When I went back to Reading over the weekend, I also took the opportunity to stop off in Bracknell.
There was a vague kind of logic/sense here, in that I expected Reading itself to be solid, through having road closures etc. going on for the half-marathon itself, plus usual Sunday shoppers and so on, so it made more sense to get to somewhere else, and then train into Reading. I knew Wokingham station’s car-park is a bit of a cluster-chuff at the moment, so I went for Bracknell instead. And as things turned out, that worked really well.
Of all the places I’ve lived, Bracknell was probably the one I liked least. (I just tried writing ‘the most least-liked’, but that’s a phrase to make eyeballs bleed) I’m not a great fan of most of the area – I don’t mind Wokingham and Windsor, but the rest I could happily never really visit again. So it was also a chance to see if Bracknell had improved at all, or if I still disliked it.
First things first, there’s a whole new roundabout and housing estate on the approach to Bracknell, which was quite a surprise. I’d thought I knew where I was going – and I kind of did – but that did come up as a bit of a shock. (Even more so, as it also didn’t come up on the SatNav) I can’t imagine the driven commute between Bracknell and Wokingham/Reading was any fun at all while all that was going on.
Other than that, there’s a lot of regeneration work going on in the centre of Bracknell, which I didn’t get the chance to have a proper look at. It wasn’t that high in my priority list – mainly because I’m still pretty sure nothing short of flattening it and starting again will do anything positive for the place.
Obviously I didn’t get to see all of Bracknell, but then, nor did I massively want to. The bits I saw were more than enough to convince me it’s still a scabrous shitpit, and definitely somewhere I’d never want to go back to for anything more than a couple of hours. In that context, it’s fine – much more than that kind of timescale, though, and it just becomes some kind of self-inflicted torture…
In preparation for another post (one of the usual ones for a couple of weeks’ time) I’ve been looking at things from (roughly) this time last year, and it’s been a bit odd in some ways.
There’s a distinct synchronicity between the two years, which is surprising. Last weekend, I bought some new tyres for the car – and it turns out I did the same a year ago. It also got a full service done – which I’ve just booked in again.
It’s also just under a year ago that I started doing the day-trips when I could (and/or when I wanted to) on weekends, which has continued and been pretty cool. I haven’t done one in a couple of months, mainly due to a madly busy period with no weekends ‘off’, but that doesn’t mean I won’t again.
Along the way, there’s also been a lot of good stuff.
Comparing where life was last October to this is like comparing pearls with cow shit.
October 2014 was a low point, although nowhere near my lowest. (There’s some competition for that ‘honour’, mainly September 2010, April 2012 and August 2012, although I’m sure there’s a couple of other close-runners too) At the start of it, I’d just walked out on ShitCo with nothing to go to, nothing even in the pipeline. That was a bit scary, but infinitely better than the prospect of staying working for them. I know, I still haven’t written much about that time, and probably won’t – safe to say, it was No Fun At All.
I got a new contract within two weeks though, and that was the start of the recovery process and climbing back to where I find myself now. I’m still working for the same people, and will be ’til at least the end of the year. It’s been good – and helped by being a role where I work for/by myself for four days a week. I’ve rented an office in central Milton Keynes, which works best for my schedule and environment, and keeps me vaguely sane. (Which working from home four days a week probably wouldn’t)
I’ve done a lot of rebuilding again in the last twelve months, and I’m pleased with how it’s gone.
Onwards and upwards!
Somehow, we’re into August already. The year’s racing by (as usual) and here we are. August.
August is a funny (as in ‘odd’, not as in ‘ho ho’) month for me – for some reason it’s always been rather more eventful than others. It seems to be generally a month of change for me, in ways both negative and positive.
It’s definitely the month I get twitchy about, more than any other. I’m sure that’s because my parents first pointed out what a consistently change-laden month it was (which may have also gone some way to making it a bit more self-fulfilling) but I try to not focus on it. By that, I mean that I don’t consciously go “oh, I’ll do that in August”. August just seems to happen.
- D4D™ got started in August. Not intentionally (well obviously it got started intentionally) in August – that was just when everything came together for it to happen
- My bankruptcy was in August. Again, that’s just when it came about.
- I finally passed my driving test in August.
- I’ve had *lots* of job changes in August, contracts ending and so on.
This time round, it looks (so far) like things will be a lot calmer.
I was a bit twitchy, as my current work contract had an end date next week – and even though I was 99% sure it would extend again, there’s always that “But it’s August, and thus could bite me on the bum” nagging doubt. However, it’s been confirmed this week that it’ll extend again, through to October (which will mean I’ve been doing this one for a year) so that’s all good.
To the best of my knowledge I’ll be staying in the current house for at least another year. That’s the plan (and renewal isn’t ’til November, so not a concern) and I see no current reason to change it.
There’s currently nothing else of major import and change looking like it’ll happen. I’ve got stuff planned for the month, but nothing change-laden. All the same, during August I’ll be…
- Doing a 10Km sponsored walk for Marie Curie
- Seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet (a happy surprise instance, brought about by a friend of a friend not being able to go)
- Possibly another London visit, or alternative Day Trip
- Sorting out (renewing) car insurance again
And there’s a bundle of other stuff as well, alongside the weekly working normality.
So with any luck, this August won’t be too eventful and change-laden. We’ll see.