D4D

I do not think that word means what you think it means

Archive for the category “Single Life”

Weirdly Consistent

When I moved here six-and-a-half years ago (and yes, that does still freak me out) I got a Cineworld Unlimited card, so I could see as many films as I wanted to.  It’s a decent deal, less than £20 a month, so as long as you see more than one film per month, it’s paid for itself.

Because I’m a geek, I also started listing what I’d seen, with a separate sheet per year.

And it seems like I’m really quite consistent in how many films I see each year – not through any plan or schedule, it’s just the way it’s worked out.

The totals are

  • 2012 – 26 films (although that’s in under six months, as I didn’t get the card ’til July/August)
  • 2013 – 61 films
  • 2014 – 64 films
  • 2015 – 64 films
  • 2016 – 54 films
  • 2017 – 66 films

And so far this year I’m on… 62, with a couple of weeks to go.

Each year I think I’ll up my quality control a bit and see fewer films (when you’re not paying anything to see them, it’s remarkably easy to just say “Yeah, fuck it, I’ll give that a go”)  And yet it all ends up being much of a muchness.

It’s odd, but I’m not going to complain. At least I know I’m getting value for money out of my Unlimited card.  (It’s an outlay per year of £215 all told – so each film is costing me an average of £3.30, which is one fuck of a lot cheaper than the £10-ish for a single ticket!)

Easing Up, and Planning/Preparation

From here on, the rest of this year is considerably calmer than the rest of it has been.

I’ve no more overnight stays away, and while I’m still doing stuff, it’s to a lesser degree than before. And about time too.

While it’s easing off, I’m also working out what I’m doing – and what I want to do – next year, which is entertaining.

As usual, I’m trying to not fill things up too much for the coming year – although there’ll be enough stuff to keep me going.

But for now, I’m going to just enjoy it being a bit quieter, a bit calmer, and hopefully just catch up on some downtime. Hopefully

Nasturtia

So far this week, I have been Unwell.  It was very similar to the episode in February where I was also spectacularly Unwell – thankfully this time wasn’t as bad, but it’s still been no fun.  Well, I say it’s been better, whereas actually it’s been just as nasty, but in different ways – and I’ve been more prepared this time to deal with the warning signs early.

In February I wasn’t sure what had caused it – I’d had a meal at a (now closed) Michelin-starred restaurant, and was pretty certain that it wasn’t food-poisoning in any way that I recognised.  This weekend was the same, no real idea of causation – although I’d had another couple of spectacular meals in the preceding days.

However, there’s only been a couple of common ingredients through the various meals, and with the whole set of symptoms being so similar, they’re what I’m looking at in particular.  (And this is also where it’s really useful to have taken photos of the stuff I’ve eaten, to be able to use them for reference on stuff like this)

The conclusion I’m being drawn to is that I have a *really* unpleasant reaction to either nasturtiums or marigolds. It takes about 24-36 hours to kick in, and then yeah, no fun at all.  In the case of this week, the lunch I had in Manchester on Saturday was very heavy in nasturtium garnishes, and I think that’s what triggered everything.  And looking at WebMD (via a Google search) I found that nasturtium can cause stomach upsets (look in the “side effects” tab) – which is one nice term for what’s affected me on both occasions.

I may at some point decide to experiment a bit, by trying another meal with nasturtium garnishes and see if the results are the same – but it’s not something I’m going to be eager to do.

In the meantime, it’s not an allergic reaction – and I’ll never be dramatic enough as to claim it as one – but at the same time I think it’s going to be something I might need to start mentioning to restaurants when I book in. Which sucks, but when all’s said and done, it could be a lot worse.  And at least I’ve now got a fairly good idea of what’s going on.

2018/19 – What’s the Plan?

As has become traditional round here, it’s time for a list of what I’m aiming for and hoping to do in the coming year.  Some will be familiar (because I keep starting and not finishing) but I’m also hoping to get rid of a couple that never really happen, and maybe add a couple to replace them.

  1. Keep on working on losing weight.
    This one is a long-term thing, and one I’ve written about before. For me, it’s a struggle – I’ve worked with a number of resources this year so far, and feel better-informed than I was, but there’s still a long way to go. If nothing else, this year so far has eliminated a lot of options and bullshit.
  2. Keep on improving fitness/health
    Linked to losing weight, I’ve had more success with this one over the last 12 months, but there’s still stuff to do and improve.
  3. Continue doing the stuff I enjoy
    Various bits here – but basically, do stuff I want to.  Not as a “fear of missing out” (“FOMO”) thing, but just as in “I really want to see/do [x]” and doing so.  (This is, of course, in direct contrast to ‘doing less’ in the list below, so it’s a bit of a balancing act!)
  4. Be more sociable
    I’ve realised this year that I’ve been utterly crap with seeing friends – I’ve been doing a lot of stuff, but at the same time it hasn’t been overly sociable, hasn’t involved going to see friends at all.  And that needs sorting.

I’m getting rid of some of the longer-running goals. They’re still things I want to work on – I’m not giving up on the plans, just on the having them as goals – but it affects me more when I see my ongoing failure to complete/do/start them year on year.

So I’ll note them here as reminders, but they’re not part of the main “What I’m aiming for” list. See if it works better for me as advisories, rather than as targets/goals.  And those reminders are…

  • Writing
    I want to do more writing – I’ve got the ideas, but it’s finding the time, inclination and drive to get them actually going. I hope to schedule more in – I’ve also invested in some tools that should allow me to do so – but we’ll see.
  • Business plans
    As with the writing, I’ve got the ideas, but need to allocate time and energy to getting them to work.  In some cases I’m frustrated by time, in others by funding for getting them how I want them. We’ll just have to see how things go.
  • Doing Less
    This is kind-of related to the above two – if I could sort my brain out so that ‘doing less’ was better, then I’d hopefully have more time to spend on the writing and business ideas.
  • Plan Better
    And the final one, which controls all of the others – make better plans, notes, and be better organised.

Staying Put. Again.

This is the time of year where I decide whether to move or not.  And this year (as with the previous six and a half) I’ve decided to stay where I am. Again.

It’s weird in many ways. This is the place I’ve stayed in the longest since leaving school. I think I’ve now been here in this one house for longer than any of my relationships have lasted.

Some of it my staying here is voluntary, and some of it is less so.  During the bankruptcy process, it was easier to stay here and not have to go through the hassle of explaining to estate agents and tenancy checkers what had happened, or to get blocked at the first step (having paid a couple of hundred quid in non-refundable fees) because of credit-scoring.  It’s been a lazy way to do things, but sometimes even I just think “You know what, I don’t need that hassle in my life”.

Additionally, as I’ve said before, the best bit about where I am is how easy it is to get away from it. I can cover a huge swathe of the country in a two hour drive, and I’ve done so.  It makes everything else in life easy.  If I were stuck in the back of beyond, where it took an hour just to reach civilisation, I’d probably have moved several times.

Alongside that, I kind-of like my little house. It’s almost a hermitage in that there’s really not the room for visitors – certainly nothing that would allow friends to stay for a weekend, or whatever. That suits me, and isn’t a complaint – it’s just a fact of this place.  It means I go and see friends, they don’t come to see me. And that works OK for me.

And so far, while I’d like to move on, there’s nowhere that’s particularly calling me, nowhere that’s making me think “Yep, I want to be there”.  I’ve got two or three potential candidates in mind for my next location, but as yet there’s no real decision, no absolute “That’s the one” feeling.

And without that drive, well, for now I might as well stick with what I know.

I want to move on/away. I just don’t know where to, and don’t really have any decent reason to move, except for just “I want to”.  And at the moment, that’s simply not a good enough reason.  I suspect that next October, it might be.

Slow Days

This month, I’ve come to the conclusion that taking days off (or even having days of doing Not Much) are actually bad for my health. (Note : This post is slightly tongue-in-cheek)

I know I’m renowned for keeping on going, for doing lots of idiot stuff all the time and staying busy. I do also regularly think that I’m doing too much, and need to slow down a bit.  However, when I do so, I get massively hit with illness and general ill health.

The weekend before last, I took a day off, doing very little (still maintaining my step count, but not much else) which was much needed.  However, that kind of day lets me relax, and my resistance becomes massively lowered – so this time I went down with a stinking rotten cold that hit me like a hammer. which lasted into this week.

This weekend, I did very very little on the Sunday (after a significantly hectic week) and came out of it with the start of a gout attack (happily now faded) and a whole set of aching bones, and an even worse night than usual.

The gout in particular was absolutely my own fault, due to the excesses of the weekend and the fact I hadn’t really planned of prepared for it at all in the ways I normally would. I’ve been able to recover from it quickly this time, because I do know what works and what I need to do.

But all told, I’m pretty sure that days off are just bad things for me.

[NOTE : I actually do know I should slow down more so that things aren’t quite as hyper and exhausting in general. It’s just that I’m incredibly bad at doing so, and this year’s showing no real signs of letting up on that score)

Bo Bech at Bibendum

Last week, Claude Bosi (one of the chefs I follow on Twitter) announced that one of his good friends, Bo Bech of Copenhagen’s Geist would be cooking at Bosi’s restaurant at Bibendum in Michelin House in London for one night only, in support of Bech’s new book, published that day. And I was lucky/early enough to get myself a table.

The event was last night, and it was epic.

Me being me, I turned up a bit early – I’m always happy to sit at the bar or whatever – which meant I also got to go into the kitchen, meet Chef Bech and his crew, and have a quick chat. Pretty impressive in and of itself!

As part of the price of the meal, all diners also got a signed copy of the new book “In My Blood” (which is beautiful, and brilliant) which added to the event as well.

And the food itself was spectacular.  Things that just shouldn’t go together (Duck, Pumpkin and Coffee? Shouldn’t work. Does.)

All told, it was one of the best meals I’ve had – and that potato mash with caviar is definitely the most decadent course! – and it was just spectacular.

So now I need to organise a city break to Copenhagen and go to the place itself.  And there’s a couple of other restaurants there I want to try as well. That could be a very expensive weekend…

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