Six Months In, and No Real End In Sight

This week, it’s been six months since Lockdown was announced. And in the same week, they’ve announced that the newest set of rules/laws/guidelines/guesswork are likely to apply for at least the next six months.

I wish I could say I was surprised. But I’m just not.

I don’t honestly think things will go back to “how they were”. Things will change – things have already changed – and they won’t go back to what they were.  I fucking hate the expression “the new normal”, but it’s true, that’s what we’re going through, and we’re still finding our way through it, figuring out how things will be.

All the people-pleasing crap about a vaccine/cure for Covid is just that – crap. We might end up with the equivalent of the flu jab for Covid – might – but it will just be a defence. Even the flu ‘jab is just guesswork, a prediction based on what flu strains were around two years ago. Even those who’ve had the jab can still end up getting flu.

I don’t know all that the future will bring. I don’t even know how things will look in six months time – and nor does anyone else.

All any of us can really do is keep ourselves safe, and hope everyone else is doing the same thing. Other than that, it’ll just be a case of “we’ll see”.


Obsessive Dedication to Perfection

Since re-starting the archery, I’ve been going pretty regularly, and it’s reminded me of one of those things I really don’t get, or don’t understand about other people.

I don’t get obsession. I never have – I don’t get it when it comes to collecting things, or dealing with people, or things like competitions.

In the case of the archery, to excel in it you need to be super-precise, to do everything exactly the same each time. And, frankly, I can’t be arsed. When I tried collecting things, it was the same – I did OK, but then when it gets to the obsession with completing things, with finding the rarities and the one-offs, I can’t be arsed.

I know I’m not perfect – but I’m good enough. I’m almost certainly not going to win against people who practice every day, or even multiple times a week.  (Although from what I’ve seen, some of those people still aren’t any bloody good at it. But there we go, that’s a different matter) I don’t insist on everything being identical with each shot, I don’t have any aiming rituals etc. Instead, my mantra tends to be “Yeah, that’ll do”

Honestly, I don’t quite see how being that obsessed with perfection makes the entire thing any fun. To be that focused on something, when it’s the minutiae that matters, it seems to (in my opinion/experience) just suck all the life and enjoyment out of things.

At the end of the day, I’m good enough. It’s rare I miss, but I simply don’t care enough to want every single shot to be in the inner gold. I do what I can, and I don’t get stressed out by something I enjoy.

All things considered, that’ll do me.


A Quiet Life

In an ideal world, I’d actually like a quiet life.  Not in terms of being (and/or keeping) busy, but in terms of once I get home. Once I’m there, I’d quite happily have a place with no noise.

Yes, there’d be a TV and so on, but that’s all noise that I control.  I’m thinking more at the moment about other stuff, the noise I can’t control, and that sometimes drives me crackers.

The Bengal is one of the main culprits on this, if I’m honest – as soon as I get home, I’m being shouted at. It’s not like she’s hungry or anything – she’s just shouty.  Sometimes it’s even before I get through the door – if it’s late evening (even if I’ve popped home in the day to make sure she’s fed etc.) it’s not unknown for the sodding cat to be sat outside waiting for me, and shouting the moment she sees me, like a mum going “And what time do you call this!”  And it doesn’t let up for bloody ages. It’s exhausting.

Alongside that, I have the joys of neighbours. Throughout the lockdown/shutdown/slowdown, they’ve both seemed determined to be out in their yards, playing music loudly, and having loudspeaker/hands-free conversations on their phones – and it’s even seemed like they’re in direct competition sometimes. So it’s not been unusual for me to come home and not even be able to open the back door, because of the noise war going on.

All I want is for things to be quieter. I’m generally super-tired at the moment, which also makes me more sensitive to it all, and far far grumpier about the entire thing.

Recently I’ve even been thinking about moving – some of which is because of those neighbours – although with the looming of Brexit etc., I’ve made the decision to not jump things just yet. But there’s still the potential for the same to happen again.

In some ways – hell, in most ways – I’d be happy to be a hermit, to be out in the middle of nowhere with zero human contact on a day-to-day basis.  The only problem with that concept is that the really out-of-the-way places then don’t have the other thing I want/need in life – a decent speedy broadband connection.

I’m sure there’s a balance to be found somewhere, and I’m sure I’ll figure it all out. For now though it’s just a bit bloody annoying. </grouch>


Memory Failings

Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
I don’t remember, I don’t remember

(Chumbawumba’s “Amnesia”)

Within my office block, I’m regularly gobsmacked by how people seem incapable of seemingly simple tasks, like remembering to turn things off that they’ve just turned on.  For example, walking in to the toilets, turning on the lights, and failing to turn them off again when leaving. (And sometimes also somehow forgetting to turn off taps that they’ve just used)

I honestly don’t understand this – and I’m potentially being charitable by attributing it to forgetfulness, rather than just being unthinking asshats – but it does seem to be ever more prevalent. Maybe it’s related to the office rentals being all-inclusive, meaning people give less of a sod about utilities and so on.

But even then, I wonder, is that also how they are at home? Do they keep leaving things on there as well? Do their partners/parents just keep on tidying up after them, turning things off again?

(And just because I’m not perfect – I’ve been meaning to write this post for the last two weeks, and I’ve kept on forgetting to do so)


One Speed Fits All

Recently I’ve noticed something odd on my journeys to/from the office that really annoys me. And it’s to do with speeding (as the title may have suggested)

Particularly on my way home, the drive contains a variety of country roads and towns/villages, so we fairly regularly swap between speed limits of 60 and 30mph, with one small stretch at 20mph. Which is easy, so long as you’ve got a brain, and some awareness. (And you’d pretty much hope that a driver has both)

But no. On a regular basis, I see drivers who decide to drive at about 40mph the whole way, regardless of what the limit actually is.  It means they’re either going ridiculously slowly, or stupidly fast.

It’s not really a problem as such – it’s just annoying, and I truly don’t understand the thinking that leads to this behaviour.   It’s all just bizarre, really.


Lockdown – Space

One of the weirdest things I’ve found about the Lockdown (I can’t really call it the current lockdown any more, the speed with which it’s being rescinded) is that outside my house, there have been many more parking spaces than usual.

I can’t explain it – all logic says that with fewer people travelling, the spaces would’ve been filled at the start of the lockdown and then vehicles wouldn’t have moved.  However, that’s not been the case – there are fewer vehicles, and the spaces seem to vary all the time, but there are always spaces.

All I can assume is that where I live has a fair percentage of people who have second homes here (for commuting during the week or whatever-  we’re only an hour from London, so it kind of makes sense) and who haven’t been here while things have been different.

I’m not complaining – it’s just always seemed odd to be able to park outside my own house, rather than having to find spaces further away.


Lockdown – Changing Values

One thing I hope will be interesting – as and when the current lockdown is properly eased – is to see the things that people decide are important, the things they’ve actually missed, as opposed to the things they’ve just not been able to go to as part of a routine.

For example, I wonder if [big chain] coffee shops will suffer, as people have (hopefully) realised that they don’t need all that caffeine and sugar.
[Note : I amended this afterwards, following Gordon’s comment, because I’d particularly meant big-chain (Starbucks, Costa et al) places rather than independents/locals that definitely deserve the business and support]

On the evidence of the things that’ve currently re-started, I don’t think it’ll be the case – as soon as they’ve re-opened, there have been huge queues outside places like McDonalds, Burger King and KFC.

It’ll be more interesting to see what happens longer-term, once the “Oh good, they’re back!” novelty value fades.