a little order

When lockdown commenced, my workload increased and for a few weeks there was a lot more email too. Things did settle down to a normal of sorts eventually. I am fortunate that my entire job can be done online and that I have worked from home before. My last couple of years at Gale was spent exclusively working from home though interspersed with visits to the Melbourne office and libraries around Australia and New Zealand. This time round, there are no visits anywhere…other than to the takeaway up the road and brekky on the weekend.

My days have been much the same minus the commute, in fact the commute has transitioned to an extra hour sleeping in. Curiously I am starting work more refreshed both from the increase in sleep and the lack of travelling. This will be hard to give up though I have experimented in the past with going to bed earlier. One thing I found was that regardless of what time I started, I still tended to finish around the same time at the end of the day.

Finally moving on from milk crates. Cables are somewhat sorted and accessible.

This does mean I haven’t done much beyond what I normally do. I’ve not commenced writing the great Australian novel, nor learnt a new language; I’ve not taken up further study nor undertaken any large projects. Thanks to Ms19 I have taken up roller skating again and I have been walking occasionally.

One project I did take on was organising all my cables and this was a task I’ve been putting off for some years. They’ve primarily been kept in an overflowing milk crate, maybe even some in a second crate. Several years ago I did go through and spool each cable tying them off either with a wire tie or rubber bands. Sadly the rubber bands have not stood the test of time and in many cases were a nasty, sticky mess to clean up. An initial task was to replace all the rubber bands with new ties and clean them. I did get rid of a few cables though I suspect the household had hoped, somewhat optimistically, that I would get rid of a lot more :-)

I ordered a deck of coloured drawers from Officeworks and separated my cables into 5 loose categories: ethernet, power, audio, USB (various types), hardware (including my old Eees). There were a few other odds and ends that ended up in the top couple of drawers eg a couple of HDMI cables have ended up in the top drawer with the ethernet cables as that’s tidier than the drawer with the different types and sizes of audio cables which includes speaker cables, various playstation cables, and sound systems I don’t remember. There’s even several metres of telephone cable which I originally used to run a dial up connection in a terrace house in Newtown with the cable running from the phone port in the loungeroom, up the stairs and through a door into a study space. I suspect I could possibly get rid of that cable at least though remain reluctant…just in case.

#blogjune #11

Here we go again. Why oh why, do I do this to myself. Blogging every day of June, or attempting to. As a thing, it peaked in the early years, around 2010-12, and has dropped off substantially in the years since, maintained by a few hardy souls.

My iso workspace.

I s’pose it will at least provide an opportunity to work out how wordpress’s block approach works. The last time I created a post and added a video, it took a few attempts to get an error free version published. Looking at it now, it looks ok and you can play the video from within the post. Successfully added a picture to this one with only a little fuss. Once in, it was actually easy to move the image “block” up and down.

I’m happy enough working from home, missing people occasionally though more missing the casual freedom of wondering over to someone and chatting. From home, chats with workmates need to be booked, lined up, scheduled.

The view out the window is good, trees in the street, browning as autumn slides toward winter. I have given up on winter though today is technically the start; Sydney has not had a proper winter in a long time. On the other hand, it remains ever pleasant.

things abound

I think I’m entering week 7 of lockdown, or thereabouts. I figured when the library shut it’d be months before we returned though the odd bod I suspect was hoping for a few weeks. I’m somewhat unusual compared to my colleagues, working from home is old news; I spent years working from home in a previous job. This time round, it’s still the case that my job is mostly online and the bits that weren’t, very quickly were.

Weirdly, or perhaps not, my workload increased initially and for a few weeks after. It seems to have settled down though the gov has said we’re only supposed to work 7 hours with no flex. I have struggled to keep down to 7. Then again, I am glad that I have work and sad that so many do not. I am a renter without a mortgage to worry about.

I am overjoyed that we are lucky enough to have the nbn though adsl would suffice as it has in the past. It drops out on rainy days which suggests we’ll need to get the wiring looked at. We moved house prior to Christmas, downsizing, but the bigger house would’ve been good now with 2 adults and 2 adult children co-sharing a 3 bedder rather than our previous 4. All of us with different online needs. As I’m working fulltime, my life has not changed a great deal. My commute is now 10 seconds rather than an hour, which means an hour extra sleep in the morning – that will be hard to give up.

I have revisited my LibraryThing account; there’s an app now with barcode scanning. I am tempted to try and scan all my books, at least those that have barcodes. Many alas, do not. In the move, I reluctantly weeded a few boxes of books. Some I miss already…I think I got rid of my Wizard of Id collection of which I had many volumes. I have kept my Biggles, Enid Blyton, and of course Trixie Belden. Got rid of chunk of history things that I had grabbed from Dad’s books when he passed. I have been buying nicer editions of some novels, and tossing the ageing, smelly paperbacks.

Ms19 has bought a pair of roller skates which in turn has encouraged me to retrieve my old, old skates from the garage. I was unsteady initially but glad to report I still remember how, the confidence returns. We have been out twice to skate at a nearby basketball court which is sufficiently smooth and large for us to gain confidence and in my case, pick up speed as I skate the perimeter. However my upper body particularly is feeling the strain; feeling sore for a few days following each session.

As time goes on at home, I struggle to imagine what holidays look like. I had planned a 6-8 week trip in Europe to coincide with my partner’s Churchill Trust study trip. That will not happen this year and the Trust have postponed such trips to next year…I suspect at the earliest. I was saving my leave for a couple of years for this trip and now the idea of going on holidays saddens me. I am overdue a holiday and there is nowhere to go. I am keeping my fingers crossed that NZ will be a possibility later in the year.

And I am lucky, lucky that I have a job, lucky that I can still think of holidays.

travelling without moving

Every weekend, usually Sunday, I like to read the travel section in the weekend SMH, usually in a cafe over a lazy breakfast. It’s become such a routine that it at times feels almost meditative.

I stop, I read, I imagine, I dream.

Every so often an article will whisk my mind away into other places and I contemplate what sort of trip I need to get there. Sometimes they remind of trips friends have made, Portugal and Japan have both been popping up of late. Last weekend another reminder of Iceland…and come to think of it, I think there was a national geographic photo display for Iceland in my facebook feed recently.

Portugal has a couple of interesting things: tarts and port, especially aged port. I read an article years ago, probably in the SMH, about drinking 50 year old ports in Portugal and this not being an unusual thing.

I noted in my last bucket post that I had managed to make it to all capitals in Oz. Since then, I have been to Tassie twice more and can now state that I have been to all capitals twice. I really need to see more of Tassie beyond Hobart and south of Hobart. I’d like to visit Fremantle again, and Margaret River, perhaps north of Perth for a change too.

june is gone

Another #blogjune has passed. This time round I managed 11 posts in 30 days, or 1 in 3 on average. Not bad, not great but I’m ok with that though it does make a list of top posts and bottom posts a little more challenging. I pottered about, got some things done, changed themes and images around, and finally restored my movie ratings from the backup.

Looks like I managed to have someone look at my blog every day of June and my three best read posts were:

Thinking back on an early post about the challenges of writing and developing content, I had a thought. I still have a few of my exercise books from school and I am tempted to check the English ones for stories I may wrote and blog them. Then see if I can use those to generate more creative stuff. If nothing else, it’ll give current me a chance to revisit younger me.

Hmmmm…1st of July and I’m already out of puff :-)

zip is dead…really this time

It finally happened. Zip, my old, old ISP, is well and truly dead; connections started failing early June and none of the URLs work anymore. Email doesn’t work and no matter what URL variations I use I can no longer reach the old blog. They announced they were killing it off a year or so back and I haven’t been charged since but some things continued to work. No more.

cropped-5278187613_df96b4a56b_b.jpgThankfully I still have a couple of backups of my offline development environment which includes a full copy of the blog and the wayback machine has grabbed a copy too. Sadly, this post of mine from 2010 still needs to be done. Perhaps while film remains on my mind I could at least migrate over all my movie ratings. Or radically, add ratings for the films I’ve seen this year.

New things to do now include updating the email profiles on a couple of my devices to remove zip altogether. That should stop the error messages I get every time I start up. Proving yet again I prefer shiny and pretty over any work of depth, I have instead updated the theme and changed the banner pic :-)

ten years

Realised today that this is the tenth year of #blogjune. Ten Years! Ten years ago, inspired by a post from Bookgrrl, a bunch of library folk, including myself, started blogging every June. Looking at my stats, the first three years were strong after which it slowly died down though perking up a little in 2017. Here’s the annual figures for my blog for the last 10 years:

10 year graph of blog usage

I’m a bit surprised we’re still going though numbers continue to decline. Looking at this year’s effort, I’m currently blogging around once every 2 days on average. I’m happy enough with that and the posts I’m making are sufficiently substantial. Got a few more ideas churning around in my head though filmfest is playing havoc a little with my ability to keep up.

Looking through my wordpress admin, I note that I have over a dozen drafts for posts from previous years. I suspect a few of those could still be used and I have various notes here and there on things to say. I am not lacking for content, just will and mojo.

writing

I was good at creative writing as a child, love to craft stories of imagination. All through to the end of year 10, fiction was my favourite form of writing.

Final years of school was analysis and essays; critiques and opinions, arguments and assertion…or perhaps the other way round.

Fiction only existed in its ability to be ripped apart. Not built. Not constructed.

I keep meaning to return. I’m 50 now and still haven’t made it.

My writing is mostly reports, briefing papers, dodgy blogging. Creative outlets remain clogged. How did I write what I used to write?

Do I need a starting sentence, a topic, a thought? I am not good at beginning on an empty page.

I do not make time to sit, to write.

I am easily distracted, shiny things, anything.

Perhaps I need structure. I tend to live in the structure of others…it is still that I define myself, find myself, see myself in the company that I like to keep. Where I am, who I’m with, the things around; that is where I seek definition.

I internalise too many things and find it hard to engage with the world, to open up. Too much time alone, yet at times not enough.

So many contradictions in who I am. How I see myself now can be at odds with how I saw myself yesterday and how I will see myself tomorrow.

Moments I am bursting with ideas, others naught but self absorption. The balance is too often out.

All the things, all the time, all the places.

june again…

Here we are in June once more; someone putting out the #blogjune call. Some years I do, some years I don’t. Some days matter and some don’t.

For now I shall relax and look forward to a day of wine tastings. Popped into a couple of nice wineries yesterday, Ernest Hill and the Tinkler family vineyards, buying a few bottles at each.

Also trying out the app version of wordpress for quick blogs on the move. May be ok, may not.

forgetting

I am old and I have forgotten how to blog. What do I even write on this thing? It’s like I’ve forgotten how to communicate. My photos have been like that for a long while too; I keep taking photos but not sending them on to flickr. I have a paid account on flickr that I barely seem to use of late. This is not flickr’s fault.

Maybe if I keep typing rubbish, I’ll say something useful.

I remember long, long ago that I wanted to write more so I tried a few writing things, though I think the blog predates that. In olden days, it was mostly annotated links. Some years later, there was the PreSurfer though he died a week after his last post in 2017.

This is probably not my most creative time, December/January is always tricky; also hot and muggy.

2 books and a picture.I am however doing lots of reading for a change. I read chunks leading up to Christmas and have managed to continue. I’ve recently finished Wyntertide by Andrew Caldecott, which is a sequel to Rotherweird. I have loved both though did struggle a little to keep track of characters, but that didn’t reduce my delight. I think the third in the trilogy is due later this year; hopefully I can get a matching edition to the first two.

I have recently started The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova having enjoyed some years ago, another of her works: The Historian. I have started reading concurrently, The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover. I bought this as a present from one of my family and I think my sister snaffled it and read it first. I usually enjoy Glover’s column in the weekend SMH where he has quoted bits of it, though I gather he may have a radio show too. I have since bought my own copy and enjoying it so far.