Tag Archives: good intentions

Day 197

I switched on the computer after watching the World Athletics Championships. It brought back a lot of old coaching tips and I was brimming with good intentions and sports-based motivation. This survived until I went to look at my emails and found I had one from eBay. It was a reminder that I was watching something. I clicked on it and spent the next eight minutes glued to the screen, eventually adding another unusual brooch to my collection of sweethearts. Or another piece of junk that Julia will have to sort out when I die (according to her jaundiced view). Though the way she moans about my collections I might not be the first one to die. Just saying . . .

So, Computer 1 Good Intentions 0.

Cambridgeshire Regiment Sweetheart

Yorkshire Light Infantry Sweetheart

This was a pattern that continued as I stuck a couple more bids into my sniper programme and then browsed 300 more brooches. Most of them were common, over-priced, damaged, or a combination of those three. One is described by the vendor as “good condition” when it clearly isn’t, even from the (deliberately?) blurred photographs he has used. I’ve been caught that way once already in the last few weeks – it seems to be becoming a common sales technique. Not quite a lie but far from accurate.

Some are beautiful but outside my price range – these, when you read contemporary newspaper accounts were often wedding gifts of well-off grooms to their wives, and not necessarily hasty purchases before being sent overseas.

Scots Guards Sweetheart 1914-18

If I won the Lottery (which we all know I won’t, it’s just a convenient figure of speech) I would collect them. However, despite the cost and precious metals I wouldn’t necessarily value them more than the shilling and half-crown brooches that Private Smith bought for his girlfriend or his Mum before going overseas.

Apart from every story being unique, it’s a reminder that although rich people leave better stuff behind, and more written sources, theirs isn’t the real story of history.

Sweetheart Brooch – 10th Royal Hussars

Day 181

It’s late and I’m struggling for inspiration. In a day that started with so many good intentions, and ended with none of them implemented, this one will hardly be noticed. I meant to write the post as soon as I got home but didn’t, and I meant to avoid eBay, but I didn’t. The two things may be linked.

The programme for the Numismatic Society is out and I am down for a talk next spring – it seems I’ll be interpreting the 20th Century through medallions. That wasn’t the title I had in mind, and seems rather a grand claim. I am going to have to start preparing now, as the standard keeps getting higher every year.

Last month was poor for poetry submissions – just one submission in the end. I lost momentum and slacked off a bit too much. In July I have a chance of 14 submissions. I won’t be able to manage all 14, but I’m hoping to have a far better go than I managed this month. I did look at some other poetry magazines, with the intention of  submitting but in the end did nothing about that either. The plan is still to submit the best work I can to the best magazines.

When I first started writing poetry I selected magazines at the bottom of the pile. It secured me some confidence and some publication, but it doesn’t feel as good as getting in decent magazines.

Now I just need ten words to push me over the line. Done it!

 

Gold £2 Coin 1995 End of WW2 Reverse

Day 137

Arrived home at 4.30, crammed with good intentions. It is 8.44 now and the intentions, though still there, are starting to leak out slowly as I subside, like one of those faulty Christmas Santa decorations people have on their lawns at Christmas. All I’ve done is eat leftovers and buy something on eBay.  Eating leftovers is good, buying stuff on eBay is not quite so good. I am not short of stuff.

I was going to get some submissions sorted tonight and look up some recipes. So far I have watched several actors reciting poetry on You Tube. And this. OK, I’ve looked at a couple of on-line auction catalogues too. As I work in antiques and collectables this counts as Continuing Professional Development rather than wasting my life and filling the house with junk.

We had an interesting customer on eBay. He emailed us this morning. The gold medallion he ordered a couple of days ago ahs arrived and he is unhappy that it is so small. Our details included the information that it weighed half a gram, was 11mm in diameter and, as if that wasn’t enough, included a picture of it next to a ruler. There is a market for these tiny gold coins and medallions, though I’m puzzled why anyone would want one.

We don’t want him to be disappointed, so told him he was welcome to return it, though we did point out that we had been accurate in our listing.

So he decided to start an argument.

Time is money and we don’t get paid for spending time winning arguments, so we just ignored him. That seemed to annoy him even more so he launched another rant.

I really don’t know what makes some people tick.

Ten Steps to a Better Life

I’ve decided to make some changes to my life. That way, slowly but surely, it will improve.

One, do some housework every day. I belong to the Quentin Crisp school of housework (“There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”) but if we are going to retire to a bungalow I need to sort things out. I just did some shredding. I’m now up to 2008. No need to overdo it.

Two, exercise every day. Even a little bit. Including my hands. Make it into a habit. I’m going to find my weights and residence bands and start leaving them around too. As long as I remember to rearrange them every day Julia will never know I’m not actually using them.

Three, make a good nutritional decision every day. Today’s decision is not to eat biscuits. My willpower on this matter is boosted by the fact that we finished the biscuits on Monday. Tomorrow’s decision to avoid fizzy drinks should be quite easy too.

Four – stop pressing those internet buttons which promise to show you something amazing some American found buried in his back garden. It takes a long time and the only amazing thing is that I fall for it every time.

Five. Go out and walk every day. To the car and back should be about right.

Six – write a retirement plan – that way it won’t creep up and surprise me.

Seven –  start using shopping lists. It will make online ordering less of an adventure but will be better for us nutritionally.

Eight – plan my writing for the year. I have  a few things I want to do but unless I write them down with dates and everything, they won’t get done. This, Julia reminds me is a SMART Plan –  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I’ve done it before and it’s worked, I really should do it again. That should also help me stop pressing those alluring internet buttons – it’s nose to the grindstone for 2021.

Nine – employ psychology in my struggle with weight loss. Repeating the mantra “Stop eating or you’re going to die, you fat bastard” will be a start. I don’t see any point paying Noom to do that when I can do it myself.

Ten – stop promising Ten Point Lists when you can’t actually think of ten things.

 

Study Number 1 - The Idiot

Tuesday Morning

Today, as ever, started with the death of a good intention. I meant to get home and start decluttering before writing, but in the end I went to sit in the back room of a shop and drink tea.

It was relaxing, but not productive.

I then went shopping, even though we are supposed to be doing it by internet. We have somehow run out of bread again so I thought I’d get some in and buy a few extra bits we could do with.

I’ve had a problem with my stomach recently, lasting two weeks. It wasn’t quite Irritable Bowel because I didn’t have my normal stomach cramps, and it doesn’t seem to be cancer as I checked my output and it all seemed normal. In fact, it was quite impressive (thanks to my high fibre diet). Julia has told me not everyone wants to know this, so I will leave it. there. I will, however, assure you that I checked seriously and was not just going through the motions.

Those of you from overseas, who are wondering about that slightly out of place last sentence may want to check this dictionary entry as I fear it is only a pun in English, and even then only for people with school boy humour (or me and Derrick, if you really want to narrow it down). Possibly Charlie and Tootlepedal, but they, having been teachers, are probably on a higher plane than that.

It seems not to be the methotrexate either, as, after the first few weeks this does not seem to cause any reaction at all.

I’m trying to cut out the cheese sandwiches at lunchtime, as cheese and milk sometimes trigger the IBS. There is a pan of carrot and parsnip soup on the hob at the moment because, although I am back to normal I need to lose weight and be kind to my stomach. I will have it with a ham sandwich. In my book, there is little I could do to improve on that.  I’m going to follow up with some yoghurt which I also bought today – time to work on my digestion.

So far, so good, though this is borrowed time and we must soon go back to proper working hours. The days I work are now getting longer and Julia is back on public transport most days. I’m not happy about that, and she isn’t happy about the number of people not wearing masks, but there’s nothing you can do. You can’t challenge people because this is viewed as discrimination. You can’t ask for proof. You just have to sit there and out up with their germs.

It’s a shame that the non-mask-wearing idiots who pretend to be disabled can’t all be struck down by Covid. Instead, ironically, they will be the ones likely to survive and infect others.

The Road to Hell…

…is paved with good intentions, as the proverb says. I can’t rid myself of a feeling of guilt as I think about missing a day of blogging, so here is another post I wasn’t meant to write.

I’m going to give in to the inevitable and keep writing, but on the days I was intending not to write I’m going to write, but without a word limit. This will allow me to stay free of guilt, but will not be too onerous. Until recently I tried for 250 words, then upped it to 500. Now I’m dropping it to 100, though in explaining that I’ve already done one hundred and five words. One hundred words is not an onerous task.

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Brambles, progressing nicely

Lockdown news is that all the people who went to Spain are complaining that it’s unfair they will have to go into quarantine on their return. Well, if you go on holiday to Spain, in full knowledge that there is likely to be a second peak, you can’t, in my mind, complain when the second peak comes and the Government takes decisive action.

A doctor was on the news this morning saying that he couldn’t take two weeks off to self-isolate on his return because he had an important job to do. Shame he didn’t work that one out before going on holiday to a virus hot-spot. It’s not him I feel sorry for, it’s his colleagues and patients.

The scenario was completely forseeable and anyone who has been inconvenienced by the Government’s swift and decisive action must hold themselves to blame.

I complained earlier in the year about lack of Government action, and am glad to see they are taking action now.

So there you are, I am not feeling guilty about not writing a post, I have done a moderate number of words and I have expressed disapprobation of all the whining British holidaymakers in Spain. I like this new, non-blogging regime.

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Yellow flowers – I really must look it up

It’s Cordyalis Lutea – thanks to Tootlepedal for the suggestion. It sounds like the sort of plant for me.

Pictures are spares from yesterday.Having not taken a foreign holiday since my hovercraft trip of 1975 I don’t have any pictures of me sunning myself abroad. In fact, as it was a day trip to rainy Calais, I didn’t do a lot of sunning in 1975; I ate snails and I watched people being sick on the roughest hovercraft trip in history (the pilot’s words, not mine).

Elderly man in search of a Profile Photo

Elderly man in search of a Profile Photo

I tried several shots. Julia says the ones with glasses are better as you can’t see so much of my face. The hair makes me look more surprised than I actually am. I was holding the camera and pointing it at myself so the photograph was not really unexpected.

 

Good Intentions

Prologue

I wrote this post about twenty hours ago, apart from this paragraph. The penultimate sentence was true. I did serve tea. The final sentence did not come true. It should have read “Then I am going to watch comedy programmes and fall asleep in front of the fire, finally waking after midnight and going to bed without posting.” Now that you know that I can pass you over to last night’s second post, secure in the knowledge that it should now make sense.

The header picture is one of my favourite photos, despite its imperfections – you don’t often see a butterfly soon enough to picture it on a crocus. I took it four or five years ago but still like to see it. The other two were things I was working on today.

I walked through to the kitchen half an hour ago with the intention of cooking tea, writing a quick blog post and starting to firm up my presentation. It’s only three weeks away and it’s looking rather under-prepared. I say “under-prepared” but I might actually mean “not started”.

In the old days I used to give talks on the Sealed Knot and the English Civil War. I’d stick a uniform on, grab a box of equipment and set off, often with an assistant, stand in front of an audience and start. No preparation, no heart-searching and, most importantly, no Power Point. I’ve never even used an overhead projector for presentations.

I am absolutely dreading the forthcoming presentation – everybody uses Power Point these days and the audience will be expecting it. Even if I prepare the slides properly I still have the problem of standing, talking and pressing a button at the same time. That’s three things! I’m not sure I’m up to it.

I don’t have an assistant for this talk, so I can’t even tell the audience, “And now I’ll pass you over to Julia.” She used to hate that.

Meanwhile, back at the blog…

I sat down, started looking at comments and found myself whisked away to a world of poetry, parties, hummingbirds, health, ponies, gardens and various amusing characters. I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting my WP reading dreadfully. Sorry about that.

The result of that I left the potato wedges in too long before adding the veggie burgers and not only did I write no blog, but I am now going to have overly crispy potato wedges.

It will be a busy day tomorrow, in place of our usual day off. Julia has a hair appointment in the morning and a meeting in the late afternoon/early evening. We have several collections booked in tomorrow – everyone seems to be selling at the moment – and I’ve been asked to go in as we are going to need to be at full strength.

Banknotes of Sudan

Banknotes of Sudan

After a slow start to the year its good to see that things are finally moving, and I’m glad that the request for the extra day came. when it did – I was going to be lonely tomorrow without Julia. I now have a full day planned, extra pay and somewhere warm to sit without increasing my domestic fuel bill.

I’ve even, eventually, managed to complete the post.

Now I’m going to serve tea.

Then I will add tags and photos.

Medallion - Her Majesty at 90

Medallion – Her Majesty at 90. Complete with gold-plating, spot colour and a Swarovski Crystal, because nothing says “quality tribute” like a garish, blinged up medallion with a crystal in it.

A Complicated Christmas Question

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Robin at Clumber, Nottinghamshire

Things didn’t go well for the good intentions – I’m way behind with the postcodes, I didn’t actually do any work last night and I forgot the poem.

On the other hand, we have cheese and we just tested the stollen.

It’s TESCO Finest Stollen, and it is excellent. Unfortunately, having just looked at the reviews on the TESCO, I see that it contains Palm Oil, which is bad for the environment. On the other hand, according to the link, it is a very efficient way of producing oil ans saves using even more land to produce less efficient crops. It’s all very complicated.

I’m afraid it’s time to push the button and publish this sort post. It’s made shorter by me leaving the camera at work again, so just a Christmassy library shot.

 

Catching Up and Advance Planning

I’ve added the photos to yesterday’s post, and I’ve now added a link back to it which, according to my reading, should mean more activity and popularity for the blog. I will believe that when I see it.

It’s a bit nippy so I’m currently wearing a hat and scarf to sit in the dining room and type this. I always seem to get more done when I’m at the table, rather than using the netbook on my knee.

Time for tea in front of the gas fire I think. I really do have to get to work on my presentation for the Numismatic Society next year as it’s starting to loom.

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Cape Town Peace Medal 1919

There’s not much about tribute and peace medals of the Great War when you start looking online, and some of the links are to things I’ve written in the blog. If that’s the best I can do for sources, I’m in trouble.

Ah well, with a kettle and a handful of good intentions I’m going to make a serious attempt at starting tonight.

Plans, plans, plans

The plan for the morning was to rise early, sneak downstairs as Julia slept and get writing. I have haibun to write, submissions to make and a new ambition to fulfil.

I want to hit my sixth WordPress anniversary with an average of 365 posts per year. I’m currently on 333 a year. I think that means I have to write 365 next year, and a further 160 to catch up. That’s 1.5 posts per day.

So, I need to examine the reasons for my deficiencies in posting.

One, obviously, is idleness, indolence, sloth or laziness. There are some nice words for it, but it all boils down to one of my defining character flaws. I don’t like hard work.

Two, which is a similar thing, my talent for procrastination, time-wasting, loafing and wandering off on the internet, either to play games or browse Wikipedia. Recently I found a new games page and I am now a dab hand at Nine Men’s Morris and, thanks to Wiki, can also discuss its history and variations.

Three, memory. I sometimes forget to post. You’d think one a day would be simple enough to remember but I have a lot to remember, such as my name, computer passwords and what Julia just said to me. Some days it’s hard just remembering how to walk and breathe at the same time.

Four. Sometimes I just fall asleep at the keyboard, leading to fifty five lines saying ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg etc

Or, worse, with the pattern of a keyboard impressed in my face, like one of Dr Who’s more low-budget adversaries.

Today I will attempt multiple posts.

Watch this space.

Today’s picture is the recycled Robin from the Garden Centre in Scone Chronicles 3.