Just where in the hell have I been? Aah, it's nice that you missed me. I've been here all along. We went and did some stuff last weekend but I didn't have the heart to blog any of it. Just too demoralised.
I have been very busy, you see and have had a dodgy stomach since Orkney. I think it's tiredness and stress. I've had a bad stomach for a while after long runs before. When I did London in 2006 and then did Edinburgh to North Berwick 2 weeks after...I was really tired in London but couldn't resist having a pop at E2NB. I had a terrible run on the day and then afterwards I had a bad belly for quite some while. So I've had a bad belly and I've been super-busy. One of the things I had to do in between work based things was take the car for its MOT. We knew it wasn't going to be good. Changing gear has been a bit of a battle for quite some time. And I've had a squeak every time I turned left. I haven't trusted it enough to take it any distance. If it had have been fit I would probably have taken it up to Orkney, and we missed having it. We could have taken the bikes and the wet-suits and we could have slept in it if need be...
At work, it's too boring to explain but I had this I.T. thing I needed to get done. It was for my course. I needed to get special permission to upload files to a special place and I needed to get software put on a computer and I needed to be able to burn CDs. It's the kind of thing I could have sorted in an evening if I was at home. There would have been snags and I would have sworn a lot but I would have got there. But at work everything has to go through the I.T. department and I'm not allowed to change anything on the computers myself. I phone someone and leave a message, they phone me back, but I'm not at my desk so they leave a message. Normally they can do things by remote access but for some reason they couldn't get remote access to the computer I had to use because it was the only one that burns CDs. Of course they couldn't. So a guy had to come out. On and on it went. Meantime I have a bit of course work I can't do until this is set up and there's a dead-line. It looks like we're on track for me not getting it done in time - because I can't get this done, I can't even start it.
Of course it isn't my fault but that's not really what I'm interested in. I just want to get it done. And reasons always just sound like excuses. I don't like not being able to get things done. I stress about it.
Then there's the car. I've already looked into the likely cost of getting another car and there isn't a cheap answer...so I've already accepted if I have to spend a bit of money on the car, well I might as well. I want a car.
But amongst a list of other things it also needs a new clutch. It's a big bill and savings isn't really a thing in my life, so out comes my credit card which I don't really use, and I max it out.
Oh well. Then come last Friday, it looks like I've got it all done. The I.T thing seems to be resolved on Friday at 5.30pm. It's the end of the working day so I don't check it all, but they guy says it's done, why wouldn't it be done? And the car has cost me much, but it is now MOT'd and ready to pick up on Saturday morning. I'm exhausted and a bit ill but kind of ebullient. It looks like we got there.
Hah! I shouldn't have relaxed. Never count your chickens. On Saturday we picked up the car and headed for Gullane. I was looking forwards to putting it all down for a day or two and just living in the present. At first the gears felt fabulous - better than they had for months...but then they started to stick. At first I thought it was just me. When we got to Gullane I was having trouble getting into the low gears or reverse. We went for a run and a swim anyway and when I started the car again it seemed okay. I thought I'd been imagining it. But by the time we got back to Edinburgh I was having trouble changing gear at all. My mental battery was flat. Peter said "Don't worry you can take it back to the garage on Monday". But I didn't want to. I was done with the car. I was done with trying to sort out f-ing problems. I was plain, flat-out done in and depressed. Why did no fecking thing work?
Of course I did take the car back on Monday and they said they didn't think it would take long, and I had it back at the end of the day. The guy told me he saw what it was as soon as he looked - just a small adjustment and it was perfect...I had another busy week ahead and I didn't have time to take it anywhere to test it so my now cautious jury was out all week about whether it was fixed or not. No more assuming things were alright for me. Too damaging when it isn't. When I went into work on Tuesday I wasn't remotely surprised to find the I.T. thing wasn't resolved at all. It didn't even get me down. I just kept ploughing away at the problems and trying to communicate as best I could with I.T. If it didn't happen, it didn't happen. I was too tired to worry too much about it. To hell with it.
But yesterday I really did get there with the I.T. thing. I almost didn't notice when I realised I could now do everything I needed to do.
On my way home on the bike I was wondering about the car. I was hoping it was fixed. And then I was wondering why I was bothering to hope that it was fixed. Because surely it either was fixed or it was not fixed and so what was the point in me hoping....unless...like Schrodinger's cat, it was neither fixed nor not fixed until I observed it to be so. This thought made me laugh out loud on the cycle path and earned me a queer look from a passing dog walker.
So we took the car back to Gullane today. We had more or less a re-run of last weekend, except this time the gears did not stick. So all I need is my tummy to sort itself out and I will be ready for the next set of problems.