Spread Thinly

How is it Thursday already? Where do the days go? It feels like my feet haven’t touched the ground all week. Take today as an example – somehow I’ve filled and emptied the dishwasher, thrown three loads of clothes through the washing machine and hung them out to dry, sprayed the bedroom, stairs, and living room with flea spray (never get cats), hoovered all over, picked up after everybody, AND got on with work.

And it’s only just after lunchtime.

I’m taking half an hour off from everything to write this, and listen to some music. I use my phone with a bluetooth speaker in the study that my cousin gave me. I have a free spotify subscription, and choose random playlists each day.

I only have one curated playlist of my own – that I compiled with the help of an old friend – filled with 70s, 80s and 90s classics. Whenever I listen to it I think of them now – and wonder how they are.

Anyway.

Time to go grab a glass of water. Now the weather is getting warmer, it doesn’t do to stay sitting at the desk for too long – and apparently water intake is the best way to avoid my feet swelling up (it happened last year). I imagine the gallons of coffee I drink can’t help either.

I’ll writing again when I get a chance.

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Running Up That Hill

Invariably I try to get to a “good place” with programming before finishing for the day – yesterday that didn’t happen. Something wasn’t working, and it consumed me all evening. At dinner the rest of my family asked what was going on – catching me staring into space, thinking about it.

After watching Stranger Things with my eldest daughter yesterday evening I got the work laptop back out, and started digging. I solved the problem, then realised everybody else had gone to bed. It was 1am. Then I worked straight through lunchtime today. Yes, I am my own worst enemy.

Getting back to Stranger Things – Oh. My. Word. Haven’t enjoyed a TV show so much in ages. After watching two episodes of season 4 back-to-back with my eldest daughter last night, we emerged into the kitchen with our thoughts racing from theory to theory about what developments in the story meant, and what might happen next. I can’t remember seeing her so enthused by anything for quite some time.

I’m listening to a Stranger Things soundtrack on Spotify right now – the show is now set in “my” era – the mid to late 1980s. I will admit to smiling when I saw Kate Bush racing up the global charts – of course we didn’t know until last night just why. After the scene in question I turned to my daughter, wide eyed, and whispered “is it ok to breathe now?”

Anyway.

Enough about TV. I’m wondering about going for a walk to decompress from everything. Perhaps pick up some cookies or something along the way.

Every Few Days

Has anybody seen my blogging horse? Or was it a bicycle? I never was good at idioms and analogies.

It’s Saturday morning (just). The UK has been taken over by patriotic fervour as really rather too many people celebrate the stunning achievement of an entitled family to continue to live a charmed life, paid for by all of us.

I’m not quite nailing my colours to the mast in saying that – the royal family make quite a lot for the country in terms of tourism, but really – why on earth does a modern country need a hereditary monarchy?

Anyway.

While writing this my other half and youngest daughter are in town selling hand-crafted bags, pencil cases, and tea-towels as part of a “Wild” weekend of events – promoting nature, conservation, and ecology. The weather is not helping them – while it was warm and sunny yesterday, today it’s cold, windy, and spitting with rain.

I feel sorry for our youngest daughter – she has spent several weeks making hand-stamped designs on the various items they are selling – and given the weather, foot traffic in the park is going to be almost non existent.

In other news, work is going well. As per usual, I can’t really talk about it. Outside of work, the YouTube channel is getting bigger and bigger – like a snowball rolling down a hillside. After a few months I’ll report on the earnings from it – at the moment it’s making far more than I had anticipated, but I’m naturally pessimistic the longer term.

Time for a coffee, perhaps.

Running Again

I went running first thing this morning – back to the “Couch to 5K” programme after a few days off after my right knee started to hurt. Fingers crossed if I just go slow at this whole running thing, my body will stop complaining.

It’s funny – for years my natural jogging pace has been about six minutes per kilometre – so about thirty minutes for five kilometres. Even though the sessions at the moment are pretty much “run, walk, run, walk”, the running part of them is coming out at exactly that pace again – and with seconds difference between each run. I seem to have an unexpectedly accurate metronome inside my body.

I do need to lose weight to make it easier though – I could do with losing about twenty five pounds. I’ve cut out most snacks, but I need to do more. Maybe some cardio on the days I’m not running would help?

Half the reason I’m running is because sitting down all day, every day, has started to cause my ankles to swell up. Being active stops that happening. My other half forgot her lunch today, which provided an unexpected lunchtime walk across town – not very far, but something at least. I suppose running around doing chores throughout the day helps too.

Anyway.

I was just taking a break from work for a few minutes. I better get on.

Forwards and Backwards

In what you might describe as an enormous re-invention of my blogging existence, I have moved the entire archive (including all manner of mangled text from the distant past) into the shiny new blog, and wired up Zapier to automagically cross-post elsewhere for me. All hail the makers of the interwebs for allowing pollution of cyberspace with my written idiocy in such quantity. It took a fair amount of somewhat inventive scripting in Python to assemble the past posts into a somewhat organised collection, but I got there in the end. I can’t imagine anybody would want to read it all, but that’s not really the point.

I can’t help rembering the advice given during NaNoWriMo – it’s all about the quantity – not the quality.

Anyway.

It’s Sunday, and it’s a bank holiday weekend. I spent the entire morning messing around with the flight simulator, and recording YouTube videos of idiotic escapades five thousand feet above London in a questionable jet aircraft – rabbiting on about radio navigation techniques. There’s a simple reason why – my YouTube channel has been “monetised”, and this has turned into a lucrative rabbit hole from which to dig “extra money”. My other half laughs at the amount of hours required to make anything like a profit, but I keep impressing upon her that if I spend the next thousand years at it, I might be able to afford several packets of cookies.

I’ve just realised it’s getting pretty damn cold in here. I should really go find something warm to wear. Perhaps if I type fast enough, the friction from my fingers will warm the entire room up.

Ah. A coffee. A coffee will warm me up. Why didn’t I think of that before?

Normality Resumes

I returned to work today. Or rather I cleared the chores, had a shower, helped our youngest with feeding animals at a neighbours house, and then sat at the same desk I’ve been sitting at for the last week – just with a different computer in front of me.

The routine of work was a pleasant change after the last week rattling around the house finding things to do.

My other half return to the school office (it’s still the school holidays – there was paperwork to do). When she returned home she was shattered. It’s going to take time for her to fully recover from COVID.

After finishing work this evening I walked into town to get groceries, then returned, cooked, and washed up. Later this evening I took part in a damn fool escapade on the internet with some of my Dad’s friends – or rather, I tried to.

At the moment if I go anywhere near anybody else with a computer, they start asking me why their computer does this, or why their computer does that. The answer is invariably “because you did something to it, that caused it to do that” – but by the time that conclusion is arrived at, I’ve pretty much thrown away the reason I was there in the first place.

It’s frustrating, and makes me want to either climb in a hole, or always claim ignorance when anything to do with technology comes up in conversation.

It must be a similar experience for plumbers and electricians. “Oh, can you have a look at my radiator?”, or “can you look at this light switch?”

Anyway.

It’s already late, and I’m about to go get a decent night’s sleep in my bed – rather than the sofa. If I get sick over the next few days I’m not going to be happy.

Late O’Clock

I cooked dinner for the rest of the family this evening. Spaghetti Bolognese – one of the “make something quick that everybody will eat” meals that most families have up their sleeve at the end of a long week.

After dinner I joined some friends online for an hour, before heading into town to meet my middle daughter from work once again. Before leaving the house I looked in on my other half, and asked if she wanted to come – to perhaps get a drink while there. And that’s how we didn’t get home until after closing time.

While sipping our drink, and talking about the week, we laughed at the teenagers in the bar – most of which we had known at the various schools our girls attended over the years. We figured we had known more than a few of them since they were in infant school. One of them couldn’t take a shot at the pool-table without shouting the F word. I wondered how proud his parents might be.

Walking to and from the pub was bitterly cold. Earlier today it tried to snow. Only a few flakes, but still exciting given that we haven’t seen any serious amount of snowfall for years.

Tomorrow we’re headed to our youngest’s school for some sort of garden tour thing. Then on Sunday it’s rugby once again. I’m not going to stress too much about not getting a chance to rest – I have a week off coming up at the end of next week. The week before Easter.

That reminds me – I need to get some Easter eggs.

Catching up on Lost Time

I’m sitting in front of the computer at the end of the working day, listening to a random playlist on a free spotify account. How is it only Tuesday?

I’m shattered, and I only have myself to blame. I was up until 2am last night – avoiding today. It wasn’t that anything particularly difficult or stressful was happening – just switching work projects for a few days.

Jumping between projects can either feel like a vacation or a nightmare. Sometimes switching subjects in your brain is a real wrench – trying to remember why certain decisions were made, or why things were done in the way they were. The worst case scenario is always being parachuted into another project – to either pick up the pieces or the slack of an invariably tangled mess.

Anyway. I don’t write about work – not directly.

While working from home over the last couple of years, I’ve gained an appreciation of friends – be that in the “real world”, or over the internet. They make otherwise lonely days much easier to bear.

As Norah Ephron once wrote, sometimes all it takes is a message saying hello, I’m here, and by the way, on the other hand, nevertheless, did you see this? – whatever it is friends share with you, it’s a reminder that you count to somebody – and that’s a nice feeling.

Sometimes you cross paths with somebody and become instant friends – racing to share anything and everything – catching up on lost time. It’s rare, but it’s wonderful when it happens.

Is it coffee o’clock yet?

Tiredness Abounds

We went to watch our middle daughter play rugby, and to help out with some of the jobs involved in making a rugby match happen. For me, this comprised standing at the entrance of an overflow car park in a reflective orange tabard for an hour – in bitter cold and driving rain. My youngest daughter came with me and entertained in ways only she knows.

Oh, the fun we had counting cars into and out of the car park while trying to keep track of how full it had become. Who needs expensive video game machines to while away an hour?

After refuelling in the clubhouse, courtesy of a cup of tea in a paper cup and a sausage sandwich, we headed back out into the rain and watched the game – keeping the official match score sheet along the way.

Once the match finished – after having spent the better part of three hours in the rain, which had now seeped through coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, trousers and underwear – we helped with the clear-up too.

Something struck me while wandering back to our car. There were 18 kids in the team today. Potentially 36 parents. Less than a quarter of that number turned up, and of those only myself, my other half, and another mum helped with anything. Between us we set the pitch up, staffed the car parks, kept score, helped cook food for the players, and took the pitch back down. It didn’t occur to anybody else to help.

I thought many hands were supposed to make light work.

After getting home we stripped off the wet clothes and dug out fresh, warm, dry clothes before collapsing on the sofa with hot drinks. The washing machine has been running ever since.

We finally ate this evening at 8pm. Washing up was done by 9pm. Sunday has gone, and we’re all tired.

Somebody asked me earlier if I might be watching the “Superbowl”. I’ll be amazed if I’m still awake in half an hour, let alone the early hours of tomorrow morning.