Sunday, October 30, 2022


Being busy can be a mere reality, or a choice. Which it is depends on a person’s circumstances, of course, so there’s a lot of variation. When we choose to be busy, there may be particular reasons for making that choice, things we may not talk about. This isn’t one of those times.

This past Tuesday, I wrote about “My labouring weekend”, which was about a shit-ton to use the technical measurement, of work I did outside around my house. Sure, I chose to do that work, but it’s Spring and things need to be tidied up so I can enjoy the summer, among other reasons (because there's always more to these things).

Wednesday evening, I went out to run some errands, which is unusual for me, mainly because I don’t like driving at night (I don’t have great night vision). I chose to do it anyway because when I was trying to organise my Thursday, I realised that if I ran the two errands in the evening, I wouldn’t have to go out the next day. That would give me more time for whatever project I chose to work on (depending on the weather). Plus, I knew the shops would have fewer people and the roads would be quieter, which were definite bonuses. I thought it was a perfect solution (nothing on TV that night, anyway).

My first stop was Bunnings, the Australian-owned home centre chain I often go to. I went there because I needed one more tomato cage, and it needed to match the ones I already have. I mean, obviously. I also wanted to get some of the long staple-like things used to secure weed mat to the ground, because the weed mat along my side boundary, on to top of the bank I keep talking about, is slipping. Back in 2020, when I put the stones out front, I bought some galvanised nails to secure the weed mat because I didn’t know if there was a drain line buried there, and I didn’t wnt t to risk puncturing it, but that’s not a problem along the fenceline (though there’s a drain line along the end of the slope, along the patio edge).

I ran into a slight problem: The garden area of Bunnings wasn’t staffed, it was getting dark, and so, I couldn’t find what I was there for. I eventually found the tomato cage I needed off by itself, not with the other cages, stakes and other plant supports (where they appeared to be sold out). I couldn’t find the long staple-like things. I bought the cage and headed to my next stop.

Next, it was the same Countdown I talked about on Wednesday (I went to New World last week—I really do generally alternate between them). Besides, Countdown is the only place I can get the peanut butter I like, and I was running low. I also bought something for a Test Kitchen post (still to come).

It was dark by the time I headed home, and I thought to myself that while I don’t like driving at night, I bet I’ve done more of it since I moved to Hamilton than in all my previous years in NZ; that’s probably not an exaggeration. Because it was dark, though, I noticed how many houses around me had twinkling lights on them for the Indian festival, Diwali. However, a couple days earlier, before I remembered it was Diwali, I saw some on a house I can see from mine and I thought it was someone putting Christmas lights up way too early—and then I had my DUH! moment when I realised what they were actually for.

Tragedy struck when I got home: I put the bag of chilled stuff too close to the edge of the kitchen bench, and when I took stuff out of it, I also removed the balancing weight, and the bag fell off. A tub of yoghurt landed on its lid, knocking it open. Half of it went all over the floor when I picked up the container (because the lid was askew). It was a big mess to clean up, but keeping Leo out of it was a bigger job (he’s a little guy, but he’d definitely have tried to eat it all). I got it all cleaned up, but lost half the contents. It was my own fault: I packed the bag at the supermarket, and I wasn’t careful enough when I put it on the bench. Things happen.

In the end, I didn’t do much the next day, apart from assembling the tomato cages, the one I bought at two others I hadn’t assembled yet. I didn’t do much else.

On Friday, I went out to lunch with my mother-in-law, then went back to Bunnings to get those long staple-like things for the weed mat—which weren’t in the garden centre, but inside the shop itself, so even if I’d spent more time I wouldn’t have found them on Wednesday evening. I also bought three bags of bark to help me tidy up that slope, and a cheap outdoor chair cushion so I can sit on it when I need to sit on the ground to pull weeds or whatever.

On the way home, I stopped at New World for a couple things I hadn’t been able to get at Countdown. In so doing, I demonstrated once again how I often alternate between the two shops.

That evening, we had an impromptu dinner at my brother-in-law’s house, so I had two nighttime driving excursions that week. It was also the last big thing I did because rain storms arrived Friday night, and have continued ever since, mostly with steady, but not necessarily heavy, rain.

This coming week I’m planning an unscheduled week: I have work to do outside, but this rain is supposed to continue most of the week, so it may not happen. I wonder if I can find things to do inside?

Nearly all of my various projects, both outside and inside the house, are things I’ll document; I just don’t know what or when. Still, despite appearances, they are structured if not scheduled. In other words, this coming week will be pretty much like any other week: Busy, which is both my reality and my choice. I guess that, too, is a kind of structure, also just like any other week.

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