Waiting for the future and this to be all over

Mon 25 – Sun 31 Jan 2021

So last week was when we hit over 100,000 dead in the UK. We are still in the phase of this pandemic where 1,000+ per day are dying. But the numbers for positive tests and admissions to hospital seem to be slowing down. Meanwhile vaccinations continue. UK daily summary dashboard can be seen here. This lockdown 3.0 is all about waiting for things to get better and planning / dreaming about when normality returns.

Overall, last week was relatively quiet for me. It’s not inevitable for waiting times to be quiet but this one definitely was. Managed to go back to doing my slow jog-runs. Also been working on job applications and watched a great webinar on moving to Spain. Caught up with a couple of friends as well. 🙂

Health and Efficiency: back to jog-runs

animation of a fat man running

In my previous blog (read it here), I recorded that I had a week without any jog-runs. First for a long time. Main problem being my dodgy knee hurting. I waited a while to let it heal but I think the problem is much longer term. TBH, my knees particularly ache when I wake up but generally gradually get better as the day passes with everyday movement.

Couldn’t be waiting for ever so out for an experimental slow jog-run on Tuesday. Took on the mantra of not too far, too fast, too soon. Cut down the distance to 2.5 km and kept the pace to just over 7 mins per km. Knees ached a bit afterwards but slowly felt better over the next few days.

Another slow jog-run on Sunday morning. Nice weather in-between rain all day on Saturday then again on Sunday afternoon. Park was quite busy with joggers and cyclists but I kept my distance. Another nice slow one over 2.5 km. 🙂

Health and Efficiency: long walks but no weight loss

As good for my knees as slow jog-runs are some good long walks. Managed to walk for about an hour and a half on both Thurs and Fri. I have noted that I have been falling short of the the daily target of 10K steps per day, as recorded on my watch. But with long walks and slow jog-runs, I’m starting to hit the 10K target again and even exceed it. 🙂

In terms of weight, a tiny increase of quarter of a pound so I class that as staying the same. Little bit of a downer after a few weeks of weight loss. But you don’t lose weight just by doing nothing and waiting. You actively have to make it happen. And my previous week, with an absence of jog-runs and long walks plus lax diet, led to staying the same.

Weight and jog-run details can be found here.

Doing an assessment or interview

My pursuit of a new way to take forward my ‘career’ has definitely stepped up. I am identifying some intriguing jobs and applying for them. It will be interesting to see how quickly (or not) I get interviews. I suspect it’s going to take a few applications and interviews for me to get into my stride.

Self-employment?

Bit of a disappointment that the expected call didn’t happen last week to discuss me going onto a self-employment scheme. I’ve got an interview next week with the scheme advisor. But I’m not sure that I’m definitely going to go into self-employment; I haven’t given up on getting a PAYE job yet. Rather I want to just bounce some ideas around regarding self-employment options. My worry is that I will be forced into it. 🙁

Personal Development: languages and tech

Carried on with my regular language learning. Still managing to do some Duolingo every day and my focus is always Greek and Russian first as they are the hardest. Though, to be honest, I haven’t done as much language learning as other weeks – looking and applying for jobs is taking up time. For same reason, my tech skills development via Free Code Camp is also slower than I would like.

Personal Development: moving abroad?

I have always wanted to live and work abroad for a bit. That not having happened is one of the regrets I have in life. As we are waiting for the new normality, I am still thinking about if I could at least spend some time each year living abroad. This would be more than just a holiday (though I’m not giving up on them).

Spanish flag

Great last week to watch a very good webinar from ‘Place in the Sun’. All about moving to Spain post- Brexit and can be seen here. Well worth a watch, it’s more difficult to move to Spain but still possible. I am always surprised how informative and easily accessible one-hour webinars can be. 🙂

Friends

Continued my policy of catching up with friends as we go on with lockdown waiting for the pandemic to be over.

Phyllis

My normal weekly catch up with Philip in Torremolinos. He is recovering well from Covid but has a dry cough that is probably going to linger for a while as a result of ‘long Covid’. Thankfully he is now able to go out so is less stir crazy from being indoors than when we last talked. Apparently their weather is lovely whereas ours is January cold, grey, rain. And the old train station entrance (pictured below) is being totally rebuilt.

Torremolinos train station

Dilhani

Then a nice catch-up with Dilhani – my old job share. She is fine and we talked about the general search for new work. Both looking for the chance to get out and about / go away somewhere. But who isn’t waiting for this at the moment?

Lee

Finally, as highlighted in last week’s blog, I had a zoom check-in with my mate Lee. Great to catch-up but I also appreciate not having to use zoom all the time like when I was employed. Lee is an app developer with his company. He is currently living in New York and I found out he is getting married – wow! Really useful to bounce some ideas around with him particularly some of my business ideas.

Family: the mums

Waiting for answers

A quick update on mine and Dave’s mum. Both have had their vaccines with no side-effects bar sore arms. A small price to pay me thinks. They are waiting for the vaccine to take effect but there is nowhere to go to anyway. Me and Dave are wondering about how social they will be once the lockdown / pandemic is over? It is a question we are all asking. Will people stay wary or will they go crazy?

Art and Culture: TV as art form

One of the ways to get through this enforced period in life’s waiting room is to enjoy the art and culture that is so freely available. Apart from continuing to catch up with my beloved soaps, two great TV experiences at the moment.

‘Survivors’

Still catching up online with this 70s post-apocalyptic classic. So wonderfully of that decade with communes, corn dollies, and lots of hair. God I would love to get my haircut at the moment 🙁 . You can really relate to how the plague survivors are trying to adapt to what life is now and the tensions between them. A great demonstration of the fragility of ‘normal’ life.

‘It’s A Sin’

Same shit different day

Watched 2nd episode on Fri night. Definitely one of the highlights of the week and something to look forward to. Very reminiscent of the clubs, flats, jobs, and politics of the 80s. I remember the AIDS period so well – the deaths and funerals but also the volunteering and activism. Good things came out of it but it was a bloody awful time for so many. 🙁

Art and Culture: European cinema

I’ve started a new good habit. Rather than letting myself wake up naturally, I am setting my alarm to wake around 7.45 and get up to watch a movie for an hour. Got through two good films last week to feed my love of European cinema and boost my language skills.

‘Le Havre’

A slightly weird choice this one. Decided I fancied practising my French. So watched this award winning comedy by cult Finnish director Ari Kaurismaki. A pleasant movie though idealistic and a bit stilted. The story of a community taking an illegal migrant to their hearts and hiding him from the police and immigration authorities. Think of it as what would happen if Ken Loach made comedy.

‘Dolor y Gloria’ (Pain and Glory)

The latest film by the brilliant Pedro Almodovar and it’s bloody good. The sympathetic story of a older, washed-up, hypochondriac film director with creative block. Lots of references to his childhood and first loves. Ultimately a film about what we all have to come to terms with as we age: the things we gained and lost, the things we did and did not do in our life.

Art and Culture: Radio 2’s musicals weekend

tunes in darkness

My favourite radio stations are Radio 1 and Radio 1 Dance particularly DJs Danny Howard and Pete Tong. Love listening to them on Fri night as a I lay in bed. And at the other end of the spectrum, I also love listening to classical music as I fall asleep.

But a complete and unplanned treat with Radio 2’s musical weekend just gone. OK, musicals can be very syrupy but there are some great musical theatre songs. This tribute to the industry was great. Loads of wonderful well known and obscure songs. Very gay but who gives a fuck – totally enjoyable. 🙂

Sustainability: frugal living and downsizing

lighter than air

As we are waiting for this all to end, so I am carrying on with my new habit of downsizing and selling stuff online. Partly to get some money. But also it is making me realise the stuff I have accumulated that I don’t need. Life in the future is going to be much lighter. 🙂

Books and Reading: no books read! 🙁

So the previous week I broke a pattern and didn’t do any jog-runs. Last week I did similar – broke the normal and didn’t finish any books. Being more active around looking for a job is reducing my time for reading. But panic not, I should get at least one finished for next week’s blog.

The Week Ahead

  • More waiting for lockdown to end and memories of the pandemic to fade. Probably going to take years in total if we are honest.
  • Catch-ups with my Job Centre Plus advisor and the self-employment programme advisor. For the latter, I need to discuss whether I’m ready to put all my eggs in that basket particularly as I’m buzzing with ideas rather than having one in particular I want to see through.
  • More work on job applications and submission of completed ones
  • Will aim to do a couple of slow jog-runs (one at least) and some long walks. Can’t just be waiting for my knees to get better through doing nothing.
  • More weight loss may come if I make it happen…
  • Must get through at least one book
  • It’s Velvet Page book club on Thurs but I haven’t read the book. Author is taking part so perhaps I should go anyway – it’s embarrassing when we have an author and a poor turnout. 🙁
  • Continued work on my personal development especially languages and tech
  • In terms of friends, my big catch-up next week is with my old colleague Sue
  • And more frugal living and downsizing while waiting for the new normality to return with its increased opportunities to spend money – not necessarily good news. 🙁

And Finally…

The reason why we are here

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