How’d it go? – May 2021

To me, May felt like an exceptionally long month that was both eventful and really dragged along. It’s been a pretty dour month for reasons I’ll soon get into, but I’m aware that many friends of mine, some of whom may be reading this, have had a horrendously tough go of things lately and I want to let them know that I’m here if they ever want to chat. I’ve told most of them this personally, but if you’re having a rough patch and need someone to talk to, drop me a line. So what was up with my May? Well, it was a bit of a rollercoaster, and much of it I don’t want to dwell on too much, so here’s the highlights:
– Murphy, our beloved 6-year old labradoodle-slash-tornado, had a bit of a scare that required an urgent rush to the vets one weekday night. He was really down, off his food, unresponsive etc. Turns out he was absolutely fine, we still don’t know for certain what was wrong with him, he’s all better now and we’ve found out he has an exceptionally large spleen but it’s nothing to worry about. That’ll be £360, please and thank you.
– I received my first vaccine shot, very unexpectedly. For those of you not in England, the vaccine rollout here has been pretty slow, with it initially being available only to those most in need (the elderly, at-risk and frontline workers, which absolutely makes sense and I have no problem with) then they gradually decreased the age at which people were eligible for it. Very gradually. I’m now eligible, but in early May when I received my shot I wasn’t, but the mother of a friend at work heard of some spare vaccines that would otherwise be thrown away if we didn’t get there shortly. Long story short, we waited for almost 2 hours, received shots, and whilst my buddy’s arm went completely dead soon after I received no ill effects whatsoever. Hooray!
– I was due to have a weekend all to my lonesome – something that hasn’t happened in a very long time – when my wife took the dogs up to see her parents now that travelling and staying over is allowed. It also coincided with the cinemas reopening, so I put two and two together and came up with at least one solid day of theatre-hopping to see whatever might be showing, but at the very least Kong Vs Godzilla (or vice versa, who cares?). Alas she had a work emergency that delayed her leaving for a day and required my assistance (which, I want to clarify, I didn’t mind offering at all), and my Dad got wind of me being alone without those pesky pups and figured it’d be the opportune time for he and I to lay a patio together, and that the next day I could then pop round to their house and see my grandparents, who I hadn’t seen in well over a year. As in literally not even seen on a phone, they don’t quite comprehend Zoom calls. It was great to see them, and my sister’s new house, and to make progress on the patio, but it was far from the relaxing me-focussed weekend I’d been hoping for.
– And yeah, at the time of writing I still haven’t been back to the cinema, and to be honest I’m not really that bothered. I don’t miss it, mainly due to the time factor. If I’m going to see a 2-hour film, you need to add at least thirty minutes either side for travelling, and as my local cinema showings vary from having 10-30 minutes of ads and trailers, you can’t afford to be very late at all. So that 2-hour films is now eating up at least 3 1/2 hours of your day, and my days are already pretty full! Obviously I’m going to go to the cinema again sometime, but looking ahead at upcoming movies there’s precious few for which I’m not thinking “Meh, I can wait ’til that’s streaming.”
– Easily the main event that’s got me down this month, and which is sparking my recent obsession with time, is that I’m now working back in the office full time, whereas I’ve been mostly working from home for about 4 months now. I’ve loved working from home. There are fewer distractions, lunchtimes are accompanied by doggy playtimes and often involve better food and the company of my wife, and the lack of commute has been heaven. I cycle to work, which allowing for getting changed takes about 45 minutes each way, so that’s an hour and a half I’ve now lost every day. Yes, it’s good exercise and a decent decompress after the day of work, but I’ve been doing better and more varied exercises – weights, yoga, longer dog walks – without the need for the bike rides. And my stress levels have gone up and sleep times dropped way down since I’ve been back in the office. It’s not good at all, but I am of course grateful to have a job, and to have had one all throughout the lockdowns.
– All that being said, because I was having such a shitty month and I had a little extra cash rattling in the bank account, I decided to treat myself to the Jurassic Park Gate and T-Rex Lego set I’ve been ogling since its release. It’s due to be discontinued next year, and I finally broke down and bought it. I haven’t finished building it yet – it’s huge and I’m pacing myself – but expect some photos next month.
So that was supposed to be a brief run through of the month, but I’ve already rambled on for way too long. Let’s skip to the movies, shall we?

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How’d it go? – March 2021

What do you mean it’s April? Don’t be ridiculous.

After the eventfulness of February, March just kind of trundled along for me. It wasn’t the most exciting of months, and honestly there’s not a lot to report. I got back on some podcasts, failed another marathon attempt (less dramatically than last time, more on this later) but no-one else in my household – or in fact anyone that I know of – got COVID, so there’s that. Let’s skip the preamble and get straight into the movies, shall we?

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How’d it go? – February 2021

The themes of this update are patience, procrastination and putting things off until the right time. My February was overshadowed by two separate events, the first of which occurred on February 6th, a Saturday. You may recall one of my resolutions for 2021 was to run at least a half-marathon every month, slowly increasing my distance over the course of the year, eventually building up to running a full marathon. Well on the 6th of February, 37 days into the year and with just two half marathons under my belt this side of 2020, I got up, went for a run and thought “Fuck it, why not today?” Yep, I tried to run a marathon, with no proper preparation, no real route planned, and having eaten no breakfast. This is, to date, one of the stupidest decisions I’ve ever made, especially when you factor in the route I did take involved so many hills it could’ve been shown on MTV in the late 2000s. Ridiculous. I made it just over 30km (about 3/4 of a marathon, so still my longest run ever) before my wife – who I also hadn’t informed about what I was doing – phoned me to ask where in the blue blazes I’d got to, and how badly injured was I. She had an errand to run in the direction I was, and I couldn’t really walk any more, so she picked me up, took me home, and justifiably called me a numpty. Unsurprisingly it took me over a week to get into any kind of decent running shape again.

The second momentous occasion of the month occurred 2 weeks later, on the 19th February, a Friday, when my aforementioned wife tested positive for COVID-19. I’ll start off by saying she and I are both fine. Her symptoms were pretty mild – headaches, upset stomach, fever – all are gone now, and I didn’t have any whatsoever. The day before I’d tested negative, and we gingerly kept a distance apart but didn’t go nuts with it. Our toothbrushes still shared the same pot, but less time was spent hugging than either of us liked. Anyway, in the UK a positive test result means the whole household must self-isolate for two weeks from the start of the symptoms, so we couldn’t leave the house until this past Saturday (27th). That meant no pops to the shop to restock our meagre supplies – fortunately we got a grocery delivery a few days in, but they didn’t bring everything – no going for a run and, crucially, no dog walking. We arranged for a friend-of-a-friend to take the dogs out on the weekdays, and we played with them best we could – or rather, as best as they’d allow, the grumpy sods – at the weekend and in the evenings. I’ve never been more grateful to have a garden, although once you’ve run from the back door to the side gate and back again 231 times in a bid to run a 5k, you can’t help but wish for a bigger one. By no means do I intend to imply we’ve been through anything close to the ordeals of many others. At the end of the day we have each other, we have an outside space, and my wife recovered completely, but paying someone else to take your dogs for a walk when it’s literally all you want to do is a bizarre feeling, and dammit we got down to our last can of Pepsi Max, which is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

So, what did I learn this month? There’s no need to rush something you’re comfortably building up to, it’ll more than likely hurt if you try tackling it too early. But also, don’t wait until you’re almost out of supplies before going to get some more, as who knows if you’ll be able to. Every task has its own sense of urgency. Sometimes you’ll put off writing a couple of reviews until the end of the month in order to reach your one-review-a-week goal, but then on that last evening you’ll have a combo of your utter gobshite arsehole imbecile neighbours having a karaoke rave party during a fucking pandemic until 2am in the mother-fucking morning, and then plumbing issues that take far longer to fix than intended, so you miss your self-imposed deadlines and end up behind. However, there are few things in life more satisfying than the kah-THUNK! of a dislodged toilet blockage you’ve spent three solid hours plunging away at, so there’s that.

Anyway, that was a longer intro with far more personal information than any of you wanted, so let’s get into the movies, shall me?

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