This week – week seven of Lockdown, in case anyone is counting or cares – I learned something really important.
Hair clipper grades are not the length of hair in mm.
So this week, when I decided I’d had enough of my hair being too long (by my standards) I got my new clippers out, and put on the blade that would do a 2mm length. Because that’s a Number Two, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
It turns out, each grade is 1/8th of an inch, so a Number One results in hair 1/8th of an inch long, a Number Two in quarter-inch hair (about 6, 6.5mm) and so on up to Number Eight, which is a full inch long.
So currently my hair is just under a third of the length it would usually be after a trim. It looks and feels like a kiwi-fruit. (However, it’s also lost the silver halo that was developing, andlosing that’s A Very Good Thing)
As it is, I really don’t mind it. I’ve done a decent enough job of trimming it, it’s smooth enough with no tufts, and I won’t have to do it again for a while. It’s not the same as going to the barber, and it’s not something I’m going to end up doing for myself for ever. (Besides, I actually like going to my barber)
All the same, I’ve had a learning experience, and I’ll know better next time.
It’s been a strange couple of months, with all the Coronavirus stuff, and the resultant lockdown. At the time of writing, we’ve completed five full weeks, and it’s looking like there’s still at least another couple of weeks of it to go (at a bare minimum)
All told, I’ve actually done OK (so far, so far) with the whole thing, and it hasn’t affected me too badly – indeed, for the most part my daily life hasn’t changed all that much.
A lot of people have found it tough to be on their own (or in a very restricted domestic situation) and they definitely have my sympathies, but for me it’s been much the same as usual. Indeed, the whole thing has really just proved to me that – for me – it was right to go back to being single, and staying that way. (That one might end up being a larger post in the fullness of time)
Additionally, a lot of people seem to have had real issues with shopping, panic-buying and the like – and again, so far I’ve been pretty lucky, and been able to get things done without running out of anything. (That’ll definitely be a bigger future post) There have been things where I’ve changed the supplier, or found a different method on-line, but so far there’s been nothing I’ve run out of (or even short of)
My health’s been fine, and so far there’ve been no signs of picking up the virus or anything. I’ve slacked off a bit on the whole exercise thing – although I’m still doing some, it’s just nowhere near what I was doing – and in a fit of irony, I actually lost a small amount of weight as a result. (Yeah, my body chemistry is still epically fucked) But I’m also not snacking and nibbling – which again seems to be a lot of people’s coping mechanism – so in general things are pretty good.
Even work-wise I’ve been lucky and most of my stuff is keeping on going. Obviously that might change with time, but for now it’s all still stable, and going well. And there’s a couple of new projects coming in as well, which should (I hope) make things easier as well.
So all-in-all things are good here. And I know that makes me ridiculously fortunate, and far, far luckier than many others.
It’s been interesting (for no good reason other than that this is a year that ends in a zero) to look back at what was going on this time ten years ago.
It’s fair to say that a lot has changed in that time – albeit none of it recently.
Back then I was still in Norfolk, and working in Bury St Edmunds (and I did keep the promise to stick with the one workplace for the full year of 2010…) I’d just had the first (and still only) accident of my driving career, sliding on ice onto a set of concrete fence posts, which did a blinding job of twatting the front nearside.
So in that ten years, I’ve
- split with Herself, had another shorter-term relationship, and been single now for much longer than either one.
- moved four times – and been in one place (the current one) for far longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived since leaving home
- changed jobs more times than I care to think about (I could work it out, but truly can’t be chuffed) and been doing the current one for far longer than I ever expected
- been through the whole bankruptcy process, and come out the other side
- been to more plays and theatre things than I’d ever have thought I’d have been to
- and the same for restaurants – Michelin-starred and otherwise. This time ten years ago, I’d not been to any Michelin places – that happened in mid-2010, and I wasn’t impressed at the time. Maybe I should go back there, maybe not.
- changed car twice, and rented a bundle of others as needs directed
There’s a lot of other stuff – it’s interesting to see how a lot of the things I wanted to change then that I still want to change now, for example – and I’ll write more about that elsewhere/elsewhen.
It’s a whole new decade out there (and I can’t be arsed with the argument about whether that’s 2020 or 2021, so don’t bother) and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
So, I had some plans for the last twelve months, and it’s time for an update. It won’t make for hugely positive reading…
The list from the post a year ago is as follows.
- 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.
RESULT : Absolutely sod-all difference. Which is both positive (I’ve not gained any) and negative (for fuck’s sake, nor have I lost any)
- 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.
RESULT : Fitness and strength have continued to improve, with very few visual clues/hints that it’s happened.
- 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!)
RESULT : This one’s been a success, actually. Although it’s not been a great year in many ways, at least I’ve kept on living my life and generally enjoying it.
- 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.
RESULT : And this one’s been a failure. In fairness, it hasn’t got much worse, but it hasn’t got any better either.
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…
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.
RESULT : Nope, hasn’t happened. Even more ideas bouncing round in my brain, and an absolute zero on getting them addressed
- 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.
RESULT : Nope, nor this. Ideas are still there, but I’ve done keck-all with them
- 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.
RESULT : Nope. Still been an idiot all year and kept busy for about 95% of the time
- Plan Better
And the final one, which controls all of the others – make better plans, notes, and be better organised.
RESULT : Again, Nope. Not even close.
So, all things considered, while it’s not been a bad year per se, it’s also not been a good one. Which also goes to sort of explain why I’ve been crap at getting this organised/written, and why I haven’t yet thought about whether I’m doing this for the coming year, or just sacking it off.
This weekend has been one with a fair bit of travelling. It’s just the way things worked out, but it made for a busy one.
On Friday I was over in Oxford, seeing XKCD‘s Randall Munroe at the Sheldonian Theatre doing a talk about his new book. That was enjoyable – and I’d never been in the Sheldonian before, so that was an additional bonus.
On Saturday I was down in Chichester to see a staging of Macbeth, starring John Simm and Dervla Kerwan.
And then on Sunday I was in Kent, at the Big Cat Experience, as they were doing a “meet the big cats” experience. I’d decided that I wanted to go, and classed it as a birthday present to myself. It was a lot of miles/driving for a two-hour-ish thing, but it was also worth going, and I’d certainly consider going again.
All told, I’ve covered nearly 800 miles over three days. I’m a daft, daft, daft sode.
The last month here seems to have been a parade of minor health complaints, and it’s been more than a bit annoying.
This time last month I got stung by that poxy wasp, and that’s only just healed. Because it was right in the crook of my elbow, it kept on opening up with every movement of my arm, so it’s scarred up a bit more than I’m happy with. Still, there we go, that’s life.
The weekend after that, I was spectacularly unwell – and no-one needs the details of it, but it wasn’t fun.
This week, I managed to slightly bugger up my back – again, nothing major, just the muscles around the lower back rather than the spine itself. Not that that stops it from hurting like a twat every time I stood up, of course! It’s easing off again now, at the end of the week, which is at least some kind of positive.
Individually, nothing has been significant – but when it’s all combined, I’m just feeling a bit run-down. Let’s hope it gets better from here on.
The last couple of weeks have been quiet on D4D™ because life got in the way – and life was just stupidly busy.
Over the last two weeks, I have
- Attended the 2019 Lead Developer conference at the Barbican in London (involving driving to London late on Monday, two days of conference and hotel, coming home mid-evening on Wednesday)
- Late-night ferrying of friends after their wedding anniversary meal (and padded out that time by going to the cinema)
- Done a day on a sponsored walk thing with friends at a fitness group I attend – my own contribution was 32 laps of the 600m track set out for the event, adding up to 19.2km (just under 12 miles) which pleased me
- Seeing the parents
- Attending the “Chefs Reunited” one-off meal at Monica Galetti’s “Mere” restaurant – all courses cooked/created by either Monica Galetti or Rachel Humphrey, who worked together at La Gavroche
- Attending “Conversations with Nick Cave” at the Barbican
- Been on-site on two separate days in Chesham
- Done all the usual work schedule stuff as well
- Before the end of this week, I’ll have also attended two food events this weekend.
I must be utterly, utterly barmy.