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Life

Bank Holiday Monday

It’s heading towards 10am, and I’m still the only person up and about at home. It’s a bank holiday in the UK today – many people have the day off work. Of course the weather isn’t cooperating – while the sun is trying to break through at the moment, it’s forecast to begin raining at lunchtime, and get worse throughout the day. I imagine our house will begin floating away by dinner time. I better start fashioning some oars out of household implements later.

I’m struggling to wake up. I’m not sure why, because I slept like a log last night – and half remember a couple of crazy dreams. One of them involved accidentally transferring thousands into one of my daughter’s bank accounts, and then struggling to transfer the money back again before anybody found out. I wonder what that means?

It’s interesting how the most illogical events or actions become reasonable in dreams.

(many hours pass)

The better part of the day was spent pulling ivy from the shed in the garden, helping my middle daughter create a podcast (for her college course), and doing several runs to the rubbish tip. This morning’s weather forecast was wrong – the rain finally began to fall early this evening. It’s still raining now, and looking pretty much like the world might end.

After washing up this evening I checked my phone, and saw messages from several friends, sent hours earlier. Hopefully they will understand that life occasionally tramples all over me. It seems that “having friends”, “working”, “doing chores”, and “being a part of a family” never quite add up – and “having friends” always seems to be the first thing to fall by the wayside.

I saw a quote the other day from somebody famous (I forget who), noting that if you got run over by a truck tomorrow, your employer would replace you within a month or two – but that your friends and family would always remember you. I read it, and thought “yes, but if you don’t work, you have no money, your family lose their house, and you have no smartphone to stay in touch with friends”.

Nothing is ever as simple as a motivational quote.

Anyway. I only have a few hours until the “day off” comes to an end. I should probably go watch something rubbish on the television, and eat something I’ll feel bad about afterwards. It’s funny how that works.

Categories
Life

A State of Continual Distraction

In keeping with the “falling off the blogging horse” theme I seem to have been following recently, I can feel myself being slowly drawn back. It’s curious how that happens. The more scientific might start talking about biorhythms. I’m more inclined to call it a state of continual distraction.

It’s Friday morning. The last day working before a week off. I don’t have any specific project work to get on with, so am doing research and development into skills I will need for an upcoming project. I always find it difficult to focus without a specific aim – I suppose it’s a little like wandering without a compass.

I’m not entirely sure what next week will be filled with. I need to get the grass cut in the back garden, but beyond that I’m not sure. Some long walks with the rest of the family might be an idea – if I can get them out of the house. There are some nice circular walks nearby – through woods, over hills, and across fields.

While writing this (and sipping coffee) I’m listening to a Spotify playlist. Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy just started playing. It always reminds me of the movie “Frankie and Johnny” – where the lead characters finally find a moment of calm after a (quite wonderful) story filled with stress, uncertainty, and yearning.

(five minutes pass while I make a second coffee, and check on the washing machine)

The washing line is now completely full of clothes. By end of day there will be mountains of folded clothes all over the dining table. When the kids emerge I will set them to work – retrieving dry clothes from the line, and folding them (to a fashion) into piles for each person. There’s no point me doing it – I no longer have a clue which clothes belong to whom. My daughters are now the same size as my other half. My simple brain has enough trouble distinguishing between “my clothes”, and “their clothes”, let alone “skinny fit t-shirt with cats on”, “black boy shorts”, “crimson leggings”, “black leggings”, and so on.

People tend to either smile knowingly, or frown when I tell them I live in a world of womens clothes, underwear, and makeup.

Anyway.

Better get on with some work.

Categories
Life

Turning into a Cat

I think I’m turning into a cat. You know how cats have favourite places to curl up or “be” that last for a few days at a time, before they move on to somewhere else? I’m like that with writing. For a while I was writing at Evernote, then a text editor for a little while, then Notion, and now I’m back at Google Docs, where I’ve been writing on-and-off for years.

Google Docs is the easy option for me. It satisfies the paranoid part of my brain that says “what if the computer goes bang in the middle of your Pulitzer prize winning blog post?” – because it saves every word as I write it. Of course this is predicated on the idea that what I’m writing has literary value (I’m humble enough to realise that I’m only a legend in my own lunchtime).

It’s Sunday morning. The clock is just ticking past 10am. I’ve been up for the last hour – emptying the dishwasher, clearing the kitchen up – the usual chores around the house. I didn’t have a shower this morning, and now feel grubby. I usually have a shower every morning – it helps wake me up. I’m not going anywhere or doing anything today, so thought “what’s the point?” – it’s not like I smell or anything. I will admit to washing my face with soap and cold water after brushing my teeth though – to try and wake myself up. It sort of worked.

I need to head out to the corner shop soon – we’ve run out of bread. It’s kind of difficult to make toast without bread – almost as bad as the time our middle daughter made a cup of tea for her Mum after we ran out of teabags. She didn’t let the lack of tea stop her – proudly delivering a cup of hot watery milk. She was only about seven years old at the time.

Anyway.

Time to go find my shoes and socks. At least it’s not raining today (yet).

Categories
Life

Slowly

I started writing this post a little after 8am this morning, and then a world of chores, distractions, and errands took over. It’s Wednesday – half-way through my second week off. I would say I’m starting to look forwards to going back to work, but of course that’s not happening, because I work from home now. Next monday I’ll be sitting at the same chair, in front of the same desk – just with a different laptop in front of me.

We’re heading out again today – to walk around the same place we walked around last week – a National Trust property a few miles from home. I imagine the fresh air will do us some good. My mother-in-law is coming with us – she’s due to arrive in the next half an hour or so.

I didn’t go running this morning. I haven’t done a lot of things recently. I’m not really sure why. Maybe this is me slowing down (that’s if slowing down discounts washing clothes, dishes, putting things away, tidying up behind people, putting garbage out, and so on, and so on, and so on). I realised yesterday that I haven’t been out on my bike – you know, the shiny new bike I bought just before lockdown – for weeks.

Anyway… time to go. I’ll write more later. Maybe.

Categories
Life

On Call

It’s Friday, and you find me holed up in the junk room at home, putting together another quiz. This evening the company I work for are having a “virtual social” on Zoom, and I volunteered myself as quiz-master. Although I have run several quizes recently, I’m putting together an entirely new set of questions, so the rest of my family can take part.

While I work on the quiz, the younger children are heading into town to get some groceries. I can’t really go anywhere today – even though I’m not working – because I have agreed to be “on call” for any support issues at work. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere, so it’s not really a hardship.

While tidying the junk room up yesterday I fished the old iMac out, and powered it up. It’s over 20 years old now, and STILL WORKS. I keep wondering if I should give it away to somebody that might get some use out of it, but can never quite bring myself to part with it. I keep telling myself I’ll use it for writing, but I never quite get around to it.

I bought a game for the kids to play yesterday – a crafting and exploration game on Steam called “Starbound”. After not hearing anything from our eldest for a few hours, I checked in on her, and discovered her still playing it – so it can’t be that bad. If I make some time later, I might have a look at it myself.

Finally, I watched the movie “Midway” last night. I hate to say it, but it’s nowhere near as good as the version made in the 1970s with Charlton Heston. Yes, the new movie has got spectacular special effects (which look very fake), but it has none of the strategic maneouvering that is covered so well in the older movie. The dive bombing scenes were unintentionally hilarious – with the age-old “every time we cut back to see the ground coming, we’re still as far away from it as last time we looked”… I swear – some of the dive bombing runs fell through the same altitudes four or five times.

Anyway.

This post was a bit random, wasn’t it.

Although I’m only posting every other day at the moment, life goes on. We’re still running, and I’m still cycling fairly regularly. Work is down to three days a week at the moment, which strangely means that I’m struggling to figure out which day of the week it is. We’re all well though, so we can’t complain.

Categories
Life

It’s Life Jim

It’s been a day. After pulling the design together for a future project this morning, I wandered into the garden to find my other half sitting in a camping chair outside, hiding from the children, who were arguing about chores.

The chore argument was entirely predictable. A reward system had been introduced – you know – like you might have for 7 year olds – except our younger kids are 15 and 16. I was quite impressed with how quickly Miss 16 figured out how to take advantage and try to cherry pick the chores she was willing to do (mostly driven by laziness).

Rather than work through lunch once again, I decided to spend an hour in the garden, and got most of the grass at the back of the house cut. It still looked like hell, but better than it was. I spent another half an hour out there after work – it almost doesn’t look like jungle now.

We finally let Miss 15 join Tiktok this evening. She has been asking for months, and most of her friends have it. I’m just hoping we have done the right thing. I guess it’s time to start having some trust in her. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her quite so happy.

I’m running again in the morning, and then helping my youngest daughter call a journalist and ask about her work as part of a school project. I imagine she will talk on one phone, and I’ll record it on another – so she can go back through it afterwards.

This evening I may fall back into the clutches of “No Mans Sky”. It’s a ridiculously addictive video game where you get dumped on a distant planet, and have to MacGuyver your way off it, and then set out across the universe.

Or maybe I should go read a book, or watch a movie. Actually, something rubbish to eat, something nice to drink, and a terrible movie sounds quite persuasive.

This has been a very random post, hasn’t it.

p.s. I might have re-acquired the jonbeckett.blog domain name this evening, and attached it to the WordPress account. Does this mean I’m eventually headed back to WordPress? Perhaps. Very slowly though.