D4D

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Back To Walking

One thing that was good about my London trip over the weekend was that it was the first decent walks I’d had since I stuffed up my feet around the walking Marathon.

Since then, I’ve taken it a bit easier – I’ve still been walking a lot, but in much smaller distances than usual. But at some point I had to get back into it, and this weekend seemed as good a time as any.  I knew the routes I’d be taking, and all the stuff I wanted to do – plus I was prepared.

So on the way to Taste, I purposefully took the Tube a couple of stations further than I usually would, so that the first walk back would be three miles instead of the usual five.  I was back to wearing the newest walking boots, and everything was fine for the three mile walk. Even with my intention to ‘take it slow’ I was back to pretty much my standard speed and so on, and that was successful.

On the way back – a different route, as I was heading to central London – for another three miler, it was much harder. Miles five and six, in particular, hurt bits of my feet still.

Fortunately, I had a backup plan, and it all worked out fine. I had a lot of time to kill once I got to central London, so I ended up using that time, getting the tube back up to where I’d parked the car, changed my boots and socks, and then headed back to the same place.

All told, I covered 12 miles on Saturday. My feet got sore, but there was no damage. That’s definitely a win. And once I’d changed boots, it was all fine again.

I do think that the boots haven’t helped – it’s not just that they’re still not properly worn-in, but also there are design differences between the new and old ones that rub in all the wrong places. I think I’m going to have to look at some other alternatives, different boots and talking to retailers and so on that actually know what they’re doing.

Annoying on the score of the boots, but all told I’m happy with how things are going.

Weekend Of Idiocy

The weekend just gone was the one that had been noted as being a completely daft one, even by my standards. It involved a lot of mileage, a fair amount of walking, and a piss-poor amount of sleep.

Saturday had been “planned” for a while, with a full day in London – starting off with the festive version of the Taste festival at Tobacco Dock. I’d got in early (as usual) and walked down to Tobacoo Dock, getting there in plenty of time.

Also as usual, the organisation of Festive Taste was… kinda flawed. The tickets said it started at 12-noon, the email from the ticket people said “Ooops, sorry, we meant 11.30“. Except it actually opened at 11. Genius.    And once we were in, it turned out that none of the food places were actually starting until at least 11.15, and in some cases nothing was ready ’til 12.  Not good – but standard.   The Festive version also appears to be far more focused on booze than on food, which (for me) is annoying, but there we go. It was still worth going, but I was out within 90 minutes.

In the evening I was at the theatre, seeing Stockard Channing in Apologia. It’s an interesting play, and I really enjoyed it – there may be more thoughts later, I’m not sure yet – and then headed home, getting back at around half one.  Which would’ve been OK, except that…

On the Sunday I was on the road by 7.30, heading up to Middlesbrough to see friends, and then on to Durham in the late afternoon to see the Lumiere festival, one of my favourite events. Again, I’ll probably write more about it later on – for now though, The Guardian has great pictures of a lot of it here.

A great day, but a long one – and then drove home, getting back about half two on Monday morning. It would’ve been earlier, but it turns out that the M1 was closed (and hadn’t been announced anywhere when I was driving up) for two whole junctions, and the diversion that was in place added a good forty minutes to the drive. Which was a pain, but there we go.

And even that would all have been sensible (ish. Kinda) if it weren’t for the fact I was also on-site in the other office on Monday morning, so I was in Chesham by 8am…

I really am an idiot.

Closing a Commitment

In general, I don’t watch loads of TV – and I’m fairly selective on what I do choose to watch. I’m also utterly rotten at binge-watching and spending a day just watching TV.

Taking that into consideration, there’s one programme/series where I break those rules – and it’s Masterchef Australia.  I really like it, for a range of reasons – mainly, it’s *so* Australian, and so unlike any other version of the programme.  The credits are bloody awful, but the rest of it is just something that appeals to me.

On the downside, it’s also frigging huge. This year it ran for 13 weeks, five nights a week.  Thankfully it’s usually only 45 minutes per episode, but that’s still nearly four hours of TV a week, for 13 weeks. That is, for me, a lot of TV.

It’s finished now, and as always it feels like it’s been a slog to get through it. You have to keep up with it, or the backlog rapidly gets insurmountable.

As usual, I’m glad I’ve seen it – but I’m also glad it’s complete, and that this particular drain on my TV time is done.

New Year

Normally, I don’t celebrate New Year – I couldn’t give a shit about midnight, Auld Lang Syne, fireworks and so on. Entirely not my thing.

However, over the last few years, I’ve been going out for meals on New Year’s Eve, and being back home (or, more usually, still driving home on beautifully clear and empty roads) by midnight.

This year though, it’s all a bit underwhelming – even the offering at Helene Darroze (where I went last year) is disappointing, as there’s very little change from what I had last year. There’s nowhere else that’s massively grabbing me as a “want to try” (or at least nowhere that’s currently released their menu)  so for now, I’m really not sure what I’m going to be doing.

Mind you, right now I’m actually quite OK with that, of actually doing sod-all for New Year.

Attempting Sensible

In ‘minor miracle’ news, I’m actually trying to be a bit sensible.

The weekend just gone was (for me) quite quiet. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends again, and taking a blowtorch to the middle, so by the time Friday came round I was pretty much done in.  So I opted for making the weekend a quiet one – as well as idiotically busy during the weeks, I’m also aware that next weekend is hyper-crammed, so a quiet one was a sensible option.

Then I did have stuff booked in for the weekend after, and I’ve cancelled that out. I may regret it, but anything that was booked up for it, can be re-booked for another weekend. The downtime is needed.

Of course, my brain lets me down on these things – because I’ve cancelled those things, it’s now saying “Ooooh, it’s free, you can do [x], [y] or [z].”  So far I’ve succeeded in not succumbing to that seductive “You’ve got to be doing something” voice but as always, it’s a struggle.

We’ll see how it goes. As always, I know I’m at that point of needing the time off, but it’s still hard to persuade my brain that doing nothing is OK.

Fiscal Alterations

Over the coming year, there may well be some interesting changes in the finances, although I don’t completely know yet whether they’ll happen – because no-one is willing to give a definitive answer.  Needless to say, that’s frustrating. But hey ho.

The change, if it happens, will be significant. Basically, come August 2018, it’ll be the full six years since my bankruptcy was declared.  In theory, that means it should come off my credit score, as all things do after six years.  The thing is, no-one can tell me whether it’ll happen. It might be that it won’t come off for a further year, because while it was declared in 2012, the official bankruptcy period lasts a year, so it remained ‘active’ until 2013.

Even when I’ve asked financial advisors and debt counselling people, the best answer I’ve been able to get out of any of them is “It depends”

If that’s the case, it won’t come off my record until August 2019. It’s still livable with, and there’s nothing hyper-urgent or anything about clearing the record. It’d just be nice to know.

Once that’s off my record, then it’s a case of onwards and upwards. I’m doing OK already, but really it’ll be nice to have the clear record. Indeed, for now it’s the only thing that’s holding things back, so I’m looking forward to having it gone.  But only time will tell when it’s going to happen.

Already Taken

This morning I came across something that sounded really interesting – Yorkshire Sculpture Park are doing a “Room to Breathe : Four walks in four seasons” event, walking and talking around the park, similar to outdoor/walking therapy.

(Facebook event details here, which includes the dates and so on)

Then I looked on my phone at my diary. Oh cock.

So… despite the event being on four different dates through 2018 (right through to September) I’ve already got stuff booked in on each of them.  All four, already taken. *sigh*

You know when I said that one of my targets for 2017/18 was to ‘do less’? Yeah, look how that’s already working out…

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