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.
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.
My boy is now over two years old! I thought it would be fun to write an annual diary entry documenting Charlie’s past year. He’s not much of a scribbler, but I’m sure he’s fine with me stepping in as his ghostwriter while he pursues far more important matters, like having a nap.
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.
I always found fascinating the way the first few years of your life seem to be covered by impenetrable mental fog. My niece is closing on two and it’s weird to think that she’s unlikely to remember anything from what’s happening now.
Fishing with my Dad is a line of memories that runs back all the way to my childhood. I didn’t have a deep relationship with him as an adult and we weren’t in the habit of having real heart-to-heart conversations, so time spent together on an activity like fishing was our bonding time. There were long gaps where we wouldn’t go fishing for years, but in the past few months I was lucky to share a few trips with Dad, including what turned out to be the very last one.
Charlie’s been my housemate for a few months now, and it’s hard to imagine that I ever lived in my apartment without a cat and a couch that wasn’t shredded. After our old family cat passed away, I was wondering if I’d ever get attached to another pet as strongly, but nope he’s my little treasure alright.
Here are some random facts and observations about Charlie: