D4D

Making it Personal

Archive for the category “Thoughts”

Bellwether

In a conversation the other day about driving – and motorway driving in particular – I was told I was too callous and calculating. I’m not sure this is true, but I’m interested…

 

So.  When I’m driving motorways, and even more so at night, I usually let someone else go in front who’s driving faster than I am, and let them be the testing point for whether there are any active speed cameras or unmarked police cars around.

My theory is that if [Other Driver] blats past a camera and it flashes (or a car that then turns out to have concealed flashing lights on/in it) then that’s their problem rather than mine. And it gives me time to slow down before getting to the camera myself.

I was told that’s callous and calculating. I think it makes sense.

Surely I’m not the only driver that does this?

Two Hours

Over the last couple of weekends, I’ve looked (again) at just where I can get to in a two hour drive from home.  As has been said before, I live between Milton Keynes and Bedford, so I’m sat right between two decent North/South access roads (The M1 and A1) as well as vaguely decent cross-country connections with the A428 towards the West, and the A14 to the East.

What this means is that a two-hour drive covers one heck of a lot of the country, and I decided to have a look at just how far (via use of Google Maps, and their route predictions) I could get in each direction.

Two hours North takes me up to Sheffield, and South gets me to Brighton. That’s a total distance of 225 miles top to bottom.

Two hours West gets me to Bristol, and East gets me right across to Felixstowe and Aldeburgh – roughly 234 miles in total.

The area within that circle comes out as roughly 43,000 square miles (if my maths about area in circles is correct) or 111,000km², which in terms of the UK is just under half the area of the UK as a whole (going by CIA’s Worldbook figure of 243,610km²)

Not bad, all things considered…

Organised

Every so often, you have a day where you feel like everything’s actually pretty good, pretty organised, pretty nailed down.

For me, today’s been one of those days – and indeed, a lot of this week has felt like that.  Of course, some cynicism says that this is just the precursor to a failure of epic proportions, but for now I’ll take the little victories.

It’s been a week where things have felt sorted and settled – I’ve been able to get things done on/for the house that’ve been waiting ages to be done, I’ve started organising things for January when the current contract (currently) expires (and I’ve even got a phone interview on Monday for something else straight afterwards, as well as another one already showing interest) and the finances are pretty much stowed away too.

And along the way, I’ve somehow also managed to now sort out all but one thing for the Festering Season – and that one outstanding one is just a case of not having even the slightest inkling of what to do/get. I’m not actually sure how that’s happened, but I’m not going to complain.  Hell, I’ve even managed to organise and decide upon a couple of birthday things for people for next year, which is downright shocking.

Today’s been more of the same. The next week or so is pretty busy what with one thing and another, so I’ve been organising some bits of life around that, and that’s all working out nicely too.

All told, it’s just been a positive day – indeed, a pretty positive week – and yes, I feel that’s worth noting after some of the shit that’s occurred this year.

Coastal – Felixstowe

Over the years, I’ve always known that I love being by the sea. It’s an environment I love – although it makes a lot of other bits of life more complex. (For example, working in London or other techie environments) I’ve lived by the coast a couple of times, and would certainly consider doing so again.

Which all makes it a bit weird that the location I live in currently is about as far away from the sea as it’s possible to be in the UK. And I realised recently that I haven’t actually been to the coast properly since I moved here. Which is quite a surprise for me, it’s fair to say.

So today I upped sticks, and buggered off to Old Felixstowe. It’s an easy run, but still two hours. (And all coast is at least a two-hour run, from the look of it) It made for a really enjoyable day, leaving earlyish, getting over there, walking along the seafront, having lunch, walking back, sitting on the grass above the – well, it’s not a cliff, I don’t know quite what to call it – and just enjoying the sound of the sea on the shingle and so on.

I had been going to take the camera as well, but in the end I couldn’t be arsed. I did get some nice stuff with just the iPhone though, so even that qualifies as a bit of a win.

Felixstowe

Felixstowe Ferry

I had sort-of forgotten how much I like that environment, and it’s certainly something I’m going to look at and consider as part of the plans for 2015 and 2016, depending on how things go. Ideas are bubbling, so we’ll have to see how things go…

One of the tidal pools at Felixstowe

Shotgun Mop

With working from home, I’ve recently seen more adverts on TV than usual. Every so often, I get to one that just makes me wonder what the hell the advertising agency were thinking of – and what persuaded the client company to think it was a good idea too.

Today’s case is this one for a new type of mop by Spontex.

So what’s the message meant to be here?

Is it supposed to be funny?

Surely it can’t be intended to say “Using our new mop could put you at risk of getting shot by the police”?

And what the chuff is the motive for the hedgehog walking across the floor at the end?

I wonder if it will get pulled as and when the police accidentally shoot someone innocent…

Life Is Loud

A long time ago (six years, no less) I wrote in fairly comprehensive detail about ear-wax buildup, and how the brain copes with blocked-up hearing.

I’d had my ears re-done in the interim – I know there was one time in Norfolk at least – but it’s improved and I hadn’t needed to have it done again since at least moving to this house. I reckon it’s about four years since it last needed doing.

But lo, the time was upon me once again – one ear’s been bad for a while, and the other was well on its way – and being a bit more pro-active than in the post six years ago, I got myself booked in before both were completely shagged.

Today was the day, and all is done now. It wasn’t as bad as it has been before – but it was still pretty grim. (And let’s face it, blocked ears are never going to be less than grim)

As always, it amazes me how much the brain rebalances things, and accomodates for these issues as the happen. It’s incredible – but in some ways it doesn’t actually help, because you don’t recognise how bad things have become until it’s all been fixed and is back to normal.

It’ll settle down again, but right now, wow, Life is loud.

Signs of Life

Now that work-based sanity appears to have made a return, things are coming back to a more even keel – both life-wise and fiscally.

For me, the first major sign of this came this weekend, which went thusly…

On the Saturday, I went to meet up with friends in Nottingham. When I left home, it was a decent day, so I didn’t bother checking if I had a jacket/coat with me. (You can see where this is going already, can’t you?)

By the time I was halfway up the M1, it was absolutely slashing down, waterlogged roads the lot. “Bugger”, thought I, “but at least I’ve a jacket or coat in the boot”.

Once I got to Nottingham, it was still pissing down, but I parked up, and opened the boot. Jacket, there was none. Coat, there was none. Fuck it, thought I.

Due to being (as always) pathologically early, I still had the chance to go and buy a new jacket, so I did.

And that was the sign of being OK again. It wasn’t a worry, I knew I had the available money. I could afford this extra unexpected expense, and it didn’t mean I was concerned about what’d happen at the end of the month, what would be needed to counteract this item.

It’s still annoying, because if there’s something I really didn’t need, it’s another bloody jacket. I don’t even wear them most of the time. But needs must when the devil drives, or when the clouds open. It’s one of those things, a bit annoying, but better to have a day of not being soaking wet and enjoying things far less as a result.

But it was positive for showing the process of recovery after the shitty job…

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