I am only now realising what this blog is about…

It may seem strange but in the course of the past months and in my attempt to blog every day it is finally becoming clear what my blog means for me. The Value-Add is a testament to the ‘other’ things I experience, my hobbies, interests and thoughts outside of work hours. A clear theme has not come through in my posts except they are all raw, honest insights and snapshots of my world.

I did start the blog with the intention of writing about PR, communications and social media but have found that, as it is what I spend the majority of my working days immersed in while awake, it is not what gets put into my posts. Obviously my profession influences the way I view things and my writing does perhaps reflect being in communications but it is not the main topic of my blogging.

Now, this doesn’t mean I love any of these things any less but it seems it is all the ‘other’ that is let loose onto the pages of the Value-Add.

And so the title of this blog has come to represent the experiences, thoughts and serendipitous ramblings that I feel add value to my world. This does seem somewhat narcissistic but I hope it also adds value to your experience and impression of me, dear reader and friend.

Has the theme of your blog changed over time too?

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Overcoming fear of tram

As some of you know I have a fear of trams that I am overcoming and today I think I passed a milestone – managed to get two trams and arrive early at the destination! Becoming more and more confident, especially waiting in the middle of the road at the tram stops with traffic whizzing past on either side.

No offense Melbourne, but, while the trams are frequent and many, not sure where the genius is in putting such big vehicles on the same track as people, cars and bikes!

But I am making peace with the beasts of metlink.

Brunswick Music Festival

I had every intention of blogging last night but I was so exhausted I fell asleep on the couch at 8.30 pm. But I have a very good excuse – earlier that day I went to my first yum cha in Melbourne and then went to explore the Brunswick Music Festival.

I loooove yum cha and used to go regularly in Sydney with friends, family and sometimes I’d take my Grandfather (‘Goong Goong’ in Chinese). Having not yet found somewhere or someone to go with here in Melbourne I jumped at the chance to head to the Shark Fin Inn with the handsome couple Marcus and Steve. We had an absolute ball!

Highly recommend the venue at the Spring St end of Little Bourke Street. The service was amazing for yum cha – the trolley ladies were smiley and came around frequently. We chowed down on prawn dumplings, pork buns, gai lan, chicken puffs, egg rolls and more.

Rolling out of there we headed to Sydney Road for the Brunswick Music Festival to meet my friend Khara. A very eclectic mix of acts and crowd but with a buzzing vibe and more delicious looking (no, we didn’t eat again!) food stalls. Not sure I would go again but a fun vibe, just a little overwhelmingly busy with so many different tunes playing, aromas wafting and people scuttling along for my tastes.

Headed home and well and truly crashed and burned.

Puedo aprender a hablar español (I am learning to speak Spanish)

About two years ago I started to learn to speak Spanish at a charming school called The Spanish Cat en la Calle Liverpool en Sydney (translation: Liverpool St, Sydney). I made it through Beginner with excitement and dedication to study and then Level 1 with a little less rigor but still thoroughly enjoying learning a language other than English.

I can only speak English but have dabbled in Japanese when I was around twelve years old and French as a teenager then at uni for one semester. No, I am not proficient at either of these now. But I would like to be bilingual and have chosen Spanish for its diversity across the globe and it is such a happy sounding, relatively easy language to learn at this late stage in life.

And so, last week, I began learning at The Spanish Cat en la Calle Little Bourke en Melbourne. Starting again from Beginner will no doubt be a solid way to rebuild the basics I have forgotten. I am also learning with a friend, Khara, who has also done a little (un poco en Espanol) during school and uni.

We have vowed to practice diligently and really learn basic speaking well. Being able to speak with someone else is the best way to learn.

Tonight we felt we made good progress conjugating verbs and irregular verbs such as hacer (to make) and ir (to go). Khara and I will try to use the Spanish words we know in everyday so if I throw a few words into conversation here or there it is for the good of my learning.

I highly recommend The Spanish Cat for its methods of writing, repeating and using in context. The classes are not too big at around eight to ten students and you get a workbook as well. Best of all, the hour and a half does fly by because the classes are also fun. And although I am learning, I am still all about the fun! Si or no?

21 Days to a better habit

In a bid to get into the good habit of exercising in the mornings I asked the tweeps for advice about the length of time it takes to form a habit. The general response was 21 days. And so I began my quest to make use of being awake at 6 am and instead of lying in bed thinking I should get up and get moving,  I actually did. And I have made it through with 20+ kms on the bike at my apartment’s gym and a few days of yoga to stretch and vary things up a bit.

I will only know if there is truth in the 21 day rule if I am continuing to stride into the gym bleary eyed in the days and weeks to come but I have a good feeling. That and too many people know about my determination to get into the habit and, in the guise of not letting them down, I shall continue to be diligent with my workouts. But my fitness fellows really know that if I stopped now, I would only be letting myself down (sounds like something The Commando or Michelle Bridges would say).

An hour of exercise daily isn’t much and when it’s in the early(ish) hours of the morning when not much else is happening, why not get it done. And I feel great throughout the day. And it frees up the evenings. So yes, this is one habit I would like to keep.

Perhaps my next goal should be 21 days to daily blogging….

Day 21 - a newly formed habit