During our recent long weekend in Noosa I took the opportunity to hike up Mount Cooroora which has been on my mountain bucket list for some time now. Each July, the nearby township of Pomona hosts a 4.2km “King of the Mountain” race up and back down from the local pub, with the record being held by Neil Labinsky, 4th year consecutive winner, with a recorded a time of 22 minutes 43 seconds.
I loved the 360 degree views at the top and had the full length of the summit to myself.
Distance: 3km return Time up: 25min Time down: 25min Elevation: 439m Elevation Gain: 300m
Quite often I will be on a conference call and one of the participants will have bookshelves arranged neatly by colour behind them as they participate. This inevitably gets favourable comments: it’s a good way to impress your colleagues and acquaintances!
I thought about doing this, but I have a few issues:
I don’t own enough physical books to fill a bookshelf: Marie Kondo says I shouldn’t own a single thing that doesn’t spark joy and there aren’t enough physical books in the world that will continually spark me joy to justify a dedicated bookshelf.
Even if I did own enough physical books to fill a bookshelf I’d probably not have enough colour diversity in the spine of the books to be able to neatly separate them into colours – so I’d definitely be buying books I didn’t need, or even want.
Even if I did have enough colour diversity in my books I would be hesitant to actually sort my books by their colour as that would mean prioritising form (colour) over function (subject matter): I find it much easier to find a book amongst a section of ‘business’ books than to find a book by remembering what colour spine it has.
I want the end goal of impressing my colleagues with my colour arranged bookshelf without the hard work and struggle of owning and organising a collection of books by colour.
So what I thought about doing is starting a Kickstarter campaign for a large photo-printed canvas blind with colour arranged bookshelves on it that you arrange behind your desk so each conference call people can see all your fancy colour books arranged so lovingly.
Or I could just stop caring what people think of me; that’s a much easier option.
“These digital alerts continuously disrupt our activities through instant calls for attention,” said researcher Dr Eiman Kanjo.
“While notifications enhance the convenience of our life, we need to better-understand the impact their obsessive use has on our well-being.
“It is clear that social notifications make people happy, but when they receive lots of work-related and or non-human notifications, the opposite effect occurs.”
So that’s why turning off all work notifications on my phone was such a good idea: a study has shown that one third of the notifications on our phone cause a downturn in our mood – particularly work and non-human ones.
Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.
Growing up I went to church every Sunday with my family including ‘Sunday School’ which included learning about what happens when you die. I found our religion was good at defining what happens when someone dies—as children we learnt about how according to our religion that good people would go to heaven when they die and bad people would go to hell (you should be good!) But we had a traumatic event associated with the church so our family disassociated ourselves from the church and we haven’t been to church or consider ourselves religious since.
Fast forward to today we have three young kids we are raising in a non-religious household where we didn’t (until recently) discuss what happens when you die.
During the period where Kitty was hospitalised earlier this year we were encouraged by people providing support to our family to have a clear story/shared belief about what happens when someone dies and discuss this with our children.
But we didn’t really have a clear story or belief about what happens when someone dies! As a non-religious person I thought death was just a finish – a lights out – end of the show – when your life just becomes nothing. But that’s just depressing – especially to a kid. We realised you don’t need to be religious to believe in the afterlife.
So we borrowed an idea – it comes from a great film about Day of the Dead called The Book of Life.
When someone dies their spirit lives on in one of two worlds: the land of the remembered, or the land of the forgotten. By focussing on helping people and human connection you’ll be remembered past your death and your spirit will live on in the endless fiesta that is the land of the remembered.
We like this idea as it’s not only easy to explain to our children but it aligns well with our family values and mission statement.
We have created a yearly ritual which is to watch the film as a family on Day of the Dead (2 November) and discuss our beliefs about the afterlife.
What do you believe happens when you die? What do you tell your kids?
Why, exactly, are we so sleep-deprived? What has happened over the course of the last 75 years? In 1942, less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep a night; in 2017, almost one in two people is. The reasons are seemingly obvious. “First, we electrified the night,” Walker says. “Light is a profound degrader of our sleep. Second, there is the issue of work: not only the porous borders between when you start and finish, but longer commuter times, too. No one wants to give up time with their family or entertainment, so they give up sleep instead. And anxiety plays a part. We’re a lonelier, more depressed society. Alcohol and caffeine are more widely available. All these are the enemies of sleep.”
A great article on the importance of sleep: an adult sleeping only 6.75 hours a night would be predicted to live only to their early 60s without medical intervention.
I recently finished The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in The Amazon—a TED book by Andrés Ruzo. I love the short format and interestingness of these books, this one was no exception.
“At a time when everything seems mapped, measured, and understood, this river challenges what we /think/ we know. It has forced me to question the line between known and unknown, ancient and modern, scientific and spiritual. It is a reminder that there are still great wonders to be discovered. We find them not just in the black void of the unknown but in the white noise of everyday life—in the things we barely notice, the things we almost forget, even in the detail of a story.”
“My headlamp concentrates my focus on the small area it illuminates and makes the darkness beyond seem impenetrable. I contemplate the marvels that must be out there, shrouded in darkness or hidden in the everyday. That is the lesson of the darkness: it is our perspective that draws the line between the known and the unknown, the sacred and the trivial, the things we take for granted and the things we have yet to discover.”
When we travel we create collections of things we think we’ll need. These collections of things are a snapshot in time and tell stories of ourselves: where we are in life and some challenges we face. Like the tennis balls I have joined together with duct-tape to roll along my ever-stiffening spine. Here’s what I’m taking (carry-on) to the US this weekend – top to bottom, left to right.
A resistance band which helps me build shoulder strength through exercise.
Black Ray Ban wayfarers sunnies – the sunnies that everyone has and I don’t care – I’ve had these a few years and they’re still going strong
My 🇦🇺 Passport in an old Qantas toiletries case – I love these Jack Spade cases as they zip up and keep my passport and travel documents safe.
Toothpaste, tooth brush and some Coles medistrips in an old Qantas First class toiletries case that reminds me of that one time I got upgraded to First class from Sydney to LA 😍
Sukin facial scrub 50ml – my new favourite skincare brand – Australian, natural and reasonably priced
A year of the Rooster pendant Kitty gave me for this year
Some Rose quartz Kitty gave me when she went back into hospital
Voost multivitamins – I love how these are dissolvable in water
Qantas eye mask from a previous flight
Korjo travel umbrella – because it’s always raining somewhere
Rosehip face wipes from Kitty – why not
Two ‘calm’ cards from The School of Life
Underneath: a 2015 13” Apple MacBook Pro in a black Crumpler wetsuit sleeve (for when it wants to go 🏄 in winter)
On top: ‘Judge This’ a TED book, from my local library, from my new favourite book series (short and interesting books)
A double tennis ball to help un-stiffen my spine
A Crumpler zip case with US Apple chargers – I travel to the US enough now to have US Apple Chargers too
A single pack of Blink eye lid wipes someone recently gave me – might try these on the plane
Shaving cream – non-aerosol
Metamucil ‘trial’ sachets – perfect for long haul travel 👌🏻
The body shop mango body wash – also from Kitty
Mitchum roll on anti-perspirant – long lasting and good for travel too
An old disposable razor – I really should get a new one
An index card with a quote I like that I heard somewhere I can’t remember
A nail file: a brand new thing for me – I stopped biting my nails in May this year for the first time in my life so I actually have to maintain my nails now (which is kinda annoying)
5 x vials of artificial tears – because you can never have too many tears 😭
Last Sunday we went on an afternoon drive to the scenic rim to visit Lake Moogerah for a picnic. On the way Kitty spotted a sign for a Camel Farm and Diary so we stopped on the way home, of course. Summer Land Camel Farm only opens Sundays from 9:30 to 4 and has a cafe and an area where you can get up close and feed the camels – we all loved it so much!
“We tell stories to children for many reasons, and if the goal is to teach them a moral lesson then one way to make the lesson more accessible to children is to use human characters. Yes, we should consider the diversity of story characters and the roles they are depicted in”
Patricia Ganea, from the University of Toronto on why having all the animals in most children’s books isn’t such a great idea after all.
Mount Mitchell sits on the southern side of Cunningham’s Gap in the Main Range National Park. There are some excellent views of Mount Cordeau to the north whilst walking to the peak and the peak itself is a cosy rocky little area covered in grass trees with fantastic views East, South and West. I loved sitting up here and reading a book in the sun and having a cup of tea all to myself. A great walk with an awesome summit so would do it again 😊
Distance: 10.5km return Time up: 1h:13m Time down: 53m Elevation: 1174m Elevation Gain: 381m