Staying In Place

With everything else that’s going on, I’ve made the decision to stay in my current house for another year, and sorted out the tenancy agreement to that effect.

I’d been seriously looking at a couple of different locations (although still in the same region as I’m in currently) that would’ve worked, and enabled some other stuff to be a lot easier. It would also have been nice to have a slightly bigger place, as I’ve said before.

However, all the places that were available were at least double the price of the one I’m currently in, and weren’t making enough other things easier. Alongside that, the way things have been with Covid, and the upcoming clusterfuck formally known as Brexit, I ended up deciding that it was likely to be better/smarter to stay here, rather than over-extend things too much.

If nothing else, I’d be properly mortified to end up being in the shit because I’d moved to a better house and then everything else had gone to crap, knowing I could’ve still be in this little cheap(er) place.

So yeah, here for another year. That’s eight-and-a-half years now – by far the longest I’ve been in any one place since I left home.

For now, it still suits me enough. I’d like to move elsewhere, and I’ll look again come summer 2021, and see what happens in the meantime. If things are properly shit, I might stay again, but we’ll see.


Decade

Last month, for a couple of reasons, I was looking back in the archives, and realised it’s now just over a decade since Herself and I broke apart.

Obviously things have changed a lot in that time, and some of it’s been tough, but in general it’s been positive.

Time flies, and all that jazz.


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)


Fifteen Years On

Looking back, it’s fifteen years ago today that I passed the driving test.

It took me a long time to get it done, and for the longest time I wasn’t bothered at all about driving.  But now I wouldn’t be without it.

Indeed, if I lost my licence now, it would mean a total change for me – I’d have to move, reconsider work and so on. It would be a massive upheaval in so many ways.

For example, I looked recently at my commute on Google Maps (I do this sometimes, just to check on what the traffic’s like on my route) and saw the other travel-method options at the top. Driving from home to my office is (on average) a 20-minute drive, door-to-door. It’s pretty much my shortest commute ever (I had a stint while in Bury St Edmunds where it was slightly shorter, but not by much) and yet if I were to do it by public transport, it would take me two-and-a-quarter hours! (There is a route at specific times that would be a 50 minute bus-ride, but also drops me at the other end of Milton Keynes, so would then be a two-mile-ish walk – and that route doesn’t run at the times I commute in to my office)

In similar vein, visiting my parents is a simple hour’s drive. Public transport? It’d be three hours on a good day.

Even a simple journey to London Euston (which I can usually do in 75 mins – driving and then tube down to Euston) would be at least double that by public transport.

And my archery club? Forget it, no chance at all.

So just on that tiny subset of what I regularly do, life would be hugely different without driving. When you take into account the extra stuff – the on-site client days, the weekends away, the visits to friends, the idiot day-trips – it would now be a completely different life if I weren’t driving. Not necessarily a better or worse one, but a very different one.