Questionable Decisions.

A few things either aren’t going to plan or are taking too long, at the moment.

I got that sax the had been “recently serviced” from Wales,and I’ve had to immediately put it in for a £350 complete overhaul. Not only the expense, but because of the Covid backlog he said it would be 3 to 4 weeks. It’s been a fortnight and I’m sick of waiting. I was reminded of Professor Henry Higgins’ observation on the Welsh (from Pygmalion/ My Fair Lady)

Another poor decision was booking a week off work. I thought as Wendy was off I might as well take some of the holidays I’ve accrued and we could have some time together. Then, at the last minute I thought we could book a mini break. Ha! I’d booked the Bank Holiday Monday off and then the kids were off on holidays. The UK is on the international Lepers List so everyone has to holiday over here. Everywhere wanted stupid money and the motorways are clogged. Idiot. Ah well, we did a lot of local day trips, Arley Hall and that deer place and such.

I got some gardening inspiration from Arley. I’ve never like rhododendrons, big, ugly, waxy leaved bushes with blousey purple flowers. We went about a week or so after the prime display, I’m guessing, but every bush was festooned with flowers. And they were all in the shade of the trees. Ah, the penny drops! Then we saw some azaleas. Smaller leaves, smaller bush, masses of flower sized flowers, still in the shade, and massively scented. Perfect for the shady spot at the top of the garden.

They didn’t sell them at the garden shop at Arley so I had to track them down and order off the internet. They like ericaceous soil so I’ve prepared a hole, now waiting impatiently, again.

Also waiting on my hostas. I bought a batch of 10 roots, supposed to be of named varieties. they grow fairly large so I’m going to have to rearrange the ones I want to keep when I know which is which. But so far the foliage looks pretty much the same. Either solid green, or a contrasting edge. No sign of the two for which I bought the collection. Hurry up! I want to get everything dug into it’s final position.

Something else is Boris. I was looking down the garden a few days ago when I saw something moving about. It was a dirty great rat! I wasn’t bothered, just a big mouse with bad PR as far as I was concerned. Then Wendy saw me watching it and freaked out. She was convinced it was going to scale the wall, leap in through the open window and scurry across her face while she slept, just for spite. I tried to talk her down, but she was adamant they are evil vermin. I looked them up and apparently they carry diseases, some of which are lethal to humans. Oh, fair enough. Obviously I called him Boris. I did what it said on Gardener’s World, boarded up the under shed access and removed the water bowl I leave out for the birds and such. He didn’t take the hint as I saw him the next day.

For Wendy’s peace of mind and the common good, it’s bye bye Boris.

I got a natty air rifle and practiced my marksmanship.

Then got a flashback to ‘Nam (you weren’t there, man!)

And what do you know? I’ve not seen hide nor hair of Boris since! Typical! I’ve told Wendy to make a sound like a wounded carrot to lure him in, but nada. Ah well, Wendy’s calmed down, and if he returns it will go poorly for him. And, I forgot to say, the air rifle is the cheapest one I could find that was full power. The fact that it looks cool is a bonus. Times have changed, when I was a kid you could buy an air rifle from a catalogue, carry it around on your back, shoot your friends, and no questions were asked. Now you have to buy it in person, with ID, (in Scotland you need a firearms certificate!) and if you take it down the canal, for instance, it’s “armed trespass” and you can get five years, same as with a real firearm. I’m not sure if it’s an over-reaction to the terrorist threat or they are just legislating against me and my childhood mates.

The other thing that is not going well is my training. Because my foot still reacts badly to prolonged use I’ve not been able to do any sustained endurance training. My 24 hour race is in less than a month. I did another 33 mile run yesterday, trying a few new things. I set out to do a 12 hour session. I thought I’d see how far I could get. The idea was to do the 9 minutes run, 1 minute walk, until I could no longer sustain it, then lower the ratio until I was just power walking. I came into the house for a pit stop at 33 miles and my foot was misery. I can’t train to get the fitness for the big race, so I’m basically going as I am. It seemed like I would be suffering and causing damage for no good reason, I might as well save it for the day. On the bright side, I managed to sleep with it and today it seems fairly useable. Surprised at both.

Get that out of the way on the 3rd- 4th of July, then I’ve only got two marathons and a half (fun run, yay!) until the end of the season. Then I’m going to see the physio and I’ll be resting my foot completely for as long as it takes. They say up to 9 months. Even if it’s a year, it’s got to be done if I want to achieve my goals.

That is when the sax will really come in. I’m going to need to do something or I’ll go mad.

In positive news, Wendy’s been really chipper this week. She says she’s less stressed when I’m around, but hopefully she can carry on with it when I go back to work. Also she got her insurance renewal letter. I was expecting it to go to over a grand, but, even taking account of the bump, it’s only gone up by £50. If you stay with the same insurer the quote goes up by at least that much without a bump. That is an excellent result.

I’ve been trying to up my money the last few weeks, now Wendy is going on to half pay. I didn’t know if this job, being agency, would be any good if I wanted to make serious money. The first week I got 5 shifts, I’ve just had 6 days paid holiday, and next week I’ve got all 6 days (so far). If that’s an indication, I am never leaving this job. 5 and 6 shifts, at £18 per hour, known start and finish time, and on my doorstep. I can’t see me beating that.

Something weird has been happening lately on the motorbike front. They say that my condition gets less the older you get. One of the symptoms is reckless thrill seeking, oblivious to the danger. Just recently I’ve started thinking “If this goes wrong I’m going to die. Or get seriously smashed up… and I don’t want to.”

That’s new and horrible. Previously I’ve gone in knowing I either live or die and I’ve been OK with either. It’s a total buzzkill. I’m actually getting scared. I don’t care for it. Wendy reckons I’m probably at the level of a normal reckless teenager now. It sucks.

I have even been entertaining thoughts of getting a midlife (late, I know) crisis car instead. My last couple of long rides have felt like work. Looking far into the distance, tracking every other vehicle, leaving safe braking distances, etc. There’s no fun in that. And if I’m getting too old and scared to enjoy the adrenaline parts…

I’m not rushing into any decisions. I don’t need motor transport for work so a bike I don’t use is no different than a car I don’t use. It’s just weird that I should even contemplate the possibility.

Forgot to say, Wendy, Lisa and I are all jabbed up, with zero side effects from the second jab. And improved wifi. So it’s all good.

Anyway, a few pics and I’m done.

The other Boris the Rat tried to distract from his spin doctor revealing that he let tens of thousands of people die unnecessarily by quickly getting married. Again. His fourth time. In a Catholic church, which needs special dispensation from the Pope. And apparently, if Bozo has returned to Catholicism he is banned from office under some old law.

An astounding bit of wood carving

An impressive painting

A great shot

And random stuff.

Right, out of here.