Update – 9 June 2013

by Russell on June 9, 2013

The shortest day of the year looms upon me with the speed and inevitability of an out-of-control freight train. Given my relative silence, it seemed a good time to do an update – a state-of-the-nation-esque dissertation on the comings and goings of life back in Godzone; that’s New Zealand for those of you not lucky enough to live here.

 Wisdom, as disseminated by they (has anyone figured out just who ‘they’ are?) dictates that blogs are to be used for wider, world view oratories; that the fastest way to kill a blog is by writing constantly about ME. Raspberry! Sorry, I don’t know how to make that sound with the written word. So, with no further delay, the recent history of me.

The weight loss/fitness regimen continues at pace, albeit a slow determined one. Scratch 17.2kg (38lbs) as of today. Phew. Only another 38kg to go, almost 1/3rd of the way. I knew this would be a long path and estimated approx fifteen months work to get to goal (ish). I lopped off my beard and hair along the way, but they didn’t contribute much to the loss. Also took up ballroom/Latin dancing once a week. Found a few new muscles as well as having fun. Have the offer of joining some Zumba classes but going to ease into that as I’m already carrying a lower back niggle that stops me attending some of my gym sessions. Slowly, slowly. 

No work as yet. Finally emerged from the funk that enveloped me the past months and working a lot harder on finding employment. I don’t know how people exist long-term on the Unemployment Benefit. And dealing with the agency involved is soul destroying. I’m waiting for the next ‘call-up’ for a training/job seekers seminar. Won’t be able to wriggle out of it this time (to be fair, I put my hand up for training and WINZ never followed up – shock horror). So this time I’ll elect to do cooking training; learn a few knife skills, how to sauté and julienne. With good eating a life imperative, a few skills certainly can’t hurt.

 Talking of food and cooking, I ran off another batch of Irish stew yesterday, using lamb neck chops this time. Ended up with six meals, four of them stored in the freezer. Have a small demand for my handmade, artisan Feta so been churning out batches on a regular basis lately. Finally got my hands on some farm fresh unpasteurized milk, the results completed and containerized this morning; extensive (yum) testing to follow. My initial impression is the farm fresh batch is softer, creamier. My mouth and other willing volunteers will make the final determination. I guess it was inevitable that food would permeate my subconscious. I had a dream the other night where my fridge was full of undercooked chips (fries) and the remains (only the remains) of dozens of custard squares. He shivers. Scary stuff.  J

 My car is broken. Not unusable, but it appears to have a misfiring or dead cylinder, as of yesterday. Hopefully it’s a dead plug, not a dead injector or coil pack. First call tomorrow is to book into my garage. Then I’m off to meet someone to collect information for one of the tree family trees I’m working on. My brother loaned me a scanner and I spent many hours this weekend scanning in photographs from different sources, plus some very interesting letters and vital documents to add to the Turney/Sanders/Child/Cheyne tree. Feeling a little cross-eyed after all the photo editing. Many thanks to cousin Alison Childs; her work merged into mine to produce a tree of 1450 people, and growing. At least I’m doing something useful while not working or writing.

 Crap. I was trying to avoid talking about writing, which is all I’ve managed to do of late. Maybe a time away from even thinking about writing will clear the blockage. I have the ideas but just haven’t found my muse. On the subject of words and communication, I joined Toastmasters, and after several weeks of short impromptu speeches delivered my maiden, seven-minute icebreaker speech a week ago to rave revues. Now to prepare the next, and the next ……..

 Well, that’s everything I had on my to-tell list. Time to prepare for a short foray into the gently falling rain to deliver aforementioned Feta cheese to lucky patrons and endangered culinary testers. Another day in the life of a recumbent writer.

 Take care.

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