Think About Things

I think we all need Eurovision right now, even if it is a virtual version. I really feel that this year, more than any other year, Graham Norton snarking his way through a glitter-covered car crash is indeed what this country requires more than standing outside hitting pans with wooden spoons. Having heard what’s in store I am here for this, more than I have been for anything else that’s been apparently produced in the National Interest… because, we are best when in Europe.

We’ve not forgotten about Brexit, those of us with long memories and the realization that being a nation isle’s great and everything until you properly accept history has rolled on from 70 years ago.Β Eurovision is the event we can’t win, and won’t ever win again until we work out that to do that, you need to accept this wonderland of diversity for what it is: different, special, brilliant, moving, balls-achingly funny (one for the lads there) and a thousand other points in between.

We’ll never win until we stop taking ourselves so fucking seriously.

If you ascribe to the idea that Russia’s sole task in the modern world is to destabilise World governments and to totally pwn the opposition with organised precision in a MMO PvP battleground, they get how this ought to work. They’ve done a cracking job of infiltrating almost seamlessly into Eurovision for at least a decade, this year’s entry being absolutely no exception. The writer in me has already considered interesting scenarios should they ever be allowed to win…

However, this year should have been Iceland’s. I think we can all agree on this, and if you get HOT CHIP FFS to remix your song even before the Contest would have taken place… it’s a crying shame that a lot of these songs will never be allowed to compete against each other. The rules are very clear: once you’ve ‘performed’ in any capacity, that song cannot be entered again. It means this year’s offerings will be remembered longer in memory, I suspect, because of the backdrop on which they were set.

I for one am already looking forward to a top quality evening of mass Twitterbation (that’s totally a word now) over all the stuff that could have happened, and how the BBC’s used it’s already well-used abilities to create mass participation from the internet into entertainment. This will undoubtedly be a triumph for the organization who FINALLY gets how online works and got their act together a couple of months ago to source all the material required.

I’ll see you this evening :D

White Noise White Heat

Might be Thursday, feels like about a month since Sunday.Β I’ve rearranged the Patreon schedule a bit because frankly, there is very little of value in my brain right now. About 80% of the stuff that needs doing’s ready to go, but that 20% which remains encompasses all the thorny, hard stuff and nope, brain just wants to stare into the middle distance and ignore most efforts to engage.

It does not help that yesterday became incredibly stressful in a very concentrated, two hour burst. The outcome however was major: I’ll talk about that on Patreon today, and not here, in the hope that I might tempt some of you to come and join me. It’s only $4 a month to access all the blogs there, but appreciate that even that is a stretch for many people right now. Your definition of paltry is relative.

shun the prole

I’m at the stage where subbing to anything new is impossible, so am totally with you if the rush by so many creatives to ‘go digital’ is leaving you cold. However, this is my life now, like it or not, and I am determined to push the Patreon and Gumroad quite hard as the year goes on. However, there needs to be some other stuff done too, so today instead of stressing about how I make new things, we’ll recycle some old.

There’s at least one submission window in which older work can be repurposed, but it will require quite a bit more tea than has been currently consumed just to negotiate the online process. This is often more stressful than writing the actual work, if truth be told. However, it’s worthwhile if I can find another publication inroad: that’s the key, in all of this. Everything is publicity.

If people don’t know you exist, how will you ever be discovered?

Illsithee

Progress is hard, and if you’re carrying emotional baggage, extremely tiring.Β However, there was a period of about ninety minutes yesterday when I was on a high the likes of which has not been experienced for… well, decades.Β Achievement really is its’ own reward if done well, and yesterday was the first time since before my kids were born that I’ve been able to stand up, say what I wanted to say in the manner that mattered and solve a problem.

That, it has to be said, is a MASSIVE step forward.

Heaven is Paved with Broken Glass

You all know how mentally tough the last month’s been. We’re all out here, in the fields, wishing they were actual open spaces we could run around in with no fear of the consequences. On our walk yesterday there was a mum and dad with three toddlers, who just stood and watched as two hared around one green of the golf course, whilst the other happily made sandcastles with a bucket and spade in the bunker.

It wasn’t the children that drew my interest but the adults: neither was playing with their offspring. They just stood hand in hand, clearly utterly exhausted, watching as there was no need to intervene. The human cost for everybody is becoming more apparent with each passing day. It makes me massively, stupendously grateful for a family who are capable of not only supporting themselves, but also me.

Now, more than ever before, solid backup is what matters.

stuffyoushouldknow

What matters most is talking about issues, making sure problems don’t fester, finding the means by which you can remain mentally resilient. For me, amazingly, that involves getting on a static bike with my husband once a day and learning how to ride again. Also, because you can’t take the game out of the gamer, there’s an in-game achievement that’s currently being worked towards…

unemployed

A ‘lap’ is defined as one of the countless specific courses within a number of locations: today, for instance, I can cycle round a customised version of Central Park, which pleases me greatly having done that for real in the US when on holiday. There’s also an element of danger here because there is no memory of when this was started: whatever happens, I’ll be on the bike every day until it is completed, which is no bad thing…

stats1304

This is great for the exercise lover in me because it ensures, without fail, cardio’s being covered. That then leaves me to ensure upper body and core are being kept on a comparable path, which is proving to be far easier than was at first anticipated. There doesn’t need to be any flexing either about the effort being thrown into this: I won’t make 500 MEPS for the belt challenge by tonight. It’s not a problem. I took part, and am sitting reassuringly mid-table in a field of 10,000 others.

The guy in First has done nothing else in the last four days but exercise.

allthefingers

Having established that there are certain things I desire more than others, and physically exhausting myself is definitely NOT one of them, it’s quite easy to let other people do that without issue. I’m looking for solid support in uncertain times, and that involves a complex set of variables being kept in harmony. Other people can do the outstanding work in fitness. I want to help people’s brains get through this above their bodies.

That seems a far more sensible use of my particular skill set.

Pick Up the Pieces

Attention spans are absolutely not what they used to be. Thought processes seems to have lost some of their edge. Investigative journalism leaves a lot to be desired. All of these statements are undoubtedly true in certain lights, but won’t hold up to scrutiny in others. It’s the classic tale of Perspective.Β What one person thinks is an apple, is absolutely an orange to someone else, when facts know full well that’s a banana.

This has been part of the Human Condition for as long as people have argued that their way is clearly best, because they’re right and you’re wrong. However, as has become more and more inescapable with the march of human evolution, there are some questions with only one answer. That’s where science comes in, and history, and those people who record facts without the taint of personal bias.

When I grow up, I wanna be one of those people.

shadow_government

There’s a very good reason why the sky is blue, and trying to argue anything else is really a bit dumb. Similarly, when people are surprised that I offer them virtual food as means by which to feel better, increasingly not on their birthdays, they haven’t picked out the fact this is part of my irrefutable personal makeup. The issues with comfort eating will never go away, it appears, because it is very much rooted into my issues with trauma.

However, having been able to identify this objectively, life becomes easier. It’s a roundabout way of linking the irrefutable: I am exactly the way I am for an increasing number of very good reasons. Unless those are communicated to the wider world, people will not grasp why decisions are being made. Therefore, it is up to me to communicate this, in the vain hope people might actually start listening.

I can but hope, after all.

April 8th

Therefore, apologies in advance for those of you who might have heard some of the stuff that now starts appearing via social media and though my blog channels. It appears much of what I am could indeed bear repeating, now more individuals are paying attention. I’ve never been a big fan of repeats, because the assumption is that you picked up the point the last 15 times you were told.

Maybe humanity hasn’t yet evolved as far as I’d hoped…

I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside

I am wondering if I could make a walk to the coast count as Government Mandated Exercise as the weather gets better. If running was possible I could easily do it, but that’s not quite achievable as yet. These legs are still suffering after Monday, if truth be told, but that means we have stronger muscles and more stamina, both of which are no bad things.

The numbers look great too.

Having my heartrate registering on the app in front of me is an extremely potent motivator. It allows brain to work in the zone and grants a greater awareness of how hard is hard. It has certainly made a difference with the bike work over the last week too: I’ve gone from struggling in sweet spot training to being oddly Zen-like last night, sailing through the transitions without a thought.

One should FTP test about once every couple of months, but if this training becomes academic it could come sooner, or I could at least take the longer SST (Sweet Spot Training) test, which at 85 minutes could well be the stamina upgrade required. I’m running the 45 minute one at 110%, so if I go back to 100% that should allow me the legs to manage the extra 30 minutes on a bike.

Really need to sort out some new playlists for this as well.

sst_med

Planning my own workouts is the brain stimulation I never knew I needed.

Closing Shot

Last night, I heard of the first COVID case in my orbit, then pretty much lost the plot. If this is the beginning and that above is where we will be in two months, this is already a nightmare. Every time I’ve thought nothing could get weirder, it does. The baseline threshold for Reality (Such As It Is)Β has moved so many times since Monday that, quite honestly, I have no clue where to pitch anything.

All that can happen now is control of my own environment, such as it is. Even that is proving problematic.

Hand cream is now not as useful as skin healing cream on my hands. Knuckles have split. Hay fever and dust allergies are making me sneeze and cough, and going anywhere right now is an exercise in holding my breath. The physio this morning was a total hero, and if the state of his hands is any indicator, he is taking duties extremely seriously indeed. Everybody is offering me refunds.

This doesn’t get better, only worse. Time to find where the real helpers are, friends to bed down with (at distance) who will be those who support and not criticise. Yeah, I get some of you don’t want me in your feeds because I was the noisy cow who caused trouble a while back.Β Your choice. Gaming now is the last thing on my mind, though if isolation gets really bad, I might return to a favourite god sim or two…

The biggest plan right now is exercise, and how it happens in a ten foot square space, so all those lovely gainz I made in the last six months are not pissed up the wall. Fortunately I have a TOP TEAM of supportive people ready to provide practical advice, plus raw materials to facilitate progress. It also helps that static bikes have been a fixture in this household for many, many years. Cycling will save us, oh yes.

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been training for this moment for years.