Tag Archives: Hindi

Goal #74: Celebrating Raksha Bandhan 2014


Namaste, everybody!

I realise I haven’t posted much up till now on my enjoyment of several aspects of Indian culture… but the Hindu celebration of Raksha Bandhan gives me the perfect opportunity to do so.

Hang on a sec! Did you just say Hindu, Zest? We thought you were supposed to be a Christian!

Yes of course I am. But that doesn’t make me afraid to learn about other cultures in the world. So if I hear of a tradition that strikes a chord in me without contradicting my beliefs, well – why not branch out a bit and have a little fun? 🙂

So how DO you celebrate Raksha Bandhan? Keep reading…

Shifting the goalposts (again)



I’ve done it again. I’ve decided to update and tweak some of the goals on my 101 things in 1001 days list.

Now before you sigh, just hang on a minute…! 🙂

What’s the point of making goals when you’re in a certain season of life, and then being too rigid to adapt them when your circumstances change?

When I started the list late last year, I was a new housewife with all the time in the world and no real plans to head back to full-time employment. So many of the goals I chose were things I could easily achieve in those circumstances.

But life changed, as it always does, so I updated my list in the hopes of making it more realistic. And now life has changed again, and I feel it’s time for a fresh take on things once again.

At this stage of our lives it looks like I’ll have to keep working outside the home for the foreseeable future. So if this 101 things list is going to be of any use at all, it has to fit in with my ‘new normal’. I really don’t see the point in having a list of goals that just depress me because I doubt I’ll ever get to them this side of retirement…

So without further justification, here are the specific goals I’ve reworked (along with reasons for the changes, as though I owe you any!) 😉 I’ll post my complete new list separately.

Goals that are changing

Goal #4: Exercise at least 30 min/day, 3 days/week, 3 weeks/month – This is the first goal to change. Why are we not surprised? I had a wonderful time exercising daily when I was at home, but my new schedule allows for much less routine. Although I’m still aiming to get in a decent amount of exercise, I’ve removed it from this particular list. The replacement goal is: Knit something colourful :mrgreen:

Goal #7: Volunteer at an animal shelter – I’ve tweaked this one to Volunteer at or donate to an animal shelter, since I may not have much time to volunteer, but if I can help by donating then I will look for ways to do that instead.

Goal #10: Go on 10 motorcycle rides – I’ve reduced this down to 3 rides, because Ninja’s bike is getting a little long in the tooth, so we’re trying to preserve it and stretch out the time between services and such. A pity, but that’s life eh? At least one of these three is already done 🙂

Goal #14: Read one passage per week from my German Bible – It’s difficult enough keeping up with my daily readings in my English Bible (for Goal #3), so sadly this one will have to go. I’ve replaced it with: Work through the Love Dare again. For those of you who don’t know, the Love Dare is a book for strengthening marriages, linked to the lovely movie Fireproof.

Goal #15: Make an origami animal – Of all the brainless goals, I wonder how this one made the list! Instead, here’s something I really want to to: Get a pretty girly camera bag. I can’t very well pitch up at special events in heels and a backpack!

Goal #17: Paint 10 artworks on canvas – Ten is a hefty number for someone with my new time constraints. I’ve changed this to Paint 5 artworks on canvas. In fact, I recently finished one (a gift for my parents), which I hope to post about soon.

Goal #25: Work through my entire ‘Teach yourself Hindi’ textbook – It’s a realy shame that my language goals are some of the first to fall away (I recall my brother, also an avid language learner, warning me about this when I first added language goals to my list…). Instead of this goal, I’ve added: Design room themes/colour schemes for my future home.

Goal #38: Visit 10 different museums and/or monuments – Can we make this 5? Please? At the current pace of our lives, Ninja and I are unlikely to fit in even that many visits before September 2015 (when this list ends).

Goal #41: Take photos of the same item in 101 different locations – Oh, this one never got off the ground! I started it and then it just faded out of the way… But because photography is still an overall goal of mine, I’ve replaced it with a similar but much-more-likely-to-be-achieved goal: Take 101 different photos of my new pet rats!

Goal #47: Get my passport – To go where, exactly? I don’t anticpate that we’ll have the means to travel outside our country at any point in the remaining 751 days of this challenge, so this goal is just wasting space on my list 😦 Instead, the new Goal #47 is: Do a punk photoshoot, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, preferably with my bro 🙂

Goal #53: Photograph a landscape from the same location, capturing all four seasons – I was reluctant to change this one because it’s still something I’d really like to do, but I don’t have much regular access to inspiring and seasonally changing landscapes at this point in time, so I know my pics would just disappoint me coz they’d fall short of the images in my mind. Maybe one day if we have our own garden, Lord willing… For now though, this has become: Get some rat-themed merchandise. You know. As in, ‘been there, done that, got the rat, got the T-shirt’? 😀

Goal #55: Go skinny dipping – Considering the fact that I can’t even recall the last time I had access to a pool or swam at all, I don’t even know why this is still on my list! Of course I can always still do this, but you’d be the last to know… 😉 So, the fun and sensible replacement for this one is: Get 10 more hat badges. Remember my cool hat from this post? It still has plenty free space on it.

Goal #66: Send a message in a bottle – Again, the impracticality of this goal is just overwhelming all of a sudden. I’d have to (a) get to the sea and (b) get far enough out to sea to drop the bottle and avoid it just washing straight back to the sand at my feet. Plus, um… isn’t it kinda like deliberate water pollution? Far be it from me! Instead, I aim to Take part in a colour run. Perfect. I’ll go for air pollution instead.

Goal #72: Clear out all my junk – Now what on earth is a mundane goal like you doing on a fancy list like this?! In its place, how about I Do a 30×30 Challenge (30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days)? At least, it looks achievable on paper.

Goal #73: Find the perfect fitting pair of jeans – There isn’t just one; there are many. There’s the slinky new pair I buy each time I drop a dress size (OK, that’s only happened once in the last two years); there’s the comfy old pair that I can wear around the house; and there’s the stretchy accommodating pair for when PMS or overindulgence have added some nasty bulk. So to take the focus off me, I’ll replace that goal with this one: Get a zoom lens for my camera.

Goal #85: Make my own outfit – Who?! What?! When?! Where?! Why?! How?! Instead, I hope Ninja and I can Revisit our wedding venue. Awwww 🙂

Goal #86: Finish writing my book – Once upon a time, in a life far away, I dreamt of writing a marriage book to help Christian newlyweds. But the warp speed of life since then has seen almost all my friends married long before I finished half the chapters. I think it’s time to bury this goal for good. Yet I’ve always wanted to publish something I’ve written, so I think I’ll try to Publish my best poems instead.

Goal #96: Learn the basics of self-defence – Meh. Not going to happen any time soon, and it’s not particularly measurable or motivating either. Instead, I’d like to Enjoy another spa day with my best friend.

And finally, Goal #101: Start planning an overseas trip – This just seems too far away now to even be on this list. Ninja and I do hope to have the privilege of travelling overseas together one day, but the more practical goal of getting a home of our own ranks higher on the list. But since this goal list is also meant to inspire, I’ll just tweak this one to: Brainstorm an overseas trip.

Now I’m freshly motivated to reach for 101 goals that I stand a chance of achieving 🙂

My top 10 unusual possessions


For a while now I’ve wanted to write this fun post about 10 of my favourite and most interesting, unusual and special possessions. So here they are, in no particular order. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Item #1: 3D-printed coaster and fridge magnet

Item #1 is a plastic coaster and fridge magnet. These are unusual because one of my friends designed and printed these himself using his own 3D printer. Quite impressive!

Item #2: Limited edition painted plate

Item #2 is a special W. S. George fine china plate that I received as a gift many years ago from my aunt in Austria. It comes with a certificate of authenticity and depicts a painting of kittens by Henriette Ronner. It’s a beautiful collector’s item and has special meaning for me because of my relationship with my aunt.

Item #3: Swarovski crystal duck

Item #3 is a tiny Swarovski crystal duckie. It’s precious and unusual for me because this is the first and only Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever received! Ninja warned me from the start that he didn’t believe in Valentine’s Day, so he’d only be getting me something special for our very first one together 🙂

Item #4: A homemade shell necklace

Item #4, a homemade shell necklace, is unusual mainly because I didn’t need to put a single hole in those shells when I made this. They all already had tiny holes in them when I collected them on the beach! This item is also special because I used shells collected during our honeymoon.

Item #5: Cloud Strife earrings

Item #5 is my pair of Cloud Strife Cloudy Wolf/Fenrir errings. Need I say more 🙂

Item #6: Earrings from my man

Item #6 is more jewellery: a set of earrings and a necklace pendant. The thing that makes them unusual is that Ninja made these for me himself! He was watching me work with some of my beading kits when he decided to make me this set.

Item #7: Toy soldier

Item #7 isn’t technically mine: Ninja brought it with into the marriage and now I’ve adopted it too. This toy soldier has brought us loads of laughs as we’ve used it to suprise each other. It’s a fully articulating model, so we can make it cling to shelves, hold love notes, hide in cupboards and support items. In fact, we’ve used him in such a variety of poses and situations that I think he deserves a blog post of his own. Watch this space 😉

Item #8: Hat with badges

Perhaps there’s not too much that’s unusual about Item #8 – after all, it’s just a hat with badges. But in my circle of friends it’s very unusual, and one of these badges even started my romance with Ninja! The very first time I met Ninja I was wearing this hat. He shook my hand in greeting and proceeded to read my interesting badges. Once he saw this one…

… he promptly dashed off in search of a sticker. When he came back, he covered the ‘Don’t’ on the badge, so that it read ‘Assume I Cook’. Hah! That was one way to strike up a conversation 😛

Item #9: A small trophy

There’d be nothing unusual about Item #9 if it wasn’t for what it represented. I received this small trophy at an awards ceremony for my Hindi language class. I was the only non-Indian participant and I passed the exam with a distinction. OK, it was only at first-grader level… but it’s still an unusual achievement 🙂

Item #10: Wooden carving

I’ve saved the best for last. Item #10 is a beautiful and intricate wooden carving of old ships at sea. I absolutely love old-world things like this. I’m astounded by the detail and the time it must have taken the artist to carve this.

Look at the tiny details of the figures on the ship. It blows my mind. Here are some more close-ups:

Unusual items 15

Great detail on the rigging above, and on the ship’s cannons below:

Unusual items 16

I also like the rope surrounding the title of this creation. The Drommedaris and the Reijger were two actual ships that travelled to the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. On board was Jan van Riebeeck – the dude who helped begin the European colonisation of South Africa.

Unusual items 17

Unbelievably, I bought this for the price of your average hamburger at a ‘kitsch’ store that sold all manner of second-hand ‘junk’. I think it’s a treasure 🙂 I’d love to know the history of this carving. The signature says it was crafted by Chris in 1975. Who was the man who carved it? Did he sell it for a good profit or was it handed down as a keepsake in his family? How did it end up on sale for 30 bucks in a junk store?

I guess I’ll never know, but I’m very glad it found its way to me.

My 101 favourite songs… for now


The 77th goal on my 101 things in 1001 days list is to make a playlist of my 101 favourite songs. (Well, it’s my 101 favourite songs for now; I’m sure this will change over time.) I’ve finally completed it and thought it would make a fun post.

Disclaimer: Before I share my list with you, I feel I have to add some quick caveats…

  • Firstly, I am by no means claiming that all of these songs classify as great music. Heck, some of them can’t even be called good music! I know that some of these pieces are downright lame, and I guess they really give away my age too 😉 If a laughable song is on the list, it’s more because it evokes a specific memory for me than because I think it’s an unbeatable classic.
  • Secondly, this isn’t a playlist for the church choir. I love many great hymns and other Christian songs, but I’ve limited them on this list because I wanted a more even spread of music that I enjoy.
  • Thirdly, one or two of the songs do have some bad language and/or slightly dodgy lyrics, but they’re in the minority and they’re there coz they symbolise a specific period in my life – one that’s still valid though not particularly pious.
  • Fourthly (and I guess this one is kinda obvious), just because one song from a particular band or artist is on the list doesn’t mean I enjoy or endorse or have even listened to any of their other songs.

OK, enough covering my hiney. Here’s the list! With a few random thoughts in pink 🙂

  1. Scatman John Scatman’s World (Remix) (Oh wow, that’s a pretty embarrassing start… should’ve hidden it somewhere in the middle of the list…)
  2. SUM41 Heart Attack
  3. The Turtles Happy Together (60s music)
  4. Enrique Iglesias Escape
  5. Blink182 Feeling This
  6. Herman’s Hermits Silhouettes (More 60s music)
  7. Cosmic Gate Exploration of Space
  8. Westlife What I Want Is What I’ve Got
  9. Angels & Airwaves Epic Holiday
  10. Rufio Still
  11. Green Day Whatsername
  12. My Chemical Romance I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
  13. Goo Goo Dolls Iris
  14. Sonique It Feels So Good
  15. Eagle Eye Cherry Save Tonight
  16. Relient K Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been
  17. Mark Schultz I Am
  18. Walk Off The Earth I Knew You Were Trouble (If you’ve not yet seen the amazing a capella version, click here)
  19. Puddle of Mudd Blurry
  20. Avril Lavigne How Does It Feel
  21. Faith Hill Breathe
  22. Dashboard Confessional Hands Down
  23. SUM41 All To Blame
  24. Baha Men Who Let The Dogs Out (Remix)
  25. Paps ‘n’ Skar Loving You
  26. Shania Twain From This Moment On
  27. Yellowcard Believe
  28. Savage Garden Crash and Burn
  29. Lindsay Lohan The Ultimate You
  30. O-Town All Or Nothing
  31. Ann Lee Two Times
  32. Linkin Park What I’ve Done (I’m a big LP fan; tried to limit their songs on the list though)
  33. Pillar Fireproof
  34. REM Imitation of Life
  35. Linkin Park Crawling
  36. Blink 182 Man Overboard
  37. Shania Twain You’re Still The One
  38. Billie Myers Kiss The Rain
  39. Mikeschair Let The Waters Rise
  40. Tweak My Favourite Girl
  41. Toten Hosen Herz Brennt (German)
  42. Feeder Buck Rogers
  43. Stephan Foster Oh, Susannah
  44. Tal Bachman She’s So High
  45. Tommy James & The Shondells Crimson & Clover (Even more 60s music!)
  46. ‘NSync I Need Love
  47. All American Rejects Paper Heart
  48. Westlife Love Crime
  49. Yellowcard Only One
  50. Savage Garden Truly Madly Deeply
  51. Rufio Like A Prayer (A rockin’ cover of a famous song)
  52. The Offspring Walla Walla
  53. Switchfoot This Is Your Life
  54. Rufio Above Me
  55. Backstreet Boys Shape Of My Heart
  56. American Hi-Fi Flavor of the Weak
  57. AFI Crying
  58. Creed One Last Breath
  59. Shaft (Mucho Mambo) Sway
  60. Ronan Keating Life Is A Rollercoaster
  61. Bosson One In A Million (What’s Bosson doing on this list? I know, right?!)
  62. Finch Bury Me
  63. Good Charlotte Movin’ On
  64. Blink 182 All The Small Things
  65. Enrique Iglesias Hero
  66. Lee Ann Womack I Hope You Dance
  67. Angels & Airwaves The Adventure (We walked down the aisle to this after our vows)
  68. Shankar Mahadevan Pretty Woman (Hindi)
  69. Bowling For Soup 1985
  70. The Ataris San Dimas Highschool Football Rules
  71. Snapping Strings Easier To Quit (A local band some of my friends formed)
  72. Blue All Rise
  73. Tweak Last Goodbye
  74. O-Zone Dragostea Din Tei (Romanian)
  75. Linkin Park Lies Greed Misery
  76. NSync This I Promise You
  77. Eiffel 65 The Edge
  78. Nena 99 Luftballons (German)
  79. Blink182 Online Songs
  80. Michelle Branch All you Wanted
  81. NewFoundGlory Broken Sound
  82. Avril Lavigne Nobody’s Home
  83. Evanescence My Immortal
  84. James Horner  Braveheart Theme
  85. Dashboard Confessional Dying To Love
  86. James Horner The Portrait
  87. Mendelssohn Wedding March
  88. Celine Dion My Heart Will Go On
  89. Carter Burwell Bella’s Lullaby
  90. Christina Perri A Thousand Years
  91. Enya May It Be
  92. Sonu Nigam Kal Ho Na Ho (Hindi)
  93. Thrice The Artist In The Ambulance
  94. Edwina Hayes Feels Like Home
  95. Blink182 Stockholm Syndrome
  96. The Offspring The Kids Aren’t Alright
  97. Blink 182 Stay Together For The Kids
  98. Wizo Quadrat im Kreis (German)
  99. Linkin Park Numb
  100. Blink 182 Adam’s Song
  101. Sigur Rós Festival (Probably my favourite piece of music of all time)

So, I’m curious. How many of these do you know? love? hate? If you made a similar list, would any of these be on it? 🙂