Hiking Holiday

In the spirit of my previous post, I have been busy making plans, setting goals, etc. One of my goals for the next 12 months is to travel. But I don’t want to just travel in the sense of showing up to some exotic or popular location, taking a few touristy photos and returning home, ticking this ‘somewhere’ off my bucket list. I want to push myself and do something a little bit challenging.

Last year, before my cat got sick, I’d made very loose plans to hike The Overland Track in Tasmania. These very loose plans involved buying a book on the subject and looking at the photos.

Overland Track Book

This time I’m going to actually do it. In April of 2019, in fact.

This particular date has been carefully selected based on the kinds of scenery I can expect to see during this time and the weather that the area can expect during autumn. That, and these dates are available at work for me to book my annual leave, which I have done.

Registration for track passes opens on July 1st and I will have 10 months to get myself ready 🙂

One Year

The lovely Lena Dunham posted this quote on Instagram yesterday, 5th June 2018:

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I don’t know all the ins and out of her life. I know she’s had a long-term relationship end recently which would really suck, but that is the extent of my knowledge of her personal life.

But this post got me thinking of my own life. What was I doing this time a year ago? What were my hopes, goals, dreams this time last year? Have I achieved them?

A quick scan in my journal revealed that I was:

  • Unhappy in my current job due to personality clashes with not one but two colleagues. Going to work was unpleasant and Sunday evenings were dreaded.
  • Still trying to write that novel.
  • I had been googling an old boyfriend – goodness only knows why – and spent the next several weeks in a deep funk over how it looked like he’d gotten everything he wished for out of life while I was still ‘stuck’ not doing anything. I was weepy and pathetic.
  • My cat had some pretty big health problems and I was worrying about how I was going to pay the vet bills.
  • Still dreaming about travelling.

How’d I go?

  • I ended up sorting out the problems with my colleagues and we all got along very well for several months until I recently moved to a new position. We still keep in touch. Win.
  • Am still trying to write that novel.
  • Couldn’t care less about the ex anymore. Win.
  • My cat’s health has improved and I managed to pay for the bills and fancy specialist he needed to go to. Win.
  • Haven’t travelled anywhere.

So, there were some wins, but I’d hardly call it a groundbreaking year, achievement-wise. The little things got done, but the big things, the ones that were really important to me were overlooked.

Now, I realise this sort of thing is usually done at the start of the year, but I’ve decided to keep a track of the wins, the goals achieved and the accomplishments accomplished. For one year. Just to see what kind of a difference I can make to my life in 12 months.

In June 2019, I want to be able to open the folder of notes on my laptop and revel in the amount I have achieved. And I still have two unfulfilled goals from last year to start on…

Growing Stuff

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends gifted me some Yellow Lemon Drop chillies that she grew from seed. She’s a big fan of the chilli, in all forms. In fact, one might call her a chilli connoisseur. But she now has more than she knows what to do with and can’t give them away fast enough.

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I do like the odd chilli here and there, but I don’t eat a lot of them. They don’t feature in my cooking every day, at least. Now, with this in mind it would make sense for me to wait for her to have another bumper crop and hold out my cupped hands in a hopeful manner in case she has any more surplus. But I had so many seeds left over and didn’t want to waste them, so I thought I’d try growing some for myself.

Apparently, these bad boys are prolific. But instead of planting maybe one or two seeds, I’ve gone completely overboard (so unlike me!) and planted a whole tray.

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If all seeds are successful, I’ll have about 30-35 plants. If, say, only half survive to adulthood, I’ll still have 15 or so plants. And if all these plants produce as many chillies as my friend’s one plant produces, I won’t have any idea what to do with them all.

The half batch of chilli sauce that I made last weekend will keep me going for quite some time. There’s only me that eats it and believe me, while delicious, it is capital H hot!

But I’m probably getting ahead of myself, since so far only two little plants have emerged. Stay tuned.

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In other gardening news, I bought some Italian parsley, mint, lemon thyme and salad burnet seedlings from the farmers markets last Wednesday and already they’ve just about doubled in size thanks to all the rain we’ve had.

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My Christmas Inconsistencies

Christmas: special time of the year? Perhaps for some. Maybe not for everyone.

I often wonder where I was and what I was doing when they were passing around the Christmas genes. I think I picked up some but clearly not others. For example –

Things about Christmas I loathe with a fiery passion:

  • Christmas carols
  • Secret Santa (work edition)
  • Christmas decorations (especially tinsel)
  • Navigating shopping centres, searching for gifts
  • Large parties or gatherings where my dietary choices are loudly called into question. And judged.

But I love, love, love:

  • Christmas movies (I can and often will watch them year-round)
  • Secret Santa (online friends edition)
  • Online shopping for gifts
  • Christmas lights (my exception to the no Christmas decorations rule)
  • Champagne for breakfast (my own personal Christmas tradition)

So basically, as a way of coping with Christmas this year, I’ll be the one walking around in public with my noise-cancelling headphones on to drown out the Christmas carols that are playing everywhere and carrying an EpiPen in case I accidentally touch tinsel. And then rushing home so I can watch Love Actually for the millionth time.

I’d be excited about the Christmas season ending if it didn’t send a signal to the Powers That Be that it’s now time to stock the grocery stores with hot cross buns.

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Last Week of NaNoWriMo – Thoughts

Soooo…I’m not going to make it, okay.

I deliberately took the last Friday of November off work so that I could spend a solid long weekend finishing this challenge early, and basking in the glory of the NaNo parade, sipping champagne from my NaNo mug while I finally get to indulge in Stranger Things, etc., etc.

But when I sat down yesterday morning to write, it suddenly became a case of “crap, now I have to write 25,000 words in the space of three days”. This didn’t sound like fun to me. In fact, it reminded me way too much of how my Honours thesis panned out a few years ago. And that certainly wasn’t fun in any way. I still have nightmares.

And so, I’ve decided to hang up my NaNo Hat for 2017. I’m not quitting writing this project I’m working on – which, in the NaNo frenzy has worked itself into an unrecognisable messy beast of words – but I will be stepping back, maybe pulling the story apart, picking out what I like about it and tossing the rest away. And then I’ll continue writing.

Congrats to all who made it to 50,000!!

I did it two years ago, so I know I can do it. But just not this year. And that’s okay.

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Random thoughts on my first week of NaNoWriMo 2017

Kind of in order:

  • So far, so good. Not exactly hitting the recommended daily word count in the first three days. But hey, that’s what weekends are for, right? They’re for catching up.
  • Last time I did NaNo it took me three days to even start any writing. Don’t panic at this early stage.
  • Let’s see how my one and only writing buddy on NaNo is doing. OMG! How has she written over 9,000 words already? Doesn’t she work? Like at a full time job?
  • It’s Saturday! Writing vs Stranger Things = Writing won the first round. Excellent self control! Very uncharacteristic of me.
  • Writing vs Housework = Housework won. Still, word count increased a little bit.
  • Sunday is here, gonna set myself a personal goal of 4,000 words today. High fiving myself in advance like a true dork.
  • Nano writing buddy is approaching 10,000 words.
  • Just relax ok? Don’t panic. And stop comparing myself to others, I’m doing fine.
  • Have caught up and can probably sneak in a ep of ST later in the afternoon. (Or maybe not, I know what I’m like when I start watching a series I love. It’ll be 3am before I’ve finished ‘that one ep’, aka the whole season).
  • Jeez, she’s over 10,000 words now.
  • Stop looking at what someone else is doing and focus on my own writing. Not sure this ‘writing buddy’ thing is a good idea.
  • And the final word count for today is 4,043. Well done me.
  • Glass of wine. Maybe two.
  • Cheers.