Out of Retirement

I finished writing a new story.


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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.


The Sunk Wok Fallacy

It's been years since I received the wok that I will never be able to use. Since then it has been stored at three different houses, taken up space under desks and on tables, and not found a purpose in life. I don't want to keep it, but I can't find anyone who will buy it and every minute I spend trying to find a new home for it adds additional opportunity costs to the $76 I spent buying the thing.

I needed some bubble wrap earlier this week, and the wok's untouched packaging provided this. From that point I knew that any further energy I directed towards this wok needed to go towards my threat of turning it into a pot for herbs.

image 2285 from bradism.com

I feel like there's a lesson in all of this, but I can't put my finger on it.

777

Throughout this whole pandemic I have found it hard not think judgemental thoughts about people who lose their cloth masks whenever I see one on the street. I have judgemental thoughts about people who let single use masks clutter up gutters and nature strips as well, but the loss of a cloth mask seems to hit me differently.

How difficult is it to keep track of a mask that you need to wear every time you leave your house? How come I don't see wallets, smartphones and sets of keys littering the ground with the same frequency? I've had the same cloth mask for the entire pandemic! I should probably wash it... Unfortunately yesterday I was packing my things for the physio and I realised I couldn't find my mask anywhere. I was sure I'd put it in my pocket after visiting the supermarket that morning, but now that the days are warming up I've been wearing gym shorts everywhere lately and unlike jeans the pockets tend to prolapse when taking one thing out of them, the rest of the contents can tend to follow. I lost a dog poo bag just this way earlier in the week when I took my phone out.

Losing my mask hit me hard. Not only because now I was judging myself as careless and unintelligent, but because it's been a familiar part of my life the entirety of 2021. I bought it for my trip to Brisbane last December, did not need it for much of the year after that, but after the Modbury Cluster and the South Australian mask mandate it's been a daily companion. Considering this week was also the week I pushed my Galaxy Note 8 into a post-box after three and a half years of loyal service, and also relegated my primary pair of sneakers since 2019 to gardening duties only, life felt tumultuous. This was not the kind of change that spring was supposed to be about. As if to prove a point, the weather change from Thursday set the temperature dropping and I had to put my jumper on from Thursday morning, in which I found my mask in one of the pockets.


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Bird Watch continued

I was riding my bike this afternoon, not in my backyard, but along the Torrens, and I saw an old woman sitting on the grass under a tree next to a pair of black swans. She was feeding one swan out of her hand, and her other hand was stroking the long, feathery nape of the other swan the way you'd absentmindedly scritch a nearby dog.

Anyway I wanted to share this because I so rarely get to use the Thunderstorms weather icon and there were definitely thunderstorms today. My bike ride in the sunshine slipped perfectly between passing bands of heavy rain, it was almost as if I'd planned it when I scheduled my physio appointment three weeks earlier.

For dinner I stir fried a 600g chicken breast.

Caught on Tape

This is true.

I'm pretty sure the birds are pecking my strawberries. I wanted to stop them and so I traded some weekend to buy Bird Scare Tape from my least favourite big box hardware store.

However, I've been holding off stringing the tape up because October 18-24 was Australia's Backyard Bird count and I was keen to participate by sitting in my backyard with a coffee and counting birds for twenty minutes. I was even going to write a journal entry about it! And you thought I was being cynical about the excitement in my life happening exclusively in my backyard.

One noisy miner, five New Holland honey eaters, and pair of common blackbirds later I decided I was ready to start scaring birds away from my garden. Today I opened the packaging and inside was not really tape, just a crinkly ribbon that was red on one side and shiny on the other. I wasn't entirely sure how this was supposed to scare birds. A flash of reflected light and a crinkle in the breeze was apparently enough to trigger some ingrained hindbrain instinct to fight or flight in my tiny bird frenemies. Oh well, more berries for me.

The tape was not sticky. I figured I would string it up on the truss for the raspberries growing over the strawberry patch. I cut a decent length and walked into the backyard to peg it up. On my way to the strawberries I noticed one of the million mulberries on the tree was looking pretty plump and ripe, so I stretched up to pluck it off and I popped it in my mouth. At the same moment a gust of wind blew in, and the tape in my hands fluttered briefly, appearing in my peripheral vision for long enough to trigger some ingrained hindbrain instinct to shit myself.

I guess my berries are going to be safe.

Nash Visits The Seaside

image 2277 from bradism.com

When the backyard gets boring there's a whole state to explore assuming you can find nearby accommodation that allows dogs.

This weekend Nash went to the Yorke Peninsula for some adventures. Including:

Walks along the beach

Walks along the beach

Morning walks along the cliff

Morning walks along the cliff

Cooking the BBQ

Cooking the BBQ

Off-Roading along the cliff

Off-Roading along the cliff

Cooling off.

Cooling off.

Walks along the beach at sunset

Walks along the beach at sunset

Ironically, while we were away one of the most exciting things to happen in the garden in months occurred.

image 2284 from bradism.com