Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Day of Rest

Currently my only day off is a Sunday, and I'm even doing an early morning lesson on a Sunday, so my weekend starts about 10 am Sunday morning and lasts till I go to bed. No matter, this state of affairs will right itself at some stage, and I can't really complain about the work. However, it means that Sundays will be chess free days until I have another day off (ok, I know that's a bit ambitious, so I'll aim for a half day).

So what do I do on a chess free day, beside twiddling my thumbs, or sweating and hyperventilating because there is something missing from my life? I couldn't really get on with too much today as the weather was abysmal, so there was no day trip into the country. However, sitting around the house isn't an option, so Caroline and I went out for lunch and then found ourselves at the South Melbourne Market. I'm going to reminisce for a bit here, so if that irritates you, then skip to the next paragraph. I first went to the South Melbourne Market about 8 years ago, and thought it was shabby and uninteresting. There was a lack of selection, and the quality of the produce I felt was pretty poor. I can't really remember what time of year I went, as that may have contributed to the bad impression I got. However, I was lucky enough to try the South Melbourne Market again a few years later, and in that time there had been a transformation, with many new stalls with interesting produce, and even the food stuffs seemed to be more varied and of a better quality than I'd thought when I first went there. Now I enjoy wandering around the market, with my favourite stalls probably being the hemp clothing stall, and the specialist potato stall.

I have thought about this quite a bit today, I mean the fact that we get comfortable with our way of life and then don't like to push the boundaries, or leave our comfort zone. But life, to me, is all about trying new things and complacency is something to be avoided. I'm not saying routine is bad, but life would be very dull if one didn't try new things, or retrying things to see how they've changed. I suppose as an expat I've experienced a huge change to my life, but one thing I have not experienced is being a parent. Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets on that score, but my brother's, wife's daughter had a baby yesterday back in the UK and I wish Sam, and her family much happiness.

Because of this, I've spent a fair bit of time checking and rechecking my Facebook account today, to keep up to date with events back in the UK. It really is amazing how technology has allowed me to keep in touch with my family, seeing their pictures and reading their daily trials and triumphs from across the globe. The internet has certainly made the World a smaller place in terms of communication. I must admit, that I do have a regret this year, and it's not being able to get back to the UK to see my niece's wedding which will be happening in August. But by the power of webcam, I've been invited to the wedding, and I will most definitely be attending. (I just have to convince Vanya to rearrange her wedding for 4 am GMT which is a better time for us in Australia!)

Did you ever have a book that you intended to read but never quite got round to it? Or an author perhaps? For me it was Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I once even had a book out of the library, 100 Years of Solitude, but for one reason or another, didn't even open the book before returning it. It is a shame that it took his recent death to remind me that here was an author who I'd wanted to read for many years, but never had. Today I bought 'Love in the Time of Cholera' which I will start soon after I finish this blog post. (Here's a nice tribute about him on the Huffington Post) I also bought Dan Brown's 'Inferno' which takes me back to when I first came to Australia, a bit over 9 years ago. I took a Cathay Pacific flight from Heathrow to Melbourne via Hong Kong, and on that flight I read 'The Da Vinci Code', or at least most of it!

So I guess I'm saying in this post that 'new' is good, but so is 'familiar'. Finding the right balance for each of us, is the key to happiness. I'll be writing more non chess posts on Sundays, and hopefully giving my opinion about some coffee which I haven't written about for a while. That reminds me, it's a while since I've been to some really good cafe's that I must try again, and then there are plenty out there that I haven't tried, though my regular haunts are pretty good.

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