Monthly Archives: July 2013

Struggling to get motivated

Despite having been back at karate for two weeks, and really enjoying it, today I was struggling, and couldn’t face going.  Fortunately there turned out to be a work related thing that got me out of it.

I think despite recently thinking I had got my mojo back, that I might have to step away for a bit.  My priorities are changing, and I don’t know at the moment where – or indeed if – the karate fits in.  

Time will tell.

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Trip into the past

Image

At the weekend, we headed out in the car.  The intention was to go to Culzean Castle, but as we approached, Karen saw a sign for Girvan, and so we ended up there.

This was a real trip down memory lane for me.  When I was a kid, this is where we came on holiday every year.  The wee harbour is still there, although it’s a few pleasure craft now, either private, or offering trips to Ailsa Craig, instead of being full of fishing boats like it use to be.

The B&B’s and small hotels that used to make up the majority of the seafront houses, are gone, with the exception of only two or three.  The one we stayed in every year is now a private house.

The putting green is still there, but with only one course instead of two.  The Beach Pavillion where there used to be lots of shows put on, has been pulled down as has the swimming pool.

The boating pond is back up and running, but instead of small motor boats, and two laps of the pond, it’s now pedalo’s and as many laps as you can squeeze into 20 minutes.

The main street is a shadow of it’s former self.  The cinema where I saw my first movie on a big screen, closed years ago to become a bingo hall, which has also now closed.   The wee quirky shops have disappeared and become Poundland type shops.  The toyshop I loved as a kid, where I was bought kites or toys for the beach, is now a pub.

Karen thinks it’s still a lovely wee town, and don’t get me wrong, it is.  It’s just that I have all these memories of how it used to be, and they’re clouding my judgement.

The beach is sprawling and beautiful, there are still a couple of old fashioned amusement arcades, and we bought chips and sat at the harbour watching the boats and the anglers.

The biggest surprise of all was the shop in the photo.  This was there when I was a kid, and it’s still there, and hasn’t changed.  Also, it’s still the same person serving.  He’s very old now and takes an age to get from one end of the counter to the other, and you feel guilty asking for something that he might have to bend down for, in case he can’t get back up, but it’s a little bubble from the past that’s still there, and that in itself made the trip worthwhile for me.

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Cutting out the deadwood

Sometimes I wonder if the people I regard as friends ARE actually friends.  How many of them are only in touch because I make the effort?  If I didn’t contact them first, how many would bother to contact me?

This came to be relevant recently.  Someone we regarded as a friend, was supposed to be meeting us for a meal.  We had to cancel due to illness, and her last words were “I’ll give you a shout when I’m free”.  That was three months ago.  We haven’t heard a thing from her.

She was also good at borrowing things, and when you asked if she’d read/watched them yet, the answer would always be no, because she had a huge pile of books/movies to work through.  If that’s the case, don’t borrow until you’ve reduced the “to watch/read” pile, UNLESS it’s something you’re planning on jumping to the top of your pile.
Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m NOT going to make the effort with this person any longer.  I’ve replaced both the dvd’s she has of mine, and out of the numerous books she’s got of mine, there’s only one I’m keen to replace (does that count as downsizing?)

So anyway, that’s another piece of driftwood that attached itself as I flow down the river of life, that I’ve managed to untangle myself from. 

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These little things are sent to try us

On this morning’s commute, I got a puncture cutting through Bellahouston park.  No probs really, checked there was no glass or thorns in the tyre, popped in a new tube, and was on my way again in about 10 minutes.  Only problem is the little hand pumps aren’t great at getting the tyres up to pressure, so it’s a bit on the soft side.  I’ve got a track pump at home, so I’ll get it back up to the right pressure when I get home tonight.

This is the third puncture in two weeks, on the same wheel, so, I’ve decided it’s time for new tyres.  I’ve been recommended some Schwalbe tyres by a friend, who’s done over 4000 miles on his and hasn’t had a single puncture yet.

Either he’s extremely lucky, or they’re as good and puncture proof as they claim to be.  Either way, I’ll probably pick up a pair tomorrow and get them fitted for the weekend.

It’s good to know that it’s so easy and quick to fix a flat.  It’s also nice that the people who passed me in the park all asked if I was ok or if I needed a hand.  It reinforces my faith in people.  Not everyone is selfish and out for themselves.  There are still decent people out there.

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Break in the weather

Well the weather in Glasgow has finally broken.  Not the heatwave, it’s still hot, but instead of clear blue skies and scorching sun, we have torrential rain.

Other parts of the country have thunder and lightning, which should clear the air and mean it’s less muggy.  No thunderstorms here at present, just rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

This is going to make cycling home tonight……interesting.  It’s not like I didn’t know this was coming, it’s more like I thought “will it rain before I get to work?  No. That’s fine then”, and just ignored the fact it was going to rain.

To be honest, I don’t mind cycling in the rain.  It’s quite nice.  When I ran regularly, running in the rain was one of those pleasures that, if you’ve never done it, you just won’t understand.  Cycling in the rain is a bit like that.

 

*UPDATE*

It’s stopped raining.  At it’s height, it sounded like machine gun fire, as it hit off the glass roof of the building I ate lunch in.

I’m under no illusions that I’ll get home dry.  The clouds are dark and foreboding, and they’re threatening a deluge rather than a light summer shower.  This is the payback for the heatwave and glorious sunshine we’ve enjoyed for the last two (almost three) weeks.  Yin and yang.  All things in balance.

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Morning commute

Morning commute

The Squinty bridge over the river Clyde.

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Random kilt pic

Random kilt pic

Hello legs, how are we today?

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Panic stations

My birthday is rapidly approaching.  It’s this coming Sunday.

My wife has already been asking where I want to go, and she’s thinking who to ask along.  While I appreciate the gesture, I don’t like the fuss.  I managed not to have an 18th party, and I also dodged a 21st successfully.  There was a 40th however.  This was a surprise, and was sprung on me.  Fortunately there was only a handful of friends there.
I’ve always liked going to other peoples parties, but I’ve always hated having my own.  I can’t stand being the centre of attention.  Not the actions of a typical Leo.

So I thought that this time we were just going for a meal, just the two of us, but apparently not.  There’s one, maybe two others coming along.  I suppose I can handle this, but – and this probably sounds selfish – I just want to go out, the two of us, for dinner, and not have to bother making small talk with other people.

When I think about having to spend time with other people, sometimes I start to feel claustrophobic.  The idea of what’s supposed to be “my day” being out-with my control is really annoying me.  I know when it comes round to it, I’ll enjoy it, BUT, it’s the not being in control that’s getting to me.

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Things that would have made my bucket list if I’d thought about it sooner

This is some things I’ve done already in my life, that if I hadn’t, would be part of my bucket list.

Go to a SF Worldcon – I’ve been to one when it was in Glasgow.  Fun, but not as fun as a local con.

Visit Egypt – I’ve been three times now.  Seen the Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, and sailed in a feluca on the Nile

Visit the Middle East – I love that part of the world.  I’ve now been to Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria.  Beirut and Damascus were two of my favourite places.  I’d love to have visited Aleppo, but that’s not going to be an option any time soon due to the conflict.

Scuba diving – I’ve done it, and I’m a qualified PADI divemaster, so that’s a big tick on the list.

So, I need to think up things to plug the gaps that these trips would have filled.  Maybe more travel in my own country.  I’d love to see Skara Brae, and go to Up Helly Ah.  So that’s them on the list I suppose 🙂

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Bucket list

Years ago I used to go to festivals.  Rock/metal ones mainly.  I haven’t been to one for years, I fell away from the scene, and I’m happy enough, no great urge to go to any.

Except one.

I’ve always wanted to go to Glastonbury.  I’ve never actually thought about getting tickets and going – my wife doesn’t do crowds, and would have a serious panic attack in a crowd that size – but now it’s on the bucket list, mainly due to the non-crowd loving wife.

We were watching highlights from this years Glasto on tv, and she said “You really want to go.  Do it.”  When I mentioned about the crowds, she said that she wasn’t interested, but knew I really wanted to, so I should just go.

So, my plan is not to go next year, but to go the following year.  I’ve no idea why I’ve made it that way, but it gives me something to plan for.

In the meantime, I’ve found Doune the Rabbit Hole, a festival about an hours drive from me.  My wife has a sign language course to go on, and if it’s the same weekend (still waiting on dates) then I might go.  Looks like a fun wee festival.

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