A Buzz

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It felt good.

It was right before dinner time. Bare feet on the grass, warm air, smelling the scent of jasmine. Under blue skies the mulberry tree towered over us like a giant.

There is definitely a sense of content that comes from existing in a backyard, hunting through the leaves and limbs to find a dark, red treat and slipping it straight into your mouth.

That's how the mosquitos feel too.


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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.


2020

When I submit this entry it will be the 2020th one I’ve posted on bradism.com. Unless I am hit by a (let’s face it, extremely debilitating) case of writer’s block for the next two months it will also likely be the only time in my life the entry number and year are a snap.

In olden times I liked to use milestone entries to reflect on where I was a mile earlier, but given that the universe is treating 2020 as a chance to mix it up I figured I would use my 2020th entry as a snapshot of life in 2020 for me, Brad.

It’ll be something we can all look back on in the coming years and decades to remember what my specific life was like.

Starting with the most important thing...

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This is my Fridge in 2020. I’ve had this fridge for about five years after I got taken by a commercial saying it used different coloured LEDs to keep fruit and vegetables fresher, longer. (Note - actually seems to work). Here it is in our kitchen. Featured magnets are mainly of Nash and calendars from the vet which Vanessa wants to keep for some reason.

There’s also a photo of me, my brother and my Dad on the day we carried this fridge up two flights of stairs in my old house. I got that photo turned into a magnet for all of us. A “fridge fridge magnet” if you will. I could turn this photo into a magnet and that would be a “fridge fridge magnet fridge magnet.” Well, that’s Christmas sorted.

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I’ve only taken a couple of photos of the inside of my fridge over the years, and in hindsight it’s something I wish I’d done more because it’s fascinating to reminisce and reflect on how your diet changes over time.

Well, if you’re the kind of person with 6% of 2019 entries that are tagged “Breakfast” you will find this fascinating.

The 2020 fridge census is extremely Vanessa & Bradism. Bulk meals, including one pre-bagged for transportation to work to minimise backpack leaks. Low fat, low sugar yogurt (for breakfasts). A kilogram of hummus. A shitload of protein bars. And some very fresh looking fruits and vegetables.

Okay, this was really the most important thing...

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My 2020 couch. It has motorised recliners and headrests. And that's Nash, looking particularly unstressed by the events of this year.

Fun fact: this photo completely confused Lightroom's new auto-geometry feature.

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This is Vanessa in 2020, with a giant coffee. Yes, that is a protein bar she’s eating.

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This is my house in 2020. The roses are in bloom right now. I don't want to add anything else incase I dox myself.

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This is my car in 2020. It’s a comfortable drive, with nice quality of life features, and it was relatively affordable.

It’s a very Brad car: bigger than average, but does its best to blend in. Here it is at the lookout above the Barossa Sculpture Park on a crisp winter morning in 2020.

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This is the backyard in spring 2020. The mulberry tree is fruiting and somewhere in there the slugs are eating the strawberries before Nash can get to them.

I recently paid for the water feature to get fixed and that bubbles all day which is very pleasant.

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My bike and my backpack, 2020. These are ranked number 1 and 2 on the list of “my things most likely to topple over after I put them down”. This picture illustrates the only way to guarantee they'll both stay upright - lean them into each other, like when you tape a buttered piece of toast to the back of a cat.

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My office view, 2020. Also featuring my office view from 2014. On my desk is my coffee cup from 2019, and my coffee cup from 2006.

If you take a step back from where this picture was taken you’ll crunch a very, very mouldy almond.

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My home office view, which I spent an unexpected amount of time at in 2020. It’s kind of crazy how I sit in the same seat during the day making “important business decisions” involving people's time and an organisation's money, and then at night get beaten by teenagers at Age of Empires II or write journal entries like this one.

Lots of classic callbacks here on the 2020 desk, including my HD 515s, Uniball 207s and my 2019 coffee cup from above photo.

Potash

Cold mornings post Spring equinox. The ugg boots and gym shorts combination has its charm, but tracksuit pants and bare feet disperses its own sweet set of endorphins.

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Both options come with own pros and cons when it comes time to pluck the red strawberries from the garden in your backyard.

23° and sunny. The wind carried on it the aroma of white roses.

...

Time to put the bird puppy netting up.

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Transplanted

There are a lot of dark times in your average Adelaide winter, and though 2020 wasn't your average winter, it certainly contained its fair share.

But as tends to happen mid-September it feels like one day you wake up and find yourself in a garden full of flowers. For my tulips, literally.

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As the sun rises earlier and earlier in the morning I forced myself out of bed before the end of the golden hour so I could capture a few photos of spring in my garden, as a baseline to tell me how good or bad I got at maintaining this through whatever shit is brought to the world by the next 12 months.

A birch tree branch with early blooms.

The birch waking up slowly.

A bird of paradise flower with a strawberry patch in the background.

A bird of paradise waiting for the strawberries to turn red so it can get trapped under the bird netting.

A hairy dog but on wet grass next to a purple-flowered dutch iris.

Nash inspecting a dutch iris.

Early stage mulberries.

Mulberries to be.

Weeping mulberry tree with the first signs of leaf growth.

A sea of leaves on my lawn, at conception.

And if isn't my old mate peeking through the sprouting canopy.

Autumn 2020

My Autumn 2020 daily video compilation was almost #CancelledByCovid back in March. The videos I'd been expecting to make - nights out at the Fringe Festival, trips to the pub, the first footy game of the season, the city's transition from shorts and thongs into puffy jackets and scarves - all suddenly seemed very far away.

But as I kept filming I realised what I was recording was snapshots of my life as my society adjusted to a pandemic. The Autumn video was always going to be the season that showed the most dramatic of changes. What I ended up capturing would be a historic record of the transition to a new way of living. Which, in Adelaide, was kind of anti-climatic and the new normal turned out to be a lot of videos of trees.

Kisses

The timing of my current house changeover hasn't been great. (Note to self, next time start packing and purging more than a week before relocating). But one thing I couldn't have controlled was the outbreak of COVID19 Coronavirus and the subsequent international frenzy to mass purchase toilet paper and tinned food during the same weeks I was trying to deplete my pantry in preparation for moving.
Luckily I've been panic buying hand sanitizer in bulk every few months for the past ten years. But not TP.

That's how, despite visiting the supermarket six times over the past few days, I've found myself in my new house with only a couple of toilet rolls to my name. Now was not a good time to be bulking. Every sit down visit to the toilet bowl takes me a few squares closer to the end.

I had no idea what I was going to do when the day arrived and my hand found only cardboard.
Then I recalled - as I'm routinely reminded over the past six years - I've been living with an expert butthole cleaner this whole time.

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The Top 5 Best Carpets of My Life So Far

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About six years ago a clean-shaven, slightly tired-looking young girl was showing me the hairier parts of what would eventually become my dog. “Look,” she said, pointing between the ears and the neck. “You need to brush here regularly.”

She might have said "daily".

That was something I thought about from time to time during the six years in which I constantly pulled up dog hair from my carpet. I'm not sure what the dog-anatomy-equivalent of a cornice is, but Nash has a lot of them. And they get dusty.

There's not a room in my house you can walk into and not find a stain or a spot where my dog has shit, pissed, ralphed or just sullied with her general dog activities. I'm at peace with this. I've been alive for over thirty-five years and there's not a single carpet I've ever looked back fondly at. I don't reminisce about the green, prickly flooring that I built and razed Lego cities on in my childhood. I have no affection for the cream carpet near my bedroom door in Ballara street where I laid on my back and stretched my hamstrings religiously each night before bed, my free hands running themselves across the heavy pile. The almost plastic fibres of the square floor mats I sat cross-legged on during primary school assemblies. That rug I accidentally threw up on in 2004 when we turned Milton-Bradley's Trouble into a drinking game. Carpets mean nothing to me. Dogs are awesome - even if they do make every dark piece of clothing unwearable after a certain amount of minutes. If the price of having a dog in a townhouse for six years is some 100 metres square of moderately priced carpet then so be it.

I had my first carpeting quote today as I don't think a new buyer for my house will see the character in the carpeting that I do. He lumbered up and down the stairs while Nash eyed the extensive tape measure warily as it stretched out and retracted. When he was back at the bottom of the stairs he scribbled some numbers on the top of the floor plan he'd been sketching in rough boxes and told me the price...

The price was high. Carpeting was going to cost almost three times as much as the painting. I'm going to try to negotiate. I don't think having no cornices will help this time.

Cornices, and how to Negotiate Effectively

About six years ago a clean-shaven, slightly tired-looking real estate agent was showing me the third storey of what would eventually become my home. “Look,” he said. “There are no cornices.” “Wow,” I said, while thinking, “What the fuck is a cornice?”

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