D4D

Putting the cunt in constable

Archive for the category “Getting Organised”

One of Those

Customer-services-wise, it’s been one of those weekends again…

While driving home on Friday evening, the windscreen got hit right on the edge by a stone, and cracked. Obviously the impact speed must’ve been fairly high, and it caught at just the right point, so it’s a fairly significant crack, and one that would almost certainly fail the MOT test (which thankfully is no time soon)

So when I got home I called the car insurance’s glass repair/replace number, and organised getting the windscreen replaced. (A fix isn’t going to be feasible, it’s new windscreen time) That all went ok, until we got to their next available appointment.  Which was… May 9th.  Yep, three weeks time, to replace a windscreen.  Safe to say, not happy.  I went back to the insurance company direct, explained why I wasn’t happy with that – I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I were in an accident while the windscreen were damaged. I’m willing to bet that they’d deny the claim, even with having the appointment in place, and the insurance company informed.   They’re like that.

Anyway, they gave me a different number to call. Same company, different number, and as soon as I was speaking to them, suddenly a slot came free for a week’s time, rather than three. How amazing.

So it’s lined up to be sorted this coming weekend.  I’m still not entirely happy about it, but it’s better than waiting nearly a month (because of other things, the replacement would actually have been another week after the ‘first available’ slot…) for it to be done.

 

Then today, I looked at my business account online, and there’s a couple of transactions I don’t recognise, and know I haven’t made. I call the bank, get them recorded as fraudulent, get the money back and so on.  And that’s all OK.

But.  But.   The pattern of these transactions was precisely the pattern that’s used in fraudulent transactions.  Two small (or smallish) transactions, this time both at the very top of the contactless transaction limit, in very quick succession, with a company I haven’t dealt with before.  And then, within twenty-four hours, another large-value transaction, also with a company I haven’t dealt with in a while.  That’s the absolute fingerprint for a fraud transaction – the first two check the card’s validity etc., the second is to make sure it hasn’t triggered systems or been registered as stolen, and then they try to profit from it.

As it turns out, in my case the big transaction was a valid one, but that doesn’t change the issue.

So that pattern of three transactions should have triggered every automatic fraud detection system, and put a hold on my card that would’ve then been dealt with during the big transaction. That’s what’s happened before with the same bank, the same account – except they were valid transactions that just happened to be in that order.  And no-one can currently tell me why it’s not been triggered this time.

I’m not harmed in either case. I’ve got the money back, I’ll be getting a new card, and everything’s fine.  I’ve raised a complaint about it, and I’m pretty sure that absolutely nothing will happen with it.

But yeah, the two things over three days, it all just gets a bit wearing, I could do with not having to deal with it.

Ah well. Fun and games.

Aging – Making Improvements

Following on from my general feelings of being flattened and feeling old, I’ve also been doing some stuff to try and alleviate it a bit, or at least to give myself better information.

The first part of that was a general health review, a visit to the GP to get basic information, as well as booking myself in to get blood tests and so on. (I try to do that every couple of years, as there’s a family history of stuff like underactive thyroid, type two diabetes, heart issues and the like.) As usual, that all came back fine.

The blood-tests were more of a pain in the arse – mainly because I live right on the border of two health authorities, and my surgery refers me to the authority that’s not the one for where I work. So it took me a couple of weeks before I could be bothered to go that way and get them done.  But again, once it was done and I’d bothered rinnging up to get my results, everything was fine there too. A couple of figures that aren’t perfect, but everything’s still well within acceptable range of ‘normal’. Which is enough for me. I’ll probably work on them a bit, but it’s nothing that’s even important, let alone urgent.

As usual, they all say I’m too heavy – file under “Sherlock, Shit, No” – but then when they see the figures, and the speeds/distances I usually walk at, they seem to worry less.  I’m still working on losing some again, but it does somewhat lessen the urgency when they pretty much shrug and go “Oh, OK”…

Following on from that, I got the aforementioned eye-test, which was also positive.  Small changes, but nothing major, and the optician said that my eyes are a lot healthier than those of most people who have similar levels of vision correction to me.

Oh, she also worried me by telling me that people with my level of vision correction are at risk of detached retinas – something that has never been said to me before! – but that mine were OK.  (I mentioned this to my parents last weekend, and they added to it by saying ‘Yeah, there’s a family history of doing that, too”)  So that’s been great, being told all of a sudden about a potential future health issue I wasn’t even aware of.  Joys.

Anyway, all told I’m actually doing OK.  Now if I could just get my brain to follow the same path, things would be wunderbar

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.

Flattened

Yet again, things round here have eased off a bit, I haven’t been updating as regularly as I could/should be doing.  In fairness, that’s not just something that’s been happening here, it’s also been breaking through into other aspects of life, and I’m working my way through the whole thing.

I’ve been describing it to myself as being permanently tired, although as per the title, “Flattened” is perhaps a better description.  So, probably, is “Depressed, but Functional”  They’d all be fair, for sure.

Thing is, I don’t feel depressed. I just feel tired.  I still get up, go to work, do all the idiot stuff I do on weekends. But in many ways it feels like I’m doing a lot of it on autopilot – because I’m tired.

It’s meant I haven’t done some stuff, and some new things (or revisited things) just haven’t happened yet, because I’m too tired, too flat to make the effort.

I don’t know quite what to make of it. I’m figuring it out, and I think (hope) I’ve turned a bit of a corner over the weekend, so in some ways it’s a case of waiting to see what develops.  I know that in some ways I’ve done more new stuff this week already than I probably did in the previous three months.

I’m not going to force the issue – as I said previously, Q2 of 2018 also involves more downtime, which I’m hoping will free up some mental bandwidth, and allow me to start doing some of the stuff that’s currently sitting in my brain saying “Well? Get on with it”.

That’s how it feels at the moment, anyway. Whether the same will be true tomorrow morning, or next week, next month – only time will tell. We’ll see.

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.

Q1 Done

This coming weekend, the end of March, is the first weekend this year that I’ve had free.

Until Friday, it wasn’t free, but plans changed – which is fine. It had been a chain change – yesterday became free because of another change, which meant I could bring the planned day-trip for next Sunday back to this one, and it all worked out pretty well.

It meant that yesterday was daftly busy, with a day-trip down to see friends in North Somerset, with an early start leaving by 6.30am – just what you need on the day that the clocks also went forwards an hour – to get down there, and getting home at 23.30 in the evening. A Looooooong day, but a good one.   I’d already spent the Saturday in London, doing a fair amount of walking, and seeing Macbeth at the National Theatre (having already seen the RSC’s version of Macbeth last Saturday!)

Anyway, that all means that, at the end of the first quarter of the year, I actually have two weekends on the trot where I have nothing booked in or organised. Which is pretty weird, and is already making me somewhat twitchy.

I’ll still be doing things, and I’ve got some plans in place for both weekends – but they’re all more random and disorganised, it’s nothing scheduled or appointments.

And to be honest, that’s just fine with me.

Booking Time Out – Week One

I wrote a while back about how I’d managed to book some time out this year, and intended to take it.

Last week was the first of those weeks, and I spent it with friends down on the south coast – which was pretty good, all things considered. I got very lucky with the weather – while it was cold and windy, that’s not unexpected in mid-February. And while we spent a lot of it walking dogs on beaches, I didn’t put a coat on once. (That’s more because I’m an idiot, and pretty warm generally. Everyone else was bundled up like an unwell Michelin man)  Considering that this week is all about the snowfall and ‘Siberian weather’, I reckon the timing was pretty fortuitous.

All told, it was a good week (well, five days) away. I still ended up doing some work, because of urgency and being swamped with requests, so it was easier to just get things done while everyone else was asleep, but that was fine, and didn’t take up too much time. It would’ve taken up more headspace if I’d left things unfixed until my return today, which meant it was all a bit of a balancing act, but one I feel worked out pretty well in the end.

And now it’s back to ‘normal’ until May, when the next one comes round.  And between now and then I’ve got a sod-load of stuff to do and organise, including making sure everything is in place for the May trip!

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