I slept in today and my head cold is improving though I feeling tired and lethargic. Popped out for brekky at my usual which was weirdly packed at 1 so I sat outside. A small downside of living within cooee of a significant tourist destination with the Highlands overflowing with visitors all year round.
Another small downside is autumn…or specifically autumn leaves. They look fab on the tree but take a bit of effort to clear once fallen. My partner cleared about 8 barrow loads the other day and I thought I’d attack the road out the front this arvo. She spends lots of hours outside doing gardening and such, I but a few.
Anyways, I got out the leaf blower and cleared the road, clearing another 4 or 5 barrow loads into compost piles down the side of the garage. My partner, after mowing another section, mowed the section out the front which was a rather efficient way of sucking up all the leaves too.
First there were two, with Graeme and myself, now Kathryn and Andrew, and possibly Stephen. I could stop with this my post for today but I may yet ramble.
I seem to have a slight nasal cold. It’s been some years since I last had a proper cold, pre covid in fact. Lockdowns have their advantages in reducing the transmission of colds and flus, along with other things. I seem to be one of an increasingly small group that’s never had covid either. A combo of luck and too much isolation I suspect.
Andrew’s post today reminds me that I really need to start being a little proactive about my health. I’m in my mid 50s and while I’ve never been particularly fit, that has declined further in recent years as I watch my waistline expand. I have a big overseas trip ahead for which I anticipate lots of walking though I walk so little now.
A downside of where we live now is that I’m more car dependent than ever. I should make more effort to get up a little earlier perhaps, before 9 even, and go for a walk before work. When I lived alone in Sydney’s inner west, I used to go for regular walks after work, on the weekends perambulating through the beautiful grounds of Sydney Uni.
I’ve been meaning to buy a pushbike since moving to the Highlands but haven’t got round to it. There is a bike shop in Moss Vale I should investigate though they seem a little fancy. My weekend drive for brekky could easily be done by pushy in 5-10 minutes. Riding there to build up the appetite, riding home to work it off :)
Being overprepared and early does wonders for keeping me relaxed. A moment of panic initially when the 10.18 train from Mittagong was running 15 minutes late…and increasing. I was planning on catching the 10.47. Curiously, there were two trains half an hour apart…then a 2 hour gap to the next one. My partner gave me a lift to the station and I had a couple of backup plans including driving to Sydney and getting a train from Stanmore where I used to park for work long ago. Had the time if that option was required.
All was well. The 10.18 was ultimately cancelled and the 10.47 was a mere 5 minutes late. A change at Macarthur, then put my backpack on on approach to Domestic and hooned through the corridors to checkin just like old times. No queues anywhere whatsoever. No queue to get baggage tag (had checked in yesterday via app), no queue to drop luggage, not even a queue at the security gate. I figured that might be the case but wanted to be cautious. Here I am flight side, having brekky and a coffee with 2.5 hours to spare.
Getting the foundations right for this trip gives me time to breathe. I need to work out ways to rebuild my resilience and this trip is a good start. I need to handle challenges better as I’m a wee bit rusty.
15 months into the new world and the end is still not in sight. There is not a clear, linear march of progress but then there never is…that’s a fictional rhetoric that fails to describe so many things. The onward march of science and humanity as we grow ever greater….not so much. A myth, a fiction. Life and people are always a little messy. Reality is very different to the rinse and repeat of video games.
The news this week is that the age for the AstroZeneca vaccine has been raised to 60. As an aside, I’m looking forward to 60 and bought a couple of magnums of wine upon release a few years ago in preparation. My 60th is still several years off but aged, mature wine is much, much cheaper if it is bought young :-) Assuming I am still drinking wine at 60. I’ve cut back on my wine consumption as I tend to find 2 glasses of red wine in the evening eg over dinner, is enough to disrupt my sleep and I sleep poorly…and thus too, my partner.
My partner has been experimenting with non alcoholic wines and liking them whereas I’m drinking one glass of alcoholic red on some nights and adding argon gas to the bottle which manages to preserve it quite well for some weeks. I’m sorta liking this approach as I can enjoy a single bottle over a week or two. I’m drinking less wine and buying less wine. So far so good. Thankfully whisky doesn’t affect my sleep…which is also curious.
Anyways, I am in my 50s, I won’t say exactly though that’s more to reduce the data I’m giving spammers than any concern about sharing my age with folk. I have no problems with oversharing in person :) When vaccines were first announced, I was looking at first injection around July/August then there were a few changes, more options, and the timetable was brought forward.
I had my first jab of the AstroZeneca 18 days ago with no side effects whatsoever. I timed it well, got a bus to the main Homebush hub and within 10 minutes of getting off the bus, I was through, injected, and sitting in the observation room. Early afternoon on a weekday seems like a quiet time to go, and indeed staff commented that the busiest time was probably late afternoon. I gather the key period for concern is between 4 days and 30 so I’m about halfway through but I’m not anticipating any drama but for some friends it’s an interesting time ahead. My second injection will be late August and I gather that has even less potential side affects.
With that said, I’m a middle aged white male who seems to have been lucky so far in terms of avoiding long term issues etc. so I’m not the most representative of samples.
Today I left the house and associated with people. In the flesh. The idea of a flesh meeting sounds rather dangerous and subversive in these strange times. People not my family, not in the supermarket.
Sydney is slowly reopening, venues moving from takeaway to sittings to “please stay”. Last week I had brekky in a cafe and not in the car. Radical.
This week I went to a brewery. So many people in one place, relaxing. Oddly. Mobile details at the entry for tracking – weirdly it feels ok and not like the State is tracking my movements. To be fair I suspect the State could do that easily via other means. Right now, it seems an easy entry point for hanging in a bar with friends.
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.
…can be a tricky thing. For many years I’ve had a pair of Sennheiser HD 515 headphones which have been lovely. I have used them a lot, replaced the pads once and they’re due for another set. I dropped them a year or so back and the casing had cracked but sound was still fab. To wear them, I usually removed my hearing aids and pumped the sound up. The downside was that sound leaked and recently I had an incident on a plane where the person behind asked me to turn them down.
Part of the issue is finding headphones with a big enough cavity so that I can leave my hearing aids in comfortably, the other part is reducing the amount of sound that “leaks” out. In recent months I’ve been trying out lots of headphones trying to find the right balance. Not entirely unexpectedly I’ve ended up back at Sennheiser. I had initially settled on a pair of HD 280 Pro as they seemed pretty close to ideal. I was in JB on the weekend and they happened to have 20% off on headphones and was prepared to get the 280. Then I noticed they had another unit set up for trying out: Sennheiser 380 Pro. They were only $3 more than the lower model but the design pushed them against the head and reduced the sound leakage significantly, Plus they come with a flattened carry case which means they’re easy to travel with. With the JB discount, they ended up being $159. Sold.
Wearing them now while my partner watches TV behind me and no complaints so far. Currently “bopping” to Ministry’s Just One Fix. Happy days. Will see how they go on the flight to Adelaide on Sunday.
Update: my partner didn’t hear them at all even though she was sitting a foot behind me. With them on, I didn’t hear any external noises either so there seems to be some sort of noise cancelling/insulation thang going on.
With a heading like that, I feel like I’m channelling the Famous Five and that may yet lead me down an interesting path for headings…five take a flying jump and so on. Here’s another five articles of vague interest:
2013 was not the best of years. It started well and started badly. On 24th Dec 2012, I went on a date. On 27th Dec 2012, my mother passed away after a long battle. While mum’s death was a mixture of relief and sadness, it has been with me for all of 2013; It has affected all my spaces. My abilities to be creative and to work, have been much impaired. My mojo for many things has disappeared.
Mum’s birthday in late November was a tricky time and I was not looking forward to my various anniversaries across the dec/jan period. Yet here I am, one anniversary to go and coping well. Dare I say, I’ve even been enjoying myself. For some years, I have been trying to do things to reclaim some of the joy I’ve lost for this time of year. There was a sense at the end of November that I’d turned a corner and my old self was returning. There has been a false alarm or two in that direction but this time it seems to be real.
I had a very good christmas, not to mention Christmas Eve being the first anniversary of first date :-) Mum’s anniversary was spent in good company, as was Ben’s. I got through both anniversaries in one piece and at peace.
My reading mojo seems to have returned. Fully. I managed around 4 books in 2013, struggling even with those. I’ve read two books since Christmas and am now on to a third. In 2013, I would force myself to read and fail; now I hunger to get back to the book when I’m doing other things.
Oops, #blogjune has been running for 4 days and I’m already well behind. As I’ve commented previously, my mojo has been missing in action this year. I don’t want to speak too soon but there are signs that it may be flickering back into existence. In the last month or so I have managed to not only start but finish a book and start a second. I have read the final True Blood novel and made good progress with the third Sandman Slim.
My approach to work has also picked up and I’m feeling a stronger sense of ownership. I’m also approaching my 12 month anniversary. The last few days have been ticking over nicely and dare I say it, have had a nice buzz.
I have no idea whether I can manage to keep up the blogging in June, especially as I’m only up to “G” of April’s daily #atozchallenge.