D4D

Hasta La Muerte

Archive for the category “Do More”

Aging

One of the reasons (I think) for the current phase of my feeling somewhat flattened is relating to me feeling a bit old currently.

That’s not as in “Oh my God, I’m old” and so on, it’s more just some realisations that I’m no longer the age I am in my self-image. Mentally – and many would say emotionally – I’m nowhere near 46.  But this year so far I’ve been feeling older – the fun stuff like new aches, just generally feeling rougher than I have previously.  It’s all just a bit wearing, no fun at all, and quite demoralising.

Alongside that, over the first three months I put on some weight, which wouldn’t then easily shift in the usual ways I use. Also quite demoralising.

The final bit of the jigsaw was getting an eye test a couple of weeks back. While the prescription hasn’t changed much, it’s changed enough, and we’re looking at my next set of glasses being varifocals.  So yeah, I’m feeling a bit old at the moment.

I’m working on it – and that’ll be a follow-up post to this one – but at least I am working on it, and so far that feeling of being flattened is at least lessening as a result.

Q2

For whatever reason, the second quarter of the year is changing pace a bit.  As I said previously, the first three months hasn’t really stopped, and I ended up booked up with stuff every single weekend.  Easter weekend was the start of a quieter bit, where things will (I hope) be a bit more settled, and not quite as hyperactive.

Of course, saying that, I’ve got some bits already booked in, including five concerts in June (two on successive nights) and a couple of theatre things, as well as a week in Toronto (that’s going to be a whole big post of its own later on) and a few other odds and sods, but it’s definitely not (yet) as manic as the first quarter.

So yes, there’s a fair amount that’ll be happening, but also significantly more down-time, which is no bad thing.

A Tale of Two Macbeths

As I said earlier in the week, over the last two weekends I’ve ended up seeing two versions of Macbeth, one at the RSC in Stratford-on-Avon starring Christopher Eccleston, and one at the National Theatre in London, with Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff .

It’s a weird piece of scheduling – for whatever reason, I’d have expected the two main theatre companies to at least communicate a bit, in order for this kind of clash to not happen. However, everyone else I’ve said that to has said “No, they don’t talk”, but all the same it seems pretty odd to me – not least because as well as those two, there’s also the Verdi operatic version also being performed at the same time at the Royal Opera House !

Anyway, for my purposes, it made it interesting to be able to compare the two performances in such proximity.

For me, the RSC version was the one I preferred, although both had flaws.  In the RSCs version, parts of the stage set weren’t visible from our seats – seats that hadn’t been marked as ‘restricted view’ – which was annoying.  It’s a modern-dress setup, which is fine with me, but sticks with a more traditional timescale all the same. The witches were played by a trio of young (9-10 years old) who all spoke in sync, and were extremely good at being creepy. The porter in this one was very good, quite creepy, always on stage, and marking off all the deaths in chalk on the wall.  I hadn’t noticed that initially, but it was very effectively done in later scenes where news of Macbeth’s rule, and the deaths involved – seeing them all getting marked on the walls was a very effective way of putting the point across. We weren’t just seeing the on-stage deaths, this despot was killing all and sundry, feeling invincible while doing it.

We were very early in the run, so there were some hitches with lines not being perfect – but I am seeing it again with different friends later in the run, so it’ll be interesting to see what’s changed – but all told I thought it was a pretty good performance, and really good to see Christopher Ecclestone doing his thing.

The NT version was much more modern, supposedly staged ‘after a revolution’, on a blackened stage. It is very dark in general, but also emphatically trying too hard (in my opinion, of course!) and in particular I felt the witches were less effective as a result. Rory Kinnear was good as Macbeth, as was Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth, but most of the rest of the cast faded in the memory very quickly.   There’s one particular scene with the witches that is very effectively creepy, but the rest is just… meh.  I wasn’t overly taken with the production – and it manages to miss the ‘double double toil and trouble’ speech completely – but I’m still glad I went to see it, and to compare two quite different interpretations of the same play.

Booking Time Out

At the end of 2017 (and of 2016, and of 2015 – I know, I know) I said about needing to take more time out, take some breaks from work and so on.

I am rotten at taking time off – it’s never been high on my driving factors, and really it just ends up being expensive, and me just spending time on my own somewhere else.  And with all that, I find it way too easy to put off booking holidays and time away, it’s such a low priority that it always falls off the bottom of the list of things to do.

So this year, I’ve booked stuff already. I’ve got three breaks locked in, booked and paid for.  One in February, one in May, and one in November.

It’ll be interesting to see, come the end of 2018, whether I feel better for having those breaks or not.  I’m not sure, but I’m going to give it all a go, and find out.

Burns’ Night

Last night, as you may or may not know (or care) was Burns’ Night in the UK.  For the first time, I went out for it, going to one of my favourite Scottish places in London, Mac and Wild, who had a special Burns’ Night menu for a fairly respectable price.

Being Scots themselves, the owners had made sure the entire thing was really good – the food was (as usual) great, and so was the atmosphere, with a live piper playing at the entrance (and for the toasting of the Haggis) as well as pipe-based music in the restaurant. In short, it couldn’t have been much more Scottish if they’d tried.

I’d never done a Burns’ Night properly before, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing. I’ve even got a copy of the whole “toasting of the Haggis” process and poem now, which makes for interesting reading…

Overall, I can see me booking myself in for another one next year – although it’s still undecided whether I’ll try somewhere else, or stick with the Mac and Wild I already know…

Health Check

It’s been about two years since I last darkened the door of my GP for a health check, so a couple of weeks ago, I made the appointment. That day was today.

I’ve done about half the stuff for now – I apparently now need to go to the local hospital in order to get blood tests done, among other things – but everything so far is apparently ‘very good’, and even ‘puts a lot of our patients to shame’. I’ll take that, to be honest.

  • Blood pressure hasn’t changed, and is 130/80.  Slightly high (according to charts I’ve then looked at since) but well within acceptable limits
  • Blood sugar was perfectly fine – on a “random” check (I had eaten within the time-span, so couldn’t do a fasting blood-sugar etc.) it came back as 7, so the proper fasting one should be lower, and well within limits
  • No idea on pulse-rate, but the nurse said it was absolutely fine, so again, I’m happy enough with that.
  • Weight, as always, is too high. I’m still working on it, and getting a couple of referrals to other departments to see what they say, or can help with.

So, we’ll see how it goes with the other stuff – I’ll get it lined up to be done this week – but for now I’m feeling pretty content with where things are.

803

Yesterday, I got an email from Runkeeper, the app I use for tracking most of my walks.

According to them, in the last year I’ve tracked 803 miles – which isn’t bad, but does still “only” total an average of 2.2 miles per day for the year.

So I did OK (and I’m aware that there’s a lot that Runkeeper doesn’t track, for a number of reasons) but still, I know I can do much better than that…

Come this time next year, it’ll be interesting to see whether I have done more or less than this year’s 803…

Challenge, as they say, accepted.

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