It’s the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere today, at 0909 AEST to be precise. I intend to have a quiet, personal ceremony at that time, and then after that try to catch up with the backlog of posts here. Wish me luck.
Goodness. Nothing posted in more than a week. Not even a Weekly Wrap! I am aware of this. You’ll get a Weekly Wrap late today, and something new tomorrow.
What a week! I’ve written five articles. Another two are due for Monday. I’ve done my usual Patch Monday podcast. I’ve done five radio appearances on five different topics. I’ve been interviewed for Phil Dobbie’s BTalk podcast, and that’ll appear next week.
I’ve even been interviewed by an anthropologist for his PhD project. I’m talking to a new editor about more writing. And even — this is weird — to a television production company about a TV project.
That all comes after a month or, really, six weeks or more of travel, intense work, intense and deeply personal events and the tightly-tangled ball of stress, depression and anxiety that can trigger. Which it did.
And there’s still plenty of work to do and decisions to make over the next couple of weeks.
I mention all this for a variety of reasons…
- While I do have Weekly Wrap posts, I’ll also do individual posts linking to things like major articles and radio spots. This should make it easier for people to find things they’re interested in, and quite frankly it’s better Google juice. It also gives me more of an opportunity to reflect on each item — like adding a quick personal view to supplement a story that was a straight-news piece.
- There’s about to be a flurry of small posts as I process the week’s radio spots. Consider that a warning.
- I wanted to post at least part of the background before more reflective posts started appearing. I haven’t written much from a deeply personal perspective lately — certainly not like the essays that I was doing a couple years back. This is part of the head-clearing process before I return to that.
I write in so many places these days — ZDNet Australia, Crikey, Technology Spectator, ABC’s The Drum, even occasionally at places like CRN Australia. And, as I mentioned, there’s probably more to come. That’s all writing for other people.
This here is my place, and it’ll be about writing for me.
No, I’m not sure what form that’ll take.
I’m not sure what it even means.
Do those bullet points flow from the intro? No, not really. But that’s where my head is this morning. I’m sure things will become clearer as the day unfolds.
[Photo: That’s me (embiggen) photographed with my webcam just now at Rosella Cottage, the somewhat bigger house that’s the “family home” of the owners of Bunjaree Cottages. It isn’t normally rented out to punters. I’ve been here at the cottages alone for a week, and I haven’t bothered shaving. I’m staring to look like I did before ’Pong and I shot that short film The Shave back in 2008. It’s not a good look.]
I don’t often write about personal stuff. Not truly personal stuff. But as the year clocks over into 2011 I am thoroughly, deeply, personally stressed and afraid. And I’m not handling it very well.
I have to find a new home in the next four weeks.
At the end of November the property manager did that thing they’re allowed to do in New South Wales: cancel a continuing lease with no stated reason giving just 60 days notice. In this case I think it’s just so they can bump up the rent more than they could get away with through an incremental increase on our continuing lease.
There’s a distinct shortage of affordable rental property in Sydney, and the timing is lousy. Freelancers like me don’t earn any money across the holidays, so January is the worst time of the year to need extra money — and before you ask, no, I don’t have any cash reserves or any available credit. Long story, but the short version is that I’m actually quite poor.
So there’s a very real risk that I won’t be able to find anything appropriate for me and the cats. Or, more importantly, I won’t have the cashflow to do anything about it in the first place.
And that means, potentially, some really dreadful temporary accommodation that I hate, with the cats in boarding and my stuff in storage and a fairly swift descent into depression. I’ve been there before and it’s not pleasant.
I’m going to see if I can move the date back another four weeks, which should create time for the January income to arrive. If not, well, I’m screwed.
If you happen to know someone in Sydney with a suitable property, do let me know. I’m hoping to stay in Sydney’s inner west, and ideally in Enmore or an adjacent suburb.
And no, I don’t think I should be sharing house with anyone. I’m not sure that I’m a particularly good person to live with.
There’s other things on my mind too. I’ve decided that my working life is spread across too many different kinds of things at the moment, and I need to simplify. And I’ve only really just started to get used to ’Pong not being here, given that he departed for Bangkok only last month even though we actually broke up a year ago. But I’ll get to them in further posts.
Stressed much? Oh yes!
Archie@ActionAid is the new personal blog of CEO Archie Law. His first post, From Melbourne to New York, Phnom Penh, Johannesburg and back, reveals his not-very-secret musical background and why he’s dedicated a good chunk of his life to the international humanitarian and development sector.
It’s Archie’s first entrance into the blogosphere so, please, have a read and let him know what you’d like to hear about. You can also follow Archie on Twitter.
If you’re interested in the technical details, read on…
People have been asking whether I’m excited about my trip to Africa. To be perfectly honest, I’m not.
Or at least not yet.
Project TOTO is still too abstract. There’s no firm dates, there’s no clear itinerary and, from a project management point of view, no clearly defined goals. Not because the project isn’t happening or doesn’t have support or isn’t being planned properly, but simply because that detailed conversation with ActionAid Australia about priorities has yet to take place.
That conversation is scheduled for this coming Friday 12 June.
Meanwhile, I’ve had many, many things on my mind. Most of them are completely unrelated to Project TOTO. But all of them have conspired to make the last three weeks extremely stressful indeed.
That’s one reason why my last video diary was back on 21 May. That’s a screenshot at the top of this post. I’m looking tired, eh? And I’ve been even more stressed since.
It’s time to catch up. So, even though this is the Queen’s Birthday holiday, here’s a rambling update. With some pictures.