Sunday, 19 March 2017

Update in earlier

All the extra daylight and getting up early has started making the days very long.

Not complaining.

I packed up all the clothes for the sale - I found loads of stuff I have absolutely no memory of buying, let alone wearing. This includes a Dolce and Gabana jacket that has appeared mysteriously but doesn't really fit very well, so I had no trouble deciding to let it go. There are about 30 shirts, many I never actually wore - or never would - some very good stuff that absolutely will never suit me. Some of the older stuff reminded me how much slimmer I used to be but I have kept a few things that are quite tight to keep me reminded what my body weight threshold has to be, one very good shirt in particular that screams 'enough and no more'. Basically - if you are slightly bigger than me you can walk away with about 3k worth of 90's menswear for 20 quid - including a Claude Montana Jacket of dubious origin. If you are slightly smaller - enough shirting and casualwear to last a lifetime.  I'm looking forward to being relieved of it all.

Not being able to remember where stuff came from now no longer bothers me - but there is another thing I've probably not mentioned - I seem to remember things that didn't happen. A good example would be films - I regularly read reviews of films that have not come out yet and am convinced I have seen them - or start watching something I've certainly never seen before yet absolutely find it all familiar. It's something I'm used to now.

The magnolia has started to bloom. Always my favourite thing at this time of the year. Only lasts a week but well worth the wait.

Anyway - if you are anywhere near Hastings next Sunday - we have a lot to offer, including a market, a florist, some food retailers, a DJ playing retro 60's and a bar. There will bd people doing complimentary therapy - whatever that is, some stuff for kids including a renting workshop and a spring planting club - and a jumble sale upstairs - open all day from noon. Everyone welcome.

Sunday Morning

Yet another break - sorry about that - I've been working really hard and generally by the time I get home, I'm out for the count.

In brief. The old guy who lives directly opposite died, and I think his wife is going to sell the house. Next door to them the new tenants have two people carriers and he parks his giant yellow work van outside my house every day, blocking the light. Next to them, the old guy is going very senile and looks like that house will also be sold. Next door to me is also going on the market in a couple of months and there are at least 2 other houses that may be sold soon too. I'm in a 'hot spot' - sadly - my house is the one holding prices back.

It's the Hastings Half Marathon today - they go past the house - and quite a few people I know are running.

I will be part of a 'posh' jumble sale event in the venue under my studio next week, I'm selling about 20 years worth of 'good' clothes that are too small (or too big) for me now. I'm looking forward to absolving myself of the past and all that 'stuff'.

I watched 'Noah' last Steampunk Sci-Fi. The second half was complete and utter pants. I then watched 'Snowpiercer' - which was a brave attempt at something that was never going work.

I managed to repair the leak in my kitchen - however - I will need to do more work to fit a valve for a washing machine, I'm waiting for it to dry out first - which is taking time and I have a bad feeling that under the particle board the kitchen is very, very damp.

Two new clients have been incredibly nice to me - not what I am used to. I have done a lot of very good work recently - it's odd how the drama of the last 18 months seems to have changed the way my head works and I seem to be much better at my job, I did some work for the Sarcoma Charity that helped Hannah before she died as a gift and they want to meet me and do more work together - and a client from years ago called me on Friday and was very keen to reconnect. It's not translating into income yet but I'm getting there.

I can't quite decide if the feral cats outside have 'fixed' my rodent problem - I'm waiting a while before I try anything drastic.

Next door are perfectly happy for me to move the toilet to the wall that adjoins their bedroom - I offered to do it when they move out but she just said go ahead. I have also had a moment of genius and worked out how to re-route a pipe from the kitchen upstairs so it doesn't criss-cross a wall (this makes a lot of sense to me, I doubt it will to you - but it's a triumph)

I've already had next years Council Tax bill - it's gone up nearly 20 quid a month in the last few years. I remember the good old days when I used to be able to pay it the day it arrived and not think about it again.

I've put on a little bit of weight - I'm actually quite happy about that - I look better when I'm heavier. On Wednesday I was in a charity shop and they had a Levis engineered denim jacket for a fiver - they were over 100 quid when they came out and I always wanted one, there are still over 50 quid on eBay. I bought it and everyone keeps telling me it really suits me.

I made another spectacularly good pasta sauce last night in the slow cooker.

The increased daylight has really cheered me up and made me feel more optimistic - I'm regularly getting into work at 7.30am - it makes a huge difference.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Monday 6th

Sorry about the break - I have been fantastically busy with work and it's been taking up all of my time. Rumours of my demise are exaggerated - although an aquaintance who runs a very large Facebook group is dealing with some fool who has reported that he died on holiday - people are very strange.

I have been working incredibly hard, not sleeping particularly well, that happens sometimes, and trying to keep my head above water until the weather gets better.

I still haven't fixed the fridge, I still have a rodent problem at the back of the house - but I now know that it is the cause of the feral cat fascination with the kitchen, and I probably need a few days off. I've been working at weekends.

I'll try and get my head together this week and update properly - if I can get my memory to work the way it's supposed to.

Having slightly more daylight every day is an incredible joy, believe me!

Sunday, 19 February 2017


When I came home from work on Friday night, the fridge had died. I'd only just cleaned it. It was 10 years old and had been quite expensive. Most of my friends expressed sunrise that it had lasted that long. In my house - nothing is allowed to last less than 30 years. I was, and still am, quite pissed off.

Had a long and complicated - but reassuring conversation with a mortgage advisor on Friday as well. Quite a lot to think about there.

I went out 'socialy' last night. Something I seldom do now - it was partly associated to a work thing. I bought myself and my mate Ian who is doing digital work for me a pint - that was a tenner. later when we were joined by friends at a much cheaper place - I bought a round of 4 drinks for fifteen pounds. That's £25quid all together. I could have cried. I can't get that out of my head - I can live for a week on 25 quid if I need to - and bought 25 cans of lager from the supermarket if drink was a necessity.

Last night I managed to get paella rice mixed up with risotto rice. It was actually quite nice.

Shaved my head and beard yesterday, now have about 4 days of looking deathly unwell until something grows back. Also, seem to have put on a little weight (wore a jacket for the first time in ages last night and it was a 'struggle')

Quite a bit of work to do this week - plenty of new stuff booked but not 'here' yet - which is a really worry. It needs to hurry up.

I have to work out how to get rid of the rodent behind the plasterwork without actually killing it. It's started digging holes in the kitchen floor.

Bumped into a neighbour who told me that the old guy across the road has started to go senile and his family are very concerned that he can't live alone any more - he has quite a large house, presumably if he goes into care they will have to sell the house to pay for it. New tenants have moved into in the house directly opposite - they have taken to standing in the window watching me. I'll have to start pulling the blinds. I presume they will get bored eventually.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

ups and downs

Today started in a panic. Somehow the Google drive that I use to communicate between my various hard drives and phone etc decide to wipe itself - after some stress and a very panicked cycle ride home to collect a laptop - I was able to retrieve everything, in a fashion - from a waste bin via an apple cloud link - if this all sounds contrived and complicated. Imagine how I feel. I had about 4 hours of piecing things together - and reconciling multiple copies. All these digital drives are supposed to help us. I can assure you, they don't. I really did think I'd lost 20 years of records, passwords, logins and invoices. I have absolutely no idea what happened.

In other news, after some stressful checking of numbers - I discovered that I am finally below the 80K mark on my mortgage. In fact, I probably am now in less debt and with more equity than at any time in my adult life since I became a home owner. Probably by quite a margin. Not that it helps.

I put a load of stuff on Ebay today - sadly, many of the very good art and design books I've collected over the years appear to have lost all their value - I suspect it's because you can easily get complete copies online, scanned and fully downloadable as PDF's - for free - from Pinterest, Tumblr and Flikr. Most disappointing. And frustrating.

I'm not having much luck with mortgage and financial advisors - they don't seem too bothered. I'm clearly not talking about enough money.

I watched the first episode of Blakes' 7 earlier today. It was pretty terrible. Not what I remembered at all.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Yesterday I was in London. It was essentially a school reunion. My two best friends from school - their children and one husband etc. It was very nice, actually - better than I expected. We spent the afternoon in a very posh Weatherspoons in Chancery Lane - Judges and Barristers kept walking past with their wigs on. They have both confounded nature and lack of nurture and become ridiculous over achievers - highly skilled and paid professionally - all 3 of us have Masters degrees - one has a PHD, and a BAFTA - both are happily married to former sports stars and their children are fantastic too - one is studying politics at the LSE, one is a radio DJ (at 17...) and one is the head of marketing for a major UK charity. I had very little to bring to the table. They both looked younger than me too, by quite a margin. By coincidence - my best friend here - who is a film maker - is in Manchester filming something Pinter for the BBC and met up with the radio DJ daughter at the same time (she interviewed him on-air once).

It was a lovely, warm, sunny day and I kind of missed London a bit. I always feel very comfortable there anyway. Even the trains were fast and on time. Being half term there were families and children everywhere doing 'fun' stuff - and I got off at Waterloo East which is probably a much better Station to use than London Bridge. I'l bear that in mind.

Sadly - it was inevitable that we would talk about Robert - my best friend from school, who took his own life in his early 20's because a woman he had fallen in Love with treated him quite badly. The last time I saw him they were together and he was glowing. I still feel some grief for him all these years later.

Lynda and Amanda are the only two people from 'there' who I still talk to - aside from very close family - and I'm happy to keep it that way.

It cost £23 return to London - almost 2 hours each way - and good value for money. It cost £8.50 to get a cab from the station up the hill to my house - 3 mins. And the drivers was, as usual - a miserable, prejudiced git.

Back home and I have more grief on that I can handle at the moment - I've been trying to get a decent financial advisor to talk about what I might be able to do with my mortgage going forward when the fixed rate period ends - and I honestly think I'm going to have to face some pretty hard choices soon. I can't do anything practical about that missing chunk of time and earnings. I'm getting pretty depressed about it now and not sleeping at night. I need to grit my teeth and take some practical advice. The stress is starting to effect me at work - and I really don't need that. Getting by on a day to day basis and paying the bills while I try and build the business back up again is exhausting enough -m but I still can't pay that old tax bill and I really need money for the house urgently. I'm not in a position to take stupid risks (not in my nature anyway) so I need to find some solution soon.

Over the weekend I watched (in the background) the original first and second series of 'Survivors' from the 1970's. It still holds it's own very well.

I had a tesco cheese sandwich earlier and it's really making me feel ill. It's Valentines day. As usual - I have not received anything. I'll probably get home and find something from a Baliff.