To begin with it feels nothing but alien, its spaces clean and bleak and anodyne. Nothing is intuitive or familiarly located; every task requires conscious navigation. I feel weary beyond the physical, as if the sheer newness of everything takes effort to process; as if the energy of rolling with every minor adjustment and improvisation compounds into serious exertion. I’m a stand-up paddleboarder, making the countless tiny corrections just to stay upright that amount to a full-body workout. Continue reading “Life overboard”
We need an after-school kid looker-afterer! Our boys say they don’t need nannying, they don’t want to be babysat, and they don’t much like the sound of being minded. But they do need someone there when they get home from school, to ask about their day, stop them bingeing on biscuits and fighting, kick a ball around sometimes and gently bully them into their homework and chores. You’ll need plenty of patience and the ability to be firm when they push it… Continue reading “Nanny status”
This house, this outlook, this routine. A parallel universe, governed by subtly altered laws of physics: a life both recognisable and profoundly different.
The most obvious recalibration in this looking-glass world is the perfect inversion of the time-money equation. Continue reading “Two steps domesticated, one step feral”
With a new life and an uncertain budget, we’re inevitably evolving new ways of shopping and eating.
Things we’ve given up buying:
– designer yoghurt
– fancy salad leaves (we’re eating iceberg for the first time in 15 years)
– Kato mayonnaise Continue reading “The free-range cook”
So, our Hawea house is perfectly nice, but the contents… well, not so much. Unsurprising, of course, for a cheap rental with a high tenant turnover.
When we arrive, the airing cupboard is stuffed to the ceiling with musty duvet inners, stained mattress protectors, fraying towels and mismatched sheets and pillowcases in an assortment of prints from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading “Contents and discontents”
It’s like that old aphorism says, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. A busy person has momentum; they multi-task, they batch-process. They can’t afford run-up and wind-down time around each task, so they run up once and go hard at tasks back to back until they fall into bed at night. Continue reading “Wrangling the cash cow”