September 2009 in the Life of Ben (Blog)
Cycling Relieves Stress (27th September 2009)
Took the roads through Crookham Village to the Barley Mow. Took the lane over the bridge and came back along the towpath.
The “need for speed” came over me when I reached the long, undulating, downhill section of the lane. I decided to go all-out and was really zooming along!
- My bicycle’s transmission sounded like a jet engine starting up.
- The road noise akin to that of a car on the motorway.
- The wind noise reminded me of using the external view in Gran Turismo 4 whilst driving the long Mulsanne Straight.
- The sensation of speed was exhilarating!
The lane joins into the towpath. I was careful to go in the correct direction, so the canal was on my right. Then I rode it all the way back home.
Set off at about 6pm and got back at about 7pm. It’s actually quite a long way so to do it in an hour was a pleasant surprise. The weather was pretty warm but I’m glad I chose against wearing shorts like last time!
Before this cycle I was feeling quite angry about work, people and suchlike. By the end of the ride I was smiling. I guess zooming leads to smiling…for me, anyway.
Long Cycle in Shorts (12th September 2009)
I had been lubricating my bicycle with the new can of GT85 dad bought before my parents went on holiday. Meanwhile, the guinea pigs mowed the law to create a quiet background sound of chomping, mumbling and squeaking mixed in with the occassional birdsong overhead.
Rode a long way but it’s now 9:30pm on Sunday. I have to get to bed to wake up around 6:20am tomorrow morning!
Guinea Pigs in 3 Runs (12th September 2009)
At about 3pm I put the Guinea Pigs out on the lawn. Had to use all 3 runs because we have so many now! In total there are 6 adults and 12 babies kept in 3 separate runs. Quite a herd!
Dutchie had given birth to a litter of 5 babies earlier in the week, while my parents are on holiday. So, here is a list of what we have at the moment.
- Litter of 4.
- No litter.
- Pregant. Very pregnant, in fact!
- Litter of 5.
- Litter of 3.
We have 3 these 3 runs for the lawn, made out of a metal lattice material:
- Low with square holes divided in two, roughly 1:3.
- Low with rhombus holes and sharp edges.
- Tall with thick bars.
I arranged the guinea pigs similarly to how they live in their runs. Only difference is I put Roxy by herself, in one side of the run with square holes. Lad was in the other side. He has a run to himself while the females have litters.
I had to move all the runs after half an hour or so. Those piggies can really munch! Since the babies are so small I had to catch them before moving the runs. This meant they are all very familiar with being handled, now! Proper grass is probably very good for the mothers’ milk and the exericse is good for them all.
Reminded me of Sunshine and Guinea Pigs (with photos) which I blogged over a year ago. Adding more photos and pictures is something I would nice to do with this blog. There are lots of screenshots in my UI reviews area because these are relatively straightforward to capture, with perfect quality and easy sizing. Taking photos is a lot more involved and sourcing relevant pictures at sensible sizes can be similarly time-consuming.
Drinks After Work (10th September 2009)
A nice long shower and some grooming yesterday prepared me for a new foray into socialising: staying for drinks where I work. I’d had a couple of brief pub lunches already but imagined this would be a bit different.
Some people dress up for this. In retrospect I think they stop by, have a couple then leave for a proper night out. Either way, I decided to wear my suit to make a bit of an event of it. Several people noticed and commented on it.
I started by talking about commuter routes and times. This quickly led to anecdotes and experiences being shared. A nice way to start the conversation.
Subjects never seemed to run dry, with the stories mostly being led by two people. Weren’t many people there, probably fewer than 10 for most of the time.
A couple of people in the room I work from stopped by to say hi. This was cool since I hadn’t worked with them but had wanted an excuse to chat.
I got into a pleasant discussion about sci-fi movies for a while. What I’d say during such a conversation is something I’ve daydreamed about from time to time. Was interesting to see how some of those things sounded out loud and what another actual person thought, rather than a critic on TV.
After an hour or so I decided to leave. I mostly pleased with how it went but wish there had been someone I could have left with. Doesn’t feel like a true social occassion when you’re in the Reception area.
It was certainly worth doing and reminded me of the simple pleasure if being in the company of others.
Parents on Holiday (7th September 2009)
Today my parents left for their holiday in North Wales. They will return on 14th September 2009. Basically, from one Monday morning until the next Monday afternoon.
In the meantime I will be driving solo to and from the railway station, about 3 miles away. As well as:
- sorting out meals (we’ve often had family meals or take-away since I started my job in London);
- guinea pigs;
- tending garden;
- and all the chores of a normal life.
It’s amazing how much time all those errands and “little things” take up and the pressure of that responsiblity. Arrived at work about 3 hours one day since I couldn’t get to sleep until around 2am.
At times I’ve felt like a real grown-up! Taking this job has been a rollercoaster of emotion. It’s been very difficult for me at times. It has been total glee at others. So much feels like it has changed but my parents and my home are always there when I need them.
This choice has broadened my horizons. With each week they move further, hopefully leading to more social experiences.
Driving Home from FLE (3rd September 2009)
Mum has driven to pick me up in the Almera and I have driven it home.
On 2nd September 2009 it was dark and there was pouring rain. The car ahead of me pulled out of the carpark onto a roundabout. It went right into the path of a merging Mercedes, nearly getting side-swiped.
Puddles alongside the road were so deep I had to drive near the central white lines to avoid splashing pedestrians. Really quite an extreme learning curve for my first time driving on public roads in about 7 years!
This evening it went smoothly. I had gotten on the wrong train at WAT; probably misread the platform number for the train I wanted. So it was about 8pm by the time I got to drive home but there was a decent amount of daylight left and the roads were almost clear.