April 18, 2018 at 15:23 (Move, Uncategorized)

I’m selling my city house, moving to Jeffery’s Bay (or there abouts) and starting an organic garden.

Ah, what a life changing decision. Those who know me will know that I don’t do stuff outside. And yet, here I am moving any from the concrete and tar to soil and spiders.

But why? A chance to start a much simpler life, more conscious of the environment and our impact on it, being more in touch with the community. Less city living stresses and pollution, etc.

The plan – one of many, in fact. All based on not actually seeing the properties in person nor experiencing the environment.

I’m also inspired by 李子柒 making a swing bench and cat shaped cob oven.  Her methods are traditional and her tastes are little rough for me but what I like about her is she has an idea and makes it. She doesn’t get bogged down with the ‘correct’ method and over analysing. I want to trying living a simpler way.

Of course, there is also the option that I find a lovely town house and buy that instead. Who knows.


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Improving your life

March 17, 2018 at 16:57 (Uncategorized)

I’ve always maintained that you make decisions based on the information you have at the time of making the decision. And after a recent conversation, I’m expanding that to you make decisions or changes in your life as you get new information. Or not – what ever it happens to be.

But making decisions or changes doesn’t mean that the current situation is bad or horrible. It may be perfectly pleasent but new information has shown you it could be better, or different. Just because your life is good, doesn’t mean you can’t make it better if the opportunity comes around.

And equally valid for me, is making changes because the current situation has run its course. It was good for the time but you’ve changed or changed your mind or just want to try something different. Again, it doesn’t mean the situation is or was bad.

On a lighter note – look at my girls sleeping in the garden!

Girls in the garden

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Not right now

February 27, 2018 at 19:45 (Make, Uncategorized)

I’ve stepped back from sewing.

The last couple of costumes I made were not great and they felt like hard work and I feel I didn’t invest any talent in them. I’m not sure when but some time ago the enjoyment I felt when sewing began to wane.

If I think back, it probably began when I started sewing again after my accident. The ease at which I made things wasn’t there, my eye for measurements and fitting had disappeared. The ache and tiredness in my hand, and eventually my arm and neck, was quick to come and slow to fade. I didn’t see joy when I looked at my planned projects – they looked like troublesome tasks that had to be done. Effort overshadowed enjoyment. And with stresses of work and limited energy and a general ‘meh’ attitude to sewing, I decided to change my hiatus to a definite stop for the time being. For the longest time, people have linked me with sewing and I had been sewing for a little over 20 years so there’s this idea that something dramatic or terrible happened that caused me to stop. But no, just not feeling into it right now.

Shortly after I got the girls, I got rid of all the sewing stuff I had collected over years. It was so freeing to see it go. I’ve kept my machines, needles and scissors. The machines are good and it would be silly to get rid of them, and they are handy if I need to fix or alter something. And maybe I take it up again. And I may post some of my older things and update bits here and there – who knows.

But I’m not sewing right now.

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Different beginnings…?

February 24, 2018 at 16:37 (Uncategorized)

Almost two years ago I blogged about a shiny new permanent position. At 35 it was my first ‘real job’ with a contract and paid leave and sick days and all the security things people say are essential for a good life. I was very excited to join the ‘grown up’ world, the novelty of paid leave and a steady income.

But over the last while I’ve come to realise these things don’t make me happy. I don’t hate my job, I don’t dread going into work but I do find it incredibly stressful. The pressure of keeping things running smoothly as my position has upgraded as well as the scope of my tasks added to my plate I find overwhelming. None of the individual tasks are difficult and I get through the weeks well enough and in a timely manner, but the stress I put on myself to maintain the standard is wearing me out.

Could I put less stress on myself? No – that is not how I am. Half hearted jobs are more stressful to me than the stress of keeping everything to a good standard. Just as I am tall with green eyes, I stress about keeping my work to my standard. And while it is appreciated by the staff around me, it’s not good for me. And the end position I thought I wanted, I don’t think it good for me. It’s a creeping realisation. At first I was all, well, the job got me to Japan but then I remembered I went to Finland with half half employment. Then I moved onto the regular income which gives me credit card debt as I have a salary coming in so… I’ll buy it anyway. I’ve become worse with money than I was before. And I’m tired all the time. I’ve never had a large amount of energy but level of tiredness I feel constantly, I don’t enjoy nor do I want.

But I also enjoy many aspects of my job and the people I work with are all lovely and understanding. Coming from office environments of snippy comments, ignoring low level staff and sneering at lifestyle choices, my current job is completely different – chill and accommodating. That is not to say there are no conflicts or differences of opinion, of course there are. Just as there are days or situations that are frustrating and days where I complain endless about all sorts of things. But that is life – some days are good, some are bad. Some are busy while others are productive or unproductive. Calm, crazy, stressy – take the day for what it is and roll with it.

So where does all this leave me? Accept it or make changes.

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Material Things

December 2, 2017 at 10:49 (Uncategorized)

In the past few months I’ve bought three things that have improved my life more than I thought they would. A Chromebook, Nike Airs and a mineral oil gel toe protector. Of the three, the toe protector has change the way I walk the most. My right baby toe suffers in closed shoes and becomes very painful. But not anymore. The toe protectors offers a gel barrier between my baby toe and my other toes that dig into it when I wear closed shoes. The toe protector is quite possibly the best thing I have ever bought.

My torturous and stressful daily commute on Metrorail lead me to purchase the Nike Airs. Cute sandles are a hinderance (and can be painful) with delays, cancellations, overcrowding, constant platform changes and just hanging between stations for nearly 20 minutes at a time. If you got to contort yourself to get home, good shoes make the journey a little more comfortable.

My Chromebook has now been bumped down to third best purchase. It was top for a long time, and it’s the first material thing I’ve bought that I would miss if it broke. But on the weekend it actually moves back up to first best purchase.

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September 16, 2017 at 14:28 (Fiction, Uncategorized)

I’ve been rather depressed lately. Various reasons – work colleagues, transport issues, personal disappointments and body pain. Not to mention lack of sleep from two terribly cute kittens.

Yesterday was pretty low but then I was inspired by Always by Rap Monster and wrote this. Not my usual listening but it just struck a cord.

All falling apart, all falling away

I’m listening but you’re not changing
Your actions bring your pain
Don’t pass it on to me, it’s not mine
I have my own pain
The pain in my heart
The pain in my body
I’m trying to get stronger
My body is weak
My heart is tired

I can’t bear your world
I don’t want your world
Please understand my world
All falling apart, all falling away
My boundaries are far
Please don’t push me there
Coming back takes time
The journey is long, it’s hard
The pain in my heart
The pain in my body
I’m trying to get stronger
My body is weak
My heart is tired
I can’t bear your world
I don’t want your world
Please understand my world

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Can’t touch it

September 5, 2017 at 20:12 (Uncategorized)

I bought a cute cat bed in Japan. It came flat but it was still a bit of a struggle to get it into my bag along with all the other things I had bought. Minnow wouldn’t touch it, but I figured the new kittens would enjoy it when they arrived. Rose and Mary ignored it as well. Rose would sometimes put a paw in to pull on the elasticated ball inside but that was it.

Until this evening when my mother took the cushion out. Now Rose and Mary are fighting each other to play inside. When I first unpacked the bed, I thought it might have smelt from being wrapped up. Then I thought the crinkly plastic in the cushion was to blame so it was removed. No luck at all – the cats were just not interested. But I made a connect the moment my mother mentioned removing the cushion. Lava blankets.

I bought two blankets that if I put the girls on them, they bounce off as if the blankets are lava. The cushion is made of the same mircofibre as the lava blankets. I thought it would be warm and toasty but apparantly not. I obviously don’t know what cats like.

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Rose and Mary

August 13, 2017 at 16:35 (Uncategorized)

On 1 July I got two girl kittens – Rose and Mary. Rose is calico with a pink nose and Mary is tortoiseshell with a black nose. They are very cute and lovable, but also exhausting – especially at 05.00 in the morning. Every morning.


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Japan Days

June 16, 2017 at 16:36 (Travel, Uncategorized) ()

When I first arrived in Osaka I was so culture shocked and ill that I thought I was going to have the worst three weeks of my life.  By the fourth day, I was okay and ready to explore. Not knowing kanji was the biggest thing for me – I could read nothing. I couldn’t even recognise anything. I thought I would be fine because I’ve read about Japanese culture for years, I chat to H every Sunday (he’s Japanese) and I’ve watched many, many shows about Japan and Japanese culture as well as general TV show/movies. But being there was totally different. Social norms that I knew about weren’t habits for me so often I would find myself responding (or not responding) to phrases or customs causing awkward pauses. Luckily by nature I’m cautious and hesitant to engage so nothing terrible embarrassing or rude happened.

By the end though, I was really enjoying myself and will definitely go again.

Futon – I have a semi-fit 36 year old Western body. The futon nearly killed me. When I first ducked into the room, I thought I’d been given two duvets. Next time I’m paying extra for a bed. Not getting a full night’s rest for three weeks meant I was often tired in the afternoon and exhausted when I returned home.

Noise – everything has a tune or a jingle or a chime. On many occasions I would end my exploration and go back to the guesthouse for quiet. Shopping Streets were the loudest with pachinko parlors and anime areas being the worst. Everything is also bright and happy and cute – my melancholy self couldn’t handle it. This is the third reason I couldn’t live in Japan.

Japanese – I had some kind of thought to practice my Japanese while I was there, and learn a little more, but I didn’t. And not because the people around me spoke mainly Kansai. I just never felt like it. It seemed like hard work while on holiday. Also the Japanese are similar to the Finnish – they don’t really talk to strangers on the street.

Japanese Food – As expected, Japanese food isn’t to my tastes. It’s difficult when you don’t like umami, seafood, fish, seaweed, ginger, wasabi nor green tea. I ended up eating mostly Western styled food from Lawson (convenient store). It’s not a diet to live on and gets pricey after a while, but it’s fine for holidaying. This is the first reason I couldn’t live in Japan.

Yen – Not being able to use my card for purchases was somewhat annoying. Only being able to get cash from a 7 Eleven was annoying. Planning trips involved planning drawing money which included exchange rate fees and daily limits. Keep note of how much cash was in my wallet was strange – mainly coz I don’t carry cash in my wallet.

JR – The railway system in Japan is complex. However, the stations, platforms and trains are all clearly marked in Japanese and English, and colour coded. There are also constant announcements in Japanese and English. The trains have screens showing the route and the next station. The bigger stations include Korean and Chinese. It’s not as difficult as you first think. You just gotta stop and actually read the signs and follow the arrows. Strangely, the subway has an American accent for announcements and the JR lines a British one. After reading about the horror of rail travel in Japan, I’ve come to the conclusion that some peeps just don’t pay attention. Or write articles very badly. But I love JR and the suica card.

Tall with green eyes – I got stared at a lot. It got uncomfortable very quickly. I stayed in a poorer area with lots of old people and I towered over them. I was taller than the younger generation but not a lot, and they tended to be more accustomed to Westerners. This is the second reason I couldn’t live in Japan.

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Doutonbori Street

April 16, 2017 at 09:44 (Travel, Uncategorized) ()

One of many shopping streets in Namba. This one appears to be mostly food.

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