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April 2024

May 2nd, 2024 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

I had quite limited intentions for 2024 and so far, four months in, I have completely failed to do any of the things I wanted to. Mind you, it really has felt that the year hasn’t started properly anyway. I can’t explain exactly why I feel that way, but I’m sure the weather has to be a large part of that.

Having said that, things did start to look up a bit in April and I do feel a little like I am coming out of a hibernation. It even got to the point where I was able to go out on my motorbike three days in a row when it managed to not piss down with rain on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So what were the things I had intended to do?

The first one was that I was going to spend some time re-reading old favourite books, I had thought about re-reading all my Chris Brookmyre books or perhaps going through all the Robert Rankin books for the umpteenth time. By the end of April I had read 44 books in 2024, all of them books I had not read before. This was partly just catching up with the to-be-read pile of books I had on the Kindle but some of them were part of a series and I downloaded other books in the series. Last year I got into Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne books and this year I dipped my toe into the Rebus books and got hooked.

My other sort of resolution was to listen to a couple of artists that I know nothing about, specifically Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. As they are so popular I figure that they can’t be bad and maybe I am missing out on something. I know that my failure to do this owes a lot to the way I keep hoovering up vinyl at record fairs and listening to that instead. I am being good at actually listening to all the records I buy rather than just collecting for the sake of it, and some of it has been artists that, like Ed & Taylor, I just never got round to listening to before (like Focus, Wishbone Ash, Bob Seger, Robert Palmer, Al Stewart, Bruce Springsteen).

Talking of which, I did grab a lot of records this month because there were record fairs in East Grinstead and Crawley where I picked up 16 albums – 12 of them from the 1970s. I also splashed on a new record. Actually it was a pre-order so I actually splashed out in March or February, but the record arrived in April on its release day. The record was, of course, the new Pet Shop Boys record, with the bonus 12″ EP of remixed old songs. It is gorgeous.

Spending so much time reading and listening to records means that I didn’t really get round to watching much TV. In fact the only new thing I watched was really Mammoth and that was only a very short, three-episode series. Again I only watched one film, but it was a good one; In the Land of Saint and Sinners with Liam Neeson being Liam Neeson.

It must be a sign of age, but looking at the highlights of the month, one of them was a trip to the tip but this is because of what it represents; finishing off sorting out the kitchen and getting rid of a lot of the resulting junk. The house feels a lot tidier now because I also got rid of all Jayne’s motorbike parts from the living room when Frankie put them back on her bike – the wind screen, panniers, passenger seat and pegs.

The house is also better because the heating now works. We had the gas safety check during the month, after which the heating didn’t work, right at the point that the temperature really dropped. The silver lining is that our gas bill will be a lot cheaper as a result.

Although I did get out on the bike half a dozen times I got through another month without driving the car. I wasn’t even in it as a passenger for anything more than that trip to the tip. As the weather is finally turning a corner I expect to be on the bike a lot more for the spring/summer.

Nothing else to report except that I actually drank some alcohol in April – a glass of red wine with dinner two days running – and I kept up my Premium Bonds winning streak by getting a prize for the tenth month in a row, and it was the biggest one of the year at £275.

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