It’s been rather an, oh, how shall I put this delicately, annus abyssus? A hell of a year. At the end of last year, I threw caution and the dregs of childhood to the winds, quit my job, left home, and moved to one of the swankier suburbs of the big city. Once the wheels were in motion, there was no stopping me: one thing led to another, and in the space of a year, I have
Found a flat, or rather, a bedroom and a landlady
Found a part-time job, in which I got to use a hoist
Broken my right ankle (walking on the beach, slipped on the rocks, rescued by paramedics, tide coming in, hopped up the cliff, true story)
Entered a second Pilates training programme, and completed the first two stages of certification
Been hit by a car, badly spraining my left ankle
Rehabilitated two ankles
Crashed someone else’s car, in a very minor manner, but still
Found another part-time job, in which I get to drive cars
Quit the first part-time job
Found a full-time job, teaching Pilates
Had another part-time job, lecturing in humanities at medical school; secured same gig for next year
Done NaNoWriMo, winning by the skin of my teeth
Started a blog, and posted more than five times (see previous blog)
Watched Battlestar Galactica
Done Balance Control Step Off on the Reformer
In order to round out the year, there are some things I plan to do in the next few weeks:
Complete the Pilates certification — practical exam on Friday, mat test on Saturday, updates then.
The screen media, as all readers will know, are useful chiefly for two things: they pass time and rot the brain. Very well. If, let us say, one is in the position of contending with hazardous circumstances, such as, let us say —
one’s abject poverty
the late hours one keeps
one’s iBook being on the fritz, perhaps permanently
one’s mother’s gratifying yet somehow anticlimactic probable triumph over a rare cancer, on a technicality
one’s practically only sister living in London and not able to come back quite when planned
120 roll film costing the earth and leaving one’s Holga to lie fallow
one’s substandard ankles, now structurally unsound due to two accidents
the bus system
— and so on, the screen media occasionally do provide one with a welcome diversion. There are different kinds of media into which one can sink oneself: sometimes, for example, plonking down in front of Firefly on DVD is just the thing, and other times few things are more appealing than an afternoon curled up with cups of tea and a dozen or so YouTube clips of Draco and the Malfoys.
The trouble is, DVDs must either be picked up on sale at JB Hi-Fi, or rented from a frankly useless chain video store in the central city. This is no good. Auckland may be a bustling, forward-thinking metropolis (though this is doubtful), but what it needs is to take a lesson or two from Hamilton, at least in the matter of the Hydro-Majestic, cafes that open after six PM, and Auteur House. Shortly before I moved away, I had nearly finished watching a series of Truman Capote films (I think I still had one version of In Cold Blood to go) and a bunch of Hitchcocks, and Dr Richard was handing over Danny Kaye films as soon as I walked up the stairs.
Why does the word “arnica” appeal to me? I’ve been using it (the herb, not the word) to disperse my substantial bruise-acreage. It has no particular scent: in face, there’s no particular way of knowing it’s in there at all. Allow me to free-associate a little: arnica reminds me, irrationally, of homoeopathy, which reminds me of Susan Sarandon as Marmee March, bless her, which reminds me of New England, which reminds me, neatly, of Dr.Hauschka’s Birch-Arnica body oil. That one does have a scent; it’s a bit like a forest floor crossed with a Swedish bathhouse. Yummers.
I do know a couple of people called Anneke or Annika, but I am perplexed as to why I would find arnica so nice — homey, efficacious, vaguely eccentric, and good.