D4D

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

Archive for the category “Travel”

Mislaid Plans

Back at the start of the year, one of my stated aims was to put more money into savings.  I’d finally finished my bankruptcy’s payment plan at the end of 2015, so the plan was that I’d put that straight into savings instead of into the payment plan.

That aim has kind-of worked, but not to the extent I intended to.  Road to hell, Good intentions, and all that rot.

I looked back this week – coming to the last third of the year, I wanted to review where I was.  I’ve certainly added to the savings, but it’s not been to the full extent that it could/should have been.

There’s some reasoning behind it, when I looked into it and thought about it.  Primarily, it’s the first time in way too many years (certainly far preceding the bankruptcy) where I’ve had disposable income – and I can’t deny, I’ve been taking advantage of that this year.

It’s been one heck of a year, with a lot going on – as I’ve written about before – and some of that has been funded by the money that “should” have been getting funnelled into savings.  I can’t – and won’t – deny it, I should have been a bit better, a bit smarter about it, but well, I haven’t.

I’m already making plans for 2017 to be much calmer, to not be going quite so barmy about having time, space and money. From January, that money *will* be going to rebuild savings.

2016 has been a mad old year, with lots going on. 2017 is going to be a good year, but a bit more relaxed, a bit more sensible. Not perfect – I’m never going to claim that – but I know what needs to be done, and I intend to be doing it.

Quiet, Because Busy

It’s been a quiet week chez D4D™, although that’s primarily been because life has been idiotically busy instead. In fact, all of August and September are ridiculous, with very little in the way of spare time.  Weekday evenings are (generally, kinda/sorta) available, but weekends and so on are completely blocked out.

Last weekend was spent in London on the Saturday (including food at Benares, which was excellent) and then meeting friends on the Sunday.  During the week I was then at the cinema one evening, back in London on another, and handling all the standard domestic tat in the meantime – as well as work, which wasn’t an easy week, with lots of rewrites and rethinks of stuff that had been written a while back.

This weekend, today was spent (again) in London, visiting Blues Kitchen and MeatMarket, and then seeing Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre. Tomorrow is likely to be a daytrip somewhere, and walking round or whatever.

From here, there’s another meal (this time at Hibiscus) and then a concert, a birthday event, and the Threepenny Opera at the National.

September is even dafter, including :  Meatopia, watching The The’s “Infected” film, and seeing The Alchemist and Doctor Faustus – both at the Barbican, so I’m there three weeks on the trot, as I’ll use their parking for Meatopia as well. Finally, at the end of September, I actually have a week away, down in Cornwall. Much-needed currently, it has to be said.

I’ll be writing more stuff here to be going on with, but that’s why it’s been quiet round these parts over the last week or so.

Missing Things

Over the weekend, I was down in London again and walking around the same area I know already.

Usually I’m pretty observant of stuff around me, and generally aware of my surroundings, so it was a surprise this time to suddenly spot something I hadn’t seen before, and had to divert and check it out.

The mysterious object turned out to be “Bellerophon Taming Pegasus“, a sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz, which is part of the Broadgate Art project, which is pretty fab in many ways.

As it turns out, I’ve seen a number of the installations from the Broadgate project – except I hadn’t realised that they were part of that project – and having finally found the website, I now want to have a wander and see the other bits.

Following on from that, we spotted another art piece round in a weird little back yard, which turned out to be part of the National Gallery’s Grand Tour, a high-resolution print in full frame, just hanging on a wall in a public place.

It’s one of the things I love most about walking round London though, to be honest. There’s always something new (or at least not previously noticed) to explore, as well as the way you can be walking along and suddenly find (for example) the tower of a 17th century church, places like the Worshipful Company of Fan-Makers, and umpteen other strange and wonderful things you don’t expect to see.

Varied

It’s fair to say, the weekend just gone was pretty varied. Busy too, but definitely varied.

Friday evening was spent with friends seeing a small gig by Professor Elemental – very silly all round, but also very late, as he didn’t go on stage ’til 22:30 in the end. It meant I didn’t get home ’til nearly 2am…

Saturday morning was spent at the cinema, seeing the new Ghostbusters film. (Small review : Enjoyed it a lot, far more than I expected to, and it’s just entertaining silliness) Then in the evening I was over in Cambridge, going for a thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic meal at Midsummer House.

Then on Sunday I was awake by 6am, and generally too warm. So one “oh sod it” moment later, I was on the way down to Whitstable and Tankerton, and spent the day by the beach, roasting quietly.  Happily and fortuitously, it turned out that Whitstable Castle was having a food fair, so that was lunch sorted. And then mid-afternoon driving home, looking at all the queues on the other side of the road and thanking God I wasn’t involved in it all, considering how hot it still was.

Finishing off with a quiet evening catching up on recorded TV etc., it was a very pleasant weekend – but definitely surrounded by all the random…

Planning Stuff

As well as slowing down a bit for the second half of 2016, I’m also starting to plan stuff where possible for the first half of 2017. For me, that’s scarily organised.

Part of it is looking at stuff I want to do – and places I want to go – and starting to put things in place for those to happen. I’ve got a couple of breaks booked for the second half of 2016, a week in Cornwall at the end of September, and a weekend in Dorset at the end of October (in which I’m hoping to break the back of some writing ideas – that’s the current plan, anyway) but I’m also looking at what I want to do in 2017, and starting to book it up where/when I can.

So far, that’s looking like a long weekend down around Bath and Bristol (an area I like, don’t know enough about, and want to know more) and potentially a week each in Lake District and somewhere in the North-East. I may do something abroad as well, but we’ll see.

I’m also looking at things I don’t want to carry on – in particular the restaurant project I’ve been doing this year, with at least one Michelin-starred place per month for the year, part of my whole thing about eating alone. I’m still really enjoying it for this year, and I’ve no intention of giving it up completely – but it might go down to a quarterly thing, rather than monthly.

There’s a bundle of other stuff getting prepared for next year – but not stuff I’m going to write about just yet. Most of this is just in the contemplating and planning stages, rather than actually happening, but I’m going to spend time this year sorting out next.

Which, for me, is disgustingly organised…

 

Slowing Down

The first half of this year has been particularly barmy, and has felt close to non-stop. It’s safe to say, there’s been a lot of life going on!  I haven’t written here about a lot of it, because while it’s been fun, it hasn’t been massively newsworthy – but I think even here it’s been fairly clear that I’ve been doing a lot.

All told, there was only one event/thing that I wanted to do that I didn’t get to do – and that was more from an overdose of sanity and reality than any form of timing clash – and that was that climb up the Gherkin.

However, as a result of it all, I’m pretty wiped out – so the plan for the second half of the year is for me to slow down a bit.

I’ve still got loads planned, but I do intend to also have some more peaceable weekends, ones where I’m not all over the country and generally running round like a pillock. I know that September is insanely busy, so I’m definitely going to pad out the weeks either side of it.

There’s a lot of other stuff I want to do as well, which is part of why I’m trying to settle a bit and not be covering the country quite as much as I have been.

That’s the plan, anyway. Whether it’ll happen like that, only time will tell.

Speed Walking

With last week’s time in London, I did a lot of walking (as usual)

On the conference days, I was getting in to London early (before the main rush hour kicked in) and then had the option to grab a tube down to Charing Cross and walk from there to the venue, or say sod it, and walk the whole thing from Euston to  Westminster. (And then back in the evening, of course)

The first day, I opted for the Tube down, so I was there in plenty of time. That was easy, and once we were done for the day I walked back up, feeling the need for movement, having been sat for 95% of the day – I needed that walk! For the second day, I walked down in the morning, and back up once we were done.  And finally, on the Saturday I walked down, but grabbed the tube back up to Euston, as it was late and I didn’t fancy waiting for the final Train of the Damned.

But on each of those longer walks, I kept finding myself thinking about other people, and just how slow they are. And wondering just how people manage to live so slowly.

I walk fast, I know. Well, to me I walk at normal speed, and everyone else is just Slow – but I know that really means I walk fast! I consistently average at least 4mph – even when I think I’m dawdling along, knowing I’ve got plenty of time. Indeed, when I think I’m dawdling and going slow, I tend to be walking even faster than usual. But that’s just another weirdness of self-perception.

Regardless though, most people are just Slower. In pace, but also in reaction times – even when they look directly at me, they don’t seem to realise the speed I’m going, and still drift out in front of me, or just stop to do something else, or whatever. It’s amazing in many ways – not least that they’ve definitely got no concept of momentum and inertia, of what’ll happen if I do decide to keep going, and walk into them rather than permanently being the one to avoid, dodge, and get out of their way. By any stretch of the imagination, I’m a FMFB and could easily damage just about any of them, simply through colliding at speed.

Anyway, it always surprises me a bit, just how slow the people around me are. It gets tiring to keep on avoiding people, swerving and carving through crowds of slower people who don’t even realise I’m blasting through until I’m already past, staying aware of everything around me (including traffic when I have to go into the gutter to get past a whole pavement-width crowd of plodders) and all the possibilities.

It makes me wonder just what my speed would be in empty streets, to be honest. Although I do also speed up when I get annoyed by people, so it’s possible it would stay about the same.

Anyway, it meant I did a lot of walking over the last week, which is never a bad thing.

 

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