Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The main achievement of my day. I have only been working from home for two days now, and it is already killing me. It just sucks your time away. I am already pining for the energetic, carefree days of getting up and catching the bus or the tram into my office and beginning my working day by devouring a coffee and a ham, cheese and tomato bagel at my desk while reading the day's emailed instalment of The Way We Live Now, courtesy of DailyLit. Now that I have to work from my overcrowded desk in my overcrowded room that desperately needs a vacuum, much of my time yesterday and today has been spent trying to clear some space to work in, and to find room on my desk for all the stuff that used to sit on my work desk.

The thing that makes working from home particularly dismal is that I swore this time was not going to be like the last time I did it, when I lived in Wetburgh Street and it was a kind of Dickensian parody. Layers of clothes; fingerless gloves so your typing fingers don't seize up in the cold. Worst of all, Freelance Food: Vegemite On Toast, Honey On Toast, Peanut Butter On Toast, Baked Beans On Toast and Tuna On Toast. I said to myself, "This time will be pleasant! Afternoon walks in the park! (To lose weight in order to be attractive to men.) Lingering over coffees and novels in Brunswick Street! Making yummy meals! Snuggling up on the couch for a DVD!"

However, my days have somehow got away from me without these lovely diversions. Annoyingly, I have to do actual freelance work, go for job interviews, pay household bills and do Is Not Magazine drudge-work. And my lunch today was spaghetti with Dolmio sauce heated up in the microwave with lots of chopped-up basil. Breakfasts have been vegemite on toast and honey on toast; I had to throw away my peanut butter yesterday after discovering moths had somehow nested in it. (How did they get in?) And probably six or seven cups of tea a day. GOD I MISS THE TROLLEY.

Thus, I luxuriate in today's two main achievements: ordering a Mac off the internet (BOLD. NEW. ERA) and making liquid soap out of old cakes of soap.

Ta-dah! You see, while clearing my desk I found various soaps I've been given as gifts over the years. I actually threw away some that date from my childhood, but I had the idea of salvaging the others by turning them into liquid soap. You know how when you leave the soap in a soapdish with water in it, it goes all slimy? Well I figured that if I grated up some soap and then mixed it with water, it would emulsify into a liquid consistency.

I grated up most of an ordinary-sized cake of yellow soap, plus a small amber-coloured gift soap, and put them into an empty pump pack that was kicking around in the bathroom. The gratings filled it about two-thirds full. Then I filled it up to about four-fifths with hot water. I thought it might take a day or two to melt together, but it got to the right consistency after about an hour.

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