Day 476 – Flip side

I – quite reasonably – wrote this post the other day, lamenting the state of… well… all of this stuff [gestures wildly]. And while some of that stuff is still in a thoroughly lamentable state, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in a couple of cases.

The biggie: 25,000 troops moving in to nip what looks like an attempted insurrection in the bud. (A bud that has cost billions, killed hundreds and cost the livelihoods of tens of thousands, but still something of a bud.) We still need to address the failure of government intelligence though. There were clues that weren’t difficult to spot:

Away from the real drama… the gutter/waterproofing team turned up out of the blue this afternoon and they’re busy repairing all the problems on the roof. That means that the ceiling guys can finish up with their work over the next day or so, and that means that we’ll be able to have a nice warm fire at some point real soon now.

Joy. Rapture. Small wins.

In other news, we are now the parents of two teenagers. Gone are the days of having “kids”: they’re young adults now. So Happy Birthday, Scoop! (but God, I feel old).

Thankfully, even that has a silver lining: I’m now old enough to register for my vaccination, and I nearly even got it today, before I was turned away by a lazy jobsworth at the local vaccination centre. I wasn’t old enough for them to jab today, he said. It wasn’t like they were jabbing anyone else though: the place was empty. Sure they could have slipped a quick needle into my upper arm.

But no.

And so it’s either an appointment on Monday (but we’ve heard bad things about the place – queuez for dayz, even with an appointment) or on Thursday (back with the jobsworth) for us. But that’s still much earlier than we expected.

Some improvement in my mood. Albeit from a very (very) low base.

Day 326 – Broken, but we’re getting there

I warned you here that things were going to be a bit short and sketchy on the blog for the foreseeable future, and I think I’ve proven myself correct several times over already.

Move news: we’re in, but we are fully knackered. Long days full of hard work, with daily step counts into the 20,000s, and nights disturbed by a still skittish beagle.

We’ll get there. Well, we are there. I’m literally in my new study, albeit that there are still boxes everywhere, there are no curtains and the walls are still very, very peach.

But today, I unpacked several (or more) boxes elsewhere, sorted the wine and spirits out, and set up the Playstation for the kids.

And right now, I think I’m going to end this post and drill a hole in my desk. Because I fancy drilling a hole in my desk and as soon as I stop working, I’ll probably fall asleep.

Day 243 – Continuing the positivity

After yesterday’s minor – but important – successes, I had a quick gander over at Brian Micklethwait’s New Blog, as I do several (or more) times each week.

Says Brian:

I’ve been feeling down in the dumps lately, and I came to realise that the permanent photo on my computer wasn’t helping. It was of a boarded up house in Brittany, and it was there because that seemed appropriate for the times we are all trying to live past. But, because it was so appropriate it was also deeply depressing, just like the times we are all trying to live past, and it was making those times, for me, even worse.

I’m with you, Brian. I think we all are. 2020 has been an absolute slog.
We shouldn’t underestimate the toll that it has taken on us: we all deserve some recognition for making it through the last few months.

Brian has taken steps to cheer up his background and bring some additional inspiration into his daily life by selecting this photo of the Tate Modern from his archives and setting it as his desktop background:

There is no hidden meaning here. That’s a full-on promise in neon lights (or, given the colour, more likely Xenon or an Argon/Mercury mix, but those technicalities shouldn’t distract from the clear mantra). Yes:


Brian’s post made me look at my desktop background too. And yes, I had – subconsciously, I think – done exactly the same thing as he had, taking this photo of a typical scene in the Tankwa Karoo and then desaturating it to give me this far more sombre image, which seemed somehow more appropriate and which has been sitting as my backdrop for the past few months.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. But it doesn’t promote happiness, and having read Brian’s post, I decided to find an image that would. I would want a landscapey photo for my desktop background, nothing too busy.
Trouble is, I seem to have a lot of landscapey, not too busy photos that don’t quite fit that bill:


I especially like that third one, but it’s not very happy happy joy joy, is it?

Yeah, I have a lot of photos, but very few of them are suitable for a (positively) inspiring desktop.

I’ve ended up going with this one:

OK, I see the rough seas and the dark clouds, but I also see the sunshine and I see hope.

And I see Suiderstrand, which always makes me happier.


Right? Right.