Corona experience

Today marks the 7th working day I’ve been, well, not working. I resigned from the funeral home and they decided to walk me – to pay out my two weeks notice period, rather than continue to have me come to work. Admittedly, I was obliged to give four weeks notice; but was happy to forfeit pay and reduce it down to two weeks.

It should be noted, in my penultimate week at the funeral company, I took a week of sick leave. I had a sore throat. Corona was starting to move Americans to working from home, but it wasn’t really on much of the radar in Australia. I did go to the hospital on the Wednesday of that week (18 March), as mum was directed by her GP to be readmitted. The Emergency Department was rather different from the week prior, when mum had been in hospital for a relatively routine (though unexpected) operation. Only six days between my visits, and I saw everyone employed wearing masks. Mum could only have one of us visit her in the ED at a time. She wasn’t admitted, much to her relief.

As to how it is being under relative lockdown?

I need a daily walk – I aim to get at least 8000 steps, which was my standard when I walked to and from work in the funeral home. I notice the marked difference being outside, moving, with varied stimulus, makes to my mood and general dispoition.

I have almost no recollection of my grocery store visits. This past Sunday, Mum took me and my brother to one of the big duopoly supermarket companies (I own shares in them). She paid for whatever we selected in our ‘divide and conquer’ quick shop. Mum seems noticeably more compliant and careful to follow guidelines. I suppose we’ve all been adjusting, and the pacing varies for all. The prior two Sundays, I also collected my brother from his home to take to my parents, and back, to save him using public transport. Past weeks, Mum’s also been grocery shopping prior to our visit, fullfilling our minor requests. My brother asked for turkey mince – he got a kilo. He was indignant to see my care pack had chocolate: “I didn’t know I could ask for THAT!”. He hasn’t learnt week on week!

We video called our other brother in England the most recent Sunday night. It was a bit chaotic as I washed up and mum dried up. We called him again once I was driving us home, and we played trivia to whole 30 min drive. It was quite nice, and funny, cause the answers don’t matter – we’re all comedians, so if we don’t know the answer we make up one for laughs.

The past Saturday, and the Sunday prior, my engineer friends have hosted trivia via Zoom. It’s usually 20-25 questions. Most are couples dialed in – some with their kids as pop up appearances. Alcohol consumption is encouraged – it’s noon’ish for the Aussies, and the American based Aussies are well into their evening. The trivia is an anchoring activity – we spend far more time chatting and laughing. We all know each other from university.

I’ve also had three online church services. Admittedly only the most recent Sunday have I watched it live, and the whole way through. The week prior, my friends did virtual brunch, and I was missing them! I had been invited to a few meals with them the week I was off sick with a sore throat, and didn’t meet up for fear of this virus (long before the fear or precautions were wide spread).

I have done three puzzles – sadly my church based retired couple aka suppliers are not available. I swapped one completed puzzle for a new one with a gym buddy – upside of the gym is people are usually local to you.

I’m still paid up as a gym member, so I can do online classes at four (soon to be five) times per day. The workouts are all body weight based, and I admit I prefer the weights classes, so I’m not an engaged. I also have a payment renewal coming up, and pleased to be offered services at half the price.

I still walk up the street to get a coffee most mornings. I am torn as to whether this is essential (it is not) but it does support a small business, and the lovely staff there. They also sell bread, so once a week, as usual, I buy a loaf. This has avoided me being one of the millions making sourdough lol!

My spending, overall, is way down. Sure, I often add a pastry to my coffee order (I tell myself it’s supporting small business… not that I need much excuse!) I was never one for elaborate shopping lists or meals, and I ekk out what I have well, between the weekly mummy additions, and a few take away meals. Petrol is cheaper, but my car is diesel, so I haven’t really felt the dip in prices. I don’t recharge my opal for public transport, seeing if I go anywhere I walk; or drive.

I’m pretty bored. I miss social contact. I feel a lot less guilt or self consciousness about starting chats with friends online. I’ll admit I once again (like when I studied full time) trawl who is online on Facebook, and send out many a hello. The conversations aren’t very interesting, we’re all isolated in different ways, but it’s nice to share the latest trials and tribulations.

On Easter Tuesday, I start a new job. It’ll be nice to have something to fill the time and engage my brain. It will be less nice to return to alarm clocks and sensible bedtimes! Alas, two sides of the same coin.

How’s your Covid experience progressing?

An account of these times

I wanted to capture these times, in my words, to reread in the future. An online journal I suppose.

Covid-19 has gone from a thing in the news to something that’s pretty gosh darn serious. But also, it doesn’t look like it, yet. People are on the streets. Everywhere I go (care, ice cream shop etc) there are others – these are local businesses so we’re all trying to keep life normal, and their businesses running. Between last week and this Wednesday, wow, Concord Hospital has changed. Last week, I was visiting someone of the ward. Wednesday, I was in emergency (ED). It was pretty empty – Wednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald has indicated to ‘stay away’. There was a Covid-19 clinic, separate from the emergency department. Walking into the ED, there’s a nurse with hand sanitiser and other things – a check list. They didn’t use the checklist on us on any of our entries. The first entry, we were given a spritz of hand sanitiser. When the nurses changed shifts, there was far less proactively…

I’ll admit, prior to ‘all this’, I only washed my hands with soap in very specific circumstances – I felt self conscious in public bathrooms when others gave me the side eye. Now, I get home from being out, and go straight to the bathroom to wash my hands. (I don’t like a lot of soaps – for their scent, or how they make my hands feel…). I still dislike the high alcohol content sanitiser gel, but, more and more, I’m using it. There was one at my hair dressers!!

I’ve not worked this week. I’ve had a sore throat since the Monday prior. Last week, work was very very slow, so the combination of my sore throat; working with a small team all in one location; and lack of work, I decided to stay home til I felt better. By Wednesday, I didn’t feel better. On the encouragement of my mum and boss, I rang the doctor. They told me to come in. The waiting room was me and one other. All staff were in masks. I did not and do not think I have Covid. BUT… I am surprised about the decisions around testing:

  • Why is testing confined to those who’ve been exposed to a known case or been overseas? I can only assume there’s a lack of tests, and this is a preservation level.
  • It’s entirely unclear when you should seek a test – from my best knowledge, I think it’s a fever over 37.5 C (along with known interaction with someone who may have covid)

The point is, there’s SO MANY chance interactions for cross contamination – and I know that’s why they’re calling for social distancing. But I find it worrying that we don’t have strong social distancing imperatives (as in… I’m meant to be going to work. I can’t work from home). The 3 hours I spent in the ED, not once were chairs or screens wiped down – I mean, you see it more often in McDonald’s on a normal day! There was a touch screen for the lockers to charge your phone in a locker – for example. Sure, every nurse and worker was in a mask. There is, as always, hand sanitiser EVERYWHERE. But I think there’s a lack of behaviour. And I’ll admit, the half hourly hand washes? I don’t see the point when I’m home, alone. Coming home? Sure. Prior to eating? Sure. But half hour of watching Netflix – nope. Behaviour is part of the problem, but some of it doesn’t stand up to my logic.

Also, a wrinkle in all this? A month ago, I started dating someone. Someone who seems to have a similarly high leaning to seeing each other regularly (despite, life!). And we keep seeing each other, near on daily. I’m sure we’re already cross contaminated. But there’s a level of fear that maybe circumstances beyond our control may limit contact – we hope not. But it might be outside our control.

The economic situation was rocky at the start of this – lowest interest rates. OPEC arguments raised production, dropping fuel prices. Now, we see a future where businesses fold, as there’s no customers. Many workers will lose jobs; casuals won’t get work, and all those can’t afford to pay for where they live.

I feel incredibly secure financially, and materially (with respects, to my home circumstances). I don’t feel like I have ‘enough’ food, but I also don’t have a empty pantry. I do have a mainly empty fridge, usually and now. Those things perish. I don’t want to ‘go crazy’ with buying food – I know I’ll ‘go crazy’ overeating anything too easy to eat or yummy!! I also feel like my six months of 2019 not working has taught me how to fill a day without the structure of work. That surprised me as much as those who know me well – as a working dynamo!

There’s a lot of confusion. We can see what other countries are or aren’t doing. Italy is putting everyone into their home, except for work, pharmacy or supermarket visits. It sounds ‘ok’ but it was meant to be for two weeks. It may not be ‘only’ two weeks. The Asian countries are doing better. Is it because they wear and use masks (and aren’t a signal of fear).

On the other hand, death is inevitable, in life. A philosophical part of me wonders if this is a level of over population’s correction? Is this part of a master beings plan? Is this a way to dismantle ‘growth is good’. Or capitalism? Is this a way to challenge all that isn’t working in our world in a horrific way? But also, I find it hard to reconcile the death rate, and how it may impact our world. The percentages sounds small… But statistics are worth a dime when it’s someone you are close to you.

Those are my thoughts for now. I’m sure in 10 minutes I will have further thoughts.

Rituals

A recent Cup of Jo post made me think of the rituals in my life. Or routines. But rituals seem more weighty, and joy filled.

Unemployment ritual: a weak skim cappuccino with honey and the newspaper read from cover to cover.

Sleepy time ritual: a shower, then into bed. Ear plugs in. Lip balm on. And a real book – none of this digital stuff for this traditionalist.

Sunday ritual: church. I walk there, and usually walk home (if I don’t get the train to my parents). And Sunday evening is earmarked for dinner at my parents. Only the very special get me to ditch my parents for them on a Sunday ūüėČ

International airport ritual: I now walk all the way to one end of the terminal to the Starbucks, and get myself a coffee and their amazing caramel slice which isn’t chocolate topped, but has this amazing golden little nuggets on it. That’s a holiday started RIGHT! (I used to be about a Macca’s (Aussie for McDonald’s) breakfast, and occasionally associated travel with their hotcakes – be it a road trip or a flight)

When I feel restless or unsure or just need some structure… I head to a spreadsheet. I have one listing the clothing I bought, date and price, each year. And another, which I list all my clothing items by type. Countless ones tracking different financial things – like what other apartments in my building sold for, and their cost per square meter. I have spreadsheets for who to send Christmas Cards to; and previously, postcards. Some years, when I’ve had a mix match of leftover cards, I’ve been sure to annotate who got what, lest they get the same card next year (assuming they’d recognise the duplicate of course).

The banal: every time I leave my house, I use my foot to hold the door open, as I check, again, that the keys are in my bag. I live alone and being locked out is an inconvenience!

The comments are golden. I’d like to be some of these people:

My once a week ritual used to be eating Chilled sweetened condensed milk in a hot steaming bath. I used to buy a few cans and stash them in the fridge just for this‚Ķ I will get there again one day ūüėČ

A dreamy future

I think we all have this fantasy of what life ‘might’ be like if only… And I thought I might try to capture those thoughts, so I could perhaps work towards it!

I wish for a home that is comfortable. ¬†It’s lived in. ¬†Everything isn’t rigidly straight and tucked away and perfect, it’s lived in. ¬†But it’s not uncomfortable for visitors – it’s not grimy or dusty or clutter-y. ¬†They feel they can put their cup or mug down – there’s always somewhere nearby and easy, but nothing seems to precious – too breakable or stainable.

There’s people always around – coming and going. ¬†But it’s laid back and casual – it’s not a show. ¬†It’s not a performance. ¬†They will sit and chat to me as I prepare wholesome food. ¬†I no longer think making jam is a sin for those trying to be healthy and eat less sugar, but see it as a way of saving nature’s bounty from waste. ¬†There’s ample containers to store all the things I prepare, and ample room in fridges and cupboards to store things, but not lose things! There’s enough to feed whomever may be around and be hungry.

The bathrooms are clean – no dust bunnies. ¬†Nothing cringe worthy in it’s dirtiness. ¬†There’s no mould growing. ¬†There’s no funky smells. ¬†And the medicine cupboard, it’s stocked, but not over stocked, and anyone may open it and take what they need. ¬†Nothing in there is a secret or taboo or gross.

The laundry is functional – there’s somewhere to hang the clothing needing ironing. ¬†There’s a place for everything to be tucked away. ¬†Things can easily soak. ¬†Lost socks can linger in a special place awaiting a mate.

The home is bathed in sunshine and warmth. When it’s cold and blustery outside, it’s snug. ¬†When it’s warm and muggy, there’s a gentle breeze.

There’s a garden, with warm sunshine and delicious cool shade. ¬†Things grow with ease. I grow food and fragrant flowers.

Cabin fever

I’ll admit, there’s been some cabin fever. I have learnt that I need an outing a day, and ideally something either social or mentally engaging. Monday week ago I settled for a few errands but then felt under house arrest. To alleviate that, this is what I did the other days:

Went to the Art Gallery of NSW and saw the graduating high school student art. Some was necessarily juvenile, or at least, not my taste. I walked from home to the gallery, via the library (to collect a book about the frugal art of hedonism!). When I got to the gallery I made a bee line to the cafe, and slowly sipped my pot of chai tea.

Multiple layers, notice the three different icons in the central top windows

Wednesday, I went back to the same precinct that the Art Gallery is in, but this time to read and swim at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool. It is on the harbour, with views of the naval base, so it’s lovely even if you don’t swim.

Chai in the gallery cafe

Thursday I’d found a $10 deal for a movie ticket – far better than the $20+ it can sometimes be, for the film Escape Room. I went to a lunch time session and then browsed other shops around the city. I’m incredibly good at restraining from impulse purchases!

A card i could have bought

Friday I caught up with two friends. After a coffee with one friend, we walked the street and browsed the old wares and second hand shops as we discussed our job less state – hers being a bit more recent, and a bit of a shock. Another friend came over for a swim.

I ended up so busy, I didn’t think of job hunting!

Creature of habits and routines

It’ll come as no surprise to those who know me that I’m a conscientious person. And with that, comes routines and habits. And even in a period of unemployment and wide open spaces of unscheduled time, I’ve still come to a routine.

I now wake much (an hour!) later – at 6:40am. This gives me time to briefly review my notifications, get dressed and walk to the gym for a 7am work out. After my 45 minutes of sweating more than I think is humanly possible, I saunter home. I then make the planned breakfast *the plan being set by F45, the gym I go to. It’s usually either a smoothie, an omlette or eggs some other way, and occasional toast with chocolate/peanut butter concoction. Depending on my inclination, I’ll either wash up then (the previous 24 hours of dishes) or I’ll head to the local cafe for my cappuccino. (Fun fact: after many years as a mocha drinker, and then trying decaf long blacks for F45 challenges in 2018, I’ve found a more moderate coffee – it’s a skim cap with honey, so still sweet but less so? maybe?)

At my local cafe, I take the newspaper and read it cover to cover. Sometimes, annoyingly, someone calls. Don’t they know they are interrupting my routine? Even to tell me about that ONE job I’ve applied for in this brief sabbatical? I jest.

Once the paper is read, I return home to wash up, if required, and then shower. After that, it becomes a wide open expanse.

As the blog title hints, I have a stack of lists. I have a list of items I want to buy (both clothing and household items). I have a list of errands and chores to do around the home, including things I’d prefer do on a ‘big screen’ of the laptop when I’m next at the library or my parent’s house. I also have a list of tasks for my upcoming European holiday. When you’re going to Greece, Hungary, Italy, Croatia for fun, and further England & Wales, Germany and France to see people you love, there’s a fair bit of logistics. I thought I had it sorted, til ferries only ran two days a week, or flights only started in the true summer season, and not the shoulder.

Some days, I have ‘coffee dates’ with former work acquaintances and colleagues. Other days, I head to the library to use their internet. Other days, I stay home, and get cabin fever!

Most afternoons I take to the bed upstairs to lie down and read. Surprisingly, with such a leisurely schedule, my need to nap has diminished, and if I do end up napping, it tends to make my night sleep more broken.

A good day is when a few more of those listed items are struck off. Most days see me also add a few more tasks though!

Updates

OK, first, WordPress backend looks oh so different. Let’s see how I go?

For my readers who I comment on your blogs, you might know that I’m currently not working. My government contract was cut short. It was due to run til mid April but due to budgetary issues, and a looming March election, they cut it short to the beginning of February.

I was actually perfectly OK with this news. This time in 2018, I took four weeks of leave at half pay, to explore boredom and hopefully be inspired as to what to do next in my career. Following that time off, I was offered the contract role, and left the company I’d been at for nine years. Of course, I was paid out the long service leave entitlements (if you have no idea what I’m on about, international readers, this is a helpful post). I started at the state government after Easter 2018.

I was given one week’s notice. Many were aghast it was such short notice – for me, it felt right. My last employer required only a week’s notice. The kicker was that I was told a DAY before both my birthday AND the day I was moving back into the loft. The loft being the property I blogged a lot about in 2012 and 2013. I actually worked my birthday, and Dad supervised the move of furniture. I’d slowly moved all non furniture items in car trips. The property was actually vacant a brief while, as I got it repainted and laid new carpet. The last tenant’s dog damaged the first three stairs (and a few more other things). So I’ve asked the agent to recover costs for repairing those stairs, and the cost of carpet cleaning – which I’ll put towards the new carpet.

In the three weeks I’ve been off, I’ve spent a bit of time getting things sorted around the house. I scoured Facebook Marketplace and have found cheap and free items I was missing. Weird stuff like ice cube trays and some storage in the bathroom/laundry area. I’ve also got rid of strange items – a collection of three cutlery trays.

I’ll try to post more regularly, though I don’t have the internet at home. It’s an intentional decision, to stop me from being a recluse with Netflix. So I take myself to various libraries in the City of Sydney – they are amazing! There’s a whole new on in Green Square, and a beautiful one in Custom’s House. And I’m going to skip the blogging recommendations and post without photos. Might remove some of the road blocks to me posting more often!

November Summary

November was quite a busy month with packing and moving house.

Culture

Does a pizza making class with some friends count?  I say so!

Even learnt how to ‘throw’ the dough

I also saw a film, Geostorm.¬† ¬†Despite out hopes, it was as sub standard as the last few ‘end of the world’ films.

Romance

I had one date – he suggested a great location – a cafe on the top floor of a gallery by the harbour, but alas it was closed.¬† Given it was Melbourne Cup day (ie when people day drink!) it was tricky to find somewhere to grab a drink without a raucous crowd.¬† We did manage to find a cute pub.¬† We talked easily but there wasn’t a match and we’ve not been in contact since.

Lest this post, and recent posts seem like dating is all misses, I feel like in the past year there’s been two or three guys who really did have something special, and for a short time, things were hopeful and fun and nice.¬† With those great experiences I remain open and hopeful to finding a long term match.

Work 

Drafting this a few days into December I realise ‘most’ of the work drama started unfolding on 1 December, and it’s not yet resolved.¬† So I’ll update on that later.

What I can say is: I applied for the same job title/role in another group.¬† I did a graduate program at my company and spent six months in the group I’ve applied to.¬† I smashed out the application in one sitting and *then* rang the hiring manager.¬† He cautioned me to ‘take my time’ on my application as the role will have strong competition.¬† It was already too late – I’d hit submit!¬† I was shortlisted to interview – five applicants of the 20 went to interview.¬† That was the last Tuesday in November, and I found it easy and relaxed.¬† Given the current occupant of the role will be leaving mid december, I will find out the outcome soon enough.¬† Being an internal role, I know the other four short listed applicants and will be keen to see which direction they go – as we’re all unique!

Health

Ugh, so this month, I moved house. I planned a Monday/Tuesday off work to move house.¬† As ‘luck’ would have it, I started getting a light flu on the Wednesday afternoon prior.¬† So a few days of bed rest, and then some time packing.¬† It was wonderful to have a run of days off work, and chip away at packing rather than rushing through it.

Bought

I’d have been MAD to buy anything, only to MOVE it.¬† I literally felt sick being in a shopping centre, and considering packing those items.¬† Or thinking about where I might store it.¬† Usually when I move, I do have a handful of tweaks to make, and buy a few useful things, such as towel rails or storage solutions.¬† I haven’t yet done that here, mainly cause… this house does not lack for hidey holes, but they are largely FULL!

Ate out

Far too much?¬† I came to love a cafe local to the ‘light house’, and with my days numbered in that area, I made a LOT of visits.

Halloween themed b’fast. THe charcoal actually felt gritty in my teeth

From the same cafe as the spider pancakes – it had rice inside!

Bubbly waffle dessert I shared with my brother on family dinner night out

French toast and the paper ūüôā

Loaded waffle fries. The beer is not mine

Read

I stopped borrowing books with the move.¬† Thankfully, my parent’s home doesn’t lack books.¬† Mum suggests Stella Rimington, and I really enjoyed it.

So, I finished:

The Build Up by Phillip Gwynne

Present Danger by Stella Rimington¬†which jumped from Northern Ireland and a little bit in the South of France and a budding romance. It’s her 5th book in the series about Liz Carlyle

Close Call by Stella Rimington felt like I was following on from Present Danger, but there’ s actually three books in between!¬† This book (the 8th) shared some ‘baddies’ from Present Danger, but was a new story.

And I’m pages away from finishing Berlin by Pierre Frei and translated by Anthea Bell. It’s set a month after the end of the second world war, and is a whodunnit crime novel but only lightly.¬† Each murdered woman gets a extensive chapter on their life during the war.¬† I have to say, I lost track of the characters as there’s a lot of names that aren’t in my memory.¬† And there’s some interesting intersections between the women who are killed.¬† I know who committed the crimes, but was so desperate for sleep, haven’t quite finished.¬† Who knows what the last few pages may reveal?

October Summary

Culture

I had intentions to enjoy a meal as part of Good Food Month.¬† Traditionally, I’d take a Friday off and meet my father for lunch.¬† But since he’s no longer a city banker and is now a suburban teacher, never got our act together and booked anything in!¬† I see my parents most Sunday evenings, and it’s usually at their home, for a homecooked meal.¬† I went out to a restaurant with friends recently, near my parents house, and so this Sunday I suggested we try the restaurant.¬† It feels so novel to have ‘planned’ a Sunday dinner out!

Again, I did church flowers

Romance

The first week of October I crammed an almost daily date in – it was a distractionary tactic as a guy I’d come to quite like had gone quiet.¬† One date was at a historic, multi storey pub in a waterside suburb in the south of Sydney.¬† The guy has sweetly booked a table too – this place was huge, and we arrived at the time the bistro opened, so it was all a little over the top to have booked.¬† He had two kids, but I try to remain open minded particularly with first dates, and we’d chatted (like, digital chat) well.¬† Alas, it wasn’t to be.¬† I do appreciate ‘bad’ first dates that don’t require an awkward moment of having to articulate that you don’t want to meet again.¬† He wasn’t the only ‘one and done’ date.¬† The other ‘one and done’ was a drink after a birthday dinner.¬† GIven I go to bed so early, I should have backed away quietly when he first suggested meeting at 8pm on a Monday.¬† In the end we met on a Friday.¬† He was wrong in so many ways!¬† He had lots of strong opinions, about the property market in Sydney, his sister’s career and study choices… what else was there?¬† So yes, I was thankful when my one cocktail was finished.¬† There were two guys I met with twice, but haven’t seen since… shrugs.

Work 

Still rough.¬† Let’s move on shall we?

Actually, a silver lining.¬† A older staff member has long been keen to get a voluntary redundancy package.¬† He’s been off work for MONTHS with knee reconstructions.¬† Thankfully, he had sufficient sick leave so he was still being paid.¬† This month I was able to facilitate the redundancy for him, as it was contingent on someone who was ‘redundant’ elsewhere, filling his role that we do need.¬† He was so appreciative, he came in to complete paperwork, and bought me a bunch of flowers!

They smell great too!

Health

I’m averaging about two to three sessions of F45 each week.¬† Weekend sessions seem to book out almost instantaneously (there’s only two sessions on each morning).¬† I had a second ‘proper’ weigh in, eight weeks after the last one.¬† It costs $45, which is not to be sneezed at, but I was keen to see what progress these work outs had made, beyond a rough kilogram measurement.¬† It seems I have gained a lot of muscle in place of fat, and the circumference of all my body parts are calculated to have reduced, except my chest, which I can handle!

Bought

How about sold?¬† With a move happening in November, I listed a number of furniture items I bought second hand: kitchen table, laundry storage shelves, TV cabinet, cushions (those aren’t second hand). Two items sold pretty quickly, the others have had NO interest, so I have adjusted their prices down.¬† Given I’ll be storing the items for a year in my parents home, I figure there’s no need to move anything I don’t love and want to keep.¬† I can and will ultimately give items away, but trying this whilst I have time on my hands.¬† I also sold two winter accessories for my scooter¬† on Ebay.¬† Aside from hardly using my scooter, I was using these items even less, so for $20 for the handlebar mittens and the same money for a fleeced leg apron was a nice little bonus.

Ate out

Looked good, tasted like nothing

The photo is a stand in for a large number of delicious cocktails that I didn’t take photos of! Almost every line item on my transaction account is my ‘tap and go’ for food or drinks!¬† And that’s not accounting for the shared meals out where I usually present cash for!

Read

I’m currently reading The Build Up by Phillip Gwynne on my mother’s recommendation/she handed it to me from her bookshelves. It so very ‘aussie’ and set around Darwin with a cop/crime angle.¬† I’m enjoying it.

With a move coming, I’ve sworn off library books as I have one less errand. Actually, I’ll be sad to move to a different group of libraries after five years of City of Sydney libraries…

Limitations by Scott Turow

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi someone recommended this book online, and it had a really interesting format, with each chapter by a different generation.

The kind worth killing by Peter Swanson

September Summary

A little later than I’d hoped to get this post out, but it’s better to keep note of what I did, even if not promptly!

Beautiful wedding tables became magical as evening fell and the fairy lights glowed

Culture

The big ticket item here was making an effort to see the Archibald Prize at the Gallery of NSW, which I did a post about here.  Otherwise, I went to Byron Bay for the Labor Day weekend, which made flights back to Sydney on Sunday cheaper than they might otherwise have been.  A delightful friend of me was getting married, and had the most beautiful garden wedding and reception.

I’ve taken some seeds… now for a garden!

Romance

So many dates! ¬†I saw one guy five times, and over quite a short period of time. ¬†But then he seemed to get really busy, so… not sure where that’s headed, but we’re meeting again soon, and I might have a better idea afterwards.

I also met with some ‘misses’. ¬†Thankfully, for one first dates, there was enough lack of spark of chemistry that I never heard another thing from them, which avoided any awkward or uncomfortable conversations. ¬†I did meet another guy twice, and had to let him know I didn’t see a future, but we’re content to proceed as friends and do things like bowling and kayaking.

Work 

I took a week off work after my Grandmother passed away. ¬†The week off was a great pressure relief valve, but it wasn’t a holiday, as I became involved in packing up my Grandma’s house and preparing the funeral, including doing flowers in my Aunt’s church. ¬†As I’d had some sick days in the past month or two, I knew I was best to take a full week and appoint someone into my role for that period of time. ¬†My successor for that week did a great job – stayed on top of time sensitive issues and made some proactive steps in my absence, all whilst keeping me in the loop for an easy transition back into work.

I also got a chance to go to a one day conference, thanks to my boss suggesting I attend. ¬†It was very intense, as I expected – there’s always some very specific presentations on such in depth topics. ¬†Those topics makes me wonder how someone is paid for such detailed analysis, when my brain often breaks with the sheer quantity of day to day operational decisions. ¬†I feel like the tempo of their work is so vastly different to mine – potentially so controlled and a level of focus which I don’t really know!

Health

Should you be wondering what F45 looks like

I was pretty good at F45.  The week I took off work, I made an effort to attend Church and F45 both days Рattending to my physical and mental health.  I was actually pleasantly surprised when planning to meet my mother and aunt, that we all were structuring our meeting time to meet our hopes of working out.  It made me feel like I was in good company; with shared habits.  In other circumstances, I might have cancelled a class rather than try to adapt plans.

Bought

I had a little op shopping spree which I blogged about. ¬†I’ve worn all the items too! The teal dress was worn to the funeral, and the white dress has been worn once and is a little too short to be overly decent… I might take mum’s suggestion and modify it to get a little more length.

Ate out

Far too much? ¬†I didn’t track it as much, and combined with lots of dates in late September…

My friend had a birthday, so I took the day off work to spend with her.  We had brunch, browsed stores, had high tea and then a massage.  The QVB tea rooms are quite a lovely location!

QVB high tea

My friends from water polo have been great at planning and suggesting events, so we had a picnic one Saturday afternoon in Balmain, and then continued back at one person’s house, playing games. ¬†The following weekend they went on a 14km bushwalk, which I declined… ¬†Perhaps a shorter distance and I’ll join in!

Picnic’s view

Read

I picked up Gone Girl from a little library on the street, and I read it, and was disappointed that there was nothing to be gained between reading the novel, having watched the film. ¬†It was a great movie, in the twists, but there wasn’t anything in the novel that the movie missed.

I also battled through A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara¬†on a recommendation from a friend. ¬†She was adamant I was NOT to start Gone Girl (which I picked up when I was with her) until I’d finished A Little Life, which at 700 pages, was no mean feat. ¬†In a strange coincidence, I saw it on my parents’ shelves, right at eye level when I sit at their dinner table! ¬†I couldn’t reconcile the unwavering friendships in the book, and I wonder if that bond came through what was lacking in the childhoods of two peers, and the loss of a child in the adoptive father. ¬†How could a workaholic who clearly didn’t care for himself, have such solid support people, who just seemed to unrelentingly support him?

How was your September?  Can you remember?