D4D

Hasta La Muerte, Motherfucker

Archive for the category “Thoughts”

Snowbound

Yesterday, the weather effectively enforced a day off for me, doing nothing outside.  Nothing major, but we had a fair amount (for the UK) of snow overnight, which led to lots of issues with accidents, blocked roads, etc. etc.  For my own village, the two main roads out were completely blocked – one by a jack-knifed lorry, and the other just by drivers failing to get up the hills.

So technically it wasn’t the weather itself, so much as the sheer number of people who can’t bloody drive in snow. But still, day off.

In honesty, it was much needed. As I’ve said before, I’ve been ridiculously busy for the last two years – I’ve just counted up, and I’ve had stuff booked in for 48 weeks of 2017 (I’ve counted up til the end of the month) and even on those four ‘free’ ones I was still doing stuff – and December hadn’t provided any real change in that.  That’s nothing short of barmy.

So anyway, I’d spent Saturday in London with a mix of food and theatre stuff, so it’s not like it’s been a write-off of a weekend, or anything like that. But a day of doing sod-all – barely going outside, catching up on recorded TV etc., doing some reading, etc. etc. – was definitely A Good Plan.

Whether I feel better for it is still to be determined, but regardless, it was a good day.

Relocation

Milton Keynes has quite a population of homeless people – a population that’s grown noticeably over the last couple of years – and now we have a number of homeless people who camp in the underpasses and subways around the town centre.

It’s interesting though – as Winter comes in, and the temperature has dropped over the last couple of weeks, the number of people sleeping on the streets has also dropped significantly.

I really noticed it today, seeing empty spaces on the pavements and so on where there’s usually been people sleeping.

I don’t know the reasons – although I kind of feel like I should, same as I feel like I should know where they’re getting all their gear, the tents and so on that now appear to be standard fare.  It seems like even the homeless are far better prepared/equipped for being homeless.  But I may be being cynical. I just don’t know.

But all the same, it’s odd, seeing how the streets have emptied out in the last couple of weeks.

Operatic

On Saturday, I went to my first opera – a production of Aida at the London Coliseum by English National Opera. As with going to plays and so on, I went in with very little knowledge of Aida or what to expect.

I did enjoy it – although it’s not necessarily something I’d plan to go to on a regular basis, or to see this particular opera again. I don’t yet know – but as with other things, I’m not going to base any judgements or expectations on a sample of one, so I’ll definitely be going to at least one more production.

*Personally*, I found that the first half dragged, but the second half was better. The staging throughout was really interesting though, which did help things.

The plot/story is hideously melodramatic (in my opinion) and would’ve been rejected from most soap operas as being too ridiculous. So yeah, the odds are I won’t bother with Aida again, but there’s plenty of others I can try instead.

All good fun, though…

December

Somehow, we’re now in December – and it’s come in accompanied by reports of snow across most of the country.

Still, a month to go and 2017’ll be all over, we’ll be past the Festering Season and New Year.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

Downtime(ish)

The weekend just gone ended up being a proper weekend “off”, and much needed. The last few weeks (well, months) have been pretty hectic, what with one thing and another. This weekend had been kind-of empty, but that also meant I’d booked stuff in.

I should’ve taken the hint though – a couple of weeks ago I cancelled off my first plan (a restaurant visit) because I just wasn’t feeling it, wasn’t looking forward to it, and where’s the fun in it when every single reaction to it is “blah”?  So I sacked that off, and had made other plans, which then fell through a bit. No-one’s fault, just short-notice and other things already booked with the people in question.   So I’d made a third plan, a day-trip to Manchester (travelling by train, so it was still semi-sensible, by my standards) which would’ve been fun – I haven’t been back to Manchester in a good eighteen months or so.

And then on Wednesday/Thursday I got an email making me aware that Manchester was going to be full of football stuff, plus a few other events, and I realised that actually I didn’t want that – and I particularly didn’t want that super-packed train home. Not in the mood for the people and the crowds, blah blah.

So I sacked it all off, admitted defeat (not quite the right word, but it’ll do for now) and stayed home. I still did a fair amount – sorted a bundle of domestic stuff, got rid of some things to the local tip, went to the cinema to watch a rubbish and easy-watching film on the Saturday, and then went out with local friends on the Sunday evening.

Basically, it was all enough to appease my brain’s nagging work ethic, but without doing much more than the bare minimum to appease it.

It was good – but also annoying, because I don’t actually feel any better for that quiet weekend. Maybe it’s a lost hope now, but I wanted to sleep, and to feel somewhat refreshed by the end of a peaceable and quiet weekend – but I don’t. I’m still tired, still feeling a bit blah about things, and just trying to figure shit out.

It was needed, but I kind-of wish it felt like I’d had more benefit out of it…

Back To Walking

One thing that was good about my London trip over the weekend was that it was the first decent walks I’d had since I stuffed up my feet around the walking Marathon.

Since then, I’ve taken it a bit easier – I’ve still been walking a lot, but in much smaller distances than usual. But at some point I had to get back into it, and this weekend seemed as good a time as any.  I knew the routes I’d be taking, and all the stuff I wanted to do – plus I was prepared.

So on the way to Taste, I purposefully took the Tube a couple of stations further than I usually would, so that the first walk back would be three miles instead of the usual five.  I was back to wearing the newest walking boots, and everything was fine for the three mile walk. Even with my intention to ‘take it slow’ I was back to pretty much my standard speed and so on, and that was successful.

On the way back – a different route, as I was heading to central London – for another three miler, it was much harder. Miles five and six, in particular, hurt bits of my feet still.

Fortunately, I had a backup plan, and it all worked out fine. I had a lot of time to kill once I got to central London, so I ended up using that time, getting the tube back up to where I’d parked the car, changed my boots and socks, and then headed back to the same place.

All told, I covered 12 miles on Saturday. My feet got sore, but there was no damage. That’s definitely a win. And once I’d changed boots, it was all fine again.

I do think that the boots haven’t helped – it’s not just that they’re still not properly worn-in, but also there are design differences between the new and old ones that rub in all the wrong places. I think I’m going to have to look at some other alternatives, different boots and talking to retailers and so on that actually know what they’re doing.

Annoying on the score of the boots, but all told I’m happy with how things are going.

Weekend Of Idiocy

The weekend just gone was the one that had been noted as being a completely daft one, even by my standards. It involved a lot of mileage, a fair amount of walking, and a piss-poor amount of sleep.

Saturday had been “planned” for a while, with a full day in London – starting off with the festive version of the Taste festival at Tobacco Dock. I’d got in early (as usual) and walked down to Tobacoo Dock, getting there in plenty of time.

Also as usual, the organisation of Festive Taste was… kinda flawed. The tickets said it started at 12-noon, the email from the ticket people said “Ooops, sorry, we meant 11.30“. Except it actually opened at 11. Genius.    And once we were in, it turned out that none of the food places were actually starting until at least 11.15, and in some cases nothing was ready ’til 12.  Not good – but standard.   The Festive version also appears to be far more focused on booze than on food, which (for me) is annoying, but there we go. It was still worth going, but I was out within 90 minutes.

In the evening I was at the theatre, seeing Stockard Channing in Apologia. It’s an interesting play, and I really enjoyed it – there may be more thoughts later, I’m not sure yet – and then headed home, getting back at around half one.  Which would’ve been OK, except that…

On the Sunday I was on the road by 7.30, heading up to Middlesbrough to see friends, and then on to Durham in the late afternoon to see the Lumiere festival, one of my favourite events. Again, I’ll probably write more about it later on – for now though, The Guardian has great pictures of a lot of it here.

A great day, but a long one – and then drove home, getting back about half two on Monday morning. It would’ve been earlier, but it turns out that the M1 was closed (and hadn’t been announced anywhere when I was driving up) for two whole junctions, and the diversion that was in place added a good forty minutes to the drive. Which was a pain, but there we go.

And even that would all have been sensible (ish. Kinda) if it weren’t for the fact I was also on-site in the other office on Monday morning, so I was in Chesham by 8am…

I really am an idiot.

Post Navigation