Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Emperor wears no Clothes

Has anyone read Jack Herer's book The Emperor wears no Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy? My brother has been at me to read it for ages and I finally borrowed it to use as my travelling book this holiday. It's really interesting, I didn't think I'd find it this good. I'm about halfway through although may actually be nearer the end of the book itself than I think as he has so far referenced a huge amount of appendices. My only thought so far is that it feels a bit too much like encouraging a monoculture, which of course is never good for the earth. I'd be interested to hear other views on this and also find out if anyone has any further reading materials to recommend on the subject, particularly counter-arguments (if there are any logical ones) as I like to hear both sides of a story before making my mind up about a topic when I can.

Hard to get in the swing of things again

I'm still finding it tough to get back into the swing of things. I feel like I've been battling this depression for a long time now, although it's more just been very up and down for the last few months rather than constantly mired. I still haven't done a lot which I wanted to get done to sort out my bedroom and it is really getting to me at this stage. I also think my blogging will get better if I can at least get my pc at home set up (which requires a good bit of clearing in the bedroom) as I can then write posts every day, or almost every day, more in the manner of a proper diary and simply upload them when in work. At the moment I've felt I was starting to spend too much time online at work - I prefer not to do that and just use lunchbreaks and stay later in the evenings if there's online stuff I really want to do. I don't know how people who are into gaming do it as I already find it hard just to keep up with the blogs I read (knowing there are loads more I'd enjoy if I wasn't so strict about not letting myself be tempted) and the few discussion boards I try to keep up with. If I take away the time I spend writing posts and only do that at home I think it should work better.

I'm just back from holidays so am surprised that I'm still feeling so down. I'm quite tearful as well which can be awkward at times. I've struggled for so long with this depression and get so frustrated when I sink back into it even if each time lasts a little bit less than the time before. Usually. I'll try to keep busy in the garden this week as the weather is good here and am going to go for a walk up the mountains at the weekend. I had to stop doing that almost a year ago as I hurt my foot but it was one thing that really did help to keep my mood upbeat so regardless of how my foot may feel about it I'm heading for the hills this weekend.

I did have a good holiday, visiting some friends and then spending a few days with my sister in France. Her kids are 10, 6 and 3 years old now and all very affectionate which means there are always lots of hugs and kisses and people wanting to sit on my lap and have stories read to them etc. My six year old nephew spent ages helping me knit as well, him snuggled up next to me, holding the yarn and winding it round the needles while I manipulated the needles. He did an excellent job and surprised me with how long he was willing to stay at it in one go. He also loves to jump on me and try to use me for judo practice which is only fun up to a point so it was lovely to enjoy that quieter time with him as well.

I do have a bad case of the wish-I-could-have-stayed-aways and know that I need to really try now to start finding more ways to change my life in preparation for the day I've finished paying my loan to the bank and can have more choice in where I go and what I do.

In the meantime I've registered interest with the civil service to be informed when their next competition for clerical posts comes up. If I were able to get that and move outside Dublin it might be good. I've also updated my CV and will start to have a look around for jobs in France and Germany which would pay enough that I would be able to finance my loan if I were to move. As I don't speak very good French and as secretaries there get paid less than two-thirds of what they get here, it's not likely I'll find anything there soon but at least if anything comes up I'm prepared to apply instantly. My German is good enough to have a decent chance of getting a secretarial job but the job market there isn't great at the moment so again, slim chance of anything happening but at least I'm prepared. What's getting to me a bit is that I actually like my job so it feels strange to be thinking about moving. It's just the rest of my life I'd like to change and unfortunately I can't take my job with me (do have occasional daydreams where my boss tells me he's decided to transplant himself and his family to France and wants me to come and work for him there but realistically I think my winning the lottery daydreams are more likely to come true!).

Oh well, enough of this rambling on. I will hopefully get seeds potted up in the next few days and be able to post some more productive posts complete with photos.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Simple Living

This is a verse which Liz from Pocket Farm posted a while back. I really like it and felt it deserved a place here as well (and don't think I've posted it yet but even if I have it's probably worth a second mention anyway :) ). I'm not a big fan of poetry but occasionally will come across something like this, which expresses something I feel very well even when I hadn't even realised I was looking for a way to express it.

To Live Simply ~ William Henry Channing {1810-1884}

To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion;

to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;

to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;

to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;

to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never;

to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.