New goodies

Apologies for the weird media mosaic above but I’ve only just realised wordpress lets you do strange things with your photos. Circles, anyone?


I had a bit of an exciting few weeks on Trade Me, New Zealand’s online trading site. Since I’ve started back doing a few hours of contract work every week I’ve secretly been pining after a couple of things, despite my honourable intent to first pay off my credit card (that crept up during my period of maternal unemployment).

Admittedly the spinning wheel wasn’t one of them, though after my mother-in-law said she was interested in having a spin (my Ashford wheel was originally hers), my mind started racing. I could get myself a new wheel! But after doing some research, I decided I wasn’t keen on getting another Ashford, nor did I really like the look of the Majacrafts (though apparently they are dreamy to spin with).

My brain seized upon the Louët. Cool, Dutch, and totally different to my traditional wheel. But not many of them in NZ (and the closest sellers are in Australia). Plus a price tag in the vicinity of $1,000. I’d pretty much resigned myself to a period of saving for the rest of the year (saving up for the wheel, plus a replacement laptop for the one that’s starting to get pretty creaky), when I spotted this one on Trade Me. Starting price…$70!

I wound up paying $230, after the auction had run its course, but compared to the cost of a new one, I reckon I’ve scored big time. After putting it all together (everything breaks down to make for quite a small parcel), the wheel spun smoothly, and with the exception of the footman that seemed to slip off too frequently, everything seemed good. Louët sell spare parts online, so I had braced myself to buy a new footman assembly and actual footman (the bit that connects the pedal to the wheel), but after a day or so found if I peddled with my foot slightly off the pedal everything stayed together!

So already I’m getting used to the new wheel’s quirks and personality. I’ve abandoned the idea of the new footman and am just sticking with my quirky wheel.

After that I got a sort of secondhand mania – why not look for a replacement laptop as well? (There’s a certain buzz – I think I’m still riding – when you get something you want for much less that you’d anticipated.) I spotted one that looked great – 4 years old, 500 GB drive, a 1 month warranty, battery life pretty good (300 cycles, which I know is what Apple says is the beginning of the end, but for a secondhand one apparently it’s acceptable), running El Capitan (key!), an i7 quad core with 15 inch screen.

It was going for a bit more than I could afford, so I saved it to my wish list and then forgot about it. Then it didn’t sell and the seller made a fixed-price offer of $899 NZ. I did a bit more research, looked at the seller’s feedback and other listings (he looked to be a bit of an Apple guy, with lots of people saying he was good at honouring any tweaks or fixes if they had problems), and decided to go for it.

I did a fresh install and set up the new accounts, ran hardware and battery diagnostics and the rest, and I’m happy to say that things are feeling pretty good in computerland here!

There’s enough that’s different to make exploring and using the computer a really great experience, but enough that’s familiar to make it all a really quick process to get set up and going again.

I did splash out and get myself some new software – Airmail 2 for my mail, and Ulysses for my writing. I’ve still got Scrivener going on here, but I think I want to change it up a little bit. Ulysses feels fresh and clean, and in keeping with the new workspace and computer. It feels less cluttered, which I’m finding does matter for me these days.

So that’s what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks! Spinning and writing (I’ve been editing an old short story that I wrote several years ago, thanks to the encouragement I got from my writing group), and I’m still meditating. Now up to a 38-day streak on Headspace!

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