Category Archives: Site updates

Advancing at rest

To my shame, I haven’t read any actual printed books during my time off

I should have posted here over the past week, since I had plenty of spare time, but somehow it’s just so much effort to write something coherent in this blog nowadays… but it’s worth saying that I’ve at least had a nice ten-day rest from my busy and stressful job, and have improved to the point that I am eager to get back to work!

I was originally going to take the Thursday before Easter off, to let British Gas in (just for an annual checkup, nothing else had gone wrong!), but one of my housemates was in that day instead, so I worked right up to the day before Good Friday; it worked out fine, because I was better off having all of the week following Easter Sunday off instead — the Northern Line was all but closed over the Easter weekend, with further organised chaos planned for the Tuesday and Wednesday (and even that went wrong — I wouldn’t have been able to commute on Tuesday morning at all!), and I had to be in on Friday morning to let in someone from Thames Water to examine our pipes (another general checkup, no problems reported).

The bad news is that I’ve had no useful information from the NHS as yet — absolutely no indication of when my surgery will be taking place (the silver lining being that at least they hadn’t arranged one that I’d missed due to lack of communication, so I don’t owe any fines), and just the same ol’ popping pills to keep the static out of my brain — although I may still need to increase my daily dosage, as I still get dizzy spells now and then, albeit seldom as bad as before (though my mother’s looking into CBD oil).

The good news, however, is that, looking back over my diary from the mid-noughties, when I first came to London, I’ve come to realise I was a lot unhealthier back then than I am now — indeed, aside from an uncanny no-colds period in late 2004 to mid-2005, I seemed to be getting sick literally every other week, to say nothing of never getting enough sleep!  Perhaps whatever I have now has been growing in my grey matter since I first came to the Smoke: if this is the case, it’s taken a long time for my symptoms to become this bad, which is a good sign that it’s not a malignant tumour (and thus not cancerous), and that its removal will restore me to good health, once I recuperate from the surgery.

I will not be calling him “Capital P” again, at least not as long as he behaves himself!

There’s been other good and bad news concerning this household: although one of my housemates is moving out, the one who wants to take over her room (which is larger than his) is willing to find a replacement, as he wants to take her room and get a new housemate for his (small) room… and believe it or not, but the man he replaced — the one I’ve called “drummer-trucker” in this blog — is coming back to the Finchley area!  Don’t worry, he’s been restored to his cheerful, amiable old self, with no trace of the drunk, bullying jerk he was being before, especially in 2017.

(Perhaps leaving London for several months fixed his brain?  Do I need to do the same?)

And finally, our landlady might actually be about to do some repairs in our house, at long last: not just the the upstairs bathroom, but the big, gaping hole in the kitchen wall left by British Gas just before Christmas 2016, which oddly seemed to precipitate my (and “drummer-trucker’s” mental issues!  And, joy of joys, she’s willing to let me buy a new mattress for this room, to replace the two thin, uncomfortable mattresses I’ve had to use since moving in here, six years ago (and they weren’t only two years old in February 2012, so I’d say they’re well past the widely-held eight-year usage limit, possibly by a decade or two).

Don’t worry, I’ll try to write more frequently in this blog over the coming weeks: not just the posts I’ve planned regarding “cool things” (like Game of Thrones, and a band I got back into recently), but also, hopefully, good news concerning my health.  Perhaps someone in the NHS will finally be able to arrange my surgery, so I can endure that and get my head together (even if it means having to recuperate in dull old Worthing), and perhaps CBD oil will work better than levetiracetam in terms of repressing my mild epileptic dizzy spells, though I’ll need to check with my neurologist first.

For now, I need to get a good night’s sleep so I’m fully rested and ready to return to work tomorrow morning, and as enthusiastic as ever when it comes to fixing people’s computers!

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A forewarning

M.C. Hammer in “U Can’t Touch This”, because, er, I couldn’t find a better picture to use

Yes, sorry, I haven’t posted in over a week… and I’m unlikely to be posting during the coming week, due to having foolishly arranged something for every day.  Indeed, Wednesday will be my least busy evening, and that involves visiting the dentist!  (Or as I call the role, “tooth-quack”…)  Even on Good Friday I’ll be seeing my personal trainer during the day, and (hopefully) going on a date in the evening… and this’ll be “date no.3”, so you never know, I may have good news to report during the Easter Weekend, when I’ll be writing from my folks’ home in Worthing!

What other updates can I give, other than the prospect of a love life (and it is only a prospect, as one thing I can make clear is that she isn’t “the one”, but nonetheless I’ll take things as far as I can)?  Well, I have new glasses for the first time since 2011 (so another legacy of that year is gone), but on my way to pick them up, thanks to the Sun (a welcome return to British skies) reflecting off my phone screen, I didn’t realise it wasn’t turned off and so accidentally switched playlists when I was less than 200 songs away from completing another general run-through of all my songs, which I could have finished just in time for Easter.  I reacted to the Universe screwing me over this way by, inevitably, putting Gwar on rotation again (which reminds me, must get Beyond Hell at some point).  Perhaps I’ll write about OCD this weekend, and how I need things to be “just so”… mind you, anyone who saw my room, especially the state it’s in during my current move-around, would imagine I can’t even spell OCD!

Oh, and while my weight remains significantly above 13 stone, despite my best efforts, it may well be muscle mass, as I’m eating lots of protein and my strength keeps increasing, much to my personal trainer’s amazement (not unlike Bruce Willis in Unbreakable)… did I mention my maternal grandfather was the son of a travelling strongman?  Well, guess who British Pathé! just added to YouTube today… this might be me in the future!

And we’re back

That’s right, folks, I’m back in London, and our Internet connection has been restored by Virgin Media, in an operation so quick that it could have been done at any time over the past two weeks.  No offence to the two guys who carried it out, though, as it’s not up to them; I even offered them a cuppa (that’s “cup of tea”, for any non-Limeys reading), but they declined.  So now I can post stuff online from my own computer again without having to resort to a dongle (ooh, Matron!).

In fact, I might just take the night off — I’ve got exciting (ahem) meetup groups planned for all next week, and I’ll see if “best mate” wants to hang out, but right now, I feel like having pizza for dinner tonight (after some extensive exercise, of course), rather than going out to a drinks event arranged by a lady who runs a dating site who asked me out earlier this year (no chemistry, so we didn’t continue dating).  I played Call of Duty: Black Ops II while I was offline last month, so it seems fitting to play it properly online now and get all those Steam achievements.

I expect my general laziness and introvercy to continue during the weekend, which means I’ll have time to catch up on posting here.  Yes, instead of interacting with actual people, I’ll be spewing forth mountains of drivel at a few Internet users who might not even read it!  I’ll also be able to research cloning my Windows 7 installation to a newer, bigger hard drive I bought just before we were cut off the Internet, an operation I’d planned for the Bank Holiday weekend but couldn’t do for obvious reasons.  However, since I’m climbing on Monday after work, I’ll see about climbing on Saturday as well (at the Castle’s Session), so don’t fear for my physical health.  I climbed twice with my mother during my self-imposed exile in Worthing, how’s that?

And people keep telling me I look great… well, unfortunately it’s just blokes who have said it so far, but I’m hoping that’s because I have more male acquaintances at the moment, and not because I’m becoming more attractive in a homosexual rather than heterosexual sense!  Or, that the women I encounter are too embarrassed to compliment my appearance, because they’re English and therefore annoyingly reticent (my mother is an exception to this, but doesn’t count anyway because she’s my mother and thus required by law to say nice things about me!).

(Just kidding, Mumsy…)

Oh well, back to work on Monday… which reminds me: I got the train back to London last night (worrying that the guy who cut us off might not have waited in for the Virgin Media engineers — unnecessarily, as it happened), and as I got off the Northern Line here at Finchley Central, I saw a sign apologising for the terrible service on Thursday morning.  Hmm, looks like I was lucky taking this week off after all — the morning of 12th August (which was just before I’d booked a day off to see the quack) was bad enough!

Surrounded by idiots

Yes, this entry is rather later than I intended, but with good reason: when I came back from Worthing two weekends ago, I found that one of my housemates had cut us off the Internet — literally, with a hedge trimmer (his response: “oh, sorry”).  We thought we’d have an inconvenient few days before Virgin Media could splice in a new cable, but on Thursday just gone, we were informed that it would be another two weeks before someone would come to dig up our garden so that the entire length of cable could be replaced.

As a result, I’ve had to study IT at work after hours, and console myself during the long weekend (when I wasn’t visiting “female best friend” in Sheffield for her housewarming) by, er, playing games, both with “Call of…”  in the title (Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is actually really good, and helps me remember the face of my father…).  However, I’ve also made a couple of purchases from 3 (Three): a new mobile PAYG SIM, with dirt-cheap Internet access (compared to my ageing Tesco Mobile account), so I can post inane drivel on Facebook at any time instead of only when I’m at home; and a USB dongle (ooh, Matron!) to grant me access on this computer for basic tasks like e-mails and, well, this inane drivel.

Unfortunately, in the latter case I made a critical mistake: I lent it to my housemate (not the guy who cut us off, but the guy who is now our de facto head of household), who managed to use up almost all of the original 1GB allowance in the space of an hour, after I’d used up a mere 60MB!  So tonight I tried to put more allowance on; my debit card didn’t seem to work (or else 3’s website is broken), and my credit card took so long to work that it looked like it hadn’t, as even though they said I had another 1024MB allowance, they were still redirecting me to their walled garden when I tried to go to websites!

But all that aside, here I am now.  I can’t use this thing to do my online studying, of course, so I’ll be going back to Worthing on Friday to spend the week in the bosom of my family, revising IT and very likely going climbing with Mumsy more than once (I’m sure she’ll be delighted if I play Gwar for her in the car again!).

Want to know the worst part?  The annoying woman at work is taking next week off as well, so I’ll be missing a chance to work in an office from which she is absent.  Argh!  Oh well, at least I was able to enjoy a week without her earlier this month (and bought doughnuts for the office by way of celebration… well, the official story is that we’re so miserable without her that we need cheering up, the unofficial story is that I don’t want her eating them all, and the true story is that I don’t want her coming over to thank me for buying them!).

Anyway, when I come back to London on 6th September, oh boy, Virgin Media had better have sorted us out, or I’m going to be incandescent with rage!  But if not, I’m going to make up for lost time by signing up to all sorts of meetup groups, something I’ve not been able to do without a working Internet connection…