Archery Return

Back in March, I wrote about my starting to get back into archery after way too long – it’d been a decade or more since I last went, and this year I found a local(ish) club and went through their ‘beginners’ process (for insurance purposes etc.) before getting my bow checked over and slightly updated. In a spectacularly piss-awful piece of timing, I got that done on the same day that lockdown was announced. Bugger.

Fortunately, the club has its own field, so it’s been possible to use it during the lockdown.  I had to sort out a first induction meeting (to establish that I knew their rules and so on) and get my membership card, and from there I’ve been able to go on a regular basis.

So far, I’ve been for eleven sessions, and enjoyed pretty much all of them – last week’s one was less good, but that was just weather and environment being a bastard, plus a healthy dose of hubris from having had a really good session the week before, and it all just clustered up into a shitfest.

As it turns out, it seems I’m generally OK at the whole thing. I’ve been taking my time, building up my strength and stamina through the sessions, rather than aiming to be super-competitive or anything.

The thing for me is that I’m good enough. As with a lot of things, I find I don’t have the obsessive side of things, so I lack that desire to do everything exactly the same way, that push for perfection and rigid routine. Indeed, the people who are like that bore and annoy me.  I’m doing this primarily for fun – I like the challenge of getting things right and doing well – and it’s another way of building up my strength and stamina, which is fine with me.  But no, I don’t think I’ll ever be at the high end of  the club’s score table and so on, because I get to the point of “That’ll do”, and it’s enough for me.

But I’ll keep on going, and see how things go.

 


New Glasses

As I said in an earlier post, I now have new glasses again.  I had been due to get my eyes checked back in March, but as I was getting to the time when it was due, of course Coronavirus did its thing, and we all got locked down.

I’d known that my eyes had changed, that things weren’t as clear as they had been. It wasn’t anything major, but definitely something that needed to be sorted.

So when I finally got an email from Specsavers saying “You can book again for an eye test“, that’s what I did. The process was a pig – I haven’t seen browser-specific stuff in a long while, but it took a change of browser before things got sorted.  But it got sorted, I got booked in, and on we go.

The actual eye test was smooth as usual – although there were fewer people in the store at any time, no drop-ins, and everyone wearing PPE – but it all went fine. Somehow my left eye had improved, and my right had got worse. I’ve no idea how that’s possible or makes any sense at all, but there we go. Anyway, I chose the frames I wanted, paid a metric sod-load (even with  one set of frames being free, the lenses I need are still cocking expensive) and waited two weeks.

The collection of them was the only thing that was a pain – because of current situation, they weren’t doing the usual proper fitting appointment, so collection was “we’ve adjusted them to how we think they’ll work for you” and off you go.

Safe to say, those adjustments weren’t right for me. For whatever reason, the initial fittings never do – I assume my head/face just doesn’t fit in with the standard fitting algorithms and so on – so I made an appointment to go back and get them redone.  That also didn’t work, so I called them back again and pushed for a proper “no, we need to re-measure this” appointment, got that, and got it all sorted.

All told, it took a couple of weeks longer than usual (just because each re-fitting took a week to organise – they’re ridiculously busy, with the reduced number of customers allowed in at any time) but I’m now happy with the new glasses. Hopefully it’ll be another couple of years before I need to get anything else sorted!


Lockdown – Chilled

While my weekends have been a lot quieter, I’ve done some maintenance stuff that I hadn’t got round to before.

Absolutely nothing glamorous, mind you – but I’ve cleaned out and deiced both my freezer and fridge. It’s been a long time since I’d done either, but neither job was a high priority either. However, might as well let the warm weather help out and speed up the defrosting process…

The freezer had slowly iced over – it’s an odd design with freezing elements on each shelf, so it had slowly become that opening any of the drawers was more and more problematic. I don’t actually use the freezer much though, so again it wasn’t overly important.

As it was, over a couple of hours I emptied it out – which was easily the toughest job, because of those iced-over shelves – and then let it all thaw a bit, carved out all the ice, cleaned it up, and then turned it back on and re-filled it.  There was, as expected, a *lot* of ice, but that was about it.

The fridge, on the other hand, was a much mankier job. I’d noticed that there appeared to be a leak, or an overflow, and finally decided to have a look into what was going on.  A quick clear out allowed me to see that at some point the back of the fridge had frozen solid, blocking the drain hole, and that was what was causing the problem.  Of course, that ice was pretty vile, but again, it’s a job that’s been done now, so hopefully won’t need doing again for a while.

I’ll also keep more of an eye on both things, and (in theory at least) deal with them earlier on next time so they don’t become such big problems again. Only time will tell whether that’ll actually happen or not, though.

Hopefully, both items will now run better and more efficiently.  It’s either that, or they’ll go into shock, break, and need replacing…


Lockdown – Blinds

A while ago, I ordered a vertical blind from Tuiss (Edited on 23/05 : who now sell as Blinds2Go – sorry, forgot to add this before) to replace the shitty curtain in the front room, and got it fitted.  I’ve been really pleased with it since, and it’s generally handled life pretty well.

However, two heavy-footed felines stomping in and out of it had meant that some of the clips to hold it all together (plastic chain with connectors onto each slat of the blind) had snapped, so it was beginning to look a bit ropy.  (Additionally, the fabric I chose is slightly rough, so grabs cat fur like an absolute bastard, but that’s a different issue)

Anyway, the number of snapped connectors was getting close to outnumbering the ones still intact, so I got in touch with Tuiss to find out whether I could get some replacement weights and chains.

As it turns out, when I say it was bought and installed “a while ago”, it turns out I meant “nearly six years ago”. All things considered, that means they’ve lasted pretty well.

Tuiss found my order, and we discussed what bits I needed – and at each point I was clear and said I was happy to pay for the pieces, it seemed only fair after six years.  But they’ve kept on insisting that they’ll just send them out – and they’ve done so.

The bits arrived yesterday, and are now all in place on the blind. I’m really pleased with it, and impressed with Tuiss. Depending on how things go, if I decide to replace the blind then I’ll go back to them and do so, and see what they’ll charge me for a replacement blind without needing the infrastructure (the actual holding frame/mechanism and so on)


Eight Years

Turns out, it’s eight years today since I moved to the current house.

A lot’s happened in that time, and I’m still here. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since I left home, which still feels very weird.

I keep on thinking about moving on (and, as I said in a previous post, right now I’m glad it hasn’t happened) and being somewhere new, but so far I haven’t found anywhere I really feel right about moving to.

I don’t know what the future will bring, or where it’ll find me, but for now well, eight years. Wow.


Lockdown – Error #2

Other than haircuts based on a misunderstanding, currently the worst thing that’s going on is that my boiler has broken. As in spectacularly, expensively broken – to the point where it’ll be better to replace it with a new boiler, rather than the costs of sourcing and installing the bits that’ve died.

Thankfully, in all the relevant ways, it’s not really my problem. My landlord was informed that it’s broken, an engineer came round the next day, and gave the verdict that it’s buggered. The landlord’s agreed to replace the boiler, and hopefully it’ll happen in the coming week.

Fortunately it’s not too cold at the moment, so I’m not too affected. The worst bit of it for now is that there’s also no hot water, which makes washing up a pain.  But to be honest, if that’s as bad as it gets, things could be a lot worse.


Bow Time

Decades ago, I used to be highly into archery, and enjoyed it a lot, including shooting up to County level.

Then life got in the way for a while, until I was reminded (15 years ago now) that I enjoyed it when we went to Center Parcs that I went and sorted out a bow and so on and started to get back into it again, and then life got in the way again.

I’d kept the bow and so on, even though I wasn’t doing the archery, and kept on looking for local(ish) archery clubs whose schedules worked with my own. (This is actually a lot harder than you’d think – most of them are on school grounds or similar, so only open specific evenings, and usually ones where I was already doing stuff)

Anyway, about a month ago now, I found a semi-local (within about 30-40 minutes drive) club that has an outdoor range which is open to use seven days a week, which does suit me. But before I could join properly, I had to do their beginner’s course, in order to prove I could use a bow safely.

I did that a couple of weeks back, and again really enjoyed myself.

The final step was to get my bow properly checked out and serviced (it’s not been fired in eight years, I wasn’t going to try it without getting it inspected!) and that happened a week ago on Friday at a place I’d been recommended to use.  Again that was a really good – if not cheap – experience, and by the end of my time there, I was grouping my arrows (at a shorter indoor range) within the space one gets if you circle fingers into an OK gesture.

I filled in, signed and sent off the membership forms the following day, so now I’m just waiting to get my confirmation and card.

All told, I’m generally feeling pretty optimistic about it, and looking forward to seeing how things go.