One of my photos

July 2023

August 1st, 2023 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

July was a month of mixed fortunes. A month of profit and pain.

After June broke my run of three months in a row of Premium Bond wins, I bounced right back in July with three wins that came to £175 in total. I was still glowing from that when I received a big gold envelope in the post that turned out to be notification of a £1000 win with the Postcode Lottery! I had won a tenner in June and considered stopping it, but never got round to it, so I feel I have been rewarded well for my procrastination. I also had a decent refund from Ovo energy who I had been running a surplus balance with, so it was a very profitable month. I celebrated by getting two new tyres for the car (which I still haven’t really driven this year), and treating our son and his new girlfriend to a meal , which cost nearly as much.

I started the month with a week’s leave. The intention was to have a few days out on the bike and flying the drone, and maybe go into Brighton to browse the vinyl shops there. The weather had other plans and when it wasn’t raining it was way too windy to go flying, until the Thursday, and this is where the pain comes in. I went down to Alfriston, a nice little run through the Sussex countryside to get there, and on arrival I promptly fell off my bike. It was only a low-speed car park incident but I must have landed badly because it hurt like a bastard.

I wasn’t going to waste the flying opportunity, so stocked up on painkillers from the village shop and went down to the riverside to do some drone flying. Our son was nearby, so came to check up on me. He offered to drive me home, but I didn’t want to leave my bike 40 miles away in a 2-hour car park for who knows how long so I rode the bike back.

Aerial view of Alfriston village

Apart from the pain, Jayne thought my shoulder looked a bit dodgy so she dragged me down to A&E the next morning, where they x-rayed me, found that I had fractured my clavicle, and sent me home with my arm in a sling. Since my job mostly involves using a keyboard and mouse, that was me off work for a few more weeks.

Being unable to drive or ride, and with it pissing down half the time anyway, I didn’t really get to go anywhere much during July. I did get to the Haywards Heath record fair before the Alfriston incident. It was a bit smaller scale than the others I have been to, but I did pick up five albums, one of them a double, for (I think) £20. Later in the month I had to sweet talk Jayne to take me to the East Grinstead and Crawley record fairs before her afternoon shift, where I picked up 14 albums, two of them doubles. That cost me £70 all together, but that’s nothing to a lottery winner.

It feels a bit excessive to get 19 albums, including 3 doubles, in a month, but I did listen to all of them during the month, thanks to my inability to do much else. It wasn’t all prog rock, but quite a lot of it was.

Apart from all that listening, I also watched a lot of TV and read a lot. I watched the last three seasons of Bosch and the final season of Jack Ryan on Amazon, and season 1 and part 1 of season 2 of The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix, followed by Good Omens 2 on Amazon. I also watched a couple of films on Netflix and the new(ish) remaster of Star Trek The Motion Picture on 4K blu ray. I had been looking forward to watching that, but even with the tarting up, the special effects were a lot less overwhelming than I remember from seeing it in the cinema in Basildon. The sound was impressive though.

With all that time on my hands I found myself reading 17 books. Admittedly, one of them was a very, very slim volume by John Grindrod, but then another was a real doorstop of a history of Britain in the 1990s. Also two of them were fairly chunky books in the Rotherweird trilogy, which I have to admit that I found quite a struggle to get through – so many characters to keep up with! Also, six of the books were Rivers of London graphic novels.

By the end of the month I had bought and listened to a lot of LPs, read a lot of books, binge-watched a lot of TV and got completely caught up with my backlog of podcasts, and managed about 100 miles on the bike before getting crocked, so not a bad month really.

Drone footage from Alfriston – edited

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