D4D

Great invention, the nuclear hand-grenade. Now all we need is someone to throw it thirty miles.

Archive for the category “Introspective”

Daft as a Brush

In an ongoing thread, there are times where I realise I really am a silly sod. This is another of those things.

A fair while back, the Cowboy Junkies (one of my all-time favourite bands) announced they were coming to the UK. It had been a fair while since they’d been here last, and even better, it was happening the weekend after my birthday.  However, that was also the end of the week I was already booked up to spend in Northumberland, which was a Friday to Friday booking.  And they were playing Manchester on the Saturday, and London on the Sunday.

So I figured what the hell, it’ll be a weekend, and booked tickets for both Manchester and London. Well I was up in the area anyway, and the London one was billed as being different to the Manchester one (although that has since changed). So why not? (Other than mileage, of course)  I’d drive over from Northumberland to Manchester on the Friday, stay in a hotel overnight, do the gig on the Saturday night, and then drive home afterwards. Easy.

And then the plan changed a bit. When I saw the play Queen Margaret in Manchester, I realised how painless the journey was by train. So instead I figured I could drive home from Northumberland on the Friday – allowing me to get laundry and so on done in the evening and so on. Then on the Saturday I could get the train up, have lunch somewhere new and fancy that had grabbed my attention, then walk down to the hotel, check-in, drop off bag etc., go to the gig, stay overnight on Saturday, train home on Sunday morning, then down to London for Sunday night.

Yes, I’m an idiot, and an absolute loon. But I cut my mileage by taking the train, and improved my own safety by not driving home from Manchester late on a Saturday night. So that, at least, was sensible…

Decisions

Last year, I signed up for (and started) Cancer Research’s Shine Night Walk in London.  I didn’t complete it – various odds and sods conspired to make it impossible without sustaining a lot of damage – and signed up for this year’s one, at the end of September 2018.

I should have been out doing preparation for the last three to six months. Instead, I’m out of shape – with the heat we’ve had this year I haven’t felt at all able to sensibly get out and do the distance walks. I can still beast a seven or eight mile walk with no problems, but the marathon is three or four times that figure.

Right now, it’s five weeks away, so there’s not even any realistic chance I’d have of being properly prepared for it, either.

So I’ve made the decision – I’m not going to go through with it this year. It’s something I do want to do and complete, but trying to do it this year would again likely result in more damage than benefits.

I probably *could* do it – and complete it – but I’d be running the risk of hurting myself in the process, and I’ve done enough of that over the last couple of years.

It’s incredibly annoying, and I’m really pissed off about it – but also I’m acknowledging that it’s the most sensible option for now.

Next year, on the other hand…

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.

2016/17 – What Happened ?

So, a year ago I listed the following as the plans for 2016/17

  1. Continue rebuilding the finances, and keep boosting the savings
  2. Exercise, improve health, lose weight
  3. Complete September’s walking marathon – ideally in under seven hours. (My target is more ambitious than that, but I’ll be happy with 7 hours)
  4. Write more. (And ideally complete/publish some)
  5. Do more of the ideas around my own business
  6. Get out less.  Ideally, some kind of middle-ground between being ultra-quiet/sensible, and the idiocy of the last year
  7. Look more at some political ideas, and see how that goes. (This one’s the random ‘maybe’ one, I don’t know if anything will happen with it or not)

How did it go?

  1. Finances : Yeah, not bad.  Not at the totals I wanted to be at (which is a familiar theme) but I did what I wanted to, so I’m happy with that one
  2. Health : Less so. I haven’t gained any weight, but nor have I lost much. Good intentions have been undermined by an utter failure on Number 6, and life getting in the way of things
  3. Walking Marathon : Failed utterly, as I’ve wittered about at length.  But I’m already signed up for the 2018 one…
  4. Write more : Failed utterly. There are ideas, but as with Health, I’ve been abysmal at doing less, so yeah. Bugger.
  5. Own Business : Kinda. I’ve written out more of the plans, got some ideas in code, and been looking at other stuff. But actually done? Nope.
  6. Get Out Less : Also an utter failure.  I’ve been out loads, and in many ways have kept even busier than I did in 2015/16 – less Michelin-starred restaurants, but more things
  7. Politics : Looked at the ideas, but in the current political climate of Brexit and so on, getting involved on that score strikes me as…. less than wise.

So what’s on the list for 2017/18? Well, we’ll cover that tomorrow…

Punctuality

One thing I hate (I know, one of the many) is being late for stuff – so I’m pretty much always on time.

Actually, that’s a lie.  I’m always early – sometimes by stupid degrees. I don’t mind being early, I’m happy with waiting once I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, and I’ve always got a book or my phone with me, so I can be doing stuff once I’m there.

Even with the conference I was at a couple of weeks ago, I was daftly early. I came into London, and then walked down from Euston to Westminster, and still had an hour-ish to kill before we were let in.  But both days were pleasant days, so I didn’t mind the walk, nor sitting outside and reading. Yes sure, I could’ve left an hour later and still been on time, but in my experience, then there’d have been delays, things would’ve gone tits-up, and I’d have been stressed about it.

If I’m early, I don’t get stressed – it’s more just about being where I’m expected to be, and from there, *shrug*.

I don’t expect anyone else to do it – although I have previously been in situations where we ended up being competitively early (if two people are pathologically early for stuff, and one knows the other gets there first each time, they want to be there before, and it all just escalates until it gets silly) and while I appreciate it if the people I’m meeting are on time, it doesn’t bother me if they’re not.

My earliness doesn’t force itself on others, and really I don’t mind even if those people are late (within reason – being chronically late all the time will annoy me, for example) – it’s more about “Well, I’m where I need to be” and that’s it.

There was going to be a point to this – but I’ve forgotten it. Hey Ho.

Running Into The Flames

Following on from the stories about the terrorist attack yesterday at the Houses of Parliament, the BBC has a piece on the people from St Thomas’s Hospital (literally just over the bridge from the Houses of Parliament) who, on hearing about the incidents, ran to help.  And not just doctors and nurses – I feel a huge dollop of recognition should also be due to Tobias Ellwood, the MP for Bournemouth East, who went to help resuscitate the stabbed policeman.

I don’t care what the hell else is said about those events, but those people are heroes.  Stories like these always remind me of the speech from the West Wing TV Series, (The episode “20 Hours In America, Part II“, if you want to look it up) in the aftermath of another (fictional) terrorist attack …

… and two others are in critical condition, when, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.

Gets me every damn time, the people who don’t stand and take pictures, who don’t run away, but instead run towards the danger.  I’d like to think I’m of a similar ilk – but who really knows, until that time comes?

Waiting Around

I wrote a while back about how bad I am at doing nothing – something I hadn’t properly realised before this year.

In a related way, I’ve also found I’m not great at days when the only thing I’ve got planned is in the evening. It’s not too bad during the week, because I’ve done stuff during the day, and then just adding bits in the evenings.

But on weekends, it’s not the same. There’ve been a few days this year where I’ve had afternoon or evening stuff planned, and it’s left me feeling like I’m at a bit of a loss in the mornings, like it’s kind of freeweheeling a bit, not knowing quite what I want to do, or where I want to be.

Honestly, it’s not a feeling I’m overly comfortable with – I like having a plan, and getting on with it. Being in a holding pattern ’til later in the day isn’t something I do well.

I’m more aware of this now, and come 2017, I’ll be making better plans, knowing this about myself. If I’ve got something in the evening, I’ll also do something in a similar area earlier in the day – or just get better at having a half-day.

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