Archive | May 2020

What to do with bubble bath you don’t want to bathe in?

Remember I wrote about the bubble bath I bought in Germany? The one I had fond memories of? The one that wasn’t as I remembered it?

I just can’t stand having a bubble bath with it.

But I can’t abide the waste of tossing it.

It’s not the cost. After all, it only cost a few euros. It’s the environmental cost. The cost of manufacturing. And the cost of tipping it out.

So what to do?

Turn it into foaming handwash. That’s what.

If you have a foaming handwash pump container, don’t toss them. Dilute normal handwash. About one fifth handwash and four-fifths water. Yes, those foaming handwashes are mostly water. Given that normal liquid handwash is mostly water too, the foaming handwash is even more mostlier water, the mostest water, even more mostly?

If it doesn’t come out foaming, but kind of sloppy, the trick is to dilute some more.

Don’t be paying those detergent companies extra dollars for water. Dilute your own.

I still can’t stand the scent of the repurposed bubble bath. And it sticks around on the hands, but what to do? I will use it up, that’s what.

Every time I touch my face (I know, I know, I shouldn’t be doing that) I smell nostalgia, nostalgia one step removed, nostalgia not quite right.

And I get to be frugal, thrifty and do a little bit for the environment.

Running to the corner, running very fast

I’ve been running.

No, not running late.

No, not a pathetic lady-half-skip-trot thing.

Full on bloody jogging-running.

Where on earth has that come from!!??

I recently saw a physio for my bung ankle. He worked some miracles and said it was fine but might need some more work if I ran. No, I don’t do that. “What about for a bus?” I’d catch the next one.

The sport department at work brought in an app to have a virtual athletics carnival. (COVID means no carnivals.)

I thought I’d encourage participation. My usual walk is about 4.7km so I could just turn on the app for 3ks of that.

Which turned into “I might jog a few steps” which apparently is like interval training.

Jogged more next time and cut down my time by A LOT. Massively.

Did it again and cut even more off. Did 3km in less that 17 minutes.

Accusations of cheating at work. “You got your son to do it.” Well if he did it, he’d do it way faster.

“How can someone your age, who’s never run, do that time.”

How would I bloody well know?

“How can someone who doesn’t run, do it three days in a row and not have sore muscles?”

Mmm, no idea.

Left work on time one day saying, I have to leave, I’ve got to go for a run.

My god. Who is that? What does it feel like to be a person who has to go for a run!!!!

And someone who thinks they can shave 2 minutes off.

Strange times indeed.

Winnowing books

The ease with which I have abandoned books astounds me.

Three books … out. Didn’t get past thirty pages. One I didn’t even open.

Okay, I didn’t buy any of them. So I had no original desire to read them. They were actually all gifted by the same man. (There’s a novel in the man but privacy precludes me from telling the tale. Though one day ….)

Anyway, this man is German and feels a connection to me because of my German heritage. He’s a strange fish, with a strangeness that comes from being oh so German. Possibly autistic. And basically just strange. actually, maybe a sociopath.

Let’s call him Hans, cause he has multiple names anyway. (Did I mention there’s a story in there?)

Hans gave me Book 1 and Book 2 of Goethe’s Faust. I opened Book 1. Read the autobiographical notes. Skimmed the introduction. And faulted on page 2 of actual Goethe. Nope, not going to try.

Given the introduction said Book 2 was heavier, out with that too.

I thought I may as well try the adventure book Hans gave me. He said the author is a well-known writer of adventures in the Wild West, as in the American Wild West. I thought it might be interesting to get a German perspective, after all, there were quite a large number of German settlers.

With the first dozen pages, I knew this wouldn’t be for me. The central character is a perfect shot, the best rider, breaker of horses that no one else can do, the hardest worker, the strongest man, a great hunter, a clever engineer, best ever teacher, the only …. You get the picture. Thank god for those Germans! The Wild West would never have been settled, no railways built, no work done.

The translation reads like they’ve used Google translator. So poorly done. Dialogue lacking in natural rhythm and idiom. Tenses all over the place.

Luckily, I will never have to tell Hans I haven’t read the books. (The reason I won’t tell him lies at the heart of the tale about him which I will tell in about 10 years.)

For now, I am happy in clearing space on my shelves. These books are not going to sit on my shelf, challenging me, making me feel guilty at not reading them.

Out, out, out.

(But I must admit there is no space on my shelves. I have bought a dozen books from the second hand book store – had to help out local businesses in the COVID Shutdown, didn’t I? And then a friend gave me some books. The Reading Down the House isn’t going too well.)

Planner, diaries, lists

I’m really loving my 2020 planner. I bought it in America.

I’m not getting much use out of the German Bullet Diary, the one I bought in Germany – but I kind of knew that’d be the case. Those formulaic pages that make you record things you wouldn’t normally record and write down what’s important in your life in little bubbles never work for me. Actually when I say I’m not getting much use, I’m really not using it at all.

But the week to a page diary/planner works.

I like lists. I like ticking and crossing items off lists.

I hate mind maps. They are so messy. How can you ever work out what to do?

I’ve never been a neat, artistic, decorate-the-page kind of diary person. Quick scribbled lists are me. All over the page.

Problem with a day-to-a-page diary is my time is often so busy and consumed by work that I have more things to do than time to do them. Conversely, on other days I am so lazy and a master at procrastination that tasks don’t get done on the day I write them down. So I am either forgetting items as I turn the page or rewriting lists.

Having a week to a page gives me time to get tasks ticked off before I have to write them again – if they still matter. And I can plan the week out with things that need doing earlier or things that can be pushed back to the end of the week.

But it isn’t a matter of just having a week to a page.

This diary has space to write notes. You know when you have to write something down, like the details from the car mechanic, or the type of makeup someone recommends, or the menu for a BBQ or travel details. Or mortgage and bank balances. Anything that strikes your fancy.

And it has a specific To Do list with a circle to tick off. (Although I like the double check to be sure – a tick and a strike through.)

I use Microsoft Office for appointments. I have to manage my many work commitments and use Microsoft at work, allowing my assistant to see when I am not available. It syncs with my phone so entering personal dates and appointments means I can manage work and personal appointments. Also I look at my phone frequently and, at work, Office is open on my desktop the whole day so it is the most user-friendly option for managing appointments for me during term.

On holidays, I don’t use the Microsoft calendar, except for maybe entering hair dresser appointments on my phone. Holidays are when I use a personal paper diary. With this diary I get a week overview so can plan the days I am not travelling!

And while staying home in lock-down isolation, we still have tasks or chores. The planner is better than having pieces of paper everywhere with lists of jobs; paper that goes missing and turns up months later; paper that adds to clutter everywhere.

And the planner is the perfect size for home use. Not so small I have to use teeny tiny writing. Thin enough that it sits flat open and doesn’t weigh a tonne.

See why I’m loving it? It’s perfect. Mr S is jealous. He wants one with the same double spread.

Have you found the perfect planner?