D4D

And when there was one set of footprints, that's when I was on my pogostick.

Archive for the category “Getting Organised”

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…

Recharging and Vindication

A couple of weeks back now, I took my car to the local Kia dealership (as it’s a Kia) for its MoT.  It had been serviced there a couple of weeks prior, and at that point the dealership hadn’t impressed me for a couple of reasons I won’t go into for now.

It passed the MoT just fine – needed two bulbs replacing, and that was it.  But that evening, once I was home, the car wouldn’t start – the battery was completely flat.  The only thing different to its usual treatment was the MoT, and the recovery guy who came out to sort things agreed it was likely they’d done something to flatten the bloody thing.

I spoke to the dealership the next day, and they denied all possibility that the problem was down to them. Couldn’t happen, sir. You left here fine (forgetting that it was running when I got in, I hadn’t had to start it) so it can’t be us. Just one of those things.  If you really want to check, we’ve got a super-expensive tool for testing batteries properly, you can come in and we’ll do the check.

Which I did.  Went in, and this super-tool said “Battery 100% OK”. Fair enough, it might be one of those things, I suppose.  They were quite patronising about it all, and again insisted it couldn’t be anything to do with them.  The only other way to find anything (“sir”) would be to drop it in for a couple of days, let it wait around and we’ll see if it drains, or what might be wrong.

However, the problems went on. It’s never completely flattened on me again, but I’ve been more aware of the delays on starting, and I’ve given it some bigger runs just to ensure the battery is as topped as possible.

So last week, knowing I’d got a hire car for a day-trip to Leeds (of which more in another post) I also booked it in to the dealership again for today, so they could have it a couple of days and find out what the problem is.  It led to a bundle of fucking about, but it all came together in the end.

Lo and behold, this evening I got a call.  Apparently, the battery *is* fucked, despite what their super-tool said a week ago. So they’re replacing it, and will then see tomorrow how everything goes, and hopefully I’ll collect it on Wednesday.

It’s fair to say, we’re going to have words when I do collect it.  This has been a shitload of hassle, and it’s taken me a bundle of time away from work in order to keep on getting things sorted. My sense of humour has, as they say, somewhat failed about the whole thing.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens – but I do feel somewhat vindicated about the whole thing.

What the dealership doesn’t seem to realise is that the servicing department is as much of a sales tool as the showroom is. I’ve got a Kia, and so far I’ve been quite pleased with it. I would have considered getting another one – and it would likely have been from that dealership.  But if they can’t sort me out with a cheaper car and be competent, why the *fuck* would I stick with the same company once the current issues are sorted, let alone buy a new (to me) Kia?

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…

Expensive

For a number of reasons, the last month has been idiotically expensive.  Some of it has been voluntary, some of it has been necessary. All of it has added up.

In the last month or so, it’s included…

  • Four new tyres for the car (Necessary, as all four were getting close to their wear limits)
  • MOT for the car (Necessary!) – thankfully, it only needed two new bulbs, so the MOT itself wasn’t all that expensive
  • Car Insurance – (Necessary, but also Voluntary – I paid the entire lot at once, rather than monthly, which saved about £60)
  • Tickets to see a band called The The in London next year (Entirely voluntary, of course)
  • Tickets to see Macbeth at the RSC in Stratford-on-Avon next year (Also entirely voluntary)
  • Tickets to see Titus Andronicus at the Barbican in London early next year (Voluntary)
  • New walking boots (Necessary, considering the damage I sustained from the broken old ones)

And that doesn’t include all the usual stuff.

So yeah, fairly expensive. It’s all still within my budgets and limits, and the majority will be paid off this month – but all the same, it’ll be nice if I can have a quieter October and November, with less outgoings!

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…

Healing Heels

Over the last three weeks, I’ve managed to damage and hurt my feet more than I have in the previous year or more.  And it’s all preceding a walking marathon at the end of September, so it’s been a little bit stressful.

It all started (as I wrote at the time) with an ill-fated walk to National Burger Day, during which I discovered I’d destroyed the insoles of my current walking boots.

New boots obtained, I wore them and tested them on the 3rd September, with walking to and around Meatopia, then going on to do a concert in them. All told, I was on my feet – in new boots – for 16 or 17 hours, and while I didn’t actively damage myself on that one, I was definitely hurting by the end of it, and changing shoes to drive home was a joy.

Then over this weekend just gone, I went back to London and did an eight-mile walk – but with different socks. And because of that, I ended up with a huge and red-raw blister on one heel.

I’m done now on distance walks until the actual event at the end of the month – so everything will be healed up and fine by then.

As it is, though, right now my confidence is at a low about completing the marathon.  Events (and boots) have conspired against me somewhat, and I’m just trying to decide on my best options at the moment, whether to go with my old (and broken in) boots with new replacement insoles, or stick with the new boots and decent walking socks. Honestly, I don’t know which will be best.

I’ll still be going, and I’ll be doing my best. I’m still 75-85% certain I’ll complete the course.  But if I’m in danger of causing myself serious harm, I’m going to stop and not complete it.  I’ll do my best, but not at the expense of serious damage.

And if I do drop out, I’ll sign up to do next year’s one instead, and be better prepared for that.

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