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Every weekend should be three days - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 9th, 2015

09:10 am - Every weekend should be three days

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This weekend was a long weekend in NZ, as we celebrated (or protested, or ignored) NZ's chequered colonial history, which involved being the first Commonwealth nation formed by treaty instead of conquer. Said treaty was then ignored, misinterpreted, used as a weapon against the indigenous people, and finally signed into law, and has been a topic of heated debate ever since. Mostly people going "We're supposed to be bicultural, why are Maori so marginalised?" and others going "Racism is over, why do we have this Waitangi thing anyway?"

So yeah, a three day weekend, in which I took to the garden to tackle the driveway hedge, which had become overhanging enough to resemble the entrance to a haunted house. Also, the trees were dropping their leaves in my flower beds and killing the plants. Something had to be done, so I did this:


Here's what it looked like by lunchtime yesterday. It was quite a windy day and being up a big ladder was a bit disconcerting, but I felt pretty pleased with the result.



I'm a fan of instant gratification. ;-)

And then it was time to get stuck in and cut the branches off any bits that are useful for firewood. I know that hedge trimming doesn't normally produce firewood but this hadn't been done for a few years and some of the branches were as big around as my leg. If I were super dedicated I'd have hired a chipper and made loads of mulch from the waste but instead it all went down the bank behind the house on top of some noxious weeds to knock them back for a while. We ended up with about 3/4 cube of firewood for donating to the cause*, and squashed all the weeds on the bank as well.

While we were mucking about with branches, we found this:



On the left we have my friend Oliver who was helping, and on the right we have a female tree weta. Here's a close up view:



Weta are slow moving and generally pretty placid. They can bite, but you have to get them pretty upset before they will. But they are huge - that one's body is about as long as your middle finger - and scary looking in a prehistoric sort of way. I had one drop down the back of my neck once when sitting on an outdoor dunny, and let's just say I'm glad I was where I was cos otherwise it would have got messy.

*ahem*

So we put her back into the bushes and she wandered off quite happily. It makes me happy to know we have them living in our hedgerow.

Of course now I've done that side, the other side looks worse, so guess what's happening the next free weekend I get?


Meanwhile, on Saturday I found myself feeling internal pressure to be productive, to *do something* before I ran out of time. I realised that it's because it was my second day off and so it felt like Sunday. Then I realised that we're so inured to the 5 days of work, 2 days off pattern that we (or I do anyway) instinctively try to cram as much as we can into that short space, because it's all we get. Weekends are apparently for getting shit done, because we spend so much of our lives working that if we want to achieve anything we have to push ourselves to be productive on the weekend.

I resent that. I was actually more productive when I wasn't forced to fit all my own stuff into two days a week, when I could decide for myself how I wanted to spend my time and there was no sense of urgency. I enjoyed my life more and felt a lot more authentic to the way I want to be.

So in my performance review pre-report thingy last week I noted that I want to work a four day week. Even though I know I can achieve as much in four days as I do in five, I suspect I'd have to take a pay cut. Right now I think it'd be worth it for the sake of my own happiness. But word on the ground is my chances are slim. Not sure how to respond to that.

* Friends with a house that we spend a fair bit of time in, that has a fireplace. I like being warm.

Comments:

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From:fbhjr
Date:February 8th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)
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I'd assume with a bug that big that the bite would really hurt. Glad it didn't get messy!
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From:anna_en_route
Date:February 9th, 2015 12:59 am (UTC)
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It doesn't actually hurt that badly (more like a pinch).

However there is nothing quite like picking up your jeans from the shower floor and getting bitten by something that then scuttles away hissing to itself.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 9th, 2015 01:10 am (UTC)
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I detect some voice of experience in there..
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From:anna_en_route
Date:February 9th, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
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Good call =), turns out I am a complete scaredy-cat and assume anything that bites me and scuttles is a poisonous spider (because there are so many of them in NZ), in retrospect the hissing should have been a giveaway.

There was also the time I found a weta in my shoe at work (on the second floor...of an office building...I still don't know what was going on there) but I had improved my weta wrangling by then and managed to escort it out of the building in a herbal tea box without getting bitten.
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From:meathiel
Date:February 9th, 2015 06:33 am (UTC)
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I totally agree - I could live with 3 day weekends every week!

That is one huge critter!
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From:kotturinn
Date:February 9th, 2015 01:51 pm (UTC)
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Impressive bug! Impressive hedgework too :-)
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From:kehleyr
Date:February 9th, 2015 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Ugh... that bug... I would have freaked out if that fell on my neck :-/.
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