Sebastian and Rain lament lock-down and their inability to read

Like everyone else living through the pandemic, Sebastian and Rain are shaken by what’s going on. A banana might be involved.

If you’ve been around a while, you might remember Sebastian and Rain, my writer half and my reader half. Usually they rant or rave about books and occasionally throw grapes at each other, but it turns out they have opinions about other things as well.

I’ll hand over to let them explain.

Sebastian: I should start by saying this was not my idea. I wanted to have a nice literary discussion about a book.

Rain: Do we ever have “nice literary discussions” about books?

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Why self-isolation is different to my summer holidays

My friends tell me my life self-isolating to break the spread of Covid-19 is exactly the same as my summer holidays. Here’s why they’re so wrong.

On 26 March, the whole of New Zealand went into self-isolation at home. Well, everyone except those with important jobs required to keep us all alive, such as medical professionals, couriers, farmers, Covid-19 researchers, and supermarket checkout operators.

I am not an essential worker, though I have the uncertain delight of being able to work from home.

Delight because being able to earn income allows me to buy books, which makes me happy. Uncertain because having the Prime Minister to tell you not to go to work is the adult version of getting a note from your mum saying you’re excused from gym class. (Or PE, as we call it.)

But I have to go anyway.

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What you can learn from a thousand times

I believe you can become awesome at the stomping unicorn backhand–or many other things–in just one day. Here’s how.

I heard a great story once.

The story

A visiting instructor once gave a two-day seminar at my tennis** club, and he told us about a similar seminar he’d given at a different club.

** The sport has been changed to protect the identities of the innocent. I don’t know tennis from snail polo.

On the first day, he’d taught the class a move called the stomping unicorn backhand. Most of the more advanced students were familiar with the stomping unicorn, but it was sparkling new for the less experienced students.

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I don’t have the organisational skills to make a cooked breakfast

My inability to multi-task makes cooking breakfast a major undertaking. The bacon may not get out alive.

I have a confession.

I’m terrible at multi-tasking.

Don’t try to have a conversation with me while I’m browsing the web because I swear I won’t hear you. If I’m chopping vegetables, for the Great Cat’s sake get me to put down the knife before you ask me what clothes I have to go in the wash.

I can’t even walk and chew gum.

In most aspects of my life, I’ve learned to compensate for my inability to multi-task.

The one place it still gets me every time?

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19 types of clothes you couldn’t possibly get rid of

Ever wonder why your wardrobe is always overflowing with clothes, but you have only two outfits you wear? This is the secret–19 types of clothes it’s impossible to get rid of.

My wardrobe doesn’t have an ever-expanding interior and, though you might not guess it from looking at me, I do occasionally buy new clothes. Put these together, and you reach the occasional need for me to get rid of clothes.

Naturally I avoid this activity as long as I can, but eventually it becomes hazardous to my health to not deal with the problem.

I go into the task optimistic.

I’m sure I have only two pairs of pants I wear regularly, a couple of tops, a jacket or two, and maybe some socks and underwear. It’ll be no problem to pare back my wardrobe to a quarter full.

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