September ’15 Update

As has become the cliché here, the intention to not neglect this dusty old place gets trumped by actual real-life nonsense. This time it was a move. I moved to a ground floor flat near Northfield (Bham) in early August. It didn’t go very well—actually, it’d be easier to list what didn’t go wrong—including no Internet and ballsed-up electrical wiring—and I was back at Steve‘s after five weeks.

Still. That’s five weeks I’ll never get back. I lost a lot bit of money on the deal too.

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Fred May 2015

New dog pics! Because it’s been a while. Because Fred had his hair cut last week. Because he’s very cute. Except when he’s biting pieces out of Steve. Then he’s just funny.

First up, before and after, first being taken a few weeks ago when he was very shaggy and dirty. (Although, please note the pic has a yellow push! He wasn’t literally that colour. He was actually a lot dirtier than that…)

Fred Before-After May 2015

Next up, a side view outside…

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Ready For My Closeup, Mr Pertwee

You see, my dog has this thing about being in a classic (specifically Jon Pertwee) Doctor Who serial. Which would, in itself, require time travel. But that’s not a problem. So what do you think would suit him? A particularly hairy maggot from “The Green Death”? Or an equally hirsute Drashig from “Carnival of Monsters”? Cast your votes!

Feral Fred 2014

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Now Where Were We…?

I’ve had some lapses on this blog (which, it perplexes me to note, is 14 years old next month), but this one is a whole new level—first post of 2014?! Yeah. Well, the fact that the Website has literally been offline since April probably didn’t help any…

But we’re back. And spruced up a little. The front page and the portfolio section need finishing up but everything else appears to be functioning, and nothing’s missing.

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Birmingham: Shit Or Not?

One of the things demanding an amount of my time recently has been trying to move. This activity has actually become an enduring theme in my life in recent years—and I still haven’t managed it. I don’t live in Birmingham per se. I live in a small town about 15 miles North. I’ve spent a large chunk of my life in this town variously. I’ve escaped a couple of times and somehow been sucked back in. As much as I hate this place (the small town), I’m sure it’s at least a bit unfair to aim that hatred at Birmingham as such.

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The Big Issue

An issue I’ve gone back and forth on for a long time and it’s been on my mind to an alarmingly distracting extent recently, including right now in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Employment. The freelance chancing, carefree (ish) hours and alleged freedom vs a boring old salaried job.

Everything about being freelance sounds kinda cool in theory. But it’s only kinda cool if you crack the formula—meaning you never, ever, go a month (or six) enduring a dry spell. Because when it works it’s great; when it doesn’t work it’s a complete bastard.

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Strike That

If you haven’t been perusing the Twit feed. I declined the job offer on Tuesday. Trying to find a suitable place to live on the budget I had, based on offered starting salary, was proving to be an enormous challenge. Having a dog is Problem Number One, and especially in London—but when you add to that a limited budget that restricts you to studio flats, bedits or some kind of sharing arrangement…

Time Out. How badly do I want to be there? Bad enough to work my ass off for the privilege of living in conditions worse than the ones I have now? This is a one-bedroom flat I currently live in. Rent is £360 a month. If it was in London, the rent would be £750 a month. Get the picture? A salary that gave me a budget to afford such would have made my life comparatively simple. But the decidedly mediocre salary in question wasn’t cutting it.

The stress from this problem, and repeated visits to London (about £250 of travel expenses down the drain ultimately), was stretching me to breaking point. I started to get cystitis symptoms and finally, on Monday, I had an intensely painful and scary episode that was probably a kidney stone. I thought I was going to be in hospital. People often think that, apparently, with these things, but the stuation’s less grave than the unbelievably terrible pain would lead you to suspect.

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