Day 18: Love of Composting

Yes, I’m afflicted by this. Now I’m sure you wouldn’t hear this many a time from people. Unless of course it’s somebody like me, in which case you’d hear plenty.

The first I came across the concept of composting was when I was a child and we moved into a house with a garden. Until then we had always lived in flats. My mum always loved gardening, but it used to be limited to what she could cram into the balcony or sometimes in the terrace. So moving into a house with our own garden was something, I think my mum enjoyed quite a bit. Both mum and dad would spend a lot of time in the garden. When we moved in we had two mango trees and some other random bushes. Amma and Achan transformed it and we had flowering plants and a variety of fruit and veg. It was around this time that Achan introduced the concept of composting. We had a little compost pit in the garden.

Years flew by and I left home to go to college, went on to work and build a life of my own. In the initial years the best I could manage was probably an indoor plant. It was only in 2008-2009 when we moved into a house with a garden and with it brought back my zest for gardening. Those days I would mow, weed, clean the flower beds. The works. But we didn’t have a compost bin and given that we lived in rental accommodation, it got shelved. We then moved to Bangalore where composting was done at a community level. I yearned to have my own compost out however the uncertainty of what we were doing ensured that it remained a dream.

It’s only now, that we’ve got our own place here and I’ve got my own compost bin! Nothing, absolutely nothing gives me the happiness of popping in vegetable and fruit cuttings, dried leaves etc. into the bin. We’ve got a basic composted      not the one with worms and yet the composting happens so beautifully. I can see the lower most layers turning into compost. There’s a little flap at the bottom which allows me to check the progress. 

Every time the gardener comes he takes some compost from the bottom and spreads it across the flower beds. I must sound mad by now, but I get an indescribable joy at doing this. The waste that I would have normally put in the black bins have reduced drastically. I get to convert all the vegetable cuttings, grass cuttings , dried leaves etc.into compost. All organic without any extra hassle too. All I do extra is have a little compost bin to dump all my vegetable scraps from the kitchen. Which when full gets added into the compost bin in the garden.

So how many of you compost? Don’t you get that wonderful sense of satisfaction?

Day 16: When all you want is to sleep

I struggle pen down my words

As the click inches towards

The end of day, the end of play

All I want to do is say

I don’t feel like doing a post, I feel I need to skip

And go and have a nice good long kip

But alas, a challenge is a challenge after all

As inane it might be, torture you guys with this I shall 🙂

*I almost skippped today. I think I’m quite mastering the art of reducing the time I’m spending on these posts. At this rate I’ll be doing a one minute post soon. 

Day 15: Challenges of all sorts.

I am still amazed that I haven’t given up this challenge yet.Have to be honest here, I never thought I’d last this long. Not given how long I have been dormant in this place.

For some reason, I have managed to churn out something. Inane and meaningless, but a post all the same but I’m not going to complain. When it  takes five minutes to type out a post, a literary masterpiece, it will definitely not be.

So. Have I told you how this is not the only challenge I’ve been involved in? No, no, not another blog challenge. I am not that crazy.I’m talking about Fitbit challenges. I’m sure a lot of you out there will know all about these. I have been using Fitbit for over two years now. Initially my phone could be used as a Fitbit device so I used that to track my steps. Soon I started developing a Fitbit community. I had friends on Fitbit who would invite you to challenges where every step counted. Before I knew it, I was so addicted that I would start taking my phone everywhere. If I left the phone and walked anywhere, I would feel totally cheated. I’ve cheated myself of the steps! Sacrilege! There was only one solution – getting a fitbit device.

I got myself a Fitbit Charge. Life was good. I would walk what I could. I would take around 10,000-12,000 steps on an average day and everything was great. Somewhere down the road, I changed the Charge for a Blaze, which I absolutely love. It looks so elegant, but my average still stayed the same. I had a bunch of friends with whom I had regular challenges. I never won much, but always maintained my regular step count. Which works for me. I like being consistent.

The other day, a colleague S asked me if I had a Fitbit. She had just bought herself a new Fitbit and was all charged. I am always game for a challenge, even if I am at the bottom of the heap, the fun is in participating, I console myself. But I hadn’t counted for the determination of this lot. S invited some others, common friends and colleagues and left me drop jawed. They average 20,000 steps on a daily basis. One of them did 27,000 steps the other day! They made 50,000 steps for the weekend  look easy. And their determination. If one of them takes 2 steps another will take 5 to get ahead. I’ve heard stories about how people spying other people running at 11:30 at night, have started walking themselves. Anything to get your step count high, is the motto.

And poor me here. Happy with my 12,000 steps high! I’ll just have to use this challenge as an excuse why I can’t match up to their standards, after all, I can’t write while walking can I? Did I hear you say ,’Surely the five minutes it takes to type up a post like this shouldn’t make such a big dent in your steps, should it?’ Sshhh!! They don’t need to know that do they?

Or wait, better still, I should just get the husband to wear it while he gets on the treadmill! Why on earth did I not think of this so far!

Ok folks, I’m off to get in a few more steps before I retire for the night. I’ve got about five challenges going, and I need to not be at the bottom in at least one of them! And I need to start figuring out ways of getting ahead. Maybe by waking up at 2:00 in the morning and going for a run? Maybe I should just get my head checked instead 🙂

So tell me, what crazy challenges have you been taking?


Day 13: Just another random post..

This has become something of a routine now. 

Every day at around 7 in the evening, realisation dawns that my blog post isn’t ready. And from then on, it’s panic. Jotting down something and hitting publish. Actually the first week was better. I had planned, I had a few posts scheduled and a few half written ones which I could complete the day before and schedule to post first thing in the morning.

All that has become a thing of the past. It is all a mad scramble now. Even more so today when I’ve been down with a horrid migraine since yesterday. I did manage more today than yesterday but the essentials took most of my time. My lofty plans of scheduling some posts for the week went down the drain. The only time I spent in front of the computer was to put the finishing touches on a slidedeck I had promised my boss. That too, with that throbbing head of mine, I’m not sure what exactly I’ve managed to send him. Well, I’ll know tomorrow, I guess.

The only non essential thing I did was potting some plants. See my handiwork?

A rather dark picture, I know. I’ve just been too lazy to get a proper picture. It doesn’t help that the only times it was bright, we were outdoors.

But as I mentioned on Uma’s post about talking to plants, anything to do with plants calms me down so much. It is the best therapy for me. I could spend hours in the garden or with my indoor plants.

The days are getting colder here. The garden will soon look desolate and dull. I’m not looking forward to that so plan to fill the house with greenery instead. Mostly real plants and of course, some artificial like the Christmas tree. And this time I plan to put it up in the last weekend of November. This way, I’ll get to make one post out of it, which in these dire times, can’t be dissed, wouldn’t you agree?

Having said that, I’ve got to admit, I’m enjoying churning out nonsense so much, that I’m wondering if any of you are keen to do another marathon in December? Alternate day marathon, if not daily? What do you guys say?

Day 12 – Take A Chance

‘Take a chance on me..’ goes a popular song. 

I’m not much of a chance taker. I’m quite conservative when it comes to taking chances. I’m more the one for feeling safe and secure than the one to take risks. When I started looking for a job after my long break, the husband was very keen that I try contracting, better money and stuff. But me being me, looked only for the more secure jobs. I eventually took up a fixed term contract that in effect was the worst of both world when it came to compensation but I preferred the (relative) security that it gave me, as opposed to day rate contracting where your contracts could be terminated with a weeks notice. Not exactly my cup of tea.

I do take chances on some things though. Like books. On unknown authors because I like the storyline. I’ve ended up loving some new authors and not liking others so much. As is expected, I suppose. Netgalley has been great that way, I’ve managed to read authors I might not have otherwise.

Also food. I love taking chances on food as well. I love trying out different cuisines or dishes. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t.  Of course, when I am in the non risky satisfaction guaranteed mood, I wouldn’t dream of checking out anything unknown. It would be only the tried and tested and reliable stuff for days like this. 

Sometimes, of course, we take chances when we don’t have an option. Like the time I had no option on the supermarket shelf at lunchtime barring a Korean chicken wrap. I was lucky that it turned out to be fabulous and I returned the next day for more. But sometimes we take a chance when we have no option.

Makes me wonder if that’s what happened in America. Maybe the perception was that they didn’t have a choice but to take a chance on the most unlikely candidate. 

So, do you take chances on things? Or do you tend to play safe?

Day 10: Some days..

.. just whizz past before you know it.

  • Some days end before you’ve had a chance to savour it
  • Some days you can’t wait to hit the bed, even if the clock says it’s only eight
  • Some days you just want to abandon everything and relax. 
  • Some days you want to bury your head in the sand and hope a genie cleans up the kitchen, does the laundry, irons the clothes for tomorrow
  • Some days you just feel like skipping a post.

But you decide not to. Even if it means you post a meaningless post like this. Just to make up for it, let me show you the gorgeous rainbow we saw from the office window. It had all of us taking pictures of it. This is through the glass pane of the window, so not as clear as it could have been. 

Doesn’t it look like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? There were two rainbows but by the time I decided to take a picture, one of them had disappeared.

Day 9 – Feels like Brexit all over again

It does. It really does. We went to bed confident that Britain would vote ‘Stay’ only to wake up to a ‘Leave’ vote.

It was shocking to say the least. What was worse was when facts came tumbling out about how some of claims that the Leave campaign made were farcical to say the least. Things had been over-hyped and a gullible public bought into it.

A lot like what’s happened in America today. Or at least that’s what it feels like to me from the outside. Last evening we were discussing this at work and a few of my colleagues did predict that this is the way things would turn out. We were all hoping it wouldn’t, but it did.

What really worries me is the number of people who have voted for Trump. The mind boggles to think that anybody could think that Trump is an alternative at all, forget about ‘President’. There is something crying out to be addressed if so many people feel Trump is the right person to lead them. And from what I’ve read it’s not just about Hillary Clinton being disliked (although I can’t understand that either). I’ve read people talking about how Obama messed up America. Really? Not living there, I know, I really wouldn’t know. However it is very difficult to believe. I can’t help thinking that a lot of this is down to what people are told. The rhetoric.

And the one saying it in the most convincing manner wins. The one telling people that ‘others’ or ‘outsiders’ are responsible for their troubles win. It’s come down to that hasn’t it? Playing on people’s insecurities to win. 

Now the only hope is that the Presidency is not dictated completely by the person who is president. Hopefully he will have competent advisors advising him. Hopefully all the talk of walls and bans were all just pure rhetoric. Just to win the election. Hopefully.Lets wait and watch.