Thursday, June 22, 2017

That time I out-smarted myself...

Did I tell you how grateful I am for the cardless ATM function my bank has?
This morning I needed to buy some lunch for work – mainly because I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered making lunch, pathetic hey? If I hadn’t been so lazy, I wouldn’t have found myself in the situation of needing to buy lunch and realising Dave still had my ATM card from having gone out shopping last night.
I stood in the middle of Southern Cross station wondering if I should just go hungry as self-flagellation for having been so very lazy, or if I should ring Dave and have him drive all the way across town with my card.
I was loathed to call Dave because he had a crap night’s sleep last night having experienced a gallbladder attack.
Then I remembered the cardless withdrawal function on my account. I set up a withdrawal whereby I would have a code number to tap onto the screen and the machine would spit out cash. Brilliant! I picked up my money, went and bought lunch and a hot chocolate to celebrate my good memory.
Then when I got to work I realised I hadn’t gotten out enough money to pay for the massage I’d booked for this morning.
Bugger.



Monday, June 19, 2017

Boring, borings...

Be warned, I'm not going to write anything new or exciting in this post. Just another little post about the good things in my life right now...

So, there's the job. I've been working for a little over six weeks now. I'm settling in and know my colleagues well enough to have a chat and laugh. The job itself is fantastic. My role is basically to connect Vision Australia with other parties, whether they be city councils, other organisation, or businesses. I am also charged with the task of connecting VA to clients and vice versa. Using the connections in the community to reach out to people who aren't aware of our full range of services, and provide them with groups and events to make social connections and to connect them with services which will encourage independence, social inclusion, education, employment opportunities. It is an extremely fulfilling job, where I get to facilitate a stronger relationship between individuals and their community. Cool, huh?

Now, the decluttering...

Last weekend, for the Queen's holiday weekend, I hired a 3.5 cubic metre skip. We'd already done a lot of sorting through our stuff, both upstairs and down in the garage and study. When the skip arrived, we filled it in 40 minutes flat. We had stuff left over. So I'll be hiring another skip in July. That was Saturday last weekend, so Sunday and Monday were spent doing more sorting and putting things into the donation or chuck sections of the garage. Each night this week I've done another cupboard or draw.

This weekend I did on top of the fridge and sorted through my files and books in the study - I ended up keeping more books than I expected. Everything has something to do with my research. All the files went into a plastic filing box to keep them safe, and easy to access. I'm going to need a second box because the one I have is bulging with files. I went through my spare and/or special cutlery draw. I'd inherit the collection of cutlery we had when I was a child. They had a distinct design on them, and could be bought in the supermarket in sets of two (like two forks, two knives etc.). Mum had collected them as she came across them. I counted 9 forks, 13 knives, and 24 teaspoons, just to name some. That collection is being donated. Everything else is staying.

Dave and I agreed that we don't need the six tall Ikea glasses, so we're donating those and just using the goblets from the same series instead. Six glasses that double as every day glasses and wine glasses, it's all we need.

I'm slowly going to start replacing the towels in the house. I'm going to start with the tea towels because they're the cheapest and easiest to replace. Then I've got a plan to buy two new bath towels every week and get rid of two old ones, I should have the towels sorted in a month or so. 

I'd like to replace all our linen as well, but I want much better quality of linen. I want linen that wears well, and is soft and not prone to pilling. It's funny how something so simple feels like such a big deal. 

The house is a bomb site at the moment. It looks like we're in the middle of packing up to move. In a way we are, only we won't be moving just yet, and all the stuff we're packing up is not moving with us. Instead, we now estimate we've let go of about a third of everything we own. That really is a big deal. Meanwhile, I have a shopaholic issue to deal with. So much stuff bought on impulse, so many bags of clothes from me and the boys. Just so many 'things' I never really needed. I really need to do something about that.










Saturday, June 03, 2017

People Watching...

I take at least 20 trains a week now, but often more (this coming week it'll be more like 40 thanks to visits all over town to meet Metro Access Officers in several different councils). I have also formed the habit of getting to Southern Cross station with about 20 minutes to spare before my train to work from there so I have time to have a real coffee - well, often it's a mocca, but let's not get too pedantic - - and sit watching all the people walking by on their way to work or wherever. Most people are walking away from the station than to the station at that time of the morning (about 7.40-8am).

All this time in trains and at train stations gives me one of my greatest joys in life... People watching.

I'm keenly aware that one day I won't be able to see people anymore. Already, their features are blurred and so I'm mostly watching blobs of colour walk by - though I see clearly enough still that I see arms, legs, general clothing, whether a man has a beard, or if a woman is wearing high heels. I just can't tell you if the person is wearing glasses unless their frames are dark, or if their faces look happy or sad, or impassive.

I have come to know some of the people quite well, the ones who walk past every day. The casually put together young Classics lecturer, the very stout office guy who always seems to be running late, that woman in the bright red coat over nought but black - every day, black, no other colour except the red of her coat, like a uniform for no workplace I've ever seen.

I also see trends. Men are currently carrying old fashioned satchels. The vinyl laptop bags have all but disappeared, and in their stead there is a parade of brown leather school satchels from the 40s and 50s. The brown satchels are not matched to the shoes, in fact, there seems to be some sort of rule about not matching the bag to the shoes. Brown bag = black shoes, black bag (much less common) = brown shoes. Brown shoes do seem to be very popular, though - with any colour suit. Men are all wearing pointy shoes. Pointy shoes are very sexy - sadly, the faces at the opposite end of the body are more often disappointing than satisfying.

I've become a little obsessed with how women walk. Specifically how they walk in heels. Most women seem unable to walk upright in heels. They walk with an awkward knees bent, bum out, shoulders forward balancing act going on. As if their can't find their centre of gravity. The percentage of women who walk properly upright in high heeled shoes is quite low. The issue seems to be that the awkward women put the ball of their feet to the ground first. Maybe they're afraid the heel of their shoe will snap off. They try to tiptoe along and then the heels hit the ground at the same time as the toe of the shoe in a 'clop, clop' horse shoe fashion. This is all good and well for horses, they have four feet and a steady centre of balance. Humans, not so much.

As these women pass, I can't help but think of Daisy Duck.


Something else. 

It is true about sitting on trains and everyone around you has their face in an electronic device, but one morning last week I looked up (not from a device) and saw that of the 15 or so people closest to me that I could see well enough, only two were engaged with electronic devices. One man was glued to the screen of his iPhone, and the other had earbuds in.

Everyone one else was either sitting in a waking dream state, reading a book, or chatting with someone. So, I guess we haven't yet gone to hell in a hand basket.

That said, this was unusual enough for me to be surprised and fascinated by - sort of like seeing a rare animal in the wild.



Teenagers and the failing parent...