Boom!

We completed on the flat today. There may be wine drinking and shenanigans in progress.

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Tick Tick Tick

We exchanged contracts on the flat last week, and we’re now in the last run up to completion.

We’re about to own our flat.

Wow.

It’s been an interesting and varied journey to clear down debts and get financially stable again during times of global financial insecurity. At times it seemed that it just wasn’t going to happen as life threw hiccups that ate our savings unexpectedly, but…

We’re nearly there…

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There’s An App For That

Every now and then I like to have a wander through the app store on my Android and see some of the oddly specific programs that people have produced. Sometimes I even try them out. There’s a rare few that find an instant niche and stay, I on my phone for any length of time – and these tend to be either writing tools or means of organising my time. Like many of us I lend weight to recommendations from people I know as well – after all, if someone has enjoyed or found useful an app enough to tell me that they think I’ll have a specific use for it then it would be rude and unappreciative of their time and thought not to at least spend a few moments to consider it.

Also like most of us, I tend to see my phone as quite a personal object – it after all not only spends a lot of time on my person and in use, but stores personal information and access to things that I enjoy or find of use. I see this every day in people who come into the library wanting to print off an email but being stymied when pressed to log into their mail service through a browser rather than through the app on their phone where they entered a password once a year or two ago and have never thought about it since. (We won’t even get into the people who don’t know how to use a mouse and keyboard because they’re so used to touchscreen technology.)

And so finding a useful app that crosses both into the personal and the useful is a great delight – expecially where it is useful to the dynamic between myself and lady s. We live a small distance apart, so anything that helps maintain contact without straying into slightly stalkery territory is a bonus – especially where it comes to the negotiated power transfers that come as part and parcel of a BDSM relationship. An online usergroup of which we are both part was discussing various online apps that could help with monitoring tasks, rewards, and punishments agreed between the participants of a dynamic and there was one that sprang to the fore for the flexibility that it offered – so we’ve been giving it a try.

We both downloaded the app and connected our profiles, and have agreed a number of tasks for lady s to undertake at various intervals during a week – whether several times a day, every day, or several times a day – and a points value towards rewards list for the successful completion of those tasks. There are also punishments defined and agreed for the failure to complete the tasks – and these range from points deductions, through restrictions on certain activities, through to other forfeits.

Activities on the task list include things such as eating a certain number of sit down meals a day, achieving a certain level of step counts, and certain household or personal tasks. Rewards include massages, the purchase of certain gifts, or activities to enjoy together.

As each day goes by, lady s ticks off certain tasks as she completes them, or leaves them if she chooses not to undertake them, and the app notifies me and counts/deducts points or assign pre-agreed forfeits that we can catch up on when we next meet – and for our dynamic it works. It appeals to the need for imposed structure and routine that lady s has without my needing to chase her for updates. The tasks have come from both of us, drawing on rewards and forfeits that we have both agreed – and at the same time, if life gets in the way, it is a matter of a few clicks to reset counters or remove forfeits if felt appropriate.

There are parallels with the reward schemes some parents set up with their children to encourage them to undertake chores in the household, or complete their homework from school – which I think makes the app more intuitive to set up and use as it is full of concepts that many of us have encountered elsewhere – so in many ways it does stand as a somewhat unexpected and yet inevitable illustration of the marketing phrase “there’s an app for that”.

Oh, it’s called Obedience – appropriately enough

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Knowing When To Stop

I’ve been drawing this on one of my big sketchpads over the last week or so: a little here, a little there, with lessons learned from smaller detail doodles along the way. I originally thought to just try and fill the whole page, as I’ve done with other unplanned pictures, but have decided to stop here as there’s a certain aesthetic to it I like. I may even frame and back it at some point.

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Inktober Is Coming

Inktober 2019

Well, as if I needed an excuse to draw and paint things… October is Inktober, and the list has been published, so I’ll have a go just like I did last year. Yes, there will be image spamming for all the family.

The prompt list, like last year, consists of single words that can be interpreted in all sorts of ways. It could be directly literal, or allegorical, and a great part of the fun for me is seeing how different people interpret the prompts when they come to post their work. Some people plan and plot their images with small thumbnails ahead of time – and some of the online lists I follow are currently full of those sneak peaks – but just like last year I’m intending to try to do each one on the day with minimal forward planning.

I’m not a great one for planning out pictures anyway – flying by the seat of my pants and letting my imagination skitter over the page is far more interesting. So let’s see how this year goes.

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I Didn’t Mean To Sleep Today Away

I seem to have missed most of today, collapsed on my bed. Ive not been unwell, just exhausted I think.

I woke briefly when Lady M got up this morning full of beans and energy, and then slipped back into sleep cuddling soft toys she’d thoughtfully provided. I got up so we could watch some tv and have a brunch, but then I was just overcome with a deep lassitude.

I suspect its just a result of living off stress and caffeine the last few days and my body and brain getting tired of giving me subtle hints that slowing down for a bit might be a good idea – so my strings were cut and that was that for most of my Sunday.

I must still be running on low batteries as I can hear my bed calling me back even after all that rest – so self-care mode is duly initiated

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Complaints

One of the things that invariably happens as a manager is having to deal with situations where something has gone wrong. Sometimes it’s a process or how a service is delivered. Occasionally it’s someone doing something wrong, or in a way that causes offense, and from time to time it’s a complaint about another customer.

Most of the other incidents are relatively easy to deal with as there will be some form of evidence or witness, and a teaching moment/apology/restitution can happen.

Complaints about other customers by customers are however a lot more difficult to navigate – not least because different people find different things offensive, and I have little control over people who are not obligated to listen to me because they are paid to.

I have to observe or hear behaviours or conversations or volume levels and make snap decisions on how to deal with them – and this can often not be how the person complaining may wish me to react. Either way it all gets logged as an incident in case a pattern emerges that can be used as evidence alongside hearsay.

We’re also trained to de-escalate confrontations and issues like this, so the likelihood of my actually marching up to someone, grabbing their ear and removing them from the premises is vanishingly small. That’s what the police are for, and it reduces the likelihood of people, equipment, or books getting damaged in the process.

So you’ll forgive me venting a little vaguely about something that may have happened this week in a work environment.

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