The Big 5 – “Where” do you relax? – Week 2


so much so that auto-schedule is also taking a break

Perhaps the old joke about this part of the continent having 10 months of winter and 2 months of lousy skating has more than a little to do with the fact that once this season comes we are all just a wee bit off kilter and though full of ideas about how best to take advantage of everything outdoorsy, we are at the same time stricken with that full-body paralysis that makes us just want to lie on something soft in the brightest patch of sun around.

Urban summer is a whole different season from blissful by-the-ocean or camping in the meadow endeavours and was proven by an unavoidable Sunday morning trek into the core of town only because we could not live one moment longer without power for the internet router. Of course, tech support sent us to the wrong outlet. The one with the not-so-happy to be working on the last day of a glorious weekend sales associate who was no help at all and who will not be winning any customer service/employee of the month awards; the one which opened a full two hours before the one that actually did carry the part we needed… Now our day of rest is usually spent in relative solitude, far from the madding crowds with perhaps a nice waffle and a cappuccino on the patio and the most aggravating it gets is lazy dog clamouring to visit his friend next door. So needless to say, we were not amused.

It did give us a chance to walk around for a bit and play tourist with those out for Grand Prix weekend but mostly it served to remind us that downtown is best enjoyed when everyone is working. What was supposed to be a quick trip turned into a five hour trek and resulted in one pitiful AC plug and the need to put our feet up for a bit when we finally did make it home. Could be worse, we could have paid a small fortune to broil with no earplugs in the stands at the racetrack. This fortnight the Big 5 Challenge asked – “Where do you relax?” – under a cozy duvet or at the beach, on skis or a motorcycle, in the garden or in the middle of the city, behind the wheel or in front of the pack…

We would love to know where you are the most at ease.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

The Big 5 – “How” do you relax? – Week 2

Call the Midwife … 'We don't go out on bikes.'fits and starts between bites of toast

We are not big television watchers. Not having 536 cable channels might have something to do with it but we compensate our viewing pleasure in other ways and our recent thrill (after marathoning Downton Abbey) is Call the Midwife. Being a dedicated multitasker, the small screen usually finds us doing something else at the same time but the late Jennifer Worth’s memoirs fleshed out with the BBC’s knack for colour continuity and period detail have proven that there are some things worth putting down your knitting for. This runaway hit about “women’s issues” and the field of midwifery pre-contraception in London’s East End in the 1950s has proven compelling – the characters are affable, the scenes range from the bittersweetly comic to the tragic and the plotlines broach all manner of “tough” subject without a moment’s hesitation. It is, as some have said, “magnificently subversive drama” that plays out with all the unexpectedness of life itself. We are fully engaged and the better for it.

It’s not hard to see ourselves reflected in the bits of dialogue between the nursing Nuns of Nonnatus House. Much like 90 year old Sister Monica Joan’s dismissal of the Dewey Decimal system as “altogether too earthbound” in favour of an arrangement more distinctly eclectic, we too have been known to shuffle tomes and “put Plato here, next to Freud, so they can be companions in their ignorance…” Well aware of the oddly calming effect of placing books where we think they should be, rather than where most libraries would have them, we pull and replace, urging the Noir Style to rub shoulders with Strange Days, Dangerous Nights and squeeze the Explorers next to a mint Maharaja just for good measure. This methodology works as well for us as it did for the aged sister stacking volumes on a makeshift bookshelf until someone jams an action-thriller into 1001 Kitchen Organizers and we are forced to do triage once again.

After all that, the Big 5 Challenge is ready to put its feet up, watch another episode and ask this fortnight…

How do you relax?” – with a good book or crashed on the couch, watching a mindless movie or birds in the park, fixing the old or creating the new, hiking up that mountain, running a mile, window-watching or sight-seeing… We would love to know how you recharge and restore.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

The Big 5 – How do you relax?


a whole lot smaller than we remember

Sometimes we have to force ourselves to get off the treadmill of work, commitment and daily life and just do the un-ordinary.  Various sets of constraints found Across the Bored et al pretty much stranded and snowed under at the old homestead this last March break and by Day 3 in-house projects had us all chomping at the bit of boredom. Where hadn’t we been recently that would entertain us, provide a decent photo-op without freezing off fingertips and was accessible by public transportation?

Memories of by-gone field trips with pre-school age darlings prompted a visit to the local Biodome and with that said we should, in some respects, have known better. By the look of the six other cool and casual over 20-somethings not towing small people along after them, the thought that every other adult with charges under the age of twelve might be at our destination had never occurred to us. Traffic flowed surprisingly smoothly through the exhibits and it wasn’t the crowd that proved disconcerting in the end. It was the awful fact that most of the children were holding smartphones or pads and looking at those rather than the flora and fauna on display right in front of them. It was the terrible but true saying “Why live life when you can document it?” playing out at our feet and further proof that many have forgotten how to just enjoy the moment for what it’s worth without the intervention of a gadget. We lingered, wandered slowly and wide-eyed through subterranean bat-caves and icy tundra, managing to regain the wonder, although the depressed penguins left a sad note on a pleasant few hours. It didn’t turn out to be quite the photographic expedition anticipated but no matter, for our altogether restful little outing did result in this fortnight’s Big 5 Challenge:

How do you relax?” – with a good book or crashed on the couch, watching a mindless movie or birds in the park, fixing the old or creating the new, hiking up that mountain, running a mile, window-watching or sight-seeing…

We would love to know how you recharge and restore.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Relax


back jan 2013 pic

happy holidays, a merry christmas and very happy new year to everyone out there
our very best wishes today and always

Well, we made it, once again! When all the commotion has died down, everyone is fed and content and the anxiety-fraught lead-up has disappeared like mist over the snow, we can now sit back and reflect over the events of our year.  For Across the Bored it was a bang-up, mash-up, rock ‘n’ roll ride to a new reality – the lens on life has been redirected to a different perspective, and with that in mind the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge decrees that this week we veer from the usual (no challenge) and we all – Relax!

Whether you put your feet up, don’t get dressed for the day, do all those things that you wouldn’t the rest of the year, indulge or don’t, do a marathon video catch-up or just plain nothing looking out the window at our wonderful world – We hope that everyone has a well-deserved break this Holiday Season and want to thank each and every follower, reader and casual visitor for making this endeavour one of the more rewarding that 2012 has put on our plate.

As a reminder of how incredibly lucky we all are and how thankful we should be to alive in this most inspiring of times, please have a look at Giacomo Sardelli’s video Further Up Yonder.

For a bigger view see the 2048 x 1152 version (mp4)

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, there are guidelines for the challenge (which will begin again in January 2013) on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy – Part 1

Perfect every time

Thank G*d for small blessings.  We have been cranky, overworked, put upon and somewhat under the weather as far as inspiration goes this last week but luckily, this week’s Photo Challenge: Happy arrives just in time for our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend celebration. It is, like most things and ultimately, all about a state of mind – be it brief or prolonged, which we can measure against our own often high standards or those of the people that surround us. This Sunday, everyone is very happy with a groaning board of tasty treats and a plump, organic bird prepared with a few additions according to Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Turkey recipe (which, by the way, is never fail mouth-wateringly moist and even better in a convection oven). So family sated, desserted and all gone home by a decent hour, I am happy it is over. A VPR radio broadcast last year offered solutions for dealing with holiday stress, especially for those who suffer from self-inflicted performance anxiety and are their own worst critics: Relax, for in the end, our best efforts are often better than that and only we really know the difference…..