My first attempt at something like this so it should be an interesting ride.
Tuesday (I think) 28th April 2020|
I think it’s quite amusing that now we are all restricted to our homes and having to entertain ourselves, we start writing about our lives but the only thing going on is that we are locked up in our own homes with nothing going on.
I have been off work since the 23rd March and it seems a lot longer than that.
Going from a forty-hour work week to a week of trying to keep busy is a bit of a culture shock. This is the longest spell that I have ever had out of work in my adult life. (I’m 62)
Luckily, I am healthy and fit enough to go on a daily bike ride. That usually eats up at least two hours of my day. Then I try to keep busy writing emails and playing Football Manager 2020.
If anyone reading this plays FM20 please let me know. That game is so addictive.
|What is something you like to do that other people might think is “weird?”
This morning I am awake and excited because the German Bundesliga football is on tv all morning. The first match will kick off at 0630 Pacific and I will sit and watch all the games until around noon.
Then, after a quick lunch, I will watch the games that I recorded on dvr until midafternoon. When they are finished I will play Football Manager 2020 for an hour or so on my computer. That game is very addictive so an hour or two might be a conservative estimate. If I manage to pull my self away from that game, I will watch other people playing the game on YouTube!
My biggest form of exercise on a day like today is probably walking to the fridge to get a beer. In the past I have had a chilly box next to my chair but that gets messy!
Some people might think that my day is weird, but I know plenty of people who are envious. They have to get through their “Honey Do” list before they can get to do a fraction of what I will enjoy today.
Pastimes aren’t weird, they are just different ways of enjoying ourselves.
I will go for a 50-mile bike ride on Monday and some folk might think that that is weird.
Whatever floats your boat.
|Music often has the ability to remind us of old memories. In your entry today, be inspired by a specific piece of music or a musical instrument. What feelings/emotions does the music or instrument stir in you? Share a specific memory your chosen song or instrument reminds you of.
Choose just one piece of music? That’s like asking a parent who is their favourite child!
I think music memories for me break down into three different categories. There are a ton of songs that remind me of my family members. I can’t hear Nat King Cole without thinking of my dad. My grandad loved Jim Reeves but I don’t hear too many of those songs on the local classic rock channel!
My kids sitting in the back of the car singing along to the currant pop song. They loved Last Christmas by Wham and Real Gone Kid by Deacon Blue. I can hear them singing now.
Another category would be sporting memories inspired by certain songs. Eighties, English pop brings back loads of football memories for me. Gives me shivers down my back just thinking about them.
Teenage years is probably my favourite category. You were going to be young forever and never complain about the music that the kids are listening to these days! I did stop myself once from shouting to my kids in their bedrooms to lower the music. That was a close one.
|Not including your phone, computer, or other Googling device, write about the top five most useful items you own.
1, Hair clippers! When I received them from Amazon a few weeks ago I thought that it would be one cut and I would be being going back to my little Chinese barber. The way the world is going, I think I will more than get my moneys worth from these clippers.
2, TV remote. There’s more than one. How did we manage all those years ago when we had to walk to the TV? Luckily, I don’t have to fight anyone for the control of the zapper. The only thing that can go wrong is when the batteries go flat, and I am thinking of which appliance to take batteries out of. I wouldn’t even know how to control my TV without the remote!
3, Can opener/bottle opener. It’s a mild annoyance when I get a can out of the cupboard and it doesn’t have a ring pull opener on the top. I have even put cans back on the shelf in Walmart because I wouldn’t buy it without a ring pull. And having this little gizmo for opening beer is a must for every house.
4, Bike GPS. Back in the day I would record my bike rides in a small notebook. Those notebooks have disappeared over time. Recording the rides is a personal thing. Nobody else is concerned about how many miles you have cycled this year. But it gives me a feeling of accomplishment to see the miles on my GPS. Those records will probably get lost one day just like my notebooks.
5, Can I have a Kindle? I don’t know if it can go on to Google so it might not qualify for this list. It has Wi-Fi to load books, that’s as far have I have got with its technology. I can’t go anywhere without my little library. What a great invention, I think I have had about four of them over the years.
|If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
As a 62 year-old I’m sort of in the middle of this little conundrum.
When I am in work moving big boxes around the stockroom and climbing ladders all day, I often wish for a body that is 30 years younger. At least once a day I am heard to mutter, “I’m too old for this crap.”
So, it would be nice to skip around work and not go home with old body aches.
But then I thought about the history of dementia in my family and how terrible that nasty disease can be on individuals and their love ones.
My dad had vascular dementia and it was so upsetting to see him slowly decline. There were times early in the day when he would be my normal dad, but later in the afternoon he wasn’t my dad.
Between 4pm and 5pm nursing staff expect dementia patients to be at their most confused. I think some nurses call it the sunset madness hour.
There are plenty of times when you must have a strong sense of humour to look after a person suffering from dementia. And other times when you find a quiet corner and have a good cry.
I wouldn’t want my family to have to look after me if I had dementia. It would be just as hard on them as it would be on me.
So, I’ll take the mind of a 30 year-old please.
|If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are living now? If so, what would you change and why?
My first task would be to apply for as many credit cards as I could. Then I would apply for the largest personal loan possible. Probably a few store cards as well.
Armed with my newfound wealth I would go walkabout.
For the first couple of months I would hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail. There wouldn’t be enough time for me to do the whole thing from Mexico to Canada because I have a couple of other goals to achieve in the year that I have left.
A trip to England during the football season would be an absolute must. Going to see my favourite team, Everton, preferably with my son and grandson. My grandson is four now and hasn’t been to England to see a game yet so to see his face when he first enters the stadium is something that I need to see. The sight of that big expanse of green pitch as you walk to your seat is something that no youngster will ever forget. It makes me emotional just writing about it.
After my visit to England I would go to Western Australia to spend the rest of my days with my son and his family. They have a beach shack which is well away from the outside world. Spending time with them playing on the beach and seeing them happy is all that I would want. With a cold beer in my hand.
And my daughter could use one of my credit cards to fly out to join us!
It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
|What chore do you most dislike doing? Tell us a creative story about how you might get out of doing it.
I didn’t even have to think about this one. Hands down top of the list of least favourite jobs is on laundry day trying to get the duvet back into the duvet cover! Yes, anyone can just bundle it in and hope that it goes okay. That’s usually when you end up with a great big ball in the middle that is no good to anyone.
To get the job done properly it is best if you have the physical attributes of a very tall NBA player. Like a wingspan of about ten feet! And then it is best if you can hang the duvet over a bannister or balcony so that it drops into the cover in some sort of way that is presentable.
I think that the last time I had help with this chore was when I was married in the early nineties. Since then I have fought with numerous duvets. I like to think that I have got some sort of system going now. But every now and again, if I don’t concentrate properly, I can end up with the long end in the short end and vice versa.
I have just realised that a duvet is mainly a European thing and American readers might not know the cozy thing that is a duvet. If you get a good one, I think goose down or eider down, they will keep you snug as a bug for years.
The only time that I sleep in the uncomfortable sheets and blankets is when I stay at hotels. I usually end up pulling the sheets out from under the mattress to give my legs and feet some moving space.
A duvet, great to sleep under but a pain in the bum on laundry day!
|Write about a fictional road trip where you meet up with your fellow competitors from the 30DBC! Who do you visit first? Do you bring any gifts? Tell us about the crazy blogger shenanigans you all get up to!
A road trip? It would have to be an exceptionally long trip. Probably because I would be cycling and not driving. Cycling across the country is something that I have always wanted to do. I did do a small section a few years ago along the Florida Pan Handle. Lots of sunshine, afternoon thunderstorms and dogs chasing my rear wheel.
Travelling on the small roads away from the freeways is a wonderful way to explore the country. Towns that never usually see a tourist welcome you with open arms. In fact, during one of my visits to a small town in Florida I made an almighty mistake by inviting myself into someone’s house thinking that it was a tearoom.
With lots of hindsight I now see why the two ladies in the house looked a little bit surprised when I sat at their kitchen table and asked them for a cup of fruity tea. They didn’t say a word as I ambled around their house looking at family photos on the walls as I was waiting for the kettle to boil.
It was a lovely cup of tea. I don’t remember if I paid the ladies or not because as I finished my drink the penny finally dropped and I realised my mistake. I still laugh to myself when I think of those two ladies telling the story of a strange Englishman entering their house and asking for a cup of tea.
If or when I get to your neck of the woods, please have some fruity tea in stock. Or if you have some local beers that would go down well also.
|Do you believe in ghosts or other supernatural entities? Have you ever experienced something you could not explain?
I believe what I have witnessed so I suppose that makes me a believer of there being something out there.
I used to rent an apartment in Liverpool that had once been a hospital and before that a workhouse. So, it is fair to say that the main structure of the building was old, it dated to the early 1900’s. The old wards of the hospital had been divided into apartments which gave the rooms in the apartments unusually high ceilings.
I had been living there for a few months and everything was going well. I awoke one night, it was probably about 2 am, and for some reason I remained very still laying in my bed. Above me I could see faint shadows floating around my room. The best way to describe them is to imagine Casper only very faint or transparent.
I felt calm but a little bit concerned. I turned my head on the pillow to follow one apparition and as soon as I moved, they all disappeared. I explained it away as the remnants of a dream and went back to sleep.
A few nights later the same thing happened. As soon as I made any movement the shapes vanished. This carried on for the rest of the time that I lived in that apartment. (Just under two years).
Some nights I would lay in bed and watch them moving around the room. They weren’t threatening, they were just floating.
After months of watching them I built up the courage to tell my friends. Obviously, I was met with howls of derision! No, I wasn’t drunk. No, I wasn’t smoking whacky backy.
I enjoyed seeing my nighttime visitors swishing around my room. They weren’t doing any harm.
Oh, did I mention? My apartment was directly over the old mortuary.
So, yes, I believe that there is something out there. But not always scary.
|Write about a time when you or someone you know acted selflessly. What was the motivation and what were the results?
I first thought of all the wonderful acts of selflessness that are going on in the world now. There are some absolutely wonderful people out there.
Then I thought that I would go back in time.
The late sixties, I was an 8-year-old and I used to spend a lot of weekends with my nan and grandad. All kids know that if you want to be spoilt, go to bed late and eat whatever you want then you had to spend time with your grandparents!
My dad played football with me and taught me how to ride a bike, but my grandad had a car. And when it was just the two of us, he would let me ride with him in the front. I thought that I was the bee’s knees. Nobody else in the family had a car at that time so riding with my grandad was a big thing for me.
After staying with them for one- or two-nights grandad would drive me home. He had a Ford Prefect and it was two tone blue. Very swish.
It was a two-mile ride and when we got halfway we would go past a bus stop. The bus would take people to the hospital to visit their friends and family. When grandad approached that bus stop, he would always look to see if there was anyone standing waiting for the bus. If there was, he would stop and offer them a ride to the hospital.
He would quite often take a stranger to the hospital before he dropped me off at home. Luckily, I lived opposite the hospital! My grandad carried out that small act of selflessness any time he could. He always told me that he imagined one of his family standing at a cold, wet bus stop and hoped that someone would offer us a ride.
I don’t suppose it would happen now. The world was a lot more innocent in the sixties, or maybe it just appeared to be.
|What was the best/worst letter or email you ever received or wrote? Write about the situation surrounding that letter, and why it was so significant.
When the world turned pear-shaped like most people, I was sent home from work and told that I might not be needed in the future. Like most people in my situation I started to watch the news stations to see if I could find out what was happening in my neck of the woods and further afield.
It didn’t take me long to realise that the news on TV, radio and internet wasn’t going to satisfy my needs. I needed news about family and friends.
I don’t do the Face Bum, Instaglam and other social media outlets so I decided that I would contact as many of my friends that I could by e mail.
I wrote a long letter/email rambling on about all kinds of nonsense as if I were talking to my friends over a cold beer. Laughing, shooting the breeze and just being friends.
I then scrolled through the dregs of my email address book and sent the email to as many friends/family as I could. There were big possibilities that some of the addresses would be extinct so I asked people to forward the message to anyone that they could think of that I had left off my list.
Within the first twenty-four hours of me hitting “Send” I received one reply. I was a little bit disappointed. That evening I went to bed thinking that my friends had forgotten about me.
The next morning, I was up to my neck in email replies! I hadn’t accounted for different time zones and young families finding time to write.
Ha-ha, success. I had some wonderful messages from all corners of the world. Friends were telling me about their growing young families, their new jobs since we last seen each other. And because everyone who replied hit the “Reply All” button everyone could read each other’s replies.
Everyone got a kick out of hearing news about normal people instead of the dross the media throw at us.
So, I like to think that my one rambling email shed a little bit of sunshine over a distressed world.