Blogging about Plogging

BO has been rather pleased to learn that the idea of voluntarily picking up random trash from places has a word now. It’s called Plogging.

I came across this term while on one of my Instagram suction spirals, and read about the Ploggers of India, Ploggers of Delhi, etc. who are basically groups of runners who voluntarily pick up trash on their running paths – most of this trash being plastic waste.

I remember doing exactly this on my school compound many, many years ago when I’d newly moved to Bhubaneswar and just entered 9th Standard. I didn’t have friends until a few weeks into school, so in those early days when I didn’t have any one to “hang out with”, I’d spend some time going around the campus by myself (getting to know it), and picking up bits of plastic waste like empty wrappers and plastic bags, collecting them and depositing them in the main waste bin. I don’t know if anyone saw me doing this back then (and found it strange), but I don’t think the thought that someone else might find it weird ever stopped me. Though I must confess that once I’d made friends, I stopped doing this… my plogging wasn’t done with any major noble motive, just a little pastime at snack break.

Back then I did only think of it as random trash picking, and it felt rather therapeutic. Now there’s a nice little word (and hashtags galore!!!) for it!

More power to all the ploggers out there – specially to the ones who don’t know that there’s a special word for the good work they’re doing!

May Round Up – RBC, Summer Drinks, Promotion, Furniture, Fani, Vacation Planning & more

Again, a mixed bag post:

  1. Ramiz Baba Challenge 5 (IPL 2019) (“RBC“)¬†concluded on 12th May, with a much anticipated Motabhai (Mumbai Indians) victory over Dhoni’s team (Chennai Super Kings). We watched it with friends, and even after having gone Mumbai 90% as my prediction for the night, I ended up rooting for CSK as I thought a CSK win might still benefit me (on account of the predictions those around me on Leaderboard, who had even higher %% than 90%). Ultimately, despite an MI win, I pretty much stayed where I was due to MATHS. I ended up earning as many points with a 90 as others did with 95 or even 100 as I’d played fewer games (taken more leaves), and that meant more movement with a smaller match score (it’s complicated, but not that much) (those who have played this will understand).
  2. RBC took up a lot of my mindspace from end of March to early May. It not only provided tons of entertainment, but I also ended up learning a thing or two about T20 cricket, the various IPL teams, local players, international players, etc. I can’t say I would’ve learnt any of this had it not been for my involvement in RBC (and TRUST ME, RBC sucks you in). It was actually really nice to have something specific planned for every single evening (i.e. watching and obsessing over the match). It filled up a lot of time that I didn’t realise earlier needed filling. Being a part of RBC also made me feel like a part of a friendly & engaged community. It was SUCH a fun experience and I was REALLY sad when it ended. Luckily, we have the ICC Cricket World Cup coming up end of this month so here’s to RBC Season 6!!
  3. Almost forgot to mention, but I ended up Rank 9 out of 67 total players (not all played actively) (but that’s not to say that they did not play WELL; in fact many players who did not play actively at all but only played their defaults ended up well above many who did in fact play very enthusiastically and made active choices for each match). I was overall happy with finishing 9th (as a first time who did not know anything much about cricket or IPL or current players), but it’s of course a lie to say that I didn’t care about the rank ūüėõ
  4. I was perhaps most happy about finishing above the husband (“Y“) (who finished at 10). Hoping this will shut him up about sports&maths and my lack of knowledge about the same for a bit (hasn’t happened so far, the shutting up ie :D)
  5. Yes, much of the last few weeks was all about the RBC, and seriously, even 5 long posts about it will not cover the happy influence it has had on me.
  6. Summer is well and truly here, and I have discovered my favourite summer drinks to be: home made aam panna, jal jeera (Catch jaljeera powder works just fine), fresh chaas from home made dahi, mango milk share made with just alphonso mangoes and milk (sheer bliss).
  7. Y has received a much anticipated promotion at work, which has led to many celebratory outings and meals!
  8. We have FINALLY replaced our sink-y sofas with new, firm sofas! One is a lovely L shaped sofa which is basically a three seater and a chaise lounge (my new spot) put together. The other is a chesterfield-esque arm chair from Gulmohar Lane, which honestly was such a HUGE disappointment. They basically sent a defective piece, and then made it impossible for me to return it (I might write in detail about this later, as I was really excited about this piece, but sadly, it was a major disappointment). Suffice to say I will never be ordering from Gulmohar Lane again, and I don’t recommend it as they do not understand their customer’s basic needs at all. It’s a pity really, because they do have some lovely designs.
  9. A huge cyclone hit my home state and particularly my hometown of Bhubaneswar early in May – Cyclone Fani. It was much worse than anticipated by the people, but was properly accounted for by the government. I couldn’t get in touch with my family for about 2 whole days after the cyclone made landfall because of the extensive damage done to the electricity & telecom infrastructure. It was rather nerve wrecking. I did manage to piece together vital information from my friend T who kept me posted as soon as she got network, Instagram posts from people there (some who had small moments of access managed to post online), and other people I know from there who happened to have a bit of network now and then. ¬†It’s been about two weeks now, and they have regular electricity back (came back only after about 8-10 days!!!) (but they managed in the interim as their apartment complex had a diesel generator which operated every other hour or so), but network is still patchy and unreliable at best. We have still not been able to video chat, although regular phone calls are working alright and whatsapp is also working fine.
  10. Y and I have FINALLY booked our summer vacation (a short 5 day trip to the Maldives in June). Yeayyyyy!!! A week is all that Y could manage in leave at this point, and I’m not grumpy about it at all. This is a pretty last minute trip, and planning any thing longer than 5-6 days this close is NOT my scene (I love planning every little detail months in advance, yes). After an all-consuming three days of endless research, obsessive review reading, photo to photo comparison across TripAdvisor Instagram Facebook (user generated content is the most authentic!), we have finally decided on Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa. I will keep you posted on how it fares.
  11. I also realised I BADLY need out of town breaks (preferably nature breaks) every couple of months or at least once in three months. It’s a must to refill the tank, and refuel creative energies. When one is constant creating all kinds of work, and content-y things (for work), it can be quite draining, and a break is quite necessary to sustain momentum. By the time we go for this Maldives vacation, it will have been 7 full months since my last break).
  12. May 2019 was also the month of the last few Game of Thrones episodes. Like most other people who have read, watched and loved the series, I too was disappointed by the gaping holes in the writing this season. I could finally like the second half of the last episode (after hating on an entire season), because I could accept those endings as things GRRM must have come up with and communicated with the writers. BUT the writers used those ends, but did not link from where the source material left off with the endings in a proper way AT ALL. The only good thing about this terrible writing is that I did not really feel sad about GOT ending. I was quite indifferent today when I watched the last last episode!
  13. I have ordered a new Katie Daisy Planner for 2019-2020 from bookdepository.com. It was supposed to have shipped on May 15th, but it hasn’t still shipped and now I’m in a conundrum about whether to cancel it, and order on Amazon.com (and pay higher shipping), or just wait for BD to get its act together.
  14. I also ordered some lovely stationery from a chinese shop on Etsy, but that also hasn’t yet arrived (some not so great luck with international stationery shipping of late).
  15. But, on the bright side, I have snagged a few second hand books from Amazon which arrived in great condition: Emma Block’s book on watercolors looks lovely on my shelves (and it does not feel like a second hand copy at all in that it is in perfect/ unused condition), ¬†Edith Holden’s The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (which is just such a delight, please look it up), Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Chronicles of Avonlea. I’m still deciding which book(s) to carry with me for the holiday, and I’m really drawn towards LMM because of all the endless nature scenes in her work which I find most refreshing. Also, I’m making a conscious choice of turning into a hoarder rather than ordering kindle books (where possible), because I find it most cumbersome to “flip through” a kindle book while re-reading. I might donate some of my not-favourites later for space reasons, but until then I will keep adding. I also love the tactile feel of holding a real paperback (can’t say I love the feeling of holding a big, heavy hardback), and writing my name on the first page (I ALWAYS write my name, and the month I read/ started reading it in), dog-earing the pages as my own bookmark, marking and underlining non-fiction and other such simple pleasures which only a paperback affords.
  16. Potential new neighbours might take a long time to move in, because they are getting extensive renovation work done (pretty much gutted the whole house). Let’s see.

Random Questions & Observations

  1. Since when are orange lick lollies for Rs. 10 instead of Rs.5?
  2. Should I go back to the old school technique of freezing Fanta in kulfi moulds?
  3. Has any one tried making Jal Jeera ice lollies in the aforementioned method?
  4. Blood sample collection via needle prick hurts way less than threading.
  5. Muscle injections hurt a bit more than threading.
  6. I do not look my age according to most people I’ve met recently.
  7. Number 6 is a good thing.
  8. Things that didn’t seem so good when one is a teenager suddenly feel very good when one is no longer one (basically once one crosses the mid-twenties zone).
  9. Ageing is a privilege.
  10. The “power chill” setting on Daikin split ACs is a farce. Do not use it. It does not live up to its name, and has quite the opposite effect. Stick to the regular cooling mode.
  11. We are capable of keeping a dining table cloth tidy (as proved by 4+ weeks of spill free table cloth).
  12. IPL and Ramiz Baba Challenge (I’ll explain later) have brought much joy & entertainment to my life.
  13. Indian e-commerce people should attempt to pack with less (WAY LESS) carton and bubble wrap.
  14. Blacky Junior is nowhere in sight these days (wonder which block s/he is guarding these days).
  15. Friends is the best show ever.
  16. Rewatching Friends never gets tiresome (currently on the 3rd or 4th rewatch).
  17. Game of Thrones final season is on!
  18. We might (MIGHT) have new neighbours soon!!!

Unsolicited Protection by The Friendly Neighbourhood Dog

Friends, BO has a little protector. One whom she did not ask to be so.

Their friendly neighbourhood dog, Blacky Junior (son/ daughter of Blacky, who has been in the neighbourhood for years) is a young doggo, and has lots of energy.

S/he (Blacky Junior) has been found galloping around, wagging her/his tail (presumably wanting the humans around to play with her/him). This behaviour, quite honestly, scares BO a bunch as she is not what you would call a “dog person”. Quite the opposite. No, not cat person either. BO is generally not an animal person. Sure, she obsessively watches cute cat videos, and loves looking at pictures of little puppies (especially labs and golden retrievers), but that’s about it. Pets? Not interested.

Blacky (senior) used to grace the stairs of BO’s building for quite a while. S/he is quite active and agile, and would politely move over when any human needed to pass by (narrow stairwell). BO is quite comfortable around Blacky, and is confident that s/he would move whenever required.

Blacky Junior, not so polite. Would rather play with the humans who, quite frankly are just minding their own business (eg. BO). Blacky Junior has also now turned into a kind of a body guard and rests right outside BO’s house. Now, Blacky Junior is actually quite young and playful (BO sort of knows this (unconfirmed) because she has seen Blacky Junior play with others, and also hasn’t seen Blacky Junior for too long (hence young)), but to people who don’t live here, Blacky Junior appears to be a nice, big, well built doggo.

Today (like every other day), BO had a delivery from Amazon. Amazon Guy rings up BO.

AG:¬†Ma’am, you have a delivery.

BO: Yes. Sure.

AG:¬†It’s on the top floor right?

BO: Yes.

AG:¬†I’m at the gate. Please come pick.

BO: Please come to the top floor.

AG: I am almost on your landing, but there is a doggie. Could you please come collect?

Thereafter commenced a game which reminded BO of Dog and the Bone from school. BO standing at her gate, Blacky Junior right next to her main gate (outside), AG at the bottom of the stairs. AG wants BO to go to him and pick up the parcel. BO wants AG to come over. Blacky Junior in the middle. Both humans afraid of Blacky Junior’s potential moves. Although, it should be clarified that at this stage Blacky Junior appeared to be taking her/his mid morning nap after a nice little meal (sleepy and cosy).

Ultimately, AG and BO came to an impasse. BO suggested meeting at middle ground (which literally was the edge of the landing). AG carefully placed the package at the edge of the landing and gave it a nice push on the floor. It slid across, BO lept, quickly picked it up and went back inside. Blacky Junior had not moved.

Whew.

Peacocks’ Pub

Hello, dear readers, if there are any, in this world of 140 character tweets, unnecessarily long and tedious Instagram captions optimistic for increased engagement, pointlessly opinionated Facebook status posts and almost non existent purely personal blogs, Hello.

I return to the world of blogosphere with as inane a story as it gets, pretty much the highlight of my day today. You see, it’s not that other exciting things haven’t happened (to be totally honest, they haven’t, but that’s not the point). It’s just that these rather boring but exciting little moments are the ones which I deem worthy of being chronicled in this little no holds & judgments barred digital space of mine. I say digital because obviously I have a diary like any self respecting, introverted, but very chatty person.

Coming back to the subject at hand.

This afternoon at about 4 pm I decided to take a stroll upstairs on my terrace. It seemed rather pleasant outdoors, albeit blue skies were hidden by a thick haze of grey smoky air, at least it seemed to be warmer outdoors than indoors.

So I headed up the stairs, cautious as always. You see, at times the roof of a little shed on my terrace is occupied by various local fauna. Large groups of pigeons are the most frequent visitors. Monkeys are not completely foreign to this area. Little birds like sparrows and parakeets generally come and go in small numbers. I do expect a little fluff of flight when I reach the top of the stairs and on to the terrace.

Today, nothing moved when I reached. All was still. Well, at least for a millisecond. Then, all of a sudden, I hear a loud thud and a flap of what sounded like heavy, luscious wings. I quickly turn around, thinking it might have been a larger bird – like a hawk or a vulture – again, part of the local fauna normally found circulating overhead at a safe distance.

As I turn to get a good look, I see a large peacock – yes, peacock with a proper blue and green patterned plume and wings and everything – flying off of my terrace and on to the neighbours. I’m not sure whether it was more afraid of me (to have flown off promptly at my arrival) or I was more afraid of this ginormous creature for that micro second when both of us were casuals visitors on the same terrace.

At it’s departure, I felt rather assured that now my terrace was fauna-free, and I could saunter about adding to my step count for the day (I aim for a 10,000 like any ambitious millennial).

I take, may be about 100 steps in various directions, when my eyes are drawn towards this rather delicate organic form up on top of the aforementioned shed on top of the terrace.

Okay then, I see there is another peacock (or may be a peahen) up there! This particular creature was in no hurry to leave the area despite my noisy & restless presence up there. It was calmly perched, looking out into the dusty horizon. I also managed to sneak in a little photo of it.

As you can see, it’s – ahem – for the lack of a more polite term – rear side is out of view so I could not ascertain whether it’s a peacock or peahen.

After getting a good look at it (actually after snapping this covert snap) I was done scaring off gigantic birds (and being started by their sudden movements), and I proceeded downstairs. Rest of my steps will have to be taken in the safety and fauna-free zone of my living room.

p.s.: This is not the first time I saw these birds. I see them almost daily – but on other people’s terraces. I have seen them in flight multiple times, and they can often be heard calling out (their partners??!) when it rains. I should note it was a rainy-ish day today.