So, here we are. The year is half over, it’s finally cold in Melbourne and I’ve spent so much time in the city that I may actually be sick of it.
Well, maybe not.
Regardless, let’s crack on.
A Month of Sitting Still
I did not leave Melbourne once this month.
And let me tell you now – this is a big deal. The last time I stayed put anywhere for that length of time was when I lived in Doha in 2014 and that was only because you need an exit visa to leave Qatar and I was there to work damn it, not to holiday!
There were two reasons for this. One was that I was exhausted for four weeks straight and spent the whole month feeling like I was an the precipice of catching a cold. The second was because it was a financially hectic month – you know the sort where you have a whole bunch of bills to pay at once (or find yourself paying off all the flights you booked during a Jetstar sale) and end up eating cold baked beans out of tin can in the final days before your pay comes through (okay, it wasn’t that bad, but still).
Staying in Melbourne opened up the opportunity to do actual adult activities like exercise, cooking and cleaning. These are all things I have routinely avoided in the past, despite actually enjoying two out of three (guess which is the odd one out). Plus, I got through a lot of my “blogging” to do list – holy crap, running these things is like having a second job. Or a really demanding pet, or child.
Still, staying put was… weird. I don’t think I liked it, particularly because I’m not really a city girl and need to get out into the countryside once every few weeks. Consequently, throughout the month I found myself nurturing a reasonably well thought out suspicion that I might be going insane.
Lol. Does work count?
On the Green Front
I’ve managed to get my cleaning routine down pat, using only natural ingredients. I bought some new glass spray bottles (my last one was left in England), which I fill with water, white vinegar (half and half) and a few drops of tea tree oil. This concoction can be used to clean pretty much every surface using a a microfibre cloth (or old towel). Use bicarb (baking, for all my Americans out there) to shift stubborn stains and mould, by shaking it onto the surface, letting it sit for awhile and then attacking with the vinegar. The two will react and bubble a bit, allowing you to then wipe it away, clean.
I feel like a real domestic goddess, of the green variety that is.
It’s Plastic Free July next month (well, this month now) and I’m pledging to go 100% without the stuff myself (I don’t use a lot, but there is some here and there). As mentioned in this post, I’ll be publishing a green guide every week of the month.
Other Random Ramblings
My Melbourne photo album has admittedly been looking rather empty of late. I keep meaning to get out during my lunch breaks at work to take photos (which is what I’d do in London). However, it is cold and I am lazy – plus I only get a half hour off, which isn’t much when you work in a particularly uninspiring corner of the city.
Best Reads of the Month
Sometimes it’s easier to go on living not knowing who you are, when at least you know precisely where you are while you go on not knowing.
– Britt-Marie Was Here
After devouring Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, I was pretty eager to get into some of his other books. So, I borrowed Britt-Marie Was Here from the library and tore through it in a few days. Backman’s writing somehow manages to be hilarious and heartfelt at once – you move between laughing and crying with a single turn of the page. His stories are simple, but the characters are so endearing in their own, twisted ways that you’re completely engaged from the word go. They’re the kind of stories that stay with you, long after you’ve finished the novel.
I also recently decided to start reading all of Margaret Atwood’s books and this month’s choice was The Handmaid’s Tale. Holy heck, is it a terrifying book or what?! I think the fact that concerns me the most is just how current some of the circumstances described are – or the very frightening possibility of this story becoming a reality. There were so many points in that book where I wondered if Atwood is actually a seer – considering she wrote it thirty years ago, much of the tale remains eerily possible. We put way too much faith in technology, that’s for sure. This was a solid reminder that we need to be careful with where this may take us in the future, so that the world doesn’t end up as a mixed version of this book and Orwell’s 1984. Far out, that would be upsetting for humanity as a whole.
Blog Post of the Month
I felt a bit nervous in publishing this post, because although I am British (by nationality at least) and flipping love the mother country, I didn’t grow up there. Yet, I thought it would be good advice for people in my position – of having some idea of having to behave, but struggling a bit with a culture similar to their own.
Fortunately, the reception has been wonderful, with some Brits even saying that the post nailed it. Phew! I can continue to sleep easy at night.
What’s on For Next Month
I am most excited for a trip back home at the end of the month to Newcastle, which will involve a long-overdue catch up with my family and dogs. Apart from that, I’m looking forward to seeing more of the city, particularly checking out the Van Gogh Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Did you have a nice June? Are you too struggling to wrap your head around the fact that the year is half over?