Saturday, 25 May 2013

Here I go, improbable again

Somehow I seem to never want to go to sleep when it's time that I should. Ever since childhood I've fought the instruction from my parents about going to sleep when told. Not like it's a switch you can flick I'm sure, but I used to spend many hours, hidden under the covers reading a book by torchlight. 

Ah those years of being lost in Arthur C Clarke, or James Blish, or as I grew older Ben Bova or Greg Bear. Yes, heavy science fiction really. At least that part of my childhood was normally boyish. Apparently it seems these days that it's harder and harder to get boys to read. Looking at the youngsters around me, it's not as if that's because they're spending so much of their lives outside of the home in the pursuit of activities requiring physical exercise. More likely that they're spending it slouched on a sofa or a chair playing on their Playstations or Nintendos. 

Yeah, because I'm a shining example of how to lead an active life. What a hypocrite. When I was younger  was never into sports, I occasionally played tennis with my friend Sean (when I say played, I mean he would repeatedly beat me), I would do more than my fair share of cycling. Cycling's only a habit I've gotten out of with the theft of my most recent bike. With me getting lifts into work, and no longer cycling to pick up Chloe (she refuses to be seen cycling on her bike with me) I just wouldn't really get the use of one. 

It's a shame, and if we ever have some sunny days I do question if I should just go and buy one, even if its a second hand one. I've never been a fan of buying expensive bikes, they just seem to be a waste of money and more of a target to thieves, and it's not like they need any more of an incentive. I can't remember ever owning a bicycle for more than two years. 

I woke late today, having gone into the emergency call centre last night to cover a shift for a friend that was too ill to make it. That was only two and a half hours out of my evening, and gave me the opportunity to sign up for some more on bank holiday monday. None the less, it put my sleep pattern rather out of whack, and I didn't get off to sleep till about 4am.  This meant I didn't surface from bed this morning until something around 9:30, which I didn't think was that bad actually. 

Having felt good about yesterday's activity (which I'll come to in a minute) I thought I'd take advantage of the spare time and go and see Star Trek Into Darkness at the cinema. I looked up the times online, and discovered that the 10am showing, which there was no chance of me catching was the only one until 4pm - which again seemed like a reasonable amount of time to potter around doing other things until I went to see it. 

No sooner had I decided upon my course of action, and even tweeted to such effect, than I jarred my back stepping down off my med (I have to walk over my bed to get to my wardrobe when the clothes rail I use to hang drying clothes is in front of the window). This left me reeling in somewhat a light flavour of agony. Still feels rather stiff and painful now. There was no way I was going to be able to sit down in a chair for 2+ hours in a cinema, or if I did, there was no way I was going to be able to get back up out of it again. I'm sure this would look funny as hell to anyone else in the cinema, me walking around like a 70 year old man that had shit himself. It wasn't something I particularly fancied, and the thought of spending all that money on a cinema ticket and sitting there, in pain, not enjoying the film, gave me another painful twinge. This time in my wallet. 

So I decided to put that off to another day, when my back is up to it. I do still really want to go see the film, I can't believe actually that it's been out two weeks already and I haven't seen it. I hate crowds, and hate sitting in a packed cinema even more. The feeling of being penned in with all those (other) humans makes me feel threatened and edgy. (I can tell you are dialling the mental health professionals). 

I have though, made good use of the extra time at home, and completed the application to change doctors' surgeries - I have lived in this part of the city now for over five years, and had not gotten round to moving to a Doctor that's closer to where I live. Which is a real pain in the arse whenever I need to see them and have to trek all the way to where I used to live, in the centre of town to get medical advice. 

I also called up to see if there's anything that can be done with my mortgage, now that my initial fixed rate period has ended. As much as I was excited by the prospect of this, their (Halifax) call centre system told me there was a long queue and invited me to arrange for someone to call me back. I think when this happens the call centre's message should be more honest .. 'look mate you're never going to get through to us, give up !' As it is, the said arranged call back happened just as I was eating my dinner so I ignored it, meaning I will have to call them again. I wonder whether this time I actually get to speak to a person. Maybe I haven't made it past the first level yet. 

Yesterday in another pique of productivity I cut away at the bushes that had grown up beside the pathway leading to my front door. They had become quite the menace. The poor people trying to bring my internet food shopping order up the path are really having to struggle with their tower of plastic crates full of goodies. It's gone from looking like something worthy of a David Attenborough documentary to something post apocalyptic. I don't have a before photo, but I do have an 'after' shot. 

Realising that there was absolutely no freaking way I was going to get the removed bush bits into my normal weekly refuse collection, my Dad offered to drive me up to the tip with it.  I seized this opportunity to get rid of the large box and two canvas shopping bags full of glass that I had collected over the last 18 months to 2 years. 

It's been persisting down with rain and blowing a gale pretty much since, but when it 'brightens up' I'll ask my Dad if I can borrow his spade and dig out the roots for the bushes. I quite fancy getting some shingle or pebbles (what's the difference ? - size I guess) down, and a couple of large planters or pots with some plants in, maybe even a bench. Some hanging plants would be nice too. Leaning over demolishing the bush(s) didn't help my back, which I think is why jarring it today has hurt so damn much. 

Must be careful, I'm not getting any younger. (poor old git I hear you say ?). 

I just wanted to knock out a quite blog post, on the new keyboard that I bought yesterday - that turned up very speedily this morning - but have actually gone on quite a bit. 

Back in the real world, outside the confines of my self centred life, there's been lots of horrible things happening, that I do want to comment upon, but don't want to make a half arsed job of talking about them at this time of night. They are very serious things, and I want to do them justice by talking about them with a fresh head and clear eyes. My point the other day about that poor person that died at Portchester train station, that reminded me to be thankful for what I do have and that there's always someone worse off than myself.

I think we're all guilty of moaning about the things in our lives, and I guess that's just human nature, but really, when you look at things in perspective. We haven't got a freaking clue about how much other people have to go through. Usually they are the ones suffering in silence too. When I realise that I feel embarrassed and ashamed that I make so much out of the challenges and 'dramas' in my life. 

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