Knock Knock!

Point Pelee – the southernmost tip of mainland Canada

“Who’s there?”

No – I am serious. I am sure for quite a few people, this post will come as a shock. Maybe some vague recollections that there was someone who was lazy enough to call themselves an Armchair Perfectionist and then made a run for it because words became scary.

So hello, if you are still here. I went AWOL before the pandemic, and funnily enough I don’t really recollect how time worked then. It has been one big blob where masks, work-from-home, physical distancing became a habit and I steadfastly refused to open my eyes and look at the world that was once home. It’s so funny, I started writing because I needed to get away, then I stuck to it because of this amazing supportive community and then I ran because the mere thought of writing a word that didn’t pay bills made me breathless. I come back, older, plumper and probably not wiser.

I completed three years in Canada last month. D and I bought a condo last year and we have become a little too familiar it thanks to the longest lockdown. But it’s home with a pretty solid kitchen, and by the lake with tons of trails. What else? I turned 30 as well, but since it happened in the pandemic I might get away by calling myself 29.99 for a bit.

I too, baked a lot of banana bread and tried different recipes. I too, started day drinking and realized it’s not sustainable. I too, enthusiastically did home workouts for a bit before resigning to the fact that the tummy wants what it wants. Work threw in a promotion last year and has been paying the bills, and to be fair the long hours helped numb the few things that still raised their heads and tried to make me accountable. That said, work mates have been pretty awesome. As an introvert, I thought this was my time to shine and simply focus on my work but instead it gave me a chance to form some great relationships. I was one of the few people who was using Zoom before it was cool so I scoffed at all the Zoom memes but couldn’t help but stay ridiculously entertained by this incident “(I am here live – I am not a cat!)”.

Summer has been weird and damp (thank you Colin for clarifying that this is unusual for you as well), but I got a ton of hikes in. I cannot get over the fact how green this beautiful city is and you have a broad selection of parks within minutes of the city. But perhaps August will be great. All I need is one clear night this week to catch the Perseid meteor showers.

I want to end this with an apology to the kind people of this community and this dormant-no-more blog. No amount of “it was for my mental health” will excuse the way I abandoned this baby. I want to thank each and everyone who dropped comments on posts asking after me. I want to make up. I want to talk. I want to write.

Thank you for listening and I would love to hear from you 🙂

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Holiday Hangover

Well…. The France trip happened and it happened in the best version of itself 🙂

Came back earlier this week and just getting back to my routine. I think today is when I feel I finally slept like normal and pooped like normal. That’s a sign of routine, right? And while I am still very much in a daze after diving deep in the French paradise, I am actually not unhappy that my vacation is over and the next one isn’t even visible in the far horizon. Perhaps, I am so content with the experiences of the last 17 days, I am really upbeat to embrace my day-to-day life. There is no wistfulness – the familiarity of the city, the work is something that feels good.

Not the heat though. I swear I am getting baked every time I step out.

Some more details about the trip… we had split it in three parts – 5 days of French Riviera, 5 days of the Alsace wine route and 6 days of Paris. The weather couldn’t have been better! It was cold and cloudy just on our first and last day. Otherwise clear sunshine and blue skies prettily dotted by random wisps of clouds. It screamed vacation weather! We had rented apartments at each place through AirBnB – Nice, Kaysersberg, Strasbourg and Paris. We got really lucky with our choices – warm hosts, beautiful cozy flats situated very conveniently and great company in each other 🙂

I hardly opened my WordPress app – I did see that the April A-Z Challenge is on in full swing! Some people have had some great developments and even books being released 🙂 Over the weekend, I hope to sit down and spend a good few hours to read on what I have missed.

It is GOOD to be back! Hope the travels make for some good and new writing inspiration. Sharing some pictures from the trip – will be writing about the details soon!

Not Dead

I am alive and breathing and yawning. I have been AWOL for the last month – In fact not even opened WordPress for exactly two weeks.

It was not exactly planned, but I think the Inside me was busy being an oyster. The Outside me on the other hand was a social butterfly. I went home for almost a week and didn’t even carry my laptop. I traveled and visited a few friends after more than a year and had a most amazing time with them. All the while, I was technologically cut off except for the bare essentials. I did some running, I did a lot of baking (cookies and cakes and cheesecakes), I went bird-watching, I did tons of shopping for upcoming events.

All this while, my inside was a blank slate. It was not taking anything in. It was not throwing anything out. There were points where I experienced the concept of “Nothing”. I truly cleared my mind and I think it happened because I did not even try to do it. It was finally exhausted of the myriad maze of thoughts and anticipations and planning. Every day of the next few months is jam packed with a TO-DO list. I have deadlines piling over at work and it has been swamping about 50 hours a week. I also somehow managed to twist my ankle again randomly so I am reduced to hobbling.

Weirdly, I got a lot of inspiration to think and my drafts are full of scribbles. But I just have the sugar and the flour. I am still missing the rising and binding agents to put it together. And I am not able to look for it to find it. My mind just shuts off every time I take a pen to a paper. It rebels and I don’t know why. The overflow of thoughts that followed the drought refuse to burst out – instead they are just eating each other up. I have taken to inhaling books and

I am finally happy I sorted out enough to write this post! I have been unfair to many people whose work I adore but now have not even been able to pop up silently. Slowly I am getting back into the groove before I go on another break in three weeks – a break I have been planning for almost a year now but finally made it happen in the last few months.

Don’t give up yet. I have oatmeal mocha cookies as a bribe 🙂

Weekly Sojourn

So, when I first saw the quirky prompt for this week SoCS – “jour (DAY in French), I immediately thought of the Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song.

I used a mask that doubled up as the monkey mask in my mad head. I started rolling my head and moving my hands languidly. But unfortunately, the song itself is so lively… I kind of geared up and started humming “Perfect Day” by Hoku.

And I am listening to this after probably five years. How did this decide to take a walk in my head I don’t know. But ah! It just hit me. It has been so so so long that I have listened to a song on loop and been totally mesmerized by it. Mesmerized by anything rather!

I am craving to read a book that makes me want to wail after it is over. And to pick up another fantastic book in mourning that eventually makes it worse once THAT one gets done. I also want some great tracks that make me want to sing out loud and prance around. So I decided to get to do something about it. 

This is my weekly sojourn. After days of increasingly more work, this weekend is going to be all about me! I ordered some great books from Amazon last month and four more are on the way. I also dug up some super music from lost folders. And hey! Some gourmet drinking chocolate that my sister brought from US last month. With some spaghetti, my favourite couch and windows wide open, I am all set for a weekend of losing myself into my first loves. 

Some of the books that I have already devoured or plan to –

Books

A Confederacy of Dunces and The Picture of Dorian Gray, both presently in transit will be added in a day. And yes, the re-reading of A Feast for Crows is underway. Since I finished re-reading the previous three a few weeks back, I have been reluctant to pick this up. But now this will be in perfect sync with Game of Thrones Season 5 premiering tomorrow, which is motivating. 

I also have this very private diary where I note down some of my favourite quotes and reflections as I come across them. Who knows… maybe after I am dead, I will be the next Anne Frank… I can daydream right?

Diary

Serving as my background score will be –

1. Budapest – George Ezra 

2. Riptide – Vance Joy 

3. Roses – Poets of the Fall 

4. Into the Fire – Thirteen Senses (my all-time favourite) 

5. Hanv Saiba Poltoddi Vettam – Gonzaga (a lovely Goan song. Performing to this to a public of 2000+ has been one of my greatest life experiences)

I am hoping to come out Monday morning, refreshed and calm. Too much of running around and socializing last three months. And I am planning to make this a once in a month activity. Breathing time…


Have you heard/read the ones I have shared? Please share your opinion, your favourite music/books or anything else you like to do to unwind. I just realized this is the first time I am sharing some of my interests. This is a great chance to learn from this outstanding blogging community