Mahon Pool 9 by Therese
Photo by Therese of Swimming Pool Stories

 
I used to swim almost every morning all year around in a tidal pool back when we lived in a beach suburb, before we bought the house and moved out west. I swam about the same time every morning, but the experience was always unique – there were so many factors that varied in addition to the routine elements, that it could never be similar to any other day.

A tidal pool is an ocean-side rock pool, where the water is naturally circulated by sea water. The sides are usually made of concrete, and the pools typically have an open “fence” of poles with safety chains on the ocean-sides, to give swimmers something to grab hold of should they accidentally be dragged out at high tide. There are many tidal pools in Sydney.

At high tide, the pool water flows in and out over the edges. High tide water is fresh & clean & full of interesting ocean odours, and there is a fantastic interplay between the restless surface of the water; the sound of the waves and seabirds, the sight of the ocean and all its lively waves filling the huge space between the pool and the horizon; the salty wind; and the sky.

Sometimes the water surface was so calm it acted as a mirror for the sky; at other times it was wrinkled and stirred, warning about troubling weather ahead. The water always told a story about what had happened and what was to come next; and it was never the same story.

My morning routine was to wake up painfully early, drive to the pool and park my car, go for my morning jog on the coastal walkway, come back & pick up the towel from the car, swim in the pool, drive home, have a hot shower, eat breakfast, dress up & drive to work. That start carried me through the long, dreadful days in the office. Well it didn’t actually, but it helped. I was dead tired most of the time though (mainly due to people stress, confusion and boredom at work).

 
Ocean pool communities

There were of course fish in the pool, and crabs along the edges. The tidal pool was an ecological community and I didn’t want to be part of that, so I never touched the bottom with my feet. There was at some stage rumoured to be a Blue Ringed Octopus sitting on a shelf-like cracked concrete wall (there was indeed a kitten-sized octopus sitting there, I saw it); a spot to carefully avoid. A pair of long-necked hunting seabirds would sit on the tall street lamp between their hunts, dripping wet, and a small penguin-like seabird dived in the pool after fish when there wasn’t too much human traffic in the water. A rumour had it that it had bitten a man in the knee under the water once, presumably by mistake.

 
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Luckily, there were no whales in the pool, dead or alive.
Image from Sydney Morning herald

 
The pool had a human community of regular morning swimmers, some of whom came all year around like me. These people – young and old, mostly old – recognised me and smiled and said good morning. Many of them seemed like very happy people, and many had been swimming there for decades. Most of these people swam “labs”; so they swam back and forth from end to end, often a specified number of times and typically in only one swim-style (e.g. crawl or breast strokes), most with their heads above the water, moving steadily forward in straight lines till they reached the end, then turned and repeated, over and over.
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This is a quick summary of the changes I’ve made to my blog’s navigation structure after moving it here to its new location. So it is my new rules for running this blog.

Redirection: I have set the old blog to redirect to this one post-to-post, so the move shouldn’t impact any links to my posts or blogs. However, so far it doesn’t work.

Post lengths: I’ve broken some of the long personal posts into series and expanded some of those separated posts. I’ll delete those from the old blog.

Anonymity: I’ve shortened my author name to only its first letter, “A” (copy-catting other bloggers’ name strategy) to increase my anonymity a bit.

 

johnny_automatic_cat_s_meow
Here is a cat to go with the Internet. Meant to illustrate the word “copy-catting.”

 
Lingo: I’ve decided to use “stories” as the blog’s universal key word that means any coherent content – posts, pages, series, whatever. Mostly because I like the word.

Theme: I have changed the theme from Superhero to Contango, but kept the colours (I had the customisation upgrade on the old blog and had changed the colours, and I have taken my colours with me) so it still looks familiar, just better – Hopefully.

Illustrations: Every post has at least one illustration (required for the “related posts” plug-in with thumbnail displays under the posts). The image source/s (and attributions if required) are always* stated, usually in the bottom of each post, even if the images are in the public domain.

Search: The blog is currently off the grid search-engine wise. I’ll turn it on when I find out how to block indexing of specific personal posts. I feel more free to write new posts when I know there is a good chance the almost all traffic is relevant. It has been a hard year and I want to write about difficult things, and I want it to be read only/primarily by people who are in context ~ existing readers and people who arrive via sharing on social media (my shares or others’), direct links and feeds. I want a visitor context relevance-filter.

Pages Architecture: I have made two types of link pages which serve as navigation nodes:

An overview over all link pages can be found in the sidebar of the Link Pages page.

Here is the idea in handwriting:
 
pages

 
The pages are always a work in progress and open to suggestions.

(In addition, there is of course normal pages like Contact, and Copyright & Permissions).

 

* Except in some old posts from before I made the rule

 

Abstract_Landscape

 

Illustrations from openclipart.com and own notes.

 

Mados is a species of fish, a virtual name inherited from when I created the blog years ago planning to use it to share underwater photos from snorkelling. I still love water, but my blog is not at all about fish*.

 


The stripey fellas are mados, stalking Bluey (the blue groper) around like a sticky underwater cloud

 
 
After its failed underwater photography mission, my blog went through different phases: workplace sociology, virtual freelance work skills development, entrepreneurship. Most were brief fads because I wasn’t genuinely interested in them, but invented them as utility justifications for writing a blog, when I really felt I ought to adult up and spend my time more usefully, like: find a job or freelance work.

More than anything, I’ve tried to use it as a tool to obtain skills or knowledge which I could be useful to try to solve my chronic employment/income problems. For a long time its purpose was to motivate myself to learn and practice skills that would empower me to work freelance online, such as:

 

Wikimedia Commons webfunk
I display it as an image to avoid attracting crawlers to the S-words.

 
(I’ve long ago deleted the few posts I managed to write about the above shown types of topics, because I felt they sounded stilted and fake. Same with some of my early general business posts)

It was not a bad strategy. I did learn things about freelance work, improved my English writing skills (I think) and cured myself of Telephobia, but didn’t manage to build the fundament for succeeding as self-employed: motivation for writing product marketing content, superficial bulk articles, and other sellable freelancer services. Utility just isn’t a powerful enough engine for me.

Initially when I wrote about self-employment, I carefully filtered out my mental challenges. I either didn’t write anything personal at all, or I kept it superficial, jovial, mentioning only aspects that I thought were “business relevant”. My mental situation peaked out indirectly through my general employment situation and the challenges I was trying to work on (the reason I needed the utility focus), but otherwise my mental reality was largely muted in my writing; too weird to name, to nameless to describe.
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movin-out

 
First: welcome to my new blog domain! This is essentially the blog “Mados” in a new neighbourhood.

I’m have moved from WordPress.com to this my own domain because:

  • I wanted freer hands to play with the layout and features
  • and get rid of the annoying ads
  • be allowed to use cool plug-ins that are disallowed on WordPress.com
  • be more in control of traffic from search engines, selectively blocking search engines from some posts but not others (if possible*)

It also runs much smoother and faster now, at least for me, but I didn’t know it would…

Those were the rational reasons. The heavier weighing reasons are emotional and harder to explain, but they work. I wanted to feel that my blog is my place, my own estate on the Internet.

Most importantly, I wanted a name that means something: which conveys the essence of what my blog is about.

 
What’s in a name: History of bad Parties

I have renamed my blog after the post History of Bad Parties, because I feel that post is a bit like an intersection that touches some of the core aspects of my life and the blog, such as:

There is more to this blog of course, but if there is a core essence inside it, then that is it.

I also like the name because I find it slightly comical (it is almost taboo for a human to have a history of failing at parties, so it sounds like a joke).

I like the word “History”: it sounds stable, relatable and familiar. It reminds of “story”, which is one of my favourite words – the way it sounds, its meaning (related to both history and imagination), and my personal memories with it.

I also like the name’s negative tone: it sounds honest and unpretentious.

During the process of going through the old posts to update the internal links to the new domain, I was struck by the relentless positivity – the constantly wanting to fix the present by trying to control the future with plans – the planning of plans, the compulsive fix it-mode that characterises much of my blog writing. I’m like a personal strategies Energizer Bunny: always coming up with new systems, new justifications, new ways to try to systematise my life into a better future.

 

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