Saturday, 25 June 2016

Saturday

That was the week that wasn’t. I’m incredibly expressed and angry about the Brexit vote. It’s brought out the worst in so many people. It’s a terrible day for Britain. Not just because of what we’ve lost, what we’ve wasted and what we’ve thrown away - but because of the harm it’s going to do long term. But also - it’s a triumph of stupid, lies, bigotry, small mindedness and incompetence. Neither party can come out of this well - they are both as culpable as the other. Obviously, the world isn’t going to end - but it’s going to be a worse place and many people, mostly the young, are going to lose so much.

I’ve already lost work now - people like me at the end of the food chain are the ones who will suffer most. I know a lot of people who have jobs that are directly connected to Europe - not sure how they must be feeling right now.

In an attempt to get away from it all - I went to the cinema yesterday - I watched the new ‘Independence Day’ film - for a laugh. It was probably the worst film I have ever seen. I was incredibly close to walking out. Total garbage. A lot of money wasted on a poorly conceived, badly written, indifferently acted and clumsily crafted mess. Don’t bother.

Worked quite hard this week, lots of new work but mostly very poorly paid despite being complicated and difficult. It’s an uphill struggle - made worse by Brexit. I need to think very carefully about what’s going to happen next.

I have an uncle who is very ill and apparently they have decided to withdraw his medication, so it’s only a matter of time. He’s had a full and active life - but it’s still sad.

I have some invoices out that may be enough to cover some urged bills and pay for the garden fences. That would make a huge difference to my quality of life. Still no electricity downstairs at the back of the house - I’m at a loss there. I have quite a lot to do this week so it’s gone onto the back burner.


I threw caution to the wind and bought myself a ticket to see John Grant next month as a birthday present to myself. I’m hoping it’s as good as people tell me - I can’t bear any more personal disappointments.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Post number 2

I’m doing my best to make up for time.

I had Couscous with my dinner. No idea why - utterly pointless - something that’s probably never been seen in the same room as dark matter or ectoplasm.

A client has booked me for a small project next week that will be cancelled if we vote to leave Europe. It’s based in Italy - I don’t blame them, they are terrified it’s all going to go wrong. More of the same will follow, I’m sure.

Couple of other bits of potential work turned up this week - I should be happy about it. I’m mostly paid up with my bills, just the council tax and inland revenue to go - and waiting for a revised Electricity bill.

Small dog pissed in the house twice during the 4 hours I was in the studio and the 2 hours I was at home. The dining room floorboards are permanently wet. I despair.

One of my clients is in Las Vegas at a trade fair - he’s staying in Nicholas Cage’s house - because it’s cheaper to rent than a hotel (300 dollars per night) It’s a 3 bed bungalow with a pool very close to The Strip - they are loving it. I also realised in a stunning lightbulb moment that a friends dad is Windsor Davies. Seriously. Windsor Fucking Davies. You couldn’t make it up (he’s looking good!)

I’ve been really run down for a couple of days and the warmer weather isn’t doing me any favours, I need a break - I’m planning on taking Friday off to deal with stuff at home - although I have already been asked to go to a lunch (I’m not paying). Among the many jobs that need doing - I have to use caustic soda to clear the green slime and algae that has covered the patio and back of the house over the damp few months we’ve just had - it’s bright green out there.


Yes, I'm still here

I actually got locked out of my own blog because of the hiatus - and had to go through security.

I've had a lot on, Mostly stuff like work, trying to get work, dealing with people not paying their bills, dealing with people who think I work for free, dealing with my bank and mortgage company and my falling down house.

I’ve been doing a few night as a barman or doorman - £8ph - it’s fine and I’m working for people I know, more as a favour than anything - but it makes me tired and I’d forgotten how much I hate drunks.

I’ve also been trying not to get dragged into other people’s politics and drama - mostly with little success.

I have almost no electricity downstairs, there is something very wrong with the power supply to my kitchen and dining room - so I’ve turned it off and am waiting until I have time to deal with it.

The small incontinent dog is now pissing in the house 5 or 6 tines a day, it’s really wearing me out.

I’ve managed to pay off the small bank loan I took out last year when I was ill - and now I only have my new, larger bank loan, my council tax bill and everything else to worry about.

Work is OK - plenty coming in, all difficult, all badly paid - nowhere near enough to get me straight again.

The house is falling down, I was going to work at home today, but I couldn’t bear to be in there any longer.

The whole farce around Brexit is really stressing me out - I countered by getting the local Labour party to deliver a large core ‘IN’ sign to my house. I can see myself staying up all night on Thursday to watch the horror unfold.

I still have almost no short term memory - which is one of the main reasons I find this place much harder than I used to. I can just about manage work and keeping the house going - anything else is surplus to requirements. I should really get back into the habit of being here every morning.

The weather is a bit rubbish - but the garden likes it - I still have not been able to afford to replace the fences - and it likes being left alone - so no dogs means it’s looking lush - as you can see.


Monday, 30 May 2016

Bank Holiday Monday

I spent Friday stripping the plasterboard from the kitchen, and then stripping some copper pipes in anticipation of re-plumbing. I was going to complete the job over the weekend, and then I went looking for my tools - eventually managing to work out that I actually took them to a friends house to fix his sink a couple of days before my accident last year - so they must still be there. Much to my amazement - none of the kitchen walls are damp. This really cheered me up. I’ll sort my tools out and pickup where I left of last week.

I did some gardening instead - cleaned up a lot of rubbish ad have now filled 2 compost bins - hopefully the warm weather will help them rot down a bit.

Much of the bank holiday has been spent in front of a computer - working at my own pace. I have made multiple changes to my website, that first line of the first paragraph is still causing me grief.

One of my clients told me off for undercharging and made me increase my invoice. That never happens. In truth - I’m so battered by this last year that I’ve become used to undervaluing myself and get embarrassed to charge at all. This is not healthy.

I had a remarkably uncomfortable conversation with my bank on Friday - more of that next week - depending on how things pan out. Next week looks ‘ugly’ already.

I watched ‘The End Of The affair’ yesterday. I’ve seen it before. It’s a great film, with great performances - from a great book. I’m about as committed an atheist as it’s possible to be - but this one always gets me every time. It’s remarkably moving. I’m overcompensating now by watching Flash Gordon.

I’ve grown a beard - out of sheer laziness.

Next week I have to do something incredibly complicated and academically challenging - that is supposed to end up looking pretty and easy - I like stuff like that. I also managed to get two incredibly easy looking but fiendishly difficult pictograms to work this week - both needed to be re-drawn dozens of times. I’ve still got it.

An old friend from college has become a father again. Several of my friends have recently become parents again - as I tumble towards 50, it’s worth reminding myself that I still have some life left - I’m potentially only half way through my working life. 

Apparently - last night the whole of central Hastings was filled to the brim with drunks and party people. I’m increasingly glad I live in the boondocks.

We have a new person jining the studio next week, I’m in two minds about them. We are also about to have a bit revamp - new tables have apparently been purchased already.

The giant date palm I was given isn’t looking too happy at the moment - but the one IO already had that I get from nothing is flowering.


As I’m still cooker less - I made a huge vegetarian sausage casserole last week that lasted 3 days and was delicious (slow cooker) and today I made an equally huge vegetable madras - I’m really looking forward to it - just about to pop to the shop for some Nan bread.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Another week

I went to see Jeremy Corbyn earlier this week at an event / rally / whatever in Hastings. There were about 2000 people there - none of whom needed to be convinced that he walked on water. To be fair - he’s much better in real life than on the telly - like Miliband and Brown before him. It was obvious that he had already given one major speech earlier in the day - he was quite tired and waffled a bit - and he went over all the familiar themes - mostly Europe. On the stage before him was a young woman who is the VP of the NUS. She was quite fantastic - I wish he had been more like her.

This week has been quite rubbish  - work wise it’s been a political and practical nightmare. I’ve just spent all my time running around after other people - most of that time wasted. These is no such thing as professional courtesy any more - it’s all a waste of time. This is quickly descending into the worst year of my life - only about 7 weeks left until my birthday and sometimes I wonder if I can make it that far. Despite the fact I’m working really hard there is no real money coming in and nothing but bills piling up - I’m over my limit on my current account - partly because it cost me so much to travel into Brighton last week early in the morning to work - and countless other costs. I had forgotten my Labour party membership - £60 - it made me overdrawn and I discovered today it has cost me about £40 so far in daily charges. I spoke to someone at my bank today because it’s the end of the month and I have standing orders - my mortgage, which I’m paying later in the month - and the final payment on my small bank loan - which I managed to pay by begging for a very small increase to my overdraft - to exactly cover the cost - it will then be reduced back down automatically. The bank are being very anal with me. Literally talking to me about £5 at a time. I’m owed roughly £3.5k at the moment - I have a feeling I won’t get a big part of that - about £900 is money I was due to be paid for work I did last May. I am having a ‘meeting’ with them next week. I doubt I’ll end up with half of that. I have one large piece of work on at the moment that is actually very difficult - much harder than the client realised, I won’t get paid for working so hard to fix it.

I worked at home today and achieved hardly anything - I’m really stressed out and wired, I can’t concentrate properly. Everything I do, I mess up. I even forgot to put the bins out.

I have to try and fix up a cable at the weekend from the consumer unit into the kitchen so I can actually use the cooker, presuming last weeks electrical problems didn’t damage it in some way. It will take a day at least and be very destructive - need to strip a kitchen wall back to the brick. I bought 20 rubble sacks - I am sure I’ll need them all. 

I was supposed to go on a day trip to Dungeness today - I’m glad I didn’t - I would have been very bad company.

There appear to be two large developments on the horizon in Hastings. Large 1960’s block in town is asking for planning permission to create 82 flats - and about 100 units are being built behind the college. I’m quite happy about this - more people in the middle of town is really good for the small and local economy. It will also be nice to see lights on at night.


I’m going to give up attempting to work now - I’m clearly wasting my time. Tomorrow will be house and garden work - then Sunday and Monday to try and catch up. I should try to calm down a bit. I’m clearly not doing myself any favours here.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday

Long and event full week.

1. Worked in Brighton

2. Dealt with other peoples grief, every day

3. Picked up some new work

4. Did a lot of cycling

5. Put on some weight

6. Forgot to pay my council tax

7. Chopped down a tree

8. Got a ticket to meet Jeremy Corbyn

9. drank too much tea

10. Had a small explosion

Working in Brighton was great, the dynamic of that office is probably the best I have ever worked in - really nice people who know what they are doing and everyone in the right job. Makes a nice change. As an aside, I also read that COOP have reverted back to their original logo from the 1960’s - a wise move. I’ve worked on quite a few COOP projects and the branding and concept of ‘Co-operative’ really doesn’t work - the new version by North is much better.

Dealing with other people’s shit is really pissing me off - it’s a daily occurrence. Additionally - everyone expects me to just roll over and be submissive all the time - if I ever stand up for myself - they think I’m being unreasonable. People can just fuck off.

Cycling has been good - feeling quite confident on the bike at the moment - gearing up to a much longer weekend bike ride when the weather improves. The new Pier in Hastings has officially opened with a day of events and a concert by Madness - it was very loud, you could hear it from my house - I have no problem with that. It’s clearly a success as people have already started finding things to moan about. Typical Hastings.

I have put on enough weight for me to be thinking I could lose a bit - a good thing and a bad thing at the same town. I’ve given up nearly all dairy - just milk and cheese left now, sometimes. I probably eat too much bread.

I forgot to pay my council tax  - that’s rally pissed me off - I’m going to be really short at the end of the month - if I don’t get some invoices paid - I won’t be able to pay my mortgage. Something that I’ve been close to before - but has never actually happened. Yet.

I chopped down most of the Photinia in my garden - too bloody big, and I’m probably going to chop down the cherry laurel - same problem, in the wrong place - vulnerable to the wind now and just in the way. I hate chopping stuff that’s healthy - I’ll mull some more. The soil is so shallow in my garden that if it gets wet - things just wash away as the water hits the clay base and turns the garden to soup, my bay tree is held up by lanyards at the moment.

Jeremy Corbyn will be in Hastings on Tuesday - as a labour party member I had the chance to apply for a ticket to be there - which I have. I don’t really like him at all for a lot of reasons, but I’m going to see what he’s like in the flesh.

I’m constantly drinking tea at the moment - I’m sure it’s not healthy.

On Friday evening, I came home from work and just fancied chips and a film. I put the oven on and sat down (with a cup of tea) when there was a loud bang and a very bad electrical smell - and all the fuses blew. It was obviously something kitchen related - so after a night in the dark watching something I had on my laptop as the battery died before an early night (8.30pm) - I spent saturday trying to fix it. Inevitably I ended up stripping the kitchen, pulling all the plasterboard down and discovering that the electrical supply for my large range cooker came from the same cable as all the downstairs sockets. I’ve managed to re-wire the kitchen now - at some point soon I’m going to have to fit a new cable from the consumer unit into the kitchen to power the cooker (it’s off, obviously). This house is constantly finding new ways to piss me off - it needs a complete re-wire. Today I finally decided to strip out a couple of dodgy and poorly positioned sockets and replace some light switches. I will hopefully be able to replace a lot of the poor cabling over the summer and make things safer. Same with the plumbing. Assuming I don’t get repossessed. I even moved the box for the broadband cable - it used to be in a cupboard upstairs - the engineer wrote 'is in the closet's the chit - and whenever I log onto my broadband account - the legend 'in the closet' appears.

The studio is being fumigated over this weekend - we had a large rug in the middle which turned out to be totally infested with moths - and they have all come to life at the same time. I have quite a bit to do next week, and quite a lot to worry about. At least I have lights, a washing machine and a fridge now - I can live of cold food through the sumner until I've re-wired the kitchen. Obviously - the kitchen now needs complete redecoration, it will just be bare brick and battens by the time I'm finished - I hope to be able to afford T&G. When I re-wire I'll be able to connect the new hot water unit I bought, so that's something. I have a slow cooker - so tonight I had a very hot and spicy bean casserole.

Picked up a copy of 'The Letters Of Martha Gellhorn' in Oxfam - dunno when I'm going to get the chance to read it.