Sunday, 24 July 2016

Is Swiping Right All That Is Left?

In my short, twenty years of life so many things have changed. I feel like every day I wake up to an "out with the old, in with the new" scenario happening. Whether it is technology, social medias, general day to day things. It's all evolving. I don't like it.
Call me nostalgic but I'd love to go back in time to my parent's generation - or even my grandparent's generation - simply for the experience, because these days we are losing so much. It's sad.

When I was 14 Mum and Dad bought me my first cellphone; a small Samsung flip-phone. Back in the days where the camera wasn't too great and if I accidentally clicked onto the internet or started to video call somebody, I would panic for the sake of the phone bill my parents were paying! However after a year or so I eventually joined the smart-phone ownership society. I was determined that I would use the phone as just that, a phone, but within a week I was connected to the WiFi system, the Facebook app was downloaded and I had worked my way around checking and writing emails on the small screen too. I'm sure my poor desktop computer must've felt abandoned and useless by this stage.

When I was younger my days were filled with writing, real writing - pencil to paper. Because Mum enjoyed writing, she taught us. Writing stories, writing letters to family, everything we did we wrote it down. Soon I would have four or five different penpals around the country, a reply letter on the go at any stage in time. It was how I got to know people and learned about their different lives. It got to the point where I was looking forward to the mail being delivered in the hope that somebody would have replied. Eventually some of them would change and start writing emails or texting instead, however I no longer have any letters to write as we're all friends on Facebook now - why would we need to?
The only writing I manage these days is if I keep up with my own personal diary, sitting by my second story window and watching the world outside while I consider what to write down. I can't do it for very long before my hand aches, because holding a pen isn't a common thing to do these days. Kids of this new generation are going to lose the ability and art of writing with schools now requiring them to bring their own devices to do their schooling on. In another 20 years time, will they still make pens and paper? It's a terrifying thought!

So while we've become so "connected" to everyone in our lives through the social medias, we have become exceptionally disconnected. Almost every day someone says to me that I "really must join Tinder..." because apparently this is the new normal. We don't know how to go out into the world and meet people anymore, so instead we sit with our nose glued to the smart phone, scrolling through the local singles and deciding if they're suitable. We may as well be meaninglessly wandering the isles of a supermarket and choosing which brand to put in the trolley, because swiping right is just the same sort of snap-bang decision making.
If I ever have kids I don't want them to ask me how I met future husband and have to reply somewhere along the lines of, "Oh you know, I swiped right when I saw him on Tinder and we 'matched up'...there were a whole heap of other guys who I also matched up with, but I found him the least annoying...!" I mean, honestly. Sure I know it works for other people, but I'm determined that this time around I will successfully stay clear of this new "normal" ritual in the life of my generation.

It seems ridiculous but I really want to go back to my parent's or grandparent's time where things were so much different. I want to learn how to drive in a car with only front seat belts and bench seats, taking pictures in black and white, writing letters with nice fountain pens and actually being a part of the world. Rather than sitting here behind my computer screen, typing on a computer that I hardly ever use because my phone does everything for me and worrying that something I do or say might get me in trouble for being too politically incorrect for my day and age.
I don't want to be buzzing around in a flying drone car that operates itself by reading my mind by the time I'm retired. Who's to say that advancing technology isn't going to take us there?

We've become so antisocial and even though we keep talking about it being an issue, this is where the majority push us to stay. They're even thinking of creating an app to pay for your petrol at fuel stations - so that you no longer need to go inside the building to the counter to pay for it, simply because it is inconvenient and takes time. Imagine spending a minute or two of your life, paying for fuel and talking to someone behind the counter being labelled as inconvenient. This is where life is going, they say I have to get used to it but I don't know how I can.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A Juggling Act

When I was younger, I was part of a local community "circus" group. Basically an after school group that taught kids how to perform circus acts such as juggling and riding unicycles - that sort of stuff. I did that for a few years and to my complete astonishment, became quite good at it! For someone who grew up as the butter fingered youngster of the family, my learning how to juggle was a serious achievement.
I never completely got past the juggling balls, although I could do it in a variety of ways - forwards, backwards and then pairing with another person - where you continue to juggle normally but at the same time you are throwing a ball out to your partner and catching the one they throw to you. It's like artwork, in a way, that takes serious concentration and coordination with your partner, however once you get into the rhythm of it, it's quite easy.
I say I never got past juggling balls because there are a vast amount of different things you can juggle - such as pins (imagine pins like in ten pin bowling). With those you can't just juggle them, you also spin each one 360 degrees while you're juggling - so it is much harder, and I seemed to have a bad habit of hitting myself in the head. I could juggle two - just. But no more than that. I guess if I had tried a little harder I might've gotten there eventually, but I taught myself how to handle spinning plates, which was much more fun.

I guess that's how I'm relating to life right now - a juggling act. And life starting on Monday will be like my attempting to juggle those pins - except they're fire pins, so have flames at one end. You don't want to catch the wrong end, however you're standing on a bed of hay, so dropping one would be a serious offense too. The only way to pass the test is to juggle perfectly, confidently and not think about it.

Yesterday I had my final sleep in, without even realising it. Monday was my last full day off - without my realising it. I kinda don't like how it happened,  because if I had known it was happening, I mighta put in a bit more effort into that day off and the sleep in yesterday. But oh well, such is life. We've got another farm on the booking list now, which means a heck of a lot more work to be done, and more work was booked in last weekend - so we're going to be some busy beavers and tired cookies once this is over!

This week I'm milking twice each day, with some fencing in between milkings - a residential job in town, made up of square posts concreted in, with rails and pailings - it should look a treat once it is finished, but it takes a decent amount of time as you would expect. Yesterday most of the posts were concreted in, and today the rails are being started. I'll post some pictures once it is done, if I remember!
However we start our annual calf rearing job on Monday, and that will carry on until the end of September - hence the reason for no more sleep ins or days off in the near future for me. Unless I get sick and I'm basically dying, then I might get a bit of time off! For the next three weeks at least, I'll be milking every morning, catching up with Mum and feeding the calves on another farm, and then heading back to milk in the afternoon.
Although there are a few days where I'm filling in at another farm to feed their calves - which happens to be the farm where, two years ago, I reared all of their calves on my own for 9 weeks. The fact that they've called me back is absolutely brilliant. I was quite literally burning with pride for my good work, that they trust me to come back again. Rearing calves isn't something anybody takes lightly, and not something you hand over the reins to just anybody. So yes, I'm stoked. I said, "I get to feed my grand-calfies!" Because the calves I reared two years ago, are calving for the first time this year.

So the schedule is looking hectic, thankfully the milking jobs I'll be covering aren't that long, however the bulk of them are 5am starts, and I finish just after 7. We've come up with a more suitable plan for our calf rearing though, for this year. After three years of doing it on this particular farm, I don't know why we've never thought of it before! Starting later in the morning. We used to start at 6:30-7, so we were completely finished by the time the farmer needed his four wheeler back, which meant feeding calves in the dark, rushing, all that sort of drama that isn't necessary.

Why have we never thought of this earlier?!

There are sale days though, where the calves need feeding super early so they can be sent to the sales in time, but other than that - it's going to be easy. I'm sure of it. Once the calves are fed I can come home, have some lunch and then head back out in time for afternoon milkings.

So I don't believe it will be as much of a juggling act as I thought - it might be that scenario where you juggle in pairs, so you can't look away for a second. But I don't believe, at the moment anyway, that it will be as scary as juggling the pins!
Although I still think I will go hypothetically hysterical at one stage or another - but hey, my hours are going to be good, if that is a good point to mention. I can't wait to meet my grand-calfies on Tuesday! Oh, and my other grand-calfies and great grand-calfies on Monday lol. Can you keep up?!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Need Title Ideas lol

We're almost two weeks through July and I still haven't eaten any chocolate! I haven't cured my sweet tooth, but I have successfully sorted a part of it out!

It is so cold here, according to the weather app on my phone it is about 11 degrees in town, but it feels like 7 degrees. It's overcast and breezy, you wouldn't think it is cold but it really isn't the warmest. I'm sitting here on the couch with the hood on my sweatshirt pulled up (commonly called a "hoodie" but I've never been part of that lingo...), wrapped in my blankie and my living ''hot water bottle" snuggled in beside me...A.K.A., Tessa.

Yesterday was even colder, the heatpump was going all day but it made little difference. Having an open plan type house is frustrating, because you can't shut rooms up to keep them warm. For instance, our kitchen and lounge/living room thing are both quite small, but they're basically open to eachother due to the big breakfast bar window thing we put in, which actually just currently serves as a window, not a breakfast bar, but the point is there.
The kitchen is open to the laundry because for some silly reason we didn't put any form of door in between them, a cavity slider would've been perfect but...
Then the lounge leads straight upstairs in one direction, and underneath the staircase is the opening of the hallway to the rest of the house.  Obviously you can't really put a doorway over the staircase, we can shut the bathroom doors (thank goodness for that!) as well as the office and spare bedroom downstairs. But the hallway leads to some small french doors which open into the conservatory - which is basically an ice box at the moment, and the french doors don't completely restrict airflow. I reckon investing in some floor to ceiling curtains for them would be ideal - but it's just one of those "things" that we think about, but never actually getting around to sorting.

So yeah, the heatpump in the lounge warms the house a little bit, but in all honesty with it having access to three doorways that lead outside, it's no wonder that it never gets as warm as it could. So sit here and freeze, I do! It's actually not too bad, to be completely honest. Just bad design of the house...

And I'm a wuss, but we won't get into that!

Last weekend was worse though, with two frosts on Saturday and Sunday. That meant getting up a little earlier and warming my car while I melted the ice on the windscreen...and the rest of the car. You know it is pretty cold when the doors freeze shut, a good yank on the handle is quite necessary to break the ice. Poor Ali wasn't too impressed about the weather - although neither would I be if I was a car, lol

Last week was filled with a little bit of fencing and only a couple of milkings for me. I got to help out with a few different things, and then got into the battening with Dad on one job. It was kinda good actually as I got to test out my fencing skills with a few things, like doing a crimp. Usually if Nick is there I wouldn't be able to do too much, but as it was just Mum, Dad and I, I was able to do it myself. Oh yeah, if you don't know what a crimp is, I've added a photo of my one. It's just for joining wire together, you can either use a crimp or make a figure 8 knot... it probably seems pretty random but I did a tidy job of it, considering I'd only ever done it once - perhaps the left side isn't too great but hey it works, no?. It had to be okay, especially with it being right on a driveway where everyone would see it....No pressure, right?

Then on Friday we finished up a short post and rail fenceline in one of the gated communities that we work in quite often. With all the rain we've had, the rails were absolutely soaked through. There were 48 of them at 4.8 metres long and Nick and I were in charge of laying them out in the gaps while we waited for Dad to arrive with all of the gear. Nick was insistent on carrying three rails at a time, up the hill to their spots. We did about seven sections like that, one of us at each end of the rails, until I said - no way, this is not gonna carry on.
My poor arms were killing me, so we carried two from then on and then eventually towards the end we swapped to carrying one each, or one between the both of us. Believe me, those single rails seemed just as heavy as the three together! It's a pain because I get RSI in my arms in general, just from milking. But all I've done this time is pull all the muscles in my arms and hands - which seems ridiculous, but in all honesty I'm so worried about dropping things at the moment because my hands just aren't gripping things very well. Which isn't particularly handy, truth be told.
These days my arms are just throbbing - it isn't pleasant, so fingers crossed they get over themselves.

On Saturday night I actually went out. Two friends, Chantelle, Shannon and I went to the movies and saw Me Before You. It is a lovely movie, I'd definitely recommend it.

This week is going to semi-busy but quiet. Mum and Dad made a very snap decision last week to take a week long holiday, the idea would be so Dad could have some time off work and they could have a general break before the calves start next week sometime (or possibly this week, it depends when the farmer rings us...). So they're out in the Tauranga area at the moment, I'm not too sure where abouts - I've never been there myself. But they've been there since Friday night and don't come back until Friday this week.
They haven't completely gone "work free", as they are using the quiet time to do a tonne of paperwork and manuals, health and safety plans and website stuff. Which in regards to the latter, isn't completely stress free either. But I'm hoping they're enjoying their break away from home for a bit.

The house is definitely quiet here, and I believe the dogs are slightly confused on Mum and Dad's whereabouts - however they're not too's weird for me though. See, if Nick or I go on holiday, nothing changes here. Life goes on, work carries on and you're not really noticed as missing in action. But Mum and Dad going away has completely changed the atmosphere here.
I'm having to stay up later than I usually would because if I try to put the dogs to bed at 7:30 they would go nuts, but it's so boring sitting up. I usually wouldn't stay up watching the TV...I could read, but I'm not really in the mood to. But there's nobody to talk to, so you know, it's not horrible but not great either? It's odd!

Nikolai has all the work this week, I was originally going to be only working the weekends - simply because B2 needs the hours and it's better for me to sit around than for him to sit around and be paid to do it. Mum and Dad reckon I could just have a nice quiet break myself, chill out at home with the dogs and this could be one week of my holiday pay or something like that - I'm not too sure. Little do they know that sitting around home on my own drives me absolutely mental. I'm not an extroverted person, I don't need to be surrounded by people to get through my day but I sort of do at the same time? But I just sit here, staring into oblivion while I while away the hours, not doing really anything. Seems crazy but sitting around is exceptionally tiring, so all I want to do is sleep during the day.

However, after last night's milking I was booked in to continue there until Thursday. Cameron asked me to cover for Hamish as he and his family had to close shop and race down to Napier for an urgent family matter. Which worked out fine for me, giving me four hours of work a day, worked out for Cam as now he has me to help him. Although in Hamish's case, I think he'd rather be at home working than having to deal with what is happening in Napier.

So at least I'll have some form of requirements for the next few days to get me moving. Thursday Nick is going to his girlfriend's for the night, (that seems to be getting pretty serious...) so I reckon it'll be party central here that night. It'll be just like it's out of a movie, big party at my parents' house the night before my parents arrive home. What could go wrong? Friday morning they arrive to find a trashed house, empty alcohol bottles everywhere, food on the ceilings, a noise control fine and me probably in jail for doing something mental. That is putting some seriously amusing images in my mind! Mum and Dad should be jolly thankful about how decent a daughter I am, knowing full well I would never do anything like that.

Finally, a joke that was mentioned at the end of the News last night was funny:

What did the 0 say to the 8?
"Nice belt"

Nick didn't get it, I had to explain it to him which was exceptionally satisfying.