Do what you have to do before you do what you want to do.
This was a saying that Naomi and I frequently heard as children and teenagers. It was what Mum would say when she found me reading when I was supposed to be cleaning my room for example.
There is a certain amount of sense in what she said. We all have responsibilities that we have to fulfil and that’s what Mum was trying to teach us I guess.
However, in recent times it has occurred to Naomi and I that sometimes following Mum’s advice meant that we would often miss out on doing the things we wanted to do altogether.
Take housework, Mum would always do all the household chores, shopping etc before she allowed herself to sit down and relax with her favourite TV programs, reading or knitting. If she didn’t get to see “Days Of Our Lives” or “General Hospital” because she was too busy she would grouse about it but she still chose to miss out because she felt that the housework was more important. Would it really have hurt anyone if she’d sat down for an hour or two to watch them? Luckily the advent of VCR’s did help with that problem as long as one of us was around to record her programs for her.
During the past winter, Naomi and I were often frustrated because the shorter, darker days made it difficult for us to do our hobbies late in the day. If I wanted to photograph dolls for our doll blog indoors I needed a good light and even the kitchen, the most well-lit room to work in, could be a bit too dark after three in the afternoon. Naomi had the same problem if she wanted to paint or draw. We decided that if we were going to enjoy our hobbies we were sometimes going to have to throw Mum’s rule out of the window. We’re not fanatical housekeepers although we don’t like things being dirty. We felt that as long as we kept on top of the chores it was fine to leave them if we wanted to spend time on our hobbies. As both of us were living alone and rarely had visitors it wasn’t going to inconvenience anyone else. Once we are moved in together full time we will negotiate what needs to be done urgently and who will do it.
This morning was the first day for about a week that it wasn’t raining or blowing a gale. I have a million boxes to unpack and chores like vacuuming to be done but I decided to take advantage of a patch of blue sky and sunshine and take Cindy to the beach. We had a nice long walk and it was just starting to spit as we headed for home. Now it is really windy again so if I’d waited till afternoon to take that walk it’s likely we would not have gone, certainly not for as long.
So I am sorry mum, but from now on apart from appointments that I must keep everything is negotiable.
If people find typos or grammatical, punctuation, spelling, or usage errors in your posts, do you welcome having them pointed out to you, or do you resent it. As a blogger do you let people know about such mistakes or do you just let them go?
I won’t pretend that I have perfect spelling or grammar and although I use Grammarly and proofread my posts sometimes errors creep in due to inattention. Nevertheless, I am one of those people that does notice poor spelling and grammar. It annoys me a lot when I see it in professional writing and it seems to be more and more common to find mistakes in news articles and opinion pieces. I guess that there are not so many human sub-editors about these days.
The poem above is about Geeveston and I like it very much but every time I used to stop to read it the spelling error at the end would grab my attention like a neon sign.
We’ve all read so-called instructions for products written in Chinglish and while they can be exasperating sometimes they make me laugh. I get more annoyed with people who post on sales sites, eBay, Gumtree etc and don’t seem to be able to string a sentence together.
I am a bit more tolerant of bloggers because I realise that for many English is a second language. I certainly admire bloggers who can write coherently about a subject in a language that is not their own. I have occasionally corrected grammar or suggested another way of saying something to blogging friends but only when the person has expressed a desire to learn more. English is a crazy language and sometimes must seem completely random to people who are used to more structured languages.
I also realise that a lot of people blog on their smartphones and I guess it is hard to read the writing on tiny screens. No excuse not to proofread your work though.
I guess that I wouldn’t mind if someone corrected my work if it was done in a polite and helpful way. I would be embarrassed because I don’t like to make mistakes but it happens. When I see errors in blogs that I am reading I generally let it go. The blogs I read are written by intelligent people who know how to communicate their ideas and if they make the odd mistake I think that like me, they probably just didn’t notice it when they checked their work, that it was a typo or autocorrect at work. If I was reading a blog post that really did have a lot of mistakes I’d persevere with it if the subject matter was interesting but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much.
This is the time of year that calendars and diaries for the following year start showing up in the shops. Even in this digital age some of us still like a calendar on the wall with pretty pictures.
My friend Gillian and I have a bit of a tradition of swapping calendars at Christmas. We used to swap calendars with pictures of trains but in recent years its been dogs. We usually buy the ones produced by non-profit organisations because we like to support them. Gillian’s assistance dog Dusty actually featured in a calendar a year or two ago. Of course, I kept that page, Dusty is pretty cute.
That’s the only trouble with calendars. What to do with them at the end of the year? It seems such a shame to throw them away when the pictures are so nice. I used to keep them thinking I might do something crafty with them but eventually I ended up with a pile of old calendars which I still hadn’t done anything with so now I sadly recycle them.
Unlike our friends in the northern hemisphere, we are about to start summer. However, in Tasmania, winter has taken quite a long time to go away. November had quite a few days when it was cold enough to need the heater on from mid-afternoon; there has been a lot of rain and even some snow at higher altitudes. The day that we drove to Sisters Beach for the first time was wet, windy and cold.
Still, I consider that we are lucky, in many parts of Australia November has been a month of extreme heat and bushfires in several states notably New South Wales and Queensland where many homes were destroyed and lives were lost.
I have often mentioned that I don’t enjoy extreme heat. It is one of the reasons that we decided to move to Tasmania which has a more temperate climate than the mainland states. However, I look forward to summer days when the sky is blue, the breeze pleasant and there is just enough warmth to go out without a jacket. By the end of summer, I’ll be looking forward to autumn and the changing colours of the trees. Winter in a place that gets a little snow but not enough to cause the havoc that occurs in colder countries can be very pretty and then just about the time that I get tired of everything being drab and grey the spring bulbs pop up and another cycle begins.