2018 – A new year begins again

And so we reign into 2018. Each new year brings with it hope for a better future for our little planet Earth, and for nature, and for all people and all living things, everywhere. It’s hard not to look back at the past either, at what once was, at what once transpired.

It’s hot today in Canberra. We’re currently sitting on 37 degrees. I’m not a fan of the heat or anything past 30 degrees, I find it unbearable. I’ve stayed indoors today, keeping my vertical blinds partially closed, keeping my place shaded from the hot sun. I’ve watched some TV, I’ve had something to eat and drink, and I’ve heard the comings and goings of my neighbours. My phone has not sounded once, and my dog has just about slept all day on every cool floor surface she could find. It’s funny watching her get up between sleeps and move to yet another spot only to fall asleep again. There’s nothing much to do in this heat and venturing outside does not appeal to me one bit. I’ve no intention on getting roasted, and my dog’s black fur coat is sure to attract the sun on her tiny little body. We shall stay put.

Can you believe it’s the 6th day of the year already? I’m not wishing my life away, BUT before we all know it, it’ll be Xmas and NYE again! Is it just me, or are you also noticing time moving faster as each year transpires?

In this past week I’ve come back home from Perth, after having visited my family over there. I’ve picked up my dog from her house sitter and I’ve had dinner out with friends followed by a game of trivia. Now that was fun! I’ve also been called by my employment agency asking me if I’m ready to start working again. When she asked me, I held a long pause, and then said, ‘Not until the end of this month…’ So she’s going to line up some interviews that will land me a job by end of this month. Good-o. This is what I call, ‘life-work-balance.’ Suits me perfectly fine. I work to live, and not live to work. That’s my philosophy for now and into the future, unless the sun stops shining and the earth stops turning, and if that ever happened, we’d all be stuffed, hey?

Here are some pics I took from my Xmas Perth vacation. (c)Gina


A short note about books

Books.  They draw me in and capture my focus and attention.  When I come across a book that effortlessly takes me on a journey of splendid imagination, I’m there! So what is this lure I have to a book? When and where did it all start? I think it began at story time in primary school. The teacher’s voice read the story and I discovered my imagination, I could see the story unfold in my mind’s eye.

And after it was read…

I wanted to hold that book, I wanted to see for myself if those words I’d heard from my teacher were real. Curiosity was hungry and it needed feeding. And of course, I got ample opportunities to find out, to feed the hunger, and yes those words were in that book, my teacher did not make them up as she went.  Oh suspicious mind! Where did you come from?

And so, the love of books was born early and has remained with me ever since.  I can’t remember the title of the first book I ever heard, but if it hadn’t been for the way in which the teacher had read that book out loud to her class, about how she delivered it, with all her inflections, tone, and animation, my curiosity may have fallen asleep and missed out.

Since then there have been many, many books that I’ve read and enjoyed, and unfortunately, not many stories stick with me, it’s as if they get into my mind while I’m reading with interest, and then when I’m done, it’s all gone.  What?

Thankfully, this isn’t true of all the books that I’ve read.  Sometimes authors like, Elena Ferrante, Elizabeth Gilbert, Andy Weir, and Nick Alexander, just to name a few, keep me glued to their books, unable to put it down because I just have to see what happens next, and it’s simply a way they have with words that capture my focus and interest like nothing else that I will read the book in one full sitting! Crazy stuff.  I just love it when authors write their words seamlessly, and each page is turned without a glitch.

What were your favourite books for 2017?  I think mine were; The Martian by Andy Weir and Elena Ferrante’s; My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, and Those Who Leave, and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child (the last two books I’ve yet to read…)

Check out some of my favourites on Goodreads

A Sunday walk to the Canberra Yacht Club

At the Yacht Club

Photo taken by me… 26 Nov. 2017

Yesterday, after spending a fair bit of time at home, doing, I don’t know, bugger all? I decided to take my cute little dog Pixi for a walk.  It was just after lunch and before I set out for my drive, I first checked the weather app.  The clouds up there in the sky were looking kinda heavy and rain was sure to come, but when? The weather app said that rain and thunderstorms would come around 5pm.  So I thought, that’s good, this gives me plenty of time to head on out to the lake and take Pixi for a walk and not get rained upon anytime soon.

When I got to the lake, I decided to park near the National Library of Australia, and from there, as I prepped Pixi with her walking harness, I thought that instead of doing the usual bridge to bridge walk, I’d walk to the Yacht Club instead for some of their ‘Snapper – on the Lake’ which is offered each Sunday, to members and guests, with some live gigs to go with it too.  They have a selection of fresh fish and chips, lovely lake views, and it’s all very relaxing, plus I was hungry and it was way past lunch time, and I hadn’t had lunch yet! And so off we went and walked to the Yacht club, it’s an approx a 3.5km walk to get there from where I’d parked.

There were lots of people there, all enjoying a Sunday afternoon with family and friends, eating and drinking, and kids and dogs playing chasing.  My first approach was to line up and order the fish n chips I’d been dreaming and salivating over on my walk. I waited outside the kiosk for a few minutes, with hand held buzzer in hand, for my order. As I stood outside with Pixi close by, a few people; also with dogs, would comment about Pixi, about how adorable she is, but of course she is! and before I knew it, my lunch was ready.  Now the tricky bit was finding a spot to sit on and eat my lunch.  I found one.  I sat on a small retainer wall and positioned myself to eat.  All was well and good with the world.  It was a delicious as I had dreamt it.  I was so hungry and I scoffed it down like there was no tomorrow.  It was delicious.  YUM! I gave Pixi a bit of the fish n chips and to my surprise, she wasn’t interested.  ‘What? That’s not like you Pixi!’ I thought. I put some fresh water in her water bowl which I carry with me on our walks, and she had a lick and that was it.  Hmm.  Must be the crowd that’s perplexing her interest. Pixi’s a good observer in large crowds.  Just so that you know. She sees everything, lol.

So I sat there, ate my lunch, and enjoyed the soft music and watching the crowd around me, and then after I was done, I decided I’d best get back to my car before it rains.  Those clouds up there in the sky (I mean, where else are clouds supposed to be, right?) were looking ominous and I started to doubt if I’d make it to my car on time before it would bucket down and rain on us. Well…

I walked for about 500m and stopped to take a photo (see above) anchored to the lake, because I thought it was pretty sight, and why not? And no sooner had I taken that photo, the heavens opened up and it rained on us.  Oh no! I quickly ran to the nearest tree for shelter (I mean, standing under a tree when it rains, and the thunder is roaring is not a safe place to stand… but…) Pixi and I stood under a tree anyway, with it’s massive green leaves providing us with some temporary shelter, and I mean, some… It is on a car parking lot.

There were people already in their cars, getting ready to drive home etc., and they were mostly families with kids and some others were just single drivers, and do you think that anyone of them even stopped to consider to offer me and Pixi a lift somewhere? NO! Not one person flinched to even care enough to stop and ask me if I was OK, and if I needed a lift somewhere.  Shocking! I know me.  Had I been in a car and saw someone randomly standing there in the rain with a dog, looking kinda defeated, I’d stop and ask if they were OK, if they needed a lift etc.  Why wouldn’t I??? I was disappointed that people simply went about their own business and it didn’t occur to any of them to consider other people around them.  Not one! Grr.

I waited for a while, and then as the rain softened somewhat, I made my way to the Hyatt, where I found a solid spot to stand under and then I made my way to the front of the Hyatt where I found a taxi rank and hailed a taxi.  At first, the taxi driver was like, ‘I’m on my way to a booked call, I can’t take you, sorry..’ He said, and I called out again, ‘Please, it’s not far from here, just 2 km if not less… Please!’ He budged. Thank goodness.  I guess he felt sorry for me and Pixi standing there in the rain, half soaked from the rain and looking half destitute.  Bless him.

The drive to my car was interesting.  At first, he wasn’t sure how to get out from their, having missed the exit road, so he had to do a U turn and drive half way back to get onto the exit which led to the road that my car was parked on.  Yeah! What relief.  I paid the taxi driver and from there I drove on home.

Moral of the story?

Don’t tempt the weather when it looks like it will rain sooner than anticipated. An umbrella would’ve been nice, but I’d left it in my car, which was totally useless to me!

About pictures

Not so long ago I started an Instagram account out of sheer curiosity and I quickly learned that it was just about photos, photos and more photos.  What? That’s it? Photos? Photos of just about anything you can think of.  Why are people so fixated about photos, pictures and the like? Is it because it is so instantaneous that it pretty much adds value to the old adage that, ‘a picture paints a thousand words,’ maybe that’s just it.  Instead of spending some time writing up a lot of vitriol about just about anything, people are more inclined to take a photo/picture and it’s done.  Which leads me to think that our sheer instantaneous world is leading to a lot of apathy and laziness in a lot of us, me included.

Click goes the camera, the iPhone, the android, and somehow this instantaneous clicking seems to make people happy? It’s no different to how much time people are now spending looking down at their phones while the world around them goes by.  What is happening to us?  I find myself doing it too, sometimes.  I’m no different, but I think I’m not doing it as much as everyone else is.  I notice that if I’m at a shopping centre, at some point, I’m going to sit down and grab a coffee, and no sooner am I seated, out comes my iPhone and onto the table it rests, and then it’s like an automated process.  Check what new activities have occurred within the last hour on; all my apps, discover not much has happened, bored already.  Check what’s the most current feed on Twitter, there is always something new on Twitter., and so on.  5 min later, put iPhone back into hand bag, drink coffee, and maybe eat something if I’ve ordered something to eat too, look around me, notice other people in café doing what I just did 5 min. before, and no one is looking at each other anymore.  We’re all attached to our iPhones, androids etc.  And as you’ve most certainly have asked yourself in recent times, and maybe even read articles on it, ‘are we getting dumber or smarter?’ thanks to our hand held devices. Are our brain cells being altered because of our online behaviours? I guess we will find out in due course, although, there have been many articles written about it all over the place, they’re just suppositions, someone’s opinion piece, etc.  I’m looking forward to a longitudinal study that will one day demonstrate the effects our dependency on our electronic devices has had on us.

Oh.  What was I going to write about? Oh yeah.  Pictures, photos, Instagram and the like. I still cant’ believe how much time is devoted to these mindless pursuits. I know they’re people out there that may think it is creativity and not mindlessness, and may be very firm in their convictions about it, and well, I’m entitled to my own opinion.

Honestly though, do we really need to be inundated with pictures, photos, food on someone’s plate etc.,?