Paul Clarke's Blog (Pauly's Soapbox)

Nan no better

They found her hearing aids but apart from that everything is worse.

Is a relatively nice day today, sunny and calm, the boys remarked on it on the way to school this morning. Maybe spring is here? Though I hear worse weather is on the way.

Working from home today, back on the bike tomorrow. No firm plans yet to get the Beetle fixed, I may phone Trans-Porters today. In fact just writing that makes me think "get on with it". So I found a number and texted them. I hate talking on the phone. If they can't do it I'm a bit stuck as I heard the last guy who worked on it just had a death in the family so may be out of contact for a while. Could I go back to Volksfarmers after all this time?

I slept really badly last night. Also day fourteen of not drinking but I seem to have put on 2kg, so I don't think it is having any health benefits. Clare is drinking as much as ever, though not just to annoy me. Maybe that is why she slept so well and I did not. I should have slept the sleep of the just, I did plenty of exercise yesterday, walking to Folkestone and back in the afternoon. My step count for the weekend is quite epic.

Mon Jan 14 2019...

There was a Fitbit Versa firmware update

Updates for the Fitbit Versa (my watch). But still no improvement to how you add music to it.

Sun Jan 13 2019...

Quiet morning

Clare is at a gym class and both boys are doing homework online; one doing Mathletics on the table and one doing a Bond practice paper on the computer. So very quiet indeed. Though one has just finished and the noise has picked up again.

I get the strange feeling I should invest in something like this for home audio, though a) I don't really need it and b) I can't afford it - the money I have needs to go on plumbing repairs, new vacuum cleaner, getting the Beetle back on the road and probably a new phone handset in that order... I think Clare would spend any money on the car, home decoration, or extension, all even more expensive projects. But I've had this nagging feeling I should have better home audio through the TV since the PTA christmas fair. One of the parents had brought lots of cupcakes to the fair, reusing an old packing box to carry them in. The packing box was for a Sony AV receiver, and since then I've been thinking "I want one like that"... I don't want a Sony - tempting as they are they always let me down eventually by abandoning protocols (thinking of my bedroom TV that is now only a raspberry pi monitor, and my minidisc personal stero, and my big stereo, and the old camera, and basically every sony device ever. I have bought too much Sony over the years. Will probably wait until end of financial year when the share money comes in again and then keep quiet about the money and pretend I won the new audio set up in a competition.

While I'm thinking about shopping online I've been trying to find some jeans that I saw in Muji in New York, struggling to find them here though in theory they are available. Normally looking jeans but with an extra pocket for a big phone, nice. Will have to wait until nex time I get a day out in London or Bluewater or Stratford or something, as their website is just not up to the job.

Nice, thing one got 79% in his practice Bond paper (this is the "eleven plus" exam he'll do next year). He needs to improve his vocab a bit, this involves encouraging him to read more challenging books rather than the same old.

Did 23,000 steps in the end yesterday, what with the running in the morning then walking to Hythe and back while the boys biked and scooted. Very slow progress with number two son and the cycling, but he did do a little more than last time, so some progress.

Not much planned today, though I must go out again.

Nan had a worse day yesterday, seems to be all down to reduced oxygen intake to me, but I am not a doctor. At least they found her hearing aid 😺 but she still can't hear with them in 😿.

Day 13 of Dry January.

Sun Jan 13 2019...

Four new runners from work at the Park Run

Think they were surprised to see me, even more suprised to only see my heels during the run... I had quite a good run, don't think I will have matched last week but should be under twenty five minutes. Another run following a night of no booze, and also a fairly early night. Watched the cheesy-but-lovely Death In Paradise, glad to have that back, and tonight we can watch Grantchester. A little grittier but still very gentle.

Not going far today. The new game the boys bought with christmas money is here Super Mario Bros for the the Switch, I wonder how similar it will be to the old game? Then some practice bike riding. I wanted to go into Folkestone and Sandgate but that's a bit ambitious so we might stick with Hythe, as it's all on the flat. Charity shops and a cafe and something for tea from the supermarket.

Good to hear Nan is very slightly better (though still not great) but not so good that the hospital have lost her hearing aids somehow. About all she has left is being able to talk to people, so hope they can sort that quickly.

Sat Jan 12 2019...

Run stats 12/1/19 🏃 5'18/K

11.2% fat 🚶 23515 steps 🧗 52 floors

Sat Jan 12 2019...

Run stats 11/1/19

10.7% fat 🚶 12479 steps 🧗 31 floors

Fri Jan 11 2019...

Forgot my keys

Cycled to my pick up point at the RHDR light railway (hey it was featured on Antiques Road Trip this week) and have forgotten my keys, so can't lock my bike... About to head home again but remembered Clare is off today. Called my lift, told him what was going on, called Clare, she brought the keys AND my high-vis jacket I had also forgotten. Locked up bike, she has driven me on to work, and everything is recovered.

Speaking of recovering I made a great improvement to our fraud detection systems that, er, blocked 50 legitimate bookings... We can recover these, we will contact the customers. Some had already called the call centre and continued, some may have changed their email address and continued, some are existing customers who we can contact anyway, 25 were potential new customers that will figure something out for, though some of those are likely to be in the "changed email address" category too, so nothing is really lost. Still annoying. It's all down to one fraudster who had a dody email like so then we blocked, etc. Those are not real examples...

KNACKERED today, I tried to go to bed early, and did, and read some more of Tombland there. Then Clare came back late from the cinema and disturbed me and then made a cup of tea at about midnight and disturbed me again, gah. I'm feeling tired right though, tired legs, how will running be tomorrow? Still it will be another night with no booze so should be feeling a bit fresher. I am missing the Inn Doors. Dry January day 11.

No great plans for the weekend, taking the boys out on their bikes and have a few little jobs to do. Would like to go to Orchard Lane cafe again though the boys see that as a bit of a chore, so we'll make it mid afternoon for just a snack maybe. Then also Iceland, I might go for one of their new vegan pizzas.

Fri Jan 11 2019...

Run stats 10/1/19

🚶 11040 steps 🧗 35 floors

Thu Jan 10 2019...

Up to the Elis and John Podcast with me on it

I'm out of sync with the Elis James and John Robins podcasts- I went back to the beginning and have been listening to them in order. Just got up to episode 237 which is the one where they read out my email about meeting John Deacon from Queen at a Popbitch party. John Robins sounded impressed.

Working from home again today, very cold again. Was super cold on my ride home yesterday, but at least not windy. Today I have walked a bit at lunch, but no run, and don't think I will tomorrow either, so that will be another week's gap between park runs. No practice run, just straight out there on Saturday morning. It will be fine.

No update on Nan, she is much the same.

Day ten of not drinking, though I have eaten quite a lot of biscuits today. Weekdays of "not drinking" hardly count, ideally I'd only be boozing at the weekends anyway.

Thu Jan 10 2019...

Run stats 9/1/19

🚶 11615 steps 🧗 28 floors

Wed Jan 09 2019...