twenty-nine!

Don arrived home very early this morning and came bearing gifts for Joan’s birthday!

Just what every young woman needs – a large bottle of vodka and a pair of qantas business class pyjamas**.

We’re very glad to have him home!

xxx

** I should point out that these were not the only gifts – the was the traditional birthday chunk of cash and what is rapidly becoming the traditional birthday lift to the airport.

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50before50: #22 100 days of happiness challenge – days 89-100

And that’s the end of the project!

The last few days were quite tough as I could no longer access any of my mobile devices, which of course meant no access to the instagram app. I dragged out Don’s old tablet, downloaded instagram and used that, so determined was I to complete this challenge.

Did it make me any happier? I can’t say that it did really. I felt pretty pleased with myself that I overcame the obstacles to keep going to the end (I do rather enjoy problem solving). I did enjoy the challenge of finding something to photograph each day, made just a little bit more challenging by my self-imposed rules (no repetition, photograph had to be taken on the day).

Would I do it again? I would not! Well, maybe. I’d definitely do another photo project. I would recommend trying this as an exercise.

100 days of happiness: day eighty-nine – beachy! Da Nang beach, relaxing begins … now! #beach #holiday #vacation #danang #vietnam #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayeightynine

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100 days of happiness: day ninety – abandoned concrete *thing* on the beach. #hike #danang #danangbeach #vietnam #holiday #abandoned #brutalist #brutalism #concrete #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayninety #dslr

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-one – this resort has adorable and aggressively affectionate wild kitties! #kitties #catsofinstagram #vietnam #danang #holiday #100happydays #vacation #100daysofhappiness #dayninetyone #vietnamesekitty

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-two – adore these posters in all their variations. #vietnam #holiday #vacation #graphicdesign #propaganda #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #hoian

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-three – caves! Today we climbed the water mountain (so many, many steps!) – was pretty great! #danang #watermountain #caves #light #marblemountains #vietnam #holiday #vacation #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayninetythree #dslr

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-four – treats from the hotel! Sadly, we’re in the last phase of vacation – 3 days in Singapore and then home. #vacation #holiday #singapore #conrad #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayninetyfour #treats

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-five – well-timed cloud. Singapore National Gallery + Supreme Court. #cloud #cauldron #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayninetyfive #singapore #vacation #holiday #singaporenationalgallery #singaporesupremecourt #illusion

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-six – so many, many boats! ❀🚒❀🚒 View from my window (requiring some contortion to capture). #singapore #ships #boats #singaporestrait #vacation #holiday #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayninetysix #ipadcamerasucks #gardensbythebay

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-seven – home with my laydeez. 😻😻 #kitties #ipadcamerasucks #catsofinstagram #homefromholiday #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayninetyseven #catsonthebed

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-eight – replacement phone! Bargain price! β€πŸ“±β€ #dayninetyeight #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #iphone #ipadcamerasucks #newphone

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100 days of happiness: day ninety-nine – all the dongs! 173,000! = AU$10.06 πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dong #rich #onedaytogo #dayninetynine #currency #vietnam

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100 days of happiness: day one hundred! πŸ’― – ephemera from our first date 😻. Giacometti at #agnsw – 3,861 days ago. And that’s it for the 100 days project! Did it actually make me any happier? #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #firstdate #3861 #ephemera #fin

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50before50: #22 100 days of happiness challenge – days 77-88

And the next tranche of pix. Conveniently commencing with holidays. Even looking at that out of office notification reminds me how relieved I was to take a break!

Lost camera on Day 84, subequent photos were a combo of DSLR photos, ipad photos and photos taken from Don’s phone. I emailed the DSLR and Don’s phone pix to the ipad, saved and uploaded from there – such dedication to the project!

100 days of happiness: day seventy-seven – out of office = on! #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayseventyseven #holiday

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-eight – HOLIDAY!!! #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayseventyeight #qantaslounge #breakfast

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-nine: flying to Siem Reap. Day 2 of Holiday! #plane #flying #clouds #sky #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayseventynine #jetstarasia #vacation #holiday

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100 days of happiness: day eighty – fishies! 🐟🐟 Gorgeous carp spotted on our way to breakfast! #100daysofhappiness #holiday #vacation #cambodia #siemreap #carp #fish #100happydays #dayeighty

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-one – Angkor Wat! (I was horribly sick and had to cut visit short, but wow!) #nofilter #angkorwat #cambodia #vacation #holiday #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayeightyone

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-two – gorgeous typeface. #fireexit #fortheloveofsignage #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayeightytwo #cambodia #fontlove

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-three – my first tuk tuk ride. #vacation #holiday #cambodia #siemreap #tuktuk #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayeightythree

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100 days of happiness: day-eighty-four – gorgeous view (taken with not-gorgeous iPad camera). I *was* happy until I lost my phone this morning – was running across the road & it fell out of my pocket, realised when I got to the other side, but it had already been swiped. Phone had tons of Cambodia photos (and no backup). There were many, many tears. This project may have to go on hiatus for a bit – not carrying an iPad about with me! #hanoi #ipadcamerasucks #view #vietnam #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayeightyfour #holiday #vacation

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-five – our room comes supplied with a pretty sweet stationery stash! #stationery #fortheloveofstationery #lottehanoi #vacation #holiday #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayeightyfive #ipadcamerasucks

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-six – bun cha, where have you been all my life? #buncha #hanoi #holiday #vacation #vietnam #dayeightysix #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #myhusbandscamera #bunchahuonglien

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-seven – bunch of lillies(?) discarded in a tiny back street. #flowers #lillies #hanoi #vietnam #dslr #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayeightyseven #stuffontheground

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100 days of happiness: day eighty-eight – Vietnam fine arts museum. Do Min Tam: Laborers (2001). #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayeightyeight #art #holiday #vacation #vietnam #hanoi #painting #dslr

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50before50: #22 100 days of happiness challenge – days 64-76

And finally this challenge is completed!

I’ll chunk up the remaining 36 photos into 3 posts to make it a bit more manageable.

This bunch are pre-holiday and still quite inward looking – it’s pretty obvious which ones were the result of a desperate casting-about for objects to photograph before bed (or even while in bed!). This made it actually pretty fun to see what I could come up with in a limited amount of time and relatively small space.

The loss of the phone means that a bunch of these are going to be appalling quality as I no longer have the originals – *sob*.

100 days of happiness: day sixty-four – this morning’s run on the greenway πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š. #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #daysixtyfour #greenway #innerwest #running #devo

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100 days of happiness: day sixty-five – ponies spotted on Epic Bike Ride. #nofilter #m7cycleway #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #daysixtyfive #cycling #cyclingsydney #ponies #sydney

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100 days of happiness: day sixty-six – soothing candle after a stressful day. #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #candle #daysixtysix #glasshousecandle #tahaa #flames

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100 days of happiness: day sixty-seven – Bessie bought flowers – full of cheerful! #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #daysixtyseven #flower #yellow #gerbera

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100 days of happiness: day sixty-eight – the wee trophy Don gave me that one time I ran 21.1km (quite some time ago now) #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #trophy #treasure #daysixtyeight

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100 days of happiness: day sixty-nine – ❀️ryoji ikeda ❀️#100daysofhappiness #ryojiikeda #art #videoart #daysixtynine #pyrmont #darlingharbour #sydney

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100 days of happiness: day seventy – why yes, I am hoarding soap in my bedside table from our trip to Italy in 2008. #carolbaby #soap #hoarding #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayseventy

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-one – my adorkable husband’s in-bed reading. #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #stats #dayseventyone #mathsinreallife

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-two – 11 years worth of Ducks member keyrings βšͺ️❀️βšͺ️❀️ #sydneyswans #cheercheer #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayseventytwo

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-three – these wee camphor blocks from muji make awesome towers. Also great for counting sets of sit-ups or push-ups. #blocks #building #muji #cantilever #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayseventythree

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-four – view from my bed (desperately casting around for something to post before sleep hits!). Having a favourite artwork hung in the walk-through wardrobe feels pretty awesomely decadent. #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayseventyfour #art #painting #nauticalbirds #eleanormillard

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-five – cosy fluffy sporty socks. #100happydays #100daysofhappiness #dayseventyfive #socks #desperatelyseekinginspiration #quota

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100 days of happiness: day seventy-six – Clive! Spotted this book while I was walking along Broadway – left out book-crossing style. One of my guilty pleasures – so wonderfully terrible! I didn’t grab it because I’m all about the digital (and I’ve already read it. It was terrible and wonderful!) #100daysofhappiness #100happydays #dayseventysix #clivecussler #bookcrossing #inthewild

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it’s late


camouflage

I did none of the ironing I’d planned today, but I did get a shiny new pink phone, with a shiny new number on a shiny new network.

I actually felt quite revitalised afterward – sometimes a fresh start is just the thing!

Back to enslavement tomorrow.

xxx

Still having a couple of issues with my apple ID – but apple support has been tremendous (in stark contrast to Telstra who can go and [redacted] themselves).

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what? again?

I ferried Don off to the airport this morning for his return to Singapore. This will make for a totally weird week because we’ve been completely living in each others pocket’s for almost a month.

I’ve pretty much been puttering around the house and reading since I returned on Friday – lots of tidying, occasional cooking but nothing substantial. The weather has been glorious, but I haven’t really been out amongst it. I’m not sure I’ve fully recovered from the flight (such an old lady), am quite under-whelmed at the prospect of returning to work on Wednesday and a bit meh in general. I’ve also not been sleeping well and have been having quite a some very bad dreams.

I don’t think I had post-holiday blues so quickly after the Japan trip and so am not certain of the cause – possibly the Neapolitan Novels (which messed with my head a little), coming back to autumn and dark evenings? And of course trying to resolve my phone issues is not helping me stay calm and relaxed in the slightest.

I plan to run tomorrow morning (likely only 3km – fitness is wanting), do a bunch of ironing while watching comforting television, a little cooking and not a whole lot else. I think I might be a little frustrated at the dullness and predictability of my daily routines – could be a good time to think about shaking things up a little.

xxx

Still no movement on the phone. Telstra have been really terrible at keeping me updated, so after I hadn’t heard back after 24 hours I called again (at 49 hours). I was informed the issue had been referred to the technical team, which could take up to 48 hours – 48 BUSINESS HOURS (which translates to 26 April) and that there was nothing else that could be done. I didn’t yell (though might have been a bit teary), but was pretty obviously frustrated and kept repeating that this was unacceptable, that I needed to be able to make calls and that I’d be calling the telecommunications ombudsman tomorrow. Was then escalated to a complaints officer who was actually helpful – will still take time, but at least they now appear to have some idea what the issue is.

I have a really, really important meeting to attend with Joe/Frank on Wednesday and I *really* need my phone in case there are issues in the lead-up.

There are work-arounds available (which I will take advantage of if I need to), but honestly – this shouldn’t be that difficult!

This, and the original loss of my phone, has made me think about my relationship with my devices in general – I’ve yet to come to any firm conclusions, but possibly I’m relying on them too much.

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reading 2017: part february | part april

Yikes! This is going to be quite the epic update – possibly somewhat unreliable as I’ve consumed a lot of books in these two(ish) months – mostly because of the holiday. When I’m in a reading mood, I don’t mess about.

βž• J G Ballard: High Rise
Loved until I didn’t. Started really well, but became pretty silly. Perhaps I’m to old and cynical to enjoy such things?

βž• Iris Murdoch: The sea, the sea
Adored. Protagonist was utterly vain and completely bonkers. First Iris Murdoch I’ve read, should read more.

βž• Paula Hawkins: Girl on the train
This was on the recommendations list on amazon which occasionally (rarely) comes through with a winner – expected to loathe this completely as I did with Gone Girl (to which it has been compared). Surprisingly didn’t loathe it completely, nor did I love it completely – wasn’t entirely unreadable.

βž• Della Galton: Ice and a slice
Another one from the recommendations list. Sobriety-themed novel, $3.99. Wasn’t terrible, wasn’t great either – mostly was in the mood for the subject matter because I was struggling with the desire for a glass of wine. Kept me interested enough to move onto the next in the series. Honestly can’t really recommend it – maybe if you’re trying to give up drinking (but possibly not even then).

βž• Della Galton: The morning after the life before
Second (and last) in the series. Another $3.99 book – again wasn’t great (I have yet to find a $4.00 book that is), but once I’d committed I felt the need to continue.

βž• Rebecca Weller: A Happier Hour
Read this again because I needed the motivation to stay on the wagon – served its purpose and really helped through the rough patch.

βž• Helen Russell – Leap Year: How to make big decisions, be more resilient and change your life for good
Purchased because I’d enjoyed the Year of Living Danishly. Enjoyed this too, but a bit too full of facts (studies show that x% of people who do y, are happier by z%) and conversations with experts. I like her voice and would have preferred 67% more personal story.

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Then I read a whole bunch of sample chapters from books I didn’t pursue buying and which I’m not linking to – some I may come back to eventually. In particular Holly Throsby: Goodwood looked like it might be pretty good (reminded me a little of the style of the wonderful Tracy), also slightly tempted by Marian Keyes: The Woman Who Stole My Life, but suspect I won’t be huge on it – seems a little … frenetic?

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βž• Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans
I don’t even know why I downloaded this sample chapter, maybe for the lulz because I expected it to be really, really bad. Read the sample in the airport lounge and to my extreme surprise I really quite liked it. Bought it before I jumped on the plane, read the whole thing while en route to Singapore and highlighted a bunch. If you’re into that whole personal development / productivity genre, you might like it too.

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Garry Disher was recommended as holiday reading by the very excellent anyresemblance, who always has genius reading suggestions – particularly when it comes to Australian crime fiction. How she finds out about these is a mystery to me, but I’m glad she does!

Disher has a fabulous turn of phrase and I should have highlighted more, some favourites italicized below.

I quickly devoured the Peninsula Crimes series:

βž• Garry Disher: The Dragon Man

βž• Garry Disher: Kittyhawk Down

βž• Garry Disher: Snapshot

βž• Garry Disher: Chain of Evidence
– pretty well summed up the Australian national character, which was not fine and egalitarian but grovelled at the feet of men who’d gone to a private school or could kick a football or had become billionaires by being allowed to evade tax

βž• Garry Disher: Blood Moon
– hooking her fingers around the term
– like Jones, he’d settled into a faintly untidy middle age, as if waiting for retirement and unwilling to over-achieve, or even achieve
– he was the kind of lawyer who always looks clean and precise, as though groomed by valets before every appointment

βž• Garry Disher: Whispering Death

βž• Garry Disher: Signal Loss
– there was a complicated lump of chrome on his wrist. Pam guessed rolex and spent part of the visit trying to eye the watch face so she could confirm that.

And then moved onto the Wyatt series, which I did not enjoy quite so much as they quickly became pretty predictable. I stopped after the fourth – may resume again at some point.

βž• Garry Disher: Kickback

βž• Garry Disher: Paydirt

βž• Garry Disher: Deathdeal

βž• Garry Disher: Crosskill
– Wyatt waited, letting the street draw poverty and meanness around itself again

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Then moved on to another holiday reading recommendation – this time from the lovely connie (and also priorly by the fabulous katy). I’d been dithering about reading the Neapolitan novels for a while (and was considering the first as my audiobook), the recommendations pushed me over the edge.

Elena Ferrante: My Brilliant Friend

Elena Ferrante: The Story of a New Name

Elena Ferrante: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Elena Ferrante: The Story of the Lost Child

I’m so glad I pulled the trigger – I alternately adored them, was frustrated by them, could so very much relate to many parts of them, was depressed by them.

xxx

And that’s it! I’m feeling quite melancholy and really need something very light as an antidote! Maybe yet more hygge?

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