What do you have to say for yourself?

I posted twice in 2017. Which answers the question in the title of this post. Apparently, what I have to say for myself is “not a lot”.

Not strictly true of course. I’ve got a lot to say for myself. Much of it profane, rude, on Twitter and largely directed at arseholes and idiots. But do I have anything to say here?

This all started off, waaaay back in 2007, as a place for my writing. I haven’t written anything worth a shit in years now. For a while I lacked for time, then ideas, then time again. Maybe I just lost the inclination. Going through old files in the attic the other day I found some of my old writing folders. Story fragments, half-finished outlines. Some of it was good. I surprised myself, a lot of it I don’t even remember writing. I have ideas still; how to solve the problems with old ideas, new ideas. But I just can’t seem to motivate myself to get started.

Then there’s teaching. The blog mutated into thoughts on education, as I started teaching. I’m disillusioned a bit now. I’ve been teaching for six years now. I’m at the “burn out or stay in for life” stage. I’m beginning to feel burnt out. I’ve seen family members (blood and by marriage) leave teaching. I think about it myself, two bad experiences at two bad educational establishments almost broke me, but I can’t see another career for myself out there. Not yet anyway.

I do miss writing though…

I aten’t dead…

… in the words of Granny Weatherwax.

But a lot has happened to keep me from updating the site. The vague something I alluded to in the last post is not something I can speak much about after all, suffice to say it was unpleasant, and over now.

But amongst the changes are: bought a house, moved north, starting a new job tomorrow!

After nearly 13 years the London experiment is over. Welcome to the North. They have pie…

Turns out this isn’t happening…

So as it turns out, I’m not running the Virgin London Marathon this year after all.

Things started out well. I began training in October, but unfortunately something* happened in November, the consequences of which are still ongoing. I stopped running on January 1st, and didn’t run again until February 11th. A mixture of physical and mental fatigue, ill-health and other issues robbed me of any motivation.

My training plan reset itself to the point where I would only be running one-third of the distance by the time of the race, whereas my long runs alone needed to be about two-thirds of the distance. Plus there was no chance of me achieving the fundraising target, especially as half of it needs to be raised by mid-March.

After taking advice from the Mind fundraising team, and the personal trainer that they have contacts with, I have decided that it is for the best to withdraw and concentrate my efforts on the Tough Mudder in May.

Disappointing, but ultimately for the best, for me, for now.

*This something will be spoken about when I am able…

So this is happening again


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Trying to find a new home

Story of my life at the moment...
Story of my life at the moment…

When your landlord tells you “you cannot live there any more” because they are unable to deal with the mould problem without completely gutting your flat, then you know your living situation isn’t great.

Since June we’ve tried to find somewhere, with very little success. And the reason is contained in the above graphic. If you want to rent in London, you can only choose two of the following three options:

  • Within your budget
  • Within reasonable commute of your work
  • Meets your needs

There are any number of flats within commute of my work which fit my needs, but which I cannot afford. There are plenty that I can afford which are within reasonable commute of my work, but which don’t fit my needs. If I want to be able to afford somewhere that fits my needs then I have to be so far away from work that the extra travel costs mean I may as well have picked one of the unaffordable but closer places!

Landlords, being rapacious scoundrels (and that’s me being polite), hold out for the mythical ascetic tenant who wants to drop £5000 per month on a cardboard box under a motorway flyover. They are less concerned with real people, their real needs, and their real wages. Over the past 8 years house prices have risen by 28% in London, whilst wages have risen 12%. And that’s just going back to 2007. In 2007, house prices were at their most unaffordable. The situation has got worse since then, even accounting for the dip in property prices caused by the financial crash.

How much longer can this situation go on? Something has to give.

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