[15:20] I got up this morning and all I could think about was how wrong things
had gone in my life. It was 06:30 and I was in work doing things with air-con
engineers, it was noisy, cold, things were broken and I felt terrible. I was
low, depressed, listless and sad about all the upheaval, changes and failures
of my life. Then, once all that work was done I came into the office and saw
this on my RSS feed:
around... and around", and I realised that - as she says - I'm not alone
and sometimes we can still enjoy a figurative or even literal "trip to Disney
World", even if perhaps it's not entirely what we want to be doing. We take
the pleasure we can (and the pleasure in someone else we love's happiness) and
use it however it can be used at that moment. I read the comments on that
post from all the kinds of people who're touched by depression (including
husbands and wives whose partners suffer from it, and they work hard to
support) and felt sadder and happier because of that (for obvious reasons
related to my own situation). I know that despite all the things which have
gone wrong in my life (including those perhaps I could have done something
about if I'd been more proactive about helping myself) it's still possible
some good will come of it in the future. Just in a new way, rather than the
old way I had plans, hopes, and fears for.
I just have to be strong and remember that even at my lowest, even when I
don't have a partner supporting me any more (which was always something I
counted on more than I knew at the time and gained enormous strength from),
there's a way forward towards better moments than the one I'm in right now.
Last night's outing wasn't so good. We had a novice cox taking out an 8+ for
the first time. She wasn't bad at all, but the crew didn't respond well to
her and as we were in a strange boat, with people out of position, the whole
thing felt unbalanced and unhappy. I'd turned up early at the boat house to
have a nap, but ended up doing a 30 minute power erg with one of the upcoming
new rowers (which turned into an unofficial competition he won by three
metres) before we all got in the boat. So by the end of the outing I just
wanted a hot shower and to go home. I made the mistake of watching a film
while eating dinner so going to bed early turned out not to be on the cards
In other news I've just realised that for the last four months or so I've been
doing something that was mooted many moons ago, to wit, wearing more shirts
and eating lots of yoghurt. I'm doing a lot of both now and it's pretty good,
I have to say.
Anyway, it's the middle of the afternoon now. I've done a lunchtime run and
am now off into town to count network points in a room (why the users can't do
it themselves I don't know) and work out which switch cabinet they go back to.
Seeing as I was in for "early" this morning I don't think I'll come back to
work afterwards so once that's done I may go and buy myself a Garmin GPS
watch. I don't know which one quite yet, it'll either be a 110, 210 or 410.
I don't think I need a heart-rate monitor so that'll take some of the cost off
whichever I go for in the end. Then there may be some bike mending at
Cormac's, an evening meal, reading and bed. Probably in that order.
[17:00] So it turns out that there a good chance that
bacon might be the
solution to all my ills. If not, then I can always smile and be happy for
approximately eight and
a half minutes about the Muppets instead.
Mainly I guess I've been dealing with emails today. The weather's been nice
so I've been for a run too. With an outing this evening I should get a
reasonable amount of exercise done today. Last night's Sport Makers thing
wasn't as well-attended as I thought it might be, and it turns out I'm doing
pretty much everything that a Sport Maker is supposed to be doing anyway. So
that was good. The wraps last night were tasty. I don't think I'll do pork
ones again though. Beef next time. Or chicken.
I'm not sure why but I'm suddenly overcome with a huge bout of sleepiness. I
might just go to the boat house straight away at the end of the working day
(nowish) and have a nap before the outing. Tonight I will try and get an
early night for once and see how that does me for tomorrow.
[17:30] Something of a nonevent of a day, today, at work. After getting to
bed very very late last night I really wasn't in any mood for morning
exercises this morning. Also where I live now is a lot closer to a slightly
more heavily used road (rat run for blue-bottle-in-jam-jar mopeds) than I was
before so from first thing in the morning (if the window's open, and it is in
this weather) there's more noise than previously. Still, exercise blew out
the cobwebs and I could get on with my day.
Today's weather has been a lot cooler and cloudier than yesterday. Not a
terrible issue really, and it made the lunchtime run a lot more pleasant. I
set out to do quite a gentle 6K and ended up going at what I worked out was
close to 6:42/mile pace, which isn't too shabby, really.
When I got home last night I spent a good bit of time giving my bike new
shoes. I finally decided to get some new tyres for the bike I expected to
have left unlocked at the side of the road back in February. I'm now on
rather cool 26x1.3 Continental SportContact City tyres and feeling even
nippier than I did on the now binned (due to the sidewalls having finally
begun to split) Michelin XC Road 26x1.4 ones. I think I've now replaced
everything on this bike apart from the frame twice now. I probably could have
bought a new bike if I added all up the bits of money I've paid together and
bought in one go. I did end up with road dirt/dust all over my shorts so they
had to go in the wash straight away. I think I got everything out.
I'm off to a Sport
Makers (typoed "spork" briefly there) meeting this evening. I'm seriously
considering getting into doing a lot more coaching at the boat club (possibly
coxing too). This could be a way to kickstart that a bit. I don't know.
We'll see how it goes. Either way it's a bit of evening cycling to get to the
meeting and back, which is nice given the weather.
I think I'll make wraps this evening. It's been a while and I deserve a tasty
meal. Wehn I feel like I can be bothered to make the effort I guess it should
be for something I really enjoy and am so glad I was introduced to. Tonight
will be my first go at pork wraps. I'm sacrificing two steaks to the cause.
If I remember (and if you care) I'll let you know how it went tomorrow.
[17:50] Busy day today so that's why I'm late with this entry. I'm sure you
don't mind too much. The busy has mainly been to do with going to see a 'new'
building with a view to getting a group of people in there some time in early
June or so. This shouldn't be much of an issue if we can address the fibre
connectivity and get a switch ordered and configured in time. After that I
was stuck getting an old server (did I mention it last week) up and running
and talking to everything it's supposed to be talking to with a view to
getting it racked up and connected to the SAN tomorrow. A run in the very hot
sun (27.4degC) was good for a bit of a sweat and then I've been chained to my
desk doing bits and bobs since then. I've only just got around to working on
replying to all my email which came in since Friday evening. I may do a bit
more tonight from home.
The reason I didn't do any mailing over the weekend was that it was very
nearly full to the brim with Stuff. Saturday morning was parkrun where I put
in what I would have considered an excellent time (18:59) had I not got my PB
previously. After that it was Tesco, then home. I spent some time actually
relaxing on the sofa up to and over lunch as I prepared to head to
Peterborough to get a river outing in before the racing on Sunday. In fact I
passed up a trip on the river here in town to do that... Only to find that I
wasn't going to be going to Peterborough at all due to one of the crew
deciding that his possibly sprained ankle required resting. Once I finally
knew that I was able to jump on my bike and cycle south of town to find people
and deliver more wine to them. I ended up walking along the bank with my bike
while they had the river craft. At the turn around point I got to swap my
bike with someone and got everyone back into town again, so that was a bit
more execise for me. We ended up having a bit of an impromptu barbeque at one
of the people's houses and I got to have my meat, halloumi and other tasty
things fix for the day before going home for an earlyish bed. Sunday morning
I was in a car by 07:30 and at Peterborough in time to rig the boat and have a
little (and very successful) outing on the river before our race.
Unfortunately, due to at least two of the crew just not having the race
fitness to take us the length of the course at a winning speed we didn't make
the semi-finals. I spent a few hours watching the racing, helping with the
launch when its engine broke and cheering on my club whenever it was racing.
I got a lift back with Lianne and as she was going to be coaching a crew on
the river I figured I might as well stay out in the glorious weather and run
along the bank with her, keeping pace with the boat. 16km to a bridge way out
of town (over the lock and keep going) and back I was pretty hot, the boat
crew were quite impressed and I needed a drink so I went to my boat house and
found someone just preparing to do a 20 minute erg. Rather than let them do
that alone I jumped on the one next to them and helped keep them at a good
pace for the duration. By the time we'd finished, I'd had a long cool shower
and eaten the last of the lunch I'd made for the regatta the trailer was back
from Peterborough and everyone was around to detrailer all the (bits of) boats
and rerig everything. As I didn't have my bike I had to run home to get it to
make it to a pub before they stopped serving food, only to be told by text as
I got home that they weren't serving any more... so I had another shower and
settled in for the evening with some tasties at home and plenty of liquids.
All in all a very busy weekend for the most part. Here's hoping there are
more like that, when I don't get to think too much and I can do good things
for other people so more.
[16:15] Today is the first day this year I've suffered from Summer Blues. I
hope it'll be the last, but I doubt it. They're the feelings you have when
you get out and experience fabulous weather and realise that you don't have a
significant other to share amazing and fun times with. There won't be any
more "outdoor living room" (I don't have a garden for it any more, anyway), no
cycle rides in the evenings or on weekends, and no walking in wonderful places
enjoying the experience of being with someone special. Right now, as I look
out of the window at the brilliant blue sky and the light breeze making the
leaves on the trees wave I know that although I have lots of things planned
for the next little while I'll find myself wondering how much shinier those
and other things could have been if there'd been someone to share them with,
or at least even tell about them. And in those unavoidable slack times
between activities I'll miss the presence of someone to have a conversation
with, or simply just kiss.
But anyway, that's just the way things are now, so I've got to get on with
minimising slack time and making my the rest of the time full of interesting
and distracting things. The working day has been pretty good for that with me
being down in town for half of the morning resetting a switch which didn't
seem to have a RADIUS server set and then cycling back very very slowly so as
to enjoy as much of the stupendous weather as I could. I went for a long walk
over lunch out and past the research institute I used to pop by a lifetime ago
and this afternoon have been creating a frankenserver out of parts of lots of
other machines so as to create a hugely overpowered and hulking brute which
will be used for a short time and then discarded. I doubt the thing'll be
finished initializing its RAID array before it's time to leave for the week so
I'll let it get on with that and start installing the operating system on
This weekend I hope to do parkrun tomorrow morning, then some grocery shopping
and then possibly (depending on the timing) have some fun out on the river
before heading to Peterborough for an outing in preparation for Sunday's 1000m
sprints. For once I won't be camping at Peterborough (I value good food, a
good night's sleep in my own bed and a lack of drunk rowers too much not to
any more) so it'll mean a trip there each day.
We were going to have an outing at 17:00 today but one of the crew won't be
around much before 19:00 so... well I don't know what I'll do, but I guess it
should be outside, given the weather. Maybe I'll take a book and just read
out on the boat house balcony for a while. I should make sure I start packing
a book regularly if the weather's going to be this good for a while.
Before I go though I'm going to see SpaceX's Dragon fully attached to the ISS
on NASA TV. Have a good weekend.
[17:35] Had an outing last night. While it went fairly OK it was the wrong
boat, not the complete crew and one of the crew was rowing on the wrong side
so it didn't really do much to increase our chances of having an excellent
time on on Sunday. Still, it was a lovely evening and a few of us headed out
to the beer festival afterwards. Given the costs associated with going to the
thing I don't believe I'll go more than once. I have my glass, I had some
very nice things to eat and didn't spend too much on dinner all things
considered. I was absolutely shattered when I got home and collapsed onto the
futon for probably the last time in a while. My good deed for yesterday was
talking to someone about themselves and making them see that they were pretty
awesome after all, despite what someone else had said about them. That really
Getting up this morning was hard. I think I must be a little dehydrated from
the cold and the fact that I'm running a bit of a temperature in bed at night
this week. Hopefully as soon as that breaks I'll feel a bit better. I was at
work for about two hours before the call came to tell me my mattress was going
to be delivered so I cycled home and only had to wait about ten minutes before
it turned up. I don't think there's anything wrong with it despite the bends
they put in it getting it up the stairs. It also feels a lot better to lie on
- very similar to my bed in my old house which is what I was aiming for. I
do hope I sleep well on it. Maybe I'll even learn to use more than just the
left hand edge as I was wont to confine myself to, even when there wasn't
anyone to share/take up the rest of the mattress. It'd be a bit of a waste of
money if I didn't sprawl just a little bit.
I went for a run in the wonderful weather at lunch time. My good deed for the
day was keeping my pace low for my running partner who's just back from a
month off following her running of the London Marathon. It actually felt good
to peg it back to 8 minute plus miles and I know she appreciated the company
as well as the steady pacing.
It's a truly wonderful evening. I really don't want to spend it indoors so I
may go home and go for a gentle run down by the river. I don't know how far I
will end up going, but it would be silly to come back before I needed to.
Really, I don't know what there is to go home for, other than dinner and bed.
[17:20] "One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star."
(Nietzsche). So maybe I don't need to banish all of that which roils and
churns within my head. Maybe I can keep just a little bit after all.
I forgot to mention that yesterday we had an aircon engineer come out to look
at a few things. While he was at the server room we've been having issues
with he noticed that two of the units had their three-phase motors/fans wired
up backwards so, like Megamaid, they'd gone from suck to blow. Obviously, as
soon as they were reversed they send a huge cloud of dust into the room (we'll
get some hardware failures soon, I'm sure) and set off the fire/particulates
alarm. Luckily, as someone was in the room at the time the Argonite system
was set to manual rather than automatic so it didn't go off. Which is nice as
shattered eardrums often offend.
My entire morning was spent cycling three miles to one of our outlying bits of
network and then grubbing around under people's desks looking for network
presentation points so we can work out which cable runs don't actually go
anywhere any more when it comes time to recable and resite the comms cabinet.
The afternoon was mostly about firefighting annoying bits of disk cruft and
networking snafus. The evening will consist of rowing, hopefully well, and
maybe then attending a beer festival for a bit. Then I think I will go home
and collapse again. Hopefully between now and going home this evening I will
find something nice to do for someone else. Oh, and a few other serieses came
to an end on my computer last night. Again, I wish I'd had someone to share
those shocks, surprises and cliffhangers with. They were good and I miss that
My mattress is due to be delivered, again, tomorrow. Other than that I hope
it should be a normal, ordinary day. Maybe even with some running.
Oh, and another
convocation address (this time at Boston University) which says great
things. "Just remember, there's always room for one more good one."
[18:05] "A man walks down the street, he says 'Why am I soft in the middle
now? / The rest of my life is so hard.'" (You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon).
The tune and that lyric have been rattling around in my head on and off for
months now. Maybe it's best that I get it down on 'paper' so I can let it go.
Then again sometimes there are still things in life which have the ability to
make me smile.
I like that even now I can smile, and sometimes even laugh. Perhaps one day I
will do my own trip/version. In an alternative universe I'm actually living
in New York right now. Thinking about it, that would have been so
cool. But decisions were made and this is the universe we're in.
Speaking of decisions, when I got home from work after lunch yesterday I found
that - as I used to do whenever I visited Kris wherever she was in the world -
my mother had put notes around the house with nice things on them, or
instructions or comments. I guess I know where I got that proclivity from
now. One of the instructions was to do something nice for someone else every
day. No matter how small it was, as it would make me feel better. As I sat
on one of my goodwill sofas covered in a throw from my parents, coughing,
sneezing and feeling extremely groggy I got a text from someone asking if I
would come and erg with them down at the boat house. Rather than just sitting
there I got up and cycled to the boat house, did 20 minutes of hard rowing and
then a 500m sprint (on the erg too) sitting beside them. And then, as I was
wheezing and sweating and wishing I could go home and collapse, when a rower
asked me if I could bank party his 4+'s outing I said yes. That was two hours
of cycling alongside a boat coaching (shouting) and losing my voice and giving
useful advice which it turns out was great appreciated. The friend I'd erged
with then offered me free dinner (just filled pasta and sauce) and then Giant
Chocolate Buttons. I figure this is how things could work out. I will find
something good to do for someone this evening, no matter how small it is, and
every now and then this Universe will maybe send something good in my
direction when it doesn't think me feeling good about helping someone is
Speaking of doing good things for other people, here's Neil Gaiman giving an
address to the University of the Arts
class of 2012. He says a lot of things that might be useful or I know
have occured to people I know, or at least once thought I knew. Imposter
Syndrome, "Fake it 'Til You Make It" and many other things. It may be art,
but it's reputable.
I ran today at lunch time. It was hot. The weather decided to be great today
so I ended up running in hot weather, with a cold, feeling pretty crappy. And
yet... I felt so free. I was out, back on my feet and free. All the way
through I could feel my mind and body opening up, relaxing and smoothing out
all my aches and woes, even as my skin felt hot, head clogged and my vision
slightly blurry. At the end I think I coughed up a lung, possibly two. But I
found my space again, and that's what mattered.
I'm having dinner with Kate this evening. So that should be nice.
[13:30] Plenty of positives from the weekend as my parents were here. They
did some gardening, filled my freezer with lovely food so I don't end up
eating the same old things every week, got me to put away all the things I
just hadn't got around to dealing with yet and added some curtains, throws and
other little things (orchids) as well as financing the cost of a vacuum
cleaner. In the space of a year I've gone from having inherited an original
Dyson DC01 to unboxing two DC3x models. Of course I never thought I'd be
getting the second of those, but that's what's happened. Not being a big fan
of debts I'll be paying them back as soon as this month's pay comes in. That
will just leave one more amount that I'll hope to pay off as soon as I can.
Other positives from the weekend include only needing to do one outing on
Saturday morning and that being in a 4+ and it being pretty reasonable as
outings go, my palm skin toughening up hopefully in time for the regatta next
weekend and a drive to and walk around a lovely forest yesterday with my
parents. On the down side I have a stinking cold and had a terrible night's
sleep last night because of it. Hopefully I'll have a better one tonight as
well as being back on the futon.
The house seems to feel a little bit better since the visit (although I'll
reevalute when I get home today) and a little bit more 'mine', even though
it's not. Everything is pretty monochrome at the moment. Shades of brown or
rental magnolia. Hopefully once I get my mattress (Thursday, potentially) and
therefore my bedspread on the bed, and what little art I have comes back, I
can add some colour to the bedroom and all of the dreadfully colourless walls.
It's unlikely I'll go and erg this evening, but I might if someone convinces
me to leave the house and go to the boat house. Otherwise I'll stay home and
tidy the bedroom a little more. Now that I've bought, cut and installed
wardrobe rails I've got a lot of things put away, leaving room for more things
to go in the places those first things were, if that makes any sense.
I'm rambling now anyway. I think I may go home and eat Tangfastics. Maybe
even have an afternoon nap.
[11:40] As I was cycling in this morning two things struck me heavily. The
first was pretty minor; I couldn't discuss the NCIS season finale with Kris.
A piffling small thing but something that had made me quite sad last night as
I watched it. I wanted to turn to her and share in the moment, and the
possibilities for next season. I won't ever be able to do that again, nor for
any other shows we used to watch together which're coming to the ends of their
runs or starting again soon. The second thought was far more important; that all my hopes and dreams
about exploring the world with her as my wife were also now utterly gone. All
the ideas we'd had for places we might one day go and the things we would see
and experience together won't ever happen now. Even if I go on my own, as
amazing as they will still be, the experiences will be very different as
compared to if I was seeing and doing them with her as my travel partner. I
miss her very much. I wonder if this feeling will ever fade, and if I'm the
only one of us who feels like this. I imagine I am given the way around
things are. I guess that's just how it works.
There are so many things (pretty much almost everything) which bring up
memories and thoughts about all my old life. Some random examples: television
programmes, seeing someone smiling in a way which seems familiar, jelly beans,
and words like "institute". Really, the strangest stuff. And then my parents
visiting shows me that marriages do work out, and can work out so very, very
well (although I know even their marriage required a lot of effort now and
then), even as their presence here from this afternoon until Monday morning is
a reminder that I am weeks away from being officially divorced. It's
obviously not their fault and I love them very much, even if they weren't
generously coming to help me sort a little bit more of my life out.
I have this afternoon off (hence this morning's journal entry) and will be
spending today and the weekend with them doing all the useful things that
having a car can help with, as well as finding something fun to do on Sunday.
I've been put in a boat on Saturday (two different ones actually) despite me
saying I wasn't free, so I'll be leaving my parents to relax for Saturday
morning and do some gardening if they want, but have put my foot down for
Sunday morning. Last night's outing was... OK I guess. After Wednesday's bow
side at bow experience I was stroke side at stroke this time around. I'm
nothing if not adaptable (no, really). As a result though I now have a nice
matching set of blisters on both hands. Hopefully the skin will toughen up
before the weekend after this when I'm at Peterborough Regatta.
This evening I'm moving a mattress out of my house, across town and up a small
spiral staircase at a friend's house. I figure this is going to rank among
the most interesting things I'll have done in a while. I'm giving it a
"chance of all going wrong" score of about 7/10. Otherwise I'll be with my
parents, talking a lot, probably filling my freezer with food and generally
taking time to make time.
Now I look I see I've replicated a lot of what I said yesterday in this entry.
I don't suppose it matters terribly much but apologies nonetheless. Have a
wonderful weekend and I'll see you on Monday.
[17:20] Sometimes a story doesn't have to be long, or complicated or even
terribly well written to make me sad and happy at the same time.
This is one
of those stories and it puts me very much in mind of what a plausible
extra chapter about Pohl's Torraway character from "Man Plus" might have read
like if the book's focus had been slightly different. I seem to oscillate
between happy and sad these days. Not that I ever didn't, but when everything
is much more raw it's much easier to notice when it happens. I'm sure it'll
all settle down with time.
Last night's outing was OK. The boys in the boat have plenty of power, they
just don't always put it down together, or in the right place or even at all
sometimes. Still, I'm probably not doing my job brilliantly either given I
haven't been in a boat for an outing since well before Christmas. We're all
out again tonight and then I'm in with them and another crew on Saturday
morning (double outing-tastic). After that it's the following Wednesday and
then we're off to Peterborough Regatta for my first racing in I don't know how
long. For a planned "no spend day", having to shell out £30 for the
dentist (all is well), £50 for a British Rowing license renewal and
eventually £32 in racing fees has been a bit of a pain. Still, I think
I've marshalled my money in such a way that I think I should be able to get by
until next week's payday.
My parents arrive tomorrow lunch time and then are here until Monday morning.
They'll be helping me make the house feel a bit more mine (although I'm not
entirely sure how), perhaps doing some weeding, bringing back the things I
lugged up there on the train just about the time I got the news that I
probably wouldn't be going to St. Louis, or staying married, and hopefully
helping me keep my adopted cyclomen alive despite the unhappiness it seems to
be suffering because of all the moves its been through in the last few
months. I'm quite sad that it's now down to two flowers (one of which is now
wilting) and many of its leaves have brown spots. I hope that as things
settle down and I radiate a bit more happiness myself it'll perk up too. I'd
miss it if it died.
Drat, and I've just discovered that I've missed out on a hiking trip along
the West Highland Way in June. This is probably down to me not being terribly
sociable in the last few months (partially due to thinking I was leaving the
country so beginning to withdraw from social stuff here and partially down to
being unsociable since things went bad) and missing out on the events where
things like that get mooted. I'm really disappointed as I love Scotland and
would have relished the chance to see it on foot in good company. I'll have
to think of something else, but I was hoping to do something with friends.
[17:25] Just another day at the coal face. Nothing to report really. I could
have been out doing something awesome but I'm afraid I wasn't. I would have
liked to have been somewhere amazing, but I was here, doing my job.
Tonight, I row. It's not rocket science, but hey, it's something I'm good at
and I enjoy it. Then I'll go home and eat dinner. I guess that's it for
[17:20] Weird weather today. Even during my lunchtime run I experienced sun,
wind, rain, sleet, hail and then back to wind and sun again. All in under 25
minutes. Since then we've had a very dry hail (no rain mixed in), torrential
rain and bright sunshine with high wind. Apparently tomorrow is going to be
lovely, which is good as I'm back out in a boat (an eight) then, and Thursday
evening too if the weather permits. This is definitely better than just going
home after work, even if I'm getting a lot of reading done then, now. I'll
be glad to put a bit more shape to the evenings if I get a regular place in a
crew. While I'm OK with being home alone (having had to be for much of the
last relationship) I always really missed having another presence in the house
that I could talk to and maybe run upstairs to interrupt for a few minutes
with a joke or something I'd found interesting or just to see what was going
on. Also cooking for one has always been a real drag and something I find
So anyway, that's that. Work today has been pretty uninspiring too, now I
think about it. Mostly just housekeeping and watching the network get all
confused for a while before sorting itself out. I'm off to do another
experiment this evening (no electrodes this time) and then I'll head home and
hope that the weather doesn't see fit to douse me with flaming frogs or
sulphur or something like that.
Oh, I got the water meter fitting all sorted out so that should happen in
three or four weeks time, and then I won't be paying stupid amounts of money
for water I'm not using. Maybe between now and then I should just leave a tap
running to justify the costs. This reminds me why I got a water meter fitted
in the house I bought as soon as I could.
Right, while the weather's momentarily good I'm going to head off and
participate in "An investigation into thinking styles and memory recall". And
make a few pounds for doing so. See you tomorrow.
[18:00] Definitely a fuller weekend than I've had in quite some time. At
least one that didn't involve moving my life from one house to another.
Friday started with a birthday pub and curry house celebration which went
well. Saturday morning was parkrun at which I got a new personal best for the
5km distance of 18:46. Totally smashing my previous personal best by 21
seconds and still not feeling like I was about to die once I'd finished. This
is good. And my achilles - whilest noticable - doesn't seem to be bothering
me... really. Tesco after that, then home, showered, lunched and out to meet
a friend in a cafe by the station. We chatted for a while and then I had
to head home to have Bob come and see my too-firm mattress, which he'd agreed
to buy so that I could go and get the right one. He arrived with an envelope
stuffed full of money and I duly showed him the mattress and then after we'd
chatted for a while cycled over to the mattress shop to repurchase the correct
tension mattress. All is well and I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself for
getting everything sorted out so quickly and neatly. Also, a friend gets a
slightly cheaper mattress. After all of that it was time to get to the
swimming pool to help set up and then run the rowing club's annual swim test
and capsize drill. I ended up being in the pool for about two and a bit hours
helping with the scull capsize drill and making sure people didn't drown.
Annoyingly, I managed to lose a contact lens in the water about 30 seconds
before I was due to get out for the last time. That was fly 1 in my Saturday
ointment. I didn't go to the curry afterwards on account of having eaten out
the night before, because of what Sunday was going to have happening and just
being a bit low on cash this month because of all the things which are going
or have gone on. It was Saturday evening at home reading Facebook that was
fly 2. I was suddenly reminded that in an alternate universe I could have
been somewhere amazing with wonderful company, but that I wasn't. This really
set me back and has meant that I've had to make some changes to what I see on
there. I went to bed in a bit of a funk.
Luckily, Sunday was filled with brilliant sunshine from the moment I got up.
I headed down to the train station and caught a train to London, wandered
around for a bit and then met another friend in South Kensington where we had
a spot of brunch before going our separate ways, them to prepare for an
evening dinner party and me to the British Museum to see things. The Great
Court was fabulous in the sun and after admiring it I ended up visiting the
Chinese art (silk painting) exhibition and was duly impressed with the
sharpness and beautiy of the work. The other stuff (paintings and the
ceramics) I was pleased to remember quite a bit of what I'd been taught over
the years. I had obviously picked up and retained more than I thought.
Definitely not the same as having someone to explain the real intricacies and
concepts but much better than just gawping at the scrolls and thinking "oooh,
purty!" with a bit of drool in the corner of my mouth. I wandered the
building for what must have been hours before my feet got tired and I headed
back to the station and got a train home. I even stopped off at a Krispy
Creme place and got doughnuts off the production line as they were being made.
As the weather was so wonderful when I got back I pulled on my running shoes
and went for a gentle 8.5km run, the first from my new home. That was pretty
lovely and I got back, had a shower and dinner with a bit of downloaded
television. It was almost like everything was normal. Maybe it actually will
I was utterly shattered when my body woke up at 05:00 this morning. I ended
up lying in bed until close to 07:00 before I got up. Today at work I've been
into town twice doing networky things. Home at lunch time to have someone
from the water board out to survey for a water meter fitting (right now I'm
unmetered and I'm seriously not using a lot of water) and then back, in the
rain. This afternoon I've been catching up on correspondence and working out
if I bother going home before heading out this evening to meet one person in
one pub and then the rowing club's social committee in another one. Hmmm,
dinner should feature in there somewhere I guess.
[15:55] So I now have a bed and broadband. My life is 'complete'. They both
arrived before 14:00 which meant I was able to build the bed (even with all my
tools bar my Leatherman in a shipping container, now I have blisters) and get
the broadband sorted in time to get out and deposit a cheque at the bank
before close of play. However, there wasn't really a chance to do anything
else like shop for more home essentials (kitchen scales (I wonder if I'm
getting the new one we bought together shipped back?), washing up bowl, etc.).
The mattress is a lot firmer than I was hoping for, but the broadband is good
to have up and running. I don't even have to plug in my own wireless router
any more as I have a VirginMedia "SuperHub". It doesn't quite do everything I
need, but it's more than adequate for my situation at the moment. I may need
to get another wireless card when my main desktop computer arrives though.
I'll admit that even though there was no-one to share it with, it was nice to
take a day off and spend the morning reading on the sofa and getting a bit
more settled in the house. I'm still not sure I like the place at all, and it
is awfully sparse and bare (not that I can afford to fill the walls with
anything this month) but them's the breaks when you've been upheavaled. It's
Change. I will Adapt. "Adapt or die," I think is the saying? The kitchen's
nice, anyway. As is the bathroom. The 'master' bedroom's space-deficient now
that the bed's installed in the same way the bedroom was in my old home, but
it's not like I use the room for anything else. The other bedroom... is
probably just going to be where I stack all the boxes when they arrive. I
don't know if I'll unpack more than one or two of them before I move into a
house I own. Except for the few bits of kitchen stuff or a book or DVD I want
it can all just stay packed away. Fewer memories to stir up that way too. I
know leaving it all boxed up will contribute to my feeling of termporariness,
but that can't be helped when I don't have the furniture to unpack everything
in to. And anyway I'd only have to pack it all up again when I move on.
The weekend should prove to be interesting. It starts tonight with a birthday
pub/curry visit. Saturday morning I believe I'm parkrunning (then Tesco, I
guess). There's a possibility I may be meeting someone for lunch, but I doubt
it at this stage, so I'll go shopping for house stuff and try not to spend too
much. Saturday early evening I'm helping set up the capsize drill stuff at
the local pool for the boat club, doing the drill and then going for another
meal with the people from that. Sunday I'm actually heading down to London
for the day to meet a moderately world-famous stringed instrumentalist for
lunch and then I may go to the British Museum as there're some interesting
things on, including some modern Chinese ink paintings. For obvious reasons
I'm sensitive to Chinese art stuff now, so as I'm going to be in town and
close by the Museum I thought I'd go along and see that exhibition along with
the other things on there. It won't be the same as having my own personal
guide to interpret the more subtle aspects (which I may miss), but from what I
can tell it'll be interesting and beautiful nonetheless.
I guess in the grand scheme of things that's a pretty packed few days. Which
is really, really good as if I stop right now I don't think I'd be in terribly
good shape. That's probably why I've starting asking to be back in boats with
the rowing club. Being busy, occupied and distracted is what I need very much
at the moment. Especially in the evenings after work.
See you Monday. When it starts all over again.
[16:50] So I've had to book tomorrow off as vacation to ensure there'll be
someone in to sign for my broadband kit. It turns out that someone has to put
pen to paper to say it has been delivered. This widdled all over my leaving a
nice note and a safe place to leave it yesterday. Mildly frustrating. Still,
as I'm having my bed delivered tomorrow lunchtimeish too (and then I'll need
to assemble the frame) and I need to go in to town to get my council tax
payment account set up and pay in a cheque and get a few more bits and bobs
for the house, it makes sense to take a day. I guess it's not something I
could really get away with not doing when doing something as big as moving
house. Then again if the broadband stuff doesn't get delivered before five
(or even nine!) in the afternoon I'm going to have spent most of the day
twiddling my thumbs rather than getting things done. That would be hugely
frustrating and a complete waste of most of a day.
Having just called the delivery company it turns out you can arrange
delivery to another address (like my workplace), but not through the web site,
only via the phone. I've elected not to get it delivered to work as I need to
be at home for the bed anyway and maybe I can have a sleep in for the first
time in about three months. Or at least try to. It turns out that since the
recent big changes in my life I've settled into a normal wake up time vaguely
similar to when Kris used to get out of bed and start writing. Back to normal
seems to be a different normal to that which I remember from pre-2008. I
imagine there have been numerous changes wrought in me by that relationship
which could last a lifetime. At least I hope the good ones will. There are
many aspects of myself and my life which will always be better for having had
the chance to know Kris and to be with and share some of my life with her. I
hope those better aspects of me which she once liked and felt were rubbing off
on her she will want to retain, like my calmness. So anyway, early rising
means I am getting more things done before going to work now. So that's good.
Today's working day consisted of a meeting at 09:00 where I pointed at cables
and corrected people a lot and then stood around while other people talked
about things I didn't care about. Then I had a meeting about something a
contractor will be doing for us and then it was practically lunch time. This
modules and writing big emails.
Oh, and last night I went to see Spamalot with some friends. That was a whole
heap of fun. Especially considering we got the tickets very cheaply and had
dessert afterwards in town. A very fun evening for all concerned, plus there
was a chance to sing along too. Always good to belt out some Monty Python
Right, I think that's everything for now. I may update tomorrow, from home,
if I get a moment after the broadband gets set up, otherwise it'll be Friday.
[16:40] So I moved this weekend. Well, Friday. I got back to the house, did
the last of the packing and waited. The van turned up and we put all of my
stuff in the back of it. It barely covered the floor as a single layer. We
took that over, then drove to the storage unit and got a sofa/futon (my bed
until my bed turns up) and a bookshelf and took those over to the house as
well. Getting the frame of the futon up the stairs and into the room turned
out to be the hardest part of the evening as it just wouldn't fit in
the bedroom door (necessitating a partial disassembly). We then went back to
Keith's house one more time and lifted my free sofas back out and over the
back wall and into the van, then I introduced myself to my neighbours and
lifted them over their fence and over mine and in through the kitchen. And
then I bought everyone pizza while Lianne and Sarah (who'd come over to give
moral support) apparently unpacked everything and made my bed. They're just
so awesome. I slept my first night in the house and went out like a light.
On Saturday morning, rather than go out to parkrun or Tesco I attempted to cut
the lawn as it was in desperate need. That turned into about three hours of
work before Dunk arrived. Don't get me started on the 'lawn mower' and
'shears' I have to work with. Still, at least I had the foresight to bring
the hand trowel and fork from my old house. There're many many other things I
wish I'd thought to take when I left but I was in too much of a state at the
point I moved out. Dunk turned up and we went in to town for me to get some
essentials for the house. Obviously since then I've been making a list of all
the things I still don't have that I should have got at the time. It's
amazing the things you don't remember you need until you turn around in the
kitchen and it isn't there any more. I wish I'd taken more things from the
old kitchen too. Shopping took up most of the middle of the day, so once we
got back there was just time to get changed before we walked into town to have
a drink with everyone who was free. That lasted for the remainder of the
night until we plodded home and went to bed.
Sunday morning we had bacon sandwiches (it's the Law) and I cycled out to get
the missing knives from the cutlery set I'd been lent by Lianne and then
shortly after that drove out to a pub to meet Andrea for a snackette lunch.
Everyone caught up with everyone else (especially after Keith and Steph and a
few others from rowing popped out to see Dunk and Andrea). Then everyone went
their separate ways and I went home to move things around in the lounge and to
try and get used to my new house. I finally managed to work out how the
heating worked as well as the hot water (at least I think so) and then went to
bed, really feeling just how big, echo-y and empty the place was around me.
Monday morning was all about feeling the lack of exercise. Because I don't
trust my achilles quite yet I popped on down to the boat house and did a quick
1h/15K erg after I'd repaired the speakers so I could play some loud tunes.
Rather than leave it at that I then headed out and did a gentle five and a bit
kilometre jog to see how my leg would hold up. I'm pleased to report that
things seem fine. Which is good. By the time I got back to the boat house
for a shower I'd had a text from Andy to say he was close by so I rushed the
long hot shower I'd been hoping for and dashed back to find him waiting (only
five minutes). We caught up, had a cup of tea and unpacked the things he'd
brought for me (everyone is being so amazingly generous with their time and
spare things, it makes me so grateful). After that we decided that the
weather was poor enough that we could best use our time chatting over lunch
and then seeing Avengers Assemble (again, for me). This was a good choice.
Andy was due to go via Ikea on his way back so after dropping me off at home
he was on his way. Again, I had a quiet evening at home feeling the quietude
of the house and attempting to get used to it.
I felt I had the measure of my last home when living in it alone. Perhaps
soon I'll find it for this one too. Things are very different here though.
The whys and wherefores of my situation entirely dissimilar to my enjoyment of
being alone previously. In another life my alone time was ammeliorated and
offset by a countdown to joy and reunion. This new life consists of a count
up with no anticpiated end point.
Today I had extreme difficulty getting out of bed. Admittedly this was at
05:00 as I had things to do and wanted to get my exercises done and some other
things before I headed to work. Everything happened as it was supposed to and
I've spend the day catching up on email (work and personal), going to my
session and hoping that when I get home this evening my broadband access point
thingy will be waiting for me. Chances are low though and I'll have to
rearrange delivery. Oh, and I'm off to see Spamalot this evening, so that
should be a lot of fun.
I guess that's everything. I hope you had a good weekend (plus bank holiday
if your locale observed it).
[15:55] So last night was interesting. A whole big group of us headed over to
the cinema to see Avengers Assemble with six or so of us going for a bite of
food beforehand. Great company I'd love to hang out more with in the future.
Anyway, we got into the screen in good time and got reasonable seats, which
was also good. And then the film starts and we're suspending disbelief as is
required until at pretty much the half way point the fire alarm goes off. I
know, right? So everyone in the entire building (three restaurants, a bar, a
bowling alley and the 12 screen cinema) troop outside (it wasn't raining,
thank goodness) and then after about fifteen minutes all troop back in again.
No explanation or anything from the management. We settle down, the film's
rewound about three minutes and we go again. About twenty minutes from the
end the alarm goes off again. More trooping, more waiting, more
returning to our screen and more complete lack of explanation from the staff.
We finally got through the film an hour later than expected and convinced the
management that the complete lack of instruction, reasons for the alarms and
the actual interruptions were worthy of a free film ticket. So that was good
even if it meant I got home really quite late.
Being woken up this morning at 05:30 by Drum and Bass Neighbour wasn't so good
given that I move today and starting the day tired was not a good start.
Still, my housemate called the Environmental Health Officer who came over and
agreed that the volume was antisocial even without me being aware that they'd
visited. That was almost certainly my last night in the house anyway,
depending on what furniture I get to borrow this evening (and whether or not
it's damp and actually needs disposing of rather than being borrowed by me).
So yes, moving tonight. As soon as my friend from the brewery can get himself
and his big Transit over to Keith's house. Between leaving work and him
arriving I'll pack the last few bits of my stuff and try to minimise the
amount of crap I seem to have (books seem to have appeared out of thin air).
I turned the fridge-freezer on yesterday evening on the way to the cinema so
it should be ready to accept food this evening. I should probably spend
Saturday morning going through all the things I've boxed up (especially the
paperwork) and use the fact I have very little to fill the house with to lay
everything out and work out what I need to keep and what I can safely get rid
of. Then, once Dunk arrives I can get things like a kettle, toaster, maybe a
microwave and things like surface cleaner, washing up brushes and toilet roll
and actually, you know, have a house that works. I probably need temporary
cutlery and other things. Some crockery too as the nice stuff I bought and
the matching second set I humped back on the train and bike from the outskirts
of London (a seeming lifetime ago) isn't coming back to the UK. You know,
maybe I should have gone for a smaller, cheaper place. I really don't know. I
guess once everything else arrives from the US I'll be able to see just how
much I and my things continue to bounce around like a pea in a cup. I guess I
still have it in my head to size things for two people rather than one. Like
So, Dunk visiting on Saturday, we'll possibly see Andrea on Sunday for a quick
lunch and then Andy's coming up on Monday (bank holiday, no work or journal
entry) with some other things for me/the house. I really like my friends. I
hope I can be as wonderful for them some time as they are for me.
For some reason my right achilles tendon is actually more sensitive and
uncomfortable today than it has been since I ran last. Not sure what's going
on there. No running this weekend anyway, I'll be too busy trying to get my
stuff and myself settled into the house and looking after friends.
Randomly, this made me laugh a
little bit... And that seems to be it for this week. Its been a busy one and
I'll be glad when it's over and I'm all moved in. Even if it's going to feel
pretty lonely and quiet without company once my friends have gone, broadband
as yet to be installed and no television. Maybe it'll mean I a) read (and
perhaps write) more and, b) get out of the house more and maybe even
socialise a bit. Either way all the upheaval I've been forced to go through
is entering the next stage. I wonder how many more there'll be.
See you Tuesday.
[16:55] Today's big achievement is that I bought a bed frame. It's rather
nice. In fact it's probably nicer than the one I had previously. If you want
I can post the URL of a picture of it. But you probably don't really want to
Otherwise the day started off badly with a really low dip in my mood. I made
the mistake of listening to an MP3 song I was sent almost a year ago. A big
mistake and one I've suffered for for the rest of the day. I'm just starting
to come out of the shadows now, which is good considering I'm heading off from
work soon to a) smarten up a bit, b) head to the new house to turn on the
electricity and the fridge-freezer for tomorrow, c) hopefully introduce
myself to the neighbours in case I need to carry my sofas over their garden
fence to get them into the house tomorrow evening and then, d) go to the
cinema complex for food and Avengers Assemble with lots of lovely people.
I really hope it doesn't rain while I'm moving. Given the way my life has
gone at critical junctures in the past few months I'm giving it 50/50 right
now that the heavens will open. I could really use a break though. Oh, and
something I'd been working on on my laptop I decided not to do in the end even
though it was perfect. The time/situation just didn't seem right. I get one
more chance to do it and then perhaps never again. It depends on stuff I
don't have any part in deciding.
[16:05] Hectic day today. And it started at 01:30 this morning when we gained
a housemate emergency refugee. Turns out one of our rowing friends' landlady
has gone off the rails slightly and is in and out of police/hospital custody
and potentially a threat to life and limb (hers and others). So while she was
out of the house we received her tenant as a refugee with all her stuff in two
carloads. With all of my things still stored in the lounge until Friday and
this new stuff now piled on top it's going to be mildly interesting
extricating myself at the end of the week. I'm going to have to start the
process this evening, I think. Hopefully my achilles will continue to behave
itself (I'm quite worried about it at the moment) so I can go for a run as
as soon as I get back to the house before diving into all that. I'm making a
curry for my two housemates for when they get back from a rowing
outing this evening.
I'd have gone for a run at lunch time but I've been far too busy being the
main networks person here since my networks team leader has been signed off
sick for at least the rest of this week to take care of his wife and himself
(he's getting pretty close to breaking point). This has meant that I was in
town this morning connecting up some cabling and configuring a switch,
spending over an hour on the phone and then in a gutted room trying to make
heads or tails off what a contractor and "the end user" want from a network
installation and then cycling back, scarfing down my lunch and then heading
out to walk through muddy fields to discuss the 800m+ fibre run between a Hall
and a farm.
I'm only just back now and feeling pretty tired and drained and flat
considering I was awake until the small hours this morning and then up and
into work early, and yesterday was pretty tough, energy usage-wise. That may
be why I didn't write my best response ever to an important personal email I
got while I was out. I hope it was OK.
On the plus side I did managed to convince my utilities company to give me my
account number over the phone (rather than having to wait for postal mail) so
I could get my online account set up, and probably got the account put onto
the tariff I used to be on before I left my home towards the end of February. I
just wish I'd thought to take the electricity monitor with me as they don't
give them away any more. A bit frustrating. I left a lot of things at that
house that I wish I'd thought to bring with me. I guess at the time I wasn't
thinking very clearly.
[16:20] I didn't sleep particularly well last night. These days this is more
the exception than the rule. Still, it wasn't brilliant given I wanted to be
up and in work for as close to 07:00 as I could. I managed it though. As a
result I was out and on the road in my running shoes at 06:55 with work as my
starting point. 15K/1h9m later I was back and feeling pretty much OK. A few
sort of proto-niggles, but nothing that shouldn't be fixed by 12+ hours of no
running at all. That downtime plus this evening's exercise should see me fine
for tomorrow. We'll see anyway. If I've learned nothing else in 2012 it's
that nothing is certain and you can never believe in anything until it's
happening right in front of you. It's just as likely that I'll have an issue
with my achilles or knee(s) between now and then.
At lunch time I cycled to my new house and picked up the keys. Not only did
the previous tenant not have his bank details (so I couldn't pay him for the
bits and bobs he and his partner left for me) but he also didn't have any
credit on his phone so we couldn't transfer the gas and electricity stuff over
to me. Not a great start. We did the other formalities and he wished me
well. Once he'd left I wandered around the cold, echoing rooms, utterly hated
the place, felt very very sad for a little while, tried to work out how I'd
come to be standing on my own in a rented house in this town with just two
suitcases and a rucksack to show for my life, and then put the shelves back in
the fridge and cycled back to work.
Since getting here I've managed to navigate my way through nine different
people at E.ON to get my name on as the utilities payer for the house (I'll
try and work up the enthusiasm to do the council tax tomorrow), fitted the
ADSL modem at the farm (luckily got a lift there and back), taken delivery of
the 14 wireless access points I'll be fitting in the next week or so, and
spent some time doing email stuff. Busy is good, I guess.
It looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time weeding the front and
back gardens I've suddenly become responsible for. That and watering the
saplings and tulips. I'm glad I didn't leave behind/pack off to the US the
trowel and hand-fork. I hope it stops raining for a little while on a weekend
so I can take a stab at all the dandelions.
I so very much hope I'm happy in this house. The plant I've been caring for
is beginning to wilt, the leaves are going black and the flowers are dropping
off in the place I am at the moment. I'm getting quite worried about it. I
hope it flourishes again when I move. I've become quite attached to it.
Anyway, so it turns out that some of my co-workers are having terrible times
in their personal lives at the moment. There's another divorce, two with
partners with serious illnesses and another with extremely deep
financial issues. It puts my life into perspective somewhat. I guess I
should (in the immortal words of Woody Harrelson's character from Zombieland)
"nut up or shut up." Sorry for complaining so much. I'll try to tone it
down. I know you've all got things going on in your lives and I imagine you
don't lay them out online for other people to read. Frankly I'm surprised you
come here to read about mine. Thank you though.