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June 2016 is the 26th batch I have completed on 100 words a day, making a total of about 78,000 words. It is a fun thing. I am not sure what I like about it in particular, or what keeps me going. It is satisfying to finish a batch. It can be fun to think of something to write. It can be comforting to have the discipline of it, of sitting down each day to purposefully write 100 words. I often make it the first thing I do when I have arrived at work, set up and logged in.
Australia voted today in the Federal Election. No one won. It amazes me how close the parties can be. What does it mean. I do not know. The vote count will be continued on Tuesday. I can understand not on Sunday, but have no idea why they will also skip Monday. No one has explained that, as far as I have heard. The election campaign was massively long and boring, but election night was exciting, if a tad depressing when the party I voted for was not doing so well. The ABC coverage was very well done. Interesting times ahead.
If the weekend were a mandarin there would be only two segments left. One of those will be sleep. Wouldn't another day be nice. I didn't get my usual morning time in bed today because I got up to watch
to see the potted history of election night. The failure to find a clear winner will keep politics ramped right up for the next three days at least.
was great, but Niki Savva wore a fantastic crocheted jacket in hot pink which distracted me. I would like to ask her where she got it, and make one myself.
Jeremy had Mondayitis b-a-d. Everything was slightly off-kilter, his vision slightly blurred, the light slightly too bright. He felt out of sorts, gravelly and grave. It was a quiet day but a deadline day. Tempers are always a bit frayed. He sent an ill-advised, dummy-spitting email to the boss and after a couple of sucky exchanges he left, regretting it all night. He wondered why Monday was sometimes impossible to get through. The next day he responded to the email that had arrived after he left. He was able to redeem himself. Here comes Tuesday.
I think office chairs usually have three adjustments: the seat height, a lever for the back height and a lever for back position (forward/back). This chair I sit on has a wobbly seat. I don't know if that is by design or whether something is wrong. It is a new chair but the back drops down. When that happens I have a lot of difficulty working out how I got it to stay up in the first place. It clicks in place when done properly. I gave up and left it down and that was quite comfortable after all.
I started reading a new book today. After a few pages I suddenly thought I had read the book before. I explored the paragraph, surprised, sure that I had not. It was a word that stopped me - antimacassar. The same word was in a book I have just read. At the time I thought how rare it is whilst reading a novel to see a word I don't know. I guessed from the context in the first book what antimacassars are, and the context in the current book left no doubt. Both books are completely different, too, apart from that!
Life changing habits. I started to leave work at 4.30 each day. Prior to this I left after 5.30 to get a seat on the train. I can also get a seat if I leave earlier, at 4.30. I packed up and left early even if I did not have to be home for anything in particular. Once home I could relax. This led to my feeling more calm. I start early. Instead of working overtime each day I work a normal day. Perhaps changing one thing at a time is the path to better, healthier habits.
After I started to leave work earlier I continued to feel tired and knew I had to do more, like exercise and diet. I stopped drinking alcohol. It felt like having a second job, so hard did I work at drinking - once home from work the obligatory drink or two, and more on weekends. It was compulsory, pure habit. It was also tiring and I couldn't go on. Never before had I stopped drinking because I didn't want to (except when pregnant). I stopped because I had to, to lose weight, get fit, and only ever lasted a few days!
Naturally when I had stopped drinking I filled my time with other things. I did more crafting. I drank lots of tea and coffee. I bought the newspaper for the cryptic crossword. I thought my energy might come back. I thought that where before on weekends I just couldn't be bothered doing anything, I might now be able to get active, and that is kind of what happened. I took up crochet for a change and also got through lots of my knitting projects. I started a task and kept going until finished. I planned activities and carried them out.
I did some baking, some slightly complicated baking. It turned out well and now I had some nice biscuits to go with the tea and coffee. I thought about starting an in-depth spring-cleaning program. I started with some essential cleaning. I thought about a new design and re-building the chicken run. I started to see how step by step changes can work. It was better than trying to do everything at once, it was achievable. I wondered why I had not thought of this before. I did more knitting, more crochet. I watched movies on the TV.
Next steps I think have to be more exercise and eating more healthily. If I can manage that I will have it cracked. I have to deal with the high cholesterol. I have ordered new specs. After many years there are plastic frames that suit me, and that's what I have ordered. For so many years now it seems only one shape has been available, the shallow and wide. It suits, but I am sick of it. I had my glasses sewn up with cotton when the screw sprang out, now they are fixed. I'll have a good spare pair.
It is my dog's birthday in two days. I saw it coming up in the calendar, "Mellow". It made me sad. I always feel sad when I think of him because I think I could have done more to save him. I know logically I probably could have not done more, but I still feel bad. I changed the calendar entry to "Mellow happy day" so it can be a memorial day. It makes me happy now. I also found a photo of him when I was throwing out old diaries. What a coincidence. I have it on my desk.
I saw a new movie called The Wait. At first I thought it was going to be a bit of a torture session as the opening scenes were bleak in the extreme. There was very little light and it was hard to determine what was on the screen. The camera pulled back a bit and the music jollied things up, but the bleakness returned very quickly after every bright spot. The film was about grief and very well done. I could practically feel the closeness of grief. I loved the film, am very glad I decided to go see it.
Today is the first very cold day this winter. It is only July so we may be in for a cold winter from now on. The rain has stopped, at least, and the cold wind dried out the boggy back yard. The hens are laying on top of the garden cupboard for some reason. They sleep in the laying boxes but don't lay in them. I let them out to free range every morning as their little home is too bleak in winter to spend too much time in. They spend a lot of time sitting at the back door.
woke in the middle of the night feeling glad it is Saturday, and then it dawned it is only Friday, ah, disappointed! went back to sleep and dreamed I was driving my car too fast in reverse and couldn't stop, as though I had my foot on the accelerator instead of the brake. I careened across the road and came to a stop outside my house by managing to reach the brake. the seat was too far back. I parked my brother's car nervously in the same spot earlier this week and I think that is what prompted this dream.
My latest vivid dream involved an accident with one of the hens whilst getting biscuits from the cupboard. I am vague on the details, but I asked the chickens "would you like a biscuit?" and while I was getting the container from the cupboard something happened that caused one of the chickens to lose half a beak. It seemed pretty bad and I tried to comfort the hen in what I thought were it's final minutes. The hen was gently cooing in distress, the injury becoming worse very quickly, and kind of weird, as is often the case in dreams.
My beakless-chicken's beak and face was attached to a long apparatus that inserted into the chicken, like a mask for an android. There is a super-stapler at work for thick documents that is rarely used, if ever, because no one could work out how to open it. Until recently, when someone eventually got the staple holder out to insert staples, but could not get it back in. The staple holder looked like the bit that came out of my chicken in my dream. The origin of my dreams is often quite obvious. Also the movie
I looked at a round receptacle at the barber shop that looked like a clock with the hands at a quarter past three and twelve marks for the hours. It was a dispenser for the paper strip they put around your neck before putting on the cape. I thought it was clever if unnecessary, and kind of quaint, to design the dispenser to double as a clock. I looked at the other cutting stations and saw that each of them had a clock-dispenser at a quarter past three. Not a clock, then. The "hands" were a lever. Clever disguise.
The house was empty and seemed to hold a restaurant, which we found after we took possession. One of the former staffers sat in stockings and tails on a chair in front of us, inspecting her nails and ignoring us. There was a bar to the side. The barman or shadow of the barman stood there looking at us. The rest of the room was gloomy and dusty with chairs and tables here and there. It had not been in use for quite some time. Outside in the hall a small snake slithered toward us and we were not afraid.
I was hanging around with my friend's husband in their house waiting to go out. He joked about moving the kitchen, which was really a small table with some appliances, to an area further from the door, which angered a neighbour. We left and soon encountered a set of fields with gently rolling hills and small lakes with people quietly picnicking in small groups. I did not see him again but held the hand of a small boy and walked through the groups to the water's edge. The sun was warming. The the scent of Spring was in the air.
I like to make biscuits. I should buy a new mixer because my old one will die soon and when that happens I need to be able to carry right on. My old mixer is over 40 years old. I dropped and broke the bowl last year. Biscuit dough is dryer than cake mix and hence is tougher on the mixer. I have been making thin, plain biscuits and putting filling between two, or alternatively pressing a couple of walnut pieces into one biscuit and not making a sandwich. Last time the walnuts fell out and I don't know why.
The boy and his mother began a journey. It was a clear day. The sun was up but it was still quite early. The air was damp from recent rain and puddles of water lay along the marks from the tracks of vehicles that had traveled by. The boy carried a large bag and his mother a bag with purse, keys and other usual items. They walked through the woodland scrub, the ground boggy and the air damp. The began to follow a highway until they reached a building behind which was a small water course bubbling over rocky stairs.
The boy and his mother waited for a woman navigating her way down the rocky steps over which water flowed. It looked very damp and the mother expressed surprise that this was the way to school. She asked the boy, have you traveled this way before? He said, yes. She said, were you late? He said, no. He went first up the steps and down the other side. His mother followed, concerned about wet shoes. She stopped on the other side and sat on the bank of a small lagoon and took off her shoes and socks. She waded on.
She was in charge of the official group. There was a set of chairs in a semi circle arrangement with larger chairs at one end, and a microphone and table between the two end chairs. She took the guest of honour to the chair at the end near the microphone. He had some difficulty getting to the seat and seemed out of place tacked on the end. The space was too crowded, but no one seemed to notice. The lights shone ready for the cameras. The other guests had arrived and began to fill up the rest of the seating.
She had thrown away her engagement ring in a fit of pique. She did not even remember the circumstances, it was so long ago. She was surprised to find it in her hand, and glad, as she had regretted her rash decision. She could at least have sold it. She looked at it, perfect, even though when she threw it away it was missing one diamond, a victim of using the ring to press shapes in clay during her potting phase. She had regretted breaking it too, at the time. Now it was in her hand, all stones present, intact.
Everyone can rest at ease, I have ordered more yarn. After saying I would not increase my stash because I have enough yarn to last the rest of my life, I got a brochure with some nice patterns and ordered two lots of wool. A lot of the yarn I purchased previously no longer appeals. I used to buy novelty yarn to add as an accent. Now I am in to crochet a new avenue has opened up to use some of this yarn. Today I crocheted on the train before having to stop to suppress a coughing fit (winter).
It had been a while since she had felt the cold bite. The city was beautiful at this time of day. It was a city of spindly fine lines, the morning sky delicately pink and blue behind bare trees, the delicate silhouettes of the older buildings and shining facades of the new. One does become used to the cold with walking. She left the river bank and walked away from the city, passed the cafe where the staff were unnecessarily sarcastically rude the day before, when she failed to notice it was closing for the day (they could have said?)
The new open plan office is not great for privacy and concentration. Three people having a conversation on the other side of the desk while on down time is like reading on the train with someone having a loud conversation. Pretty difficult! It is all about getting used to it, or working around it. I brought a colleague over for a brief training session - thought we might as well do it now as I can't concentrate. Now more people have arrived it is easier to ignore conversations. All are about work, I might add. I am in early not skiving.
Tania made little teddies in a bed in a tin. She knitted the bear and knitted a little blanket and pillow. She sometimes made little clothes, like a waistcoat or a hat. Tania delivered her bears to a shelter for women and children. Young children who stayed at the shelter were offered a bear in a tin to keep. The shelter provided a thank you book for the children to write a note or draw a picture of thanks, if they wanted to. Tania left spares, for children who returned and had lost a bear accessory, or lost a bear.
Julie kissed her girlfriend goodbye and began to fold and put away the washing. She tidied as she worked and in moving some nightshirts found a little tin at the back of a drawer. She froze. She had owned a similar tin many years ago. She opened the tin and smiled when she saw a little knitted bear. Sam had not told her much about her past, but Julie knew the story of the tin, knew Sam must have, like herself, been at the women's shelter as a child where each child had been given a bear in a tin.
Betty threw the hen to the ground from the first floor without thinking, although they can fly that far they would normally plan the journey before launching. They would fly out and down, flapping their wings frantically. The hen narrowly missed a messy pile of gardening paraphernalia stacked on the ground against the house. It ran off, thank goodness. Betty had been told how easily hens can be hurt in accidents and she had almost caused one. If the hens did not travel upstairs in the first place it would not be necessary to evict them. She closed the window.
The Tip Jar