Bruce and Elly’s 2020 – the EZ-read version

2020 started off fairly rubbish for Bruce and his family. Thanks to Elly for keeping him sane-ish! Then we all got hassled by lockdown. Bruce and Elly are both very grateful that they have indoor jobs with no heavy listing. Or, indeed, jobs at all.

Elly’s workload at her company (Glen Shuraig Consulting) goes, er, from strength to strength. It’s a lot easier than being a civil servant would be right now. Elly asks that we take a moment to remember all the fantastic work being done by civil servants. It’s much less recognised than the fantastic work being done by staff in the NHS and the care system, but it’s still really important, and people have been working under huge pressure all year.

Meanwhile, Bruce continues to enjoy being a part-time academic at Edinburgh Napier University; minutes secretary and IT-wonk at three Edinburgh Community Councils (Leith Central, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, New Town & Broughton – he doesn’t live in any of those areas) and at LeithChooses participatory budgeting scheme, and even doing some commercial web-design. He continues to rant into the internet via this website.

Travel has been rather limited. (Bruce has only been on campus three times since March; Elly give up her desk in a shared office in town.) Neither of us have driven to Barnard Castle, so Elly’s eyesight must be OK. (Bruce doesn’t drive.) We had planned to go to a hobbit-house in the Netherlands in April 2020, but clearly that got squelched. We hope to go in April 2021 instead – we badly miss Euro-asphalt and Doppelespressos in local-cafés. Also, Bruce plans to apply for a post-doc position in Krems, Austria when all the ‘rona-horror is over. So he has been trying to improve his German with the aid of a teacher from Austria. He is jealous that she and her ‘Schatzi’ (look it up!) have just moved to Bali!

Both Bruce and Elly have been spinning (indoor cycling), dancing on the pedals at LifesCycle’s live classes via FaceBook. Elly is better at attending – and spinning – than Bruce.

She’s better at most things, Bruce says.

Elly says Bruce is just suffering from imposter syndrome.

Bruce says that’s just a fancy way of saying he doesn’t have enough self-confidence.

Elly says we should stop this debate now for the benefit of everyone’s sanity.)

Ah well, that’s almost it for 2020. Here’s hoping 2021 is better. (If it’s going to be worse, please just count us out.)

Love from Bruce and Elly

Spinning through Worcestershire

Today I finally got time to go out on Nikita the folding bike. (Well, a bit further than to the local shop to buy tobacco, which I did yesterday.)

The first ride was to the post office in the next village, to post a large letter to one of my mother’s pension providers and to try to pay some cheques into my Smile (online only) bank account. I couldn’t do the latter because I don’t have any paying-in slips. However, it did give me time on my own to have acrylics about recent events.

Here are the cyclemeter maps: click the screenshots to see the data:

cycle to Hallow post office

Out

cycle from Hallow post office

back

This evening, LifesCycle had one of their regular online (Facebook live) spins. Elly used the exercise bike here at the ‘circus’, while I took Nikita out into the lanes just outside Worcester’s northwest corner. I only managed 7·68 miles, partly due to setting off slightly late and getting home before the class finished, and partly due to stopping to adjust the saddle. Oh my bahookie! But it was lovely cycling in the sunshine, seeing the trees, fields, old-style farmhouse and freaking people out by wearing my camouflage kilt, Lifescycle cycling jersey, a buff and grunting by on a small folding bike. Hah!

cycle route through Worcestershire

spin-cycle!

Family misfortunes encore une fois! (redacted version)

A follow-on from ‘Family misfortunes encore’ and ‘My bug-out kit’ …

In the second week of March, my mother was transferred from the Alexandra hospital in Redditch to Worcester City Hospital on 13 March. This was apparently a ‘rehab’ hospital: her medical issues were under sufficient control for her to be moved on from a general medical ward. By this time I was back in Edinburgh, to keep my cold away from mum and to try to get back to normality, whatever that is.

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What has Bruce been up to this weekend?

I’m not quite sure why I wanted to record this. Perhaps it’s to assuage some of my guilt at not being in the peoples’ vote/anti-brexit march yesterday. Anyway, this has been a relaxing weekend so far.

My reward for all of this is nut roast with roasted potatoes, onions, sprouts and carrots. You have been warned!

Saturday morning

  • Spinning at LifesCycle. We cheated slightly by travelling by bus, due to the rain. I usually prefer to cycle there and back, as warm-up and cool-down from the lovely madness. (Elly and I are on the front-left bikes of that Facebook video.)

Saturday afternoon

  • much-needed coffee and lunch
  • catching up with personal and family finances, sadly neglected for a couple of weeks due to work-pressures
  • washing our manky spinning gear. That’s the only downside!
  • tidying my desk area after weeks of needing to let rubbish build up

Saturday evening

  • avoiding watching Strictly Come Dancing
  • writing a presentation on a project I’m about to finish, so I can demonstrate the outcomes to a high-powered audience. (I think I should not say what the project is just now, but I will blow my own trumpet as hard as I can when the work goes live.)

Sunday morning

  • proofreading and commenting on a tender written by my ever-wonderful better half.
  • much-needed coffee and lunch

Sunday afternoon

3rd September: if it’s Tuesday, it’s washing day

Elly realised that marinas may have laundry facilities for customers berthing there. The interesting question was whether random visitors could use these facilities. So we went to Oudeschild to find out, and then on to de Waal to encounter a museum of local farming. Sheep seem to fulfil more roles than just eating and being eaten.

local fire-engine

Brandweer Elly!

 

 

Votez mes maillots!

I’ve just received this (bought from Organic Athlete):

I do – but slowly!

But I only intend to take 3 jerseys on the honeymoon. So which of these treasures do I leave at home?

IRN·BRU

Tweet to @bruceryan_rants to let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On mature(?) reflection, I have to pay tribute to LifesCycle for keeping me fit and sane, and I have to take something slightly rude, and I won’t be able to feed my addiction while we’re away. So, with sadness, the Irn Bru stays in the wardrobe.

 

Slow progress

It’s been fairly challenging recently. I won’t go into why here – let’s just say that a combination of issues has led to full nights of sleep being conspicuously absent. I’d not been spinning for at least two weeks, so endorphins have been in very short supply. This culminated yesterday in a spinning session that was an exercise in fighting myself, followed by a painful cycle home and a ‘cultural’ event that I should have body-swerved.

Elly has also not been having a good time recently, and we’ve both missed burning up the miles together. So I’m pleased that we were both able to cycle from North Berwick to Servants’ Quarters, taking a longer route than strictly necessary. Here’s the obligatory cyclometer map:

map of cycling route from North Berwick to Edinburgh

Click to see full-size map on cyclometer website

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What has Bruce been up to (late March to early April 2018)

Last week

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