L's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:10 am

Time to move out of the introduction thread and make a journal! Again, my posting schedule's probably going to be a bit inconsistent...

I'm working at the office today, and, like all days where I work at the office, I'm annoyed at having to get out of bed before 7. Therefore I definitely need to move towards increasing the maths tuition so I can drop this boring drudgery income source. It'll be a while before I reach that point, though, so I need to be patient. *breathes in and out deeply several times*

The other problem this morning is that Mum found that a shrew or mouse had got into the cupboard where we keep the spare oats and a lot of dried fruit like raisins and apricots and stuff, and only some of those things were in mice-proof tubs, so we're having to empty out the cupboard and add more tubs, and at least some of the things are going to be have to thrown away. Hopefully if we don't have enough I can persuade her to use second hand tubs or something, rather than buying new ones and using up all that extra plastic...

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:12 am

Good news! It turned out we had a bunch of empty yoghurt tubs and similar that were on their way to recycling, plus a couple of big plastic storage trays we could repurpose, so the shrew situation is resolved without any additional purchasing. :)

At work, I've been sneakily reading stuff on the internet while doing those aspects of the various mindless admin tasks that don't require the computer screen, so I re-read this unusual translation of the Tao Te Ching, Getting Right With Tao by Ron Hogan (http://www.beatrice.com/TAO.pdf), which really cheered me up, and made everything, even the stuff inside the office, seem much brighter. (I've read more conventional translations before also, and even attempted to translate myself directly from the Chinese once, but I do I like this version.)

There's so many good quotes, like this part from Chapter 33:
If you have only what you need,
you have true wealth.
If you never give up,
you will find a way.
If you stay true to yourself,
you will never be lost.
If you stay alive your whole life,
you've really lived.

I don't agree with the whole of Taoism, but I definitely like it. Amongst other things, it reminds me that the less we desire, and the less we want, the happier we'll be.

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:09 am

One of the mice/shrews seems to have chewed through the (pretty thin and had a small crack in it already) lid of one of the bigger plastic containers we put some of the stuff from the cupboard in, and now ANOTHER bag of oats has a hole in it. :O Any suggestions for mice-proof materials? Duct tape? Thicker plastic? Should I try and make a chest out of wood or something? Porridge is my preferred breakfast, so if this keeps happening, it will be pretty annoying.

bigato
Posts: 1756
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:41 am

Is adopting a cat an option? Those problems would be gone. Females are the best hunters, the males are just lazy. Other than that, a metal container with metal lids should stop them. Or metallic furniture like those used in offices for files, as long as it is well closed and without cracks where they could sneak in. Storing everything possible in a fridge, even if it is one that is not turned on/not working, also works. Source: my childhood in a farm :)

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:08 am

We already have two cats, but they keep just sniffing around, failing to catch anything, and then going back to sleep. xD The female cat is sixteen and has cat arthritis or whatever, and the male cat is about 12ish and just dozy I think...

I'll have a look for some metal containers and see what I can find. Unfortunately the amount of types of food my parents bought will definitely not all fit in our fridge...

Thanks for the suggestions, anyway. :)

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:10 am

Another week, another day in the office. Definitely what I will enjoy most once I manage to shift entirely away from office work is NEVER HAVING TO GET UP BEFORE I WANT TO EVER AGAIN. But anyway, the actual work should be decent today. The lady who usually lets me know what needs doing is out of the office today, so I'll just be doing a bunch of the boring routine tasks with guaranteed less interruptions, so I should be able to do some more sneaky reading of something or other quite easily...

Tuition last night went well, did an hour and a half and all the advance preparation I needed to do was spend about 10 minutes pre-drawing some co-ordinate axes. For GCSE students (14-16), I'm at a high enough level of maths that I can pull example questions out of thin air at the last second, based on what I think the students need to practice. Plus I have a textbook from 2015 that is serving me very well as a source of more complicated questions. There were fewer butterflies in my stomach this week, too, now that I'm familiar with that particular client. (Curses of being a shy introvert meeting someone new - I'm always incredibly nervous for my first client meeting. I didn't even put my phone number on my advert, I'm making everyone contact me by email. ;) )

I think the mice/shrews situation seems to be resolved again now, though my mum still hasn't put half of the new containers back in the cupboard. She made my dad spray some sort of horrible foam stuff in a bunch of cracks in the wall that she thought they might be getting in through, so maybe that helped. One good thing that did come of the experience was that it got my parents to actually tidy/clean thoroughly for once, which they only usually do at the bare minimum. So the kitchen is actually a lot cleaner than before.

I also cleaned up the glass-ceilinged area at the back where we usually feed the cats, because I'm going to use the windowsill to grow tomatoes on. It was quite horrible before and had several caked-on areas where the cats had got food all over the place and/or sicked up, because everybody thought it was too disgusting to even think about cleaning, so nobody had done it for a while. Now it looks great. Also there's a lot fewer cobwebs on the windowsill. xD Tomatoes, here I come! :)

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:53 am

Ended up mostly working while looking at a random site I found about DIY basics. My DIY skill level is currently very basic (though not non-existent), so I figured if I read some stuff about it, maybe I could start getting some idea of how to know whether a particular project is doable myself, what sort of thing is involved, etc.

Nomad
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 5:23 pm
Location: UK

Re: L's Journal

Post by Nomad » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am

Regarding office work, in certain professions now it's ok to observe flexi-time hours or work from home. My employer allows both these options but working from home is capped at 2 days a week max.
I think maybe a different kind of office job could ok?

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:35 am

I'm already working only two days a week at the office thing on a self-employed basis, I just hate doing anything for a whole day at once really. xD Two days is what I've found is the maximum office time I can do without slowly turning into a resentful ball of stress... Thanks for the suggestion, anyway. :)

Today (not an office day) I took advantage of the sunshine to walk into the centre of town (an hour each way, up and down a series of steep hills, with a bag full of library books, so a bit of a workout ;) ), exchange my library books for new ones, and go to the cinema to see Shazam!. I know, I should be waiting for films to be out through other means - and I often do - but I do usually let myself see a few a year in the cinema proper, usually spending between £20 and £100 per year depending on how many interesting-looking films there were that year. And in this case it definitely felt worth it, because it was really funny. For some reason when I watch/read a good fiction thing in the genre I prefer, it always ends up releasing all the good brain chemicals and making me basically euphoric - that sort of dizzy, on-top-of-the-world, short term high. Better high from fiction than drugs, I guess. ;)

I ended up taking back 7 of my previous library books (kept 4 that I still intend to read more of) and withdrawing 8 new ones that caught my fancy, which are:

Wild Kingdom by Stephen Moss
Stuff Matters: Genius, Risk And The Secret Of Capitalism by Harry Bingham
Staying Alive: Real Poems For Unreal Times, another poetry collection, edited by Neil Astley. I really loved this guy's other poetry collection, so this should be good.
The Antiques Magpie by Marc Allum
Who Governs Britain? by Anthony King
The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma
The Art Of Asking by Amanda Palmer
Collins First-Time DIY: The Step-By-Step Guide For The DIY Novice by Paula Lamb

I'll report back as to whether they were any good once I've had chance to read them. ;)

Plans for the evening? Relax for a bit, think about the stuff I need for the tuition I've been booked for at the weekend, and probably do an hour or two of stuff for my dad's website. Overall, pretty relaxed. And it really is a beautiful day here.

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:12 am

Another beautiful day here today - and I finally managed to plant some seeds in our garden bed! I'm a bit of a noob at gardening, but I did the burying them in soil and watering them thing. Until they appear, I'll be half convinced in the back of my mind that the seeds that were new this year will have 0% germination rate somehow, but that's just my brain being stupid tbh. I'm going to try and save some seeds for next year this time round, as well, so future garden expenditure will be lowered.

Ideally, I'd like to experiment with permaculture, but since it's technically my parents' garden, they won't let me and I'm sticking to regular organic gardening for now. But hopefully I will have lots of things growing soon. :)

Yesterday at work I ended up reading about natural cleaning products. Again, can't really try it right now because of resistance from my parents, but I figure at least I can learn what is good in preparation for the future. So far, I found things suggesting baking soda toothpaste and deodorant, something suggesting baking soda was a bad idea for deodorant and caused irritation generally and so I need to look at something else instead, and I read some stuff about the general principles of cleaning things.

I have four hours of tuition booked for this weekend, so that'll be good on the money front. I booked it before I remembered that it was the Easter bank holiday, but that's fine, because the part-time nature of my lifestyle right now makes every weekend feel like a bank holiday weekend. Just need to do a bit of prep because the person is an adult learner preparing for a test that's not GCSEs or A-levels, so even though the syllabus is definitely easier than even GCSEs, so I'll be fine on that front, I need to make sure I thoroughly know what is actually on the syllabus for it and how the exam will be formatted. I'll probably do that in the evening though, when it's less nice weather.

I was feeling a bit frustrated that I'm not earning faster yet, but overall, life is good.

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:43 am

A thought, because right now all my money is sitting in savings accounts/other non-risky things with similar return rate:

I would like to learn to invest because then I could get better real returns that everyone is always talking about. However, unlike the hoards over at MMM, due to the 20th century having a lot of growth due to oil, I don't have confidence in index funds in the coming century of resource depletion and climate change. Are there a) some books I could read to learn about different investment strategies, and b) some websites I could use to simulate buying investments without putting my actual money on the line so I could get a bit of an idea about how it works in a less risky way? I'm UK-based, if that makes a difference.

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:19 am

Bit of a slow time on my weekly parkrun this week, because I skipped the mid-week run practice. But my strength exercise is going great! (I'm doing You Are Your Own Gym.) More sunny weather here, and it's predicted to last the weekend. Plus, I've got 2 hours of tuition booked in today and another 2 tomorrow. So, I'll get more money too. :)

bigato
Posts: 1756
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:36 am

I like Ray Dalio’s ideas on investing. You can find videos of him on YouTube and there’s this book called “Principles” that he wrote. You may want to give it a try.

I hope the mice are under control. I remember I forgot to tell that glass jars with metal lids also stop them. Here I sometimes buy some big olive jars that will hold about 1kg of grain after I consumed the olives. You may find something similar in your grocery store and thus get the jars “for free”.

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:58 am

We caught one of them in a trap, and nothing else has been eaten yet, so fingers crossed on the mice front.

I'll definitely check out the investing thing this evening once I'm back from doing tuition. :)

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:07 am

The tuition definitely has legs. :D I feel so much better after having done 2 hours tuition than after having done 2 hours of any of the other kinds of work I've done in the last several years - it's actually fulfilling for me, and it doesn't last for so long at once that I get bored. Plus, better money! Now to go to a spreadsheet and calculate how many students I need to achieve various different net worth goals over time...

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:21 am

My lats are so sore this morning! Yesterday, I was doing the next bodyweight strength workout in the program I am following (I am using the book You Are Your Own Gym, and I'm doing the intermediate difficulty program at the moment), and it included assisted pull-ups, which I hadn't done for a while. Yesterday I managed to do the maximum number of reps it suggested for this week's workouts, and I felt fine yesterday. But I woke up this morning and I have major delayed onset muscle soreness, even to the point that it's annoying to lift my arms above my head to tie my hair back or whatever. I guess that's how I know it's working. ;) At this rate I should hopefully be on track to do a full pull up when it wants me to in 2 weeks time.

Also yesterday, I walked into the village to go to church (I never used to go, but the past couple of years I've been going for the major holiday type services). It's half an hour each way, and my mum always tries to get me to drive instead because "it'll take you ages!" or whatever, but I held firm and walked instead. The sun was shining a lot, so I even found the wide-brimmed hat that I was wearing last year when we had a heatwave and wore that to keep the sun out my eyes. Then in the afternoon I did some tuition, which went well again.

Now I suppose I am again allowed to do the things I'd given up for Lent. I had supposedly given up hot showers, reading fanfiction, and binge-watching TV. I was successful with the TV, but cracked after about a month for the fanfic, and took around 6 hot showers during the Lent period on days such as when I was first meeting a new client, because I didn't think I was able to wash my hair quite as well in the cold shower. I did find the cold showers very invigorating and refreshing, though, so I'll probably keep doing them at least some of the time. I usually wash my hair every two days, so maybe if I have a hot shower on the hair-wash days, and a cold shower on the other days, that'll work. :)

Quantummy
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:39 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by Quantummy » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:11 am

Enjoy your journal - IMO shampoo is overrated and unnecessary. You might try a month without using it.

super-moolah
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:33 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by super-moolah » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:35 pm

Haha I am definitely going to be following your journal - I've only skimmed over so far, but just saw the reference to the modernised Tao Te Ching document which made me laugh! I remember finding it a while ago too but ended up listening to a more regular audiobook version instead.

I will be interested to see where your journey leads, your dream lifestyle from your introduction post sounded lush. What kind of house would you want to live in?

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:36 am

Thanks, Quantummy. What would you suggest instead of shampoo? I've read some stuff about no-poo hair washing before, but not recently, and I don't think I have the time without having to see anyone important to go through a dirty hair transition phase into water-only at the moment.

Thanks, super-moolah - no pressure then. ;) Most versions of the Tao Te Ching are pretty good to be honest, but that one's good for those days where your brain isn't quite as willing to translate out of archaic or mystical language as usual. With the house, I don't have a particular type of house in mind really, but I don't mind if it's small as long as it can fit my book collection, my guitar, and a good desk in addition to the basic life stuff. I'd like a big garden, or at least some garden, so I can a) grow vegetables and b) allow part of the garden to become a wildlife haven. Ideally I'd like it to be some sort of eco-house, that I can heat without being excessive on the central heating front, and maybe grow vegetables on the roof or something, but I don't have any land to build it on and if I did have land I'd need planning permission, so practically I'll probably end up with whatever house in my local area I can afford on a reasonable timescale, and I'll make it work.

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day, between having felt pretty busy at the weekend and my sore lats making me not want to do anything strenuous. Still, I got the last workout of that week of the program done, and I planted more seeds in the other garden bed, and got all the seed potatoes into some of those vertical potato buckets that we had lying around from a while ago. So I think I was productive enough. ;)

BookLoverL
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:00 am

Still ticking over here. It was a slow week for work, because the office only wanted me for one day, so I'm going to do three days on another week, and I only had one tuition session booked (some more starting next week). I didn't mind this at all, even though that means less income this week, because it meant more fun, and some time to relax/get some other things done. I went to the opticians yesterday and ended up paying £69, which gets me a pair of normal glasses and a pair of sunglasses, which I can collect any time after Wednesday. There had been a slight change to my prescription, which I had noticed with things like reading roadsigns and numberplates when driving (was having to wait until they were closer than before). Hopefully my prescription will stay the same for a while this time and I can get away with waiting a few years...

Since I had already walked into town by that point, after my appointment I went to see Avengers: Endgame at the cinema. I promise I don't usually watch this many films at the cinema, but this one was more important to me to see early due to the significant likelihood of it being spoiled on the internet. Here's my review: I loved it, and it was very much an emotional rollercoaster ride the whole way through. If you have seen the other main Marvel films and enjoyed them (Infinity War is the most critical one here because this one was a direct sequel, and for some of the plot elements I'd also recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp even though that one's not really a main film) then it's definitely worth watching, whether that's now or later when it's available cheaper. If you haven't seen any/many superhero films at all, and you haven't seen Infinity War, don't bother because you will be very confused with who everyone is and what is happening. The next film I want to see at the cinema is not out until early July, so now my cinema budget will get a break for a bit.

I also spent some time writing a fanfic that I'd started in November and then abandoned for several months. (Starting hobby projects and abandoning them is very typical for me.) I'm really pleased, because I added to the 13k words I already had, and am now up to 20k+ words and have nearly finished the thing. This makes this the highest wordcount I have managed to reach for a single document so far. Now I just need to get some inspiration for one of my actual original projects that I'd be able to try and publish for money. Right now I have around 3 different part-written original novels, all of which are at around 15k words...

Post Reply