At last, today we’ve had some rain for the first time in ages. It’s been lovely.
The heat’s supposed to be coming back next week, but for now it’s just nice to not be roasting away.
Maybe I’ll even get some sleep tonight…
January is a funny old month in some ways – and particularly so when I look at how it affects my SAD and so on.
As usual, this January has been grey. Different degrees of grey admittedly, including some brighter/lighter grey days, and a fair bundle of darker ones.
Grey days are the ones that affect me the most, regardless of the degree. I find that a grey week with no sight of the sun really affects me – I still get out for fresh air and some daylight, but a few days without direct sunlight and it leaves me feeling far flatter and more tired than usual.
As it is, I’ve found more and more that I can deal with shorter days (although obviously I notice them, and they affect me) so long as they’re bright, and have sight of sunlight. The days now are getting longer – almost imperceptibly, but they are. But with this weeks lack of sun, it’s actually been a far tougher week to get through.
Hopefully the coming week will have more chances for some decent daylight.
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.
On Sunday the clocks went back an hour (in the UK, at least) and like flicking a switch, all of a sudden it’s become colder.
This morning there was also the first air-frost on the car, necessitating that classic “Where the shit did I put that scraper?” question.
Most of the trees have dropped their leaves in the last week or so – it’s all been a bit sudden.
And how the hell is it already nearly November, for chuff’s sake? Seems like it was only last week that it was March and the clocks were going forward…
Yet again, my home broadband connection has gone to pot over the weekend.
It’s an ongoing problem – basically, there’s a leak in the outdoors part of my connection, so when it rains heavily, water gets in, and corrodes the connections in the master socket. I start to know it’s going to be bad when any phone call I make (not that I make many on the landline, but still) starts to get crackly. After a while, it then gets bad enough that the next ingress of water breaks things properly, and leaves my modem/router dropping the connection and reconnecting on an all-too-frequent basis.
In the five-and-a-bit years I’ve been in this house, I’ve had four master sockets. Now soon to be a fifth.
BT refuse to believe that this is the problem – this has been going on for ages, and they’ve done line checks etc., but won’t replace the outside part of the connection, for some reason.
So we go through the farce of doing fault-tracking, “We can’t find anything” and then booking an engineer to come out. Every time, I get told “If it’s a problem past the master socket (i.e. with my own wiring) then it’ll cost £129.99 on your next bill”. It won’t be with my wiring, because I’ve got precisely one socket, and one connector/splitter (also supplied by BT) on it.
Everything else will be fine, it’ll just be corroded connections in the master socket. Again.
This time, I’m going to aim to get the engineer to reinstall the master socket, but do so higher up the wall (so water doesn’t get in, as it can’t climb cables) or on a longer cable inside the house, so I can put it on a shelf or whatever, and again, let gravity deal with the problem.
The engineer’s coming out on Wednesday morning, so we’ll see what happens from there. It’d be nice (and really quite novel!) to have it sorted properly this time. But only time will tell whether that’ll happen or not.
Another thing I hate when the weather gets ridiculously warm, as it has this week – cat food, and the way warm weather interacts with it.
I’ve got two cats, and they have sachets of wet cat food on a regular basis. However, they don’t eat all of it at once. That means that it attracts flies – the buzzing which annoy me intensely anyway – who lay eggs on the food and so on.
Obviously any remnants (and or course the now fly-blown cat food) get thrown away, but with the heat, it also makes the bin stink. And with fortnightly bin-collections, it makes the main bins stink too. I don’t mind fortnightly collections in general, they’re a fact of life – but I do think there should be an ability to cater for hot weather and so on, and change things to collect those bins weekly if the temperature goes above a certain limit. (I know it’s probably utterly impractical, but it’d still be nice)
All told, it’s just skanky, and I hate it. All the fun of summer.
As I wrote about the other day – and as just about anyone in the UK already knows – this week has included the warmest June day in at least forty years, with Wednesday hitting 34.5°C (94°F) . As always, I know that people in other countries will be pissing themselves laughing at the way we’re unable to cope with temperatures at extremes (or at least what the UK sees as extremes) but that’s because for us they are extremes – and as such, we simply don’t have the infrastructure to cope with them.
We get hot periods during the summer, but we’ve not been this hot since 1976. So we don’t bother with air-conditioning in houses, or anything to deal with things like train rails expanding, tarmac melting etc. – because it only happens for small occasional periods, instead of months every year. It’s the same in Winter, if we end up with serious (for us) snow or freezing conditions – they don’t happen often, so we don’t invest in snowploughs, or underground systems like places that have deep snow for weeks and months on end.
Personally, I don’t mind warm (and even hot) days – but I hate hot nights. The other part of this week’s heat has been that there’s little to no breeze, so it’s been stifling and claggy at night, which makes it (for me) massively unpleasant. Indeed, on Wednesday night I even ended up giving up and going to sleep out in the garden instead, which helped a bit – although also resulted in interrupted sleep because of the cats.
In that context, it’s all made for what feels like a really long week…