Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mysterious Rainbows and a Crabapple

The other day Dave and I were doing something in the kitchen when I noticed these funky rainbows on our walls. They were created by some glass prisms we have hanging in the living room window. The interesting shadows were cast when the light passed through Dave's tree fern.

Pretty cool, huh?

Yesterday felt a bit frustrating. I've never thought of myself as a person prone to boredom -- I can usually find something to keep myself entertained. But I am officially getting really sick of hanging around the house. Even though I'm reading a good book ("The Overstory" by Richard Powers) I was feeling very confined.

Taking a walk didn't seem appealing because I've walked all the neighborhoods around here so many times, and yet I need exercise. So I made myself take a half-hour stroll.

I checked the once-viney tree, where the suffocating hops vine -- dare I say it -- appears to be officially dead. I haven't seen any sprouts for a couple of weeks. I also picked one of the little red fruits to finally determine what kind of tree it is. I've been calling it an ornamental cherry, but after cutting open that fruit, I decided it is, in fact, a crabapple. What do you think?

I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things -- continuing to wear my mask, since as of yesterday, they're mandatory in shops. (Although some shops say they won't enforce the rule.) Then I came home and mowed the lawn. Ho hum.

This evening we're supposed to have a friend from school over for drinks -- our first houseguest since all this virus stuff began back in March. Maybe that will make me feel less confined.

Adding to my frustration, I ordered a new t-shirt on June 21 from the USA. That shirt has been, shall we say, on a slow boat. I've been following the tracking, and its journey has been halting and circuitous. It was mailed from Santa Ana, Calif., on July 3, and it floated around Los Angeles for eight days before being flown to London -- and then, peculiarly, it seems to have gone back to New York. It is now theoretically in London again, having departed JFK on July 17. Apparently the postman tried to deliver it at 7 a.m. (!) on Thursday morning, but Dave was asleep and I must have been walking the dog. I saw all this on the tracking history but I didn't get any kind of delivery notice from the postman. Still, I put in a redelivery order for Monday. Let's see what happens.

I would blame Trump's subversion of the U.S. postal service, but clearly the Royal Mail bears some responsibility too.


  1. Sorry about the boredom of being locked down - "every picture has some shadows". But the description of your day, and especially the rainbow picture, sure made my day and was a "source of light." Thank you.

  2. All of the hype in the news is just tooooooo much. I generally don't watch the news or read the papers but sometimes it's inescapable. Now it appears that fat people are more at risk and fast food adverts are banned early evening. I fear we are fast becoming a police state with so many restrictions being placed on us.
    Trouble is I can remember when a camera was just a box brownie and not everyone had one, lol
    Policemen only had a stick to defend themselves with and were your friend easily accessible to talk to and pass the time of day.
    We made our own decisions about our daily lives using common sense, this seems to have gone out of the window and people are behaving like a lot of sheep.
    Oh well, it is early and maybe I still have my grumpy head

  3. You, me and a friend all seem rather depressed by the situation at the moment. I've never been prone to boredom either, yet aside from reading detective novels on my Kindle, little seems to interest me at the moment. It is even an effort to write blog posts and comment, something I normally really enjoy doing. Like we should have been doing, those in your country should have been wearing masks back in March, and this might be all over now in our respective countries.

  4. Covidiot-45 is in cahoots with the Royal Mail.

  5. "Ho hum"? Was that the sound of your lawn mower or of you feeling bored? We do sell T-shirts in England you know... no need to order them from California.

  6. You might just enjoy the company of someone new to the household when they come to visit. A change from mowing the lawn!
    And the new t-shirt, how well travelled will it be when it finally arrives? What a story.

  7. I chuckled a bit at the route your T-shirt has taken:
    it's like a metaphor for stay-at-home, going nowhere, slowly, in circles...

    It also reminds me of a couple eBay near-disasters, like a package I'd mailed to Australia getting stuck in some sort of post office maelstrom--it went around in circles for two weeks, while I filed forms to kick it out.
    Luckily the buyer was understanding because it took 6 weeks for her purchase to reach her. (It was a unique vintage item, worth waiting for.)

    Looking forward to seeing a picture of the shirt when it finally arrives!

  8. Not just the Royal Mail. Like you, I've watched the delivery history of some items. One of mine spent a week getting from OR to NJ--where it sat for another week and then it took one more week to make it to MD. Of course, it isn't just the regular mail service involved--most of the packages start out with one of the big delivery outfits (e.g. UPS, Fedex) and then get transferred to what is euphemistically called SmartPost. You can tell just how many packages are actually being delivered by the post office--yesterday, our mailman was driving a UHaul box truck.

  9. Love those prism rainbows!
    I've been noticing a bit of wackiness with package deliveries here as well. I hope your new tee-shirt gets there soon.

  10. I have a small ornament sized piece of beveled etched glass from a friend and the bevel will throw rainbow light on the floor when the sun hits it just right. I have about 10 small crystals from chandeliers, all a little different that I plan on hanging on either side so that ought to increase the effect. I'm not bored but I have found that I am totally unmotivated to accomplish any kind of artwork. not sure what that's about.

  11. The fern rainbows are wonderful!
    I am sorry that life is tedious right now. I hope you enjoy your company.

  12. Your colorful "rainbows" are beautiful. Overseas packages seem to have a rough time to finally get to their destination. I'm not sure why, but in some places they may not get delivered at all. Sometimes letting the local post office know that you are tracking the package tends to hurry up the delivery. It's not just overseas stuff either. One year, I sent three large boxes to my son in Florida at Christmas time. Three weeks later I finally called the post office to tell them that I'm concerned about the situation. Within a few days, all three packages were delivered. Maybe a hobby at home would help with the boredom? Puzzles, crafts? Hugs, Edna B.

  13. Love those rainbow shadows.
    The postal system can be infuriating..more often when people have chosen the cheap deal on a courier service! Sending things abroad is worrying, when mail to the USA for example can take at least six weeks! The cost has just gone up 50% as well, with USPS doubling their "last mile" delivery charge to Royal Mail.

  14. The day before lockdown, meandering through our city back home, I noticed a young (Chinese!) couple staring at the sky in wonderment. Well, not staring. More like holding their smartphone to record the experience. Because, unless you record something, it doesn't exist. So I followed their trajectory. Wow. A rainbow. A magnificent one at that. As is my wont I started talking to them. Oh dear, to think that once upon a time my father warned me of the "yellow danger".

    If I have said it once I have said it a dozen times: The whole Corona (no, not the beer) business and how it's been handled is a complete mind fuck. Four months or so in we are expected to wear face masks. Great. Won't make any difference to those who habitually can't manage a smile. It's a complete bastard for me. Even more than my eyes my smile is my USP (unique selling point). How am I going to communicate from now on apart from suffocating under those masks? I never knew I had latent claustrophobia until yesterday (Friday).

    Yes, so commiserations, Steve, though boredom luckily has never featured in my life. Even if they'd send to prison, into solitary confinement not even with a rat or a spider for company, I shall make my own company. Such is the power of mind and thought.

    Chin chin,

  15. Your rainbows are very cool! And, yes that looks like a crabapple. I understand your restlessness completely. It is extremely frustrating to have to stay in one place all the time. The story about your package is amazing. What a crazy route that package has taken. I ordered something from a woman's clothing company on July 10th and have not heard one word from them since. They are based in LA so it's not that far away. I've called, get put on hold for five minutes and then asked to leave a message. I've emailed. I get automated responses saying they will get back to me but they never do. It seems strange. This isn't a small company. They have retail stores all over the country. I've ordered from them before and even though they don't communicate like most places with updates on the order, I've always gotten what I ordered. At least they haven't charged my account.

  16. I think the mail service in both countries is faltering. I purchased a drawing from gz and it took 41 days to get from Scotland to Arizona and it was sent by AIR MAIL!

  17. Love the rainbows! I’ve been waiting on a yarn order (from the UK) since July 4th. It arrived in the US on the 15th, but who knows where it is now. That’s ok, I’m not feeling very crafty these days.

  18. I know what you mean about the boredom thing. I have tons of things to do around the house, but I don't feel motivated to do any of them! Hopefully your friend coming over for drinks will be a nice change.

  19. Oh yes were are bored. Our boredom knows no bounds. Especially on the weekends. We don't go in the stores on weekends because they are more crowded than mid-week. Fortunately there is now a mask mandate, although some people have decided that a mask anywhere on their head puts them in compliance.

  20. How weird-why would it be sent back to America? Love the rainbows. We get lovely light patterns in the hall and the bedroom, from the textured glass in the door and the blinds. On a health and safety note, make sure the prisms are not magnifying light onto anything flammable!

  21. Love the gay zebra on your wall, gift from the sun! How cool! Posting anything is a crap shoot. I just say a little prayer to the god of mail when i send anything. Everything is broken , time to get off of this planet, thank little brown baby jesus for SPACE FORCE!!! Pretty sure that is our only hope...

  22. I like those rainbows. We have beveled glass in our front door which does the same thing but without the fern pattern.

    Looks like a crabapple to me. Just think: you saved that tree's life. That's a darn fine achievement.

    I mailed the final two paperbacks to my mother-in-law last week. I had mentioned here that when I sent her two books, separately, the postage on one book cost more than the book . . . well, two books went for the same cost as one. I'm still scratching my head over that one. Next time I'm getting something small and light!

    But then I'll have to make sure it's not saggy, also - in reading the Canada Post website I discovered that no item can be mailed in an envelope or package that sags in the middle more than 2 cm when the package is supported a minimum of 10 mm from each edge!!! Bureaucracy!!! lol

  23. David: Well, I'm glad I could provide some light, even in the midst of boredom!

    Briony: But it's also true that not everything in the past worked all that well. Pandemic control was terrible, for example. Look at the Spanish flu! Life becomes more complicated as we learn more, but there's also more friction with so many more people and better communication.

    Andrew: Well, it IS a depressing time. I think many of us need the stimulation of getting out and about, to a museum or a restaurant or on a short trip. It's hard when we can't leave the house!

    Mitchell: Nothing would surprise me.

    YP: That's my boredom sound. I can't spell my lawn mower sound. This is a very specific t-shirt that, to my knowledge, is available nowhere else.

    Alphie: As it turns out, we postponed our friend's visit because it was raining. We're going to see him today instead.

    Fresca: In this frenzy of "efficiency" and doing more with less for economic reasons, our governments have managed to cripple their postal systems.

    Mary: I don't know about SmartPost. So FedEx hands their stuff over to the postal service? I thought they were competitors?

    Robin: Fingers crossed! I will report on its arrival.

    Ellen: I love little touches like that, especially when they throw interesting light patterns!

    Ms Moon: Well, our company got postponed, but stay tuned!

    Edna: Dave's parents sent him a birthday gift in May and it's STILL not here. Unfortunately they didn't get tracking so there's no way to know what happened to it.

    GZ: It's ridiculous that overseas mail should take so long. When I lived in Morocco in the early '90s it normally took about two weeks for my letters to get home.

    Ursula: I've always thought the same thing -- that I could be in an empty room or a prison cell and keep myself mentally busy. Now I'm not so sure! LOL! I honestly don't mind the mask rule but I do think the government has been wishy-washy and unclear about rules and expectations, and that's left a lot of people uncertain.

    Sharon: The coronavirus has really screwed a lot of things up. But with businesses gradually reopening you'd think they'd at least get back to you.

    Catalyst: Yeah, it's a shame how mail service has deteriorated. I honestly don't use the mail for much these days, but when I do use it I'd like it to work!

    Bug: OK, well, it sounds like my experience is not that unique. I guess everything is just taking longer these days!

    Michael: Yeah, motivation is a struggle!

    Allison: Oh, Lord. I can hear it now. "Well, I AM wearing my mask!" (On their forehead.)

    Sarah: I have no idea why that might have happened. As for flammability, no danger there -- I these crystals don't catch the sun in the heat of the day and I don't think there's anything flammable nearby. :)

    Linda Sue: Sometimes it does feel that way. I hope humans don't infect any more planets, though. Let's leave the rest of the universe alone!

    Jenny-O: OMG, the "saggy package" rule is so ridiculous! It's like a parody of all the EU rules about misshapen bananas that everyone here rails against. Bureaucracy indeed.