One of my photos

Not shopping locally

March 8th, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life

The other day I realised that my slippers were falling apart. With all this working from home, combined with trying to stay in the warm as much as possible means that I get a lot more use out of slippers than in the past.

After work yesterday I decided to go out and buy some new slippers and I visited three shops within walking distance: TK Maxx, Next and Sainsburys but came home empty handed. In the whole of Sainsburys’ clothes section there were just two pairs of slippers, one in size 7 and the other size 12, so no use for my size 9 feet. TK Maxx was no better and Next was even worse.

So I returned home and ordered a pair of slippers online for delivery today, then thought for a while about cause and effect. Are the shops’ inventories so poor because so many people are getting everything online or are people going online because the choice in the shops is so poor? Or is it a bit of both in a constant, escalating feedback loop? Or is it just bad weather in Morocco like it is for tomatoes? (Allegedly. Nothing to do with Brexit obviously)

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February 2023

March 3rd, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life

Another month where I didn’t do a lot or go out much – too bloody cold for me!

I did actually drive the car for the first time in 2023 – only for about a mile to pick Jayne up from work, but it still thwarted my ambition to go a couple of whole months without driving. I did manage to get out on the bike a couple of times and not just around the block a few times to keep the battery charged up. I went over to East Grinstead for a record fair and also went to Guildford for a hospital appointment.

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Just a test

March 3rd, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Technology

I did that thing you should never do the other day. I tried to fix a trivial error by tweaking settings a bit, without backing the site up first and broke it. At my age I should know better. Broke it to the extent that I had to ask for everything to be restored from the host’s security archives. And then tech support said they didn’t need to do it as everything looked to be loading OK now.

Maybe the manual hacking around in the database that I did (knowing it would all be over-written) actually fixed it after all? No idea, but this is just to see if posting works OK and the original trivial problem has gone away too.

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Paranoia time again

February 6th, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life

Tomorrow I have my regular three-monthly-ish post-cancer outpatients appointment – the first one in almost two years that will be face-to-face rather than on the phone. Back in September I had an annual CT scan to make sure everything is still OK and I have spent the last three or four months happy because I hadn’t heard anything from anybody. I always figure that if they found anything nasty they would get in touch and not wait until the next regular appointment. Basically I work on the assumption that no news is good news.

This morning I had a call asking where I had the scan done because they haven’t seen the results. This is not entirely surprising because it happened before and is a consequence of me electing to get the scans done at my local hospital and not go all the way to Guildford for it. The trouble is that it is a different trust and they don’t seem to do anything with the results pro-actively.

Cue 24 hours of panic. I am actually 99.9% confident that it will be all clear again, but somehow that 0.1% manages to take hold of the pessimistic part of my brain, probably because the whole sequence of chemotherapy, operations and recovery was so traumatic that any doubt triggers a sort of PTSD. I am seriously thinking that next year I will make the one-hour journey to Guildford for a five-minute scan just to avoid all this stress.

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Ten years making all the difference

February 5th, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Music

I was looking at some of the releases over at SuperDeluxeEdition today, and two in particular caught my eye. One was the 50th anniversary special edition reissue of Elton John’s Honky Chateau, and the other was the 40th anniversary reissue of OMD’s Dazzle Ships.

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January 2023

February 1st, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life

This year I have been trying to keep track of what I am up to. Not keeping a diary as such, just noting down various stuff. The reason is that when it comes to the end of a year I look back and can’t remember much of anything.

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All wrapped up

January 14th, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Music

I have inadvertently become one of those people who keep their vinyl LPs in plastic sleeves.

This is not because I am precious about my small collection. I have always looked after records, or tried to, but have never been distraught if the sleeves got a bit tatty. Admittedly vinyl costs so much now that I can better understand and sympathise with the idea of keeping the sleeves in as near mint condition as possible, but I am really trying to not become obsessive about it.

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All dressed up…

January 11th, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life

…and nowhere to go! One of my Christmas presents from Jayne was a nice pair of chunky motorbike boots. A belated present to myself was a new helmet. I decided to treat myself for a few reasons.

Firstly, my old helmet is getting a bit loose. It would appear that my head has shrunk a bit since I got it, which sounds unlikely but I have lost weight everywhere else, so why not?

Secondly, Jayne got a new helmet last year and have been quite jealous of it. Hers is a Shark modular helmet which has a clever design that means it can be worn with the chin guard raised so that it looks and feels more like an open faced helmet, which is great for little trips around town in the summer.

Thirdly, I came into the possession of a new Bluetooth intercom set during the year. Because it attaches to a helmet in a fairly permanent way I didn’t want to fix it to my current lid which is too small and also old and due a replacement anyway.

All of which were good excuses to get the new Shark helmet, which is a slight improvement on Jayne’s.

So. New boots, new helmet, new intercom, and the new heated gloves I got for my birthday so all fixed to go out riding except that the weather is absolutely rotten. By the time I finish work it is dark and in any case it is pissing down all the time. If I was a motorbike commuter then I would put up with it, but as it is just for enjoyment I won’t. There is nothing enjoyable about going out in the rain, and one of the reasons I want to go out is to get away from the Gatwick restricted area so I can fly my drone, and you certainly don’t want to do that in bad weather.

In the meantime I will just stay in and keep an eye on the forecasts I suppose.

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2022 – Dirty Rat

January 11th, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Music

First things first. I realise that I have started to get carried away. Having created a playlist with one track per year of my life about 5 years ago (I think) I subsequently decided to write a little post about each track but I have ended up writing about everything else in the year and it has all turned into a bit of a monster, but at least it keeps me out of trouble. Anyway, this is 2022, the year I turned 60, which is not something I really expected to do when I was 57.

I’ll be honest, I was expecting more from 2022. There was a lot of good stuff to listen to, its just that I thought that with life returning to more like normal there would be more. Looking back at what was released in the year, and what I was playing, I can see a lot that I really liked and can’t work out why I am not feeling more excited. Perhaps its an age thing; more on that later.

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A good year for the roses

January 2nd, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life

This year has not seen the usual proliferation of huge tubs of chocolate. Neither of us can really eat much chocolate without suffering from dumping syndrome, so it has been best to not have too much temptation.

Over the years there has been a lot of heated debate in the family about which selection tubs are the best. Is it Celebrations or Heroes? One thing the kids are all in agreement about is that Quality Street is for old people, and Roses even more so.

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