It never ends

After a long and somewhat idiotic search over the last several years, I appear to have found a half-decent text editor for writing purposes that doesn’t annoy me too much. It’s called “Jotterpad”. I’ll let you look it up yourself, rather than go on endlessly about it. The world has enough mansplaining niche interest evangelists in it already.

I’ve always preferred writing in text editors. As whizzy and clever as word processors are with all of their gadgets, widgets, toys, and doo-dads, they always end up annoying the heck out of me. I’m never happier than when sitting in front of a dark screen with a blinking cursor.


It’s the Thursday before Easter, and I’m watching the final hour of the day tick down. We just had an enormous hailstorm pass overhead – bouncing pea-sized hail off everything in sight. The flat roof sounded pretty spectacular – like Animal from the Muppet Show had invited all of his friends round for an impromptu jam session.

My eldest daughter stood in the kitchen watching the mayhem unfold with a little bit too much enthusiasm. The prospect of the world coming to an end was apparently very exciting indeed.

I might have laughed a bit too much when she uttered C3PO’s famous line:

“We’re done for.”

Let’s hope an extinction event meteor strike doesn’t happen during her lifetime – she won’t be able to contain herself at all.

While all of this was happening my younger daughters were preparing to depart for Wembley Stadium – to watch the England women’s team play against Brazil tonight. I’m staying here – making dinner for myself and our eldest from leftovers. I’ve promised not to watch the match – I have a terrible knack of causing whoever I’m rooting for to do really badly if I watch them on television.


Fifteen minutes to wind up anything that needs doing before logging off for a few days.

p.s. I didn’t leave my desk all day again (well – apart from trips to the kitchen to make coffee, which turned into emptying the dishwasher, filling the washing machine, folding clothes, washing up, tidying up, and so on, and so forth…

It never ends.


Half past my bedtime

Somehow it’s almost 1am on Friday night (or should that be Saturday morning?). Where does the time go? I’m struggling to cast my mind back over the last few days – to find anything of interest.

Life has been a bit like that recently – dragging myself from one day to the next, and not really being able to put the pieces together afterwards. The weekend away at my parents seems like a long time ago.

I’ve been slowly moving towards content authoring at work – writing stories for the website and the various social media channels we’re starting to explore. It’s funny really – all the years emptying my head into the keyboard have resulted in some recognition at last that I’m not bad at it. I think the hardest thing to get across to those scheduling me is that writing takes time – it needs to be scheduled – it’s not easy.

Away from work the house continues to drag itself from one day to the next without completely falling down. We had a gas engineer visit this week to service our central heating. Upon finding out I immediately set about tidying the house from top to bottom – lest the engineer think we live in a house that’s just been burgled. After moving heaven and earth for a couple of hours, and making numerous trips to the bins outside with bags full of rubbish from teenage girl bedrooms, I collapsed in front of my work computer and waited.

The engineer didn’t check any of the rooms.

During the last visit the engineer had checked the radiators throughout the house – this time they didn’t. I might have said a few choice words when I found out.

At least the house got tidied up. Of course by the next day the teenagers had waved their magic wand again, and we’re back to where we started – but for a couple of hours the other morning – while I was the only one in – the house wasn’t half bad.

While I often rail against the piles of “stuff” all over the house – making it look untidy – in a strange sort of way I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re all interested in different things, are involved in different hobbies, take part in different things, and so on. The house reflects that. I would hate if we lived in a spartan, tidy, empty house. There’s a story to be told about pretty much any corner of any room in our house – or at least the stuff stacked in that corner – or the other corner – or over there – or under that… you get the idea.


It’s getting late. I want to get up in the morning to watch the racing cars in Australia. The F1 circus has arrived in Melbourne. I know somebody in Melbourne – I wonder how she is? I should reach out.

I’m terrible at reaching out. With so many things going on all the time around me, I often get swept up in what everybody else needs, rather than what I might like to be doing. I’m trying to push back against that a little bit, but it’s hard – it’s not in my nature.



I just wrote a somewhat awkward “goodbye” message over at Substack, where I had been experimenting with writing personal blog posts for the last several months (not for the first time).

I changed my mind…

I’m returning to WordPress, but still not quite letting go of Tumblr, because I have too many memories wrapped up in it. Too many echoes of forgotten friendships to quite close the lid on it entirely.

You might not have even noticed I wasn’t “here” for the past little while, unless you read my about page, where I confessed my sins. I’m thinking that if I don’t try to be everywhere, I might have more of a chance at being somewhere. Hopefully that makes a little bit of sense?

I might choose a different theme for the blog though – it’s look and feel. We’ll see.


First day back at work today after a few days away. It’s been quiet so far – which is good, I suppose. Lots of coffee has been consumed. Several hot cross buns no longer exist.

Since returning from the coast yesterday evening, in between working I’ve been on something of a chore marathon around the house. It doesn’t look like I’ve achieved very much, but I feel better for having at least tried.

I may have volunteered to make dinner this evening. I forgot all about it until I started writing this. You can’t see me sighing, can you.


Finding Time

As a few might have noticed, I’ve returned to WordPress. This had absolutely nothing to do with platforms – more about separation of concerns. I needed to use Substack for something else, and would rather have something of a dividing wall between my personal blog, and other endeavours.

So what have I been up to in my absence?

I started a damn fool escapade on the internet a few weeks ago, and it exploded in popularity – turning from a few minutes of my time into a full time second job. I’m doing it of my own volition though, so I only have myself to complain to.

I was up until 3am last night trying to find out what was eating disk space on a web server – this after going round in circles trying to find out why on earth something was failing – before realising the software was lying to me.

Today I spent the majority of the day at my youngest daughter’s school – running a second hand book stall to help raise funds for the school. I ran the stall for the better part of three hours – greeting parents and children and attempting to part them with their money. While I sold books, my other half ran the perenially popular “lucky dip”, and “hook a duck” games.

While setting the book stall up a man approached with his daughter, and spied a collection of perhaps 100 issues of a popular comic – obviously somebody’s entire collection. He initially bought 10 issues, before returning later to take a second look. I offered him the entire collection for quite a small amount of money, and he said something that made me smile – “I’ll never get away with it”. He wasn’t buying them for his children at all.


It’s nice to be back. As time allows, I will try to catch up with some of the blogs I follow – to find out what you’ve been up to.


Washing and Writing

We got home on Wednesday. It’s now Saturday. The washing machine is still going. I think we can see the end of the washing mountain now though (thankfully). It’s just a case of getting it all dry, folding it, and putting it away – which we know won’t happen, don’t we. A family home isn’t homely unless there are piles of clean washing stacked everywhere.

I’m listening to Spotify while writing this. We signed up for a family account while we were away – so the kids could listen to music in the car without chewing through data. I need to remember to cancel it soon.

I posted some writing on Medium last night – a few thoughts about the ridiculousness of the whole “productivity” charade. I’m trying really hard to write about “me”, rather than “you”, because “you” looks far too much like mansplaining. I’m not quite sure what happened in my head, but in recent months mansplaining has become a massive trigger for me – as soon as I see it, I have to resist the temptation to reply to the author “thank you for mansplaining that to me”.

It’s not just men that mansplain – my middle daughter is a master at it – mostly because she is as literal as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. On more than one occasion she has laughed (very late) at a joke, turned to us all, and started with “that’s funny because…”

Did I mention that I’m on a diet? Our middle daughter needs to lose weight, and we could all do with losing a few pounds, so thought “why not”. There is now a ban on snacks around the house. I guess this is three years of sedentary pandemic behaviours catching up with us. The end goal – for my daughter – is to pass the army fitness test. Yes, you heard that right – she’s looking at the army as a possible future. I’m not worried about that at all.


The Journey Home

We left my parents house in Cornwall mid-morning. The final hour was a huge game of backwards Jenga, where our belongings (and various acquisitions) were re-assembled into the car.

Seven hours later (after a wander into a nearby fishing village, and a rest-stop mid-afternoon, we arrived home. Our car doesn’t seem particularly happy with us – dropping in power somewhat spectacularly during the final 20 kilometres, but it did well for the previous 360.

This evening has been all about unpacking things, setting fire to the washing machine, and wrestling the house back towards normality.

During the journey home I pulled the trigger on a new laptop for myself. A Chromebook from Amazon. It arrives tomorrow. If you’re wondering why, you might not know that I’ve been soldiering on with a rather decrepit, ancient laptop that was once bought for one of my children. It dies within minutes when not connected to a power source, and isn’t worth repairing because cost would outweigh it’s worth.

This evening I also resurrected my account at Medium. While away I reminded myself how much I enjoy writing. Sure, I might not always have a lot to say, but Medium will give me a platform for the longer-form idiocy that I wouldn’t dare post to this journal. I hope that makes at least a little sense.

The task now – or rather once I return to work next week – will be fitting all of this into a chaotic, busy life. I guess we’ll see how that goes.


The End of the Week

It’s Friday morning – or at least I think it’s still Friday morning – and I’m taking a break from work for a few minutes. I’m actually thinking about abandoning work for the rest of the day – COVID seems to be taking a second bite out of me. It might be better to admit defeat, have a quiet weekend, and give my body a chance to repair itself.

I need to get some more Redbush tea – I went through almost an entire box of it earlier in the week.

Maybe a quiet book today. Or sleep. We’ll see.


Back to Work

It’s day five since the symptoms of COVID arrived like a car crash, and I’m back working. My brain is been in a bit of a fog for most of the day, but to be honest having something to get on with has been really good.

You know when you sit in the dead of night, and can hear the blood pumping through your ears? I have that sensation, but all the time. I can only imagine it’s my body’s way of saying “I’m working really hard here – just give me a few days”.

Main lesson of the last few days? Redbush tea with honey in it was the only thing I felt like drinking. I’ve found that for the last few years, when ill. Thankfully I’m rarely sick – but when I am, I can’t stomach coffee. Go figure.

I’m back drinking coffee today.

I wonder how much of the day one headache was caffeine withdrawal, and how much was COVID going on a wrecking-spree around my head?


Today has been a good day (so far). Let’s see how the evening goes.


Day Four

Based on the very unscientific method of counting back to when the aches and temperature first appeared, this is day four of COVID, and my body appears to be staging a remarkable fightback. As long as I sit quietly, the aches and pains appear to be leaving me alone. As soon as I try and do anything, my body starts overheating.

We’ll try to ignore that after everybody left the house this morning I snuck down to make a cup of tea and discovered similar devastation to yesterday. At least it only took me three quarters of an hour to clear up today.

The washing machine is on it’s second load so far. The dishwasher has been emptied and re-filled again (don’t even ask), and the leftover food that had caused a cloud of flies to arrive has been dealt with. Of course now nobody can use the kitchen for a while – until the fly spray dissipates (the windows and door are wide open).

I was hoping to return to work tomorrow, based on feeling quite a bit better last night, but now I’m not so sure. My head is ringing. I’m not sure what causes that – blood pressure probably.