No plums this year

I’m sure there’s some sort of conspiracy going on to make sure we never get plums off our tree: this is the fourth year in a row that just as the plum tree has come out in a mass of blossom we’ve had huge winds that have blown it all off again 🙁

The weather has been weird in general for the last week or so – in one day it’ll go from rain to blue skies and sunshine to hail to gales (strong enough to blow the cap off our chimney the other day – at least it’s a relatively easy one to put back on) and then back to warm again. Dressing for the weather is impossible when it’s like this – you look out the window in the morning and decide what to wear, and by the time you’ve got dressed the weather has completely changed…

Weird weather has also limited my releasing opportunities, because I’ve been catching the bus to work most days (the fact that I wasn’t organised enough to get the rest of those books I registered labelled might have had something to do with it too, of course ;-)), so I only released a couple of books last week: From a Native Daughter by Haunani-Kay Task in the Anthropology department, and The Ancient Solitary Reign by Martin Hocke in a vending machine.

Taking the bus led to another wee adventure on Friday – I caught the bus across the street from our house, and it broke down. We sat at the stop for 5 minutes or so while the driver tried various things to get it going again. Eventually he gave up and called the depot for a replacement bus to be sent out, but it was going to be at least 20 minutes until it arrived (in fact, it would be a race between it and the next timetabled bus as to which would get there first). There were only half a dozen people on the bus (school holidays, so it wasn’t full of school kids like normal), so I invited everyone over to my house for a cup of tea while we were waiting (the driver said he’d sound the horn if the replacement bus arrived before we got back).

As it turned out, only one person took up the offer (a few people decided to walk the few blocks to catch a bus on another route, someone else lived close so wanted to run back home and get something she’d forgotten, a woman with Down Syndrome was crying because she’d be late for work, so someone else sat with her to comfort her, and a couple of Japanese girls were too shy and stayed sitting at the bus stop), but me and this one woman went home for a quick cup of tea and a nice chat – it’s funny, we both felt like we knew each other because we’ve both taken the same bus for years and knew each other by sight, but had never talked before (I saw a documentary once where they called that phenomenon being “familiar strangers”. Apparently it’s something that can only happen in communities over a certain size – when we all lived in villages, it would have been unheard of to recognise someone but not know them to talk to).

The other exciting thing that happened on Friday was I had my final assessment for the ESOL-HT course. Once you’ve done the course, you have to do 12 weeks of actual tutoring, keeping a written record of everything you do, and then have a session with one of the instructors to go over what you’ve been doing, and make sure it’s all going ok, and that you’ve been applying the stuff they taught you in the course. Because of the complications with my first learner, it’s taken me a long time to get the 12 weeks done, but I finally managed it, so on Friday evening had my assessment session. The instructor said I was doing really well, and was very impressed by my write ups (I knew that wasted year at teacher’s college would come in handy for *something* – at least I know all the jargon for writing impressive-looking lesson plans ;-)). So I’m now a fully qualified ESOL Home Tutor. Doesn’t prove anything, but I get a nice shiny certificate to hang on my wall.

I spent most of the weekend trying to distract myself from the fact that I’m not in Melbourne 🙁

On Saturday I had to go into town to get a few bits and pieces for my latest project (I’m not telling what it is just yet – all I’ll say is that my new desk is perfect for sewing on, but I don’t think I’ll ever get all the glitter out of the keyboard…), and released a few books around town as I went: Sein Language by Jerry Seinfeld in Starbucks, Peter Pan by JM Barrie in the Square (where a cultural performance was just getting started – if I’d known, I would have brought more children’s books, because there were loads of families around watching it), Queen’s Royal by John Quigley on a statue of Queen Victoria (where it was caught by someone from Victoria – a themed catch as well as a themed release!), and A Woman Like Us by Nicola Thorne in the Coffee Club.

Tam came round for tea on Saturday night, and helped me with my project for a bit. We tried to get a LAN game going, but the computers just wouldn’t cooperate (typical – they were talking to each other fine the other day!). We did eventually get it going, but my computer kept crashing and kicking me out of the game, so in the end we gave up and watched a DVD instead (actually, MrPloppy and Tam watched the DVD, I piked out and went to bed – all these nor’westers have been doing lovely things with my allergies, so I haven’t been sleeping all that well lately).

I’d planned on going out for a walk on Sunday to distribute some more flyers (and check out some more local parks for releasing – it’s amazing how many of them you come across when you start systematically walking the streets), but the weather wouldn’t cooperate, being too hot and windy in the morning and too damp in the afternoon. So my planned walk turned into a quick dash up to the supermarket (and released Mix and Match by Tegan James). Hopefully there’ll be some nice evenings this week when I can go flyer-delivering instead (although it’s not looking promising so far – it’s tipping down this morning).

Another catch from the past: Wishful Thinking by Eric Kraft, that I released on our way up to Picton for the Wellington convention, was caught by an anonymous finder, by the sounds of it not far from where I left it. Eight months is a long way from being the longest time between release and catch I’ve ever had, but it’s still always nice to hear back from the books you’d given up on.

I don’t do a lot of trading any more, because the postage was getting too expensive (and Mt TBR too high), and most of the PMs I get requesting trades are more along the lines of demanding books so I ignore them. However I had a couple of really nice ones lately – bookworm76 saw that I’d just registered Worst First Sentence of a Novel by Brian Edwards and offered me Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk in exchange (which I’ve had on my wish list for ages), and then
teuffi offered me The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (also on my wish list) as a RABK. So my letterbox has been excitingly full of parcels recently!

Only two more weeks until the end of semester! And I don’t even have a final exam for this course (just another essay due this week, and then a test next week – eek!!!), so by next Friday I’ll be completely finished with study for the year and be able to relax* a bit (*also known as “frantica
lly try to catch up with all the stuff I should have been doing but kept putting aside because study was taking priority). This year has just whizzed by so fast!

Currently reading: Forensic Fingerprints by Hugh Miller and Chronicle of the Unsung by Martin Edmond (yep, still slogging my way through it!)
Currently listening to: Half Moon Street by Anne Perry

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One Comment

  1. These darned winds are playing havoc with my allergies too. I love the ‘newness’ of spring but hate what it does to my head! Our new filtered ventilation system has made the world of difference indoors though.


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