Yesterday Didn’t Happen

Yesterday didn’t happen. A few drinks with good friends the night before somehow turned into a take-away meal, many more drinks, and the sharing of stories until the early hours.

When I woke up yesterday it felt like I had been hit by a truck. I really can’t drink like that any more (or rather, I can’t get away with it). I still don’t feel entirely right today, but at least I’m functional.

I need another coffee…

(5 minutes pass while I wander into the kitchen, empty mug in hand)

I have the day off work today. A day to “catch up”. The washing machine is on it’s second load, the dishwasher has been emptied, the plants watered, the lounge has been tidied (somewhat), numerous boxes that were stacked on the upstairs landing have returned to the attic, and I imagine the vacuum cleaner will come out soon.

It never ends.

There are so many things I would like to be doing, but they tend to get pushed sideways by the things that will keep others off my back. I’m waiting for the garden waste to get collected – after that I can cut the grass in the back garden, and tick it off the list – then I can’t be accused of not doing it.

I bought ingredients to make spaghetti bolognese yesterday afternoon, and then got shouted at for buying the wrong things, for the wrong day. I can’t win at the moment.

At some point during the next hour my youngest daughter will arrive home from a sleepover (it’s half term), and ask about me going out on a bike ride with her. I have no idea where we’re going to go. I would much rather go for a run to be honest – I wonder if she’ll be up for that instead?

Over the coming weeks and months I’ve kind of promised to do Couch to 5K with a friend. I need to do something. I’m not sure if it’s about escaping these four walls, or doing something for me. While running is hard while you’re doing it, the endorphin rush afterwards is amazing. It makes you feel so much better about yourself – and I kind of need that at the moment.

Thankfully I have a few close friends that come out to bat for me from time to time. I hope I can do the same for them, when needed. That’s half the trouble though isn’t it – the whole Nanny McFee thing – realising when somebody wants you but doesn’t need you, or needs you but doesn’t want you.

I never realise that I need close friends until after they have arrived with hugs and smiles. It’s only afterwards the penny drops and I realise how lucky I am to have them.


Burning the Candle

We’re heading towards the final half-hour of the working day, and I’m not entirely sure how I’m staying awake. After going “out out” last night – on a work night – I then stayed up until 2am when we got home – fooling around with the YouTube channel.

The night out was unexpectedly wonderful. I swear I’m getting worse at setting foot outside the door, but once out I was fine. I know more than one close friend would raise an eyebrow at that admission.

We went on an organised magical mystery tour of restaurants around the town – with each course of the meal being at a different location. The restaurants were kept secret until we arrived at each one – walking around the town in co-horts of perhaps 30 people.

It was fun. And we drank far too much.

Our final destination was a famous restaurant on the edge of town – on the bank of the River Thames. We found ourselves on a huge round table with people we had never met before – but soon tore any walls down and filled the final hour of the evening with stories, laughter, and new friendships. One lady in particular – somebody of note I think – remarked that our table had been the best of the entire evening.

After wandering home slightly the worse for wear, I drank a gallon of coffee and sat down in front of the computer. Some time critical content had to go out on YouTube – if I missed the window, I would miss out on a huge amount of traction for the channel. I’m starting to understand how the machinery of the social internet works.

I finally fell into bed at 2am – and then woke this morning to stratospheric numbers in the overnight analytics. It was worth it.

I feel like hell though.


The Coffee Shop Intervention Requirement

Several days have slipped past since I wrote anything of consequence. Once again I find myself sitting in the dark of the junk room, propped in front of the computer – tapping into the keyboard. The clock is ticking towards midnight again.

We’re one day away from a four day weekend – the easter weekend – which hadn’t occurred to me at all until the rest of the household started making various “death by chocolate” creations in the kitchen (and leaving me the washing up).

(an hour passes while I get sucked into an internet rabbit hole)

How the hell does this always happen?

(you can’t hear me sigh – I just sighed)

I had all sorts of ideas earlier – things I might write about. Somehow that all went sideways as soon as I started writing. I end up catching myself – a voice whispers “nobody’s interested in any of that”. It’s always the introspective stuff. The good stuff.

I don’t know. I just feel like I’m on a bit of a hamster wheel at the moment. Each day is groundhog day. I need to do an intervention on myself – go out for lunch with a friend – a walk in the woods – anything really.

I am my own worst enemy though – I’ll get up tomorrow, start doing chores, then become consumed with work, and before I know it, the day will have gone, and I’ll have spent yet another day in the junk room.

Who want’s to go for coffee tomorrow?


Half Past My Bedtime

When my middle daughter was about four years old, she loved talking. She still loves talking. She would often know what she wanted to say, but the exact choice of words would get away from her.

Late on an evening she would ask “is it half past my bedtime?”

It’s half past my bedtime now. The clock ticked past midnight some time ago. I’m sitting in the dark of the junk room (my office) tapping away at the keyboard for the first time in several days. I’ve thought about sitting down to write something several times, but one thing after another side-tracked me.

The term “side-tracked” must have something to do with railroads, I imagine. It’s quite a good analogy really – if you think about the universe always moving forwards, no paths ever lead back. Making good decisions would therefore seem to be that much more important – and yet I don’t tend to worry too much.

It’s that whole “putting one foot in front of the other” thing, isn’t it.

That’s not to say that I don’t wonder about paths not taken. Or paths that might still be taken. During quiet moments I sometimes wonder how the people I have come to know along the way are doing.

We all live busy lives. We lose touch with each other. Friendships that were once close become more distant. They are never forgotten though. In a strange sort of way, I suppose I am the product of everybody I have known – shaped by the crossing of our paths.


It’s getting late.

Time for bed.

It’s “half past my bedtime”, after all.


The Witching Hour

According to folklore, midnight marks the time in the day when witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear, and be at their most powerful. There seems to be some disagreement about which exact hour is the “witching hour” though – with stories ranging from midnight, all the way through into the early hours of the morning.

I don’t know why I’m telling you any of this. I just looked at the clock, realised today had already become tomorrow, and thought “ah crap, I forgot to write in the blog again”.

It’s half past midnight.

When my middle daughter was young, she liked to know things, and liked to demonstrate her mastery of all things – no matter that she might have things the right way round, or joined together entirely correctly. On more than one occasion she asked “is it half past my bedtime yet?”

It’s half past my bedtime.

I looked at the clock a couple of hours ago and thought about going to bed early – to continue reading the book I’ve had my nose if for the last several nights. Somehow I now find myself staring 1am in the face, playing a game of chicken with it.

I’ll scrape myself out of bed in the morning. I always do.

I have two more days of work, then I’m off for a week – the first week of the Easter holidays. I had originally asked for the second week, but work schedules piled up like a train wreck, and I found myself volunteering to move my holiday. It’s not like I was going anywhere or doing anything anyway.


I’m writing this stream of consciousness, only too aware that I have nothing much to report. The words are leaving my fingers before they’ve really left my head. I’m not “putting them together” – they’re just happening.

Maybe that’s how the best writing happens.


Midnight is my Friend

Here I am again, sitting in front of the computer in the dead of night, only too aware that I haven’t posted for several days. The world just seems to be getting away from me at the moment – I’m not sure if I’m just trying to be involved in too many things, or if I’m not pedalling fast enough.

I can’t help reminding myself of a message I’ve seen written by several friends recently – that it’s ok not to chase your own tail – that it’s ok to say no – that there is value in slowing down.

There are so many things I want to do though. I end up laughing at myself – I have always been my own worst enemy.

Last night we went out to a fund-raiser at the infant school where my other half works – propping up the “staff table”. It was supposed to be a quiz, but involved little or no knowledge. One of the rounds involved identifying the flavour of jelly beans. On the way home I opined that this is the future – whether we like it or not. Generations are coming through where the majority seem to have have no knowledge about anything much in the world. If they haven’t seen something on Facebook, Tiktok, or their friends haven’t texted them about it, they have no clue. The traditional subjects – history, geography, science, nature, art – you may as well be asking them to write out the equations of motion.

One particular table at the fund raiser stunned us by leaving a considerable amount of rubbish, empty bottles and food wrappers strewn across their table and the floor when they left. Because of course we were there to clean up after them. What is it with some people thinking the rest of the world is there to serve them? How conceited are they?

While walking home – furious with the many small slights that had mounted up throughout the night – I had to remind myself that none of it really mattered. Less than half a world away, a catastrophe is being discovered – with evidence that the retreating army of a superpower have massacred civilians en-masse.

I will admit that in recent weeks I’ve wondered what the point of it all is – this life thing – when you could be cut down tomorrow. Why do we strive, hope, dream, or even attempt to build when a hostile adversary can invade, kill, and destroy with wanton abandon? How do soldiers of any army reconcile their actions? How do they live with what they have done? Can people really be conditioned to such an extent that they become machines without conscience ? Sadly experience of conflict around the world seems to tell me they can.

Suddenly the method I use to get from one day to the next seems like a good one – putting one foot in front of the other. When the world seems a little too big, and a little too loud, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other works well. It gets me from today to tomorrow – and tomorrow it will get me to the next day.

The real trick is finding somebody to walk alongside while finding my way from today to tomorrow. I’m lucky enough to count several such people in my sort-of-secret group of far flung friends on the internet. We might not message each other every day, but when we do, the world becomes a little bit smaller, and a little bit easier to survive.


Late O’Clock

I cooked dinner for the rest of the family this evening. Spaghetti Bolognese – one of the “make something quick that everybody will eat” meals that most families have up their sleeve at the end of a long week.

After dinner I joined some friends online for an hour, before heading into town to meet my middle daughter from work once again. Before leaving the house I looked in on my other half, and asked if she wanted to come – to perhaps get a drink while there. And that’s how we didn’t get home until after closing time.

While sipping our drink, and talking about the week, we laughed at the teenagers in the bar – most of which we had known at the various schools our girls attended over the years. We figured we had known more than a few of them since they were in infant school. One of them couldn’t take a shot at the pool-table without shouting the F word. I wondered how proud his parents might be.

Walking to and from the pub was bitterly cold. Earlier today it tried to snow. Only a few flakes, but still exciting given that we haven’t seen any serious amount of snowfall for years.

Tomorrow we’re headed to our youngest’s school for some sort of garden tour thing. Then on Sunday it’s rugby once again. I’m not going to stress too much about not getting a chance to rest – I have a week off coming up at the end of next week. The week before Easter.

That reminds me – I need to get some Easter eggs.