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Listening to music whilst working is a super way to spend the necessary hours at the office. I have found a digital station that plays only music. It is called Easy Radio and plays a variety of styles from across the decades. There is no announcer and there are no ads. At the moment I am listening to Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl. Can't beat that. I listen with earbuds so as to not annoy anyone. It sounds better that way, too. Everyone is talking about noise cancelling headphones in the open plan office. I prefer to listen to music.
Packing up to leave is a good time to cull unneeded stuff. Even better is to cull on an ongoing basis and not accumulate stuff in the first place. When I organise a council cleanup my rubbish always seems to be embarrassingly past its use-by-date, as though it has been rubbish for some time and yet I have hung onto it and even used it. I think I am getting to the end of this type of rubbish. Lately I have been buying new furniture at quite a rate. Maybe one more cleanup will take care of it.
It is December. The weather is humid and hot. I have not felt the heat and humidity to be as bothersome as it has felt in past years. Maybe we have not had much of it yet. Perhaps it will be awful when there has been more of it. Now I have cleaned out the old furniture and other rubbish I can tidy up the back yard and make some gardens. Maybe buy some more outdoor chairs. I guess they are a bit disposable. If you don't look after them. I used to pack them away when not in use.
I would like to become more frugal. I would like to once again pack away the outdoor fold up chairs when not in use so they don't become moldy and covered in spider webs. Perhaps I could get some hard plastic chairs that would be easier to clean, and some more fold up ones to bring out when required. I should start thinking about this with Christmas coming up. Lots of days off to sit on chairs in the back yard and admire the garden. The garden that is yet to be. I am putting the cart before the horse.
The sun, the moon, the earth, planets and stars. Marbles, basket balls, plates, wheels. Cogs in a watch. Rotary telephones. Coin slots in vending machines. Christmas baubles. Apples, oranges, plums, grapes, peas. The top of a skull, cross section of a tree trunk, of a wire. A shoe lace, yarn, string, cardboard tube, a railway tunnel. A cat flap. A hobbit house, swiss cheese, confetti, an itsy bitsy teeny weeny tiny polka dot bikini. Hot air balloon, the basket underneath. Inner tube, tire, wheel. Spokes. Springs. Coils. Sprockets. Washers. Dust bins. Plug holes, plugs, drains, pipes. Mesh. Wire. Fence posts.
Looking out the window, watching the world go by. Before the area was a thoroughfare hardly anyone used it, now it is always populated with people moving through en mass or in smaller groups, or sitting around on the benches. It is mid afternoon. The walkers are getting a coffee or heading through for some other obscure reason. Some are going home. Probably not many arriving at this time of day. I saw a cat lady there once, with a cat carrier full of cats. Some were out exercising. It would be a hard life on the road with cats.
The ferry left the wharf bound for the southern shore, waves lapping at the prow. Further out the sea lurched up high and the passengers knew they were in for a rough time. The young girl sat alone, swaying to and fro with the movement of the boat. Reed thin, she had no one to lean on. She did not mind the rough sea, it was the uncertainty of what awaited her on the shore that furrowed her brow. A gentleman saw her sitting alone and thought of his own daughter who would soon set out to meet the ferry.
The west country had seen a violent past. Cottages perched atop skewed cliffs. Huge square rocks jutted out here and there preventing straight lines such as roads. Residents were forced, once they had left the Ring Road, and clamber down uneven sets of steps with their loads of firewood and provisions on their shoulders. Legend said the peculiar landscape was the work of giants, thrashing and fighting, leaving the wrecked ground in their wake. Some said giants rested still beneath the black rocks and would some day break through, fighting anew, and men were foolish to build their lives here.
How wonderful was the feeling of hot sand between the toes, and to look out at the glittering, impossibly blue ocean. No one else on the island, only the two of them, for a week! They had arrived yesterday evening and the resort staff had been wonderful, every detail being carefully considered and their every need provided for before making their departure and returning to the main island. Today they would wander around and explore and have a go at starting their boat (the only way off the island!) But first, a quick swim and a lie on the sand.
The ferry arrived in one piece, the passengers more than a bit shaken. The bay crossing had been unusually rough for the time of year. The gentleman noticed the young girl leave her seat and move toward the exit, not hurrying, but looking across to the wharf. He wondered why she was alone, but at least someone must be meeting her. On the wharf he saw his daughter and called out and waved. They rushed together to her car. He forgot about the girl. The heavens were about to open. It was Christmas Eve, and he wanted to be home.
The girl looked out at the wharf, trying to hide in case she was seen. She wanted to leave her options open, she would run if she had to. It was easy in the crush of people to alight the ferry unseen by those waiting on shore. She saw the man from the ferry. He looked nice. He was being met by a woman. She envied them their belonging to each other. She shuffled along trying to use the crowd as cover for as long as she could. She could not see anyone looking for her. Perhaps this was worse.
I follow the need to write but my dog wants three walks a day, he has entries in the next City to Surf. Three a day because we need to practice. I forgot to lace my shoes and do trip over them for a huge swathe of the journey until I do them up at the end of the month. I would like to say that I really must not miss the date. I would hate to miss the occasion that only happens once, at this time of year. I would like to have an open house with the chooks.
I ponder the news while I am experimenting with a new way of looking after my nails. I am busy with writing a sentence as well, and then I decide to give up writing and I find a box with chips inside it. How can I know, does this storage method make the original chips better than the new flavours? I give myself a sentence of three weeks with no chips. Are they are impossible to find? I think this sounds like a bunch of cryptic crossword clues, yes I do think it does. Original sentences well hidden inside blurb.
What size is the best size for a handbag? I like a bag that will fit everything in, even a book. A small bag can be frustrating and I find I carry a second bag, sometimes only because of the book I am reading. I can put my lunch bag in too so it is handy, but then why the small bag if a second bag is needed? A bucket bag is best, I think, because it is easy to find things with the large opening, and can carry lots of extras as required, again due to the large opening.
Finding just the right shoes to wear can be difficult. I am a fan of the same comfortable pair. One year I wore Skechers all the time, even in Summer, and they were amazingly comfortable and not too hot. I found Taos sandals one year and loved them, until I found the sole became uncomfortably hot. They are my walkers. This year I found a wonderful pair of black sandals by Zeta, made in Spain. Most comfortable and light, no wearing-in necessary. I also have some brogues with holes in a tan colour. With the three I am covered.
The girl walked around the wharf as the rest of the passengers from the ferry disappeared. It was cold. She began to skip about and flap her arms to keep warm. She felt light because there was no one here to meet her. She ran up the hill toward the town lights and so was not there to see the car that swung into the car park. The driver extinguished the lights and got out of the car. He walked over to the wharf and looked around, but the area was deserted. He had missed the boat, so to speak.
The man felt the chill of the air and hoped she was warmly dressed. He climbed back in the car and drove in the direction of the town. He saw the small figure ahead and as he reached her drew up beside her and turned off the engine. She stopped and stared at the car. The two had never met but they knew: they were father and daughter. She had heard he was a bad man, but he did not look it, standing there grinning at her. "Get in!" he said, "I'm sorry I was late, and it's so cold!"
Now she was here, in his car, she thought it may not be so bad. She had to leave everything behind apart from what she could fit in the small bag over her shoulder. Her aunt had arranged for her to travel here and to be met by her father. He had no idea what had transpired at home and what had brought her to him after so many years. He had long ago stopped trying to find her but her mother had evidently had no difficulty finding him. He had hoped one day he would finally meet his daughter.
They arrived at a large house and drove up the driveway as the garage door opened. A doberman ran toward the door and greeted the man enthusiastically. Her eyes popped. A dog! The man invited her to let the dog say hello, and they went into the house. The man noticed at this point she had no luggage. He wondered what calamity had brought her to him. He realised she may be wary and frightened and decided to leave the questions until the morning. "Come and see your room. Are you hungry? I'll get you something to eat," he said.
He left some clothes that fit him some years ago and left her alone in her new room while he went to prepare some food. She looked around. The room was small and cosy. And all hers. She wondered what she had been so afraid of. A new fear clutched her, that her mother would come back and she would have to leave. She must make herself useful so this man will want to keep her. "Dad," she thought. "I have a Dad." She skipped out to the kitchen. "Dad, can I help?" He looked at her in surprise. "Sure!"
The next day the girl and her father woke up to their first Christmas together. She felt bad she had not brought him a present. He had bought her a doll, which she accepted happily, but was not sure she was a doll-kind of girl. She loved the dog, who was now following her everywhere. "I'm sorry, it is the neighbours" he said, when she startled at the doorbell. The man from the ferry and the woman who picked him up came in. She had been envious of them, and perhaps now she too had someone to love her.
The man from the ferry asked his neighbour about the girl. "She is my daughter," he said. "Her mother disappeared, hid from me, before she was born and I gave up thinking I would ever find them. Then I received a message through her mother's sister that she was on the way her on the 9'oclock ferry. And now, here she is. There was a fire, her mother is missing, I haven't asked her for details but it can't be good. She arrived her with nothing. I am so happy she is here." "What will you do about the business?"
The last day of work before the short break. I leave early and head to the shops for the rest of the Christmas food and the other grocery shopping. Then home, pleased I will not need to go to the shops again for a little while. I wrap the presents. I wanted to have them all before I started. I hope I have not forgotten anything. I only put up the bare minimum of Christmas decorations this year. Most are still in the boxes. I use the red candle holders I bought for Christmas, and light other candles too. Festive.
It is Christmas eve. I go for a long walk and ignore the light rain falling. By the time I am walking back it is pouring and I am completely soaked. If only I had a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes. Thank goodness I do not have anything with me like my phone that would be ruined by the water. I have a shower and have to wash my hair so it will not be nice for Christmas Day. It will be squashed. Everything is ready for tomorrow. I watch some TV then go to bed.
Christmas Day. My hair is squashed as predicted, so I wear it up. It is too hot to have it down anyway. The day runs quite smoothly with the food, wine, presents etc etc. I think everyone has a nice time at lunch. The menu is pretty easy to prepare. The ham is superb. In the afternoon when the visitors have gone I sit outside with the chickens and read a book. I have drunk too much and have a very tricky time uploading the photos taken at lunch to Facebook, but I do succeed eventually. Now for some resting.
Boxing Day. Nothing to do but some tidying and chilling out. I wash the dishes. I pick up paper and packaging and dispose of. I cut off some ham. I clear the table of Christmas items. I don't do much else. I have an afternoon nap. I heat up some left overs for dinner. Not as nice as yesterday, that's a turnaround. I watch some TV and halfheartedly do some knitting. I cut off some more ham. Ho hum. The day drags a bit but I can't be bothered. Nothing needs to be done. That is nice for a change.
The middle of the wasted three day holiday. Blah. It is too hot. I go for a walk anyway, desperate to get back in the habit. I survive in spite of the length of the track and the heat. I find walking aids thinking and even though I have struggled to think of something to make for dinner with the limited supplies available, once out walking I have no problem thinking of something nice to cook. I use the last of the hens' eggs after giving the rest away over Christmas. It is good to not have an over-supply.
Still hot! I go for another walk, when the day has cooled, and for not as long as yesterday. There is no one about. Many shops have closed for Christmas. Earlier I do the grocery shopping. I forget the bags again and put them in the car when I get home, for next time. My second shopping expedition, a day early as I will make Thursdays the regular day. Tomorrow it is back to work. We are due a heatwave, not sure whether today is day one, anyway, the next couple of days will be good to be at work.
Back to work. I am glad to escape the heat. I drive to the station, mainly to ensure an easy homeward journey. The train is surprisingly busy, but with obvious holiday-makers, not many dressed for the office. I get through a lot of work, work I would not normally get to... checking, amending, correcting, logging. Catching up, in other words. I introduce myself to the person next door to my new work area, himself only here three months. I would have never known, as he was here when I arrived. It is a terribly hot night but we cope.
Another day of work after a hot night. I wake early then sleep in. I have another productive day. At home I spend time outside taking photos, sparked off by a sighting of blue-banded bees. I don't know what they are but come inside and ask Google. I am excited to have native bees in the garden. I take photos of the chooks, the cats and some spiders in their hiding places, waiting for dark. I wait for the spiders to come out but the camera battery dies and I don't get the final photo of the biggest spider.
This heat is crap. I feel lethargic and cannot be bothered doing anything. Nevertheless I manage to do a bit of housework and I sit here typing this. This morning it was a bit cooler outside than inside so I opened up the house to let the breeze in. Now the breeze has died and the heat presses down, the doors and windows are shut and the air conditioning is on. Not sure why but I have always thought it is environmentally bad to use air con but I have never felt that way about using a heater in Winter.
The Tip Jar