Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Staying Still

This coming weekend is my first one fully ‘at home’ in about three months. As such, I’m looking forward to it for downtime and some peace and quiet.

However, I feel almost guilty about staying home, and doing Not Much.

My brain keeps on saying “Oh, but you could do a day-trip to [x], [y] or [z]“.  And it’s right, I could. But I don’t really want to – except my brain doesn’t believe it.

It’s odd. One part of me wants to just have a down-weekend, a time of not doing a lot, and most emphatically not driving any significant distances. But the other part obviously does want me to do all of those things.

It’s a bit schizoid, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see which side wins out in the end. All very strange.


By the time my contract comes to its (current) end date, I’ll have been ‘working from home’ for nine months, with only one day a week in the office.  It’s fair to say I’m getting pretty used to that kind of state of affairs, where I don’t have to deal with loads of idiot colleagues all day every working day.

So I’m already wondering what’ll happen when it comes to The Next Job, which will – pretty much certainly – involve being back on-site five days a week.   It’s going to be interesting, for sure.

It’s fair to say that I’ve already become very used to working on my own schedule and workload, and it suits me nicely. Even better, I don’t also have to hear the inane banter and chatter of other people, particularly about things I’ve no interest in – soap operas, X-factor, Big Brother and the like – or fuckwitted opinions with no basis in anything like reality.  I’ve become more acclimated to peaceful offices where I can have a radio on if I want (or not) and that’s about it.  I’m less stressed because of it, and generally less ratty. (And if I could then sort out my sleep patterns, all would be rosy in the world)

In short, it turns out to have suited my personality quite well.

As a result, I may end up focusing more on further jobs where ‘working from home’ is the primary – but there’s no guarantee that they’ll happen, or come up in a timely manner.  As always with my stuff, I’ll take whatever gets offered first, and work from there.

In honesty, I can’t say I’m looking forward to any return to full-on office-based work, but it’s something I’ll face up to as and when it happens.

Sleeping Places

Following on from the insomnia attacks of late, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the things that do work for me when it comes to sleep.

Because I’ve also been doing a lot of travelling and visiting, it’s given me a wide range of reference points, which always makes things more interesting.

One oddity I have noticed is that I seem to sleep better on sofas than I do in bed.  It’s strange, but true.  I’ve also had a few occasions of coming home in the afternoon and getting a nap on my own sofa, but that’s more for catch-ups when they’re absolutely needed, rather than becoming a routine.

It’s been true for a long time though – certainly right back to the Norfolk house, where I’d sleep on the sofa-bed when we had bad weather and I had to take Hound in to the smaller bedroom to stop her being an arse.  When I think about it, it’s also applied a lot of times over the years, when going to see friends and so on, and preferring to crash on sofas rather than spare beds.

As a result, I’m doing a lot of thinking about whether I change my bedroom and bed, investing instead in a decent sofa-bed.  It’s food for thought at the moment, but not going to be a change I make quickly. After all, if I make the change and don’t sleep any better, then it’s been a loss/waste of a bed and so on.

It may be that I leave it until I move house again – which is something that’s on the agenda, but not any time imminently. That’ll definitely be to a bigger place – hell, it’d be a challenge to find anywhere smaller – so I can look at it seriously at that point.

I’ll think about it more – there’s other factors in that kind of decision-  but we’ll see where things go, I think.



While life’s been busy over the last few months, it’s also been a rotten period for my insomnia.

Well, the insomnia’s been doing really well – it’s just that what’s good for insomnia is (by definition) fucking bollocks for my sleep. So I’m knackered, and have been for a fair while now.

Obviously it varies – and to a degree I’m used to rotten sleep – but it’s been pretty cruddy of late, even by my own standards.  I’m used to – and pretty much fine with – around 4 hours a night, and can even get by for a while on 3 a night.  But recently I’ve been lucky to get two.

This, from last night, is the best night I’ve had in ages…


Frankly, that’s just messed up.

The thing is, no matter what goes on, nothing changes it significantly. I can go to bed early, I can go to bed late. I can drink coffee and diet coke, or I can cut out caffeine – either from sometime during the day, or completely. Eating early, eating late. Reading, not reading. Temperature, clothing, bedding (i.e. on the quilt or under it) – i’ve tried changing all of those things.

And none of it affects whether I sleep badly or not. When it was really bad a while back, I cut out caffeine totally for a couple of weeks. Even by the end of that period, I was sleeping even worse than usual.

All told, it’s just a pain in the bits. I’m hoping it’ll settle a bit more now, but well, we’ll see.


[Note : There may be some sweeping generalisations in this, but at the same time I’m trying to avoid them]

As has been noted many times over the years, I drive way too much, way too many miles (in comparison to pretty much anyone sane) and get to see an awful lot of crappy driving.  I’m not claiming my own driving is perfect – but with that number of miles I cover, nor is it bloody awful.

Anyway, as always there seem to be certain categories of drivers who are worse than others.

Invariably, the worst of all tend to be the drivers of BMWs and Audis, but there’s another class I’m seeing more of on the roads – the people-carrier vehicles, the MPVs and their ilk. In particular, there’s something about drivers of Citroen Picassos (I’ve always suspected that people only buy those because BMW don’t make a people-carrier – if they did, that’s what the fuckknuckles would buy) but it’s actually most of that vehicle type.

I don’t know why it is that certain types of vehicle seem to attract crap drivers, but it keeps on appearing to be so.

[I had a theme in there, but it’s now gone. Grrr]

Receding Mania

The last couple of months have been pretty manic and busy for me, as has been shown (kinda) by the paucity of posts round here.  Thankfully, it’s now slowing down a bit, and should be considerably calmer over the next while. I hope that’s the case, anyway.

Since the start of April, I’ve been to :

  • Somerset
  • Edinburgh
  • Newcastle
  • Manchester/Stockport (3 times)
  • Brighton
  • London (3 times)
  • Oxford (twice)

That’s as well as working during the week, and at least one trip to Chesham per week for work purposes. There’s probably also other stuff I’ve forgotten about, too. (Hell, I know there’s stuff I’ve not listed, which is other more local sociable stuff etc.)

This coming weekend should be the last busy one for a while – and I can’t deny, while I’m going to enjoy it, I’m also looking forward to some down time, to having some anti-social space for a bit.

I’m still going to be busy and doing stuff, but I’m fairly optimistic that it’ll gear down a bit as well.

And from there, well, it’s more about sorting out some of my own odds and sods – some jobs round the house, that kind of thing. (And yes, I know, it’s a rented place – but there’s still a couple of things that need doing by me!)  With a bit of luck, there’ll be more writing time too, both here and on Other Projects…

Short-Term Let

Three years ago, when I was looking at moving (and ended up where I still am now) there were a couple of other places in the running – they fitted my plans, location and cost wise, if nothing else.

I go past one of them regularly on commutes, visits to parents and the like – so I see it come back on the rental market every six months or so (which is, not coincidentally, the usual period for a first short-term tenancy)

It’s pretty grotty, and right on a busy main road, so I’m not surprised it’s regularly in need of new tenants – and it looks like this, so it’s hardly appealing…Rental PropertyThat’s the only photo of it. There’s nothing of the inside at all – which always triggers my alarm bells, and is why I didn’t even visit it, so I’ve no idea what it looks like inside. I can’t imagine it’s much good though.

Even the sales description doesn’t do it any favours.

A One bedroom cottage situated on the outskirts of [village]. The property benefits from a parking area to the side and views of the countryside to the rear. Offered Unfurnished and Available Early July.

Entrance to Rear, Kitchen, Lounge, Bathroom, Double Bedroom, Shared Courtyard Garden, Double Glazed Windows, Electric Heating.

What fascinates me is that people choose it at all. OK, it’s dirt-cheap – although actually still a bit more expensive than the place I ended up with – but that doesn’t make it an appealing proposition. I’d imagine it’s even less of one after you’ve visited, seen the location and heard the road noise.

So I do wonder what type of person chooses it, and why.  And (of course) where they go next, once their six months there is done…


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