My life currently revolves around the removal of wallpaper.
It’s a fight of two rounds. In the first, the upper layer of paper (often textured, sometimes painted) has to be torn away from its backing. In the second, the backing plus excess adhesive has to be steamed away from the plaster.
It’s long work but I made the good decision to get hold of a decent steamer. And it’s a curiously rewarding process, even though the mess is overwhelming.
My current account has these things called Spaces: essentially ringfencing money as if in savings but just obfuscating the amount you have doing nothing for you in your current account. Nevertheless, it feels like a reasonably mature way to conduct short-term saving. Well, not saving, just not spending. I feel tremendously grown up having a ‘space’ where I am ‘saving’ each month towards my next phone, as opposed to what I’d normally do: slap down the credit card and then at the end of the month wonder where my pay cheque went. Managing personal finances is like a series of lies we tell ourselves to sleep better at night. A religion, perhaps.
This week, one item dominates. My next home will be one I own. It took a long, long time to get here.
This bit makes people’s eyebrows shoot up: I didn’t see it before buying it. The first time I visited was five days after I owned it. It’s important in life to find people whose opinion you can trust. This has been an exercise in precisely that.
The bones are good. Everything else needs attention. The first job is to figure out exactly what needs doing to bring an old building up to a modern standard of living.
Plus, a new city. I’ve worked in Bristol for a year, but in the way we now work in places: I’ve swung by from time to time. So more accurately, I’ve worked out of Bristol. And now I have to properly learn my way around.
Delighted to have gotten hold of a newly-reintroduced Sound Burger turntable.
I’ve wanted one of these forever, decades maybe, but wasn’t quite brave enough to take on a well-loved second-hander. It’s small enough to sit on my desk so I can put albums on as I work. I had a portable turntable there already—one of those ones DJs use when cratediving—but it was noisy and not really hi-fi enough to listen to at close range.
Audio-Technica made a limited run for their anniversary and were pleased enough with the demand to put the Sound Burger back into production. It’s taken months and months, but this is why we all need tools that routinely check web-pages for updates (like this one for Firefox).
For now, I have one case stuffed mostly with old jazz records and a few other favourites. Most of my vinyl is still in crates waiting to be taken from the current (temporary) digs to the next (permanent) home, where they will enjoy pride of place. Which leads me onto…
Now within one last step of owning that permanent home. As in, it could happen within days. I was starting to feel I’d be a tenant for ever. Turns out all I needed to do was leave my home town and go somewhere I could be a gentrifier, not gentrifiee. Do I feel good about that? Not particularly. Am I looking forward to leaving shitty tenantsville limbo? Absolutely.
Work stuff has been busy this week; probably will be next week too.
Stuff got done at both extremes. At the extroverted, social end: orchestrating research workshops. At the the introverted, reflective end: the torture of hunting for ideas. Sometimes they appear quickly, but you still have to keep looking in case you’ve just fallen for the first one you found. So I find having an idea really means finding 10-15 ideas and whittling them down, while being careful not to blend them into a grey average.
Work that involves sitting comfortably takes more recuperation than the rest.