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Week 16: To holiday or not..liday?

Apr 16 – Apr 22

School holidays for the kinderbesten prompts me to consider whether I should take a holiday for myself. But obviously not at the same time …

Monday

It is Monday. I do not want to get up. I do not want to Monday.
It’s also the first day of the school holidays, which is a pain on the one hand, but makes a lot of things easier: no need to make lunches; no need to get the kids dressed and off to school on time.
Nevertheless, I start to consider taking a week off, partly to give me enough spare time to catch up with things, but also as a brief respite from the weekly routine. The release of almost the entire Monty Python back catalogue on Netflix only motivates me further.

Tuesday

I wake up, promptly turn my alarm off, and wake up again at 7am, following some odd dreams about Bunnings and home invaders. The morning writing goes slowly, as does the rest of the morning. The day, at least, is taken up with meetings which helps the time pass.
On the better side, I come home to find the kids relaxed and in the holiday spirit.

Wednesday

Yet another morning where the words struggle to come.
I end up having to leave work early to collect the Kinderbeast from a party. Along the way, I decide when I get back that we should all sit down and watch Paddington 2. I anticipate a fight to get the Elderbeast away from the Playstation, but almost the first words he says to me when I walk in are: “Can we watch Paddington 2?” Some sort of strange synchronicity.
I decide to banish the new rug I bought for my bedroom to the outside. It seems to have a particularly pungent smell to it, which I hope will pass after some fresh air and sunshine. Maybe even a downpour or two.
The best news of the day is that I’ve finally gotten ‘that book feeling’—the excitement that comes of looking forward to curling once again up with the book you’re reading. I’ve really missed that feeling.

Thursday

After several tough writing mornings I decide to turn my alarm off and enjoy a glorious lie in. It doesn’t make me feel any more lively during the rest of the day, but it was good at the time.
Meanwhile, my new carpet is still stinky. It gets to stay outside.

Friday

For Fridate horror we watch 28 Days Later. It’s a great film but I am fascinated by the truly awful quality of the bluray transfer. I’ve watched plenty films in the past that have been digitised from VHS tape, and they have all looked better than this.
Apparently the movie was filmed on DV, which isn’t even high-definition. To make up for this, they appear to have used a generous amount of sharpening (or something) which has done nothing but result in a muddy image that almost swims across the screen at times. It’s truly the worst movie transfer I’ve ever seen.
The film, however, remains excellent.

Saturday

A standard Saturday. The kinderbesten and I do our food shopping in the morning. I then spend part of the day moving furniture around (a slight rearrangement post-painting). After this I am rewarded with an unexpectedly peaceful evening when the Elderbeast is taken out to see some wrestling.

Sunday

Games day at mine. Always a good time to eat, catch up with friends and, maybe, even, play some games.

Watched

Monday The Alienist 1×06
Tuesday The Alienist 1×07
Wednesday The Alienist 1×08
Thursday The Alienist 1×09
The Alienist 1×10
Friday 28 Days Later
Saturday Lost In Space 1×03
Moana
The Terror 1×01
The Terror 1×02
The Terror 1×03
Sunday Lost In Space 1×04
The Terror 1×04

Read

I not only reached that point where I found myself looking forward to getting back into my book (still the novelisation of City Of Death), but I also finished it! Result! This is a momentous .. moment in my year.

Eaten

Monday Lasagne
Tuesday Lasagne, part 2
Wednesday Baked sweet potato
Thursday Chicken tenders in breadcrumbs
Friday Daal
Saturday JFC chicken
Sunday Leftover chicken

Week 15: Winter is coming

Apr 9 – Apr 15

I start the week with a day off, and it seems to do the trick. It ends up a fairly busy week, but a good one. No complaints. For a change.

Monday

After two consecutive weekends of painting, and little genuine rest, I’ve decided to take a pre-emptive day off to recharge. It starts of relatively poorly when I head to the bank for 9am (right after dropping the kinderbesten at school) only to find that it doesn’t open until 9:30am.
The rest of the morning and early afternoon pass acceptably but the rest period ends at 2:50pm when I have to collect the Kinderbeast from school. I then have to return an hour later to collect the Elderbeast from his CoderDojo. I then have to head out just under an hour later to take the Elderbeast to his final acting class. I return home and cook dinner, then have to leave to collect the Elderbeast from his class. On the way the Kinderbeast and I play I Spy, but I eventually have to ask him to stop talking at me as my brain has reached exhaustion point. We finally get home, eat dinner, and the kinderbesten are despatched to bed.
I decide to treat myself to the first episode of The City & The City. I read the book a few years back and am fascinated to see how they translate it to the screen. So far, the answer is: very well.

Tuesday

It’s a year since my marriage ended. It’s therefore ironically fitting and utterly surprising when the Elderbeast’s PEAC teacher tells me that I’m her example of “a single Dad who’s really got it together” It’s not a bad thing to hear.
Later in the day I realise that the weather is actually cold, and I realise with a deep level of glee that I can finally put the winter duvet back on the bed. I do exactly that and can honestly say I’ve probably never been so excited about going to bed.
I’m so old sometimes …

Wednesday

My evening plans are wrecked when episode three of The City & The City suffers critical tech-fail. It was clearly not meant to be: the kinderbesten retreated to bed later than planned, eating deeply into my TV viewing window. I give up and read. Well, browse the internet. And read stuff on it.

Thursday

We have pie for dinner. I’m so excited that it’s finally cool enough to have pie for dinner. It feels like welcoming winter in with open arms. At least until the temperature drops another few degrees and I banish the weather out in the cold where it belongs and start cursing the very thought of coldness.

Friday

It’s my #childfree weekend, but due some some unavoidable family arrangements it’s getting on for 8pm before they finally depart. I try to delay having dinner until the peace and quiet descends, but make no such allowance for my wine. The outcome is I’m perhaps a little more wobbly than usual when my Fridate friend arrives.
It being a Friday, and the 13th of the month, we watch Friday The 13th Part 2 for our Fridate horror choice. I check the calendar for upcoming Friday 13ths and determine that it would take another four years or so to see the franchise out in this chrononomically pleasing fashion.

Saturday

A pleasing day of light social activity. I meet some friends for brunch and am surprised when a waitress brings food to the table that we haven’t even ordered. Apparently this is what Dim Sum is all about. It’s my first time and I feel a bit like it’s the gazpacho incident in Red Dwarf.
Then another friend visits to help me redesign my garden. We share ideas, drink much tea, and chat.
For the evening I’m left with the dilemma of what to watch. Unusually, I have nothing in mind. After browsing my blu-ray shelves and attempting a bit of shortlisting I finally settle on Pan’s Labyrinth (on the basis that I haven’t yet seen it, and it’s supposed to be pretty good).
It’s pretty good.

Sunday

My Fridate friends come over for what I hope is merely our first “Doctor Who breakfast”. Simply put, we eat breakfast and watch Doctor Who together. And by breakfast, I basically mean we drink coffee and eat waffles.
I spend the rest of my afternoon cooking and chilling out in front of the bonus features disc from The Last Jedi. I particularly enjoy The Director & The Jedi: I’m a sucker for getting a glimpse behind the curtain. The moments with Carrie Fisher definitely bring a few tears to the eye.
For the evening I check out the first two episodes of Lost in Space with the kinderbesten. It proves a hit.

Watched

Monday The City & The City 1×01
Tuesday The City & The City 1×02
Wednesday  [tech fail]
Thursday The City & The City 1×03
The City & The City 1×04
Friday Friday 13th Part 2
Saturday Pan’s Labyrinth
Sunday Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet
The Director & The Jedi
Lost In Space 1×01
Lost In Space 1×02

Read

I start the week by finishing off a comic book, Terminator Salvation The Final Battle, which sparked my interest for two reasons. Firstly, it was written by J Michael Strazcynski, who created Babylon 5 (which was awesome). Secondly I’m a sucker for stories that try to retrofit continuity and come up with something new and different. It’s a double challenge, and this book did a fairly good job. It certainly made more sense than Terminator: Genisys, and had about twenty times the entertainment value of Terminator: Salvation.
I ended the week by returning to Doctor Who: The City Of Death. It’s an interesting one, this. It’s a novelisation of one of the few classic Who stories that didn’t get novelised back in the day, but it’s a very different beast from those old books. It’s based on a story that was originally written by Douglas Adams, and I’m both impressed and surprised at how well the author (James Goss) has evoked Adams’ style here. It’s shifted the tone of the story from classic Who to something that very much belongs in Douglas Adams’ oeuvre.
Less impressively, it surfaces the limitations Adams had when it comes to plot and narrative structure, but we can’t have it all.

Eaten

Monday Lamb Korma
Tuesday Pasta & Broccoli
Wednesday Pulled pork
Thursday Pie
Friday Daal
Saturday Salmon
Sunday Mushrooms, pasta, broccoli

 

Week 14: Begone, noise!

Apr 2 – Apr 8

An inexplicably tiring and stressful week, which starts and ends with painting.

Monday

Easter Monday, and the day [sort of] starts with an Easter brunch with the in-laws. I say sort of because me and the Kinderbesten have, inevitably, been up and awake for many hours beforehand.
Before we leave the house, I begin peeling away the masking tape from the edges of my walls, and quickly realise that the masking tape was in no way worth the effort it took to put on (and, surprisingly, to take off again).
On the way back from brunch I make a quick stop at Bunnings to buy an edging tool and a small edging brush. I then spend the rest of the afternoon tidying up the edges, which ultimately proves far more exhausting than the three previous days’ of painting.
After dinner and Kinderbesten bedtime I’m knackered. I medicate myself with a fresh bottle of wine and the first episode of The Alienist.

Tuesday

I’m still way tired. I wonder whether I can make it through the day at work, but end up having to leave early anyway to watch the kids (who, for reasons, have an extra two days off school past the Easter long weekend). They spend much of the evening being VERY NOISY which does nothing to ease my stress levels.

Wednesday

I decide that I need two more of the awesome cheap poster frames that Kmart sells, and take advantage of the lack of school drop off to do some quick shopping on the way to work. On the way home I stop off at Bunnings to pick up some new hooks for my fairy lights (which had to be taken down to facilitate the painting). I find some much smaller, better hooks than the ones I used previously, which almost makes me feel good about having to take them down in the first place.
I general, I continue to be very tired and stressed. It must be Alternate Week Syndrome at play again.
The Elderbeast tells me he has some homework due in (a powerpoint presentation on cyclones), and I spend much of the evening coaching him through it. We have the obligatory brief period where he’s persistently opposed to the very concept of homework. After I explain to him that he’s the only one who loses out through this attitude, he abruptly switches tack and declares that he is going to make the best presentation ever. He gets it done, and it is, indeed, pretty damn good. Despite the initial struggle, I remain amazed at the turnaround from last year (when it would have taken two hours to get him to even think about writing a paragraph).
In developments which I have far less patience for, my internet decides to spend the whole evening playing up. Which contributes in no way at all to the Elderbeast’s cyclone research efforts. I’m grateful for my phone, with its ridiculously easy hotspot set up, and for my mobile phone plan, which gives me a decent chunk of data to use up.

Thursday

I find myself feeling slightly better, but the illusion fades gradually through the day. Nevertheless, I have a satisfyingly productive day at work. My spirits are lifted considerably after I resolve a long standing issue which has been persistently ballsing up my efforts to keep my desktop files synced with our server files. It’s a small but significant victory over crap technology.
I do my weekend food shopping on the way home, in order to keep the weekend clear for further painting (I have decided that the front hallway now needs to be the same colour as the sitting room).
The kids continue to be noisy. The internet continues to be flakey. I retreat to bed as soon as the opportunity arrives.

Friday

I spend my early evening doing some quick prep for painting. I’ve already filled in the holes and moved the very insignificant amount of furniture in the hallway. This just leaves dusting and washing the walls down. I get that done, alongside dinner, vacuuming and showering, in good time for Fridate.
Our horror movie tonight is It Comes At Night. It proves to be not quite what I was expecting. I come away not liking it much, despite it being a pretty damn good film. It seems to have little to say other than people are awful and do terrible things when placed in terrible situations. If I wanted to watch that I’d be watching The Walking Dead

Saturday

I start the day by putting the undercoat on my hallway wall. I then break to take the Kinderbesten to Coles for some treat snackage, and to watch The Last Jedi (in quick conclusion: the first half could definitely lose some padding, but all crimes are made up for by the outstanding second half).
While I definitely intend to let my undercoat dry properly and leave the first coat of actual paint for tomorrow, I decide I can shave a few hours from my Sunday work by getting the first coat on the edges out of the way Which I do.
For the evening the Elderbeast and I watch Colossal, which is also not quite what I expected (though I very deliberately avoided expecting anything specific) and is pretty awesome. The Elderbeast approves too, and I continue to highly pleased that he’s genuinely enjoying a wide range of films, including ones that have some very worthy themes baked in.

Sunday

I get my first coat of paint done, then we have a Sunday morning film break. Today’s movie is Paddington, which both kinderbesten absolutely love. I looked forward to enjoying the sequel with them.
For the evening, the Elderbeast and I watch The Wedding Singer–which I had alternately considered purchasing and/or downloading, until I spotted the brand new, still sealed copy sitting on my shelf. The verdict is uncertain for a while, but the Elderbeast quickly gets hooked in and we get the thumbs up. I continue to be disappointed by 97.8% of the rest of Adam Sandler’s career, but The Wedding Singer is still great.
And my internet is still dodgy.

Watched

Monday The Alienist 1×01
The Alienist 1×02
Tuesday The Alienist 1×03
Wednesday The Alienist 1×04
Thursday The Alienist 1×05
Friday It Comes At Night
Saturday Colossal
Sunday Paddington
The Wedding Singer

Read

Still ploughing my way happily through the novelisation of City Of Death. I also distract myself later in the week with a Terminator graphic novel, of which more next week.

Eaten

Monday Leftover pork
Tuesday Crumbed chicken tenders
Wednesday Quiche
Thursday Chips, eggs, beans
Friday Broccoli and pasta
Saturday Hasselback potatoes
Sunday Slow cook roast lamb

Week 13: Painty McPaintface

(Mar 26 – Apr 1)

This week turned out to be all about getting ready to paint part of my house. With long weekend looming, some of it #childfree, it seemed vaguely criminal not to make a start on my modest painting project.

Otherwise, my current thing is to start watching a new show on Monday (my main TV night) and then continue to watch an episode a night, in bed, on my iPad. I’ve been surprised at how effective the iPad is for viewing. Being used to surround sound and a 46” TV, I’d always expected to find watching stuff on the iPad somewhat underwhelming, but if anything it’s even more engaging. Just you and the screen.

Or me. It would be creepy if you were there too …

This week I watched Requiem (and since it was only six episodes long I was able to watch the whole thing this week). I had high hopes for it, given that the BBC has a rich history with ghost stories but, while it kept me watching to the end, it didn’t really deliver. The main character was pretty obnoxious, and it wasn’t clear whether she’d be written that way for a reason, or simply because the writer needed her to keep butting her head in so the plot could keep moving forward. In fact, most of the characters turned out to be pretty unlikeable, which is never good.

As for the ghost story; there was something interesting and creepy in there, but it felt like it had just been bolted onto a fairly standard story of someone returning to their home town and finding all sorts of dark secrets lurking under the surface.
Not a complete waste of time, but definitely not what it could have been.

Monday

The day passes in a haze of utter tedium, and yet I still manage to get things done. We end up having cheese toasties for dinner as it’s nearly 7pm by the time I pick up the Elderbeast from his acting class. Also I have a quantity of jarlsberg in the fridge that needs to be put to good use. You know it’s the very best of times when you have cheese toasties for dinner.

Tuesday

Shortly after delivering my time management/productivity presentation two weeks ago, I got a phone call from someone on the academic side at my work. Turns out a PhD student had attended and thought it would be a great presentation for other PhD students to sit through. And so it came to pass that I spent part of this morning in a room with 50 PhD students, doing a repeat of my presentation.

In a curious quirk, I was far less nervous about this than about giving the same presentation to 10 members of staff. I went through the slides a little faster than normal, but hit my 45 minute mark almost perfectly. As far as I can tell it went pretty well. I just hope they got something out of it too.

In the other Highly Exciting News of the day, after spending many weeks trying to hunt down some Slumbies for winter, I found a full rack of them outside my local newsagents this morning. Slumbies for everyone!

Wednesday

I’ve mostly decided that I’m going to start my house painting project this weekend (tackling the ‘sitting area’ of my open plan front room first). I stop off at Bunnings on the way home for supplies. $250 and almost an hour later I come out with everything I need for the weekend.

I get home and (after dinner) start on clearing out the area I want to paint. This small amount of mild exercise leaves me knackered and I start to wonder if I’ll actually have the energy to paint over the weekend.

Thursday

Yay – it’s the end of the week! I get my weekend shopping done on the way home, so there’s nothing to stop me getting out of bed on Saturday and getting straight on with the painting.

Friday

I spend large parts of the day doing paint prep. I dust and wash the walls (with some help from the Kinderbesten), then carefully lay masking tape around the multitude of edges. That done, and the kinderbesten off to their mother’s, I’m free to relax until the real work starts tomorrow.

Saturday

I get up, make coffee, and get into the day’s painting. Today, the primer goes on. The former paint job is so poor that the paint freely peels off the walls. I’m hoping the primer coat can fix some of that. I take well over an hour painting the edges, then attack the walls with the roller—which is curiously satisfying. I quickly realise that needn’t have spent as long on the edges as I did, given that the roller can get within millimetres of each edge.

All in all it takes me about three hours, which is slightly worrying given that I need to do two coats tomorrow.

For now, however, I order myself to relax and reserve my energy for tomorrow. It’s time for waffles, more coffee, and Doctor Who.

I do allow myself a quick trip to JB, and come back with $80 of blurays. In the batch is Star Trek: Beyond, which I’ve simultaneously been wanting to watch while resolutely not going out of my way to actually watch it. I watch it. It’s pretty good: way better than Into Darkness. It leaves me hoping they get on and make a fourth one.

Sunday

I get up and repeat my coffee and painting routine. The first coat doesn’t end up taking too long. I’m just about to settle down for my waffles and Doctor Who when the Kinderbesten return due to their mother not being well. We attempt to watch The Last Jedi, but the Kinderbesten are full of energy and not in the right mood for watching films.

I leave them to play and get on with the second coat (which has had several hours to ‘cure’ by now). It goes on well and fixes the various smears and ‘gaps’ left behind by the first coat. Now I can leave it to dry, and my only job tomorrow is to move the furniture back.

As an added bonus I’m nowhere near as knackered as I expected to be!

Things I Did Buy

  • $45 Slumbies (for me and the Elderbeast: I bought a pair for the Kinderbeast, but they were way too large and had to be returned)
  • $80 blurays (couldn’t resist the combined power of 20% off *and* a Buy Two Get One Free deal)
  • $300 web hosting renewal – this was a bit ouch, but considering I used to pay about $25 per month for my web hosting, and my new hosting works out at about $14 per month I’m not grumbling. Too much …

Watched

Monday Requiem 1×01
Requiem 1×02
Tuesday Requiem 1×03
Wednesday Requiem 1×04
Thursday Requiem 1×05
Requiem 1×06
Friday Veronica
Saturday Doctor Who: The Invasion
Star Trek: Beyond
Sunday T2

Read

A week of reading fail. Read not a page of my book. Not even a word.

Eaten

Monday Cheese toasties
Tuesday Chicken satay
Wednesday Veggie korma
Thursday Sausages
Friday Leftover curry
Saturday Traditional #childfree dinner
Sunday Crackling pork

Week 12: The mild west

(Mar 19 – Mar 25)

One of those weeks where things just ticked along nicely. I finished watching season one of Westworld, which took its sweet time, but I nevertheless really enjoyed. The twists and reveals in the back half of the season didn’t feel like cheats, and I’m keen to see where they take it for season two.

I also shared my podcast demo with various people, and received some excellent feedback which mas motivated me to press on and make it a thing that actually happens.

(p.s. you can check it out at fifthquadrant.space if you’re so inclined)

Monday

Terribly unmotivated all day. Monday’s really are becoming a problem. The lack of motivation even extended into my sleep, which seemingly couldn’t be bothered to stick to the job and found me waking up frequently during the night for no good reason.

Tuesday

It’s time to buy new dishwasher tablets, as the depletion of my most recent bulk purchase looms. I know well enough now not to buy them in the supermarket, but the variety of bulk packages and prices available online overwhelms me and I have to resort to making a spreadsheet just so I can work out which option is the best value. I feel simultaneously disappointed and proud of myself.

Wednesday

Having recently transferred a credit card balance to an interest free deal, I figure it’s time to do a bit of financey stuff–mainly to remind myself which of my cards are still active, and which are either cancelled or paid off (and make sure I’ve stopped any future payments). Things aren’t looking too bad. The prospect of paying all my debt off isn’t in the immediate future, but it’s in sight.

That being done, I tinker with a logo for the podcast project. I come up with something that isn’t quite final, but still feels pretty damn satisfyingly close to the something I like.

Thursday

I spend a lot of time looking at dice, hoping to rid myself of a particularly treacherous D20. I find many, many lovely dice, all of which cost ridiculous amounts to ship over here. I give up and do some preliminary work on setting up a website for the podcast instead.

Friday

My Fridate friend has the flu, so we have no Fridate. I ask the Elderbeast if he wants to watch a movie, but we end up playing PS4 games instead. I’ve had the remastered version of Duke Nukem 3d on my wishlist for several months, and it’s finally turned up in the Easter sale at a price I like.

Imagine my surprise when I go to purchase the game, only to find that I already own it.

We play it and have a complete blast. I tell the Elderbeast that it’s one of the few games that I’ve played through (when it was originally released) and he exclaims: “You’re so much cooler than I remember!”

Not sure if insult or compliment …?

Saturday

Another reasonably productive Saturday. I’m having friends over in the evening, so I’m mindful of getting the place clean and tidy. For the most part it’s already clean and tidy, so there’s very little to do. The Elderbeast has some homework to do, and I insist that he completes it before he gets any PlayStation time. He does it with minimal complaint.

Then he remembers that I promised to buy him Subnautica as a ‘reward’ for completing his GATE exam last week. I get it downloading while he works, and he spends much of the afternoon playing it. Meanwhile, the Kinderbeast and I watch Moana.

The evening is pleasant, filled with lots of cheese fondue and a modest quantity of of wine. We watch Kick Ass, which I don’t love and I don’t think anyone else does either. It’s got some truly excellent moments, but the movie as a whole isn’t strong enough to glue them all together. Like Kingsman (which came from much the same creative team) it also has some dubious social politics which caused me to cringe as often as I laughed.

Sunday

Socialising is a game for the young. After a slightly later night than usual, and slightly more wine than usual, I feel tired all day. Luckily it’s raining, which gives me an excellent excuse to avoid using my morning to do any more gardening. We all have a relatively chilled out day.

After lunch, I insist that we all get together to watch a film and plough into some snackage. Both kinderbesten resist, but we end up on the sofa together watching 9, which is excellent, and much enjoyed by all of us. I love these occasions where we all get to discover a new film together.

In the evening, I introduce the Elderbeast to The Breakfast Club. It’s a tense moment. Liking The Breakfast Club, as a friend of mine puts it, is non-negotiable, and there’s a definite thread of randomness connecting the films that he does and doesn’t like.

We get off to an oddly good start when his mind is blown over learning that Don’t You Forget About Me was written for the film. Suitably intrigued, he gets quickly absorbed into the movie and we’re soon having discussions about who’s the ‘best’ character.

In a weird twist, the events of the movie take place on Saturday March 24. We were out by one day …

Things I Did Buy

  • $28 Contigo Snap Seal Coffee Cup – my lovely Frank Green coffee cup has leaked on me twice in the last two weeks: once on my shirt, and once on my freshly washed jeans. It’s as if it actively wants me to hate it. After a fresh wave of research, I finally picked out a Contigo Snap Seal flask as the replacement. It will arrive next week.
  • $50 dishwasher parts – I’ve also had enough of the dishwasher draws continually falling off their rails (due to worn, wonky wheels) and ordered a bunch of replacement parts. Dishwashers are expensive beasts.

Watched

I have a mid-week viewing break, which makes for a pleasant shift from the routine and allows me to catch up on … well, all the stuff you’ve just read about.

 

Monday Westworld 1×09
Westworld 1×10
Tuesday  n/a
Wednesday  n/a
Thursday  n/a
Friday  n/a
Saturday Moana
Kick Ass
Sunday 9
The Breakfast Club

Read

Managed three consecutive nights reading The Anachronist, which is not bad given my recent track record.

Eaten

Monday Homemade Boston Beans
Tuesday Pumpkin Daal
Wednesday Quiche (not homemade)
Thursday Chips, eggs, beans
Friday Prawns
Saturday Fondue

Week 11: It lurks

(Mar 12 – 18)

A week of background stress and forgetfulness, seemingly cementing the idea that alternate weeks are not great. We have the Elderbeast’s GATE exam finally happening, which feels like it’s been years in the coming. I have a presentation to deliver, which I equally look forward to and dread. Through it all, there is the theme of doing things that have been long lurking in the background.

Monday

I have a terrible night’s sleep. It is hot and humid all night. I’ve left the fan on and the window open, but it doesn’t do much. Every so often the battle between the air being blown out and the breeze trying to get in causes my curtains to rattle and shakes me from my pseudo-slumber.

At just after midnight my phone beeps with a message. It’s a Steam verification code, which makes me wonder if someone is trying to log into my account. Given that I’m awake anyway, I get up and change my password. I also finish off a tub of ice cream from the freezer.

The mild bonus is that my awake-brain keeps turning over an idea I’ve had for a short story, which is fast becoming a novella, and throwing more and more flesh on the bones. I start to write it all down the next day.

Tuesday

We have the second diabolically hot and humid day in a row. This is summer taking its last revenge on us for being so mild over the past few months. I didn’t sleep much better the night before (though I did manage to get through it without ice cream this time).

The exhaustion hits me at about 2pm. I press on through the day, with a bonus shopping trip on the way home (I’ve forgotten to get the meat out of the freezer to make lasagne, which means having to buy fresh meat).

I make it through the evening, cooking dinner, getting the kids to bed, and retreating to my own bed by 8:30. Having learned from my mistakes over the last two nights, I leave the aircon on. It doesn’t do very much, but it at least helps my room feel less like a rainforest.

At 11pm I realise I’ve left the massive pot of meat sauce (for tomorrow’s lasagne) sitting on the hob. It’s another victory for my brain. I get up and put it in the fridge, figuring that a long hot sojourn in a fiery saucepan tomorrow will sort it out.

Wednesday

I sleep better, which is good because I have to do my semi-regular presentation today. It’s about using technology to help manage your workload, and I have 12 attendees.

Given that things like talking, being the centre of attention, and being in rooms with lots of other people are among my least favourite things, you might wonder why I keep subjecting myself to this. Well, it’s because it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every now and again, and I’m lucky that I work somewhere that gives me the opportunity to run training workshops/prestos for other staff.

That said, every time I do one of these I keep wondering if it should be the last. I don’t exactly get nervous anymore, but I do get anxious, and that anxiety manifests itself in a form of mental retreat: it means I avoid focusing on anything else until the preso is over. The question for me is whether the trade off is worth it.
Doubtless, I will continue doing this, as it’s generally best to face up to your fears than to shrink away from them and hide.

However tempting that may be.

The preso goes well. There’s a few people I know, many more I don’t. Some are clearly engaged, some it’s harder to tell. All par for the course. One thing I’ve noticed, after doing this several times now, is that I literally get exhausted from talking towards the end. The words are there somewhere, but they stop making it to my mouth. I just about manage to make it to the end.

Afterwards I’m less elated about having gotten through it all, and more relieved that it’s over. I feel like a fair bit of stress has lifted away and definitely feel more relaxed and focused for the rest of the day.

On reflection, I decide that the answer is probably not to avoid doing these presentations at all, but rather to do them more often!

Thursday

Still fighting the mountain of tiredness that my sleep debt from earlier this week has bequeathed me. I’ve been getting a serious energy crash in the very early afternoon, and have spent the evenings basically waiting for the kids to get to bed so I can then go to bed myself.

Oh boy am I looking forward to the (#childfree) weekend.

Friday

The end of the week comes at least a day late, but at it comes.

Although it’s my #childfree weekend, we’ve agreed that the Elderbeast will stay over at mine so I can get him to his GATE exam at 8am tomorrow morning. We stock up on brain food on the way home: salmon for dinner tonight, bananas for snackage tomorrow. It feels like the last several years have been leading up to this exam, but we’re both pretty chilled about it. I tell the Elderbeast to simply try his best tomorrow, and if he doesn’t get through then it’s not going to change a whole lot.

Our Fridate horror film (after the Elderbeast has gone to bed) is Annihilation, which is magnificent. I already want to watch it again.

Saturday

I’m terrified of oversleeping and missing the exam. However, we both get up in good time, and wolf down some scrambled eggs before heading to the exam venue. We’re early, but it’s okay: the weather is good and some of the Elderbeast’s friends are there. Turns out there’s a hundred kids taking the exam, with a second session in the afternoon. And that’s just one of the venues. I was (naively) expecting maybe a couple of dozen.

On the way back I stop at Bunnings to look at paint, but the world’s worst customer is already at the paint counter and monopolising the assistant there (“Why did my colours look different??” “As I’ve already told you, it’s to do with the lighting in your room…”). I decide I’m not going to get paint advice today and walk over to plumbing: I’ve been needing to replace my cistern intake valve for a long time, but have never quite worked out what part I need. Fortunately there’s someone there to offer help. They find the part I need within seconds, and I’m sorted. It’s a weird sort of destiny at work.

I head home and mix a demo episode of my super secret podcast project, then head back to collect the Elderbeast. He reports, fairly predictably, that some parts of the exam were hard and some were easy. Now we just have to wait for the results. After a celebratory lunch at Macca’s, he heads over to his mother’s and I’m finally, properly #childfree.

Despite the week’s exhaustion, I have a ridiculously productive afternoon and complete two jobs that have been hanging over me for months, if not years: I replace the intake valve in my cistern (and thus remove the constant background hissing of water from my bathroom), and I give the wooden play set languishing in the garden a couple of coats of resealer. We’re at the cusp between it being too hot to work in the garden, and having constant weekends of rain and I need to seize the opportunity while I can. In the end, the job isn’t too hard—and it’s immensely satisfying to have it out of the way.

The dilemma of what movie to spend my evening watching is easily settled when I spot that John Wick 2 is now on Netflix. Just like the first one, it’s gloriously violent, and somehow elevates what should be a simple homage to straight-to-video action thrillers to near art-house status.

Sunday

We had a special games day today, with a friend of mine trying her hand at DMing for the very first time. I got to play a robot mechanic. I think. I’m never completely sure what’s going on in most of these games. In any case, it went well, was a lot of fun, and I look forward to the next session.

For the evening I had the challenge of following up A Knight’s Tale – the Elderbeast’s new Best Movie Ever. Unfortunately, there’s nothing quite like A Knight’s Tale (at least, nothing suitable for 11 year olds). I ended up giving Four Weddings & A Funeral a spin, which of course starts with a panoply of fucks.

The Elderbeast enjoyed it well enough, but retired to bed before the funeral. I stuck with the film. It’s a film that I used to enjoy quite strongly, and revisiting it gave me very mixed feelings. I still find a lot to love about–it’s as funny as ever, and the casual diversity still makes me happy. It is, however, a film of its time and harks back to an image of England that is either long gone, or never really existed in the first place. The way Carrie is written also continues to be problematic. She’s at once a strong, independent woman, and also one who cuts a ruthless swathe through Charles’s life in order to get what she wants. She’s the only character who isn’t really given the coating of affection that Richard Curtis allows all of the other characters to have.

Things I did buy

  • $150 Doc Marten’s. I’ve been needing a new pair for ages, and have predictably been dithering over it. Seeing some with a few dollars off ended up sealing the deal.

Watched

Monday Westworld 1×05
Tuesday Westworld 1×06
Wednesday Westworld 1×07
Thursday Westworld 1×08
Friday Annihilation
Saturday John Wick 2
Sunday Four Weddings And A Funeral

Read

Managed to read a bit more of The Anachronist this week, but the huge tiredness earlier in the week thoroughly confounded my brief reading run.

Eaten

Monday Green chicken curry
Tuesday Meat sauce
Wednesday Lasagne
Thursday Freezer dinner
Friday Salmon
Saturday #childfree dinner
Sunday Beans

Week 10: Let’s do this! … maybe …

(Mar 5 – Mar 11)

A week in which I think about maybe getting some things done.

Monday

It’s a public holiday, but because my place of work stays open today I get to go into the office. Yay. On the upside, the roads are awesomely empty. On the not-upside, it is hot as a damn oven outside, which helps make the day drag twice as slowly.
The good news of the day is that I finally finish the book (All The Birds In The Sky) that I started reading last year. I’m now keen to pick another book that will hopefully help to carry me out of this ridiculous reading slump.

Tuesday

It’s the morning of my eye test. I had some aches and blurred vision in my left eye last week. This, combined with the realisation that I am likely mere months away from needing reading glasses, made an eye test seem like a sensible course of action.

In the end, my eyes are fine, and my vision is almost fine too. The optometrist says that reading glasses may help, but are by no means required.

Yet.

Since I need to drive the Elderbeast to PEAC at midday, there’s title point heading to work. That’s my excuse, anyway. I’ve packed my keyboard and iPad, so I find a cafe, grab some toast, eggs and coffee and catch up on some writing. It’s an awesome way to start the day and I consider doing it more often.

Wednesday

I think the painting (of my open plan craft room, sitting room and kitchen) might actually happen. My colour scheme has gotten the all round thumbs up, and the in-laws are keen to help out. I’m trying not to think about how daunting the whole task is and instead break it down into small stages. Tonight is working out how much pain I need, and how much it might all cost.

I measure up, make myself a today little spreadsheet, and eventually come up with $320 for the paint. I look at the cost of rollers, tarps, and all the other paraphernalia I need and reckon I can get it all done for $500 or less.
The remaining question is how long it’s all going to take…

Thursday

I am calling today the Day Of The Elderbeast.

It starts with an email from his STEM teacher, telling me that he is now a week late handing in an assignment, for which they were given two extra lessons to complete, and is in danger of failing the unit. We go and see his teacher before school an arrange a short extension.

Having arrived at school, the Elderbeast realises he’s left his new badges at home—there are the new badges he was given yesterday which denote him as a faction vice caption and a library assistant. We have a robust discussion about whose responsibility it actually is to remember the badges, and I tell him I don’t have time to go back home before work to get them.

He sees me on the way out of the school rounds, hugs me and apologises. I go back home before heading to work to get his badges for him.

Later that morning I get a call from the school office. The Elderbeast has an excursion today, but they haven’t had his permission slip. I’ve signed it, and given it to the Elderbeast to hand in (luckily I paid for the excursion online), but it has sat in his bag despite my constant reminders to hand it in, and his constant insistence that he has done so. I give my permission verbally and he’s good to go.

Later that evening I have to do battle with the Elderbeast to get him to do his homework, which I intend to make him hand in tomorrow. The effort is exhausting, but he eventually sits down, takes his time over the work, and seems to genuinely enjoy getting stuck in.

In better news, my super secret podcast project takes another mighty leap forward.

Friday

I wake up still mentally exhausted. I have dreams that put me in some sort of London-based version of It, which are thrilling, but also terrifying. I also have other dreams about getting lost in London suburbs and trying to catch overcrowded trains, which are merely exhausting. I start the day at least 95% ‘don’t wanna’. I end it in a much better place.

Saturday

We start the weekend with gardening. I’m determined to get rid of the weeds that are infesting the east side of the property. I drag the Kinderbesten outside with me, before it gets too hot, with gloves and garden bags and we get to to work. As usual it takes almost as much effort to keep the Elderbeast involved, but we make a fair stab at it and fill up three garden bags.

After we pop to Coles for reward waffles and flavoured milk. Then the Elderbeast has to knuckle down to some more homework. Which he does. While we still have our minor battles, his attitude to getting work done is light years ahead of where he was last year.

A friend joins us for dinner, which is provided by Uber Eats. This is at the Elderbeast’s request: he’s had a craving to eat out (“at a fine restaurant”) since last week, but the alternative idea of having restaurant food delivered has proved acceptable. That said, his original wish was for us to go to the the restaurant, buy the food, and come back home again, but that idea got knocked back because I am clearly not as insane as he is.

I’ve gotta say, it’s kinda nice getting good food delivered and not having to cook it. But, it’s not something I’m going to be doing every week. The rest of the evening’s entertainment is provided by Kong: Skull Island, which is exactly what I expected it to be and provides much enjoyment.

Sunday

I wake up with a headache, but there is gardening to do so we head outside once I’m up. My friend, who we’ve jokingly said is there to supervise, ploughs right in and clears an entire section of weeds, comfortably putting the rest of our efforts to shame. We fill four bags this time.

Then, in a severe case of déjà vu, we head back inside so the Elderbeast can do homework. While his focus dips at times, he keeps going until the work is done. I’m, once again, impressed that he seems more intent on getting the job done that finding ways out of it, or rushing through so he can get to the PS4.

I set out to watch another hidden gem, or timey-wimey thriller (as is the Sunday tradition) but then remember that I added A Knight’s Tale to my watch list thinking that the Elderbeast would enjoy it. For reasons known only to him, he immediately latches onto this and will not be swayed by any other choice, so we put it on. I don’t mind at all: it’s not a film I’ve watched nearly as much as it deserves, but I remember it being tremendous fun.

The Elderbeast agrees. The jousting scenes have him standing up, alternately pumping the air and wringing his hands with the tension. The humour mostly lands, and he’s old enough now to get the musical gags. The two female characters (despite the criminal lack of lines given to Laura Fraser) are given a fair bit of agency in the movie, which makes for a good example. Overall, it’s a great experience watching it with him. Afterwards he declares that it’s the best film he’s seen in a long time.

Things I Did Buy

  • $100 Wooden Wishing Well – saw this and decided instantly that I needed it for my garden, even though it has zero practical use.
  • $39 water flosser – because you can’t put a price on dental hygiene.
  • $20 spare Yeelight smart bulb – because … they’re cool?

Watched

Monday Westworld 1×01
Tuesday Westworld 1×02
Wednesday Westworld 1×03
Thursday Westworld 1×04
Friday Happy Death Day
Saturday Kong Skull Island
Sunday A Knight’s Tale

Read

Finished All The Birds In The Sky – yay! Started The Anachronist.

Eaten

Monday Fishfingers & beans
Tuesday Slow-cooked asian chicken
Wednesday Sweet potato korma
Thursday Chips, eggs, beans
Friday Mushrooms, pasta, broccoli
Saturday Uber Eats: Carbonara
Sunday Slow cooker roast chicken

Week 9: The nah… week

(Feb 26 – Mar 4)

Bit of an off week this week. Lots of trouble maintaining focus and so forth. I’m vaguely aware that every other week tends to be slightly more of a struggle than the one before (or after). Maybe I’ll start to pay a bit more attention to this over the coming weeks. So, why not tune in for my impending breakdown in fortnightly instalments 😉

Monday

Having settled into The Handmaid’s Tale last week, I find tonight’s episodes very heavy going. There’s a constant sense of dread and awfulness. But, the show is very, very good, which makes it easy(ish) to persevere.

Tuesday

The Elderbeast plays his “too sick to go to school” card. I’m skeptical, but after being called to pick him up from school exactly last week ago I’m wary of a repeat performance. He seems genuinely low in energy, so I acquiesce. It means I have to take the day off work too, which is both good and bad.
I decide to use the bonus time to sort out some shopping chores, and the Elderbeast is sufficiently – if not miraculously … suspiciously, even–recovered by lunchtime for us to head out. We end up having a splendid time, and even fit in an impromptu haircut for the beast.
Unplanned days off are the best 😉

Wednesday

I have a bad night’s sleep. I wake up at 3am (for no apparent reason) and get back to sleep about an hour later. Morning arrives and so does the Kinderbeast, asking for his breakfast. I’m surprised that he’s, atypically, up and about before my alarm has gone off. I’m even more surprised when I discover my alarm went off an hour ago and I slept through it.
Despite this inauspicious start, the day is not unbearable.

Thursday

I have another night of broken sleep and wake up headachey. I only make it through the day thanks to repeated infusions of cake.

Friday

After a week of underwhelming achievement, I’m determined to use my #childfree weekend wisely–mainly by starting to tackle the creeping morass of weeds that calls itself my garden. In order for this battle to commence I’ll need to launch an assault in the early hours of Saturday morning, before it gets too hot. The first step in this plan is getting my weekly shopping out of the way on the way home. So I don’t have to go and do it on Saturday morning. So I can get up and go straight out in the garden tomorrow morning.
So far, so good.

Saturday

I get up and, somewhat to my surprise, I get out into the garden. I don’t tackle the part I was intending to tackle, but I tackle another part that definitely needed tackling. The job done, I retreat inside to tackle my second major to-do of the day: preparing for a presentation I need to deliver in a couple of week’s time. It’s been booked for months, but naturally I’ve left it until now to prepare.
I complete that job and force myself to spend some time sitting on the sofa, eating waffles, and watching classic Doctor Who. This week it’s City Of Death (the one set in Paris, and written by Douglas Adams). Thanks to a fortuitous repeat on BBC just around the time that I properly got into Doctor Who, it’s one of the classic stories that I have the most clearly defined memories of. It doesn’t let me down. Julian Glover is the perfect villain. The story is witty, clever, and timey-wimey. Tom Baker still has the intense energy that seemed to largely abandon him in his (subsequent) final season. It’s great stuff.
My final to-do of the weekend is to clear up the random areas around the house (mostly surfaces) that have accumulate clutter over recent weeks. This doesn’t take long, but it’s a very rewarding exercise. Much of the clutter ends up being in my bedroom (writing desk, bedside table, bookshelves). I spend some time sorting my space out and retreat, happy with the results.
For the evening I enjoy my traditional #childfree dinner (steak, steamed broccoli, and soy-butter mushrooms). Things take a distinct downturn when I forget to add the soy sauce to my soy-butter mushrooms. Let me tell you, -butter mushrooms are a hugely underwhelming experience in comparison! I almost save the day by dousing the fried mushrooms, post-frying, in soy sauce, but there’s no denying that my dinner has the taste of disappointment all over it.
The Saturday night movie is Logan, which I’m excited about checking out. I’m surprised, but certainly not disappointed, to find that my downloaded copy is the ‘noir’ version. I had plans to buy the disc, but had downloaded the noir version in a fit of petulance over it not being included in the Australian blu-ray release. I then completely forgot to buy the blu-ray. Either way, it’s a great film, and I don’t feel in any way that I’ve missed out by watching it in black and white.

Sunday

Sunday night is our Netflix ‘hidden gems’ night. I let the Elderbeast choose our film and he, surprisingly, goes for People, Places, Things–a light-hearted drama starring Jermaine Clement as an artist trying to put his life back together after his marriage breaks up. I love the the Elderbeast doesn’t always go for the obvious choice, and has developed a taste for what is most easily labelled indie film.
It’s pretty good as well. The plot is nothing new, but the dialogue and the performances make it stand out in my mind days after we’ve seen the credits roll.

Watched

Monday The Handmaid’s Tale 1×06
The Handmaid’s Tale 1×07
Tuesday The Handmaid’s Tale 1×08
Wednesday The Handmaid’s Tale 1×09
Thursday The Handmaid’s Tale 1×10
Friday The Ritual
Saturday Doctor Who: City Of Death
Logan (noir)
Sunday People, Places, Things

Read

I decide, on Sunday, that I’m going to make a super effort to finish my book (All The Birds In The Sky). I don’t quite get to the last page, but I make big dent in the remaining page count.

Eaten

Monday Beans, pasta, broccoli
Tuesday Lasagne
Wednesday Lasagne, part 2
Thursday Sausages & beans
Friday Coconut daal
Saturday Traditional #childfree dinner
Sunday Slow cooked asian chicken

Week 8: Fences, Handmaids and many things

(Feb 19 – Feb 25)

This week I finally started watching The Handmaid’s Tale, which feels somehow significant. It’s been on my watchlist since last year, but I’ve never been quite ready to watch it. Also, there’s been plenty of other TV to keep me busy. Well, turns out I had a gap in my schedule this week, so we’ll see how it goes. More next week.

Monday

I take the day off as there are people coming to replace the back fence. A person arrives at 8am and starts work. I take the Kinderbesten to school and do a bit of shopping then get a phone call: the fence guy has had to leave abruptly due to his sister being in an accident. I’m certainly glad to hear that the company let the fence guy go when his family needed him, but they don’t know when they can reschedule the work. When I I get home I find a sizeable chunk of the old fence has already been removed, which means the cats are confined to quarters for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday

The fence guy returns, much to my surprise, and work recommences. I’d already booked this day off since it’s the UK folks’ last day before flying out. It ends up being a day of much driving: driving to school; driving to PEAC; driving to the station; driving to the airport. It’s also a day of much waiting: waiting until it’s time to have dinner; waiting until it’s time to go the airport.
Last days of holidays are always strange. So much … logistics.

Wednesday

I have my PDR at work. We call it Performance Development, because it is. Other places call it Performance Management, because that’s how they do it. We actually call it Contribution Development Review now (which even I think sounds profoundly wanky), but it’s much the same thing.
I come out of mine with a clear view of what I’ll be doing for the next year, which is kinda the point. It’s mostly what I was already planning to do for the next year, but it’s still good to have it in writing.

Thursday

I wake up at 3am, and it takes me at least an hour to get back to sleep. I’m supposed to be heading out to see Black Panther in the evening, when all I really want to do is hide and go to bed. Luckily the worst of the exhaustion passes and I’m fit and ready to enjoy the film. Which I do. It’s a fairly straightforward superhero origin tale on the surface, but gains many different levels thanks to its cultural significance. Plus, it’s extremely well made, which always helps.

Friday

I had a good day at work today. That’s it.

Saturday

It’s my weekend with the Kinderbesten, so I’ve decided to do a little more than simply loaf around, watch TV, and play PS4. We’re joined in the morning by a friend, who brings his own Kinderbeast. The Kinderbesten play while we chat about films, comics, and whatever else comes to mind, while drinking coffee and eating pastries. Then another friend comes over for homemade pizzas, wine and some quality PS4 time. A very sociable day, but the entirely bearable sort.

Sunday

I make a cameo appearance at a friend’s birthday do, which turns into a relaxing morning with tea, cakes and many animals. However, the Kinderbesten grow restless eventually and I disappear with them before they get too much. We team up to wash the car when we get home–none of us really want to do it, but the car really, really needs it. It’s a good job, well done.

Things I did buy

$100 in spurious expenses this week, but all are mostly defensible. I’ve been wanting a pair of mark II Converse for years, but have shied away at the price. However, finally seeing $120 shoes for just $45 is a bargain I cannot walk away from. I’ve also been holding out to continue reading Paper Girls and Wicked + Divine, and lo and behold Comixology has a half price sale on all Image comics. So that’s a done deal.
Finally, I’ve been meaning for months and months to get some reusable pouches for the kinderbesten’s lunchboxes, so we don’t have to create so much waste (and so I can probably reduce my weekly yoghurt budget). After lots of faffing around, and a few hours research, I finally ordered a bunch of stuff from Sinchies. Pretty excited.

$32 reusable food pouches
$25 comics
$45 Converse

Watched

Monday Doctor Who: Power Of The Daleks
Tuesday The Handmaid’s Tale 1×02
The Handmaid’s Tale 1×03
Wednesday The Handmaid’s Tale 1×04
The Handmaid’s Tale 1×05
Thursday Black Panther
Friday The Final Girls
Saturday n/a
Sunday Coherence

Read

Two nights spent reading my book. Not the best, but damn if I was too tired for reading most of this week.

Eaten

Monday Pasta and broccoli
Tuesday Chicken & Broccoli stir-fry
Wednesday Chicken & Broccoli stir-fry
Thursday Chips eggs beans
Friday Freezer meal
Saturday Pizza (homemade)
Sunday Homemade beans

Week 7: Shitty politics

(Feb 12 – Feb  18)

This week brings us a resounding reminder of one of my least favourite topics: the shabby state of politics, as emphatically demonstrated by Barnaby Joyce’s behaviour and yet another school shooting in the USA.

Last week I wrote about endurance and tolerance. This week I’m wondering about why we (collectively) tolerate the awful things that our leaders do, and the broken lives that people have to endure because of that.

Monday

I wake up with my head throbbing and my nose streaming. I think back to spending most of yesterday sneezing and feeling headachy, and decide that the safest course of action is to take the day off (and thus prevent sharing my plague with my colleagues). I watch Day Of The Jackal on the sofa, nourished by coffee and pastries, then doze for a bit. By the end of the day I’m mostly recovered.

Tuesday

I scour the news for reports of Barnaby Joyce’s resignation. Am at once disappointed, astounded, and not the least bit surprised that he doesn’t do so.

Wednesday

It’s Valentine’s Day, which passes virtually unnoticed by myself. The Elderbeast, however, comes home pleading with me to print something out for him. Turns out it’s a love letter for someone in his class. I agree to print it out tomorrow (not having a printer at home), but suggest that a love letter should really be handwritten.

He ponders this, then comes up to me and asks if he can use one of my ‘nice notebooks’. I agree and leave him to it. He writes the letter, and we then search the craft drawers for a decent envelope. He even finds a nice bow to decorate it with. I read the letter: it’s beautiful. He didn’t even ask for any help with all the words: they’re all his.

And then, overnight, I decide he should leave the letter at home. Lovely though it is, it’s a little on the intense side, and I worry about the potential after-effects. I suggest he should just take his time getting to know the girl in question, and leave it at that.

He takes my advice. I just hope it’s right.

Thursday

It’s a baking hot day. I have to leave work early to collect the Kinderbesten. They both look utterly drained by the heat. The Kinderbesten flops out on the sofa when we get home and declares: “Oh, shitty poop!

It’s shocking, the language they pick up in primary school these days …

Friday

For various reasons the Kinderbesten depart later than usual for their #dadfree weekend. It’s only at this point that I realise how accustomed I’ve grown to the few peaceful hours I typically get on a Friday evening: time I use to clean the house, make dinner, and generally decompress. I still get everything done, but I’m not quite yet my usual relaxed self by the time my Fridate companion arrives.

However, a glass of wine and a chat later and I’m fine.

Saturday

After last week’s oversleeping, I set an alarm for 8:30am to ensure I get my shopping out of the way before things get busy. I needn’t have worried: my neighbours inadvertently wake me up at 7am. I get the shopping done with neither stress nor drama: it’s a short list this week, so naturally it costs more than usual.

I spend the day relaxing on the sofa, eating waffles, drinking coffee and watching classic Doctor Who. I take various breaks to tackle minor chores, mostly tidying and cleaning.

Then the UK folks arrive to take me out to dinner. We go to a very nice Italian place in Freo. I have lamb shanks, tiramisu and a very fine glass of Pinot Noir—all served separately, of course. After that we return to mine for a small port.

I cap the evening off with the first episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Sunday

I start to get a real feeling that the fallout from this latest school shooting is going to be different—and it’s the kids that are, rightly, going to make the difference. It’s another one of those moments that makes me optimistic for the future.

In a strange parallel, the Elderbeast and I watch Real Genius for our evening movie (I was going to watch a timey-wimey movie but it didn’t work out on account of tech fail). Real Genius is a 1985 comedy about a group of ultra-smart college kids who get duped into building a a super-powered laser weapon so the military can go off and kill people with impunity. However, once the kids learn what’s really going on they take matters into their own hands and give a big F.U. to the bad guys.

It’s not quite as good as I remember (tho it’s still pretty good), but it’s one of those very few movies that has a Val Kilmer performance that really makes me wonder what happened with Val Kilmer.

Things I Didn’t Buy

Gave some serious thought to buying a $70 Nutribullet ($30 off!) but I really don’t need a Nutribullet.

Things I Did Buy

  • $14 City Of Death DVD (cos I really want to watch it again)
  • $10 Little Golden Ghostbusters books (cos they’re super cute)

Watched

Monday The Day Of The Jackal
Doctor Who: The Robots of Death
Star Trek: Discovery 1×15
Altered Carbon 1×07
Tuesday Altered Carbon 1×08
Wednesday Altered Carbon 1×09
Thursday Altered Carbon 1×10
Friday The Stepford Wives
Saturday Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
The Handmaid’s Tale 1×01
Sunday Real Genius

Read

Managed to make some good progress with my long-neglected book, All The Birds In The Sky, and read it for five nights over the week.

Eaten

Monday Tuna rice
Tuesday Chicken broccoli stir-fry
Wednesday Cheese omelette
Thursday Dominos
Friday Daal, soy butter cabbage
Saturday Nunzio’s – Lamb shank
Sunday Pulled pork

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