Ciao for Now (or ever)

It turns out my motivation at completing writing prompts is pretty low.

In the beginning of the month I was going to do a bunch of the posts and liked the ideas and then it never happened.

Early in October I went to Melbourne and I was going to blog about the adventure but I didn’t do that either. Melbourne was great, the coming home part was less great. At the time I left for Melbourne there were a few things happening that I’d like to have shut my eyes, blocked my ears and pretended weren’t happening. Somehow, going away I was able to leave the issues behind me and have fun in the hustle and bustle of the city. I spent 2 days just wandering around and looking at what Melbourne had to show me, I felt free and light and not rushed or bound by someone (or something – work) elses constraints. Able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and where I wanted without feel liking I had to be somewhere.

In contrast, I came home to the deafening silence of my house, it engulfed me and made me remember all the things I’d left behind. At that point, posting about the trip was going to make me sad so I didn’t do it. Then I didn’t do it the week after that or the week after that. By that point I didn’t particularly want to post about anything and that hasn’t really changed.

I’ve owned my domain for 8.5 years now and I have archives of  6 of those but I can’t see myself sitting down and reading back through all those posts, they don’t really serve much of a purpose. I feel like the days of a blog like mine whose main reason for existence is to post random things about life for fun rather than for profit are pretty much over. Everything now is about how perfectly formed the words are and how pretty the photos, in hopes someone will want to pin them on one of their Pinterest boards, about showing a shiny perfect life where houses are immaculate, kids are never a pain in the arse and, in many instances, husbands are made the butt of jokes.

I miss the times when only people who understood how the internet and coding worked had websites and they were made because it was fun to show what you could create and have fun with similar people. Now everything looks the same, and free/pre-made themes are everywhere – I think I’ve seen the one I’m using on 4 or 5 sites. It seems like the originality that used to be abundant is pretty much gone.

So I’ve been thinking about the last time I had fun blogging and I really can’t remember, probably back when I used to make my own themes (we’re talking years here) and didn’t feel like I needed to have polished words for my blog to count. For that reason I’ve decided to stop blogging. It could be for a week, a month or forever, I don’t know. Until which point I can see it being fun instead of being a chore.

My Old Red Gem

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for October. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 2: Do you remember your first car? Did you give it a name? Tell us about your first car or what it was like when you learned how to drive.

I decided to give this post prompt set another try. I wasn’t too keen on the September prompts but think some of the October ones could be fun so here goes..

Do I remember my first car? Of course I remember my first car! Is there anyone that doesn’t? I feel like many people think fondly of their first car, regardless of whether it was a rusting heap of junk or something fancy and new. My first car was a red Holden Gemini, 1981 model.. it was older than me but I still loved it. It was (and still is) the only car I ever liked to drive.

My car looked a lot like this – except mine was cooler!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of my actual old car, but it looked a lot like the above image but it was lowered, had a little spoiler, tinted windows, a black interior and a sun roof. Probably not the best car for a P plater to be driving around in, I got pulled over by the cops a few times until they realised I was a 17 year old girl and not a 17 year old boy. I know I know, massive stereotype but given the boys I went to school with.. it’s pretty accurate.

We had a lot of adventures together, good and bad.. like the time where I had a car load of friends in the car and drove out to a party in the middle of no where.. I don’t think my car was made for that type of weight. It struggled and I wondered whether it was going to get stuck on a bump or in a pothole. We made it home alive though, although I do remember having to do a roll/clutch start around a round-a-bout on the way home that night as it randomly decided to stall on me. It did that a lot, I got really good at those.

I did name my car, it’s true… her name was Ruby. Very creative I know, Ruby being a red gem. I remember friends yelling “Come on Ruby, you can do it!” whenever it sounded like she was about to stall, in hopes that she wouldn’t. She probably did.

Fortunately, when I was a learner, the stalling problem hadn’t started happening yet otherwise it would have been no fun at all trying to learn hill starts. There were many a fight between my Dad and I on those lessons. It reminded me a lot of this scene in Looking For Alibrandi:

I probably didn’t swear at my Dad though… probably. I think I’d have remembered the consequences of that.

I haven’t driven much since my beloved Ruby died and was towed away to the wreckers back in 2003, I didn’t have my licence for 10 years up until earlier this year. Since then I’ve only driven once too, so now it’s like I’m learning all over again. I don’t think it’ll be quite the experience it was last time though.

For the love of TV

It may come as a surprise to people but I really like watching TV. Like, REALLY! I can take or leave movies but would hate to be without tv shows in my life. They’re so much better than movies because they don’t end after 90 – 180mins or have terrible sequels (even if they do generally have terrible seasons after the 5th) that ruin everything! I’m looking at you The Matrix..

I took a look through my tags and over 4 years I have only ever tagged 6 posts as TV. Considering the amount of time I spend watching TV shows (and that I’m a moderator on a TV forum), it’s really not enough.. more than that I’ve never even mentioned Gravity Falls which is one of my favourite shows ever! How could this be?

So I thought today I’d give you my 3 favourite shows that are currently still running.

1. Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls is an animated show on Disney (but don’t let that put you off) about twins Dipper and Mabel’s summer with their Great Uncle Stan (Gruncle Stan) in Gravity Falls, a place of mystery and some down right creepy things. Unlike a lot of animated shows targeted at kids, Gravity Falls has an ongoing storyline throughout the episodes to find out all the mysteries that Gravity Falls is hiding.. and there are a lot! Many people say Gravity Falls is like an animated LOST.. you know, if the LOST writers hadn’t been winging it for much of the show.

Even though it is considered a kids show it definitely is a lot of fun for adults too as we’re the ones that will get all the jokes.. plus there is an episode on time travel! What’s not to like.

2. Rick and Morty

Another animated show but this one is definitely not for kids! As with Gravity Falls there is a storyline.. although it’s lost a bit in the weirdness of each episode but there is continuity which I like. This show isn’t going to be for everyone.. it’s pretty out there and sometimes just plain stupid but it’s hilarious all the same. 

Rick and Morty is about, well.. Rick and Morty. Rick is a mad scientist and Morty is his grandson that Rick brings along for his adventures and sometimes he keeps the family at home distracted by gadgets they’ve never seen before. Currently there is only 1 season but the 2nd is meant to air later in the year/early 2015. So you have time to catch up and be somewhat confused at how this became a show and think about how awesome it is.

3. Doctor Who – NewWho

I’m not sure I really need to say what Doctor Who is about, it’s been around forever, everyone should already know. Just in case though, Doctor Who is about a Time Lord who travels through time and space in his Tardis (basically a spaceship that can go anywhere, anytime.. although sometimes it’s really bad with navigating time) and usually has a companion along for the ride. 

I prefer the older seasons and David Tennant (Ten) was my favourite doctor. The video above isn’t the first episode, or his first episode, but is one of the best of the series. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely give it a try!

Sydney Adventures

Last week I took another trip up to Sydney for work.  It was a continuation of the training I had received the month before. Essentially, it was 2 long days trying not to fall asleep and hoping to get some free alcohol during the evenings activities.

I wasn’t looking forward to the trip and had considered not going, however, as I had been picked as one of our company’s leaders I figured my bosses probably wouldn’t appreciate me turning down the opportunity and so I was Sydney bound. On the plus side, this time we were able to fly up instead of a back breaking 4hr limo drive. We also wrangled a mid afternoon flight so we could enjoy the night before having to do some really long days (8hrs of ‘learning’ and then 3hrs of networking disguised as dinner). As requested by Holly, I took a billion photos to show everyone! This is even my cut down version, there are probably only so many angles of buildings and the opera house that you can see.

I haven’t flown very much and each time I do the airport looks different (I might have gotten lost looking for the cab rank when coming home) but fortunately there is basically nothing in the Canberra airport except a few gates and an overpriced cafe so it is pretty easy to navigate.

Water feature at the airport - obviously I had to check how it worked.

Water feature at the airport – obviously I had to check how it worked.

We were on a little Dash 8 plane and the sky looked pretty grim so it appeared as though we were in for a bumpy right. Luckily, the flight is only about 30mins in the air so we didn’t have to tolerate it for long. It was very strange being above the clouds and having the sun warming my face when it had been cloudy and a bit rainy as we walked across the tarmac to board. I also got to see a rainbow from the plane! It was especially awesome.

Up in the clouds!

Up in the clouds!

A rainbow from above

A rainbow from above

Once off the plane, we headed for the hotel and checked in. As I’d travelled with a colleague we decided to meet back later to make a snack run (instead of impulse buying $6 bottles of water!) and make dinner plans. We went for a wander around but ultimately ended up back at the restaurant attached to the hotel, Vapiano. I don’t have any photos of it but it was fast, tasty and they had $4 happy hour! It has a really neat system I’ve never seen before, when you enter you’re given a card that has up to $75 worth of value, you swipe the card whenever you purchase anything. When you decide to leave you go to the front counter and pay up. Very efficient and easy (especially when you’re expense claiming it). They mostly do pizza and pasta, the pasta is made while you wait, it’s very cool!

Once happy hour was over and we’d finished eating I decided to part ways with my colleague and went back up to my room. While looking for somewhere to eat my colleague had mentioned that Haigh’s Chocolates was around, I’d been wanting to try their chocolate for ages but their website kind of sucks (you can see all their offerings but you can’t buy any of them online) so I decided to look them up, it turned out they were open for another 30 mins and they were only a 5min walk away from the hotel!

I turned up to find that, no they weren’t open until 8PM and they close at 6PM.. at least I didn’t walk too far to find that out. Instead of walking back to the hotel I decided to use the time to wander around the city and check out all the beautiful buildings Sydney has to offer. While I would never want to live in Sydney, it does have a lot more history and beauty than much of Canberra, I also like how many of the buildings have been preserved and re-fitted rather than being knocked down.

Look up!

Look up!

I started my journey by walking down Pitt Street and heading towards The Rocks (part of me was going to Pancakes on the Rocks, mostly I just wanted to walk around and check out the city). I saw some lovely intricate designs on buildings, stairways, footpaths, everything really! It seems like, at one point in time, we spent a  lot more time on the details when creating buildings rather than the speed of which we could build them.

Look up again!

Look up again! I could only look at this from the outside as the room was being renovated. It reminded me a little of Galifreyan writing

A merging of old with new

A merging of old with new

One thing I found strange was that, although I was walking around the city by myself at night, I didn’t feel afraid that something might happen to me. I walked through areas that, had they been in Canberra, I might not have. Maybe that’s just because I know the areas in Canberra you shouldn’t walk through at night and I was blissfully naive when walking the streets of Sydney.

Once I got to the end of Pitt St, I decided to cross the road and walk into First Fleet Park (I didn’t consider it had a name, google saved me) and noticed an increase in souvenir stores and wondered why that might be. That is, until I turned the corner and saw the Harbour Bridge, and a few steps later the Opera House. It’s funny that I have such a poor sense of direction in Sydney that I didn’t see them coming.. even though I was heading towards The Rocks, I never considered I’d be near the water..

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Eventually I hit a bit of a dead end so I decided to walk back to the hotel, this time following George St instead. Basically, if you can find George St you can find anything in the city, or so I’m told. Worked for me anyway. As I walked up the street I noticed a beacon up ahead and it was a Guylian cafe! I didn’t know such a thing existed and now, having Googled it, it turns out they’re only in Sydney (at 3 separate locations). They were also open which I was super excited about. I took a quick look around, bought some chocolate I’d never seen before and went up to the cakes and slices window. Oh my, they all looked delish! 

Guylian Cafe display

Guylian Cafe display

They’re a bit pricey and I wasn’t overly hungry, so I settled for buying the chocolate blocks and a Chocolate Praline Hot Chocolate, it was pretty amazing.. even if it did burn my tongue on the first sip – I was too eager to see how it tasted! I wish they had a store here, I’d definitely go back!

After that minor distraction I decided to continue my trek back to the hotel, with Hot Chocolate in hand, and try to take photos at the same time. I kept having to find places to put my drink down. I took a detour down a little laneway (something I’d never have done at that time of night in Canberra) because I was drawn by a beacon of light. This mysterious laneway held a beautiful second floor courtyard and a store dedicated to buttons! I wish I’d been able to get access to the courtyard but alas, all I have is the photos.

Secret courtyard

Secret courtyard

A world of Buttons!

A world of Buttons! Apparently its real name is Buttons Buttons Buttons!

Down the rabbits hole

Down the rabbits hole

Lastly, as I walked back I noticed a sign for Sydney’s oldest pub! Claiming to have been around since 1828. I wanted to take a look but had my Hot Chocolate and I as took a look in, everyone looked back at me and I got a bit nervous. After looking up The Fortune of War it turns out that while it’d been in business since 1828, the building itself was re-built in 1921.. which probably makes it more to my style but oh well.. maybe another time.

Here ended my adventure for the night, I got back to my room and relaxed for the rest of the night as preparation for the days ahead. They were incredibly long and dull and I feel like I accomplished very little. We also had to go out the second night together to do some trivia (yawn) which took 3 hours! It ran from about 6:30 – 9:30 and I really wished I were elsewhere. That being said, we were at the Stacks Taverna and the food was very good.

Dessert at Stacks

Dessert at Stacks

There was a lot of it as well, which was good when the Churros came out because I probably couldn’t have just eaten one.. fortunately for me, my colleagues were pretty full and I ate most of them (you should always have room for Churros!).

Also fortunate for me was that a few of the guys decided to head back to the hotel at the same time as I’m fairly certain I would have gotten lost.. it looked pretty straight forward on the way down.. who knows where I would have ended up though if I’d walked by myself.

Finally, after getting through the next dull day (we weren’t given any breaks either) I was on my way home! I was pretty pleased as, other than the first night, it had been a pretty uninspiring time. At lease the first night was worth it.

All of the Things

It’s been nearly a month since I last posted. I was able to write 9 posts in July, even though I anticipated 15 this is still much more than I’ve posted in a long time. Having the SITS girls prompts were really helpful and in some cases I ended up not needing them.

I wanted to use them again for August but for most of August I still had a cold. Up until last week I was still sick from back then, it held onto me for about 5 weeks which drove me pretty crazy.

During that time I mostly just watched tv, did things on YouTube and ate a bunch of junk because that’s what I needed to feel better. I also started posting more regularly on Previously. TV which is an awesome site for all things current TV and some things older TV. They have a pretty decent forum which I’m now a moderator of! I haven’t been a mod of a forum for about 10 years so it’s a bit strange and fun at the same time. If you like talking about your favourite TV shows then you should go and take a look.

I also went up to Sydney for work at the beginning of August and I’m going back next week. Last time we went up in a mega stretch limo, in theory that is awesome, in reality not so much. It was pretty uncomfortable and took hours to get to the hotel. After that we had 2 very long days, we checked in at 4PM, left for the pre-arranged dinner at 6 and that started the sleep, work, dinner, sleep cycle for those days.. very long and exhausting, probably why I ended up being sick again when I got back. I’ll probably have a post dedicated to my Sydney visits when I get back next week.

Mostly I considered blogging but didn’t have the energy to do it, I just wanted to sleep for much of the time but hopefully I am full recovered from that now and can get back into it all for September.