Pains, Trains, and Automobiles

Big news this week is that my car is still in the shop. I picked it up on Saturday morning only to konk out three times on the way home. Had to pay for a tow truck to pick it up and take it back down to Drury. Seems it was the alternator, and the regulator, and it did need a new radiator cap - all of which happened before I picked it up the first time. The “test” drive (as it turned out to be) illuminated the water pump malfunction which is now being fixed early this week.

 Mini overheated and on its way back to the mechanic

Mini overheated and on its way back to the mechanic

I can hear you say “Well I hope the mechanic paid for the second tow truck!” and “They’d better fix the water pump for free for not taking the car out for a test drive themselves and finding that problem before giving you the car back!” and you would be right, and I might say yes to both of those things if the car had in fact been at the mechanic like I thought it was.

But the reason my car wasn’t at Drury Motors but at Greg’s work with him guessing and his mechanic figuring what was wrong with the Mini - I have little recourse. It also reminds me what the core of the problem of my relationship with my ex-husband is which we do not have to go into here. He was extremely surprised I didn’t lose my temper when I found out the truth of the situation so maybe I’m maturing - or have finally given up all hope in my life.

Let’s hope the Mini is back home in the arms of her loved one soon.

 Train gloriously empty on the way home

Train gloriously empty on the way home

In the meantime, I am using Auckland’s Public Transport system and, more to the point, the rail system. Taking the bus/train/walk option to work doesn’t take any longer (most days) than taking just the bus, or driving the Mini. The thing is that the trip is more consistent - the rail is less likely to hit traffic jams and take longer than expected. The walking up Shortland Street in the city is good for my lungs and heart (they don’t think so but trust me, it is) And the bus trip to and from the train station is a sane three or four stops so very manageable in the mental health department. I am getting caught up with my podcasts and I see a future where reading 15 minutes, twice a day might actually help me with my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

But yes, it’s Autumn and the weather is going to become colder and less than ideal for travelling outdoors. But it will cost less compared to driving. I still have to put with “other people” but then the kilometres aren’t racking up on the Mini’s odometer - less wear and tear on my little car the better. Plus Aucklanders are their own worst enemy when it comes to our traffic problems and for me, Public Transport really couldn’t be any easier.

So while the Jury might still be out, all indications are that I’ll be cancelling my parking in the city and topping up my AT HOP card and continue doing the decent thing even when I do get my Mini back from “Dr House” and his pet mechanic.

Declarations Update


 Making sure the aliens can't read my thoughts

Making sure the aliens can't read my thoughts

The idea behind this declaration was to put myself more in front of the blog than behind it - and in a nutshell that meant photographing myself. Even as I type that I feel goofy and my inner critic is piping up with all the reasons that’s a poor idea - so she can just pipe down chirpy!

Progress: I've taken two selfies. If I took another one right now that would be three. 


 Cappuccino treat for the bewildered

Cappuccino treat for the bewildered

I have a feeling in my bones that lunch is an untapped source of enjoyment for me. When I think of this declaration I imagine delightful containers, tasty and original fare, celebrating the meal of lunch in park-like surrounds, under the dappled shade of trees. To date I’m still eating at my desk - a adjunct task to this declaration might be to find some lunch spots to sit.

Progress: taken a homemade lunch to work every day so far - I am so sick of sandwiches. Research is needed to up the game in the lunch department.


My sleep patterns are still in holiday mode. I love staying up late, but I hate getting up in the morning and end up being sleepy and a bit foggy during the day. To make this work I do need to go to bed at a fixed time each night and that time needs to be 9:30pm.

Progress: Hopeless - not even trying. Have a weak-as plan to improve that but don’t hold your breath, people!

Bonus round: extra projects

Dress for success 

My wardrobe is bereft. It has tired and worn clothes that are ill fitting and bring me little joy. My project for this first half of the year is to build a capsule wardrobe for Autumn/Winter 2015. This will mean thinking about the items of clothes I need; decide on a colour palette; determine what and where and when to buy items to build a wardrobe of clothes that mix and match for when the weather starts to cool.

Progress: Googled ways other people have approached this project and saved the links to Evernote.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’ve signed up to read 24 books this year. I have read four already. I am on my fifth and, according to Goodreads, I am one book behind my  schedule to meet my goal.

Fair comment, Goodreads. Fair comment.

Progress: I am about a third of the way through Cheryl Strayed’s Wild - the movie is Cinemas now. The book is a good read and I only need about six hours to finish it (according to Kindle’s iPhone Reader) so it’s within my grasp to start my next book - number two for March - mid week. That’ll be jumping back into Nicely Said which I started and abandoned for Wild.

Sketchbook Skool and January Cure updates

 Part of one of the sketches completed during Sketchbook Skool

Part of one of the sketches completed during Sketchbook Skool

I was doing two online courses. I managed to keep up with as well as pace myself with Sketchbook Skool though I haven’t developed the habit of drawing every day, I am thinking about it. Part of the problem is that I feel very shy about doing any drawing at work so I’ll either have to get over myself, or figure out another time to fit it in. It’s the natural light you see - it’s getting harder to find in the evenings.

The January Cure kind of fell after the first hurdle of cleaning all the floors. I never did buy any flowers (a weekly treat as part of the course) but I did identify all the problem areas. I wonder if doing that made the whole process look too daunting and I couldn’t get over that? Or I’m just a hopeless slob and will never get to a place where I can manage a schedule that results in a tidy home. It was super fun to read though <= positive finish and endorsement of the online course.

I’m writing >750 words every day. Yes, and you thought I was just napping!

The idea that writing on the site every day would help generate more and (potentially) better blog posts over here seems to have failed to be proved. While I am meeting the quota over there, it’s not seeding articles or posts for

Progress: I’m not ready to give up so am going to be more strategic with my writing every day. When that writing generates an idea I shall move it into Evernote, expand on it and reuse it where it fits best.

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