I'll do the stupid thing first and then you shy people follow...

Changing Terms

Last week, Milton Keynes suddenly changed their parking rates. Not by a lot, all things considered – it costs me about 20p a day more now – but it didn’t seem to have been very well publicised.

(Disclaimer : There may have been notices in local papers or whatever, but I don’t get those, so didn’t see anything. But there was nothing I saw on parking meters etc., so regardless of how much it was discussed/publicised beforehand, I hadn’t seen anything. And I’m sure I can’t be the only one)

One of the other changes, though, was that now you have to pay on Bank Holidays as well. That’s not been the case up ’til this week – it’s always been free – and it’s all just a bit sneaky.

Because it’s only happened for the second bank holiday weekend in May. So anyone who’s known it was free from the first weekend would be quite within their rights to assume it would be the same this weekend.

There’s more information about that change – they’ve put stickers on the parking meters etc. – but if someone had seen three weeks ago that they didn’t need to pay, would they even go near the parking meter this time?

I don’t know – but there’s definitely a lot of parking tickets been issued today on the bit outside my office building. Which indicates that my theory may be correct on this one…

Rationalising Things

Over the years, I’ve had a number of random ideas, and then bought up the relevant domain names.  I’ve done the same with business concepts, and also several writing ideas and the like.

When all’s said and done, that means I’m left with a whole bundle of websites and domains I don’t use – or (worse) that I don’t update, becoming the ‘net equivalent of ghost towns and cemeteries. They’re all started with good intentions, of course – but spreading myself over that many sites just isn’t going to happen.  I feel stupidly guilty when I remember one of them, and realise it hasn’t been updated in a year or more.

So over the rest of this year, I’m going to give up some of them completely, merge others, and really just rationalise things into a shape and state I can manage and maintain. Hopefully that’ll then give me some of the headspace I need – or at least reduce the guilt levels a bit – and I’ll see what progress can then be made.

D4D™ will, of course, survive the cull – as will the sites for my writing, and company.   Other than that, there’s a couple I’ll keep because I use them for other things, but over the next year there’s definitely going to be a reduction in the sites and domains I own and maintain.

Single Life

Just a small filler post for the moment – others in the process of being conceived/written – but it’s something I’ve been bouncing round in my head for a while, so what the hell.

This piece in Standard Magazine by Helen Walmsley-Johnson on Single Life sums up so much of what’s in my own head and heart, I just wanted to bookmark it here.

Domestic Simplicity

As has been pointed out before, I am emphatically Not very practical.  I can do some stuff, but I’m not good at it, and more likely to fuck it up than not.  And usually I’m OK with that – I accept my limitations on that score, and just pay someone to do it who knows what they’re doing, and is infinitely more likely to not fuck it up.

But I’m always happy to have a go, so long as there’s a back-up plan.

This week though, I didn’t have that Plan B, but the simple job worked out OK.

Basically, one of the brackets on the toilet seat gave out, and snapped. That seat’s been there a *long* time, so it’s not a massive surprise.  But obviously it’s something that requires replacing sooner rather than later.

And that’s what happened – I got the new seat, and also some pliers because I had a feeling it was going to be a twat to undo the remaining fittings and screws. It had been there a while, remember. And it’s rusted and nasty. So – pliers.

I got home, used the pliers, got the old seat off, put the new one in the right place, and did it all up. And it’s all gone together fine, first time.

It’s a small thing (story of my life) and I’d fully expect to be told “Jesus, anyone can replace that kind of thing” – and it’s true, they can. But for me, it’s still a nice feeling, knowing it just got handled and replaced with no hassles and hindrances.

That’s all.

Self-Inflicted Damage

[Note : As always, I don’t actually give a shit about sport/cricket – I’m more interested in the mindset beneath it in this case]

Over the last couple of days, the news has been full of bloody Kevin Pietersen throwing a strop about not being allowed – yet – back into playing cricket for England.

Apparently a while back it was…

suggest[ed he] could add to his 104 England caps if he joined a county and scored enough runs to merit a recall.

(Quote from the BBC story)

Pietersen did this, and fair play to him.  Earlier this week, he scored a personal best innings, something like 350 not out.  So he’s assumed that on that one showing, he should be allowed back into the England team.

He met Andrew Strauss – the new ‘director of cricket’, apparently – who said there was no chance this summer, and that some people didn’t trust Pietersen.  Which is also fair – Pietersen’s always been an asshat.

But now he’s thrown his toys out the pram about it, and has written about how he feels ‘deceived’ and so on in his column in the Telegraph.

Really, all it seems like is a whining brat. Yes, he’s done what was asked, and had one excellent innings. But that doesn’t make a team player, and doesn’t mean he has to be immediately accepted as part of the England team.

Indeed, if anything is now going to make sure he doesn’t get back in, I’d say it’s his own behaviour in this. (Of course, he won’t see it like that, because he’s perfect and no-one else is. Rah rah rah. Standard asshat behaviour)  I would’ve said he might have a chance if he continues to excel at county level – the same criteria as could be applied to any other up-and-coming player.

But really, how can you trust anyone who throws their toys out like this at any opportunity? When they decide to destroy their own chances and credibility, in a fit that looks more like the act of a stropping toddler kicking their feet and screaming in a supermarket than one of someone wanting to play for – and thus represent – a country’s cricket team?

Another Visit to Brighton

On Sunday, I did another day-trip down to Brighton. I’d known I wanted to go somewhere coastal, and it was really a toss-up between Brighton and Whitstable (although I could also have chosen Somewhere Else, but couldn’t decide where I wanted to go) as both were known quantities, and a dead easy two-hour drive to get to them. There’s only about five miles of driving distance between them, so it really was a toss-up.

It was also somewhat dependent on my insomnia – if I’d had the rare event of actually sleeping well/late, I wouldn’t have bothered, and would’ve done something else instead. But as I was awake by 5.30 – thanks body-clock, you bastard – then the day-trip was Go.

Anyway, for whatever reason – and I’m not completely sure myself what the deciding factor was, other than “Fuck it, that’ll do” – I ended up opting for Brighton. It’s still not somewhere I know super-well, although I’m familiar enough with it that I’ve a rough idea of where I’m going and what I’m doing.

So – a two-hour easy drive down, and I was there by 9am, when it’s still nice and empty. I ended up walking a large section of the seafront, hindered only by a number of joggers, runners and cyclists. (Although it’s always amusing when I’m walking and overtaking joggers – they really don’t like it)

Yes, the weather was that changeable...

Yes, the weather was that changeable…

The weather was pretty good – although changeable – and despite dollops of cloud and greying over, it was still warm and sunny for the most part. I’d walked a lot of seafront, and ended up finding somewhere slightly sheltered – it was also quite breezy – to vegetate and read for a while. Sadly, I’d chosen a place that seemed to be on a main walking route for people from the Marina end of Brighton, with a constant stream of people saying “Oh, is that a mile already?” (thanks to a sign on the esplanade) and commenting about the weird Gaudi-esque construction that was on the beach in front of me. So after a while I decided to wander back towards the car, and probably stop for lunch along the way.

Cue a bit of a furkle on the phone, and oooooh, look, there’s a MeatLiquor. That’ll do as a target!

And that’s what happened.

Now that's a lunch

Now that’s a lunch

Wandered round a bit more afterwards, and then another drive home – managing to avoid all the people getting up later, who’d decided to spend the remains of their day by the sea.

All told, a very successful day.

The next day-trip will be somewhere different, although I don’t yet know where/when. But they’re certainly being good for the soul…


I will be really glad to see the end of this week, with the General Election being completed and a result being in.

The biggest challenge this year has been in finding someone – anyone – that I actually want to vote for, and wouldn’t want to punch myself repeatedly in the face if they got in.

I suspect today’s election will end up being another coalition and a parliament built on compromise and cobblers, but I still hope that all the punditry and bullshit will be confounded by one party winning enough votes to have overall power.

But that’s it, and I’ll just really be glad when it’s over.  And from there, a new idea/phase/plan can kick in a bit, and see how things go. Another five-year project/plan, shall we say?

Post Navigation