Superstitions

 Superstitions. Everyone has them. It is human nature to notice patterns and omens, and to make stories from them.  A lot of times when reading history or ethnography books, superstitions are implied to be only in more primitive societies, but the truth is all societies and civilisations have them.

They are a way to explain the world, to create order out of chaos. They influence so much of the world around us.

Some are much nicer and pleasanter than others.  

Is there a 13th floor in your office? Or a 4th floor? Do you know why they are unlucky numbers?

Do the houses in your area have blue window and door frames? Have you ever made a rain ghost? Would you walk under a ladder? What happens to spilled salt? Do you walk on the cracks in the sidewalk?

We all have little superstitions that we incorporate into our lives. I know that I have a couple that are in play at the moment. Many of them are so accepted and in place in society that we don’t think about them.

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate

Living without a car

It’s been tough. I can remember times in my adulthood when I didn’t have a car, but I think the difference is that I didn’t have a car and then had it go. I just didn’t have one.

And we do kind of have a car. We bought a second hand one, that J uses for his job, and which he guards very jealously.  We bought it, he has to pay us back before he owns it, and until then we should be able to use it, but he isn’t very happy when we do.

So we are mostly without car. And part of the frustration is that our live is organised around the expectation of car.  We live on top of a steep hill.  The bus stop is at the bottom.  We are fortunate that there is a supermarket at the bottom of the hill as well. But when we want to do things on the weekend, we are largely dependent on buses that are not always frequent, and may not go where we want to.  Last weekend we had a three hour (fruitless) shopping trek for sewing machine oil. Whereas with a car it would have been 30 minutes.

When I have evening activities it is easier to go from work, rather than try to get home and back out.  This means I have to be organised in the morning, and that I spend time waiting at my destination. And last week I had evening things most nights. Things I chose to do, but still tough.  

Grocery wise – having the supermarket very close has helped, but carrying heavy stuff up the hill is not fun.  We tried out home delivery, to a mainly successful result.

Shopping- both weekends we have ended up going to big shopping centres, but for specific tasks. Last week it was sewing machine oil. Yesterday it was phone repair on the old iPhone 5. There is a specific store that can fix its specific problem. But, we didn’t spend too much time there.

Getting to work is not too bad, but it definitely takes longer.  I am carrying a backpack, rather than a hand bag,  which is easier for carrying everything. 

Fitness- yes I am walking more, but going to the gym less. When I can’t get home in time to be able to walk there on a weekday, that’s hard. And especially when I have to get home.

Living without a car is a challenge.  If we knew we would be without a car longterm, we would not be living in this house. We would live somewhere closer in, with better links and easier walking space.

Things I think about

Things I ponder. This one periodically bothers me.

So, for a large chunk of recorded human history, surviving childhood was hard- I would say the chances of surviving were less than 50%.  This was across many cultures and countries and continents, but my historical knowledge was focused on Europe.  

Even 100 years ago, life was fraught and easily ended.  Now, not so much. Now people (it feels like) either die from chronic disease, which needs time to get going, accidents or cancer.  Childhood and adulthood are much less problematic- we don’t freak out when we get sick.

What has caused this amazing change? Having had more interaction with the medical world than I would like, I don’t think it is that doctors are that much more amazing (yes, they have more knowledge, and more tools, but they are still human). And also, people (in general) are still pretty stupid about health, and about as understanding of their health as medieval peasants (who we mock for not understanding the transmission of disease)

Is it vaccinations?  I know they have played a major part in eliminating certain diseases, and I think that those of us who have never lived with those diseases have no idea how bad they could be. But for it to have made such a difference?

Is it because we live in such a cleaner world? Yes, I know that we are polluting it in weird and novel ways, but we forget the damage wood and coal smoke can do, the amount of poo horses can create, and the general opportunity for virus evolution when chickens, pigs and humans live close together.

I think it is a combination of things, and I realise I am unlikely to ever find out, but I am curious.

 

Things I now know

This week has been one for life experience.

I now know that event planning is not the career for me.

I don’t miss watching news when I can’t

I am more scared of snakes than I knew.  We went to hang laundry out this evening. (It’s Queensland- most houses don’t have electric dryers, they have clothes lines and laundry hung out at night in the summer will be mostly dry by morning. Laundry hung on a wintry windy night will be mostly dry by about 8 am, after a couple hours of sun. I took a couple of steps out the door and spotted this one

Except that I got to see the whole body, as it only started moving after I screamed.  G then took the photo after I got the camera. It’s only a python. About 2 metres long.

 I know this is Australia, and that are snakes close around us all the time, but not fun.

 

Chilly

We are finally starting to get some winter chill here.  Not that Brisbane gets truly cold. We may have a few days (and nights) when the temp drops, we get frosts (a little) but if the day is sunny it gets pretty warm. I have some winter coats, they almost never get fastened all the way up. I have scarves, but they are often worn by themselves.  I have a couple of beautiful pairs of gloves.  I don’t wear them in Brisbane. 

This year has been a warm autumn and a slow start to winter.  These last couple of weeks there has been a chill in the air.  It’s nice, cool enough to go for a run at lunch. Not that I have.

And chilly enough that I had to wear a jacket after my touch footy game tonight. 

Exhausted

I just finished my first barre class. Ouch and so tired.  After a week where I felt a low level of bad, today was the first return to normal, so I wiped myself out by doing the class.  The class has been booked for two weeks as my gym is introducing the classes, and we can take trial classes for free. To go on a regular basis will cost extra.

For the past week I have been battling a virus that has made my ears feel like the pressure is uneven. It finally cleared up, but still tired. 

I spent most of the weekend working on an invite for an event that is coming up for the QCWA. So much stress. I planned to do it on the weekend to give myself more space, and it did, but it made my weekend feel less relaxed.

With limited car, we have to plan our weeks more carefully- I have a lot of evening activities, and have had to come up with alternative ways to go. Public transport can be tiring.

I wish I could look forward to next weekend, but it is full. Relaxing (I hope) full, but full. A massage (my birthday present, finally booked) and a wine tasting event. So looking forward to that, but no chance of just vegging out.

A work presentation today talked about identifying what we want.  I think what I want is the ability to take a few hours to relax and not have to be anywhere or do anything.

But I have chosen to do these activities.  Because I want to do things that feel like they connect to the community.

Foods I dislike

Today at work someone was eating a mandarin. I could smell it, and I commented because I dislike the smell, in part because I don’t like oranges. It’s odd, because I will eat them, and sometimes I do like them. I like mandarins and tangerines and clementines. But I don’t like orange juice, although sometimes I will drink freshly squeezed.

In part this is because my intense reaction to these when dehydrated – I vomit. Not a reaction that makes me like them. When I go to hospital I list this on the allergy section, because sometimes orange juice is given to dehydrated patients. 

When we were on holiday G kept trying to convince me to have orange juice, I didn’t like it but I finally realised why. To me most commercial orange juice tastes bitter and off.  Possibly because of how it is stored (nitrogen, with the flavours added back in) but also because I find a lot of oranges also taste bitter and off. I don’t like the taste.

I like grapefruit, I like lemons (lemons with sugar was a childhood snack), I like various citrus, but not oranges. I loathe chocolate and orange combined- why pollute chocolate with orange?

And one of my other coworkers also hates oranges.The one who was eating the mandarin was very surprised to find two orange haters.

What otherwise popular foods do you dislike?