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.
It’s been interesting (for no good reason other than that this is a year that ends in a zero) to look back at what was going on this time ten years ago.
It’s fair to say that a lot has changed in that time – albeit none of it recently.
Back then I was still in Norfolk, and working in Bury St Edmunds (and I did keep the promise to stick with the one workplace for the full year of 2010…) I’d just had the first (and still only) accident of my driving career, sliding on ice onto a set of concrete fence posts, which did a blinding job of twatting the front nearside.
So in that ten years, I’ve
- split with Herself, had another shorter-term relationship, and been single now for much longer than either one.
- moved four times – and been in one place (the current one) for far longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived since leaving home
- changed jobs more times than I care to think about (I could work it out, but truly can’t be chuffed) and been doing the current one for far longer than I ever expected
- been through the whole bankruptcy process, and come out the other side
- been to more plays and theatre things than I’d ever have thought I’d have been to
- and the same for restaurants – Michelin-starred and otherwise. This time ten years ago, I’d not been to any Michelin places – that happened in mid-2010, and I wasn’t impressed at the time. Maybe I should go back there, maybe not.
- changed car twice, and rented a bundle of others as needs directed
There’s a lot of other stuff – it’s interesting to see how a lot of the things I wanted to change then that I still want to change now, for example – and I’ll write more about that elsewhere/elsewhen.
It’s a whole new decade out there (and I can’t be arsed with the argument about whether that’s 2020 or 2021, so don’t bother) and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
This weekend there’s been a bit of a “ten years ago” meme going round social media, and while I won’t get involved (mainly because I don’t do photos of me, let alone photos of me from a decade ago) it did make me go back to the archives here and have a look at what was going on. Which was quite interesting (to me, anyway)
Ten years ago, I was still with Herself, we were in the Norfolk house, and sleeping abysmally while also sick as chuff with a chest infection of sorts. So, some things never change. I was working in a local-government job I hated – and the post about that was exactly ten years ago today – and generally doing OK.
I did also find a post about my weight – and again, not much has changed. I’ve lost a bit of weight since then – which I’m happy with – but all told it’s really stayed pretty stable. (There’s another post back in Jan 2005 about the same thing, with similar figures to where I’m at now)
Of course, there have been a lot of changes in that ten years, but it’s also interesting to see what’s stayed much the same…
Sometimes I really worry about my own dodgy sense of humour.
Today’s one related to the helicopter crash in Norfolk earlier this week, so if you’re easily offended, look away now and don’t click on the more link…
Having just done a random search, I’ve found out that the house in Norfolk I had with Herself is back up for sale.
It’s kind of weird, seeing the changes that have been put in by the new owners – some make sense, and are things we’d talked about doing. However, others are – somewhat mental.
As a prime example of the latter, the new owners have brutally trimmed the cherry tree in the front garden, and completely removed the huge weeping willow that was in the back garden. (and was one of the factors that made me like the place) I can see why they would have got rid of it – it was a pain in the tits to mow around, and dropped crap on the grass all year round – but it was such a fantastic tree, I’m actually kind of sad to know that it’s gone.
Interestingly, despite the work the new owners have obviously done, the price isn’t actually any different than we paid for it six years ago.
Roughly this time last month, life came to a bit of a crunch point. I haven’t written much about it so far – and won’t write much more about it after this – but a number of things bubbled up at the same time, and I feel it’s worth adding in some thoughts with a bit of hindsight etc. I’m not going to be going into the whys and wherefores of any of it.
Basically, I had a bit of a breakdown. Going home on the Thursday night plunged me into a huge dollop of depression, which isn’t exactly great at the best of times. I thought I could get over it, that it was a “bad day” thing, but the next day was actually worse, to the extent that I simply couldn’t face going home for the weekend. It was a real physical reaction, that I just couldn’t do it. So instead I went away for the weekend- went back to the house, sorted things there, got some clothes, and left again. I didn’t even wait for Herself to come home- I sent her a text message to let her know what I was doing.
I’m not proud of myself for that, not even slightly. It was completely unfair, unreasonable, and downright shitty. There are no excuses, no glossing over it – it was an utterly unutterably crappy thing to do to anyone, let alone a partner of five years, a friend of twenty years.
What it was, though, was a way to survive. If I’d stayed there for the weekend, I don’t honestly know what would’ve happened, or where I’d have ended up. Some people have called what I did cowardly – and fair enough, maybe it was. I can’t say I was honestly in my right mind. But at that point, where you physically and mentally can’t face going back somewhere, I don’t think “being in one’s right mind” is ever going to happen.
Again, I’m not proud of what I did. It had to happen, but I should’ve/could’ve done it one hell of a lot better.
So a lot’s changed since then, and I’m working on all the necessary changes. I don’t know how they’ll work out, I don’t know how any of it will work out. But I’m not going to put myself in that situation again if I can possibly help it.
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One of the more surprising things about yesterday’s trip to London was the cost of the train ticket to do the journey.
Now I wrote about it last year when National Express East Anglia decided to almost-double the cost of the trainfare overnight from £40 to £74, and ended up with a letter from NEEA telling me that oh yes, it’d been an error, and the prices would drop back down at the next revision.
Looks like that was a lie, too. Indeed, the price has now gone up, so a return ticket with travelcard cost me £80.80 That really takes the piss. I could’ve driven down, parked all day, and driven back for less than half that amount – the only reason I didn’t was that I wasn’t in the mood for navigating London and the M25.
On the (very minor) plus side, the trains are now a lot less busy than they were when I was using them on a daily basis a couple of years back. Of course, that just means that (in theory at least) NEEA will then try and gouge their remaining customers even more in order to maintain the same levels of income.