Me, here, now.

Gardening

After neglecting the garden for 5+ years, I finally started getting my hands dirty this year. It’s been a surprising delight. The flowers are blooming. No plants have died yet. And the weeds are more under control than any time last year. All this for a couple of weekends’ work, and 5-10 mins every morning or evening. My highlight achievement must be saving a few plants from near death—the purple petunias, the value pack bogonias and the medium-sized marigold—and seeing them flourish.

I am really enjoying the work in the garden—probably too much according to R. There must be some truth in what Cal Newport said—the joy of creating physical things with our own hands.

Running

I’ve been running well. I like my current running form, and the times have been reflecting the improvement. I ran my Park Run PB earlier at Woking—22:42. I ran the London marathon earlier in just under 4 hours—3:58:44. This is the first year where I have run at least 100 km every month. It’s also the first year when I’ve run at least once every week. I plan to keep the momentum going through rest of the year.

Reading

Reading has been a continuing theme from last few years. I haven’t read as many fiction books this year as non-fiction. Just haven’t found too many of ones I really want to read. Amitava Ghosh released his new book, Gun Island, so I polished that off in less than a day. But nothing much else.

I’ve read a lot of non-fiction though. Quite a few are based around self-improvement and productivity— Make time, GTD for teens, Digital minimalism, Messy, Range, Sprint, Turn the ship around

I’ve read some books from the running, swimming, cycling, hiking world, but again not as many as I would’ve liked. Goater’s Art of running faster gave some good tips, and Scott Jurek’s North was full of inspiration.

I’ve started listing the books, and notes from some of them on this site.

Head & heart

Parents were planning to visit UK this year. They’ve cancelled. I’m sad.

I stopped meditating regularly months ago. I still meditate occasionally, but without the app there isn’t much to guide me through session after session. Most of the time it is just noticing a breath (tip from Make Time).

The year, mentally, has been a roller coaster. I haven’t really touched the depths of depression like I did around October last year, but I haven’t had many periods of consistent happiness either. I have a feeling it’s all very fragile. Or is it brittle?

Finished Todo.txt for Android

I’m ending the second phase of active development for Todo.txt for Android. All core functionality works sufficiently well for my own use. Dark mode is half baked, so have moved it to the backlog for the next phase, whenever that happens.

Not doing much active development on extensions at the moment.

Next up

Next up is starting a new project, or finding a new role. Either way, it’ll be a time of flux and vulnerability. Tread kindly, por favor!

Continue reading Me, here, now.

I’m happy

It’s been a terrible week. I didn’t run. I really struggled with work, faced multiple setbacks. I had to abandon a feature with TTS. Got even more disappointed with Axc—another week of abysmal communication. Even the sleep was erratic. Hadn’t seen/spoken to parents for nearly 3 weeks and I was missing them.

The only good thing was the dogs. Dudley gave us company on Monday and Wednesday, and Barnaby was here for half a day on Thursday. Above all, Chewie gave me loads of extra love. Perhaps he could sense the sadness in me, and decided to do his bit to help.

Today’s been better.

I ran.
Body and head didn’t want to get out of bed. But I got dressed and went.
Legs were stiff and heavy on the warmup but I managed the full 10 min warmup jog. , Tummy was unsettled and legs stiff, so ran the Parkrun at an easy pace. Didn’t have the the heart to go with the pacers today.
Finished in 24:35. Took a quick toilet break to give the tummy some relief, and finished with another easy 20 min jog.

It wasn’t a pleasant run. I definitely didn’t enjoy it. It hurt way more than such an easy jog should have. But I ran, and that makes me happy.

The stretching afterwards felt really good, coming after a week of no running, no stretching, and sitting on a chair for hours.

Meeting Jasper, twice, was an additional bonus. Also met Rich after a few weeks. Saw Andy, Keith, Maddie, Prab, and others as well.

Returned home, stretched a bit more, topped up with a peanut butter toast, and took the boys out for a walk. Met lots of friendly dogs and a few familiar faces.

On the return section, we met a big group of students out for a country walk. Based on dress and behaviour, they didn’t seem from around here. They were definitely not comfortable with dogs. Dudley, ever friendly, decided to go say hello to all of them! And everywhere he went, the students shrieked and jumped away (or froze and stopped breathing)! That shouting triggered Chewie off, and he went barking to everyone. It was a mess. Took me a bit to get them both under control. The students were shaken, but good natured, and hurried off with hearts racing but smiles on their faces.

On return, took a long shower, shaved (after nearly two weeks), and been watching a big stage of Le Tour.

After lunch, called home. Mom picked up quickly today, after no response for two weeks. Turns out they’ve been missing me just as much as I’ve been missing them. It was satisfying to see and speak to her. Dad was taking a nap so didn’t get to see her. But it was good to have at least spoken to ma.

It’s been a tough week, but today has made it a bit better. I’m happy.

Continue reading I’m happy

Today

I completed two weeks of eating without screens1. It’s become much easier now. The hand doesn’t automatically go to the remote or the phone the moment I sit down to eat. The anxiety has disappeared too. I’m definitely lovin’ it.

I started on level two of wobble board balancing today. I achieved a level 1 PB of 6 mins 20 seconds on Saturday after the Parkrun. Also, balancing for a minute or two has become fairly easy now. So, decided to take it to level two today.

I found an old, barely used volleyball that R and li’l R had bought a while ago. They never used it, and it’s only lightly inflated now—perfect for bouncing off the ball while balancing on the board. A small, heavy medicine ball would’ve been ideal, but this volleyball is good enough for me.

There’s just one small (32kg black with 4 legs) hitch. Chewie gets agitated when I bounce the ball off the wall. He thinks all balls were made for him to play. Also, we often play where I bounce balls off the wall and he catches them. He protested that it was unfair that I bounce the balls from such a height at close quarters, and then catch it without giving him a chance. I have a few scratches on my waist from his attempts to topple me off the board and get at the ball!

Today is the first day in three weeks that I’m skipping the scheduled running workout. Between the hot day, and taking care of Chewie in the evening, I just ran out of energy and viable time slots to go for a run. I’m telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. But tomorrow is just the same—late morning will be too warm to run, specially after walking Chewie, and evening will again be busy catering to him. The only viable spot is early morning, but those are my favourite work hours :(

Other stuff happened too, but nothing important or interesting enough to note.

Continue reading Today

Well begun, and well done

Started the day with Parkrun. 24:51 of running, and about just as long chatting with the regulars. In fact spent first lap of the run chatting too – Anne’s dad, Rich from Phoenix, Andy, and Val. Never really bothered to run hard, but ended up with a decent time nonetheless. All the chatting in the first half meant that I had a negative split 🙂

It was a near perfect start to the weekend – a good run, lots of friendly faces, sunshine, and lots and lots of lovely, friendly dogs.

Back home, spent two hours reading the book in the conservatory. It was a beautiful morning with lots of sun, but often interspersed with dark clouds and chilly wind.

After lunch, made myself a coffee, and called home. It turned into an almost hour long video call with parents. It was nice to see them both. It was even better to end such a long call without getting into a fight over anything 😅

Had planned to call a friend too, but the long call home drained all my calling energy.

So I started with the long planned cleaning of the utility room. I expected it to be a long slog. 7 hours of slogging later, I’m only about ⅔rd done. I didn’t expect it to be that long slog!

At least the output is looking good.

While I was cleaning, Soham came over to spend some time while playing a video game and chatting.

I’d also brought Dudley over for the evening. He wasn’t happy though that I was cleaning, and not spending time with him.

After the long cleaning, took a long, hot shower, had dinner, and now watching MOTD.

I’m knackered, and very sleepy. Not broken, yet. Might have to cancel tomorrow’s bike ride plan though

It was a very good day. Hope tomorrow is more of the same.

Sidin’s 2018 resolutions…

Resolutions:
1. Run a half-marathon
2. Blog
3. Don’t be an asshole
4. Read a lot
5. Podcast
6. Don’t be an asshole despite having read a lot
7. Learn to drive
8. Write better
9. Shave more often
10. Call home more often
11. Walk Hadrian’s Wall
12. Make new real-life friends.

Sidin, on Twitter

As new year resolution lists go, this is a really good one.

I like this even more because it makes me feel good about the number of things on that list I’ve improved on in last few months and years. Here’s some notes:
Continue reading Sidin’s 2018 resolutions…

Going home

Tomorrow I’m heading to India. A 12 day trip, all of it planned to be spent in Karnal. No plans, yet, of travelling, meeting friends, or spending any nights away from home.
Feeling a bit weird. It’s been a while since I did this, since I spent time there.

In 6 years since we moved to the UK, I’ve made a total of 5 visits home – once when grand dad passed away, then one to see F&F, next after our wedding, then for my sister’s wedding, and last for R’s sister’s wedding.

It’s almost 5 years since I visited to meet family outside of an occasion.
It’s been way longer since I stayed in Karnal for anything over a week.1

Continue reading Going home