D4D

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Archive for the category “Five Year Plan (now Ten)”

Situation Standard

Yet again, I appear to now be idiotically busy over the next few weeks – well, really ’til the end of the year, what with one thing and another.  I still don’t quite know how I end up doing this to myself, but it’s pretty much standard behaviour these days.

I’m not complaining – in general I like being busy, and prefer it to days doing nothing  – but every so often I look at the calendar, and the board that holds all my upcoming tickets, and think “Lyle, you really are a bloody idiot“.

So, just in the next six weeks, and in no particular order, I will be…

  • Seeing Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear in Chichester (and staying overnight, possibly stopping off in Oxford on the way back)
  • A one-day conference in Birmingham, which may or may not happen, depending on other work commitments/stuff
  • A day-trip blitz run to Sheffield
  • A day in London doing a food festival in the morning, and a play in the evening
  • followed the next day by a day-trip run to Middlesbrough and Durham (for reasons I won’t go into now, as it’d identify the dates I’m away)
  • a weekend in Newcastle (which is, of course, not the same one as being up in Middlesbrough, despite proximity and so on)
  • A day trip to Cambridge
  • An evening in London, via Oxford (there’s reasons, but yeah, still idiotic)
  • And at least two other visits to London (with another one in early December)

Not just those travels, but somewhere in there also needs to be

  • Finally getting the starter motor on my car replaced (a hassle/fight that’s taken way too long, and will get written about some other time)
  • Seeing a number of films, which I’ve already got tickets for
  • other (more local) food things
  • Working (of course)
  • And finishing off two other projects.

In short, all a bit mad.

I know I’ve said it before – but for next year I need to start doing a little bit less, not being so booked up, and allocate some downtime for myself.  I just need to get some perspective on it all – because ‘downtime’ for me is also car-time and driving-time, it’s time where I can just float a bit, figure things out and so on.

Mind you, that’s also what I’ll be doing over the next six weeks, so I can figure bits out and what I want to do (and how) in 2018…

Fancy Footwork

[Caution : Contains a post about semi-manky feet.]

Following on from my foot woes two weeks ago, yesterday I went to a podiatrist to find out what the hell had gone wrong, and what could be done to fix it.

Happily, while the damage is unpleasant (you know that when even a podiatrist says “Oooh, that looks nasty” – fuck being someone who has to look at feet fot a living. *boak*) it’s not long-term or massively serious.

Indeed, what it looks like is that basically the whole ball of both feet was covered by a layer of corns and calluses. That was, in general, fine. However, when I damaged them at the end of August, the blisters disrupted a lot of them.  And the healing process added a layer of hard (but effectively brittle) skin over the corns and callouses. So the walking in the marathon attempt split that brittle skin completely, reopened the mostly-healed underlying wounds, and generally made things a whole lot of Not Fun.

So yesterday she spent time taking off the layers of corn and callus, which has left them a bit sore and raw, but also feeling a lot better.

I’ve also got a treatment plan for improving my feet and hopefully not getting a recurrence of the same problem.  But if they do recur, I’ve also got the plan in place for going back, getting them sorted again, and establishing a timeline for how long it takes to happen.

All told, I feel pretty positive about it all.  There are a couple of other smaller foot issues that I’ll be working on sorting out at the same time, but the primary problem appears to have been sorted.

It’s also been a far more optimistic resolution than I’d been expecting – I’d had visions of needing two or three months worth of treatments, but thankfully that now doesn’t seem to be the case.

I’m still going to try and take more care of my feet, and carry on finding out more about what I need to do for next September’s re-attempt at that Marathon distance…

Fluffy

This evening, I’m off to London to see a comedian called Gabriel Iglesias (AKA “Fluffy”) at Hammersmith Apollo.

It’ll be the second time I’ve seen him, and I’m looking forward to it. When the tickets were announced, I got them straight away – at the same time griping about it being a Friday night gig, wishing it could be a Saturday, but there we go, it was the one that was announced.

The Friday sold out pretty quickly, so there’s now a Saturday night gig too – which is kind-of annoying, but still, I’m happy to be going for the original date, the one that should have sold to the people who really wanted to see it, rather than the also-ran “yeah, kinda interested”s, who’ll end up at in the Saturday one.

It makes for a long old day, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Marathonic

[Apologies to anyone who’s already read a similar post on Facebook!]

So – Saturday night was the night of the Shine Walking Marathon. As I’ve said before, I knew it was likely that I might run (well, walk) into problems this time, because of other stuff that’s happened over the last six weeks or so, both with new boots (and resultant blisters) and the initial damage from the walk on National Burger Day.

So I wasn’t fully optimistic about the day, but also I wasn’t going to duck out without at least trying.  I still wanted to complete it if I possibly could, but I was also prepared to back out if it got too much.

And as it turned out, that’s what happened.  Annoyingly, it was the damage from that first walk, which didn’t take long to reblister, swell with blood, and then burst/split. Indeed, it happened within the first three miles. After that, I still did another three, but it was hurting enough that I decided to stop before it became even more serious.

I’m still really disappointed in myself for having bailed – although everyone else I know has effectively told me to not be so bloody stupid – and narked that Life threw so many obstacles and hindrances at me in the last six weeks.

Of course, I’ve now signed up for next year’s one, so I’ll be working on sorting myself out and repairing all the damage over the next three months, and getting properly prepared for it.

 

Farce about Ace

In my standard way, I’m doing some things in the wrong order over the next few weeks.

As I’ve said before, on Saturday night I’ll be doing the Shine London Night Walk, which will be interesting, to say the least. I really don’t know at the moment what to expect, and it’s preying on my mind a bit (actually more than a bit, but there we go, not long now) as to how well I’ll actually do.

Once that’s done, and whatever recovery process is under way, I’m also going to be taking myself to a chiropodist/podiatrist, and getting the problem areas of my feet sorted out.   And that’s what’s backwards.

Of course, If I’d had any sense (or done any real preparation or organisation) I’d have been doing the “sorting out of feet” well before it was time to walk 26-and-a-bit miles on them. But I left it too late – and in fairness, it’s only in the last month that I’ve been experiencing any real pains or problems with my feet. But fixing the issues now would result in greater problems by the weekend, so there we go, backwards organisation it is.

In fairness, this way will probably kind of be in the same vein as the whole [x] Anonymous thing, of having hit rock bottom and the only way being up.  If I present my feet to the chiropodist/podiatrist in the expected post-Marathon semi-knackered state, that should be the worst they can be. Which will mean that only good things can result in the treatment.

Well, that’s the ‘plan’, anyway.  Only time will tell how it handles first contacts with reality…

Stratford

Over the weekend, I went to Stratford-on-Avon.  It’s somewhere I’ve only been once before, and had thought it was a long drive to get there.  Then when I got in the car on Saturday morning, I discovered it’s actually only 70 miles, and so only just over an hour.  Why had I thought it was much further? Because I’m an idiot – last time I went, I travelled via Cheltenham, for lunch at Champignon Sauvage (it was part of my Michelin Project last year)

So I got there a lot earlier than I’d originally planned/expected to, which gave me plenty of time to wander and explore the place a bit, and do some other stuff as well.  Last time I went, I got mislaid a couple of times (not majorly – it’s too small a place to get properly lost in) so I wanted to do things differently this time.

I really enjoyed wandering around – or at least until midday or so, once the coach trip people had all woken up and descended on the place, along with usual weekend shoppers and the like.  But it’s a nice place that’s easy to walk around, and my mental map of it is now a lot more comprehensive.

Then I met up with a friend, M, with whom I was having lunch, and then seeing a play later – see, there was a reason for going, it wasn’t just random!

We had lunch at Salt, a passion-project restaurant for the chef, Paul Foster, who used Kickstarter to fund getting it running. That was thoroughly enjoyable, and is definitely somewhere I’ll be returning to next year when there’s other RSC stuff on that I want to see.

Afterwards, we had some time to kill, so sorted out booking into our respective hotel rooms, then took a ride on the Stratford Ferris Wheel, and then pre-performance cocktails at the RSC.

Finally, we saw Coriolanus at the RSC (about which more another time) , and back to hotels.  I’d booked the room before realising how easy the drive home would’ve been, so that was a bit of expense I won’t need to make next time, but it still made for a decent weekend away from home.

Broken

In what’s becoming a bit of a theme this year, I broke myself a bit last weekend, and the recovery from it has taken a while.

On Saturday, as written about previously, I went to Tobacco Dock in Wapping to attend Meatopia, and then a concert in the evening.  It was a day that I knew was going to be silly, and I’d prepared as much as possible for it.

The plan was…

  • Drive down to North London, park up, and get the Tube down to Euston
  • Drop off a bag at Euston’s Left Luggage office, to collect on my way back
  • Walk the five to six miles from Euston to Tobacco Dock.
  • Go to Meatopia, eat lots, walk lots, etc. etc.
  • Walk back to Euston, get my bag, get changed
  • Head up to Camden (by Tube or foot, depending on timings)
  • Meet other friends there, have some food, then go to the concert
  • All done, walk back to Camden Town, get the Tube up to where I was parked
  • Drive home.

And it actually all pretty much worked out. I ended up getting a Tube back to Euston – although we still walked from Tobacco Dock to Tower Bridge, and then from Euston Square to Euston – and didn’t get changed ’til I was at my destination in Camden, but that was the only real difference.

By the end of the day, I’d been on my feet – in new boots – for about sixteen hours, and it’s fair to say that I was sore and tired. Indeed, I changed my plans for the following day, and spent it as a quiet one, rather than doing a similar walk by going back to Meatopia for Day Two.

And after that, I kind of crashed, in my usual way. By Monday I was in the throes of an evil cold – not flu or man-flu, just a cold, but enough to leave me feeling like shit. Colds and chest-infections are my weak-point, they’re always the sign that I’ve hit my limits – and when I stop after being busy for a long period, they’re always what I go down with.

So this week has been spent working through a whole hail of sore throat, phlegmy chest, and generally feeling like hammered shit. I’ll be fine, and it’s on the wane now, but still, it doesn’t make for a fun time.

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