Yesterday, for reasons I’ll write about some other time, I had to drive up to Newark.
It’s not a horrific drive, about 90 minutes usually, and pretty easy. Straight up the A1 , and then down the M1 to come home.
Yesterday though, was bloody vile. About halfway through the drive up, it started to snow – not super-heavy, but enough to make things interesting in the still-quite-dark winter morning.
It was at this point that I discovered that my car’s heating had packed up. Fuck.
By the time I stopped at Newark, it was snowing fairly heavily, and starting to settle.
When I came out to go home, the car had a good three or four inches of snow all over it, and the roads were full of it as well. The start of the drive home was emphatically Not Fun, although for me that was mainly because it was bloody cold inside the car, and no heating meant it was also steaming up a bit. The real Not Fun was more in the purview of other drivers who couldn’t handle snowy roads and/or hadn’t put lights on, and were generally utter fucksticks.
The M1 was OK – once I got down past Leicester the snow turned to heavy rain, and then it was just a slog through shitty weather and shitty traffic.
All in, the temperature (according to my car) rose by five full degrees (Centigrade) in the hundred miles between Newark and Home.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a drive where I was actually thankful to get out at the end of it. But that was definitely one of them.
At the moment, I get a *lot* of spam about property investment – probably an average of five to ten a day. I don’t know why it’s suddenly this subject, but it’s definitely noticeable.
Student flats in Hull, Hotel rooms in Leicester, Apartments in Liverpool and Manchester, and even some overseas stuff. I don’t pay attention to it, but it does make me think.
Basically, what kind of idiot (or lunatic) is going to decide to invest in a property, based on receiving a spam/junk email? It’s a huge amount of money, however you look at it.
I mean, obviously people do fall for this crap – the spammers/scammers wouldn’t bother sending it out if they didn’t – but I can’t deny, I figure that the people who do so pretty much deserve everything they get.
As usual, my September is looking like it’ll be my normal levels of silliness, with lots of travel and so on.
And also as usual, it started with Meatopia, a festival of various barbecued meats. It’s one of my favourite events of the year – and this time I was at all three sessions. Because I’m a complete lunatic.
I had intended to be more sensible – going down for the Friday was still silly, but I’d intended to then park up at Barbican on Saturday, have a hotel on the Saturday night (being able to collect my bag from the car at Barbican on the way, and deposit it on the way back before Sunday) and then come home.
But then I checked the football schedule – and it turned out that Arsenal were playing at home on the Sunday. Not usually relevant, but when driving back on the Sunday, it would’ve shoved me right through all the traffic and people at Highbury, which would add at least an hour to the drive. And frankly, sod that.
So it meant a change to plans, and instead doing my usual thing, parking in Very North London, Tube to Euston/Angel, and walk to Tobacco Dock. Yes, I *could* have still used the hotel, but it meant that all the travel to and from the car to drop off clothes/bag etc. would’ve made it a lot more hassle and a lot less fun. So it was ‘easier’ to travel further, but on my terms and with less general fucking about.
All told, as well as a ridiculous amount of food, it meant I did six walks of 6km, as well as further walking on-site and so on, so all told over Friday, Saturday and Sunday I covered no less than 44km (27 miles)
Meatopia was totally worth it again, and I’ll be there next year.
Last week’s “Poorly Sick” has continued on for the last week – although also not helped by my own general idiocy.
On the Tuesday, while coughing my lungs out (mmm, tasty) I drove up to Manchester to see friends, and then go with them to see Massive Attack at the Manchester Arena. And then drove home afterwards, like a friggin’ lunatic. By the time I got back – Wednesday morning, 2:30am – I’d twatted my ribs with the coughing I’d done, and felt fairly rough.
Wednesday was spent at home feeling ropy (while also getting enough work done to keep people happy) and Thursday I was on-site down in Chesham. I was feeling shitty enough there (and cold enough, the office being ridiculously cold) that I left at lunchtime and came home to thaw out.
Friday was also quiet, spent mainly at home.
Saturday was a trip to London to meet another friend and see “When we have sufficiently tortured each other” at the National Theatre (Spoiler : Don’t bother, it’s cobblers)
And then Sunday was another daft day-trip, this time down to the edge of Somerset to see other friends. And back home the same day, getting back at midnight on the dot.
So yeah, a week of being comprensively unwell while still being daft.
Hopefully things are back to a more even keel this week, but time will tell.
Recently, I came across a really odd thing.
For the last few months, I’ve been experiencing problems with my car at night, with the lights suddenly failing and me driving in absolute darkness.
One night this week I had a drive home where it felt like the same thing had happened again – cars pulling out right in front of me as if they hadn’t seen me, that kind of thing. It happened on enough occasions in a short time that I ended up checking whether my lights were working, thinking “Fuck sake, not again”
And that’s when I realised.
I haven’t been experiencing actual problems with the car. I’ve had dreams that I’ve been experiencing problems – because there’s no way on Earth that I would have not got a problem like that sorted immediately. If I’d had an electrical/lighting failure like that, I’d have taken it to the garage the following morning. But I haven’t – I’ve never even called the garage to make an appointment.
So while my conscious brain has been thinking that there’ve been problems with the car and that I really should get things checked/sorted, my subconscious has been sticking its oar in and stopping that from happening. Somewhere along the line it’s known that these problems have been dreams, and has prevented my conscious from actually calling the garage and getting those things sorted.
All the way through I’d have sworn blind that these problems were happening. And it’s only been when I consciously worried that the same problem had occurred again that I realised the previous occurrences hadn’t actually happened.
And that, with no shadow of a doubt, is really bloody weird.
There are times where (as many people already know) I’m an absolute dickhead. This is the (fairly short) tale of one of those times.
One of the reasons I wanted to visit Toronto (which I finally did earlier this year) was because I’ve been a fan of a band called the Cowboy Junkies (who I’ve written about several times, and saw twice in November) for a very long time – since the first time I heard their “Trinity Sessions” album, in fact. The Trinity Sessions was an album that was all recorded at the Holy Trinity church in Toronto, with only one ambisonic microphone to pick up all the voices and instruments. It’s one of my all-time favourite albums. However, I’d never seen a picture of the church. (This is relevant)
Then, on the anniversary of the recording of Trinity Sessions, they put a photo on their Facebook page of the church
And I thought “I recognise that church“. It turns out we’d gone in and visited it while we were in Toronto, and I hadn’t even realised it was the same place. Indeed, we only went in because it looked interesting (and was hidden away down a little side-street, so we’d only glimpsed the place and its architecture) and it turned out to be a great little find, because it’s beautiful inside, as well as having an absolutely massive organ. (Fnarr) And I knew it was called the Holy Trinity church. I just hadn’t connected the two.
So it took me another six months to realise that I’d actually been in the place, despite all the clues that were there.
And that, in this case, is why I’m a dickhead.
I think that the worst bit of having one’s car in the garage (except for the bill at the end) is that you never ever remember to take all the useful stuff out of the current car to put in the replacement one.
Usually, it’s not even the stuff you think of as actually being useful, until the time comes that it’s needed, and then you think “Oh. Cock.” (or words to that effect)
In my case this time there’ve been three times this weekend where I’ve thought that.
The first was really simple – shopping bags. I have re-usable “bag for life” things in the boot of the car. Did I think about needing them when I left the car at the garage? Did I bollocks.
Then the weather changed (it’s a Bank Holiday in the UK, so it’s usually piss-wet, but I didn’t think about that during the week) and chucked down a load of rain. So where’s my waterproof jacket that I haven’t used all year? In the car. Along with the umbrella. Sod.
And finally, when I was eating a packaged salad thing outside the other office in Chesham, where’s the cutlery I keep in the car? Yep, it’s in the car. Just not the right one. For fuck’s sake.
It’s nothing world-ending, obviously. It’s just irritating, because it’s also stuff I just hadn’t thought about. Which makes me feel like a bit of a tit. (Not that that’s anything new or unusual, obviously)