Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

The Garden Shed Diaries – Happy Solstice

Or something. Trying to avoid the sporting analogies like the plague. Which I am also trying to avoid. So far, so good. Mayhem came down with an Old School Plague (a mere head cold) and was off school for three days. Back in the Olden Days of 2019, I might have kept him home for a day, maybe two at the most, but I would definitely have sent his sniffling snotty self back to school earlier than he went back. He’s in the final years of school so needed a doctor’s certificate and yep, here’s a certificate for three days. You might need another day. Back in 2019, it would have been harden up, loooooser and get your arse into education.

Maybe this Plague thing hasn’t been all bad?

Anyway, most of us have avoided the Plagues, both old and modern, quite successfully (each kid has had a plague, but neither of the alleged adults have succumbed. And neither kid caught the other’s plague). I have taken the concept of Extreme Ventilation to heart, and each time an offspring has been ill, it’s been windows and doors open, get that breeze flowing. Side effect of that is neither of their rooms stinks like a bear has crawled in there and died of something traumatic and smelly. This is a win for the rest of the family, considering the number of bears that may have died within the rooms of the slightly malodourous offspring.

Anyway, enough about my stinky kids. They do wash. Trust me. What have I been up to… and I’m sure you’re just DYING to know about the latest Kon Maudy adventures as well.

Okay – Resolutions.
1. Have a lunch break. Well, that is a resounding tick from me. I think there’s maybe been a handful of days where I’ve eaten at my desk and most of the time it’s because I’ve been out doing something else. Once was a back to back to back eat in a meeting or don’t eat kind of day. Marking this as a bit of a success.

2. (and 3) The smiling and waving and not taking on other people’s problems isn’t going too badly either. And also not being a complete arsehole about not taking on other people’s problems is going okay, too. I do think that some other people would be well advised to take on board Resolution #3 as a life goal because some people are absolute. Fuckwits. (but starts with C).

4 and 5 Hrrrm. This is the one where I stop wasting time on my phone. I have imposed limits on the games on the phone thing which is all very well and good. But it appears I have stopped playing games and taken up a selection of word games (yes. I play wordle. I also play son of wordle, grandson of wordle, second cousin once removed of wordle… Please don’t judge me) and I have taken up Duolingo which I accidentally paid for. How one does that, I do not know. Pressed something I shouldn’t have, obviously. Anyway, I am revisiting French. I learned French in high school which was a very long time ago. Weirdly, I am remembering sort of random stuff and I am better at reading it than I am at writing it or speaking it.

So, not sure if I can say, hand on heart, I have cut back on my phone. I am not playing as many games but I am doing other stuff that’s possibly equally wasteful. But hey, I can kid myself it’s all educational and I can definitely say I have improved my vocabulary of five letter words. I keep getting my accents muddled up (there’s acute and grave and the one with a little hat. Hotel is hotel with a little hat on the o. Noice.)

Onto the other stuff… Reading. Well. Going fully sick at that.

My reading goal each year is “more than last year”. This started when I was lucky to be reading 15 or so books a year. About eight or nine years ago, I was reading 25 ish books, and since then I have crept up to about 55 last year. It is the very beginning of April and so far this year, I have read TWENTY NINE BOOKS. And this doesn’t include random art books or cook books. Fuck, that’s a lot of time reading. I am mostly reading trashy British police procedurals set in the bucolic and extremely dangerous British countryside. So far I have learned that deaths are generally in sets of three and there are a lot of lesbian police ladies in books. I suppose it makes a change from the embittered old guy who solves crimes through a haze of whiskey fumes and cigarettes. There are a couple of straight ladies to be honest, and there is the odd bloke detective who isn’t an alcoholic attempting to get lung cancer… but mostly lesbians and old blokes. Hrrrm. May have to broaden my horizons somewhat. Or not.

I have also read TWO non-fiction books that weren’t cook books or art books – Kaz Cooke’s “You’re Doing it Wrong” which was pretty good, actually. And a very excellent reminder how women’s health is neglected and overlooked even in the 21st century. And I have just now finished Hannah Gadsby’s autobiography. It was absolutely lovely (even the hard bits). I recommend. And now I want to find Douglas and watch that.

I haven’t done a lot of painting or cooking for that matter… too much reading and playing word games, I reckon. But I have done a bit more Tidying Up. Now, I decided that I may as well bite off more than I can chew and took to my damn wardrobe with great gusto. I culled between 15 and 20 kg of stuff from my wardrobe and three out of the five drawers I have. That is quite a lot. I was surprised. But it’s all stuff that’s a bit small, that I don’t really like, that I haven’t worn in two (or three or four) years. There’s still more stuff I don’t like in there BUT public nudity is one thing, and the other thing is they are still perfectly serviceable albeit a bit shit. When I originally “did” my wardrobe, I replaced a lot of hangers with lovely wooden ones. They take up a LOT of space. I have a small wardrobe. So, fuzzy velvet hangers for the knits, wire ones for my shirts, and while I will keep a few wooden ones for ma trousers… skirts and frocks are getting those clippy whatsises or a fuzzy velvet hangar.

At the end of Sunday, I could shut my wardrobe door without swearing at it. It’s not finished by a long shot, I still have two drawers (actually three) to go through, and the other half of the shelf at the top of my wardrobe. It’s full of Stuff. I don’t know what’s in it – but I will be finding out. There’s also a large amount of Stuff in the bottom of my wardrobe as well. That’s going to need a poke with a blunt stick too, I reckon.

Didn’t get that ahhhhh feeling of a job well done – mainly because it’s not finished yet. I’m taking some holidays and while I am not going to spend the entire ten days tidying, I reckon I’ll be taking a few.

Now, I have some verbs to conjugate so I shall leave you to it. Bonsoir mes amies.

The Garden Shed Diaries – The Return of Kon Maudy

Greetings, everyone. I’ve been hanging out in the Garden Shed for a bit over a month, now and, on the whole, it’s pretty good. I love having my own space, and I love that I can walk out the door, lock it behind me and the day is done. I sometimes do not love the internet issues (steel frame, 19mm thick flooring as walls, insulation… may have got maself a wee faraday cage. MObile phone can be a bit hit and miss as well). I just got myself a little stereo so that I can drown out my neighbour hacking up a lung or two every morning (he is fond of a wee smoke or fifty) and bangin’ tunes rocking on in the Garden Shed.

Unexpected side effect – enthusiasm for doing things. And not only that, following through with the enthusiasm and erm. Actually Doing Things. Now, those of you who have been hanging around here for a while might remember that I did the full Kon Mari thing, and finished about five years ago. I stopped because I decided my house was tidy enough. Since then, I’ve done a few face first dives into the cess pit that is otherwise known as my wardrobe, done a few culls dependent on my current weight, but nothing serious since the ole covid started. And, aside from sorting out the pantry every six months or so, and going through all my yarn before I moved most of it out the Garden Shed, everything is as it was with five years of accumulated stuff shoved in on top.

Now, how do I know it’s been five years?

Well.

That aforementioned level of enthusiasm I mentioned? It extended to cleaning the bathroom. The back of the bathroom door was a bit grotty and had been annoying me for a while, so thought I’d give it a bit of a wipe. Now, for a little background – I live in a triple fronted brick veneer built in the late 1950s. The bathroom is technically two rooms. One room has a shower and basin and the medicine cabinet. It got a full reno at the start of Covid – which means it’s been untouched for two years. Hrrrm. Who would have thought it was that long? Scurries off and adds shower room to the list). The bathroom contains the bath (hence, name), a basin and in a wee room with no door, the toilet. The toilet still has no door – but it now has a curtain which does give one the illusion of privacy. Sort of. The Doggie realised if she headbutts the curtain, she can join one in whatever one is doing. Ahem. Bloody dog. There is also one teensy little cupboard in the bathroom as well that contains hair products (variety), bath salts (also variety), five year out of date sunscreen (evidence it’s been at least that long since I gave the room a jolly good sort out).

Now, the traditional KM methodology prefers that one sorts things by category, starting with clothes – but this is a bathroom, it only has one cupboard. How hard can it be? Well, fuck me swinging… I pulled everything out of the bathroom and dumped it into the passage. How can one little room with one fucking cupboard contain this much fucking shit? Far out. Stuff from arsehole to breakfast and up the side again. It’s one tiny bloody room. Anyway, pulled errrrrrrything out, washed the back of the door -beeeyuuuudiful, mate. Then I looked around and cleaned the whole room. Top to bottom, sugar soaped the walls, gave the dunny a good scrubbing, cleaned out the little cupboard, took myself off to kmart for some of those clear acrylic boxes for the rando bits of crap that were just laying about. Shiny! Then threw out pretty much everything from that tiny little cupboard. Dunno how that can be better sorted so that suscreen doesn’t disappear for five years in the wilderness. Ahem.

The other room that copped a solid Kon Maudy Klean Up was the fucking laundry. My laundry has very little going for it. It was previously an outside laundry, so it’s weatherproof. It’s also riddled with asbestos. Not Very Nice. I drew up some rough plans about 18 months ago for a full laundry renovation. Gutted, new cupboards, floor to ceiling, places for stuff that’s ended up in the passage, that a normal person would first look for in the laundry. It was going to be delicious. BUT… And it’s a big But. You tried getting a builder to do anything these days? Anyway, time flies, I’ve not done anything but shove stuff into corners because it’s all going to get pulled out when the laundry gets gutted. Except that 18 months down the track, no sign of the builder, I can’t even get another builder to return a call, I throw my hands up in the air and pfft. Clean the fucker out. Dragged everything out to the back deck and looked in horror at what I’d started. Aghast does not even come close to expressing the level of horror. More scrubbing and more tidying and more throwing out of shite. Followed by a trip to Bunnings to see whether we could do a budget reno on our own. Dunno. Maybe.

Anyway, two rooms are done, and there are four rooms to go (and now five that I’ve added the shower room onto the list). The kids rooms are their own domains and well. Not going in there without a map, a compass and a rope around my waist. I think those apples may not have fallen far from this tree. Hrrrm. And there’s the garden. It needs a bit of a freshen up, but that one might wait until the weather is a bit less cray (at least I’m in Victoria, it’s not on fire or under water. At the moment.) So Kon Maudy is back, trashing the joint one room at a time.

I did have Big Plans for the long weekend – probably involving trashing a room or two, but we had a family adventure instead involving a four hour drive, copious water related sportsing, a quaint and idiosyncratic cottage, a two hour wait for dinner (that actually didn’t happen – we went somewhere else. But seriously. Two hour wait for a few parmis and schnitties. Yeah, nah.) Got home this afternoon, unpacked, collected the doggie, walked the doggie, discovered my brand new sneakers are a bit shite, did six loads of washing, and scraped up enough food for the fam bam for dinner out of a fridge that basically has three sticks and a litre of milk in it. Eh, might see whether we can wing it til my normal shopping day on the weekend. We have rice, we have bacon, we have some eggs, and maybe enough milk for coffees for a couple of days…

The Dining Roo – er – Garden Shed Diaries: Time for a change of scenery

Greetings lovely audience. Yes. As you may have guessed, the diary is no longer coming to you from the Dining Room. I have moved into a delightful shed in the back yard. No, seriously, it actually is delightful. I have all ma Things out here. Work stuff, a couch that turns into a bed, proper shelves and shit. It’s lovely. There is even a door for my apprentice to come and go by – although, she will stare meaningfully at me and try to convince me to open the people door so she can enter like the wee Princess she is. I wander out here in the morning, water bottle and phone in hand. Wander back inside eleventy seven times for things I have forgotten while I wait for my laptop to turn on and start work. No more packing up on Friday night and panicking about 9am meetings on Mondays while I try and get all the cables plugged in the right order – seriously. This is/was an issue. If I put the left screen plug in the right screen plughole, the laptop would say O. U only want 1 screen then. Eh, fuck off. No. The cables are actually identical. (My laptop is insane. It does other weird things as well. Because firewalls. Allegedly. I think my laptop is an evil piece of rubbish that needs to go in the bin. The SIM card bent. Inside my laptop.) No, my language has not improved. The Family don’t need to listen to me bang on all day about my very important work things crap, so they are also very happy. Some people in my family think they can tell me how I should be organising things in my garden shed, and I am maintaining Resolution 3 and not telling them to fuck off sideways (to their face, at least. They can’t hear me in my shed).

Speaking of Resolutions in a very round about kind of way (does that make them revolutions? Hrrm.) I subscribe to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s newsletter. I kind of like him and what he has to say. Anyway, he was talking about resolutions and the way to making resolutions successful and it’s all about motivations for change. Most people (like 80+%) have given their resolutions the arse by the time the 1st of February rolls around.

You made a resolution because you wanted to change something. You
wanted to change something for a reason. So as you hit the wall
and think about giving up, think back to the reason you wanted to
change.

Also, pretty much taking small bites of the elephant.

The most lasting change happens incrementally. Do a little more
today than you did yesterday, celebrate yourself, and then do a
little more tomorrow and celebrate again. That’s how you stick to
a resolution.

Which brings me to my resolutions…

  1. Take a lunch break away from my desk – I have done that for 23 out of 25 days I have been at work. One of those days, I went for a walk then ate at my desk because meeting. The second one was today and involved a meeting scheduled right over my lunch break. I scarfed down some food then went to the meeting. I am planning to leave work early instead.
  2. Not my circus, not my monkeys – This one is a work in progress. Not letting problems that aren’t of my making live in my head rent free is a very hard habit to break. But my boss and I make use of some emojis available to us. Circus. Monkey. Circus. Monkey. Sometimes though, it is my circus and they are my monkeys and that problem is allowed in my head.
  3. Not being a cockhead. Okay, I am fundamentally not. But by implementing Resolution #2, there is a potential for me to be a bit of a dick. This is something I want to also avoid. In saying that, there are a few people in this world who would benefit from adopting Resolution #3. Quite a few.
  4. (and #5 is related) Wasting time on my phone – This is mainly spending hours (and hours and hours) scrolling through Insta reels (repetitive as fuck) and tiktoks (I blame Alabama Rush for that – my shirt and jumper are Sportscraft, my shorts are Trenery and my shoes are Birkenstocks. Jewellery is mine) and god only knows what else I skim past. Went down the Duggar rabbit hole for a little while, then e-stalked a couple of bloggers I used to hate-read. Some of them have vanished. Some of them are reinvented. This is one I feel I need to work harder at.
  5. Oh, and the mindless playing of stupid games on my phone. This has been a harder habit to break. I didn’t play Candy Crush for probably 5-6 years (so there’s proof I can stop, hey) but I don’t know that I really do want to stop completely. But I started playing again in September last year, and in four months went up about 1,000 levels. When I realised that… Well. Fuck. So, I have made some rules about the Candy Crush, and in January, I only (bwhahahaha) went up 118 levels. Baby steps. Sort of.

But all is not bad… Instead of playing Candy Crush and scrolling Insta for hours on end, I picked up a book or ten. In fact, I have smashed through 16 books so far this year. This is unheard of since the olden days of when I was a callow yoof and did nowt but go to work, get smashed on the weekends, and read books. I always read more in January (just how things roll, to be honest) but TEN books in four weeks is well, quite a lot. I ended up buying a Kobo Plus membership – I only have to get one book a month to make it worth my while, and it does mean I will try a bit of everything because it’s sort of free, rather than looking super hard at something to make sure it’s worth the $15 or whatever. There is some seriously bad shite as well, and I did have my first DNF and 1 star review. That book was horrible. Unreadable. Amusingly, the book had mostly 5 and 4 star reviews. I think the author must either have a lot of friends or decided to buy some reviews.

I do want to paint more, too. And now that I am safely ensconced in the Garden Shed, the Dining Room is now free for my artistic endeavours. PAINT MOAR THINGS. Once I fold the washing and we eat dinner. Okay. I am making it easier for me to do more art. And, if I ever end up back in the office full time, the Garden Shed is going to be my studio. So I will have a space to do more art that I don’t ever need to clear up! I am in the Annual Crochet Hiatus – it’s too warm and humid to have a half made rug on my lap. And my hands get sweaty. (Ew.) Although we have a few cooler days lining up, so the portents are better. I have a deadline for my current project – an exhibition at the beginning of May, so better get a wriggle on.

Now, I keep talking about getting my weight under control, and keep eating chocolate and cake. This is not a combination that can be recommended as a highly successful weight loss program. Also, something happened on the weekend about which, and seeing as I am endeavouring to not be a dick, I am not going to elaborate. Suffice to say it made me look a little longer and a little harder about the state I have got myself into; and made me think a little more about prevention being easier than a cure.

This eating everything thing is another thing that needs baby steps… can’t just throw myself onto a restrictive diet after some months of indulging my every gastronomic whim. Nor can I start running marathons when I have not run voluntarily since high school. And even then, it wasn’t that voluntary. I don’t run. I walk. Sometimes I ride my bike. I used to to yoga, but too many injuries later… I do Pilates once a week, and I walk a few kilometres most days. But nowhere as much as I did when I worked in the office. And, as you’ve probably realised, I sit on my arse and play Candy Crush (or read. Oops). I’m also a bored grazer and trawl the fridge/pantry when I’m thinking or procrastinating or whatever. So, I’m trying to be a little more mindful with my snackeroonies. Doing a little trade off here and there – do I want a chocolate bar or a delicious G&T? And you know that full feeling in your belleh? That means don’t eat the last three mouthfuls on your plate. M’Kay? See how I go. Bit of mindful movement and a bit less mindless face stuffing.

Might have to take Ole Mate Arnie at his word and do a little more today and a little more tomorrow and yeah. Don’t have to be a marathoning supermodel by next Tuesday, do I?

The Dining Room Diaries – Welcome to the Juggle

Greetings. I have not taken time off over Christmas this year because – well, generally I don’t. I did last year and while I enjoyed the break… Ahem. Less said about that the better I think. Suffice to say I popped my hand up this year to work through. I don’t really mind it as there’s good opportunities to catch up with work, get my email in box under some sort of control while emails aren’t coming in faster than I can get rid of them.

We had a laid back Christmas – it’s just us and the in-laws, few presents, simple lunch, dessert and floof on the couch for the evening with a movie or two. And New Year was equally laid back (despite accidentally consuming a bottle of prosecco. Ahem. Oops.) and up early to work at 8am (yes. You are reading that correctly. 8am on New Year’s Day. It’s only a couple of hours, though and I do get time in lieu.) Plus, half of the family have gone away for a week, leaving me here with Mayhem. Have to say it’s very peaceful, just the two of us. Although I am the only person doing the pickings up and droppings off, which is moderately annoying.

As is omnomnomicron. Which should really be called the Eddie McGuire variant because it’s bloody everywhere. Mate. Fuck. Seriously. Anyway, not talking about that. Maybe a little bit. Yeah. Anyway, Eddie vanished, maybe omicron will as well. One can but hope. So far, only Chaos (who has a life) has been circling around getting it. Fingers crossed he doesn’t. Our house isn’t big enough for one person to isolate away from everyone else.

I used to make all these convoluted Resolutions for the New year and eh, get about half way through January, tell someone I shouldn’t to fuck off and that would be that. Oops. Bad Maudy. So, with some trepidations, I unveil this year’s Resolutions. There are a couple of work ones and a couple of home ones:

  1. Take a fucking lunch break away from my computer.
  2. Smile and wave. Not my circus, not my monkeys.
  3. Don’t be a cockhead. (or another word that starts with c.)
  4. Back away from fucking Candy Crush.
  5. And goldarn instagram reels. Fuck.

Not insurmountable. See how I go. I’m also going to attempt for the bazillionth time to shift a couple of kilograms, read more books, do more art, and have more fun.

I am having more than a bit of apathy today – my brand new work chair is a bit fucked to be honest. I got this chair for the lumbar support and instead, it thinks I want “bum support” and slithers down its ratchet-y pole 876513476 times a day. So, have reported it. We will see what happens next.

And I am procrasati-blogging.

In the Red Corner, we have a 15 page report with a hard deadline of close of business tomorrow. There is in fact writing on each of the 15 pages but cannot attest to the quality of said writing past page seven. Nor can one guarantee that 15 pages is all that will be needed – it might be twelve, it might be twenty. There are also 657 unread emails (and god only knows how many read emails that need to be filed, actioned or deleted. It is down from over 700. I think that’s an improvement)

In the Blue Corner, we have an absolute shit tonne of Things To Do. These Things are looking at me and reminding me of their existence as I walk past them The Things include (but are not limited to) de-Christmas-ifying the house, and sorting out the dumping ground formerly known as the Boudoir. Yes, I am still sleeping in there, but may have to cut a path through to my side of the bed each night. There is also preparation for painting that has a similar hard deadline of tomorrow night (mainly because I want to paint on the weekend.) I also need to go water the greenhouse.

What to do, what to do?

Write a fucking blog piece, obviously.

What if I give myself a double dare you challenge? Do an hour on the fucking report, then do some house work. I don’t think prepping for painting is going to happen tonight as there’s rolling thunder rolling around, and while the prep work is under cover, it is outside. It’s also fucking humid. This means it’s exceedingly gross to be working outside in a hot little hut with no airflow, and we are at the filling of holes stage of the process. Not sure how filler acts in humidity, but I can imagine. AND there’s a moderate chance of the rolling thunder letting loose with a couple of mates and having a bit of sky disco action. Mayhem and I have decided on dinner (which actually partially needs cooking outside. I may have to reconsider the menu – although the alternative involves paying a man to bring us dinner, with said man being subjected to thunderbolts and lightning. Hrrrm. It’s not me and he’s getting paid….) BUT if I get takeaway tonight, that means I have to cook tomorrow and Saturday night.

Fuck it’s a hard life, hey.

Okay, going to set the alarm for an hour and see how many pages I get through. Then I’ll decide on dinner.

The Dining Room Diaries – The Nellie Melba edition

I have returned. Again. After a brief hiatus. This is not the first time I have run off for a bit, and – well, it remains to be seen if I am in fact fully back or if this is just a partial return to the sphere of sharing my mindless drivel with an unseen audience. Man, I am the queen of philosophicalnessness today. Fear not. I shall return swiftly to my normal shallow and meaningless. Suffice to say I have been having what is best described as a Moment. Or two. Maybe three. Or, well, however many weeks we were in the Hokey Pokey Lockdown this last time. In and out up and down bloody hell, make your sodding minds up mateys. What rule is it again? Who goes where? Masks on what?

Yeah, this last lockdown, my brains and I did not do as well as we have in the past. Of course, work got hectic, and doing that stupid course I got suckered into added a completely unneccessary layer of drama to the whole shebang. Add in a return to school at home for a term and supervising a recalcitrant 15 year old and you have a recipe for splosions of the head related variety. But I did discover a word for what I have been feeling.

Languishing.

I have been languishing.

A lot.

“Languishing is apathy, a sense of restlessness or feeling unsettled or an overall lack of interest in life or the things that typically bring you joy,” 

Yeah. Languishing.

Meh-ness.

A state of blah.

I read about it in the New York Times (yes, I am fancy) and when I read it, I was all oh yeah. That’s me. I am languishing. Fuck. It’s nice it has a name. It is also nice that I am not the only person that’s been afflicted with a thick coating of ennui. But ennui is quite the swamp. And one can drown a little in a swamp.

So yeah. Meh. Hence, no blogging really. Can’t be fucked. About anything much to be honest. I start the weekend full of ideas and enthusiasm and by 10am, I’m like meh, do I have to? Well, actually you lazy fucking trollop, you do have to. Assuming going free range is not on the agenda…Or, I suppose you could just buy more underwear. That would work just as well, and I don’t even have to get up off the couch. Well. I have to get up off the couch to get the parcel from the front door eventually, but eh. It can wait. Or someone will come in through the front door and pick it up for me. Or walk inside and tell me there’s a parcel by the front door. Yes. That has happened. I am not the only lazy fucker at my house. I basically skipped September. Diary is blank. Mind is numb.

But there comes a time when one reaches the point from which one does have to resurrect oneself and get ones elbow out of ones lower orifices and do a spot of bridge building, and get the fuck over oneself, and do something or other that sparks a bit of fucking joy. Believe it or not, applying furniture polish to a set of drawers is something that sparks a little something something and well. It’s a start. Also ended up with a clean dunny that day and a dunny that does NOT smell of swamp really does spark a hell of a lot of joy.

So, consequently, I am dragging my slightly more substantial arse off the couch, and I am attempting to get back into the swing of everything again. Sort of. The couch really is quite alluring. Also, I’ve had a pretty good book (or two) on the go. And pineapple Freddos. They are a Very Good Thing. Ahem. Made a couple of decisions about the obsessing with covid cases (stopping the obsessing is probably good) and attempting to be steering clear of the cesspit of negativity that is the tweeter. Also, may have broken my cardinal rule of not engaging with strangers on the interwebs. It was civil-ish mostly, but yeah. Different perspectives of the same sort of thing but painted with different sized brushes.

Righty-o then. Backed away from the strangers, stopped obsessing over the covids, ran out of pineapple Freddos… What next? Doing a bit of shit I enjoy or shit that makes me feel better, mostly. And that stupid course. Well. Crikey Moses, that was a bit of a debacle. Finally finished the fucker, and next time someone says to me “you should do this course”, the short answer will be something along the lines of fuck right off!

Been painting a bit and drawing a bit and well, I am pretty shit at it, but once I get going, it’s very soothing. And crocheting because full nana mode has been entered. I have definitely not spent any long Zoom meetings this week doing 212 popcorn stitches. Definitely not. I still have about 50 to go, so there you go.

Reg and I have been watching old episodes of “Who do you think you are?” which got me all inspired and shit to stalk a few more dead people… Might have a line on ma great granny who died under Mysterious Circumstances in the mid 1950s. Allegedly. Now, great granny was from all accounts a bit of a mole. BUT I don’t know if she was a bit of a mole because her husband ran off to the War in 1915, leaving her at home with four little kids, OR if her husband ran off to the war because she was a bit of a mole. Suffice to say he didn’t come back, and she was left raising four kids on her own. I have been attempting somewhat valiantly to discover when/where she died for a few years now… all I had to go on was a note from my grandfather saying “Jane Smith (yes, that is actually her name) died in Kent I think. No idea when but a couple of years after we came to Australia”. Thanks, mate, that narrows it down. So, I’ve dropped a couple of quid on a death certificate for a possibly rando Jane Smith who appears to be of an appropriate age who died in the right location. However, considering that nobody in this family moved more than 20km from home until my grandparents got on a boat… Who knows? Four business days and I can find out if I have wasted my loot. But bloody Jane Smith. Fuck me swinging. Jane’s big sister ended up marrying some bloke who was not only a bit of a dick (his ex-wife allegedly had an affair with a prince – yay, something interesting in the family tree, but his divorce papers suggested he was a pompous git with a high opinion of himself) and he was also her cousin. I give you the tip, trawling through old newspaper records is quite enlightening. I discovered all manner of things about my grandfather who was a bastion of virtue. Just ask him. Petty criminal, gaol or army, your choice, mate. Illegitimate child…And they talk about young people today. Well, I never.

Oh, and I’ve been having a Social Life. Lordy. Last time I was supposed to have a Social Life, the whole universe went into lockdown and that didn’t happen. It was a lunch. I needed to frock up. It was warm. I have worn nothing but pants for months on end. AND I have eaten too many pineapple Freddos. Houston, we may have had a frock related problem. Since that lunch I’ve managed a birthday party, a couple of Christmas lunches (one good, one not so much), Christmas itself (wheeled the Emergency Frock out again) and I have been invited to TWO parties on New Years Eve (neither of which are frock-worthy). But Mayhem is working, Reg is generally on call, and I am specifically on call New Years Day. It’s only for a couple of hours, and I get half a day off in lieu. But staying up late doesn’t go well with starting work at 7.45am so, it will be couple of wee drinks, pick up Mayhem and be tucked up in bed well before midnight.

Two posts in a day. Nice one, Maudy. This one may have been prepared earlier. There may or may not be a couple more half started half arsed dribblings from the last six months. Possibly not. But maybe.

The Dining Room Diaries – What do you mean it’s December already?

Yeah, Calendar. What the actual fuck is going on? Last time I checked the calendar it was the middle of August. How can it possibly be December already? How is it possible I have started my new diary? Why am I sitting in my lounge room, Christmas tree lit up like a – well – like a Christmas tree, eating plum pudding and brandy custard and fairy bread. NOT simultaneously, definitely on separate plates. But Christmas has been and gone, summer is pretending to be a thing, the tomato plants are going off their chops in the greenhouse. There’s beetroot asking to be pickled. Therefore, the portents suggest that it is indeed December, and there are only two and a bit days left in 2021.

This may or may not be a bad thing. I thought 2020 was pretty crap, but 2021 has been a conga line of clusterfucks, one after the other. And it seems to be ending with an explosion rather than drifting off into the obscurity it deserves. Thinking I’ll just keep my eye on it, the last couple of days as we creep out of this year into the fucking better be a marginally less diabolical excuse for a new year. Some smartarse said 2022 is pronounced 2020 – too. Fuck. May they live in interesting times.

So, what else is news since I last bashed out a couple of hundred words for my Gentle Readers? Last time I wrote, we were diving back into another lockdown and panic buying a microwave. Well. That fucking microwave. Piece of shite to be honest. Hopefully it will blow up, and I will get something that doesn’t sound like it’s going to explode when its cooking. There is a reason why I like to take my time when making decisions about this sort of thing. One rushes and one is disappointed. Very disappointed.

Anyway, time has chugged along a bit since then, so I think I shall regale you with the Year in Review…

January was mostly good. We got away down the coast for a week (something not car related AND relatively close to home) and explored some places locally that we’d never been before. At some point in January, I made up with Gin. Unlike Cointreau and Vodka, Gin and I never really had a falling out… more of a drifting apart, so our getting back together was more of a gradual nudge nudge how are ya, ole cock yes I will get some of that deliciousness in ma belleh. Started with a gin flight at a distillery when we were away, ended with the Fat Guy in a Red Suit lobbing up with a large bottle of raspberry gin. Noice.

February was when I realised that bullet journaling (that I’d been doing since 2015 or something) wasn’t working for me any more. I was finding I needed some structure. Days and weeks and months and order and stickies and washi tape and all the days and weeks and months already written down for me. Because actually having to make the effort to write my own days and weeks and months was ridiculously hard, and not going to happen. I’d been using a MiGoals diary for work and really liked it and, being February when I realised that bullet journaling was not going to work for me at that point in time, I got a cheaparse Goal Digger. Structure. Goals. Goal setting. How to set goals. Cool beans. Let’s rock and roll. I set a few goals. I had a lot of enthusiasm at the start of the year, I give you the tip. I set loads of pretty good goals. I did actually achieve a couple of them. Just not all of them. Does this make me a failure? Or does it just mean 2021 was fucked? Eh, 2021 was definitely a bit fucked. I got a new diary for work and another Goal Digger for 2022. They have discounts at the moment. Go for it.

March – according to my journal – was a bit fucked. Nothing specific, to be honest. Just the start of the first anniversaries and feelings of impending dooooooom and glooooooom. April was a bit more of the same – although I took a couple of weeks off for a proper break and did start to venture into the office one day a week. May was my birthday month. I went away with a heap of people for the weekend (by heap I mean 70-odd. Which is a lot). And that was the end of going into work for a while, and back to school at fucking home. You know how much we loved school at fucking home, hey. Slipped away for another weekend in June, which was fun. Brought Chaos’s girlfriend along for the adventure. She’s okay.

July is when everything started to go down hill. Few health issues this year that have mostly been solved by the application of appropriate medication. Better living through chemistry and all that. August was fucked. Completely and utterly fucked. Mayhem missed out on another camp right at the last minute which didn’t bode well for pretty much the rest of the year, to be honest. September wasn’t worthy of comment, and I suspect that’s when I (re) discovered Candy Crush. September and October were spent reading and playing Candy Crush and doing battle with school at home, duelling interwebs and yeah, general fucked-up-ery. November and December have been spent tentatively re-entering polite society. And easing into the office again, one day a week. This has, of course, come to a screeching halt with the shenanigans to the north of us, and who bloody knows what’s going to happen next.

Did I achieve anything much this year aside from being a complete and utter miseryguts? Well, I did read more than fifty books. This is actually pretty damn cool. I haven’t read that many books in a year since the three months I spent on the train to the Big Smoke. I read a few non-fiction books and a lot of new authors. Mostly crime and death. And historical romance. Ahem. Bridgertons. I have read seven of the eight. One to go. They trash. But very classy trash so I will continue to indulge. That’s one thing about using an e-reader… nobody knows exactly what it is one is reading and one can read anything one likes. In private. Noice.

And I cooked. Quite a lot. Pickle-palooza at the start of the year when I converted the output of 17 tomato plants and my neighbour’s beetroot patch into pickled delicious. Still haven’t quite run out of relish and chutney and pickes and it’s been ten months already. I learned how to make shortbread. It’s really fucking simple… why did I think it would be difficult? The best roast lamb ever, too. Slow cooked lamb shoulder. Lordy it’s swoon worthy. Definitely not cooking lamb roast any other way. When one is in perpetual lockdown, all one does is cook all the things. This means the cunning plan to reorganise the Arse of Maudy did not go as well as hoped, although, as it turns out, I am about four kilos heavier than my lightest, and also four kilos lighter than my heaviest so it wasn’t an entire failure. Onward and upward. Onward and upward. Or should that be off-ward? Anyway, can but try again.

I think I mentioned taking up painting… messing about with watercolours mostly. I find it therapeutic. Mixing colours, seeing how many greens I can create, and trying to translate the visions in my head onto paper. I am working small. Really really small. The biggest painting I have done is a whole A5 sheet. The cool thing about working small is that all the paintings I’ve done fit in a biscuit tin. Well, all but five paintings. I made Christmas cards for the rellies! I am not sure they realised it was me that did the cards though. Ah well. Reg and the kiddiwinks got me some new craft stuff for Christmas… Looking forward to that as well.

One thing I wanted to do was get a bit more organised – suffice to say that definitely did not happen. I am probably more than knee deep in crap at the moment. Although, seeing as I did the epic stash ‘n’ dash so we could have Christmas lunch in a room that did not look like an office, it’s actually not too bad in here at least…. just in all the places I stashed and dashed. One box with art supplies in it, and that’s about it. The bedroom however… three or four tubs of stuff that get moved from the floor to the bed and vice versa, depending on whether we want to walk or sleep. Ahem.

Also, when one takes up Hobbies, one has the paraphernalia to do said hobbies, along with the finished product(s). I might only have one biscuit tin full of paintings, but there’s also a tin of paints, a tin of brushes, a couple of plates (aka palettes), various paper pads, few art books, a sketch book (or two)… you get the picture. When my other Hobby involves yarn… Well. There’s another tub full of that in the shed. Plus a tub filled with finished projects and experiments and there’s the works in progress pile as well. Fuck me swinging, think we need a bigger house.

Organised, though. That would be excellent. I had to pay postage for the kid’s school books *and* order them from the official supplier because not organised. The fridge is covered in memos and reminders of things so they are safe (looking at you, boat rego. Only sitting there since July.) But safe isn’t where they are supposed to be. Fuck.

So here we are, at the end of another year in the Dining Room. I’m turning into a grumpy old lady who crochets and paints wonky pictures of flowers and foists them on all and sundry. Here, have a bag of shortbread and a dodgy painting of a tree. Noice. Now pass me my fucking gin, you pricks.

Here’s to 2022. Let it be less burdened by fuckery, and for fuck’s sake no more fucking school at home.

The Dining Room Diaries: the Lockdown Blues

Well fuck me swinging.

Here we go again. Barely stuck a toe outside of the front door and… BAM! Locked down again. Fuck. Now, I get why we’re doing it – the snappy lockdowns, and I totally get why it was 8pm last night not midnight (definitely wasn’t planning a sneaky last supper up the pub with Reg. Instant 50% discount when both your kids work). But woe is fucking me, alright. Yesterday afternoon was spent maniacally refreshing the news websites to find out will they, won’t they? Mayhem comes home from school, back pack full up to the brim. He’s pretty sure we’re going down again, and he was going to be almightily pissed off if he had to lug all his shite back to school this morning.

Will they, won’t they?

They’re fucking going to, aren’t they?

How’s the toilet paper? Yeah good, thanks.

Will they?

It’s only four cases?

Won’t they?

They’re all fucking randos aren’t they? Free range spreadybois? (totally stole spreadybois from someone else. Is good. I like it). Yeah. Free range.

We’re going down.

Again.

Fuck.

Oh fuck.

The fucking microwave shit the tin on Wednesday morning.

Can we live without a microwave for a week? Dunno. It’s only been two days and it’s a bit of a pain in the arse. Having to wash a fucking saucepan every time you want to reheat something. I only have three saucepans. I suppose I could buy another saucepan? Need a fucking saucepan shop. And need one that suits induction. Fucking microwave is cheaper. And where would I even put the bastard? In the microwave hole, obviously.

Time to panic buy a fucking microwave oven.

What about a combination microwave toastie oven air fryer? Do they make them? That would be fucking awesome (and think of the bench space we’d get back). Yeah, they do make them but $700? Yeah, nah. All this while bundling Mayhem into the car, driving him to work (he’s “essential services” apparently. As is Chaos.) and frantically consulting Professor Google as to the location and opening hours of a microwave shop. I am a researcher. I like to research things. I don’t like the spontaneous microwave shopping. Okay, we can have that one or that one. NO, not that one. It’s got the dumbarse 10 minute button and that’s bad. Remember? Oh yeah… what about… whips tape measure out of miniscule reticule… nope. Too wide. This one? Out of stock. Fuck me, it’s a goddamn microwave oven not a bloody space shuttle. Picked one. Left. Went home. Installed it. Cooked soup. In a fucking saucepan on the stove. Because. I don’t even know, okay.

(Now, I know you want to know why a ten minute button is a bad thing… Well, I am the stumpiest member of my household at 5’10’ tall. The middle two are 6’1 and the tallest is a gargantuan 6’4. The microwave is a below the bench effort. Randomly poking things rather than bending to look at what you’re pressing results in bread defrosting for 20 minutes rather than 20 seconds. It catches fire. This is not actually a good thing.)

Sighs.

Yeah.

Lockdown again.

Realistically it’s not all that bad. If the ring was 10km, I’d be all eh, whatevs. And I wouldn’t be all cringe-y guilty when I go pick up Mayhem. But I only think I need more art supplies (actually don’t. Because erm. Going to the dentist like a grown up and dropping nearly $2k on a tooth means a trip to the art supplier and procurement of a “decent” sap green, and a nice bloody purple. And a proper cadmium red because cadmium red light is sort of orange-y rather than red. As one does.)

And I have a hell of a lot of respect for Dan Andrews. Fronting up to the pack of recalcitrant toddlers also known as ‘journalists’ in Victoria and answering the same fucking question over and over and over again, without throwing a banana at them and telling the whole lot of them to fuck right off. Arse of a job. I met the bloke once a long time ago. Struck me as a decent chap, to be honest. Although he needs to stand up straighter.

So, this lockdown coupled with the last one and no visitors and shit means my cleaning fairy hasn’t been able to work her magic for quite some time. The entire joint can best be described as a bit trashed. Slightly fucked. Snow drifts of dog hair in the passage (okay, that happens daily. Ahem. Bloody doggo). Honestly couldn’t be telling you the last time the floors got mopped. No excuses, no places to go… It’s time for the Great UNFUCKENING.

Housework.

Something to look forward to, I guess?

Fuck.

The Dining Room Diaries – Half time

Half way through the year and yeah? Where are we again? Oh yeah, still in the dining room. Apparently, we have a maybe depends date to head more or less back into the office for oh maybe three days a week. Probably. Ish. Dickhead delivery drivers spreading germs around the joint may put paid to that. However, this is not about a) them; b) me being pissed off with dickheads in general, or c) the vagaries of trying to plan three months in advance. This is all about how I’m tracking with ma epic list of goals and shizzle at the half way mark of the year.

Refresher – what were those damn goals again?

  1. Read twelve books – at least two non fiction, and at least two new authors.
  2. Crafting and cooking
  3. Get less fat
  4. Make new food
  5. Save some loot
  6. Be more organised

Reading Looks like I read 14 books in quarter two – total of 32 books so far this year. I am mildly impressed. I’m not super good at the non-fiction, although I have read a couple of art books and a gardening book, so I suppose that counts. More on the art books laters, though. Plus, four new authors (not including the non-fiction ones) and revisitation of a couple of old faves. I’m still chipping away at the Bridgerton series. Still ridic annoyingly funny and yeah, think I’ve only got two kids to go. And Kate Atkinson. I’ve had one of her books (Big Sky) in my Kobo for oh, a year. Finally read it. It was really good. Top books this quarter – The Dictionary of Lost Words, The Stranger Times, and Thursday Murder Club (note: lack of non-fiction in my top three).

Crafting Yeah, well. Went a bit fully sick there, to be honest. Cooked a few new things – lemon curd (oh my goodness gracious amaze), cooked a decent risotto, and whipped up some dinner rolls to go along with a slow cooked roast beef. Sometimes I amaze myself. No, I really do. There’s a story around the dinner rolls and roast but that’s for another day. Plus, there’s been a bit of crochet and shit – delved into amigurumi and made baby gifts for a couple of new baby cousins. And, I did one of those paint and sip whatsis thingies with ma CWA ladies. Painting good. Painting soothing. Painting v.satisfactory…are you thinking what I’m thinking B1? Now, while I had a crack at acrylic painting, it’s sorta messy and large scale and um. What about watercolours? Watercolours are hard, man, you don’t want to do that. Maybe I do want to do that? My darling little muvver used to do watercolours. Gorgeous floating florals and landscapes. Super talented and all that. Me? Not so much. I like to doodle (and do so incessantly) I draw stylised plants that are more – well, cartoonish isn’t quite the right word – sketch-y sort of well. Stylised. Anyway. Yeah, so, I bought meyself a set of cheaparse watercolours and a packet of paper. Then a slightly better set of paints and some more paper. Then a couple of how to do watercolours properly type books. Then a decent set of student paints and some more paper. And yeah. I appear to have taken up painting. Small scale, slightly dodgy illustration type paintings. It’s soothing and fun and I have about eleventy bazillion tubes of paint to use up so I shall be doing some paintings for a little while yet.

Save some loot Lalalalalalalalalalalaaaaaaa yeah, can’t aquire painting supplies without the exchange of the readies, so that’s not been going so well. Not that I haven’t saved anything, but yeah. Maybe $150 over the three months.

Get less fat Well, about that one. Might have mentioned last time that the great “let’s shrink Maudy’s arse” campaign had hit what would be best described as a hiccup, and Maudy’s arse was maintaining its relative substance. Suffice to say everything went a bit tits up over the course of the last quarter. Here’s half a kilo, oh looky here’s another half a kilo… fuuuuuck. I am eating the same and exercising the same and here’s another half a fucking kilo. Four kilos later. Couple of things happened (or didn’t happen) and I realised that as part of this diet I’ve been following in a half-arsed kind of way, my fibre intake was minimal to say the least. Hence the lack of erm. Happening. Threw everything I could think of at the situation (and revisited that fucking diet program) to no avail. At the same time, fucking tired. Like, the kind of tired where you are so clagged you can’t get off the fucking couch to go to bed because the whole process of going to bed is such an epic effort that you can’t even be bothered. Then, you don’t get up in the morning because well, you went to bed so late.

Yeah. I was a bit fucked up. Oh, and fucking vague. Forgetting shit and not actually capable of holding an idea from conception to execution. Noice. Anyway, one thing did not lead to another, and I ended up seeing a trained medical professional, having a few blood tests and whadder you know… lazy thyroid was off holidaying in the Bahamas, and somehow or other, I’ve got myself a bit of a Vitamin D deficiency. How the absolute fuck that actually happened, I have NO idea. Obviously, the hour-ish a day I am outside walking the Hound didn’t actually count as acquiring enough Vit D from the sunshine. Possibly because erm. Winter in Victoria. Clouds. Walking the doggie at night time when it’s dark and shit so there’s no bloody sunlight. Anyway, now I have turned into a proper old person and I have a selection of medication to alleviate my symptoms (more or less). The thyroid situation has been given a Mega Sooper Blast and it’s like HELLOOOOOOOOOOO remember meeeeeeeeeeeeee. Still a bit clagged (literally and metaphorically) but there’s light (wavering single candle) at the end of the tunnel.

As for the half-arsed diet… I got suckered into that Noom business. Everywhere I looked, there were ads and success stories and people losing a squintillion kilograms and looking amazeballs. So. I believed the hype. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad, at least at the start. I dropped 8 kilograms pretty quickly which was nice. Basically, the program is a mish-mash of mindful eating and intuitive eating but with some bizarre kind of calorie counting bashed on the back end. Firstly, you start with 1200 calories a day. Apparently, you can change this, but not on an Android phone. 1200 calories is not enough for a woman of some substance. And calories were allocated to a traffic light system. Now, it struck me as truly strange that my high fibre, whole grain and nut, low gi cereal was classified as Red, whereas I could have a plate of bacon and eggs and a hash brown and fried tomato and that was a better choice. Hrmmm. And a spoonful of dip and a few crackers also red, but a tub of yoghurt that has three times the calories was green and therefore good. This is not compute. This is head go splode-y stuff. Oh, and go for a two hour bike ride and burn off 600 calories? Okay, you can have half of those to eat. And yeah, I’d stopped losing weight, so…

I unsubscribed.

However, I am sticking to the mindful eating, and I did work out what my eating triggers were so, wasn’t a total waste of $200 (see what I mean about NOT saving any money!). Why am I cruising the fridge? Because that’s what I always do? But why am I cruising the fridge? Dunno. Okay, let’s go and do some work then. Fatigue and stress are my biggest triggers and yeah, bit of both of those lately. Bit of chicken v egg/Demtel effect (but wait, there’s mooooooooooooore)

Anyway, have to say Quarter Two was moderately fornicated. But, better living through chemistry, and onward and upward and all that. Organisation skills have been in the toilet, as evidenced by losing the boat rego (fell down the back of the book case) and being a day late and a buck short with the damn bills once or twice. Can but hope the next quarter will improve moderately, that I will have a decent shit, and I will drop the last two kilograms. The final two may be related.

The Dining Room Diaries – the Procrastination Edition

Yeah, about that. Procrastination is something I am rather good at. Like, right this very moment, I am supposed to be:

  • Doing a 15 minute email blast (which will take me 15 minutes. Der)
  • Half an hour of course work (well, the last ten minutes cos I did 20 minutes before I got erm. Sidetracked.
  • Prepping a data file for a task I will be starting on Thursday (ten minutes, max)
  • Filling in the work planner for the next 3, 6 and 12 months cos you know, end of financial year (dunno)
  • Sending off something for another project (ten minutes)
  • Updating my diary (that is suddenly rather full, also, not that long to do)

Instead, I am not doing any of those. I am Procrastinating. I have had a Little Snack (a passionfruit butter sandwich. Delicious) and am internally debating a lemon tea (possibly won’t. Still might. Or wine. Wine would be nice). And internally debating why the hell I am spending an hour or so fluffing about with this instead of spending that same hour doing things that will in fact make my (work) life run more smoothly for the next week, and potentially next three months.

Is it because I am in fact a lazy fucker? Dunno. Maybe? What would I rather be doing? Hrrrrm.

  • Reading my book
  • Faffing about with watercolours (did I tell you I have developed a new hobby?)
  • Spot of crochet?
  • Cleaning up the god-awful mess I made in the kitchen at lunch time
  • Having another super long weekend next weekend because work and me? Not exactly seeing eye to eye at the present. Okay, that one is not happening. Mainly because today (Wednesday) is my first day at work this week after a super long weekend)

I do this ALL THE TIME. I had a list for the weekend with maybe ten things on it. It wasn’t a huge list, and, aside from the washing, nothing would have taken particularly long, and I could have smashed it all out by lunch time Saturday. But noooo. Started off well enough – stripped the bed, changed out the towels, made a coffee and all of a sudden the day turned into let’s play 20 rounds of some stupid game on my phone, let’s obsess over twitter for an hour, lordy someone is coming in 20 minutes better have a shower, wait for them to come, then I’m all jeez there’s no sheets on the bed and I actually want to sleep in it tonight and by tonight, I mean now.

Then I end up slapping sheets on the bed at midnight, being cranky with myself and staying up way too late because a) I’ve not achieved anything I set out to in a day and b) I am actually too tired to get off the couch and actually go to fucking bed. Fuck that shits me. Then I’m still pissed off with myself the next day, I feel compelled to do all the shite I didn’t do the day before and still end up going to bed too late, having wasted a moderate number of hours futzing on my damn phone.

Sensing a theme here… although right now, I am NOT procrastinating on my phone. I am procrastinating on my blog. That I seem to mostly update when I am avoiding something else. Fuck, I am a slacker. Although, technically I am not procrastinating. I am waiting. Because I have to download a file so a program can get updated. This will have to happen tomorrow because the poor ITSS bloke wants to go home (actually feeling sorry for them for once. That never happens). But yeah, while I am waiting (it is 64% complete), I could do an email blast, get prepped for a meeting tomorrow (memo to self – you have a 9am meeting tomorrow. So you have to be logged in by 9am. Okay? This may mean going to bed earlier than midnight.)

Anyway, procrastinating. Sometimes the procrastination is not so much that, as a disconnect between the time a task will actually take and the amount of time between *other* tasks that I am committed to – for example. The list above is a prime example. I have had five (yes, fucking FIVE) meetings today. Four were booked in, one was a phone hook up. Two were under time, one was on time and one was thirty minutes *over* time. So – my day went something along the line of thus

  1. 9.00am set up desk
  2. 9.10am log in
  3. 9.12am discover essential program has shit the tin (76% on the download now)
  4. 9.20am organise someone else to do morning jobs
  5. 9.21am check how many emails I have (hint. A few)
  6. 9.30am first meeting
  7. 10.20am finish meeting/bathroom
  8. 10.30am next meeting
  9. 11.30 coffee time
  10. 11.45 Open diary, check calendar, admire the 100 or so emails that miraculously appeared over the weekend
  11. 12.05pm phone meeting
  12. 12.50pm prep lunch
  13. 1pm meeting (during which I eat lunch)
  14. 2pm next meeting – one hour allegedly
  15. 3.30pm finish meeting take a ten minute break
  16. 3.40pm update diary
  17. 4.00pm IT calls
  18. 4.20pm do dodgy minutes for 2pm meeting that I missed half of because the entire family is at home and yeah. Well. Interwebs hogs, the lot of them.
  19. 4.40pm. Send off minutes
  20. Start looking at my list, realise that three out of seven items are reliant on my program being reinstalled. Decide that’s all too hard, check the diary for tomorrow, discover I have FOUR meetings already, and that I need to squeeze in the IT guy to install the program that is currently at 79% downloaded.

So yeah, that was my day. I don’t think I even had time to do anything until twenty to fucking five, at which point, my head started to implode and there are little grey cells oozing all over the floorboards. Eh, I have a dog. She will lick that up quick smart. And the file has made it to {gasp} 80% now.

Think I might take aforementioned doggo for a stroll, not beat myself up quite so much about the procrastinations because sometimes, there really are only five minutes between meetings, and pee is better than email.

The Dining Room Diaries – the here we go again edition

Firstly, Reg would like to apologise profusely for the situation in which we currently find ourselves in the glorious and somewhat germ ridden state of Victoria. This is all his fault. He foolishly joked only last weekend that we needed to go into lock down again because our social life was getting out of hand, hurrhurrhurr. Ahem. Cosmos heard. Cosmos obliged. Okay, I really should add that he does NOT have the covids, and nor has he been to any of the 120+ exposure sites in the key times, and he was in fact reacting to our somewhat hectic and definitely chaotic six weeks or so of having an actually MORE hectic social life than we would have done ten years ago in 2019.

Yes, after 15 months of sitting in the same chair, staring at the same walls, we were out and about and getting amongst it. Football games (the blokes), shopping day trip to the Big Smokey for no apparent reason (that would be moi), any number of birthday parties (at least two, maybe three), mothers day *and* culminating in a weekend away drinking and carousing with seventy of our closest friends. Noice. This weekend was supposed to be more footy (blokes) and a fundraising dinner (moi). Yeah, nah. Nope. Shut it ALL down.

Fuck.

I am actually quite emotional about it all this time round. I mean, fuck. Actually having stuff on the calendar and going to places, and negotiating who’s driving and who is going to have fun or whether Uncle Uber will drive us home, cos fuck it, I reckon tonight is a two wines kind of night (you know when I say two wines, it’s not two standard drinks, hey? More like two buckets o’ wine. I ain’t driving anywheres). Oh, and let’s not forget the logistics of getting four adults to a party and one kid home from work when said kid isn’t keen on our friend Uncle Uber. Yay for hospitality working gfs of partying teenage boys, that’s all I can say. First world problems I was in fact happy to have.

And now, we’re back where we started. And I am having a wee sad. Which is ironic, as I was in two minds about going to this dinner tonight, anyway. (One of those annual things, attend as a couple and barely see each other all night. Going on my own wouldn’t have been much different to normal, to be honest; but nice dinner out v takeaway at home all by myself…Decisions.) Looks like it will be the takeaway at home, just not actually by myself. Which means it will be pizza or burgers (the only takeaway the four of us will all eat. More first world problems. But you know, the ironic thing about living in the first world, is the problems you have tend to be just that. First world. So there you have it.)

To be honest, I had a bit of an inkling shite was going down a bit earlier in the week, so did my grocery order to pick up yesterday. The supermarket was a bloody nightmare a couple of hours after the big announce, the toilet paper shelf was best described as sparse – seriously, it would have taken at least a year to get through the last lot of panic buying in February, so why do they need that much more crap wrap? AGAIN? People were driving trolleys around blindly grabbing whatever off the shelves and hoping for the best. On the plus side, I didn’t get into a punch on like the last time I did click and collect on a Thursday lunchtime. Okay, it wasn’t really a punch on. It was more of a slightly bemusing spat. Apparently, only people who are getting their groceries delivered to the car can park in the dedicated car parks out the back of the supermarket, and not the ones who go in themselves and get it. This factoid was news to me and to the supermarket bloke. But not to the Full Karen who decided to park her car across the back of the car parks and stand there like a belligerent bulldog sucking on a wasp. Also, I think I won, because she did move her car (although she took a picture of my numberplate? Why? Who knows?)

Anyway, fisticuffs aside; I was in and out reasonably quickly, ducked into Uncle Dan’s for a selection of cool drinks, and resisted the urge to add another bottle of Mother’s Ruin to my trolley. I do have three full bottles. No, four. I should be fine. It’s only a week. Reg only has one slab. he might get thirsty. Then I headed off to Bunnings. Now, I am not sure where Bunnings fits in my list of top ten shops, but it’s up there. I like to have a poke around and see if there’s anything good (there usually is). This time I had a List – potting mix, rooster booster, a soil testing kit, seed raising mix and some peat pots. Tickticktickticktick. Got the nice man to lift the heavy stuff into the car for me and chatted about the general state of play. I mentioned I was planning to go to Bunnings on Saturday anyway, but figured it would be easier to just get what I needed on Thursday. If the nice man could have prostrated himself on the floor in thanks, well. I think he would have. Click and collect. {shudders} good idea coming today.

So here I am, sitting in the dining room. I was supposed to be going into the office today, but yeah, nah. As of Monday, Mayhem will be doing school at home. Hence four bottles of gin. Maybe I should have got the fifth? It’s only four days. Probably. Depends. Maybe. Don’t think about the end date. Don’t do a countdown. What if it spikes up again. What if it’s longer. How will you fucking deal. Well, you know you will fucking deal because that’s just what you do. And drink gin. That’s the other thing you do. And stiff upper lip and all that cos you know that you’re the Clag that keeps this haphazard show on the road more or less. My circus, my monkeys. Or clowns. Never did work that out? Not sure I approve of animals in circuses, so yeah. My circus, my clowns.

Oh, and my preferred method of stress management? Spot of retail therapies? So far, I have procured a second big screen for my desk and a fancy-arsed USB-C/HDMI adaptor for it. Delivered on Monday. Hopefully. And new runners for Mayhem with the Giant Feet. Nervy about that… he’s not grown out of them, just worn them out. He is due for another growth spurt. His feet grow first. Argh. Very boring retail therapies. Although, one will make work at home more alluring and t’other will prevent whining. Which in turn prevents wine.

It’s now 5pm (almost. Will be by the time I post this, anyway) on Friday night. I should right now be hopping on board the deadly treadlie and wheeling my way home prior to the consumption of a restorative glass of fermented grape juice, a quick scrub up and heading off into the night. Probably would have faced up to a baked ricotta gnocchi with prosciutto, goats cheese and rocket in a napoli sauce, followed by a simply delectable house made ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce and praline. Then a couple of v.cheeky glasses of rose and a hell of a lot of conversation. Then, Uncle Uber home for a well deserved rest.

Instead, after I pack up my desk, quite probably a quick squirt on the treadlie (after I suss out roughly where 5km is), followed by that tin of Pimms that’s been sitting in the fridge winking at me all day. And pajama pants and dial a dinner. Pizza goes with rose, right?