And here we are, at yet another Winter Solstice.
The shortest day, the longest night.
From here, the days get longer. Not by much, but it’s good to be on the new cycle.
It’s been interesting (for no good reason other than that this is a year that ends in a zero) to look back at what was going on this time ten years ago.
It’s fair to say that a lot has changed in that time – albeit none of it recently.
Back then I was still in Norfolk, and working in Bury St Edmunds (and I did keep the promise to stick with the one workplace for the full year of 2010…) I’d just had the first (and still only) accident of my driving career, sliding on ice onto a set of concrete fence posts, which did a blinding job of twatting the front nearside.
So in that ten years, I’ve
- split with Herself, had another shorter-term relationship, and been single now for much longer than either one.
- moved four times – and been in one place (the current one) for far longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived since leaving home
- changed jobs more times than I care to think about (I could work it out, but truly can’t be chuffed) and been doing the current one for far longer than I ever expected
- been through the whole bankruptcy process, and come out the other side
- been to more plays and theatre things than I’d ever have thought I’d have been to
- and the same for restaurants – Michelin-starred and otherwise. This time ten years ago, I’d not been to any Michelin places – that happened in mid-2010, and I wasn’t impressed at the time. Maybe I should go back there, maybe not.
- changed car twice, and rented a bundle of others as needs directed
There’s a lot of other stuff – it’s interesting to see how a lot of the things I wanted to change then that I still want to change now, for example – and I’ll write more about that elsewhere/elsewhen.
It’s a whole new decade out there (and I can’t be arsed with the argument about whether that’s 2020 or 2021, so don’t bother) and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
Today is the Autumn Equinox, when the day and night are equal in length.
What that means is the from now until next March, the nights will be longer than the days.
Winter is coming, my friends, winter is coming
Way, way back in the day – Nov 2006, to be precise – I bought a backup drive for all my music, photos and work. It wasn’t anything hugely special – a now laughable 320Gb drive – but it did what I wanted, and made sure I’d got everything preserved. (Amusingly, I just took a look, and the roughly-similar drives now done by WD start at 3Tb!)
And then I moved a few times, and the drive got separated from its power brick, and I sort of gave up on it a bit. Over the last few years I’ve mainly been using online backups instead (which mean that as soon as I save a file, it’s backed up, and synchronises to my other machines) and the drive became even less of an issue.
I always knew where the drive itself was, even though I was fairly sure I’d lost (or thrown away) the power lead/brick. The drive has been on one of my bookcases, doing nothing except attracting dust.
Last weekend, though, I found a random power cable that looked like it might fit the drive. So I took them both into my office this week, and gave it a go.
At the end of the day, I’d pretty much given up on it – it’s been sat there doing sod-all for a number of years, and has been carelessly moved, shoved in boxes and so on. So I expected nothing.
And yet, when I plugged the cables in and connected it to the laptop, it all worked. Straight away, with no issues, clanks, grinds, or other Warning Noises Of Doom. Needless to say, I’m actually pretty impressed.
Of course, I’ll also now be working to ensure that a lot of it is backed up somewhere else as well, as that drive is distinctly venerable, but all the same, it’s a bit of a win for it all to have come back in the way it has.
Days will be getting (slightly) longer, and we’ll be over the worst.
Two weeks’ time, and we’ll be in 2019 and seeing what that brings.
How time flies when you’re having fun, eh?
Tonight, one of my favourite cooking shows is back on TV for another year.
No, not Great British BakeOff (although I may watch that as well) – but Masterchef Australia. It’s the only Masterchef version I still bother with, mainly because it’s just so different from all the others.
As the Guardian says in this article, Aussie Masterchef is a huge commitment – it’ll be something like 65-70 episodes all told – but it’s also a joy. (Other than the opening credits/intro, which is truly fucking awful) It’s utterly Australian, with a real focus on people pulling together and supporting each other rather than it being a cut-throat competition. The judges aren’t as aloof as in other versions, and generally are more friendly and supportive.
Hell, even the guest chefs come across better than they do in other things. I’ve gained more respect for people I previously couldn’t abide – Marco Pierre White is the primary example here, a man with a reputation for being an utter tosspot, who instead provides constructive feedback and help to the competitors. (However, even Aussie Masterchef can’t make Jamie Oliver into anything other than a lisping Mockney twat you’d never tire of punching)
So yeah, I’ll be watching again. It’ll mean other TV things take a bit of a back seat for the next few weeks, but I can catch up on them when Masterchef Australia is over and done with.
Over the weekend, I had a thought about when I was living up in Manchester, and I wondered how long it had now been since I was living there.
The only easy way to be sure was to check on the D4D archives, and it turns out I left for Bracknell in December 2004.
Fourteen years ago, at the end of the year. That’s pretty scary – how time flies, and all that jazz.