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.
As I’ve mentioned before, at the end of September I’ll be doing the Shine Nightwalk marathon in London. I’m mainly looking forward to it, although I can’t deny that there’s a dose of trepidation to balance things out a bit.
Anyway, following a particularly ill-fated walk last week, I discovered that my boots – the ones I was planning to do the marathon in – are pretty much destroyed inside, to the extent that they’d caused me some really unpleasant blisters during that walk.
So of course that’s meant I’ve had to buy new boots for walking, and now have to break them in over the next couple of weeks in order to be ready for the end of the month. Thankfully, the ones I prefer are more like trainers inside, rather than being hard-core ‘proper’ walking boots, so the process shouldn’t be too complex/painful. (Crossing my fingers like no-one’s business there)
In fairness, it’s not the first time this has happened when I’m doing one of my bigger walks – I should know better by now. Indeed, the first 10km walk I did, the boots I was planning to use fell apart on the morning of the walk, so I ended up doing it in my normal everyday Cat boots instead, and came to no harm. But still, a marathon is four-and-a-half times that distance, so I’m trying to be a bit more prepared. (Not massively so, but enough that I don’t make a complete twadge of it all)
Anyway, the new boots arrived yesterday – fairly impressed, ordered them on Saturday through Cotswold – they were even on a better online price than expected – for supply to the local Cotswold store, and they arrived as expected, even over a Bank Holiday weekend. And the wearing-in process starts today.
The proper test will be on the weekend, when I’ll be using them to walk from Euston Station to Tobacco Dock (four miles, give or take, depending on which route I aim for) for Meatopia, then five-ish back to Camden for a concert – and then a similar Euston -> Tobacco Dock and back on Sunday for the same thing. If they’re not broken in by then, I’m going to have problems.
There are a couple of other walks between now and the end of the month (I changed some plans around to give me time to do so) and all should be fine by then. But we’ll know more when it happens…
Somehow, we’re now already halfway through 2017.
As usual, in some ways it feels like I’ve done (or achieved) absolutely sod-all this year so far. In others, it feels like I haven’t stopped at all, and have done loads. Time’s weird like that.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. Soon be the Festering Season again…
Amazingly, I’ve been in the current house for five years today. How time flies when you’re having fun, and all that piss.
As it stands, this is now the longest I’ve been in any one place since I moved out of the parental home. It’s certainly not my “forever” place (whatever the hell that means) but it does suit me for the moment – and even admitting that feels kind of weird.
There are two significant reasons why I’m more settled here than pretty much anywhere else I’ve lived…
- The location. To coin a cliche, it’s easy to get away from (as I’ve said before) with the M1 for North-South travel, and the A421 for East-West, both within easy reach. It gives me plenty of options, and lets me be away from here on a regular basis while still having somewhere that’s easy to come back to. Compared to (for example) living in Norfolk and Suffolk where it was an hour to get out of the damn county – or onto decent dual carriageway – and this is just easy. Because of that, I’m not keeping on thinking about where would suit me better.
- The finances. While I’m doing a lot better now, and could easily fund a move, it’s more about the credit-checking and so on that would go with any new tenancy. At the moment, I’d likely faily it (or at the least it would cause problems) so it’s easier to stay here. That wouldn’t stop me from moving if I really wanted to – but because of Reason One, that’s not currently the case. And without an urgency to it, why cause myself more problems or hassle than I need to?
As things stand, my tenancies expire in November – because the first tenancy was just six months, and then they’ve extended as 12-month ones. The bankruptcy comes off my record in August 2018. Unless things change radically in the meantime, I think I’ll be here ’til then, and from there I’ll see how I go. So the odds are, another 18 months here, and who knows after that?
After this coming weekend, life calms down a bit once more. (I know, it’s a recurring theme) From here, I’ve got fewer weekends with stuff already booked – at least until September, which is already idiotic. (Of which more later, or in a future post)
However, that doesn’t mean I’ll not be doing much.
Come the end of September, I’ll be walking a marathon distance, and I want to have an equivalent distance already under my belt by then, along with some other practice/training walks building up to it. I did a half-marathon distance back in October, but then haven’t done anywhere near as much since, and I’m aware that I really should have done. Oops, as they say.
So in the run-up to the end of September, that’s (part of) what I’m going to be doing. Taking some time, some days out, doing a shitload of walking. It won’t all be London-based, although the majority will be.
I know I could easily just rock up on the day and complete the course – but I do want to at least appear to be taking it more seriously than that.
Of late, I’ve noticed that I’d been getting a bit complacent about exercise, walking and the like. I’ve still been doing it, and meeting my targets, but it had all got a bit easy, always making my target.
Since getting the Fitbit, my daily target has been 5,000 steps – about half of the recommended (but completely arbitrary) 10,000, but a daily target I could live with, and that was feasible with my work, commute etc.
Some days have been harder than others along the way, but I was always getting at least five out of seven where I’d reach my target, and some of those would absolutely beast the total, so I’d average around 60,000 steps a week.
This year, though, I’ve noticed that 5,000 step target has been easy – I haven’t missed a day this year so far. I also ended up not doing as much – if I’d done that 5,000 by the end of the working day, I didn’t do much in the evening.
So last week, I upped the target, this time to 7,500. It’s still doable, but does require me to do more. (Logically enough)
The only downside of this is that, because Fitbit have written abysmal code, the app can only handle one step target – so it’s updated all my targets since Day One to 7,500 – which means I’ve got a lot more missed days than I did have before I upped it. In short, this is known as Bollocks.
But hey ho, it means I’m doing more and walking more, and that can’t be a bad thing.
At the moment, I’ve got several writing plans/projects in my head, but two that are really standing out, and that I want to work on. And already that’s a fair dollop of progress.
For now though, I’m trying something a bit different – I don’t yet know if it’ll work out, but so far it appears to be doing OK.
Basically, rather than just writing and seeing how things develop, I’m taking some time first to outline it all, so I know what the plan is, where characters will go, and how everything interacts. It’s also interesting, from the perspective of figuring out more about how my brain processes these things.
The only thing that concerns me currently about this process is that I know how I am, that once I’ve written something down or otherwise got it out of my head I’ll forget all about the details, and there’ll be something else to grab my attention instead. Oooh, shiny.
So it may be that doing these outlines is as far as I go on these ideas. Or it may be that the outlines gel everything together so that I know what I’m doing, and then just want to get it done.
And only time will tell which of those options will happen. Which is kind of cool, and kind of frustrating…