Lockdown – Blinds

A while ago, I ordered a vertical blind from Tuiss (Edited on 23/05 : who now sell as Blinds2Go – sorry, forgot to add this before) to replace the shitty curtain in the front room, and got it fitted.  I’ve been really pleased with it since, and it’s generally handled life pretty well.

However, two heavy-footed felines stomping in and out of it had meant that some of the clips to hold it all together (plastic chain with connectors onto each slat of the blind) had snapped, so it was beginning to look a bit ropy.  (Additionally, the fabric I chose is slightly rough, so grabs cat fur like an absolute bastard, but that’s a different issue)

Anyway, the number of snapped connectors was getting close to outnumbering the ones still intact, so I got in touch with Tuiss to find out whether I could get some replacement weights and chains.

As it turns out, when I say it was bought and installed “a while ago”, it turns out I meant “nearly six years ago”. All things considered, that means they’ve lasted pretty well.

Tuiss found my order, and we discussed what bits I needed – and at each point I was clear and said I was happy to pay for the pieces, it seemed only fair after six years.  But they’ve kept on insisting that they’ll just send them out – and they’ve done so.

The bits arrived yesterday, and are now all in place on the blind. I’m really pleased with it, and impressed with Tuiss. Depending on how things go, if I decide to replace the blind then I’ll go back to them and do so, and see what they’ll charge me for a replacement blind without needing the infrastructure (the actual holding frame/mechanism and so on)


Lockdown – Ongoing

Tonight, the PM has announced a “conditional plan” to help the country get through the next phase of Covid-19.

To be honest, it is (as expected) a bit of a car-crash, with mixed messages, bloody awful phrasing, and no real clarity on any of it.

So for me (and, I hope, for a lot of others) I’m sticking with my own Plan A, which is to carry on doing what I was doing before.

I’m still planning on mainly using my office – which is OK (so far as I can tell) because I go from a house on my own, to a car on my own, to an office on my own, with no real human contact at all, and thus an absolutely minimal chance of catching it, or passing it on.  If my office building gets too crowded then I’ll re-assess and figure out a different plan. Until then, we’ll see.

Other than that, all I’m doing is keeping myself as safe from everything as possible, and hoping that everyone else is doing the same. Really, I don’t see that there’s anything else that can be done.


Eight Years

Turns out, it’s eight years today since I moved to the current house.

A lot’s happened in that time, and I’m still here. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since I left home, which still feels very weird.

I keep on thinking about moving on (and, as I said in a previous post, right now I’m glad it hasn’t happened) and being somewhere new, but so far I haven’t found anywhere I really feel right about moving to.

I don’t know what the future will bring, or where it’ll find me, but for now well, eight years. Wow.


Lockdown – Error #1

This week – week seven of Lockdown, in case anyone is counting or cares – I learned something really important.

Hair clipper grades are not the length of hair in mm.

So this week, when I decided I’d had enough of my hair being too long (by my standards) I got my new clippers out, and put on the blade that would do a 2mm length. Because that’s a Number Two, right?

Wrong.  So, so wrong.

It turns out, each grade is 1/8th of an inch, so a Number One results in hair 1/8th of an inch long, a Number Two in quarter-inch hair (about 6, 6.5mm) and so on up to Number Eight, which is a full inch long.

So currently my hair is just under a third of the length it would usually be after a trim. It looks and feels like a kiwi-fruit. (However, it’s also lost the silver halo that was developing, andlosing that’s A Very Good Thing)

As it is, I really don’t mind it. I’ve done a decent enough job of trimming it, it’s smooth enough with no tufts, and I won’t have to do it again for a while.  It’s not the same as going to the barber, and it’s not something I’m going to end up doing for myself for ever.  (Besides, I actually like going to my barber)

All the same, I’ve had a learning experience, and I’ll know better next time.

 


LockDown – Getting On

It’s been a strange couple of months, with all the Coronavirus stuff, and the resultant lockdown. At the time of writing, we’ve completed five full weeks, and it’s looking like there’s still at least another couple of weeks of it to go (at a bare minimum)

All told, I’ve actually done OK (so far, so far) with the whole thing, and it hasn’t affected me too badly – indeed, for the most part my daily life hasn’t changed all that much.

A lot of people have found it tough to be on their own (or in a very restricted domestic situation) and they definitely have my sympathies, but for me it’s been much the same as usual. Indeed, the whole thing has really just proved to me that – for me – it was right to go back to being single, and staying that way. (That one might end up being a larger post in the fullness of time)

Additionally, a lot of people seem to have had real issues with shopping, panic-buying and the like – and again, so far I’ve been pretty lucky, and been able to get things done without running out of anything. (That’ll definitely be a bigger future post) There have been things where I’ve changed the supplier, or found a different method on-line, but so far there’s been nothing I’ve run out of (or even short of)

My health’s been fine, and so far there’ve been no signs of picking up the virus or anything. I’ve slacked off a bit on the whole exercise thing – although I’m still doing some, it’s just nowhere near what I was doing – and in a fit of irony, I actually lost a small amount of weight as a result. (Yeah, my body chemistry is still epically fucked)  But I’m also not snacking and nibbling – which again seems to be a lot of people’s coping mechanism – so in general things are pretty good.

Even work-wise I’ve been lucky and most of my stuff is keeping on going. Obviously that might change with time, but for now it’s all still stable, and going well. And there’s a couple of new projects coming in as well, which should (I hope) make things easier as well.

So all-in-all things are good here. And I know that makes me ridiculously fortunate, and far, far luckier than many others.


Silver Linings

I don’t really need to update anyone about the current Coronavirus Lockdown and all the fun and games that entails.  (Suffice to say for now, I’m doing fine, but there’ll probably be a separate post about that some other time)  It’s generally a bit shitey, and a bit dull, but it’s OK.

However, I was also thinking this week that for me things could’ve been so much worse – and very nearly were. So as well as the shitey-and-dull bits, it’s time to look a bit at silver linings, the things that – if they’d happened – would have made things shitey-er. (That’s not a word, but in context it’ll be fine)

At the start of this year, I was looking at renting a different office – still in Milton Keynes, but with a nicer specification, some more facilities and so on. And, of course, significantly more expensive.  They were still fitting it out when I went for a look – which was perhaps a short-sighted move on the part of the company, as I’d have far rather seen things when they were a bit further along, rather than saying “This is where the walls will be” – but all the same, it looked nice, and suitable for most of my needs, along with some interesting extras for being “one of the first in”.  But for a number of reasons (primarily the cost, and that I don’t like being hassled by sales people afterwards – particularly when they then can’t even follow their script efficiently) I decided to wait and see. And if I’d taken it, I’d have moved in a month ago, and then been effectively locked out a week later, while still paying that contracted rent for a locked-in 12-month minimum.  (At my current one, if all else fails, I can now give them a month’s notice and be done and dusted)

In a similar vein, back in November I was looking at a couple of other houses I could move to instead of the current one. My tenancy was expiring on the current one, I’ve been here a scarily long time, and in many ways I’d like somewhere with more room. (That would’ve been nice in the current situation, I’d have had space to set aside a room as a home-office, which simply isn’t possible where I am now)  But again, the ones I liked were a lot more expensive, and not quite right enough to make the decision.   So again, if things had worked out differently, I’d be in a bigger house and so on, but also be paying considerably more for doing so.

There have been (and even are) some other silver linings to this whole thing, but for now, I think these two will do, to remind me that things really could be a lot worse…


Bow Time

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.