personal

New Zealand Car Trip 2009

2020 was supposed to be another big year of travel for me, with a four-week Europe trip in August and September including Iceland, the top country on my bucket list of places to go. Safe to say, COVID-19 tore these plans to shreds and there’s no certainty on whether any international travel will be possible this year at all. So I thought I’d look back and blog about one of my most memorable overseas holidays, a solo car trip in New Zealand.

(more…)

Farewell Movie Rental Store

That’s it, it’s finally the end of an era. My favourite movie rental in Sandringham had closed down a few weeks ago, and now the last rental store standing in my area has been worn down by progress and is going out of business too. It’s time to give up and join the streaming masses I guess. There are still those small rental kiosks and online DVD hire where they send you movies by post, but it’s just not the same.

I’m sure that there’s plenty of good stuff to be found on Netflix, Stan and so on, and that once I start streaming I’d no more dream of going back than I would of swapping my iPhone for my ancient indestructible Nokia. But dammit I’m going to miss my weekend ritual of doing grocery shopping and dropping by the rental store. I always enjoyed the experience, saying hi to the familiar friendly faces behind the counter and leisurely perusing the shelves. My favourite store had an excellent selection of TV series and foreign and arthouse titles in particular; streaming is all fine and dandy but it’s not like I’m going to subscribe to every major media provider to cover all bases.

Best of all, having a deadline for returning the DVDs forced me to actually watch the movies I rented. I have a selection of DVDs at home I got years ago that are still sitting in their wrapping. There are so many other distractions these days, it’s easy to procrastinate and just keep on wasting time on the internet instead of dedicating a couple of hours to a film.

So goodbye movie rental stores and thanks for the memories.

Two Cats – A Drabble

A drabble is a short work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length. I was inspired to write this one by observing the psychological warfare between cats.

They met every day.

The tabby cat appeared first, and took her place atop the old weathered table in the middle of the veranda. There she lay like a queen, her white paws tucked in, secure in her high ground advantage. The ginger cat came later and settled on the floor, never more than two metres away from the table.

They never played, never fought, never acknowledged each other’s existence in any way. Their relationship was a study in pretend indifference. A waste of time, to our human mind, but who were we to judge that inscrutable mystery, the cat.