Tag Archives: time management

Camera Faults

The featured image is the Belgian enamelled coin I spoke about yesterday, the one I couldn’t show as I’d left my camera at work.

They heyday of the enamelled coin in the UK was 1887, and many of the coins you see were ones with the 1887 Jubilee head of Queen Victoria. That’s why so many enamelled Georgian coins are worn – they were old when they were done. Most of the Jubilee head coins are in good condition as they were taken directly from the bank to the enameller’s workshop. It’s an interesting subject that I would like to know more about. That, to be fair, is something that could be said of many subjects. This is a paragraph I just rescued from yesterday’s draft, which I am about to delete – I try not to add things after publishing but in this case it’s something I should have covered, and forgot.

Today I had even more camera problems. It started with me thinking it was an eBay problem, which it sometimes is. However, it looks like there’s a problem with my camera card. I have a situation where I take photos but they don’t show up on my card. Other photos show up, ones I thought I’d previously moved or deleted. After a certain amount of switching on and off and trying cables and card readers, it occurred to me that I’d just taken five pictures of a tiger medallion and five pictures of a 1938 cricket giveaway had appeared on the card. What, I asked myself, if those five pictures of 1930s cricketers turned out to be my tiger photos.

It’s a bit of a stretch, I know, but by that time, having done everything I could think of, including clearing my cache, I was at the end of my tether. As I dragged the first photo, Don Bradman changed into a tiger. Very strange.

Haven’t a clue what is happening but it must be a card or camera fault. I will try to narrow it down tomorrow. Meanwhile, here is another shot of the coin with a different background. Generally I find the blue is better when taking pictures for eBay but the black is sometimes better when photographing things as a record.

Enamelled coin – nice rare example.

Learning from last night, I have answered comments and am about to post. Then I am going to watch Pointless and plan some poetry. Tim to get a grip.

 

Running Like a Hamster

It seems like I’ve been writing all day, and all I’ve done so far is catch up on work that I’d allowed to get behind last week. This morning’s post doesn’t really count because it had mostly been written and was just lying in drafts waiting for me to press the button. I did have a  short break for lunch, but having learnt from past experience, I got back to work before a nap attack had time to occur.

I’ve not done a lot of reading recently, so I apologise for neglecting you all but things have been quite hectic. I’ve slept a little too much time away in front of the TV and I’ve put in four submissions in the last four days and I’m trying to do a fifth, though I’m not doing well on that one as I still haven’t touched it today. This is all made more time-consuming by my poor time management abilities.

I’ve also being doing another Buson 100. I did one before, and tried another which I didn’t complete. I’m now four weeks into the new one. I looked at links for the Buson 100, and you’ll never guess what – one of my posts was the fifth. Embarrassingly, it’s from my second attempt, which petered out. I know other people have done it, because I’ve seen it mentioned on several occasions, but very few people seem to want to admit it.

That is, of course, another reason why I’ve been short of time. I’m writing 70 haiku a week and trying to do a few diary notes each day to put them in context. Some days it takes twenty minutes, some days I don’t get them done. What tends to happen is that I write them down, but don’t get round to typing them up, which can be a problem on days like today, when I have fifty or sixty haiku to type plus some back-dated diary notes. Actually, I’m writing over 70 a week because I often do a few extra and when I’m typing them I often have a couple of ideas for new ones. Some of them are OK, so it’s not a waste. I will tell you more about it in another post. Meanwhile, if you don’t see me about as much as usual, it’s all part of the process. I have just about sorted it out now and am hoping to get back into the swing of things by the end of next week.

Crepuscular rays at Rufford Park

Crepuscular rays at Rufford Park

 

Where does the time go? (Part 1)

I have decided to do some research on where my time goes. Today I set a fifteen minute alarm and set to work with a plan in mind. I was going to us my first hour fully and the first 15 minutes were going to be writing a post. I can, if I get a move on, do a post in 15 minutes, though photos and tags can take another five or ten depending on how it goes.

The results so far. My first forty five minutes has gone and I have read and replied to the comments, drifted off on top Wiki to look at “Variations in Australian English”, eaten a bacon and mushroom sandwich (cooked by Julia, so no time lost there) and checked my emails. The good news is that these 120 words (approximately half my minimum blog target) have only taken four minutes.

The short answer to my question would appear to be that answering comments takes more time than I would have thought. However, there is no point in blogging if you don’t get comments  I now know what sort of accent Tootlepedal has (I currently have a picture of Miss Jean Brodie, well Maggie Smith, to be honest, stuck in my head, though I’m sure I am wrong), I know how many blog posts LA has written (most of them  more thought provoking than my ramblings) and am far better informed on the variations in Australian accents.

Left to myself I would merely have watched TV. Probably Murder She Wrote. I can therefore claim that my brain has improved as a result, compared to the undoubted atrophy that would have taken place if I had not been blogging.

I have now been going for about an hour (I forgot to reset the timer last time it went off and I have written a post, read and replied to comments and eaten a bacon sandwich. Not bad for an hour.

I will now throw in a few careless tags and recycle a picture and am good to go on my next keyboard adventure. That will be covered in Part 2.

The picture is Arkwright the Tortoise from May last year. I haven’t seen him recently, but it’s been a bit cold so far this year.

 

The List (1)

I’m not going to be caught out like I was yesterday so I have written a list of jobs to do.

  1. Get up
  2. Take Julia to work
  3. Go back home
  4. Make cup of tea
  5. Make toast
  6. Turn computer on
  7. Check WP
  8. Check emails
  9. Procrastinate

So far, I have to admit, it is going well. I am particularly pleased with the procrastination and have managed to pass an hour playing games, reading false news and generally depressing my IQ.

I am going to-

10. Recycle my tea
11.  Make more tea
12.  Do some of the OU course on War Memorials

Numbers 1 to 11 are, of course, the general clutter that needs clearing everyday, though I often leave it until evening if I am at work. The tasks expand, as they say, to fill the available time. I have now, usefully employed just over an hour of my time to finish the course “War Memorials and Commemoration”, as listed at Number 12. It was a bit of a grind because there are 50 pages from a book to be read from the screen, which isn’t easy, and that’s before you realise that it’s 50 pages about critical analysis and various concepts which are not easy for a man of little brain who really wants to learn about war memorials.

I’m feeling quite good about things now. I would probably have put the course off for another day if it hadn’t been for the list, as I’d stalled on the reading when they started on the theory of criticism. I hadn’t realised it would be there. However, I made myself restart it and had started to enjoy it by the end. Fortunately the last 20% of the material was about war memorials and I know enough about them already for the discussions to present no problems.

13. Write blog post.

I just did that. It’s amazing how a list helps…

Could Do Better

Although I haven’t published anything for the last two days I have actually written three posts and, inconveniently, fallen asleep in my chair before midnight.

As a result, the first piece became redundant, the second was consigned to oblivion due to being rubbish, and the third is still in the pipeline. I thought I’d better write this fourth piece just to explain the situation. It’s not very interesting, but it won’t take long, and it will let you know I’m still active, even if I am inefficient.

We had a massive postal day on Monday – packing 25 parcels in just over three hours. Several of the parcels had multiple items in them and two of them went abroad. (When you have to stick £9 worth of stamps on an envelope it can take some time).

I was still seeing stamps as I did various things in the evening and, after a lot of work for little result, I fell asleep in my chair.

Ditto for yesterday, but with fewer parcels. I am really going to have to start making better use of my time.

I will write more later, but have to sort a few jobs out this morning. We were planning on seeing the seals today but Julia forgot that she has a meeting at 5pm, so that was a non-starter. Maybe next week…

Not that it’s a tragedy to miss the seals – they make great photo subjects but they do, for some reason, give birth in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong weather. I really don’t understand how evolution dictated that they should give birth in November in the UK.

It may be to do with the availability of fish, in which case I may never know, as the life of a fish is a mystery to me.

Distractions…

I have 25 minutes before I have to take Number Two Son to work, so just 25 minutes to write this post. I’ve had all day to do it, but haven’t been able to concentrate and get anything written.

I’m slightly distracted by the different colours that seem to have appeared on WordPress. My “Publish” button is an unattractive shade of red, instead of green and several other things have changed colour too. I’d love to know why, as it’s definitely not an improvement. Things were fine just the way they were, and I can’t help thinking there were more important things to do, like fixing the inability of my site to search for photos that are more than a couple of weeks old.

Apart from that, I’m distracted by the number of things I have to do. I have three book reviews to write, for instance, but can’t seem to get to grips with any of them.

At least I managed to run a few errands with Julia today (it was an unadventurous day off today) and finish a book that arrived in the post yesterday. It was a short book.

And so, in twelve minutes I’ve accomplished what I couldn’t manage in the previous twelve hours.

Amazing what a little time pressure will do.

When I post this I will be in the final week of my 100 post challenge and down into single figures for the haiku challenge. Time to think of what will replace them. I’ve gone off the 100 tearoom challenge as I’m having to think of my weight.

The photographs are from a visit to Anderby Creek in 2017, which was a day I remember fondly.

 

 

 

Two Hours

I returned home after dropping Julia off at work and noted the time – 6.09. As I type this line it is 8.02 and I have just finished part of my catching up with WP. I have read and replied to all the people who posted comments over the last few days and made reciprocal visits to the first few on the list. I’m hoping to visit more by the end of the day but I thought I’d post now as “Two Hours” seemed a reasonable title, I’m also finding that if I leave it until the end of the day I find more work to do, or fall asleep in front of the TV, and end up not posting.

It’s 8.06 now. Am I really only writing a line a minute?

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Budgerigar Society badge

The photograph is a Budgerigar Society badge. It dates from 1930 – 1950s. In 1930 they changed from the Budgerigar Club to Budgerigar Society. On the back it has a fitting to go through the buttonhole in the lapel of a man’s jacket. This sort of fitting died out in the 50s as clothing became more casual and pins became the norm. It’s currently on our eBay site with a bid of 99 pence.

When I was 16 I dreamed of working for Spinks. In my 20s I wanted to be rich and successful.

Today I’m happy to have a job that pays me to write about Budgerigar Society badges.

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! as Mr Shelley said.

It’s 8.20 now – where does the day go?

 

A Salad, a Vicar and Time Management

I have returned to cutting out bread and potatoes, and rice and pasta, and I’m feeling a lot more energetic again. Last time this happened I wasn’t sure whether it was cutting carbs or a new dose of pills that did the job. Looks like it’s the carbs, as the pills haven’t changed this time.

I’m currently making salads for lunch by using microwavable quinoa then adding herbs, tinned beans, vegetables and dressing. It’s probably still not as healthy as it could be but it’s healthier than cheese sandwiches and less harmful than buying a succession of plastic-wrapped supermarket salads. It’s also cheaper, which is something I admire. Once I start cooking my quinoa from scratch and boiling my own beans it’s going to get even cheaper.

In time I suppose I may even begin to enjoy it.

This afternoon I saw a vicar. I had to look twice as she was a woman and I’m still always surprised by that even though we’ve had women vicars for years and I’ve met several. What was actually surprising was that she was in the supermarket – you don’t normally see vicars about on a Sunday as it’s their busy day.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s just something you don’t usually see.

Finally, having acted on the suggestions in the time management book I read a couple of weeks ago I’ve now completed a task I first started 25 years ago and had been putting off ever since. It’s nice to know that the techniques do work, even though I’m unlikely to achieve a high-flying career between now and retirement.

Of course, it isn’t actually that difficult. If you want to finish a task you just have to start it then keep going until you finish.

I didn’t really need a book to tell me that.

 

Struggling with Time and Stupidity

I’m currently 80% of the way through Eat that Frog!, which is a time management book by a man called Brian Tracy. The book includes advice on time management, an autobiography that seems to indicate that he left school at the age of eleven to join the Merchant Navy, and an overworked metaphor about eating a frog. You probably worked that out that last bit from the title.

The idea is that if you had to eat a live frog every morning none of your other daily tasks would seem so bad.

My version Eat that Pickled Beetroot!, is even more gastronomically revolting, but less catchy as a title. I should imagine that it will be very popular with people who share my views on pickled beetroot but less so with people who like extended amphibian metaphors.

Of course,  if you are looking for a simple way to cut down on wasted time you might want to consider cutting out time spent reading books about time management. It’s similar to buying a book about decluttering, as I pointed out in a previous post when my sister did exactly that.

Things have been a bit quiet recently, and I’ve missed posting on the last two days. The truth is that I just ran out of words and enthusiasm. It was a combination of big subjects (gun control and OXFAM), more low-level illness and some jobs that needed doing more urgently than the world needed another blog post.

Instead of facing up to the challenge I decided to leave it alone.

I don’t suppose that 5,000,000 members of the NRA are remotely interested in what I think about gun control. Fair enough, as I’m not interested in what they have to say about grouse moors.

However, I can’t leave without suggesting that, although there are moral questions over the activities of some OXFAM workers, there is nothing in the actions of our MPs that suggest they are suitable to pass judgement on the morals of others.

 

Thursday, Bloody Thursday

This being Thursday I went for a blood test. They are currently taking blood fortnightly and last week, to be honest, after several months of weekly tests, I felt like something was missing all morning.

Today’s appointment was 9 am, which was unusual as they are normally around 11. It looked like I was going to get a lot of Christmas preparation done today, which was good because I have a long list from my beloved.

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, as Robert Burns said, Gang aft agley. 

I was seen on time, but after two goes at getting a sample from the right arm the nurse decided to ask a colleague to have a go at the left. As if by magic the colleague appeared just as the phone was ringing.

“Ha!! exclaimed my nurse, “it must be ESP.”

But it wasn’t. The other nurse had bent down to pick up a piece of paper and her back had locked, so she was coming through to ask for help in taking blood from her patient.

Eventually we secured the services of a third nurse.

She had a go in the left arm, admitted defeat and instructed me to go to the City Hospital phlebotomy unit. That’s a word that’s just crying out to have a poem written around it. So I drove home, had a glass of water, as recommended by the nurses and went to phlebotomy.

These days you take a ticket, just like a delicatessen counter at the supermarket.

Mine was A161.

The screen flickered on as I sat down and a bored robotic voice called ticket number A149 to Bay 1. The woman next to me let out a great sigh. I would later find out that she had the ticket before me.

The difference was that I had a book and she didn’t. As I learned about the currency reforms of Henry VII she carried on muttering and shifting in her seat.

After what seemed like quite a short time I was in a chair with a young woman in a red coat (dyed, rather than blood stained). I can see that a red coat is practical but it did make me think back to the days of the barber surgeons. We discussed my previous history of unsuccessful blood sampling (this isn’t the first time I’ve been sent to hospital after the Practice Nurses found it tricky) and she set to work.

One prod of the arm, one puncture and, seconds later the sample was in the tube.

To be fair to the Practice Nurses they do a lot of different things whereas the phlebotomists are specialists in taking blood. It’s all they do. Smile, stab, label the sample and start again. It must be very dull. I’d be tempted to do it wrong just to relieve the boredom.

As I left the hospital I noted the time.

11.00 am.

Just goes to show that some things are meant to be.