Obsessional Issues

For the New Year, and as part of the whole “Write More” part of the resolutions etc., I’m trying hard to get back into writing – and other aspects of creativity – on a regular basis. (Which explains why D4D™ has become a bit more busy this month too!)

2014 hasn’t been a good year for my writing in general, although I have been able to get started on a couple of things in the last three months, and want to continue building those up, making progress.

The thing is, I’m not really good at the whole “writing obsessively” thing – or indeed doing anything obsessively. For whatever reason, I just don’t possess that obsessive section of brain/emotion. I’m a crap collector, because while I don’t mind building up sets of things, I don’t care/obsess enough about it all to get the rarities, the things that true collectors always dream of. It doesn’t matter whether that’s books, stamps, music, or anything else – I just don’t care enough to obsess about the rarities.

As a result, it’s work to write etc., and that’s what I’ve been attempting to build up over the last few months – generally successfully.

With D4D™ I’ve been writing more, but pre-dating some of them, so I’ve got the time. But it’s building up a writing routine.

In the same way, I’ve been forcing myself to get out and do walks round the village a couple of times a day, just to keep things moving, and to get some exercise. I do that whether the weather is good or bad – and actually enforce it more when the weather’s bad, because then I’ve no excuse when it’s good.

So I’m working more on building up routines, getting used to doing these tasks and activities, and making them part of the day. The writing is part of that, the things I have in my head to write this time round aren’t essential brain-splurges of healing ventage, they don’t *have* to be expelled from my brain for my own health and sanity.

I’m getting there, and 2015’s looking like it’ll be an interesting time…


Looking Back

While looking back at historical D4D™ stuff for other birthday-related reasons, I realised that this month it’s eight years since I moved to Norfolk with Herself.

How time flies, eh?

Of course, in that time I’ve lived in

  • 2 places in Norfolk
  • 3 in Suffolk
  • 1 in Bedfordshire

Six places in eight years. Some things never change – but apparently my living situation isn’t one of them.

Location Fixation

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking a lot about location – where I live, where I work, where I want to live, all that. I’ve been in the current house for two years now, and I know I’m getting a bit twitchy.

The current tenancy doesn’t expire ’til November though – due to an initial six-month one, followed by 12-month ones. As a result, I’ve had plenty of time to think about it, look at the pros and cons, and – I think – I’ve now pretty much made a decision.

As has been noted on many occasions, I’m not all that good with permanence – I like change, embrace it even. It suits me. So two years in the same place is enough to make me twitchy, to start to feel that itch in the back of my skull.

It’s not too bad at the moment though. I’ve certainly had it far, far worse than this. If I were still in the same job as well, the options would be different – I’d be needing to move on in both cases. As it is, I’ve been back on the contracting since July, and it’s kept things decently varied – which means the house side of things can relax a wee bit.

There are places I’d like to move to, some new locations and some old. (Or at least close enough to qualify as revisits) They’re more about reflecting how much life has changed in the last few years, most particularly the ability to drive, which opens up whole new vistas.

For example, I’d like to go back to the North-West, live around the Peak district somewhere. I wouldn’t live in Manchester itself again, but there’s loads of places around it that I really like. It’s still a front-runner when the move does happen.  The same applies for the South Coast, and Dorset in particular. It’s an area I love, but didn’t really get to appreciate as much as I could’ve done, because I didn’t drive. So yes, that’s also a front-runner.

There’s other places too. A revisit to Bath and/or Bristol wouldn’t be out of the question – particularly when not combined with an insane commute, ideally – and there’s new locations too. I’d consider most places, but Nottingham and Derby have always been good to me, and there’s a whole heap of other places. (Plus a long-standing idea to sod off to somewhere like Cork)

However, right now there’s also a bigger plan in place. Rebuilding after the bankruptcy, seeing what comes next, as well as looking at work and finances and what the hell I want to do/be when I grow up. There’s ideas on that score, but I need to have the time and inclination to do something about them. Time I’ve got. Inclination? Less so, right now. But that’s a post for another day.

I could move, sure. But practicality-wise, where I am right now is pretty much perfect for me right now. It’s not a long-term location, but for now it’s good. I’ve got all the transport links I need – my commuting radius for work covers an insane amount of miles. It makes my contractor life a lot easier. Location isn’t in many (if any) of those calculations I have to do. For me, right now, that’s an important factor, and outweighs pretty much everything else.

Financially, it’s easy. If I move North then the odds are that my rent would drop. But for where I am, for what I’ve got right now, I couldn’t do much better. I’d like some extra space, an extra room or two – but it’s not something that’s necessary right now either.

All told, while I would kind-of like to move, I don’t need to move. And staying put has its advantages too – location, money, blah blah.

That means that – in the lack of a good reason for moving other than “But I want to” – I’ve decided I’m going to plan to stay where I am for the next eighteen months. The six months from now for the current tenancy, and then extend it by another twelve.

Of course, the landlord might decide to sell up or something, or work may throw up something that makes me have to move. Neither option is likely, but they could happen. But short of those kind of eventualities, I’m going to face up to things, and not move.

By that time – November 2015 – I’ll have been in this place for three and a half years. Then I think it’ll be time to move on – or at least move up. If my work is still keeping me based in a way that the current location is still OK then I’ll just look at moving to a bigger place locally. If things change or work isn’t a limitation (I can work from pretty much anywhere, after all) then it might be a big location change too. We’ll see.


Today, December 21st, is this year’s Winter Equinox – the shortest day of the year.  And about damn time too.

Today, the sun will be around for 7h 44m 14s , even if it doesn’t feel like it’s that long. Tomorrow’s only one second longer, but by the end of the year the sun will be setting after 4pm, and the day will already be five minutes longer, at 7h 49m 32s. It’s not much, but it’s an improvement.

In six months time, the day will be 16h 44m 24s, a full nine hours longer. I know that’s nothing in comparison to  Tromsø (for example) where December is truly dark and June is completely lit.

All the same, knowing that today is the shortest day is a reason for celebration, and keck-all to do with the oncoming Festering Season.

Recovering Time

Over the last few weeks (I really don’t want to figure out how many weeks) I’ve been unreasonably addicted to Masterchef Australia, which – thankfully – finished last week.  It’s been on five days a week, which really has made it quite a timesink, but it’s been fun.  I’ve liked the programme in previous seasons – it’s very Australian, which is a very good thing in my book – so it’s been worth the time invested. Up to a point.

As with all TV stuff, I don’t just sit and watch, I’m usually doing other stuff at the same time – including cooking and eating meals that were a lot less technical and inspiring than the stuff on the programme, which I always find somewhat ironic.  But all the same, it’s been a lot of time sunk into a TV programme,  and while I’ve enjoyed the great majority of it, I’m also somewhat relieved that it’s finished.



Yes, this is the 6,500th post on D4D™, according to WordPress. So what better time to look at what may be happening here over 2014? (There’s no guarantees, it’s more about where my head’s at right now)

In just over a month, it’ll be 2014. As usual, I’m not making any resolutions for 2014 – that old ‘everyone else does it, so I’m not‘ thing kicking in again – although there is the stuff from Project 42 (i.e. what I want to do from November to November) to consider. Which all means I have to balance out time across a number of things – something I’m renownedly abysmal at doing.

So – what may happen is that D4D may step back a bit, maybe not have the daily updates. (Of course it might stay the same, too. It kind of depends on everything else)  I’ve got some writing ideas – as well as some other things I’m not going to go into right now – and I need to make time for them. I’ll still be updating, it just might not be daily.

This coming year is going to be interesting. There’s a lot of potential ideas and plans, a lot of stuff I’d like to do, but I do need to figure things out in order to be somewhat realistic about it as well. I’m going to take time over December to get things in place, work out priorities, form that limited company that needs doing, and a bundle of other prep crap to let 2014 be as productive as possible.

As for D4D™, it’ll keep on going – on and on. I can’t guarantee another 6,500 posts (who could?) but it’s not being planned to die off anytime soon.

Getting Darker

Last weekend, we switched back from BST to GMT, which is just another major clue that winter is just about here. (If you’ve missed the storms/gales, fireworks, X-Factor, Strictly, autumn leaves, shorter days etc.)

Thankfully, the gaining of an hour doesn’t usually affect me too much – the loss of one in spring usually hits me a bit harder, but still not all that much.

However, it appears to have somewhat confused the cats, who really don’t know what to make of it all. Food times have been disrupted, as well as everything else.

What does affect me the most, though, is the fact that I’m now leaving work and driving home in the dark. I don’t mind night-time driving, but still I find the darkness affects me just because it reduces the amount of available sunlight I get during the day.  Indeed, the next time I’ll be even close to driving home in daylight is at the end of February.

As with previous years, I always found that the thing that affected me the most with getting home in the dark was getting back to an unlit house. Particularly when I was in Manchester, that return to a dark and empty house was very unpleasant, and since then I’ve always made a point of having at least one light on a timeswitch, so it’s on when I get home.  It’s a ridiculous thing, but it makes such a massive difference in my head – very strange.