20 October 2009

the list review: part two

18. Do more creative work. Oh dreary desk, thief of time and inspiration. Thus begins a concerted effort to lessen web trawling and beef up creative play.

19. Do something eco-preneurial / creative with R. Lots daydreaming. See above. Gah!

20. Make and give away recycled notebooks. Ibid. *shudders*

21. Redevelop Pelican’s website. Some advice dispatched... the guts of it outstanding.

22. Start giving blood again. Started going again but got dizzy and was advised not to return til my constitution was a bit more robust.

23. Learn the violin. And pick up my guitar more often. The former is BIG on my 35 list (if there will be a 35 list, I'm undecided given my inability to get through the 34 list). Recently unleashed the dusty axe for the first time for K, to his complete astonishment. :)

24. Visit the Bunya Mountains. Hmph. Feel somewhat OK about not getting there yet since I have instead discovered the southern (and very un-Gold-y) end of the Gold Coast. Who would've thunk?

25. Go for bushwalks. Yep.

26. Get a bike and ride it (and this time, don’t give it away!) Bike, check. Must apply self to riding it more... as soon as this inflamed disc in my lower back settles. Hmm. The relics were right, getting older sucks.

27. Do more for others. Took photos at R’s art auction and helped organise S’s 50th... and did photos there too. Have burnt CDs, provided references and generally I think been good to others. And in poetic karma harking back to my recalcitrant kid-hood, I seem to do a lot of washing up these days for other peeps. I even put the dishwasher on today at work!

28. Get an address book and keep track of friends/family contact details and birthdays. Adult-hood hath started!

29. Apply to become a foster carer. Geez, I can't even commit to getting a cat.

30. Find out about rent-a-chook and herdshare. Researched both. Some pet-commitment type issues prevail (see #29). And what the @#$%! would I do with all that milk!?

31. Go to Sunday comedy and jazz @ the Powerhouse again. Yep.

32. Try to be more open to the possibility of meeting a single/available/adjusted boy with similar interests/values/goals. By far, the best thing I have done in a very long while :) aw!

33. Accept the journey, where ever it goes, and trust myself more. ‘Tis all you can do, right? The best things in life are a leap of faith...

34. Do one thing that's not on this list that I would normally say ‘no’ to! Short-term cohabitation upon return to Bris-vegas. Spent Christmas on my own watching the whole two series of Love My Way. Signed a lease on the spot for a place with a dodgy kitchen. Tried online dating. Tried offline dating. Declared both to the cyber-verse. Took a very big punt. And finally understood how to live in the greys instead of the blacks/whites.

19 October 2009

creativity angst

Have found myself mired in extreme creativity angst of late. Weekends seem to expire with the list of boring chores mostly knocked over, while the (wish)list of arts, crafts and higher pursuits remains untouched. I simply cannot work out how other desk-hounds tweak their schedules to maintain creative dabblings.

I have been wondering whether it is just a time thing, whether I just have too many interests to maintain, or whether something more sinister might also be going on.

Was recently beavering away on a piece for dumbo feather (and have two pieces in the Spring issue – saving me from complete creative woe), for which I was leafing through blog posts from about mid-last year, retracing some of the anarchic thoughts I was having back in drop-outsville. And was sort of astounded at the writerly zest I (me?) seemed to wield back then. And appalled that said zest seems to have leaked from my brain. Though sadly, not onto the page. Or into anything remotely creative.

Back in the Life After Desk days I seemed to have some sort of vague insight into Stuff. And seemed to be able to relay it with some sort of mild humour and zing. Now, I aim words at a target with functional intent. Unpretty, linear information widgets…

Just like a…

Ministerial brief...

Gah! GAH!

The desk. Desk, desk, desk. Sounds like a reprimand. Thief of creative expression, abstract thinking and sweet unproductive time. I have found this year much harder than any other stint in my working life. My current mission: to make more room for creative play. Hmmm.

07 October 2009

the list review: part one

About this time last year I made a list of 34 things to do before I turned 34. Since I'm now being reminded that another year is almost done, I wanted to see where I got to with my (mostly) small aspirations. Keeping in mind my nerdy proclivity for personal 'to do' lists and seething resentment of 'lists of things to do before I die', here's part one. (It was a hefty list!)

1. Find a job in policy (and change blog subtitle to Life And Desk). Check. Blog subtitle may have been more accurate as Life and Dull Stuff Which Pays. Who could have predicted a hulking re-engineering of the entire machinery of government would make ANY job in the Army suck. I'm sure it's not at all Buddhist, but I'm consoled by the knowledge that those around me are suffering too.

2. Save save save and buy some land. First part of mantra complete. Part two awaiteth...

3. Research and design my little sustainable house. Lots of idle daydreaming, ordering journal articles from the library at work, and general collection of thoughts to expand draft design brief.

4. Persevere with a potted herb garden. Holy basil, purple basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley and chilli still going, tomatoes came and went, and now have warrigal greens coming on (thank you Relics), despite the scrabblings of the resident moggie who keeps digging them up and crapping on them. Much angst about vegie seeds not yet planted halfway through spring.

5. Sell my photos. Next!

6. Sell my cards (or at least give them to family and friends on card-type occasions). Aren’t parentheses a wonderful thing?

7. Eat more ethically. Tick, with forgiveness for recent slippage with occasional purchases of sushi and farmed salmon. Am now a certified no-packaging / re-use freak.

8. Buy goods in bulk in own containers. Love Mick’s Nuts and Flannerys. For my next trick I shall implement own lunch-box regime for take-away food purchases (see no. 7).

9. Continue making all my own bread. Sourdough baking was a monthly event at the ‘Hill until recent discovery of artisan-inspired Flour Power up the road, which most people would have discovered within a week of moving in. I credit my tardiness to my tenacity to goals!!

10. Stick to pilates and walking 3 times/week each. Walk to and from work but have completely fallen off the yoga/pilates wagon. Am now self-diagnosing possible sciatica after extended rock-sitting episodes the other week. Of all the list things I should have clung to like a woman falling off a cliff...

11. Do a first aid, safety at sea and sail training course. Basic dinghy sailing 1 and 2. Aced! First aid is up next.

12. Investigate Indigenous kitchen garden idea. Well, um, I met Mark Olive at the Dreaming Festival...

13. Read about transition culture. Ooh... does blog trawling count?

14. Knit R a beanie in time for Japan. Knit one, pearl one, done. Though she ended up going to Thailand instead and not needing the beanie!

15. Send a krama to N. Hey N, what’s your address? Do you check the Peli box?

16. Blog more regularly. Post more for streeteditors. Keep writing for Dumbo Feather. Nup. Nup. Yep. How my cousin who is in charge of a toddler and a working week can manage to blog every day for a month is beyond me. I am weak.

17. Get my typewriter fixed. Ye old specimen of smudgy typefaces has been lovingly restored and now nestles on the treadle of my Singer sewing machine. Which I should probably learn how to use. Does this mean I need to make a list of 35 things?

... to be continued!

05 October 2009

glee. a weekend retreat

Life has been a bit of a slog lately, largely due to a full-blown case of work irks. I can handle just about anything the desk throws at me. It’s when they stop throwing it that I start losing it. Thanks to Queensland school holidays and a progressive female Premier, the past few weeks in the Army have been so DULL I’ve wanted to bore my eyes out with a rusty drillbit. Dwelling on the dismal imbalance of it (time is short, there are so very many things I want to do, and there is so very much to be done) has been doing my head in. That and doing the shuffle between the 'Hill and the bus (which is now in Brisbane after K relocated from the coast), which is driving us both a little nutty.

So it was perfect glee to spend three whole days (and one of them a Monday!) in Cougal, New South Wales beside the Border Ranges National Park with friends of K’s who moved from 'the Rock' earlier this year to run a guesthouse on 200 acres. This weekend they hosted a bunch of women on a dance retreat. With a baby due any day, K's mates invited us to hang out as back-up hosts in case baby decided to show up, which, thankfully (not being acquainted with home births) he didn’t. So we hung out, washed a few dishes, pulled a few weeds and made daily trips down to the creek to swim and sprawl on sunny rocks with books. Aah! We awoke after slumber-licious nights to the sound of bellbirds and whipbirds (not at all like the crazy alarm-birds at the ‘Hill which have learnt to mimmick every alarm clock in the south Brisbane neighbourhood). We played with a dreamy-eyed toddler and an old dog from the desert. And chatted to I and T about their life running a guesthouse in the bush. And daydreamed (well, I did) about the many possibilities in their extremely large commercial kitchen...

Photos to come, since my camera inadvertently went home with K in Barry, in the continuing saga of 'where's my stuff?' that accompanies the dance between two homes.