Tag Archives: travelling

20 for 2020: week 28

Week of 6 July

My 20 for 2020 list.

I had been looking forward to this week for a long time. After the chaos of last week at work and spending the entire weekend working on my uni assignment (thing 8) that I had handed in with the mantra “it doesn’t have to be perfect; you just need to pass” playing off against “you should have put more work into this” in my head, I was ready for a break.

If I hadn’t had a holiday booked, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if ”should-me” had requested an extension on Friday to give me more time to finesse the assignment. Thankfully, I did have plans and what I handed in on Sunday was it. I’m glad, because it forced me to submit something that I think is good enough but is by no means up to the standard I expect.

Ha! Take that, “should-me”.

This week’s destination was Bridport, a small town on the north coast of Tasmania. I believe I went there once when I was a baby, and there is some family folklore story about me having been kidnapped by “Uncle Charlie”, who I think was my grandmother’s aunt’s husband. The actual truth is far less dramatic. From what I understand, Uncle Charlie simply decided to take the baby (me) out for a walk and didn’t bother to tell anyone, and they all went into a bit of a panic when no one could find us. I must have been returned safe and sound because I’m still here.

20200706 Clouds near Barnbougle 2

Chasing clouds in the middle of nowhere

I have no memories of the place, so it was all new to me and I was happy to not have any particular plans in mind other than wanting to visit Mt William National Park, on the north-eastern tip of the state, and take lots of photos. I certainly did that.

20200706 Old Pier Bridport 37

I got a bit obsessed with the old pier

It was great to get away. I let myself sleep in and I missed my morning walks and mindfulness sessions (goodbye, 100-day streak). I didn’t do any reading and I didn’t do my daily yoga stretches. I made sure I got right back into all of that when I got home though. I’ve put too much work into these habits to let them go after a couple of days off.

I also made up for skipping my daily 15 minutes of creating the past few weeks on Saturday, when I sat down for four or five hours and edited a bunch of photos from the trip.

20200707 Eddystone Point Lighthouse 27

Obligatory lighthouse photo (larapuna/Eddystone Point)

As for my 20 for 2020 things, I didn’t do much at all.

Uni doesn’t start again until next month so that’s on hold for a couple of weeks.

I had a look at what I wrote in my monthly review (thing 22) last week and pulled out the main things I said I wanted to work on in July.  One of those is to figure out how to take the focus that I know I have when something is important enough and time critical (aka my assignment) and apply that to things that are still important but perhaps there isn’t as much riding on.

I think I need to revisit Indistractable (thing 13).

20200711 Journalling at the ccoffee shop

Catching up on the week at the local coffee shop

I used my graphics tablet for some of my editing (thing 17). Well, I used it for five minutes until Photoshop crashed. Does that count as progress? Yes, yes it does.

I took the photos that were the reason for setting up the home studio (thing 11) but I didn’t do any more to work out how to set that up, so I won’t count that.

Overall, it was a nice relaxing week, and I really needed the break. Back to work next week while Kramstable has another week of holidays. Lucky him!

20200708 Platypus Park river walk 07—marshes

I felt a bit Famous Five traipsing about in the marshes

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 10 (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18)
  • Things I progressed: 2 (17, 22)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 4 (7, 8, 11, 13)
  • Things not started: 6  (2, 9, 12, 19, 20, 21)
  • Days I stuck to my 15 minutes creative habit: 3
  • Days I read a book: 4
  • Days I did yoga stretches: 3
  • Days I was in bed by 10.30: 3

20 for 2020: week 3

Week of 13 January 2020

This was my last full week of work before school goes back so I am rather looking forward to some time off next week.

This week, I rang the hearing centre and booked a hearing test (thing 16). They didn’t have any appointment for the tests I need for three weeks but I’ve finally made the appointment, so this thing is now in progress after me putting it off for more than six months.

I read some more of my uni material (thing 8) and started work on some of the exercises. The unit officially starts on Monday and the first assignment is due three weeks later. So I think most of my effort is going to be directed at that for the next three weeks. I’m really excited for this unit because it focuses on self management and a lot of the material is stuff I’m already familiar with so I think I’ll enjoy this work.

I started putting my phone away when I’m travelling to work and have been reading on the bus instead (thing 14). In my quest to develop an evening routine (thing 3), I’ve started reading before I go to sleep most nights. So far this year, with these two new opportunities for reading, I’ve finished five books. Three of them, I started last year, but they are now out of the “reading” pile. You can find my reading list here.

Things went bit chaotic for a bit over the weekend and early in the week and I haven’t had a chance to listen to any more of the creative kickstart lessons (thing 3). I missed a few days of doing my “just 15 minutes” from that class where I sit down after my walk and work on my photo project (thing 1) but I got back on track later in the week.

20200113 Jaffa & T&G 3

Happy Monday!

I looked at my 196 hours that I figured out last week that I need to get everything I want to do done in a week from the Chapter 10 exercise of Indistractable (thing 13) and ran away screaming. Trying to work out what to let go of so I can do the things I really want to do.

Just about every productivity manual I’ve read says that if you want to get something done, you need to put it on your calendar and treat it like an appointment you might make with the doctor or a meeting you have to go to at work. This is great in theory, but I don’t work like that. I see “time block for photo editing” or “time block for meal planning and shopping list-ing” that I put in the calendar last week and if I don’t feel like doing it, I generally don’t. Same as setting an alarm to tell me it’s time to get ready for bed. I ignore it.

One of the suggestions in the creative kickstart class is that you identify the times you’re most creative and you put the time in the calendar to do creative things at those times. Which is also great in theory, but the times I find I feel I’m at my creative best, I’m either at work or I’m having to do something like cooking dinner that isn’t so easy to reschedule. As for other suggestions you need to schedule three to four hour blocks to sit down and do your work, believe me, there is nothing I would love to do more. But I work five days a week, I live in a house with other people who sometimes like to interact with me and for whom I sometimes have to do things like cook dinner. There isn’t a day during the week that I have three or four hours to devote to my work so this is never going to happen then. I’m sure I could structure my weekends better, but it hasn’t worked for me so far.

This whole scheduling time to do the things I love and that are important to me just isn’t working out for me.

By Saturday afternoon, I was feeling stuck and hopeless and ready to throw it all in. I walked out of the house, caught a bus to town and went to a location I love to photograph. 3pm Saturday is not a time I would ever “schedule” for creative work. The hours between 1pm and 4pm are my lowest hours of the day, I have no energy and am no good for anything. Yet there I was (after having a quick nap on the bus, which I’m sure the driver noticed and that’s why he stepped extra hard on the brakes at one of the stops), at my lowest time of the day, going out and doing what I love to do.

I have to rethink this one and remember that I only have to take from these programs the things that will work for me. I don’t have to do everything and I don’t have to do it perfectly. I have to do something and hopefully by taking small steps, I will start to see positive change.

The same goes for the wellbeing work (thing 3). The course rolls around every year and you can dip in and out, taking what you need at the time. Last year was the first time I listened to all of the classes (well actually I finished them in the first week of January this year). I didn’t do all of the activities but I did the ones I needed to at the time. Right now I am still trying to set up an evening routine, which is an activity for the middle of the year. I have a couple of journalling tasks left over from the end of last year that I want to do to close the circle on 2019’s work and, when I’ve done that, I will call this thing done. I’ll continue to listen to the lessons each week and pick up some of the work I didn’t do last year, but for the purpose of this thing, I specifically wanted to complete the last module and those exercises.

Finally, to scrape in progress in one more thing this week, I worked on a couple of photo collages from my 2019 photojournal (thing 4). I only have four more collages to actually make (and three from this year), then I have to print them and stick them in the book. I’m nowhere near as far behind with this as I was with my 2018 journal.

Summary for the week
• Things completed this week: 0
• Things completed to date: 2 (10, 18)
• Things I progressed: 8 (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, 16)
• Things in progress I didn’t progress: 0
• Things not started: 12 (2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22)

Silence

Today I picked up a copy of the free magazine published by Penguin Books, underline, which had a feature on a book called Silence: In the Age of Noise by the Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge. I had never heard of Mr Kagge before today, but according to the magazine, he is the first person to walk to the South Pole alone and has also climbed Mt Everest and travelled to the North Pole.

20171126 SilenceI was most fascinated to read that he had explored the underground sewers of New York and he had walked from one end of Los Angeles to the other in four days – slowly, staying in hotels along the way – attracting the attention of the police as he went. In another article I read, he said that the police thought it was really suspicious for someone to be walking around because the only people they saw walking were “crackheads, prostitutes, and crazy people”.

That really blew me away. I cannot imagine a place where walking around was so unusual that the cops would think you were up to something. I love walking and exploring on foot. It’s what I do. It’s part of my identity. A journey like that would have been fascinating. To have taken four days to explore 35 kilometres.

The magazine had an extract from Mr Kagge’s book, which had me captivated from the first word. I need to read this book. I will be going to the bookshop on Monday to see if they have it. The whole extract spoke to me, but two passages really stood out.

“The secret to walking to the South Pole is to put one foot in front of the other, and to do this enough times. On a purely technical scale this is quite simple. Even a mouse can eat an elephant if it takes small enough bites. The challenge lies in the desire.”

As I was reading, I thought that this summed up exactly the struggle I have every day to try and ingrain the good habits I want to have in my life. Technically, it’s simple. Do the thing enough times, day after day, consistently and you build a habit that sticks. But until you’ve done it enough times to make it stick (and the 21-days theory is complete bullshit in my experience) you have to have the desire. And when the desire for another whisky outweighs the desire for a 10pm bedtime, you’re (I’m) in trouble, and the bad habit, rather than the good one, is reinforced.

“On the 27th day I wrote: ‘Antarctica is still distance and unknown for most people. As I walk along I hope it will remain so. Not because I begrudge many people experiencing it, but because Antartica has a mission as an unknown land.’ I believe that we need places that have not been fully explored and normalised. There is still a continent that is mysterious and practically untouched, ‘that can be a state within one’s fantasy’. This may be the greatest value of Antarctica for my three daughters and generations to come.”

This made me think of the desire within Tasmania to “unlock” more of this precious state to commercial ventures that would allow more people to experience our wild places but at the cost of the pristineness of those places. It’s a practical example of the observer principle. Observing something changes its nature. To open up these places to more people changes the fundamental thing that makes them worth seeing in the first place.

(You know I gave in to the desire for another whisky, right?)

I can’t wait to read the book. Silence is something that I crave, and learning to find it as Mr Kagge did “beneath the cacophony of traffic noise and thoughts, music and machinery, iPhones and snowploughs” (maybe not snowploughs) is something I would love to explore more.

What I learned this week

30 days of yoga is going well. I’m now 14 days into the challenge and I haven’t missed a day so far. I’ve had to incorporate my back exercises into my practice, because whatever I did to my back has either stirred up my old injury or resulted in a new one, and it keeps flaring up again.

I’m being Very Careful, especially with the back bends, and I haven’t been game to try any twists. My normal class starts up again this week so I’m looking forward to seeing if it will be easier to get back into it after almost three weeks away than it was last time when I didn’t do anything during the holidays.

Now onto what I learned this week.

1. In my drawing lessons, I’ve been learning about two-point perspective. This was fun. Lots of straight lines here!

lesson-25

2. I read the book The Road to Lower Crackpot by Brian Inder, the Laird of Lower Crackpot. It’s a fascinating read. In the book, Mr Inder says,

“The name Crackpot comes from a real village in Swaledale, Yorkshire. It means ‘a low place where crows gather’. I added ‘Lower’ because we are in the southern hemisphere’.

 

This interested me because my mother’s family emblem is the crow. I asked her if any of her ancestors came from Swaledale, but she doesn’t believe that they did.

3. If you see something in a shop you want, buy it when you see it. It might not be there when you go back to get it.

In the same vein, take photos when you have the chance, because you might not go back that way again. We went to Freycinet National Park on the weekend. I took lots of photos.

img_8562img_8590img_8615img_8637img_8666

Day 6: Rain, rain go away

Day 6: Rain, rain go away
Wanaka, New Zealand

Wanaka, New Zealand


Today was a long long day.

The rain that had started late yesterday afternoon was showing no signs of letting up, and we were glad we’d been able to do the helicopter ride yesterday instead of waiting until this morning. We checked out of our motel in Fox Glacier in the morning before breakfast, to set off for Wanaka.

The lady at the motel warned us that some of the waterfalls could overflow and that there could be a lot of water on the road as a result in some places.

Great! More dangerous things!

The trip to Wanaka was about 260 km, and we expected it to take about 3.5 hours. It was another beautifully scenic drive through the mountains, with a glimpse of coastline in some places. Our first stop was Knights Point, which looked out to the sea. Unfortunately the viewing platform had been closed because it had become unstable, so we had to be satisfied with the view from the car park, which was still stunning, even on a wet overcast day.

We continued along Highway 6 to the town of Haast, where we finally turned away from the West Coast for the last time, and continued to Haast Pass. We stopped for coffee in Haast, and discovered we had another two hours drive ahead of us before we got to Wanaka.

We decided not to stop at any of the waterfall walks along the way because it was already a long drive and we had things we wanted to do in Wanaka in the afternoon. We drove along Lake Wanaka for a while and then the road took us over to Lake Hawea before we arrived in Wanaka, four hours after we’d left.

We had a quick lunch, checked into our motel and then headed out to do the things we wanted to do.

First up was Wanaka Beerworks, about nine km out of town. If you’ve ever heard of a stranger combination of businesses than Transport and Toy Museum, Toy Shop, Coffee Shop and Brewery, please let me know. We’d been looking forward to this all trip.

We set Kramstable loose in the toy shop (what could possibly go wrong) and made our way to the bar for a tasting. One of the brewers was available to talk to us for a short time about what they do, and about their beers. Slabs and I both liked the Cardrona Gold, which really did taste like biscuits, and I loved the coffee stout. Very very bitter. Whoever came up with the idea of putting coffee into beer is almost as much of a genius as the person who put salt water and seaweed into beer.

We bought a mixed six pack to take home (not that it will last that long) and also a beer called Here Be Dragons, which has pinot noir grapes in it. A wine maker’s beer? A beer maker’s wine? Who knows. I can’t wait to taste it.

Our final stop for the day was Puzzling World, which Kramstable’s swimming teacher had told us about. It’s full of illusions and trickery, holograms, sculptures and optical illusions. You get tilted, tricked and shrunk, and then you go outside and get lost in the two-storey maze. It was lots of fun. Even the toilets were fun, and I don’t think there’s many other places you can say that about.

We had to admit defeat in the maze and escaped through the emergency exit, much to competitive me’s shame and everyone else’s relief. It’s a tough one! I imagine if we’d stayed in there too much longer they would have had to have come and got us, because it wasn’t far off closing time when we got out.

Relieved at having survived the maze, we headed back into town to our motel room, where we sat on our (almost) lake view balcony with a refreshing beverage to unwind from what had been a very full day.