Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Progress for 2015

For the first time in a very long time, I seem to be pretty organised work-wise and well into 2015. It’s quite a scary concept.

My current contract runs through ’til Friday January 9th, which is all well and good. I’ve got a lot still to do, but it’ll keep me out of trouble for the foreseeable.

And now as of today, I’ve got a new contract that starts on Monday January 12th – still a month away! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever secured a contract this far in advance before – it’s all a bit weird.

Basically, I got contacted about this new one by an agency, and it sounded ideal. I let them know my timescales – normally, waiting five weeks for a contractor is a definite no-no. But in this case it looks like that worked out fine for them.

I had the phone interview on Monday, and all went well. Heard back today, and the paperwork is all coming through. Based up in Leicestershire, but (as with the current one) it’s going to involve primarily working from home, so that’s not too bad.

Of course, if the current contract wants to extend then it’s going to get awkward/interesting, but I’m sure I’ll find a way to sort things out in that eventuality.

Anyway, it’s all a bit weird, and a bit organised. I’m taking that (for the moment) as a positive indicator for the coming year…

Brighton Images

On Sunday, I trolled off down to Brighton for the day. I haven’t been there in years – the last time was a flying visit five years ago for an interview, and before that it had been a number of years too – but realised it’s just about the same distance as Felixstowe is (they’re both a two-hour drive time) to get to, so what the hell.

I don’t know Brighton as well as I should, and so having a wander around was also appealing. It’s on the list of ‘places I could re-locate to at some point’, so seemed like a worthwhile explore – and I was right on that score.

Being December, it was pretty blowy and chilly – although less cold than a December Sunday would suggest – but that’s never bothered me all that much. I lived by the South Coast for a couple of years before, and have no real issue with cold. That was the flat where the freezer shut off because it was colder outside the freezer than inside it, and where more than once I woke up with frost on the top of the duvet. Sunday, by comparison, was almost summery.

Brighton Beach

As it turned out, the weather made it ideal for what I actually wanted – waves, and the sound of the sea on shingle beach. Walking along one of the groynes/piers (not one of the Proper Piers, but the little jutty-out ones) was a joy, just for getting out to be where the waves were hitting the beach.

Brighton Waves

And then the sun came out, and it was even better…

Sunlight hits Brighton

All told, I think it’s a place I’m going to go back to a lot more in the coming year. It’s an easy run, and I think I could really get to quite like the place.

There’s others still on the list too – something I’ll be writing about at some point this month, I’m sure – but yeah, Brighton is definitely now more of a destination, and pretty high on the possibility levels too.

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…

Confined, Supposedly

Earlier this week, I got a catflap installed in the kitchen back door – which has already made a major difference to the warmth of the house. Prior to this, the cats have been going through an always-open kitchen window (which only opens on to a secure back yard, so it’s never a problem to leave it open) which is fine in summer, but less than optimal in cold weather.

At the moment, while the cats are getting used to this new entry policy for the house – and in fairness to them, neither has ever had to use a flap before – it’s propped open, so there’s still a bit of a draught, but nothing compared to how it was with the open kitchen window.

Of course, the Bengal in particular is (as expected) extremely unhappy about the changes, and keeps yelling at me that She Is Trapped, and It’s Not Fair. She’s using the flap, because it’s now the only way in and out – but it’s still under duress, and the cause of much complaint.

I’m quite sure that the same will be true when we get to the next stage, and I un-prop the flap so that they have to go through the flap itself.

For right now though, having the flap as an open route will allow them to get used to it.

One step at a time, and all that rot.

Coastal – Brighton

Following on from last week’s day-trip to Felixstowe for coastal stuff, today I’m off – assuming vaguely decent (or at least non-abysmal) weather – down to Brighton for similar reasons.

I realised afterwards, looking at maps, that actually the two places are a very similar drive-time (and indeed mileage) away, so sod it, go for something different.

I haven’t been to Brighton in yonks – well, I had an interview there a few years back, but that doesn’t really count – so it’ll be fun to go back, and have a wander around, plus spend some time on the beach (I know, it’s stones rather than sand) and see how things go.

That’s the plan, anyway. I’ll update later/tomorrow with how it goes, and any relevant photos etc.


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.

Peter Gabriel – Wembley SSE Arena – The Downside

While I loved the Peter Gabriel gig on Wednesday, it has to be said that the audience consisted of some of the biggest vagtrumpets known to Man.

I really don’t understand people – as has been said many times before – but I truly don’t get why on earth you would pay £50 or more per ticket and then spend the entire concert walking to and from the bar, or chatting to your friends instead of, you know, listening to the music and enjoying the concert.

It’s even worse when – as with the concert last night – it’s an all-seated gig, so these jizzmopping fuckflannels keep on disturbing the entire row in order to go and get drinks, come back with drinks, go to the bog, and whatever else they’re doing. It makes me want to punch them in the kidneys as they go past, just so they’ll stay in one place for a while.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I just can’t see the enjoyment in going to a gig and not really listening to the music at all.

(The one that really pissed me off though was the so-called fan, when they played one of the key tracks from that ‘So’ album said that he ‘had never heard that one before’, for fuck’s sake)

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