Ah Payday

I would say that I’m not sure why the last week has been a bit of a struggle with money but I can very firmly point to the two parking tickets I managed to earn this month as contributing to the pain. Never mind, lessons learned and all that.

It’s been a quiet couple of days, but I did go to Kingston yesterday to have a payday spend, looking at things for the flat. By far the best decision I made was to walk in to Not My Beautiful House, which is a pop up art gallery set up and run by students at Kingston University. They are focused on selling art by local people and I found a fair few things that caught my eye. In particular there were abstracts created by an ADHD support group, and I couldn’t resist

For £20 I had a new canvas piece for the hall, and I’ll definitely keep an eye on the place from now on.

Other than that it’s been quiet. Both the introverts have tucked themselves away so I may go out to the gym later – or spoil myself with a nice rioja – I haven’t decided yet.

Bank Holiday Weekend

It’s been a good weekend so far – we hit the gym, I remembered my counselling session, and last night’s D&D game was sweet and roleplay orientated and set things up for the next story arc

Today we have the cub staying over while boy s is back at work, and we’re planning to go see The Wessex Pistols and catch up with friends at The Plough later this afternoon. Should be fun, but I do wonder how the cub will react to it all. We shall see.

In the meantime, we have sunshine, birdsong, and washing drying on the balcony. Not a bad start.

Plagued

It’s all a bit annoying. After two years of doing everything to state safe and keep loved ones safe I’ve had a positive covid result this weekend, as has Lady M. The stinking cold I’ve been pushing back against the last week or two has either been a slow builder or has just dovetailed with the infection, as earlier tests were negative.

My hope is that this will pass quickly and the repeated application of lemon and honey and being sensible will take me through a mild bout of inconvenience. While I’m annoyed that it’s caught up with me, I’m counting my lucky stars that the current variants seem to be milder than what I might otherwise have caught so I don’t at all feel that my earlier abiding by guidelines has been any kind of waste of time.

So, a bit subdued and wiped out, but plodding through as I usually do.

Adventures Old and New

We had a great time yesterday at the Preview event at Thorpe Park – a pre-season day exclusive for annual pass holders and staff and their families. In previous years before the plague times we were the former and dropped in with the Charleesi. This year it was as guests of boy s.

The sun was out, the cub unsure of what he might like, and the after effects of Storm Eunice were still evident in some closed attractions. We had fun. I’m feeling a bit battered and bruised, and it took a while for my brain to remember how to process the signals from my inner ears, but I’m so glad I tried some new things.

Bright skies are back

Even remembering I should have been at counselling just as dessert arrived at our restaurant meal afterwards didn’t put too much of a dampener on things.

And then today we joined a gym – biting the bullet to manage various health conditions. The last time I was a member of a David Lloyd gym I was deep in depression and generally all over the place. My brain has therefore wasted no time in trying to recall and castigate me over non issues from that time period. No surprise there.

I am reminding myself instead that my last gym membership did me a lot of good and I did actually enjoy it.

Time for new memories.

Another Anniversary?

Wednesday was the fourth anniversary of collaring boy s – in kink terms a form of commitment not unlike marriage – it was just a shame that both of us were too unwell to celebrate much of anything. I was staying over anyway so it was largely a day of napping in between doing the school run and doing some more work on the Amazon store.

We’ve decided instead to try and have a date night in the next week or so once payday has arrived and we’re in better health.

What we do all have to anticipate however is that we’ve got tickets for the Thorpe Park preview day on Saturday thanks to his working there. We’ve not been on any rollercoaster since before the first lockdown. Lady M has had her eye surgery since then too, so this will be the first time on them without glasses or contact lenses.

So, highs and lows and literal rollercoasters to come. Can’t wait.

Celebratory Meal

Back before the days of plague we had a plan. Lady M and I were due to celebrate ten years of marriage and thought it would be amazing to get everyone we could back at the same venue for a knees up. Well, so much for that idea.

Instead we took a deep breath a day booked in for lunch, just the two of us, at The Hand And Flowers in Marlow. It, famously, is a pub with two Michelin stars. We make no secret about loving good food, and we’d been promising ourselves a fine dining experience but until now hadn’t taken the plunge.

A great joy of where we are in our careers is that we’ve variously built and rebuilt out of debt and career swerves over the years. We’ve been unemployed together, variously in and out of work and supporting each other, and I like to think that it’s helped us keep reasonably grounded about money as a result.

So we took a deep breath and then reminded ourselves it was a special occasion and we could afford it. And it was lovely. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the food and drink, the place is warm and comfortable, and the layout just irregular enough to feel cosy. And the food and drink was superb – we were very well fed and looked after.

A good way to celebrate an anniversary – and now we’ll have to plan for another excuse to return.

Shopping Spree

We had planned to go up to London yesterday and wander round some old haunts but a tube strike paralysed public transport. We took that as our cue to leave well alone for now.

We instead went to Kingston for a bit just to get out of the house. With so many people working from home it meant that the roads were clearer and the shopping centre less busy than usual by early afternoon, and this suited us just fine. Coffee and people watching was the first order of the day.

And then to the shops where I finally gave in and bought some new work clothes to refresh the fading black jeans that have been my workhorse items for years. Some plain tshirts to go with them and my spree was done. Well, aside from buying some books for Lady M as part of our anniversary, but the clothes are the focus. That’s mostly because I have a pretty basic set of clothes that I wear day to day so any big expenditure makes my eyes water.

The odd thing is that clothing is a pretty essential purchase if I want to be part of general society and, oh I don’t know, work for example. This shouldn’t be a big thing, but my anxiety about spending that money has caught me off guard. I shouldn’t be anxious – I’m lucky enough to be employed and have a budget that can easily accommodate it. It’s fair to point out that I’ve easily blown similar amounts in a month on Funko Pops or geeky items, or on gifts for my loved ones. And yet clothing seems to be what has made me twitch.

How very odd. Perhaps it’s a throwback to when I was getting divorced and had to rebuild while also struggling with money. Maybe it’s that clothing items like pairs of jeans are expensive so there’s not a lot of items for what seems to be a lot of money. Either way I’m currently telling myself to get a grip as this wasn’t a frivolous purchase, and it’s not even as if I went for expensive branded goods – M&S own brand is an old standby for me.

I shall look forward to wearing them when Lady M and I go out for a celebratory lunch tomorrow.

50 Already?

So, uh, somehow I’ve made to 50 years and I have pretty much most things working okay, a good job, people who love me, most of my marbles, and as of today an all clear from a cancer scare. So that’s a good way to start the next revolution round the sun.

I’ve just finished a charity stream with Lady B and boy s playing the new Destiny expansion and been getting blown away by all the deep lore that is being paid off after years of breadcrumbs. The gameplay is slick, the storytelling compelling, and the excited noises from boy s deeply amusing. We had to force ourselves to stop because it was gone 2am.

So, what’s planned for this year? To be honest I don’t know. I never expected to get to this milestone. I was surprised to be so happy at age 40, let alone still among the living. My next markers are my tenth wedding anniversary and the fourth anniversary of collaring boy s in this next month. A holiday might be nice later this year.

For now though I have a week off work and some vague plans for D&D this weekend. That’ll do.

Windy Weekend

We had a bit of a storm blow through on Friday – Storm Eunice to be precise – and while everyone battened down the hatches, I was on duty at one of my libraries to coordinate with staff to keep as many places open as possible. We’re fortunate that my area is a relatively built up and urban environment rather than being at the top of any hills, but even so I was wary for a couple of places that were either vulnerable due to their surroundings or their approaches.

In the end, despite needing a window boarding up at one location where local youths had caused some damage, we managed to keep everywhere open except for one – and that was due to a precaution with an older member of staff rather than any direct risk.

Still, looking out of my library window and seeing blocks of polystyrene the size of an adult bouncing down the road where they’d been blown off a building site nearby was quite impressive – as were the fallen small branches – and so I wasn’t totally surprised to find that the main road past us was closed by police for a good chunk of the afternoon.

Saturday was merely windy but I battled through it to help do some computer diagnostics on boy s’ PC with the aid of an old friend – we couldn’t fix the immediate problem, but we’ve narrowed down the hardware issue and a plan is now in place to Frankenstein a solution so that he can get back to streaming and being creative in his downtime.

And then yesterday we gathered back round to boy s for Sunday Roast and watched as random bits of branch bounced off the grass outside – all very restful. Anyway, to round up, all are well and nobody hurt, and no appreciable damage to anywhere or anything connected to us. Compared to other areas of the country we’ve done very well

Blow Out

Various plans went out the window for today because I had a minor mishap last night and blew out a tire. Fortunately I wasn’t going very fast and I was able to limp the car back home without too much clanking or the smell of scorched rubber being too pervasive.

I didn’t realise how badly damaged tire was until this morning when we were reporting it to the fleet management company (as a company car). In the clear sumlight I could see how tattered the tire was and could only be thankful my luck had held.

So… that happened. Our other discovery was that the tires for hybrid vehicles aren’t regularly carried as temporary spares by roadside assist vehicles. Fortunately the local Kwik-Fix did so the RAC guy was able to pop over, grab a replacement and bring it back to fit so we didn’t have to traipse back and forth to fix it all. With so much going on today it was like a little beacon of sanity, and much appreciated.