You build an audience. That audience has expectations. Sometimes it’s fun to be a Kardashian in the world of ‘The only way is Essex’. Just saying.
So the time came where I actually reached fifty. I’m as surprised as you are. I can officially no longer leave a good looking corpse, although I somehow seemed determined to leave one sooner rather than later.
So what now?
Some things are coming to an end, mortgage payments, life insurance, sanity. Stability is almost all but certain, I’m not planning on being a miserable ninety year old, where the only thing I have to look forward to is getting through the night without pissing myself. Do I want another relationship? No, I really don’t think so. Been there, done that, have the paperwork. I no longer have the spare wardrobe space to support it. I’m quite happy vanishing a couple of times a year to service various needs. You get to meet lots of new people and indeed some of them turn into friends. I do get the feeling though that I’ve hit some kind of rut that I need to break out of a bit. I’ve always had the gym and that gives me continuity, but there are other things that I feel I should change.
For the first time in a long time (probably twenty-five years), I went flat out at the local BMX track yesterday. I’ve been there for the last few months and during lock-down, but not really in anger as I didn’t have the safety equipment. Although I did manage to dislocate my shoulder a few weeks ago, one quick tug and all was back in order. I had a feeling at the top of that start hill, well even before then I was seriously apprehensive before I even set out. Can I still do this? Do I have the balls to jump from the start gate and pedal flat out to the first jump? There was only one way to find out. I soared through the air like an eagle wearing more padding than Elton John’s grand piano in the back of a Pickford’s lorry. I was free again, the fear was gone. I was there for a couple of hours and probably did about fifteen laps or so. Your heart rate rockets, it’s very tiring.
There’s some other things I need to get a handle on, but I think this could be part of the solution.
Here’s to the next thirty years, at least.
So all was fine Monday, downed a bottle of wine during the evening, watched TV, nothing unusual. Went to bed….and then nothing happened. Just lied there. Tossing and turning, went for a pee a few times, still nothing. Then it started to happen. Things no longer appeared as they should, there was stuff in the room that shouldn’t have been there and also things were missing. Then I couldn’t move. Completely trapped by my own duvet. I was the being attacked by my own mind. I started screaming. If I kept my eyes open was I witnessing reality? If I closed them was I then entering a world that wasn’t real. What was the distinction. I relied on the fact that reality was probably when the dogs were pacing around the bed wondering what the fuck was going on and fantasy was when all was quiet. I watched the clock as two hours passed afraid to move, afraid to open my eyes, afraid to close them. It was a very scary experience, but sadly not the first one and certainly not the last. Caused by a serotonin imbalance. They do say that you are you own worst enemy.
Last night I popped 2mg of Zopiclone after that didn’t do much I had another 3mg. I don’t remember anything after that apart from waking up, so will chalk that up to a success.
Ordered more 5-HTP. That should put everything back in balance. I’m quite happy to be killed by most things, but currently my own mind isn’t one of them.
So now been off the wine since Saturday, which is the longest I’ve been for years (except when I was on holiday I drank more vodka than anything else). It’s a bit of an experiment really, to see how it effects my sleep. Can drink as much beer as I want, but no wine. It’s been interesting so far. First night didn’t sleep much, but as time goes on I’ve been sleeping more, or in my case, remember being awake less. Remembering is quite nice also. Tried taking ‘NAC’ again. The first time I took it I found it gave me nightmares, and sure enough this time I woke up (but didn’t), to see a giant rat running down the curtains. What put it into the correct perspective is I thought I don’t actually have curtains in this room. Yesterday drank a lot at quiz and slept fine. Will be out again this evening. Will continue into the weekend. Is this the end of wine? We shall see….
So last night I didn’t sleep again. I have a theory, it’s something to do with wine. Now stick with me. If I drink ‘a lot’ of wine, seem to sleep fine. But then if I just drink beer the next day I can’t sleep. Working on this theory I will stay off the wine for a little while and see how it effects my sleep.
Today was another first….I went back to the gym and did combat. I almost broke into a sweat, it was good to be back, and planning on going back to pump on Friday. Hopefully start of a good new routine.
So heard the news the other day that ‘Clive’ had passed away. Haven’t seen him since my dad’s funeral, where he recounted the story of the exploding tomatoes in the greenhouse. Apparently they built this greenhouse using double glazing and filled it with tomato plants. It was one of the very hot summers during the 1970’s. They went to work, came back and saw everyone of the tomatoes had exploded in the heat, making it look like some kind of massacre had occurred.
He was a neighbour back when I was probably about five or six. He had two kids which were a similar age (maybe a bit older) to my sister and I. He worked with dad for a number of years, fitting windows. They got an old ladder and put half each side of the garden wall so they could get over in the morning to whoever kept the van that night. He had a fish pond and a dog called ‘Jane’. Quite a few memories of Clive, he was a bit of a chirpy chap, and always brought out the best in Dad. I don’t have that many fond memories of my Dad to be honest.
So that’s another one of that generation shuffling off. My old school friend announced recently that his dad had also passed at the age of ninety odd, from dementia and old age. If we have a cold winter then I can see a few more popping off this year.
My sister will never be an ‘aunty’, but at some point she will certainly be a ‘granny’. She will hate that. But it does mean we then ‘all move up a level’, then it will be our turn next.
I’ve never really been one to binge a complete series in a few days, but this one was a must with a four hour final sitting. Going back to the dystopian past, there was ‘Battle Royal’, which was the original ‘the only way you can win is by killing everyone’ film. Then you had the likes of ‘The hunger games’, which draws the whole thing out for ages and is a bit gore free. But ‘Squid game’, takes it to a whole new level. The thing is does so right is that it has very few main characters, which allows the series to explore them in quite some depth. You actually develop feelings for them, you know the main character is going win (sorry, should have said, ‘spoiler alert’). But seeing everyone else dying along the way is done in a very clever way.
I’m now going to look at ‘Alice in Borderland’, which is apparently even better, but more underground. It’s good to see ‘Torture porn’, is really back with a vengeance.
But ‘Squid game’, go watch it on ‘Netflix’ now.
So the beginning of the week was somewhat normal. No complaints about that at all, don’t like anything too exciting Monday to Wednesday. Ended up working on some stuff quite late into the night. Ordered lots of chemist stuff for holiday. Was contacted about ordering 64 pills of pain killers, said I was stocking up for a hangover. They sent the pills.
New server working out well, done a couple of additional security fixes. Wednesday we did the quiz and came second. Can’t win every week. Today I had to go to the ‘clinic’ for a blood test. It was done by Jan, so I ended up looking like a stigmata. After two attempts I’d run out of arms to use so she got someone else in to do it. Still that should all come out clean (If it doesn’t I’ve been shagging in my sleep).
Off to Elaine’s now. Food. No walking tonight as it’s pissing down, and I’ve been generally pissed on enough over the last few days. Planning on sitting here again all tomorrow to know up some extra hours, then in the studio most of the weekend I think.
Well as I didn’t drink shit tons last night, it meant two things. One, I wasn’t going to sleep well, and didn’t, and two I was going to be awake fairly early with a clear head. So took advantage of that and fixed the server fstab issue. I think that is everything now, but just noticed WordPress is moaning about some missing updates.
Put everything I was using for the server update back into the loft. I now have a clear workbench ready for the next project to begin.
Walked one dog, then went over to my friends to help them install a blind. It was a real bitch to put it blankly. Plasterboard walls so had come back for the right fixings. Got there in the end but took two hours. Went to Iceland, was so hot I could have jumped in a freezer.
Finally did a new version of ‘Snow’ for my nephew, then walked dog number two. Started on Coz’s song at last, got a few ideas for this one. Did that for a couple of hours then did another 12Km on the BMX as I didn’t have my calories and exercise for the day, although I think that blind probably took more out of me than the bike.
Now going to jump in the shower and then have a curry and watch the Grand Prix and maybe strictly…how things have changed.
So after almost two years of procrastinating and a PC on my bench, I’ve finally finished the upgrade. Server has been running Ubuntu 12.04LTS (Long term support) version for almost ten years. I know it’s long term support, but that ran out a few years ago. So started to upgrade it to 16LTS I think, started writing down the entire procedure in a notebook. Some eighteen months later and it hadn’t been touched. Decided it really was time as sooner of later the server was going to die. I’d got as far as getting the web server working and updating all the SQL stuff, so basically this blog was working.
So a couple of weeks ago I decided to take what I did and actually document it in a word document. Three weeks later and it’s done (well very much almost). It’s completely rebuilt from scratch and now running Ubuntu 20.04.3LTS which is apparently good until 2030….I wonder if I’ll upgrade in time. Doubt it. Everything was fairly smooth when I followed all the instructions correctly. The original Shorewall config didn’t work, so that put up fight trying to get something going there. Also I have a fault in fstab somewhere and need to work out what root disc to mount, but that’s quite minor in the grand scheme of things.
Also upgraded the hardware as the old server was struggling with memory. Had a look around and found a ‘mini PC’ on Amazon for £270. It has 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, plus six USB ports and VGA. So was pretty much perfect. It came with Windows 10 Pro, but soon said goodbye to that.
It’s now all working perfectly except the mount issue, and it’s getting late. But now I have a very secure up to date server running Apache, Postfix, Courier and lots of other goodies. It’s all setup correctly with SSL and a very strict double firewall in my DMZ.
So overall, very pleased.