Bloganuary 18 – Next book to read – Into the Wild

Day 18 – Next book to read

Next book to read is Into the Wild based on a true story. “Christopher McCandless (was) found dead September 6, 1992, Stampede Trail, Alaska), American adventurer who died from starvation and possibly poisoning, at age 24, while camping alone on a remote trail” – Encyclopedia Britannica

There is a movie called Into the Wild I watched the other day. Seems sad at the end but wondered if the book might put a different perspective. It’s written by Jon Krakauer

Her lifeline

You watch her as she ‘soldiers on’ clinging to her walking frame like it was a purse full of money. It is her lifeline.

Her wrinkled hands, her wrinkled eyes

She hangs on for grim death like there’s no tomorrow. “Slow and steady wins the race”, she says with a twinkle in her eye.

You smile. You pull your chair in to give her more room.

She takes her time. The word hurry is no longer in her dictionary. Instead she counts each step and smiles at you. Countless wrinkles converge into a broad smile that has known much laughter.

“Thank you”

Phrase or saying

  • Soldier on – try to do something even if it is difficult
  • Hangs in for dear life like there is no tomorrow – (UK) hang on like your life depends on it. Here I have stated it like we would around here in Sydney. We add ‘like there is no tomorrow’ to emphasise the gravity of the saying.
  • Slow and steady wins the race – (Greek about 560BCE so very old) Slowly

Let the bite of the sun etch my skin in ruddy pinkness

I don’t know if my body has the strength to fight once again. So I’m taking in all the beauty that is around me and etching each scene into my memory ‘like there is no tomorrow’. So many holidays I took for granted. Not this holiday. Who knows when we will be in lockdown again. I want nice memories to draw on in the darkness of days. Full of colour, of taste, and of smell.

Glimpses of my holiday. The overgrown track to the beach. A dingo trying to feast on some leftover bait on the beach. The lack of curb and guttering on the streets where the grass, sand, and tar meet as uncertain surfaces. Laughing at the lack of internet reception where you drive along streets until you get a signal. Then the sultry nights where streetlights are rarely seen and cicadas deafen you. Yes etching in those memories and taking ‘happy snaps’.

Then, let the bite of the sun etch my skin in ruddy pinkness. For once all is ‘done and dusted’ I will sit back on the journey home and wonder. I will wonder and worry about things that are to come. Not like any previous holiday. Let the suns burn distract me.

Phrase or Saying

  • Like there is no tomorrow – (UK) do it alot
  • Happy snaps – photographs
  • Done and dusted – (UK) finished and completed

#truestory – Sloppy sailors knot

I’d brought the boat around and dropped anchor on the beach. I swear I turned my back just for a second and  ‘blow me down’ the boat fair drifts away. Thought I had it firmly anchored.

We all watched from the beach in dismay. There it is drifting away. Drifting toward what looks like a mega cruiser. “Oh sh**t! That don’t look good”, I thought to myself.

Kneejerk reaction

I went straight into autopilot. My mind was reeling as I worked out the best way to tackle it. “You’ve got this”, I thought to myself as I launched myself into the water. Did you?

OK ‘false bravado’ aside I really thought I had it covered. I could make the distance. I’d grab the anchor rope when I got there and haul myself up onto the boat. Keys were in it. Just had to swim hard to get there in time. What could possibly go wrong?

Best laid plans

Making decisions ‘in the heat of the moment’ probably wasn’t the best option cause I was totally ‘slammed’ by the time I got to the boat. I’d made the distance. It was ‘hard yakka’ but ‘you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do’.

When it dawned on me that the rope with the anchor just wasn’t there I was dumbfounded. I could ‘feel the penny drop’ into the ‘pit of my stomach’ as I realised that I’d have to go back. Would I make it? “Mmm”, I thought to myself. “Maybe my best laid plans might have been done a bit better. Back I go…

Life is precious

When I felt my wife’s crooked arm settling under my chin to rescue me I knew I would never live the experience down.

Looking back now I think to myself, “Seriously, you’ve got this have you mate? ’cause the last time I looked it was ‘no lean, mean, fighting machine’ staring back at in the mirror! It’s been a while since you ran your last marathon… LOL like that ever happened?!#$*”.

Now my mates may ‘have a go’ and admonish me on sloppy sailors knots but the truth is it was a close call. Things could well have gone ‘pear shaped’.¬†

For Steve. Glad you and the boat made it back in one piece

Phrase or saying

  1. Blow me down – (UK) suprised
  2. False bravado – (Italian) talking about how can do something even if you can’t
  3. In the heat of the moment – (UK) say or do something without thinking
  4. I was slammed – Exhausted
  5. Hard yakka – (Australia 1840’s) Work hard from indigenous word but I think it was made popular in the last 30 years as there was a catchy advertisement on mens workwear.
  6. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do – (UK) do what is necessary
  7. Feel the penny drop – (UK 1939) it made sense. Oxford English Dictionary says it refers to penny in the slot machines and an article written in the Daily Mirror in 1939.
  8. Pit if my stomach – (UK) Where you feel nervousness or excitement deep deep down
  9. No lean, mean, fighting machine – (USA 1970’s)
  10. Have a go – Have a go in Australia can have a range of meanings. In this instance it means to tease someone.
  11. Pear shaped – (UK) to go wrong or to fail badly

Long paragraphs do my head in

Just the best email layout unpacked! Long paragraphs ‘do my head in’. I tend to scroll so this is layout is a gamechanger. When I worked as a student adviser for Moodle courses ‘this was the go’. Here is the gist of it.

  1. Header
  2. Dot points
  3. Dot points with details
  4. Terms and conditions

The beauty of this methodology is that it can be more inclusive. I’m not going to ‘bang on about it’ here cause I read via my mobile alot of the time. Too much text just gets boring.

Detailed header The header needs to be ‘short and sweet’ but not so people will think of it as spam. Make it targetted to the receiver. As a student they need to know that the email is worth opening and not some marketing pitch.

Dot points of main areas The dot points let them  know if there is anything of interest. They don’t need to waste time on the details. Students learning online often are stretched for time as they juggle work and study. Make that journey more streamlined.

Dot points with details This is what I am doing here. When they get to this section they can relish in ‘all the bells and whistles’. Put logical hyperlinks and pics here to keep your reader engaged with what they are interested in. 

Please note that not all students will trust a hyperlink. Sometimes it is best to not have it linked to your text. Show the raw link so they can decide whether it is trustworthy.

Detailed disclaimer The last point is the ‘legalese’. We used that term all the time to ‘keep things short and sweet’. Essentially it is all the terms and conditions to ‘cover our backs’. Generally written by a professional. Well ours always was.

You rarely needed to use this but there will always be some ‘bright spark’ out there that ‘knows how to work the system’ and essentially ‘want something for nothing’.

Oh sorry getting a bit cynical there. 99.9% of students ‘play the game’. Do their course and ‘pass with flying colours’.

Not sure how doing targetted emails plays out on WordPress so think I will give it a go at some stage

What do you think?

Phrase/Saying

  • Does my head in – (UK) frustrating
  • This was the go – how things were done
  • Bang on about it – rave on and not get to the point
  • Short and sweet – short and succinct
  • All the bells and whistles – not just the basics. Everything attractive.
  • Cover our backs – avoid blame or responsibility
  • Some bright spark – (Australia) in this sentence it is being used sarcastically. Usually means someone that is clever. Here I am saying that they are clever in trying to get out of doing things
  • Knows how to work the system – exploit something to their advantage
  • Want something for nothing – (UK) want something for little or no effort
  • Play the game – (UK) do what the guidelines say. Conform to the rules and customs
  • Pass with flying colours – (USA) Relates to flags on ships flying to show victory when they return home. Wow I didnt even know that origin. Fascinating!

#poetry – Tornado

I watched with disbelief from way down here in Australia about the many tornados that wrecked havoc just before Christmas in Kentucky. My thoughts and prayers are extended to those who have experienced this horror. My apologies if this poem is too soon to post.
In the darkness loudly screaming 
A phantom sweeps the floor
More than one of many faces
Of this tornado's roar

Their menace and their mayhem
The torture of their gaze
Left the landscape ever flattened 
By their relentless graze

The stealth of their night-time journey 
Left carnage in their wake 
From afar I watch in horror 
At their relentless quake. 


#true story – Old age and treachery

She was struck by a saying her boss used ‘time and again’ to tease her when she was a ‘young whippersnapper’ and still ‘wet behind the ears’.

She sat waiting for time to pass her by. Sure enough if she looked hard enough, and waited long enough, she could see each hair turning grey. She felt like ‘such an old fart’ as she scrolled through photos of the past. She reminisced through slowly wrinkling skin to the youthfulness and adventure of yesteryear. “Ah those were the days”, she thought to herself. She breathed a despondent sigh.

That sigh was short lived. She’d had an epiphany! She was struck by a saying her boss used ‘time and again’ to tease her when she was a ‘young whippersnapper’ and still ‘wet behind the ears’. He used to say “Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill”. Finally she got what he meant.

So bring on the grey hairs. Get those wrinkles pumping. She had found a new meaning and purpose. “I’m not dead yet! Granny is here. So watch out youngsters, old age and treachery here I come”.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Phrase/Saying

  • Old fart – (UK, 1940’s) someone boring and old fashioned (MacMillan Dictionary).
  • Time and again – (USA) Repeatedly
  • Young whippersnapper – (UK, 1700’s) Young person that is overly confident. Hails from the days when people cracked whips
  • Wet behind the ears – (USA 1900’s) Only recently started a new…job, career etc so inexperienced
  • Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill – (USA 1900s) David Mamet quote. Actual quote is slightly different but it means the same thing.