It’s always tough adjusting back to work after a holiday. Being stationary for longer periods of time, having to think and concentrate, and worst of all, not having regular access to British TV murdering programmes. The last one was easiest to solve, and Husband and I – for our sins – are watching old episodes of Midsomer Murders (dating back to the late 1990s, which doesn’t seem so long ago but when you see the fashion and technology, you realise it was a long time ago indeed.)
Bizarre and tenuously Covid-related story of the week: Two men decided to break lockdown restrictions in Sydney. They went to the beach instead of staying home. They were sunbathing naked. (This is where the story gets good.) They were startled by a deer. (I wasn’t aware there were wild deer in Australia but it’s entirely possible.) They ran into the bush to get away from the deer. They got lost in the bush. Emergency services (including helicopters etc.) had to be called out to find them and bring them to safety.
There are so many questions in this story – the first being, How stupid are you to break lockdown? But also, What was a deer doing on the beach? What did the deer do to startle you? If you’re naked, would your first choice really be to run into the bush, knowing the number of things in Australia that can kill you? How startled were you that you ran so far into the bush you got lost and couldn’t find your way out again? And finally, how much of this story is some bullshit made up to cover up something else going on? The good news is the two sunbathers were fined. And presumably they have some nasty sunburn in painful places as well.
But the story doesn’t end there. According to the Guardian, at a press conference, Fuller (New South Wales Police Commissioner) was asked if sunbathing naked on a remote beach constituted outdoor recreation but his answer was interrupted by a man issuing him a “notice of cease and desist” and claiming he was the “prime creator of this Earth”. Only in Australia.
Countdown to nothing: We passed the end of June this week, and I crossed the last month off my “chop or change” countdown. The countdown to when something needed to change in my job or I had to leave. On reflection, I am probably in a better mental place in relation to my work than I was two years ago. I’ve tried some things and I’ve changed some things although a lot of things have stayed the same. Certainly having been working from home for the last 15 months has helped to clear the mental clutter I was experiencing. But… we were also informed this week that there is a new initiative in place, euphemistically called the Mobility Enhancement Programme, which sounds pretty positive, doesn’t it? Like they want to encourage people to move around within the organisation. However the mobility they are trying to enhance though seems to be decidedly one-directional at the moment – it’s essentially a voluntary separation package.
I am still thinking about it, but I think this is not the right time for me. Although I know, it ties in so nicely with my countdown, it’s like it was sent as a message: Do you really want to leave? Here’s your change to go gracefully, with some money in your pocket.
Stupid decision of the week: This week we wanted to make sandwiches but there was no bread in the house. “Going to the corner shop is too much effort,” we said. “Let’s make bread instead.” What were we thinking? Luckily we had a head start of several hours on when we needed the bread, because THAT IS HOW LONG IT TAKES TO MAKE BREAD. Mixing flour and water and yeast and salt and sugar does not take much time. Even the kneading doesn’t take too much time. It’s the bit where you leave the dough to sit and rise that takes the time. And… oh yes, the recipe we’re using says we have to leave it to rise twice.
Declutter of the week: I get a lot of email traffic into my personal email account that I delete without reading. So this week I went through and unsubscribed from a whole heap of shopping and information newslettery things that I really don’t care about. A small action, which, along with tidying up my sock drawer (this has been a week of great excitement) makes me feel I’m in control of my life.
Things I say I care about but don’t pay anywhere near enough to: There are lots of things I say are important to me but I’m not making any space for them in my life. Things like – exercise, writing, reading, healthy eating. I’m annoyed with myself for forever making grand statements about things I’m going to do and then… not doing them. Or doing them for a bit and then losing interest. It’s like I’m ready to set sail on the ocean but get distracted by the colour of the pebbles on the beach. I don’t have a solution for this, and if any readers do please let me know. As an example…
This week’s grand idea: Me: “I’m never going to hike Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain). I hate hiking uphill and that sounds like too much uphill for me.” Also me, on hearing someone in my department is organising a weekend ascent of Ben Nevis, “Yes, I want to do it! Pick me please!” Ben Nevis is 1345 metres (4400 ft) tall, so it’s a considerable hike of 7-9 hours up and back. And most of that time will be up. And you know, from my previous hiking holiday posts, how much I love to hike uphill.
But, the good thing about signing up for this means I will have to train and bump up my fitness so this gives me a target to work towards. And as Ben Nevis is at the end of the West Highland Way, I’m wondering if it’s possible to combine the two things together? Again – one idea leads to a whole heap o’ dreaming. Let’s see how this plays out.
Kintsugi project: My holiday cap has started to fray around the brim, so I have embarked on a kintsugi repair. If you’re not familiar, this is the Japanese concept of repairing something to draw attention to the repair, to highlight the imperfection, to show that the object has a history. My stitching is a little bit huckery but I like the effect I’ve achieved. Am I the last person in the world who stitches up little holes in things?