Other than haircuts based on a misunderstanding, currently the worst thing that’s going on is that my boiler has broken. As in spectacularly, expensively broken – to the point where it’ll be better to replace it with a new boiler, rather than the costs of sourcing and installing the bits that’ve died.
Thankfully, in all the relevant ways, it’s not really my problem. My landlord was informed that it’s broken, an engineer came round the next day, and gave the verdict that it’s buggered. The landlord’s agreed to replace the boiler, and hopefully it’ll happen in the coming week.
Fortunately it’s not too cold at the moment, so I’m not too affected. The worst bit of it for now is that there’s also no hot water, which makes washing up a pain. But to be honest, if that’s as bad as it gets, things could be a lot worse.
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.
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.
It’s a funny old time, with the lockdown and so on. I keep on meaning to write more here, and then forgetting to do so.
So, I’m going to keep on meaning to write more (and hopefully being more successful) but for now, well, I’m still here.
Over the last few years, I’ve always bought myself an Easter egg from Hotel Chocolat – I really like the thickness of their eggs and so on, but also the fact that each half is individually wrapped. That’s important for me, because (as I’ve said before) I can’t leave a half-pack of something – if I’ve opened it, I’ll finish it. So with the Hotel Choc egg, it becomes four things – the two individual halves, and the two bags of chocolates inside.
The eggs also keep well – which is a good thing, because it takes me ages to get round to eating the damn thing. I don’t mind small doses of chocolate, but I have to be in the mood for a larger dose like a half-egg.
Anyway, this year I’ve decided that I’m not going to get an egg at all, which must be the first time in at least a decade.
I had the final half of last years egg about a fortnight ago, and if I’m honest, I didn’t even enjoy it. I wanted to, but it was just blah. And I’ve looked this year, and there’s nothing that makes me want to buy it. So, I’m not.
It feels a bit odd, really, and a bit sad. But not sad enough to make me change my mind. Maybe next year will be different, I don’t know.
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…
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.