They were the goodest of times; they were the not-quite-so-goodest of times

I was thinking about some of the good times I’ve had on this blog. Y’know. The time when a bee landed on me. The time when I had a cat. The time when cockroaches. Mostly the animal times, I realise now. There have been some good animal times.

Good times, Enid; very good times.

I can’t remember why I wanted to keep a blog at first. It’s like a diary except that everything you write is public, so the opposite of a diary and UTTERLY HORRIFYING when you think about it too much. People with blogs do all that ‘promotion’ thingy, and they’re like hey, read my blog yo (I use “yo” there to show how cool and hip they are – all the cool and hip peeps use lingo like “yo” still, right? – and offer that as a counterpoint to my own not-coolness and not-hipness. And to show that they’re all young, and again to use this youngness as a counterpoint to my not-young-anymoreness.). (Do you use something as a counterpoint ‘to’ or a counterpoint ‘against’ something else? I’ve forgotten.) But I’m a little less like hey, read my blog yo as O-GAWD-HOW-DO-I-HIDE-MY-BLOG-ON-THE-INTERNET-ARRRGH-WHAT-IF-PEOPLE-REALISE-I-EXIST?

Wossis name – Catchpole? Dunham? The guy from Catch-22. He has a strange name. Yossarrian. What’s Yossarrian’s friend’s name? I don’t want to look it up, I just want to remember it. Begins with a D- doesn’t it? Whatever. That guy. His thing is staying as bored as possible in order to stretch out the remainder of his life. Mine is to be as invisible as possible to… I’m not really sure. Actually, these things aren’t really the same but it put me in mind of old Dunlop. Durgenheim. Dummore. Whatever.

Anyway the issue at hand: good times on this blog.

The problem with having a blog is that you have to write things on it to make it worthwhile. Good things. You have to show that you’re smart or successful or funny or interesting or how you don’t care or how you do care or other things of that nature (‘other things of that nature’ is one of my favourite ways to end lists, by the way. Did I get it from a film? It sounds like something I heard somewhere and adopted). While I was travelling or new and bobbing around South East Asia (bloody lifetimes ago), that was all well and good – who wouldn’t want to hear my revelations about how pineapples grow or melodramatic prosevoice musings about whatever-the-hell I was melodramatically prosevoicing about? These days, while I’m in The New Zealand – which is exactly like the England except different – and working and living a boring day-to-day life like everyone elses’ boring day-to-day life (except more boring and day-to-day), what’s there to say? I’d just log on every week and write about how the weather in Awkland is glorious/terrible, and about what the sky is like that day, and about the traffic, and about how nobody lives here and there’s nothing to do except that I’m busy all the time alongside never doing anything or having any Experiences. VE-RY uninteresting, and not the kind of thing an audience wants to read. Audiences want POSITIVITY or HILARITY or they want at the very least for you to take a goddamn second and just GOOGLE the name of Yossarian’s buddy Dingleberry or Durban or Durkheim or whatever, and stop wasting everyone’s time with all the pointless blathering.

So: the question. Why am I still keeping a blog? Actually, let me alter that sentence: why do I still keep a blog? Is it because I really, really, really like typing? Potentially. OR IS IT BECAUSE I’M PRACTICING FOR WHEN I’M A FAMOUS AUTHOR AND I HAVE A BLOG THAT OTHER PEOPLE READ BECAUSE THEY ARE AUTHOR STALKERS, A TREND INSPIRED BY MY OLD BLOGGING HABITS?!?!?!? It’s that, isn’t it? Knew there’d be a good reason somewhere. And good to know that my fingers can read the future, and that the future is me being an author which, I must admit, comes as a right surprise seeing as I don’t really write any more. [I realise that I just italicised ‘right’ and ‘write’ IN THE SAME SENTENCE and feel a superb sense of smug pride combined with hysteria and existential dread.]

I guess that’s sorted, then: back to blogging it is. Not how I expected to end this post.

Good times, Enid; good times.

edf

The animal good times continue unremarked upon at Western Springs park or wherever the hell it was when I saw this brilliant goose.

Advertisements

Closed for refurbishment

Breaking news: Enid’s Adventure Book is closed for refurbishment.

All that not writing blog posts for months at a time is exhausting and I need a break. R & R. A slower pace of life in which I can be unfulfillingly addicted to my smartphone in peace, free from the constant absence of thinking that I should update my blog. This is the first time I have looked away from my smartphone in 3 months and 2 days, and it is a feat not to be repeated in a while. I had to Google how to spell ‘feat’. That’s how bad things are getting – I can barely even remember WORDS any more. I’ll give you a clue: it isn’t ‘feet’ but it also isn’t ‘fete’. Go figure.

The good news for all you long-term fan (singular – there’s only one) out there (I’m talking about you, DB!), Sasperella’s Story Shack – the unfamous author-stalking blog – may return in place of the dull, long-winded travesty that has been Enid’s Adventure Book.

The anticipation is tangible. I can literally touch it with my fingers. I’m touching it now. (I’m actually touching a tangerine, but the two things are very, very much the same).

So, goodbye for now. You can find me being mundane and sarcastic on Twitter or Instagram. I’m also mundane and sarcastic in real life, but I’d much prefer if you didn’t come and find me.

Just kidding – always a spare sofa for you, DB, if you want to visit this hemisphere.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you have been affected by the issues discussed in this blog post, call my helpline on XXX-XXX-XXX-X4.

NOTE ON PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I have redacted some of my phone number numerals because I take the privacy of personal data seriously. I don’t even know where I live.

Persist

I’ve been in The New Zealand for one month and have had one job interview, two explicit job rejections and many, many silent job rejections.

I’ve been reduced to baking, turning out flat scones made with wholemeal flour. At least it gives the smoke alarm a workout!

It’s quite tough. Not having a job is confidence-undermining and dishearteningly dull. Your days are formless. You sleep late, having nothing in particular to get up for. Your schedule consists of empty pages, and the lack of structure makes you a little lazy – why exercise now when I could do it later, tomorrow, the day after, next week, never?

I attempted to build new habits, but only got as far as drinking water every morning. I bought a yoga mat so I could build a daily yoga habit, but it’s still in the boot of the car. The mat, I mean. But also the habit.

It’s cold. After 3 weeks of chilly sunshine, we’re having chilly grey skies and intermittent rain. The washing has been on the line for four days and it’s wetter now then when we hung it out, despite the wind.

But! There have also been adventures.

We went on a daytrip to Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, drove up and down roads twisting across and between forest-covered mountinis. We parked up at Whatipu campground and walked on glittering black sands through a sunny gorse meadow, then came out onto grassy dunes, vast rolling sands and the open ocean crashing onto the shore. Many natures were there. I befriended a bumble bee, saw a dead seagull and handsome blue but dead Portugese-Man-Of-Wars. Or dead Portugese-Men-Of-War. Plurals.

Walk east and then north, following the shore. The wind kicks up sea spray on a desert-like beach that spools out as far as the eye can see. There are scattered shells, sculptures of white, smooth driftwood and when you turn your back to the ocean, all you can see is sand, glinting or kicked up by the wind, and dunes in the distance backed by dark green mountinis. It could be a dream or another world – the same thing?

I won’t be able to stay here too long without a job. We’re already looking into moving to save money, trying to figure out what the breaking point will be. But I’m not done yet. I persist; keep throwing out those job applications and surely one will bring something back.

In the meantime, though, I think I’ll get some baking powder and see if I can’t get these scones to rise!

[Bertha the bumble bee chilling out on my jeans]dav

[Looking inland before the walk east and north to the desert beach]sdr

Lifeventures: Chapter Two

You’re right – chapter one was a little overlong. It jumped across settings and time periods, lacked any tangible plot, showcased a boringly self-obsessed narrator and suffered a dreadful inconsistency of voice.

Chapter two will be different. In a world where different means exactly the same.

I’ve been living in The New Zealand for eight days. I am unemployed and it is profoundly disheartening. I have been to two roller derby training sessions (fantastic) and walked the Auckland Coast to Coast (spectacular) on a gloriously sunny day with a bunch of women who like drinking wine. Pretty good stuff.

I have made the following observations:

The New Zealand is exceptionally pretty. It’s like somebody put together a Pinterest collection of the prettiest houses and the prettiest landscapes they could find, and then hit CTRL+V+R (Paste to Reality).

The New Zealand is exceptionally cold. It has that weird kind of air we don’t get in Thailand; you know, the kind that moves around. Wind. That’s the stuff. They have all this WIND in the air, which makes things chilly. But also the air just comes out cold. In the sunshine, everything is glorious. A smidgen of shade and the shivers start. I regularly lose feeling in my toes when I’m at home at night. And it isn’t even winter yet, only autumn. Save me.

Despite the above, The New Zealand homes are famously and staggeringly cold, built from handsome wooden planks and useless single glazing (for any Brits out there, that’s double glazing but with 75% less heat-retention). The The New Zealand attitude is to don another sweater and hunker down. It makes me sad into my heart. I cannot abide the cold, the dark, the damp. Alas, each of these adjectives is a good description of my new home. Heaters and dehumidifiers will abound if I am to survive the long winter.

And I would like to debunk one myth: The New Zealand is NOT full of sheep. I have been here eight days and I have only seen around 30.

So, I leave you with my knowledges and fascinating insightmentals. I look forward to leveling up my awks in Auckland, to settling in, exploring the funs, making friends and – fingers firmly and unnaturally crossed – finding gainful employment.

Any advice for things to see, do, watch, try, eat, drink, visit or traverse while I’m here? Let me know.

 

The New Zealand: A Review

(Life update: I am a Copywriter now. Don’t act so surprised. And ignore all previous bad writing, misplaced commas and general imperfections of previous posts. They don’t matter, BECAUSE NOW I AM A COPYWRITER.)

The New Zealand was new and extremely Zealandy. It had approximately 33.3% more zeal than I had expected. And 1110% less people.

Just kidding. FEWER people. I’m a Copywriter, yo.

It gave me the heebiejeebies. The New Zealand, not being a Copywriter. It (The New Zealand) is so far away from the rest of the world. Tiny, deserted, prone to terrifying earthquakes. I’ve always lived in towns or cities surrounded by other towns and cities, themselves surrounded by cities and towns and still more cities. Sure, in Leeds Beloved Leeds we were close to hills, to countryside, to long walks and fresh air… but also to people and action and movement.

In The New Zealand, not so much. It’s all space. Mountains. Rivers. Grass(es). Birds that sound like prehistoric creatures. The towns are binary: you’re in them, and then you aren’t. The in-between spaces are enormous. To get from one populated area to another, you have to drive. No people (action, movement, buildings, events, life) for miles. Nothing.

The New Zealand is unsettlingly empty.

Let’s have some context. Numbers don’t lie (Copywriters do). The New Zealand, at 267,710 sq km, is slightly bigger than the UK (243,610 sq km). It has a population of around 4.5 million people. The UK, slightly smaller, has a population of around 64 million. Sixty four (64). MILLION (million). It is 59.5 million people empty.

Astound.