-15 minutes. And this is how I’ve managed more yoga this week than in the past two years.

I’ve no idea if this “half-arsed is better than no-arsed” approach is sustainable, but in theory it should be.

No lockdown (yet), but more cases and restrictions are plentiful, we cannot travel outside of Sydney, other states have locked their borders to us and we’re working from home until 2 July.

I had my very first wheel pottery class booked on Saturday morning, which I’ve optimistically bumped to mid-July.

This does not bode too well for our mini-break to the south coast booked for early July, not for Don’s planned golfing trip to Queensland late July.

Whatever happens I am definitely taking those days off to do something – even if it is just sitting about reading.

173/2021

I shoved some mangy old bits of dried up ginger into a small pot on the upper balcony a while back. The downside of very sporadic blogging is that I have a sizeable gap in the permanent record, so timing is vague.

The leaves started dying off in the past few weeks and the Information Superhighway told me this likely meant the ginger was ready to be harvested and not that I was a Complete Garden Failure.

So I let them die off a little more – because well, back to office slavery means much less time to enjoy life admin – and then dug them out over the weekend. This was a bit of an undertaking – the pot was shallow and the roots had grown around and through the internal drainage tray.

I have no idea if this is how ginger is supposed to look when ripped from the soil, but seems authentic?

Success! A quite decent amount of ginger!

I’d best round up some recipes to make use of it – at the very least grab some lemongrass and make very soothing tea. But let’s be honest, what is quite likely to happen is that they will become dried and mangy and I’ll replant.

I will definitely repeat the exercise, but with a deeper pot to allow those roots more space.

172/2021: winter solstice

Really quite ridiculous things spotted on the Information Superhighway: The hot new amenity at Google and other tech companies? Tents

Tents.

It seems to be very much the tradition that I’m rather tired of myself at this time of year and need a shake up.

I’m using the solstice to kick myself back into some good habits – boring things like taking my lunch to work, meditating, yoga, cardio, less internet, more reading. Turn less inward, try some new things. Maybe look at that 60before60 list.

The fabulous DFH course I adored last year is running in a different, deeper iteration and kicks off at the end of the month. Super-excited to get stuck into it.

Our streak of 40 days with no covid cases in NSW came to an end late last week. We’re not in lockdown and are unlikely to be so – got to keep those wheels of commerce grinding and all that.

Everyone is mostly glued to the updates on exposure sites. Many (so many!) are places I’ve been – but fortunately not at the relevant times.

With everything pretty much back to normal there are lots of people out and about everywhere, so cases will likely grow.

To be honest, I could do with a week remote working – being back in the office is A LOT.