izmeina: Strange Spiral Clock (Spiral)
Here in Oz it is New Year's Eve for the goblins and bean counters.
For normal folks it is half time for the 2017 season

Izzie has a bunch of rituals for this time of year
One which I have broken big time and here's hoping that it does not bring bad luck
One Goblin rule is to always have the plastic fantastic in the black for the end of every month
And being the last day of the financial year it is especially important and auspicious
But the Izzie has been a bad serpent and tempted by too many toys and things and did not use any day this week to make a big fat deposit to get back in black for the big day.

July is Camp Nanowrimo time. Slacking off for a change and going for a pissy 15,000 words rather than the usual 25,000 because Daisy Dursley is coming back to visit in the middle of the month and there is also the minor matter of an online course related to getting a proper paid job
Volunteering is well and good but doesn't pay the rent. Well actually Izzie is very lucky and has no rent to worry about. Housing costs nowadays are mainly water, gas, council rates, insurance and a slush fund for maintenance expenses. It took years of living on the smell of an oily rag to get the mortgage goblins banished but it was so worth it in the end.

But one other annual ritual which usually has a very positive effect on the serpent bottom line is Plastic Free July where participants pledge not to use or purchase any SINGLE use disposable plastic for the whole month which includes the biggie which is the dreaded plastic shopping bags but also straws, anything packed in plastic and pretty much 3/4 of the aisles in any regular supermarket

The unintended side effect of being serious about this challenge means a huge increase in home cooking and using fresh and healthy ingredients because cheap and cheerful cheats like frozen pizzas, shop bought bread and even cheese become completely unkosher because they all come wrapped in single use plastic
There are still delicatessens where you can buy cheese cut off the block and wrapped in wax paper but they are few and far between. Even milk is nearly always sold in plastic cartons or bottles.

It's the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with the one stone. Firstly to save silver sickles on shopping and secondly to actually use up the pantry stash which is a result of the horrible habit of hoarding.

Tomorrow is a big sleep in and will use the opportunity to plant the peach tree bought last week along with a few succulents and to do a whole pile of pottering about in the Lair and the garden
Got to make the place all nice and pretty for Daisy's visit.

Must slink off now to Twitterland. There's juicy gossip brewing concerning the Freak Flynn and those 33,000 missing emails.
There'll be lots of fireworks for the 4th of July. Here's hoping they won't be of the nuclear variety. There's no low to which Don the Con will not go for a bit of deflection and distraction
izmeina: Strange Spiral Clock (Time Turner)
This is the time of year down under when folks start to think about their taxes and make a mad dash down to Officeworks to get some last minute items to claim. Officeworks and some stores selling tech toys stay open until midnight to make life easy for the hordes of disorganized or procrastinating goblins.

I slinked in there this evening in search of a bright shiny new 2016/2017 Financial Year diary and then came across some very decadent Moleskin 2016 diaries in the remainder bins. They had A4,A5 and A6 sizes all one week to a page. Got to thinking that there's still 6 months left of the year so maybe that would be a possible option. It was certainly a cheaper one. At the princely sum of 50c each, grabbed a couple extra (which I can re-use in 2022 with a tweek of the pesky bits up to and including Monday 29th February) or if I'm too lazy I can use them again without tweeking in 2044 assuming I have not slinked out of this mortal coil by then.
Just around the corner they had blank A6 Moleskine notebooks for a ridiculous $14.95 and here almost the same thing could be had with an address book and stickers thrown in for a mere 50 cents.


They don't have the end of the financial year looming on the other side of the planet but the Brits and their eccentric quirky ways are causing no end of trouble for the Northern goblins. It's rather amusing really and a bit of a reminder to folks here in Oz to remember that not just every sperm but every vote is 'sacred' since it seems to have turned out that some folks who were casting their No vote to give 2 fingers to the UK Government or the Eurogoblins over in Brussels had never imagined that their side would actually win. And as is usual in any election, the losing side often proclaims "We was robbed" and demand to do it all over again until they get the outcome they want at which point they then declare the result to be final with no more discussion to be had.

Of course, being the end of the (financial) year, it is obligatory to make the odd New Year's resolution or two.
I have developed the eccentric habit of test driving such possible resolutions a month or so before the official start date so that by then they have had a reasonably good chance of becoming a habit.

The first is to notice at least 3 good things that happened during the day and to write them in the little black book along with the record of every single silver sickle spent that day.
It's also OK to write down 1 or 2 horrible things with the time and location(for the purposes of sniffing out any possible patterns)

Another is to use the appointment section that is so conveniently provided in such goblin diaries to add the activities of the day in 30 minute increments and to add smiley, grumpy or indifferent faces to indicate mood. Been doing that one for nearly a year now and it's provided proof beyond all reasonable doubt that a lot of crankiness happens around 5pm or so. Not all the time or every day but almost guaranteed when in the vicinity of shops of any sort. I guess it is a combination of tiredness, sensory overload and hordes of squealing beasties.

So with all this in mind, as of midnight tonight, I have decided to once again embark on a 31 day mission that I failed at miserably last year but this time will be different. No wimping out and no cheating and certainly no quitting.
It's Plastic Free July.

It's sort of like Ramadan for wannabee greenies.

It's less the plastic itself (especially as I wouldn't be caught dead buying stagnant water at inflated prices in plastic bottles or getting coffee in take away cups) but rather the unintended side effects.
Most of the worst junk food comes wrapped in plastic such as cakes, biscuits and crisps so the decision to go plastic free when one does not cheat automatically eliminates these.
But more importantly, it almost forces you to do a whole lot of home cooking or baking.

Interestingly enough, the sorts of milk, yogurt and peanut butter that are sold in glass bottles or jars are not only more expensive than their plastic counterparts but of significantly better quality.

There's enough of a stash in the python's pantry to be able to get through the whole month and another few besides without buying any munchies other than bread, butter or milk. Since most bread these days is sold in plastic bags that leaves the option of going to a proper bakery or baking bread at the Lair.

The organizers suggest that participants keep a special collection of all the plastic things they did buy as a conversation starter for ways of avoiding them next time around.

Those Moleskine diaries came in shrink wrapped plastic so it was just as well I got them one day before the deadline. One final guilt free plastic pleasure.

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