And so we’re at the end of 2018. And as such, it seems apt that the last post of the year should be a quick assessment and overview.
All told, it’s been a good – and busy – year.
There’s been more travel than usual, with that week in Toronto to add into the bargain.
There’s been more work, but also more fun times, trips out, meals, etc.
I’ve been doing a lot of work on weight-loss which has ultimately ended up not doing much – but I have more knowledge, more figures, and the steps I’ve taken have improved my health, strength, stamina, and resilience. They’ve just done sod-all to lose actual weight. But I’m OK with that, and it’s something I’ll continue to work on.
On the downside, I’m ending the year with a bit more debt than I’d like. It’s nothing earth-shattering, nor even major. A fair chunk of it is for tickets for things in 2019, of which another decent chunk is owed to me by others for their tickets. But all the same, it’s more than I’d like it to be.
However, in a fit of progress and being grown up, it’s also now all in one place, with zero-interest ’til 2022, and it’ll be done by the end of 2019. I could do it even quicker if I wanted – and I may do so – but it’s all under control, and I’m OK with it.
There are, as always, things I haven’t done – no matter the good intentions, they just haven’t happened. I’ll continue to work towards those things, and I’m going to write more about that tomorrow.
All told, it’s been a positive year, and I’m feeling pretty good at the end of it.
While looking at historical August posts on D4D while writing a couple this morning, I came across this one.
So it’s just two years ago – almost to the day – that I saw my first Shakespeare play in a good decade or two, which was Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the main role, at the Barbican.
Since then I’ve seen (in no particular order)
- King Lear – twice (Don Warrington, and Glenda Jackson)
- Hamlet (Andrew
- Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe
- Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick
- Macbeth (open-air production near my parent’s place)
- Tempest (Simon Russell Beale) at the RSC Stratford-upon-Avon
- something else that I can’t currently recall.
I’ve also got Coriolanus in Stratford-upon-Avon next month, and Lear (again) in Chichester in October.
There’ve been a number of other plays along the way as well, and it’s all been pretty damn good. I’m just surprised I’ve wedged as much as I have into two years…
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!