Times Are Changing

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It is 7 years since I wrote this post.  The essence of it was about rearranging the wardrobe in the spare room but the aspect which I want to discuss further was the fact that we had just hosted our first Air BnB guests.

We were first introduced to Air BnB by our daughter and used it on our first trip to the USA in 2012.  Since then, we have stayed in Air BnB accommodations all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Singapore, Mauritius and Canada as well as in cities and rural areas in Australia.

In the spirit of the sharing economy, in mid-2013 we decided that we would offer our spare room on Air BnB.  We have not had huge numbers of guests due to our location and somewhat limited appeal but we have enjoyed hosting guests from all over Australia as well as many international guests.

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We had never really decided if or when we would cease to host on Air BnB.  Like so many other aspects of life in 2020, our hand has been forced with the appearance of COVID19.  Since our guests are in our home and share space with us, we decided to immediately suspend our listing until at least the end of August.

The hiatus created by COVID19 provided space for us to consider the future of our Air BnB hosting and it was some degree of sadness that we made the decision not to resume hosting as travel restrictions are gradually eased.

As well as the obvious continuing risk of COVID19, there are a multitude of reasons that have combined to lead us to our decision.  These include:

  • acquiring a new dog in the future
  • desire for more short-term travel
  • want more flexibility in activities in retirement
  • being able to welcome friends and family to stay at any time
  • physical demands of changing an extra bed frequently
  • additional cleaning that is required

The experience of being an Air BnB host has been amazing but it is time to move on.

Missing Me?

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If you are wondering about the absence of posts recently, then wonder no longer.  I am on holidays and am blogging over here at Somewhere, Anywhere.

We said goodbye to the family and headed to the Northern hemisphere about 10 days ago.

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Pop in and come and join the adventure through Scotland, Spain and Portugal as well as train trips through other parts of the UK as well as France.

Other Interests

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You could be mistaken for thinking that I have no other interests apart from what I write about here.

While gardening, cooking and sewing are both hobbies and an integral part of our simple, sustainable life they are not my only interests.

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GMan and I have many shared interests.  Films, books, photography, history, music, art, architecture and travel are equally as important to me as the more practical pursuits.  I don’t have as much time as I would like to indulge in some of these and they are often mostly confined to holiday times.

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We both enjoy the films and social interaction provided by the local film society screenings each fortnight in our country town.  Today was the AGM of the society and I have accepted the role of secretary for a second year.  Community organisations such as the film society exist due the generous contribution of members who volunteer in a variety of ways and I feel that it is important to give back to the community in this way.

Are your hobbies inextricably linked to your lifestyle or do you have hobbies or interests that are……..just because?

Blogging Benefits

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I meant to tell you that there would be a break in blog posts as I was going on holidays but I was caught up with final preparations and forgot to do a post.

So, here I am on the other side of the world and just wanted to let you know that I am still blogging, albeit on a different site.  You can follow along with my UK adventures on Somewhere, Anywhere.

We have just spent two nights with friends in south Wales and you can read about it on the travel blog.  This was particularly special because we are friends as a direct result of this blog and a close connection formed as a result of our common interests.

People write blogs for all sorts of reasons – as a diary, to make money, to promote their business and so on.  I started my blog as a way of recording my thoughts and particular interests and hopefully to connect with like-minded individuals and share ideas.

Meeting someone on the other side of the world, whom I regard as a good friend and who I have been lucky enough to meet in person on two occasions has been a real joy. I am truly grateful for her friendship.

You never know what is on the other side of that door………….

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Other Places

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I have not had a chance to update you recently but the lack of posts is due to the fact that we are on holidays.

We have left Psycho Dog, Mr K and the chickens in the capable hands of the housesitters and headed off on an adventure to the other side of the world.

If you would like to join in the fun please come over to my travel blog.  Lots of commentary and photos on where we are and what we see and do.

Posts here will resume when we arrive home – but that is not for several weeks yet!

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Retirement Plans

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No, we are not about to retire, although today is GMan’s birthday and it is a reminder that the time when we are no longer in paid employment is edging inexorably closer.

2015-08-06 01It is strange how thoughts seem to align.  A friend posed the question on Facebook today, “What are your retirement plans?”  The answers varied but an overarching theme seemed to be travel and writing which may have something to do with her particular group of Facebook friends.  However, I was blown away when one respondent stated, “I’m hoping to simply make it to retirement age!!”  That really put it into perspective because although we all risk not making it her odds are definitely not as good as most of us.

I also saw my own plans with a great deal more clarity.  I realised that my retirement  plans are very similar to the reality of my life today and while some could view that as rather boring I can see that I am living my life as I choose here and now, today and every day.  I don’t want to sound morbid but if anything happened that I did not reach the age at which I intend to retire I would still have done and seen much of want I want to do and see.

We need to create a balance in our lives but I would implore you to savour each and every day as well as planning for the future.

Bucket List?

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Time to take a break from organising, decluttering and the regular day-to-day activities at work and home.

I keep hearing people speak of bucket lists so I decided to investigate a little further.  I found this definition thanks to Google:

early 21st century: from the phrase kick the bucket ‘die’ (see kick1), popularized by the 2007 film The Bucket List.

There are many bucket list ideas floating around on the internet if you care to look but I think this defeats the purpose somewhat as you are really just following the mob.  I prefer to carve out my own unique path.

Bucket listThe majority of online bucket lists tend to follow a general focus on travel, extreme sports/activities and philanthropy.  Travel is a passion and while we have lots of ideas of places we would love to see both in Australia and overseas, I do not have a specific list of places to go.  Extreme sports or activities would probably go on my list of things that I will definitely not do before my time on earth is ended.  I would love to volunteer and provide support for those less fortunate , especially when I am no longer working full-time.  However, I am not sure that this really fits with a list of things that I want to experience.

I have never considered ever actually writing a list of things I want to do. I think that a list creates the risk that you can become so focused on ticking things off the list that the enjoyment is lost.

That is not to say that I do not have goals and aspirations.  I just haven’t written them down and numbered them as 1 to 100.

Do you have a bucket list?  What are your thoughts?

Wardrobe Workhorses & Wishlists

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This week the weather has turned warm, even hot by some standards and it is officially still winter.

Many of my clothes are suitable for most of the year depending on how I wear them.  However, the warmer weather has made me stop and think about what new things I might consider buying this season.  I have 3 good pairs of shorts and probably enough skirts but it might be time to get some new tops.  Other than that the 2 main things on my wishlist for summer are sandals and a hat.  My current sandals are well-worn and have been repaired.  They will keep going for some time yet but it would be nice to have a new pair to wear to work during the summer months.  The hat that I crave is a straw one in a dressy style.  Since I am not tall, I find that I need a hat with a straight or slightly upturned brim or otherwise I end up looking like a mushroom.  I have a fabric hat which is fine for travelling and beachwear but I would really like one that I can wear with a dress in the city.

That is enough about my wishlist, now for the workhorses.

Singlet tops

These are some singlet tops that I bought at Uniqlo when we were visiting Japan in 2009.  They are some of the most versatile items I have ever owned.  I wear them as singlets in winter, pyjama tops with boxer shorts, tank tops in summer and even to work as a camisole with a skirt and cardigan.  The lace edging and straps are actually elastic lace and they are really comfortable.  When these wear out I will definitely buy more or possibly make some if I can find suitable elastic lace.

Having items of clothing that do double or even triple duty will be very useful when I come to pack when we travel overseas.  I am hoping to travel as lightly as possible.  Do you have any particular ideas that have worked for you?

Travel and Treading Lightly

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The Duke and I did a road trip for 2 weeks in May and with some thought and planning I was able to maintain many of the habits from home while we were on the road.

This trip is a little different.  I am at a work conference at the Novotel Forest Resort at Creswick in Victoria.

This is the view from the balcony outside my room.

We are here until Friday afternoon so I am sure there will be lots more to tell but I just thought I would share some points I have discovered today about the environmental impact and potential sustainability when you are travelling and have no real choice in anything.

The Good:

I caught the train to the airport.

I am combining 3 days in Victoria for pleasure after the conference so only one lot of air travel for 2 purposes.

I took my own snack and drink to have at the airport – no takeaway bought.

Qantas now promote separating the recyclable items from the waste eg: cans, bottles and plastic cups handed to flight attendants separately.

Travelled by bus from airport to venue.

Lunch provided in brown paper bags which I saved and will take home.  They are quite large with strong handles.

Minimal lighting in resort corridors – main lighting is activated by movement.

Door opening onto balcony – means I can have fresh air and ventilation – do not have to rely on airconditioning.

Card in the bathroom promoting shorter showers.

The Bad:

Non-recyclable packing from snack on the plane.

I travelled by plane.

Lunch items were wrapped in plastic film.

Bottled water was provided with lunch.

All in all it has not been too bad in terms of environmental impact.

Tying Up Loose Ends

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I am quickly putting this post together while I run through my lists (written and in my head) to make sure I have everything organised for my trip.  I am heading off in the morning to a work conference in Victoria, followed by the weekend with friends in Melbourne and Bendigo.

As usual I set myself all sorts of goals to achieve before I go.  These included creating a costume for the dinner on Thursday night, getting all of the washing and ironing up to date and meals planned for when we get back.  We arrive home on Monday  and then it will be 4 full days at work for the rest of the week so I need things at home to run smoothly hence the need to plan ahead.

My bags are packed, all the gadgets (phone, laptop, camera, iPod and Kindle) charged and chargers packed and clothes laid out for tomorrow so I feel prepared.  Hopefully, I can go to bed relaxed and get a good night’s sleep.

Here is one loose end that I have yet to tie up – the paperwork that I culled last week is now a bag of shredded paper which is sitting in the corner of the office.  I will deal with that when I get time.

2011-08-30 01Not matter how much time I have before I travel I always manage to find enough things to do to fill my time up until the last minute.  How about you?