The best laid plans…

An update: Things are gang aft agley, but sometimes it’s entirely my fault.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about procrastination, but I keep putting it off.

No? Oh, please yourselves then. Perhaps you’d prefer this tweet from Stephen King?

It’s been a fun few weeks though, hasn’t it? We make plans, then we cancel them.

Yesterday was supposed to be a family gathering. We mostly caught up on Saturday evening when one of the cousins accidentally pressed the ‘Call’ button in our Messenger Group but that doesn’t fill the hole caused by not having any Panthe Kaukswe and noodles.

The CIPR Volunteer Conference last Friday (and the pre-Conference drinks the evening before) was binned. Birthday drinks? Nope – Boris considerately closed the pubs that very day.

But even as late as last Monday lunchtime I was telling myself that I really must by some flowers and see my parents before the curfew kicked in. Don’t worry, they’re both dead. I could buy the flowers when doing a normal shop, and cemeteries are quite good for social/personal distancing. But I’d have to take the bus to get there, so it doesn’t count as essential travel.

Diary sync

It might have been good for my mental health though. I do do Catholic guilt quite well, and it’s not as if my siblings go (one isn’t local). The 15th is dad’s anniversary which is not easy to forget, being five days before my birthday. And Mother’s Day on the 22nd of course. I’m hopeless.

Photo: metal gate across the entrance to Trinity Leeds / Trinity Square from Lands Lane.
“These gates are shut – respect these gates.” Trinity Leeds.

I also kept putting off getting my eyes checked. I think I need new glasses, for distance and reading. I could have had the test and claimed back the cost but that health plan renews in mid-April. So I’ve missed out on that for this year. Ho hum.

Moral: Never put off until tomorrow what you should have done yesterday.

It does mean that I won’t feel too guilty about failing to hit my New Year’s non-resolutions anytime soon. I did pick up a holiday brochure; but hadn’t got around to convincing anyone to help me get on the aircraft and go somewhere nice (or Nice). I’ve got plenty of time to practice my photography, but only a few places to go. And nothing happening when you get there.

Circle of life

Unless you count the swans…

Photo: two swans on the River Aire in Leeds, March 2020.
Mated mute swans maintaining social separation.

The swans, who have been in the area for a good few years now (I think they pre-date my arrival) have decided to nest on the bank right opposite my flat. They scoped out the place a few weeks ago, started nesting and have mated (don’t worry, I missed that bit). As of this afternoon there is at least one egg – I’m sure it wasn’t there earlier over the weekend – and they’re now taking turns to incubate.

It’s all very exciting!

They just don’t seem to be spending all of their time doing this, so I might be wrong. They’re scaring away any other birds than come close though, and I really wish I’d had my camera in hand for that (I had the vacuum cleaner instead, sorry). Still, a bit of research on the subject will occupy my time. A slightly safer hobby than that of a certain astrophysicist.

Life, as they say, goes on.

I can still catch a direct train to London, Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Plymouth. Bizarre, isn’t it? I do not think this word ‘lockdown’ means what you think it means.

Started the month with six open job applications. Four rejections, one was supposed to interview in February and the sixth was being run by the same people (but for a different organisation) as the one that was supposed to interview in February. Good to know that a national crisis isn’t affecting their HR team at all.

I did toy with becoming an NHS Volunteer, but I’ve no means of transport. That leaves phoning people up to ask how they’re doing… I mean, you just wouldn’t want that, would you? Not from me.

Had a minor wobble last Thursday (+ 12 hours either side) but came out unscathed.

Was hugely amused by the story about the worldwide shortage of condom supplies, as for once I’m ahead of the game. Then I remembered I have no-one to share them with, and got sad again.

I’ve spent the last five weeks going through this site’s theme with a fine-toothed comb on a test site, correcting code, adding new styles, removing old ones and making it a bit more ‘sensible’ under the hood. Now I need to take a break from it. Plus, I will insist on trying new ideas out at 10pm which then keeps me up for at least two more hours.

I have also learned how difficult it is to extend the new WordPress block editor, so I could fill my time usefully learning how to do that, in a few weeks.

For April, however, I have something else entirely new planned…

But worry not: the next update will be much more comms focused. Give me a few days to get up a head of steam. It’s not as if there are any distractions.