A Smaller Life

Today’s Daily Prompt is “The Things We Leave Behind”.

Over the past four weeks I have left behind a grat deal.

I moved from a three bedroom house to a small bedsit and many years of accumulated “stuff” had to go.

Letting go of furniture was easier than I thought. I had several pieces from my parents that I thoughtI had an emotional attachment to but when the decision came it was easy to let them go. They are just objects, large ones at that, and memories persist without them.

A number of smaller objects stayed because they strongly invoked not just memories of people but memories of them at a particular point in time or space.

I also decided that a great number of my tech books could be left behind. They are indeed left behind. In this day of constant net access and sites like Stack Overflow the need for tech books as reference material disappears. I personally like books for learning but no longer as reference.

The other pile that was left behind in a similar way were almost all my DVDs. I kept a few and a fair collection of Blu-Ray discs but most of my media is now on the computer. Another technology left behind, anyone still playing VHS tapes?

I discarded a lot of toys. I don’t know what it is about us nerds but we do love our toys. I kept a few like both my Rubik’s cubes. One’s usually unsolved and the other is displaying some pattern or other (‘cube in a cube in a cube’ and the ‘T pattern’ are my favourites). Way back in my late teens I spent months looking at the theory of the cube (blame Douglas Hofstadter and his “Metamagical Themas” column in Scientific American for that) and developed my own solution. It wasn’t a good solution but is was mine. I have it documented somewhere and if I really try I can still use it to solve a cube but I have to be really careful getting the last, bottom slice of the cube done as the transforms get long and ugly. I instead use a much better solution when I’m solving a cube just for the fun of solving. If you’re looking for a decent method then the one at the official cube page is excellent.


T Pattern


Cube in a cube in a cube

I also kept about three “magic snake” puzzles. Marvellous way to keep my brain occupied while watching TV or a movie is to play with them. So far I’ve discovered five different ways of spiralling one.

magic snake

Magic Snake

Left behind was a need to be surrounded by stuff. I had a woman help me from a declutter service and I don’t know what it was but just her presence there made the decisions easy. At one stage she said to me “You’re doing extremely well. You’re being quite decisive” and I felt quite complimented. It was an unusual me in a lot ways.

I may have left behind a lot but I’m looking forward to a smaller life.


Ten Minutes To Tell Of Love

My Filco keyboard

My Filco Keyboard

So today’s daily prompt is another exhortation to write whatever comes to mind for ten minutes.

Our weekly free-write is back: take ten minutes — no pauses! — to write about anything, unfiltered and unedited. You can then publish the post as-is, or edit a bit first — your call.

(I’m not going to do an edit. Just fix spelling and egregious grammatical errors.)
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Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

So Today’s assignment from Writing 101:

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” — or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

Spaghetti Bolognese! I have memories from even an early age of eating Spaghetti Bolognese.

The sauce cooking in the old, square, stainless steel electric frypan, the big black controller sticking out with the knob on top to adjust the heat. The battered lid that only just fit (and at that, not terribly tightly).

The smells come back so strongly as I sit here writing forty to fifty years after that cooking. First the strong, stringent smell of onions being chopped. Tomatoes being chopped, or canned ones opened, don’t have a smell that lingers through the years. Onions, green capsicum and beef mince searing on the hot frypan, those I remember. The colour of the onion changing as it softens, the capsicum curling with the heat before the pink mince hits the sizzling pan and is quickly broken up by the wooden spoon as the colour changes to dark brown.

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Weaving A Spell

Hugo Weaving In Macbeth

Hugo Weaving In Macbeth© Sydney Theatre Company

Writing 101 today asks:

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

Our stories are inevitably linked to the people around us. We are social creatures: from the family members and friends who’ve known us since childhood, to the coworkers, service providers, and strangers who populate our world (and, at times, leave an unexpected mark on us).

The most interesting person I’ve met so far this year. Well if we have a loose definition of ‘met’ then earlier this year I went to my first Sydney Theatre Company Pier Group Lunch.

These are organised by the STC Pier Group as a fundraiser. You get a nice lunch (at the Bar at the End of the Wharf), a glass of wine and a chance to talk to some of the creative people involved in one of the STC productions. I think they have four a year. This one was the ‘Macbeth’ lunch and I had a chance to listen to Andrew Upton, director Kip Williams, Melita Jurisic (who played Lady Macbeth) and Hugo Weaving (Macbeth himself).

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Found letter

Peter, Always. Alice


It was stuck on the wet concrete. A small piece of card. I picked it up.




A token of love that touched my heart, brightened my day and banished clouds.

Who? Why? When? just didn’t matter. Accept and move on.

(An assignment from Writing101.)

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