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Category Archives: Musing

enabling or providential

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Sing me a rainbow! I hope you can read the colours, in case you want to order some, too 🙂

My mother was a great enabler. I well recall the day she came to me and mentioned, oh so casually, something along the lines of, “I’ve just been to the local second-hand shop and there’s a set of hardback Dickens novels there for $10.” She didn’t suggest I should buy them. But, as a uni literature student, it was pretty much a given that I would do so. And I did! I have them still, and they don’t look at all out of place with the variety of other books in my library shelves including a good selection of other Dickens titles.

How could I forget the time she encouraged me to buy a piano, accompanying duet stool and assorted sheet music, at auction? We had a piano at home, but I was about to head out into the world on a permanent basis and would need my own so, you know, it was not a silly suggestion and the instrument was in fair condition. We decided on my upper bidding limit, which was obviously dictated by my then financial resources. My limit turned out to be higher than that of my chief rival bidder, because the piano came home with me. Once tuned, it moved with me to various suburban locales and enabled me to put in a lot of hard work over many years before I sold it to a fellow student and bought a more serious instrument. Every now and then, I dust off some of the sheet music that formed part of that original auction item.

When it comes to yarn, however, I must say that Bendigo Woollen Mills (BWM) do it every time! I receive one of their new shade cards and oh, the colours! Or, oh, the softness. Often, it’s oh, the colour and the softness. I’ve been looking around for cotton to crochet little blankets for a couple of new cousins. I generally trawl my LYS in the hope of finding something appropriate because I like to shop locally. The dilemma then is that, if I do find anything, although I’m keeping my spending local and can start straightaway, I’m generally buying overseas product. BWM takes a little more time, but it’s local enough to be a better environmental option at least with regard to its travel-related carbon footprint.

Luckily, time is on my side for these blankets, as they’re not required until next year. I will use up some stash yarn, but wanted a splash of brightness and my stash is largely on the sombre side. I haven’t seen anything in the LYS that could hope to rival the colours in the latest shade card from BWM. The two new colours are particularly appealing. So, you know, I might have to bend the plastic and crochet a few extra blankets while I’m at it, just in case there are to be any other new cousins.

May all your enablers have such providentially helpful timing 😀

 

 

 

 

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everything is just rolling along

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The irises are blooming again

Somehow we reached Hump Day and then I had compulsory training that occupied most of the next two days. Now it’s the weekend again and it’s a long one. We have a holiday on Monday, celebrating what my Dad always referred to as Eight Hours Day. We seem to have forgotten that and its importance, but there wouldn’t be many people who won’t appreciate the extra day of leisure. I’ll certainly be relishing the opportunity to rest.

YoungB is still suffering mightily from hay fever and Dr B is just about coping. Fnigres corsesd, I’m presently OK because I follow sterling advice from an old friend: keep taking the tablets!

In other news, our clocks go forward tonight, always a slightly jarring time of year.

May your clocks always be precisely where you want them 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2019 in Musing

 

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laundry by mum

What did I do to piss off the fairies? | Flip Flops Every day

A time might arrive when this no longer holds true, but there are other contenders

Because I was ironing anyway, I kept going and did YoungB’s… Four pairs of trousers and seven shirts later – all his! – I decided that enough was enough. I finished with one of his linen shirts. They’re such a delight to iron, and certainly reward a spot of extra steam. He thinks his linen shirts are casual wear, and wears them casually; but actually they’re much classier than his usual, everyday workwear shirts.

I used to joke that we must have a laundry fairy, because the menfolk’s general behaviour has long implied that the laundry magically happens without human intervention. This time when I returned YoungB’s laundry basket – contents nicely sorted and folded where appropriate, and ironed in other instances – he acknowledged that he’s very spoilt. Yes, he is. But at least that damn’ laundry fairy seems to have died a natural death.

May your laundry fairy also be due to disappear forever 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2019 in Musing

 

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or just eat at your desk

Funky? Or just a hangover from a failed attempt?

Office equipment includes sit-stand desks and the latest telephones. IT service is occasionally slow. In such a large organisation, I dare say the IT team would say they’re understaffed and trying to meet unrealistic expectations, but meeting KPIs.

Interstate visitors think we have a “funky” office. Whatever that means. The whole “precinct” is presently being redeveloped, so it’s potentially a comment on more than merely the single floor of the building we occupy. The area is fairly drab but will be more appealing once updated: that’s scheduled for completion by April next year.

In the meantime, I note there are two kitchens, one large and one small. The large kitchen lacks adequate seating and tables. The small kitchen has none. Plainly, there’s encouragement to leave the office at mealtimes. There are days when you’d like to be able to simply pull up a spot of table far enough away from others that you wouldn’t feel obliged to interact, and not do anything much but eat your lunch, without it being obvious that you’re just not in the mood. Tricky.

There’s a nearby indoor/outdoor eating area that’s a hangover from a previous development that didn’t go as planned. It’s somewhere to sit but not appealing on a cold, wet, windy day; or, I imagine, when the weather is very hot.

So, yeah, may you always have somewhere pleasant to eat your lunch 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2019 in Food, Musing

 

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quick brown foxes

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The best advice I was ever given was to become proficient at typing numbers without looking, because they’re the farthest from your home keys. I’m not sure what this book recommends. Image credit

Typing exercises used to be such fun. I don’t truly recall ever having to type, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” but it’s a relatively easy pangram. There are many other such examples, which are a great deal more difficult because the words are less common, or their juxtaposition not something quite so everyday.

This arises from work conversation about WH&S issues and the value of touch-typing, and progression from typewriters through early computers to today’s models. Everyone chuckled when I mentioned Wang computers and those 5 14-inch floppy disks. The younger folk could visualise the 3 12-inch diskettes, which were around longer and later; but anything larger was pretty much in the category of museum exhibits.

So when you feel that you yourself are a museum exhibit, what should you do? Why, expect skilled signwriters to use many jazzy, quaint old alphabets effectively; maybe even on a typewriter 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2019 in Musing

 

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or not helpful, as the case may be

The whole seeking employment lark was not without its amusing moments. While I appreciate that it’s good to have agencies that DO follow up to check whether you still require their services, it was more than a little disconcerting to receive such a message when they’d never managed to place me in any work and I’d only been on their books for a couple of weeks.

You what? Really?! Can I get back to you on that?

I mean, genuinely, would you like to remove me from your books and then have everyone go through the same rigmarole again – documentation, security checks (all, worrying, undertaken online in a time of increasing cyber crime and identity theft), and interviews to ascertain my suitability for employment, for heaven’s sake – when my present contract ends in a few weeks (or months, if I’m lucky)? That seems, well, rather inefficient and not at all helpful because I’ll need to be reinstated potentially a little before my contract ends, so that I don’t have another income hiatus.

That’s a distinct downside of today’s employment market: almost everyone is on contract, and funding is too uncertain to enable planning. It’s a dreadful way to function, particularly for any government-funded organisation, because how can you promise staff any security? Equally as importantly, it’s a dreadful way to live – we’re becoming more like North America all the time, alas – and a big factor in young folk staying home longer, and finding it more difficult to start their own families. Yeah. That’s not helpful, either.

So let’s just keep the agency paperwork in place, huh? You can almost guarantee that, if I don’t, the contract won’t be renewed and I’ll be back on the street, back battling the system, back trying to maintain my cool with dole office staff who aren’t responsible for the system but do occasionally screw up… and back on the paperwork-go-round requiring the same documents again. Yeah. OMG.

May all your employment positions meet your security criteria 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2019 in Musing

 

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then and now

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Still there, after all these years.

Forty-plus years ago, this building bore the name of the insurance company whose employees were housed on some of its floors. Many other floors were occupied by telecommunications workers. It’s weirdly appropriate that it’s now occupied by, and carries the name of, an internet provider.

It seemed so tall. By comparison with today’s tall buildings, it barely rates. I presently work on a floor level higher than this building, and there are a good may levels above me. But when I worked there, I used to sit at a desk near a window. When not working, I was able to watch the traffic and, on one memorable occasion, see a visiting member of the UK royal family waving to the crowds from the balcony of the nearby Town Hall.

Yeah, it was a while ago.

There was a tea lady. She would bring her trolley around morning and afternoon, and she had a prodigious memory for everyone’s favourite brew and strength. Or what type of biscuits they enjoyed. There were no kitchen facilities, but there were a couple of sandwich bars nearby if you didn’t bring your own lunch. Nowadays one of them has morphed into a noodle bar. The other has disappeared entirely. There were also a couple of pubs, which did a roaring trade on paydays. One of those still does a roaring trade on paydays.

There were piles of files on everyone’s desks, and ranks of filing cabinets for things that weren’t currently in use. Archives were on another floor. We used adding machines for monthly reconciliations of accounts. The only computers were on a different floor of the building, and woe betide anyone who took issue with a decision made by the powerful WPOs (hat would be word processor operators, BTW), whether it was correct or not. Once they’d typed up a form letter, you couldn’t get it changed.

There were staff in that office who had worked for the organisation for more than 25 years; not just for the organisation but, for many of those years, in the same job. That wouldn’t happen nowadays. Many of the staff smoked cigarettes. In the office. All. Bloody. Day. That wouldn’t happen nowadays either; and thank goodness.

So, yes, then and now are very different if weirdly similar. May your past not come back to haunt you too much 😀

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2019 in Musing

 

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