passing gratitude

Along some of the streets in my neighbourhood, the footpaths are bordered by grass on either side.* Sometimes this grass gets a bit overgrown, and, at some parts, there isn’t enough space for two people to comfortably walk past each other without someone walking on the grass a little (especially if everyone is carrying bags of groceries, shopping or other items).

Often, without really thinking about it, I step onto the grass to allow the other person passage along the footpath. I’m usually wearing sneakers, and I guess I move pretty quickly, so I suppose it’s not a big deal for me to walk on the grass, and I probably just step aside faster than the other person (not much point in us both stepping aside onto the grass). Continue reading

Thursday Doors: a new neighbourhood

I recently got back from a trip to Melbourne to visit my sister, brother-in-law and their newborn baby. (And by “recently”, I mean, like, a month ago…) He is my first nephew 😀

Anyway, I was down there for about 2.5 weeks, and stayed at their house, so I helped out a bit with errands, etc. One of my jobs was taking the dog for walks/runs, and doing groceries. These tasks gave me a good chance to explore the neighbourhood a bit and scout out some blog-worthy doors. I have a decent collection, so I might spread them over a few posts. Here are a few to get started…  Continue reading

Thursday Doors: diagonals

I hope you don’t mind sharp angles, because I’ve got a lot of them in this post…

I’m the kind of person who likes to find patterns and trends. I like to observe and analyse in hopes of finding order and logical reasons. Browsing through my collection of door photos the other day, I noticed a few doors that had diagonals in their design, so I figured I ought to put them together in a post. I will present the photos in chronological order of when I acquired them.  Continue reading

rationalising my commute

Over the last few months, I’ve been driving to work more. I still catch the bus/train on most days, but if I know we’re going to have a late finish, or if the weather is bad, or if I leave the house a bit late, then I decide to drive. Also, if I’m bringing cake/pie/fudge/whatever, it’s a lot easier to transport by car than by bus.

There were a couple of weeks around Easter that I drove to work every day. It was great – I cut down my commute time significantly, I got to work earlier and had time to enjoy tea/coffee before I started, and I often got some reading or studying done before work too (while drinking said tea/coffee). I walked with colleagues to the carpark after work, and complained with them about the lack of spaces in the lower levels. I listened to music while I was on the road, and had a chance to energise in the morning and to wind down in the evening.

After a time, though, it didn’t feel right.  Continue reading

going up

I’m a big fan of incidental exercise, and I’ll often opt for stairs over elevators or even escalators. It might seem quite trivial, but it baffles me when I see able-bodied people (particularly school kids and teenagers) taking the elevator at the bus station when it’s always faster to take the stairs. I like to give benefit of the doubt, so I assume that maybe they’re just tired (but, really, it’s just 30 steps!)

At work, I always take the stairs – three flights every morning, unless I’m with someone who is opposed to stairs. Conversely, I’m positively delighted when the person I’m walking with (if I happen to be walking in to work with someone) unexpectedly suggests that we take the stairs (not many people do, and those that do don’t do so often enough).

Maybe I need to suggest stairs more often… The other day, I was showing our intern to a certain part of the hospital – six storeys up – and I asked if she wanted to take the stairs. To my surprise, she said yes. I actually had to ask a second time because I’d expected at least a bit of resistance, but she hadn’t even hesitated when she answered. “Respect plus”, as a friend of mine would say.

There generally aren’t too many other people taking the stairs in the medical centre (even though the lift is quite slow), and most of the other stair-goers are people who work in the building (and know that the lift is very slow). A few weeks ago, I came across an older gentleman taking the stairs up to the first or second floor (can’t quite remember which but I feel like it was the second floor). He had the slightest limp and was evidently not as fit as he used to be. But still he wanted to take the stairs.

He was quite cheerful too. I was also headed up the stairs, and he suggested that I could overtake him, since he’s not very fast. But I was in no hurry (I was about ten minutes early for work), and told him as such. He wasn’t going that slowly anyway, so I let him continue at his own pace, and I followed at a leisurely pace, making small talk about incidental exercise.

I don’t remember much else about that morning; I don’t remember what he looked like. But something about that incident has just stuck with me. I think it’s mostly because this gentleman, who had every excuse to take the elevator – his age, his physical ability, that he probably had an important appointment to go to – he still chose to take the stairs for apparently no other reason than because he can. He’s not going to not take the stairs because people expect him to take the elevator. Maybe it’s just me, but I find something truly admirable in that.