I am still "blogging in the past" while I'm here in Santa Cruz. Every day, I feel obliged to include a reference to the day, knowing that so many people are reading this tomorrow!
There is one advantage today though. Today (October 15th) is Blog Action Day. I had read about this in the past, and promptly forgotten to register. A reminder email was on my facebook "home" list. Had I been at home, in Australia, I would have missed this opportunity. I do feel guilty about the huge increase in my carbon footprint because of my travel, but so happy to be here to babysit for my daughter and her family. Life is full of these contradictions.
Staying here in Santa Cruz provides another kind of contradiction also. I used to live quite close to here and, while I never did get into the North American style of living, I certainly had a lot more gadgets than I have at home where cooking is on a wood stove and washing up is in a bowl.
This morning I dropped Fiona at preschool and then went to buy some soap to hand wash my socks. I knotted my socks and they take about eleven hours per pair to make, so I take care of them, and don't throw them away when they are worn. I darn any holes. They are more valuable than the tube socks from the supermarket.
I used to buy Fels-naptha soap for hand washing when I lived here before, so I went to the new huge Safeway supermarket to buy some....
The new "improved" supermarket is the biggest one that I have ever been into. I found the laundry aisle and looked over it three times before a really nice man come to ask if he could help. I must have looked really lost! I told hime that i just needed some bar soap for handwashing. He took me along the row and said that in fact, he remembered that kind os soap. They used to stock it, but they don't any more. There were two aisles of soap packets, rinse aids, and dryer equipment, but no ordinary soap! I left.
On the way to the car, I noticed a hardware store close by. It occurred to me that people might use "my" soap to clean hands and other things. There was a whole aisle of "cleaning products" there and what do you know! I found the soap. Someone asked me whether I had found everyting that I needed. "Yes" I said, and I proceeded to explain that I'd only come into that store because Safeway didn't have what I needed. He said that he'd heard that a number of times before... the new shop has metres and meters of space, so many aisles and feels so alien.... it smells like chemical perfumes (I was in the laundry aisle, remember) and there were five aisles of wine and beer. It seems luxurious to have so much choice, but i wonder what it does to one's feelings and expectations.
Home again, and I have washed my socks. They are hanging beside Fiona's swimming suit and towel (from her lesson yesterday) and this is the view from the kitchen window. The rest of the washing will be out there soon. It's going to be a lovely day.
There is a link to Blog Action Day embedded in this post already, but for anyone who hasn't checked it out....
I have been looking for one of these for a long time... at least two years. I was poking around in a second hand shop looking at all of the "mundane" sort of things. It's interesting to think about who might have used these things. Anyway, I found this soap saver. I am on a couple of lists at second hand shops and they will phone me when they find one, but that's in South Australia. I took my find to the woman in the shop and she asked me what it was and what you use it for. She charged me $10 plus tax (a bargain) and I left with my find. It's a bit sad that a soap saver is so obscure that it is no longer even recognisable.
This is a souvenir of Santa Cruz!