The Inevitable Return of the Great Striped Polo

What the fuck is this?

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What the heck is this?

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What the...

Insert picture of iron and ironing board, KeepCup, a pair of pants that don't have a drawstring, a building access card...

Hmm, looks like this journal entry is about as anti-climatic as my first day in the office in the best worst part of a year.

My regular coffee guy forgot my name. I guess it has been four months of 5G waves dissolving his mind...

Coffee was better than Nespresso Pods though.


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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?


The Thing I Missed Most About The Office

Is that feeling you get at the end of the day when you leave the office.


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Winter Mixtape 2020

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The first hints of blossom have featured among the fog on my morning walks this week, meaning that it's shit or get off the pot time for my Winter 2020 mixtape. I started compiling this in late May when cold nights were becoming cold days, and despite the fact that winter has crept along glacially it's somehow now nearly September, and only seven weeks until daylight savings begins.
2020 has not been a good year for the concept of time...

The tunes in this track-list remind me of the experiences of the past few months, which have been pretty limited in variety but nonetheless they've been heard during some joyful moments. Like through headphones while observing the plants and winter flowers - jonquils, bird of paradise, irises - popping up around the neighborhood. Playing through the Bluetooth speaker in the home gym. On the radio, driving home for date night with the aroma of Afghani takeaway filling the car. Brightening the occasional sunny day that always seemed to fall on a Friday.

1. Bronson feat. Lau.Ra - Heart Attack
2. Mild Mins - SWIM (ford. Remix)
3. Crooked Colours - I C Light
4. Glass Animals - Heat Waves
5. The Polish Ambassador feat Pharroh - All I Need
6. Alfie Templeman - Things I Thought Were Mine
7. Dagny - Somebody
8. Transviolet - Long Shot (Mount Pleasant remix)
9. The Naked and Famous - Sunseeker
10. The Chemical Brothers - We've Got To Try
11. The Smith Street Band - I Still Dream About You
12. Yoste - You Can't Fix Me
13. Bombay Bicycle Club - I Can Hardly Speak
14. Mating Ritual feat Lizzy Land - An Honest Mistake

Normal Annual Service

The car was due for its annual service, it's first in the COVID19 world.

The mechanic sent me messages before and after I booked it in assuring me that they had "implemented numerous steps to continuously provide a safe and healthy environment ... such as express servicing and cabin sanitisation." I even got that same message while they were servicing it.

There had been free hand sanitizer in the office when I dropped it off, but other than that everything seemed like the old normal. When I collected the keys in the afternoon one of the service staff walked me to the car while again reassuring me that everything had been cleaned, wiped and decontaminated. He wasn't wearing gloves or a mask. Then, in a final gesture of customer service, he offered to pull the car out of the parking bay for me and before I could stop him his hands had touched the gearstick, the steering wheel and both inside and the outside door handle.
I felt very reassured. I guess only the workshop mechanics were the ones I needed protecting from. I also didn't have the heart to tell him that I'd needed to catch the bus to get back there anyway, so the dice were already rolled for the 18th of August.

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Earlier in the morning instead of the bus I'd been given a ride into town and I spontaneously asked the guy driving me to drop me off near my old house in North Adelaide. (His peak hour driving skills may have contributed to this spontaneity). I decided I would take this opportunity to retrace my old daily commute to work from previous strolls to the office in 2009. This was a very normal thing for a person to do, I thought.

Along the way I listened on shuffle to a playlist of songs which reminded me of 2009 I happened to already have prepared. That's a normal thing too I'm pretty sure.

After the soundtracked walk was over I reflected about it on this web journal I've been maintaining for the past twenty years, which may be on the line between normal and narcissistic.

In 2031 if I repeat the same walk while listening to a mashup of songs from 2009 and 2020, featuring a spoken word acapella of this journal entry, I'll know for sure if that boundary has been crossed.

Maturity

36.

It's the the point in middle age where I stop making Your Mum jokes, due to the risk of silencing the room.

I can barely do three strict pull-ups in a row, but that's better than this time last year.

I've drunk my first tall glass of Metamucil, though that was to balance a long weekend of binging and board games.

I spent my birthday afternoon in the sunshine at a brewery, reading Agatha Christie and drinking an IPA flavoured like a breakfast cereal.

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What We did on our Barossa Holiday

After months of not travelling to somewhere warm over winter I decided we really needed to leave the house for a few days, and once Nash had somewhere warm and distant to sleep Vanessa and I went to the Barossa for 48 hours of intense relaxation.

Neither of us are into wine, but one of my two criteria when finding somewhere to visit was that it had a fireplace. And that's what I found in a cottage in Tanunda. Ironically we were lucky that our first day was a perfect spring preview of 25 and sunny, before freezing showers and cloudy skies gave me all the excuse I needed to pile logs onto a roaring fire.

August 29

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Our trip started in Kapunda, to kick off our holiday with a visit to a country bakery for a country Cornish pastie, and to watch the locals with their big buckled belts and cowboy hats also enjoy Cornish pasties.

The Kapunda bakery eclair was also generously proportioned.

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Next stop was Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, one of the only places in the Barossa you can go for a decent walk without dealing with the monotony of grapevines and no sidewalks. The paths in the park weren't particularly friendly after a week of rain and little sun. While skimming puddles I did land on my arse, but it was sunny and there were lots of birds, so I didn't mind too much.
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We checked into our accommodation, then walked up the Tanunda main street, drank a coffee in the sun and shared a muffin. Dinner was two generous serves of Malaysian food. We watched a Polish movie and went to bed.

August 30

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Day two we got out for a walk before the rain started, visiting the Historic Goat Square (a sign we couldn't help but follow, unlike the sign for Historic German Farming Museum) and I ate an egg muffin with a hashbrown inside it. As photographed here by my phone's "Food Mode".
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The rain and wind chased us home, so we settled in for one of our favourite cottage pastimes - Rummy King. I had planned to spend some time at a local brewery, but after visiting and considering the proximity of their wood fire versus ours, I bought a six pack for sampling and brought it to the cottage instead. We lit the fire and I finished my book while drinking a stout in the toasty warmth. Holiday feelings accomplished.
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Shortly before sunset the rain stopped and I wandered up the Heysen Trail a little way so that I could go for a decent walk adjacent to the monotony of grapevines.
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August 31
On our final morning we woke early to visit the Barossa Sculpture Park, mainly for the cloudy view of the surrounding plains from Mengler's Hill. No offense to the sculptors. The eagle head was my favourite.

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Although I have a soft sport for Poort.
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We drove back into town for our final meal, delicious porridge and pancakes that Vanessa and I both had halves of.
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Finally it was time to meet the second criteria for my next holiday - Mini Golf with Dinosaurs at Barossa Bowland. It was a high quality course, well maintained with challenging holes and featuring dinosaurs. My ten year old self would have loved this place, and I would have beaten him easily at mini golf.
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Once the mini golf was over we spent our last dollars on the basketball game juniour, where our holiday ended perfectly with equal scores after three rounds.
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