It’s been a very long week with my upset stomach and I’m glad to finally get to the weekend. I had a quiet day today except for a trip to the bank to pay in my paycheque (my employer, a software development company, pays by cheque… in 2020). I don’t really know how I am. I’m definitely not as tired or generally ill as I have been, but I am still getting a bit of nausea, a lot of heartburn and my toileting is definitely not back to normal. Too much information.
I don’t know how this kind of thing is supposed to progress. I guess I’m over the virus but my insides are still inflamed.
I am eating a bit more though so that’s good.
I am very pleased with myself today because I phoned up the student loans company this morning and paid off my debt. It would have taken about 5 more years if I’d continued paying the minimum per month, which doesn’t make sense given that it accrues interest faster than my savings. So there we go. It’ll be nice to get my next payslip and not see a student loan deduction (assuming HMRC don’t mess it up, which is a big assumption!).
After writing on Monday evening about how happy I was…
I woke up on Tuesday with an upset stomach. Tuesday was horrible. Wednesday was better in as much as everything hurt but at least I didn’t feel nauseous anymore. I slept about 10 and a half hours and thought I felt a lot better this morning, but I’ve felt quite nauseous again today. At least things don’t really hurt anymore though.
I know I must be ill because I don’t want to eat and I don’t want to run.
It’s taken a while but over the last week or so it’s occurred to me that I am actually feeling happy.
I’m enjoying my new job. Today I was invited to a meeting by the managing director on the next phase of the project. We’re looking at NLP (natural language processing) but we’re not really sure what it can do for us, or even how to use it. It’s a research thing. But being invited to that meeting is an important milestone.
On Wednesday I have a GP appointment to get more anti-depressants. I feel like I’m going to discuss the apparently contradictory concerns of 1. Please can I have these on repeat now, and 2. Do I actually need to be on them? I think it’s time to start solidifying a medium term idea of how to come off them even if I don’t want to change anything just yet.
So anyway, I’ve had a nice evening lying in bed listening to Lady Gaga.
The bees were huge and for some reason the only way to fend them off was to shoot them in their knees. Unfortunately, try as I did, I just couldn’t hit the stupid bee in the knee. And there was a serial killer. He was bald and he had an evil face. I think he was controlling the bees. I think the bees may have started off as horses but changed into bees part way through the dream, which might explain why they were so big. Horse sized evil bees!
I was not a happy bunny when I woke up at 1:34 this morning.
I was also not a happy bunny when I woke up at 5:15, because I was having another dream about fucking Becky from my old job. Please note that that was an adjective, not a verb. I can’t actually remember now what she was doing in my dream, but I remember being displeased when I woke up. Less displeased than about the bees though.
I started taking a multivitamin a few days ago.
Of all the effects I was expecting from taking vitamins, neon yellow pee was not one of them.
Today a colleague resigned. Or that’s the official story anyway. We’ll call him L. Whether he resigned or was pushed I don’t know. He was a senior developer who started in August (I started in November), but it was obvious to me that he was struggling with the work and the job in general. Last Friday my manager had a one to one meeting with him because he’d caught him sleeping at his desk twice. He was an odd person. L told me that he left his previous job without giving any notice because it was a bad environment, and also mentioned that they used to “watch them like hawks” in case anyone fell asleep. That seemed like a strange comment at the time, which gained a lot of context in the last few days.
I had a look at his LinkedIn profile, which is detailed to the point that he documents his activities from years ago during periods of unemployment. He’s in his 60s but hasn’t held a job for longer than two years in the past ten. It’s an odd CV and actually I’m a bit surprised he was hired.
Today L finished some work (a report/document), and my manager asked to go through it with him in a meeting room. After a little while, another manager turned up and removed his coat and bag from the room.
Eventually my manager came back and announced he’d resigned. I’m not sure I believe it, but equally, if he was given a warning on Friday it would be odd if the company terminated him only two days later. It’s probably more likely that he did quit, but it doesn’t entirely add up, because it looked like he was making an extra effort yesterday and this morning. On the other hand, he was an odd guy.
I felt a bit unsettled about it anyway. I don’t know if or how it may affect me. I think I’m doing OK. I think I’m doing a lot better than he was, and he was nominally of a much more senior level than me.
I’m still on my probation period and it’s a bit unsettling for someone to suddenly disappear, but on the other hand, I’m also contractually promised a salary review after six months of employment, and their budget just got looser.
I live in interesting times.
First, I have to mention it: I was quite upset by the news of Caroline Flack’s death yesterday, which is surprising since I don’t think I had heard of her before she was arrested in December. I suppose that it’s just because I almost did what she did; I know roughly how she must have felt, and it brings back those memories for me. I think it’s incredibly sad. I also think that from the details that have been revealed so far, the case is a bit of a mess and it’s not at all clear why the Crown Prosecution Service were pushing ahead with prosecution. I hope that an appropriate level of scrutiny will be applied here. It is in the public interest to determine whether the CPS acted responsibly and to ensure they are held to account if they did not.
So… weekend. Storm Dennis followed Storm Ciara, but I was having none of it this weekend. This is England, if you react to a bit of moisture by staying inside then you’re in the wrong country.
Most nearby Parkruns were cancelled due to fears over the weather, but ours was on and saw a good turnout (probably because it was the only one on…). My run was terrible at 22 minutes. I have a half marathon in seven weeks and I feel so unprepared and unfit. But I did about 12k total on Saturday.
I ran another 12k this morning, bringing my weekly mileage to 55km (mixing units, sorry not sorry). The run this morning was actually a lot better, my heart rate stayed low and I kept a comfortable pace pretty easily. Unfortunately, Dennis had brought lots and lots of water, so I ended up getting my feet wet at one point when I happened across a huge lake standing between me and the bridge over the motorway. I tried to edge around it but my feet became submerged. I squelched along for a couple of minutes afterwards before deciding to take my socks off, which improved things marginally.
I got back into the park and found that it was a little bit wet. I’ve never seen it anywhere near as flooded as this before. Yes that is a bench mostly underwater in the background. Yes you are supposed to be able to sit on it.
Then I came home and ate a croissant.
My hip felt a bit uncomfortable this afternoon, but some stretching and foam rolling sorted it out. I’ll have to stay diligent about stretching it as I start to get back into serious mileage.
Here is a graph of my watch’s interpretation of my stress levels over the past few months.
August is when I started on anti-depressants*. In September I started a salary negotiation with my now-ex Boss, which really stressed me out. October brought a few interviews and November had me starting a new job. January had me ‘resting’ a running injury, and February has me returning to almost daily running. It’s incredible to see what a difference regular exercise, or lack thereof, makes to my physically measurable stress levels.
*The graph probably exaggerates the practical reality a bit, because an initial side effect of the anti-depressants was a slowed heart rate (which has since gone back up to normal), which probably confused the readings a bit.
Storm Ciara turned out to be surprisingly bad. My weather app described it as ‘dangerously high winds, so it was a weird day of staying inside all day until late afternoon when I went out for a short walk just to say I had. It occurred to me that the last time I didn’t go outside for a whole day was probably last January when I had flu. I really would have liked a run but I had visions of being hit by a flying tree.
I did some of what I wanted to with my plants. I didn’t do anything with them this time last year because I wasn’t really (mentally) healthy enough to think about ‘investing’ in them. Somehow I managed to keep them alive, but plants are a long term thing. You repot them now and in six months they look better. You sow seeds or take cuttings now and maybe in 3 months you see the faintest hint of growth. I wasn’t really doing long term back then. So some of them are long overdue a bit of care and attention. I don’t like doing much with them over the summer because it can shock them and interrupt their growth, so the best time is right now, just as they’re starting to wake up.
Usually they wouldn’t wake up until a bit later in the year but apparently this year must be mild, because a few of them are throwing up flower stalks. A couple of years ago they didn’t really wake up until June(!).
I still have a lot more to do, but I’ve split a few and potted them up, and de-weeded a few other pots.
This one has been so neglected that it’s deformed the pot. I think that it’s been trying to grow downwards because of lack of space…
A few trays I brought inside so they wouldn’t blow away. As you can see, I have the gift/curse that I can grow plants very easily, which (un?)fortunately means have millions of them. I was intending to start selling them but it’s too much hassle. Baby flytraps are so cute.
I forgot to take a ‘before’ pic of this one but here’s one from last summer, then after splitting it into two today. The smaller of the splits is in the original pot. This was a therapy plant my dad bought for me (in a very unusual display of generosity!) shortly after I had a serious trauma about 18 months ago.
I did Parkrun today at max effort and my hip feels… fine?
So in total today I’ve done about 9k (warmup + parkrun + run home) at a fast pace, which is both further and faster than I’ve run for a long time, and everything feels fine.
I’m hesitant to say everything really is fine, because I’ve had some pain from it this week, but I think it was actually a different pain which might be a red herring (I did a lot of planks one evening, and had some sharper pain the next day; I may have just overdone the planks).
Usually I’d run about 15k on Saturday and then again on Sunday, and I won’t really feel I’m recovered until I’m doing that again. Unfortunately, Storm Ciara looks set to disrupt any Sunday running, but maybe the weather forecasters are being hyperbolic and I won’t really be cowering in my house all day. I can hear the wind now though…
But in some ways it will be good if I do just stay home all day tomorrow because I have about a million plants that need repotting before the growing season starts (which it seems to be doing thanks to some mild weather).