The Shopping List: A future story

When I get to the shops I will buy a litre of milk, a kilo of flour, half a dozen eggs, a tub of butter, a box of cocoa, a bag of sugar, and a punnet of strawberries, so I can bake a cake.

A litre of milk, a kilo of flour, half a dozen eggs, a tub of butter, a box of cocoa, a bag of sugar, and a punnet of strawberries.

I wonder if I will bump into anyone I know? Mum always bumps into someone - or half a dozen people - she knows, so shopping always takes longer, and she always forgets something. But I'm sure I won't forget anything. I will remember: a litre of milk, a kilo of flour, half a dozen eggs, a tub of butter, a box of cocoa, a bag of sugar, and a punnet of strawberries.

After all, most of the ingredients will be in the same aisle, the baking aisle - flour, cocoa, and sugar - and most of the rest will be in the fridge section - milk, butter, and eggs. So there won't be any trouble remembering a litre of milk, a tub of butter, half a dozen eggs, a kilo of flour, a bo…

The Library

I have always loved libraries, and I have always loved my local library. As a child, the school library held wonders beyond imagining. It seemed the biggest room in the world (perhaps except for the school hall) and it was full of books! A few snug corners to curl up in, and friendly staff who always helped you borrow what you wanted.

I have revisited that school library as an adult, and I must say, there was less magic there. Perhaps the magic lurked at my knee level, or hid under the bookshelves, only within reach of the smallest students. Invisible to adults. It seemed so much smaller! And yet, still filled with books! Still a wonderful place for many other children, just as it once was for me.

Death of a Dream

Yesterday I buried a dream. The dream had died a few weeks ago, but it took time to sort out some details, get my head and my heart prepared, and plan the funeral.

Had the dream begun four years ago, or twenty-three years ago? Perhaps it began at both times, for dreams don't obey linear time like other things. Twenty-three years ago the seed was planted, twenty years ago I started to water it, fifteen years ago it started to sprout, but four years ago it started to blossom.

Four years ago I started showing it to others.

And the dream became important to people other than me. We were excited with its continued growth.

But last year it started to wilt, and we couldn't figure out what had gone wrong.

So many conversations, so many fears and possible causes for the damage, but by the time we figured it out it was too late.

The leaves fell, and the branches became brittle in the last few months. I watered it with tears, but nothing changed, not for the better.

Finally, the truth co…

The Past Pen

When I bought the pen, I had no idea how miserably it would fail me.

It must have been a completely unremarkable day, the day I bought the pen of disappointment. On my list of errands buying a new pen may have been the highlight of the shopping trip. Few things have ever given me the same satisfaction as acquiring new stationery. Or it may have been the result of whim, or impulse, if the pen happened to be on special that day.

Even through the pleasure of the moment, I would have considered the pen ordinary. I had no expectation of particular joy in using it, other than the short-term convenience of four colours in one casing, the convenience of flicking from one colour to the next to differentiate heading from subheading from notes and from quotes. A colour for each purpose, and a purpose for each colour.

The pen may have sat on my bookshelf for a year or more before I finally used it. Such an innocuous item, the promised companion of future learning, of future thought.

I had no reas…

2018 Personal Reading Challenge: Halfway...

Having set myself the challenge to read some books in various categories, and having shared that with you here, I thought updating you on my progress might be a good idea.

I have kept up my reading record, which means I can review relatively easily what I've read this year so far. Once I put the information in an electronic file it will be even easier.

But in terms of the three categories, I am not doing as well in keeping up to date.

Does my face match my language?

Following on from my previous post, minorities within majorities, I've been reflecting on how which language or languages we speak is an invisible part of our identity, at least up until we use a language in any given context. Some people will assume which language or languages we can speak - or can't speak - based on our physical appearance and the context we are in. I have heard about white people visiting the Philippines and having locals assume they can speak English (specifically referring to them as 'Americanos') when they are from non-English speaking countries.

Minorities within majorities

Do you see yourself, generally, as part of the majority, or part of a minority?

For me, I'm aware of being a minority sub group of a majority. I am a native English speaker, which puts me in the majority in my own country, and in a significant grouping internationally. But I am Australian, not from the USA, or even from the UK, which puts me in a minority context as far as my native language is concerned, and I am very aware of this most of the time, even within Australia.

2018 Personal Reading Challenge

Last year I attempted Hannah Braime's Reading Challenge. Having completed (well, nearly) that challenge, and having thoroughly appreciated exploring different genres and different titles from what I normally end up reading when driven purely by interest and mood and what I already know, I have decided to set myself a different challenge this year.

2017 Reading Challenge: Final Roundup

Now that 2017 has finished, I thought I'd update how I went with my reading challenge. Did I read 52 books in 2017? Well, that was never in any doubt of being achieved. Did I complete the challenge, though?