Sunday, 23 June 2013

Timelard

With the excitement of having purchased my camera and sound recorder this week, I was keen to take a trip up to Steve's to show him what I had got, and to get his opinion on them. We'd talked about my going up to his straight after work on Saturday. I had figured this would mean that I would need to take the equipment to work with me, not something I was keen on. 

He'd also mentioned going round the house of one of the members of Beacon, as their parents were away and perhaps getting a take-away. Even though the person concerned is an okay guy I get along with, my usual aversions to going places I don't know, and fears of the thought of being in social situations where I don't know people kicks in. This means that my brain starts thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn't go, and my nervousness takes over - and some of my routine based habits start. (That comment may never make sense). 

Anyway, as it happened, I left work late, at around two-thirty, and decided to go home and get some lunch (and the equipment) before heading off to Steve's.  Normally on a weekday I get a lift to and from work, on a Saturday I am not so fortunate. 

After nipping in to Tesco in Havant on the way to the bus station (I needed to buy replacement shorts for the ones that I'd ruined the day before, spilling bleach on them whilst cleaning the kitchen and en-suite), and then coming home, making and eating some lunch and sitting down it was nearly half past four. I actually thought this wasn't such bad time, all things considered. (It's about a twenty minute walk from where I work to the bus station, and that's without the spend-detour). 

Eventually, I managed to make it to Steve's just before six pm. He, Chris and Stuart (the guys that lodge with him) were impressed and approved the choices. 

We got some fish and chips to eat round his and then went on to the other guy's home. It was a nice gentle couple hours to be honest. Not really the party I was fearful of. There was this guy there, that I am sure I have met before, but I just felt like I got along with rather well. I have to say that I think I was a bit flirty. This was commented upon by Stuart. He was very cute. Ho hum. In the car on the way back to the train station, I voiced my opinion, in probably a way that I don't normally, was rather free-er with how I felt than usual. 

Steve leant me a box set of old Dr Who episodes. These were the last Tom Baker stories, 'The Keeper Of Traken' and 'Logopolis', and the first Peter Davison adventure 'Castrovala'. It's amazing that some thirty years after these stories were made and first aired, they do stand the test of time, and although you can tell the differences in effects, and the way things are shot, written and edited between then and now, they are still very enjoyable dramas to watch in their own right. The last time I had seen some of those episodes would have been when I was about ten years old. 

There are certainly things that I pick up on in the interplay between the actors, that I would have been too innocent to see when I originally saw them. 

Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric in these episodes, (a companion in Dr Who for about two years - straddling the Tom Baker and Peter Davison era) was my first gay crush. In the story Earthshock, his character died I still remember to this day sitting at the dinner table, finishing my meal, and crying my eyes out because Adric had been killed. 

I was so upset, I wrote to the BBC and complained that they had killed him off. I got sent a standard letter as reply, and a signed photograph from Matthew Waterhouse - which to my shame I no longer have. 

Plans for the weekend went further astray when my daughter sent me a text to let me know that she wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be able to come up. This was doubly a shame as my Nan was coming up to my Mum's for lunch, and we were going to join them. Also my Auntie, Uncle, cousin - and her two children were due to pop over later on. Sadly this also didn't quite work out as my cousin wasn't up to coming either. 

My sister also made an appearance at my Mum's, but without her two sons, one of which who had gone round a friend's house, the other was still in his pyjamas apparently (bearing in mind at this point it was about three pm). He's not even a teenager for another four years, but he's getting the 'can't be bothered laziness' into practice. 

It is nice to spend time with my family, although in controllable doses. My Nan stated to me about seven times that it was a shame that my daughter wasn't up to coming for lunch. It's a shame she can't remember that she's told me that so many times, but seems to remember very clearly the sorts of things she reads in the Daily Mail. 

Her 'rage' at the state of the country, and how things are going to hell in a hand basket, or that she is fearful for the country and planet we leave for the children of today is one thing. Her repeated insistence that the problem with the country is 'all the immigrants' and how 'they come over here and get money thrown at them'. That's bad enough, but I have filtered some of the other statements. Is it a thing peculiar to old people that turns them into rabid racists ?

Reminding her that her time in hospital would probably not have gone so well if it wasn't for all those 'damn immigrants' working in the NHS, or that there's plenty of English people too bone idle to work, who get far more money than any migrants, didn't seem to change her view, but did at least get her to shut up about it. 

I am steeling myself for the day she starts going on about gays. Old people. Bless 'em. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

About time too.

Okay. After all the initial excitement surrounding the purchase and delivery of my new camera and sound recording equipment it's maybe time to make a quickie Blog. 

Wednesday, my day off was the day that I had ordered for both packages to be delivered. In their enthusiasm however, Amazon tried to get the post office to drop the sound recorder off on Tuesday. I of course was at work, so wasn't able to take it in. This meant one of the red cards of inconvenience for me. 

Knowing I needed to nip into Cosham for an appointment with the nurse at the doctors surgery I'm joining - it seemed to make sense to do both on the same trip. 

The appointment with the Nurse went ok, they weighed, measured and quizzed me, took my blood pressure. The good news is - I'm still alive. 

Anyway, having nipped into the bank with a birthday cheque before seeing the Nurse I nipped across to the post office collection point, ID at the ready to collect my Zoom H1 sound recorder. 

The baking sun didn't bother me, just bathing me in its warming glow. I consoled myself that I would either be in when the camera was delivered, or I wouldn't. 

As luck would have it, about twenty minutes after arriving home, and just getting reasonably excited with the sound recorder, when the camera turned up. 

The girlish sqeeee of excitement didn't phase the delivery driver one bit. 

After some instruction reading, playing and experimenting I managed to create a half, okay maybe quarter, reasonable bit of film with both. Editing it on imovie was a slightly different process to what I am used to, having the sound coming from a separate source. 

Anyway. Shooting, editing done. Hit upload I did, and left the imac on to process and upload the video overnight. This failed. I tried again when I got up - but again some error about connection issues came up. The overnight upload I had assumed because the router had reset the Internet around midnight. 

A further three attempts to upload produced the same problem. I took to the internet, for answers.  (oh mighty Google, arm me with the power of infinite answers! ) I found lots, but none that seemed to fit the bill. 

Was it down to something on the camera or something in the imovie settings? I knew already of the fault that means any film description containing non standard characters won't upload and considered this to be similar eventually hit upon the realisation that all these upload failures came to light when the imac had entered screensaver or powersave mode. 

Chuffed with the power of my deductive reading I played with the settings on the imac and voila! I now have an uploaded HD video. 

Chuffed or what?  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013



Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Action!

The cheque that my Mum and Dad gave me for my birthday has been put to good use. 

I've wanted to get a sound recording device for my filming for ages, and decided in the end to use the money they gave me to by a Zoom H1. 

Deciding that sound without improved image is rather pointless, I also had a shop around and settled upon the Samsung NX1000. A nifty compact system camera that comes with a free Samsung 7 inch galaxy tablet. What will I do with a seemingly spare samsung tablet? Well of course, put it on ebay. 

Handily, the camera comes on a 12 month interest free deal with Very (very.com).

On top of all that, Chloe has made me a birthday / Fathers' day cake. Awesome or what? 

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Older. Check. Wiser. Errrrrrrrmmm

Thursday was my 41st birthday. 

Although I certainly don't look it, I don't feel very much about 25 inside - unless I've slept badly, pulled my back, or its a cold morning. 

I had a nice birthday evening, sharing a curry with my parents. Another year older, when in reality its just another day like any other. The chance for people to congratulate me for not being dead yet. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

For the words as yet unwritten.

Work today was still a tough emotional thing for me. At times I actually wonder if I'm fit to be someone in charge of other people. I certainly question if I want to be. 

Having spoken to my boss about the things I'm noticing, and how I'm dealing with it, she said I was doing the right thing, and importantly doing it the right way. 

I think I've got my work cut out, to get things headed in the direction I want, but I know that it's the right thing to do. After all, what's the point in only doing half the job, and creating a need for customers to call back in? People answering the phone have a great deal of knowledge and experience, so it seems fruitless to ask the customer if there's any way you can help them further - when they probably won't know about half the things that can be done. I guess that's the point of training and paying people well to deal with their query. 

In a few short minutes, it's June 13th. My 41st birthday. Another day older. Another year passed. Growing inside. Learning more and more about myself, the world around me - and my place in it. 

Still haven't answered Helen's voicemail about doing something. If I'm honest I'm not in a rush to do anything to celebrate with her or anyone else. Maybe this is something I need to push past. After all. It's not my birthday everyday. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Choices

It's all about choice. Everything is about choice. We can't change everything, but you can always change something. 

If you don't like, for example the things that you face in a particular job, and these aren't things you can change - and it winds you up. Surely you chose to either change how you react or approach the issue, or you chose to do something different. 

Finding the strength to change the things you can, accept the things you can't - and the wisdom to know the difference. 

If someone shows you a way to do something, how you need to look at or carry out a task, and you chose to not do it the way you've been shown, then do you not also chose to accept any consequences from your choice ?

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Dumb ways to die. So many dumb ways to die.

Chloe has recently shown me a video on youtube, and an app for the ipad 'Dumb Ways to Die'. It's actually a safety information piece from Australia, but it's quirky, and funny, and interesting enough to watch - and more importantly for people, kids especially to take in what it's on about. Basically don't fuck around on or near railway tracks.

Another dumb way to die, was what happened to me last night, when I was asleep. No, of course I didn't die in my sleep. Not unless there's wifi in the afterlife. To be honest, there may be. We just don't know.

In my dream, I was with Tom Baker, when he was playing Doctor Who. I was running around a lot, with him, in what I can only assume were underground corridors. (They always nearly are on Doctor Who). Anyway. We were running away from the Daleks, trying to escape them. Then the Doctor comes across the brilliant idea, that if he leaves me with the other humans that the Daleks have captured, the ones that they are force feeding in order to serve their goals (not sure what the Daleks would do with a bucketload of obese Humans, but it's a dream, not a carefully thought out Terry Nation script).

 tom baker doctor who photo: TOM BAKER (08) 04-32IntheTARDIS.jpg

Anyway, I protest, I'm not happy, but the Doctor persuades me, this is the only way of keeping me safe (because the Daleks would almost certainly kill me if they found me themselves), while the Doctor goes off and does Doctorish things and generally saves the day. 

Anyway, I find myself in this force feeding tube, which is basically a big vertical tube the size of a human, and the stuff that they are force-feeding me bears an uncanny resemblance to skittles. I can most certainly not taste the fucking rainbow at this point I can tell you. 

Anyway, I start choking, on the sheer amount of alien foodstuff (skittles) is being rammed down my throat. 

Cut to Simon waking up in the middle of the night, retching and chocking, with the taste of vomit in his mouth (you know that horrible occasion when you sick into your mouth and swallow it). I'm rather disoriented and frightened. Scared witless that I nearly just choked myself to death in my sleep, or nearly threw up on my bed, (possibly suffocating in my own vomit). 

This rather puts me off the idea of going back to sleep, but somehow I manage it, not really knowing if I will make it till morning. 

It just struck me as a really odd thing for me to dream about, and even odder that my dream would bleed into real life in such a way. I'm just really glad I didn't manage to manifest a Dalek in my dream, and bring that into reality. It may well have only been a late 1970s Dalek, but they were very scary back then. Ok ?


Napping is good

Waking at 8am - ish to find a text from your daughter at 6:30am asking if she can stay at home today IE not see you, because she's feeling tired would normally put one in a funk. 

Thankfully, by the time I'd actually read, and understood that text message, chloe had sent another, saying to not worry, and that she would be up as normal. 

Surely she knows me better than this by now, and that there's no chance of her getting a response from me at 6:30am on a Sunday, probably not even if she rings me. 

Still, out into the sunny world I went, wearing my new shorts, t-shirt and shoes (converse knockoffs). I'm aware that I have a review to write for my good friend Mr Launay, and those good folks at Beacon. Being as organised as I am, despite knowing I would need to do it all week, I of course leave it to the last minute. Like it's something I hate doing. I feel at the outset like I'm doing homework, but once I get started I quite enjoy watching and then commenting on the videos. 

Sometimes it's easier than others, depending on how easy to watch the video in question is. This time round its quite the pleasure, and rather funny. I always feel very satisfied to complete the review and to send it off to Steve - this time from my blackberry whilst getting off the train taking Chloe home. 

I make it harder for myself each time, by not just getting it done. Instead I'd rather sit back, procrastinate and let the guilt for messing Steve about make me feel progressively worse. 

Another thing that made me feel worse, was a telephone call from Helen. My long lost, now seemingly demoted friend. She'd sent me a message last week about arrangements this coming week to celebrate our respective birthdays (mine is on the 13th, hers the 15th). I had replied by text saying that I'm not free 15th - I have Chloe on an overnight stay, and that maybe we could do something the Friday, but that I know that's normally the night she has her  grandson to stay. 

She called me this evening, I didn't hear the call as I was in another room. Leaving one of her charactistically lengthy voicemail messages, asking me to get in touch, by phone preferably. Do I feel guilty because I think I'm avoiding her? Am I avoiding her? Am I ? I just don't know how to rebuild a friendship with someone I've lost contact or common ground with. 

Maybe I'm just a bad friend and a douche of a person. 

I'm not very good at sorting these things out, but sort it I must. I am perhaps all of the above, and probably making things a lot more complicated than they need to be. 

I fell asleep for a while this evening, laying on the sofa, the sun streaming in through the windows. This has left me a little more awake than normal for this time of night / morning. 

A couple months ago I removed the TV from my bedroom as I'd gotten into the habit of watching late into the night. I now find that instead I end up on my iPad, surfing the Web or looking at facebook (yes I fell off the wagon) . Sometimes I may even be staying up stupidly late to watch something on BBC iplayer. That's just ridiculous. 

I need to have more self discipline, about being constructively creative, and about going to sleep. 

On that very note....


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Fountain (pen) of words



Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

I'm (day) off

Day off. Screw the cleaning. Get out and spend some time in the sunshine.

Oh. Okay then. 

I finally submitted the registration form for the new Doctors. Having not moved the doctor practice I belong to since when I lived in the centre of town, I needed recently to go to the doctor, when I felt ill (why else would I go to the Doctor?) and it was a pain having to go into town to go see them. 

Having been reminded by my Mother (for reminded, see moaned at) to get the form completed and sent in last week, I took the chance on my day off to put the bloody thing in. 

I have made an appointment to go see the nurse at the new doctors' surgery. I don't know if this is just a way of setting a baseline in the health of potential and future patients, or is it a way to weed out the unhealthy (and therefore resource absorbing) future patients. 

Having managed to pry myself away from the flat I headed to Southsea to go and see my Nan. I had originally planned to go see a film tonight with some of the guys from work, but spent longer at Nan's than I figured. There are other times to go see films with my friends. Family are important. 

Talking to my Nan is like reading out the letters to editor page from the Daily Mail. Her views are somewhat expectedly old fashioned, but also decidedly bigoted, shallow and right wing. She is a shining example of those that vote UKIP because they're fed up with all those pesky immigrants being let into the country, and don't even get her started on the gays. 

Aww bless her. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

These are the voyages....

Monday, Monday, Monday. 

Somehow all the optimism and hope for what the new working week would bring has evaporated. Something to do with the end of the weekend. 

I'm feeling lately that I am not getting enough sleep, and I feel this most keenly when it is time to get up in the morning. The time, of course, that I feel it the least is about nine or ten o'clock in the evening. The time I should be going to bed. 

I stayed a bit late at work this evening, which is the first time I've done that in a while. This was made possible because the person I normally catch a lift with hurt her ankle, so had to go and get that looked at. I made my own way into work, and being really rubbish at getting out of bed at a reasonable time, I ended up getting a taxi. Lazy bastard. 

I guess the day wasn't so bad. After all, I had a reasonable amount of time. I just felt 'meh'. Yeah, that really explained it. 

Still got done all the things that I wanted to get done. Some highs, some lows. No major disasters though. 

I was chatting to my friend Kat at lunch, and she was asking me about the novel I'd written for NaNoWriMo. She seemed to understand why, with it being that much content, that I avoided reading, and therefore editing / rewriting it. 

She read the first page or so, and kept laughing at the odd bit. She didn't seem entirely put off by the experience, and was somewhat distracted by getting a phone call regarding some drama or other. Sorry, that sounds utterly uncaring. It do care. It's just that she has some issues outside of work tied up with the ex-girlfriend of her current boyfriend, and all the things she keeps doing to contact Kat, and the trouble she's causing her. 

We (Kat and the two other colleagues that were present) got into a discussion about how 'girls are so much drama, so bitchy' and that 'boys are so much easier to get along with and will tell you if there's a problem'. I kind of felt that I was bucking the consensus on the table, in that (as mentioned before) I find it easier to have girl friends (that's girl friends, not girlfriends - important differentiator that space is). 

Funny old world, taking all sorts as it does. 

One day of work tomorrow, and then a day off. Hopefully the weather will be good, and I can spend it outside of the flat. 

With Chloe going home early on Sunday, I decided to make the best of it and go and see Star Trek - Into Darkness. (I know, as a life long Star Trek fan, you can't believe that I hadn't been to see it yet). Even though this would mean going alone, some times I just like to have the freedom to go where I please and do what I would like. I don't have to answer to anyone, or explain anything. I don't even need to have a conversation with another human being, beyond 'I'll have a ticket for Star Trek' and 'I'll have a small sweet popcorn and small coke, please'. 

Not that I'm normally fighting to spend time on my own. It's my go-to setting. Reverting to type. But just because I'm alone, that doesn't mean that I'm lonely. I wasn't lonely. I had a good time out. Really, really, really enjoyed the film. I thought that it was an amazing re-imagining of original story lines. It was a very action packed film. Pretty much nonstop. 

With it still being a sunny Sunday evening, I went for a bit of a walk around gunwharf, taking some pictures, walking around amongst the tourists. Looking like I don't belong. (which is something I aim for everywhere I go). I then got the train back to Cosham, but being so motivated by the pleasant sunshine, and the sudden burst of energy after sitting down for two hours, that I got off the train at Hilsea and walked home from there. 

Make a difference ? Drink this...

A nice little row of ducks. Today, amongst all the chaos and activity, and new things to look at and do, I am feeling really on top of things. I have written up the things I looked at yesterday, and quickly got together some records and information that my boss needed. Now to spend the afternoon, out with people helping them in a more direct way. 

How simple to please am I ? To know that I have no big bits of work piling up, nothing that needs to be clawed back or caught up on. Am ahead of things. This surely can't be right ? What's gone wrong ? 

Well, I've been organised. I've looked at what needs doing and I've calmly, efficiently gotten on with it. 

Life is good. Off to Steve's tonight so that I can watch some 'Adventures Of Stephen Brown' with the guys fro Beacon. I haven't been up there for a while, and will be nice to go see them, and have an evening of fun. 

My sister and brother-in-law gave me a litre bottle of Smirnoff last night for looking after my Nephews and for the DIY that I've helped them with lately. I must really be growing up, because I honestly didn't expect or need anything, it was just nice to be able to help. 

We're not going on a (summer holiday)

Looking after my two nephews while my sister and brother in law go out for the evening. 

They're okay kids, and I do love them dearly. Because I have to. I do find myself revolted by their boyish exploits. I'm not sure if that's a measure of their revoltingness or in my near snobbery and difficulty to understand or get along easily with boys. 

I'm not expecting comments. 

The week has only one day of work left to go and then it is release ! Freedom ! - well for a whole two days there is. Sadly this weekend is only two days long, and there isn't another bank holiday weekend until August. 

I was looking online last night to sort something out for my holiday away with Chloe this year. We haven't booked anything yet, and had decided last year that we would not go to Paignton again, as although we both loved it, we wanted to try somewhere else this year. There's even the possibility, I guess of going abroad. After all, when you consider that it costs about seven to eight hundred pounds for Chloe and I to rent a caravan for the week, it's about what we would spend going abroad. 

I've not been abroad since I went to Corfu with Chloe's mum (before we were married) in the early 90s. I haven't been abroad for 20 years. My god. I don't just need to get out more I need to get out further ! 

I was looking at holidays in Jersey, which seem very reasonable, if I've read the prices right. I'll have to email them, but I don't think they'll have any spaces left. Worth a try though for the sake of an email though. We'd be able to catch a ferry from Portsmouth - so no trains, or we could get a train to Southampton and get a plane over. 

Anyway. Early days. May come to nothing. I do think there's also lots of places in the UK that we could go and see, even if we needed to by plane. I'd quite like to go to Scotland, but part of me resists the idea of going somewhere colder for my holiday.