Monday 9th May 2022

Morning

Up 08 15.

Breakfast : orange juice; coffee; granola. Mentions of study online saying 7m in UK are going hungry. Hasn’t been my situation yet – have prioritised diet over e.g. heating – although I was invited to use Food Bank in 2018.

Spoke to a friend.

Did dishes. Went to bathroom and showered. Got dressed and removed socks and shoes again due to discomfort (socks and shoes tighter over time with shrinkage etc and athlete’s foot on right foot – recurrent for a decade or more – has begun to flare up again; pharmacist advised against further use of OTC applications).

Worked on website trying to decide on site layout and content. Went to window after hearing raised (male) voice outside : young man shouting ‘Go away!’ and ‘End it!’ at two women, some distance apart, before situation appeared calm down.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines. Shut kitchen window due to building noise.

Worked on LFE. Trying to finish draft schematic of state society and UK in particular, showing characteristic institutions, establishments, processes.

Afternoon

Lunch : beetroot; fried egg and rice.

Went into town for provisions, finding emergency services outside, and two persons I didn’t recognise and who did not wish to engage at all. Just offered help if required and left. Member of staff in Waitrose commented that we were the only two wearing masks though pandemic was ongoing, and that climate emergency would solve everything before too long; ‘brought to you by the same people and systems,’ I said. Too warm in wool sports jacket.

Visited government website and inspected list of ministerial and other departments, public bodies, agencies etc : 23 ministerial; 20 non ministerial; 400 + agencies.

Tea : black tea; fruitcake.

Logged into Seetec Pluss portal and worked through different sections. Did Job Search Assessment (‘Career Pulse’) for score on ‘[h]ow employable .. [I] think [I am]’ and first of 14 career assessments, which was a little difficult without a specific role in mind (I don’t like these sorts of questionnaires). Reminded of Salvador Dali’s appearance on What’s My Line? where he answered every question in the affirmative : ‘Would you say you were known for your athletic prowess?’ ‘Yes.’ Knocked tea over after reacting to falling DAB radio. Inspected Career Tools and took Intelligent Career Quiz. Watched Be Your Own Career Coach film. Headache and strained eyes by end. La Cucuracha horn sounded outside.

Evening

Went to Waitrose again buying reduced lettuce and tiramisu.

Supper : herb omelette; green salad; tiramisu.

Online until lights out.

Statement w/c 9th May 2022

Health & Beauty

Male; 48 years old; (H) 1.90 m; (W) 95 kg. Possibly neurologically diverse (unassessed).

Moderate anxiety; moderate depression.

Monitoring possible digestive and urological issues following GP visit (not thought pathological); sundry other issues.

Home

Tenant (shorthold assured tenancy) of unfurnished 30m2 studio apartment in Bath (UK) at £19.83 per square meter.

Neither building nor studio well appointed or maintained.

Livelihood

Universal Credit claimant registered on RESTART programme with SEETEC PLUSS via DWP office in Bath as ‘ungainfully self-employed’ (journalism; media production; education).

Fellow of The Schumacher Institute.

Monthly disposable income : £919.84. Universal Credit : £919.84. Patreon : £0. Other : £0.

Current account balance : £61.62; Cash balance : £6.30; Savings : £01; Debt £0.

All balances shown as at 9th May 2022; (1) Trivial holdings (< £5,000) in two private pension schemes not accessible before become eligible for retirement.

Politics

Member of Green Party of England and Wales.

Relations

Single.

Parents (West Midlands); godparents (South West England; France); brother, sister-in-law, niece (North West England).

Sunday 8th May 2022

Morning

Up 08 30. Disturbed by woman shouting at 5am or so which sounded like controlled anger rather than anguish or terror, sleeping less well after that.

Breakfast : orange juice; coffee; granola (almond milk).

Published TNS.

Did the dishes, went to the bathroom, and trimmed beard, having recharged unit overnight.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines. Did the laundry (clothing).

Continued with TNS.

Afternoon

Prepared lunch, noticing had lost half or more of cucumber, probably result of damage from lateral pressure in messenger bag and higher ambient temperature accelerating rot (friend suggested putting fridge on again which has been off since the autumn as I had judged it served no function with the heating off except noise and adding to bills).

Lunch : Herb omelette; cucumber; beetroot.

Went to Spruce Goose to dry clothes, possibly for last time until autumn (air drying should be possible again). Will have to handwash woollens stranded, needing a wash, since mid-winter. Looked in charity shop for glasses.

Tea : black tea; mango; fruitcake. Friend called.

Friend called.

Evening

Supper : beetroot; chinese style green beans with rice.

Worked on website rewriting About page.

Worked on LFE.

Spoke to a friend.

Online until lights out.

Saturday 7th May 2022

Morning

Up 08 30. Coffee in bed.

Breakfast : orange juice; coffee; granola; pancakes a l’orange.

Did the dishes; bathroom.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines. Noodled on guitar for half an hour : been enthused listening to Bill Bruford’s One of a Kind and The Abingdon Chasp which feature Allan Holdsworth, the late, great guitarist and composer.

Published TNS. Phone struggling to upload images to Gmail application due to space limitations. Had to free up space to continue.

Afternoon

Lunch : egg salad.

Met friend in town and walked to canal, passing yard sale, and witnessing a stag-do reversing a hired narrowboat into a wide beam before one of their party slipped from gunwale into the canal, disappearing momentarily beneath the surface. Advised him with friend to stay put until the boat passed by; canals are usually shallow as you discover in such circumstances. Walked on to Recreation Ground together and back home for tea.

Tea : mango; black tea.

Changed mind and accepted friend’s invitation for aperitif.

Evening

Spent the evening with friends.

Supper : olives; lamb stew; red wine (courtesy friend).

Home to bed, passed by three hen parties en-route to their ‘party houses’.

Friday 6th May 2022

Morning

Up 08 30.

Breakfast : orange juice; coffee; granola (almond milk). Have started eating at kitchen table – formed by combining two supports (with swept legs) of dining table – now I have one and temperature has risen.

Rearranged furniture in studio.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines. Spoke to a friend.

Continued arranging furniture.

Afternoon

Lunch : tortelloni; oil; salt; pepper.

Walked into town looking for two glasses and food. Saw a couple I think are probably rough sleeping in a vacant shop doorway, one of whom looked in a very bad way. Graduands and graduates (with friends and families) in evidence. What could have been a security detail – a convoy of dark SUVs with tinted windows – pulled out from the layby by the Guildhall as I passed. Checked on return : these are the postponed graduation ceremonies from the past few years (thus May, rather than July); quite likely the convoy was conveying HRH the Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward) who is Chancellor of the University of Bath. Lightheaded. Drunk water on arrival home.

Tea : black tea; shortbread.

Went for a run along Charlcombe Lane and managed to reach my usual finish line (if running in one direction only). Walked back.

Produced progress report whilst cooled off, and showered when done.

Evening

Went to Waitrose to look for reduced fare and came back empty handed. Ate some nuts.

Supper : egg salad; pancakes a l’orange.

Published TNS.

Online until lights out.

Thursday 5th May 2022

Morning

Up 08 15. Dreamt I was watching a film produced by Declassified (the film does not exist; I have watched part of one of their films recently) both impressed at and doubting I could produce such a thing, before appearing in scenery depicted myself (beach, dune systems yet urban). Coffee in bed. Anticipated recycling collection arriving late morning so took the risk. Online.

Breakfast : coffee; granola.

Friend called.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines. Reports of new studies and surveys on insect collapse. Had inspected a BBC Countryfile article this week – as part of LFE work – which gave an overview of the farming year; the amount of spraying stands out. Someone had commented on a photograph tweeted by proud owner of astroturf lawn : ‘Wanker.’

Attended appointment with WC at Pinesgate (DWP). Applied sun lotion to face, the scent of which seems to relax me somewhat. Put recycling out. Greeted as passed by acquaintance who remembered my name. Couldn’t remember his but said I would try to remember by time I returned. Passed man begging en route. Ran through progress with WC, mentioning that my energy levels had seemingly dipped this week but returned to normal, more or less. Noticed acquaintance in reflection of glass of booth. Made appointment for late May – appointments with WC have been weekly until now (I continue to submit a weekly progress report). Spoke about the May Day events in Bath and asked whether WC familiar with trades councils. WC is a member of PCS but not apparently au fait with the latter (these are local institutions serving as fora (at least) for local union branches). Said event belonged in calendar as it was International Workers’ Day. Spoke to acquaintance on way out who said hello as I turned round and launched into conversation. He was complaining about what he saw as the hypocrisy of a local church which he said had asked that he be moved on from a nearby bench.

Afternoon

Walked on to Lidl along the river as planned. Air foul by Avon Studios and Bath Riverside as seems usual; I suspect there could be a sewage outlet at this point on the river. Passed by a workman in overalls about to begin removing graffiti using a high pressure system and what seemed to be chemical solutions. Spoke to acquaintance on return whose name is not Thomas, Paul, or Duncan. Discussed inequality and ecological destruction locally and more generally. Interrupted by arrival of two volunteer ‘Welcome Ambassadors’ from BATH BID as we moved to talk about what can be done.

Lunch : spinach and ricotta pizza.

Got into bed and slept for half an hour as tired.

Tea : black tea; shortbread. Polished tan brogues.

Friend invited me for aperitif at the Beckford Bottle Shop.

Decided to check Waitrose on return and attended Evensong at Bath Abbey as noticed had begun as I passed by. Stayed for three songs accompanied by organ, and two lessons, the first of which – a reading from an Old Testament prophet, I think – made some sense without elucidation. Slightly disturbed by members of staff conversing (I was sat at the back). Left as congregation – twenty or thirty people – began praying. Encountered friend en-route home who had come from evening prayer at another church and seemed pleased I had found a little peace – which I had – in the space and sound. The door was opened to me.

Evening

Supper : tortelloni; olive oil; salt; pepper; sticky toffee pudding.

Published TNS.

Online until lights out.

Wednesday 4th May 2022

Morning

Up 07 45. Coffee in bed.

Breakfast : coffee; granola (single cream/water mixture).

Spoke to a friend.

Did dishes, went to the bathroom, showered and dressed.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines. Confirmed that I did not need a TV licence online, after receiving notification; apparently I will need repeat the exercise within two years.

Worked on Letter from England [LFE].

Afternoon

Lunch : chinese style green beans and rice.

Walked into town for a walk and to buy butter and (almond) milk. Lightheaded. Stopped at entrance to Parade Gardens and asked BathNES Council staff member whether could take portrait; introduced each other and had brief chat. Saw former colleague who is relation of a former (Labour) Prime Minister, and two colleagues from BathNES Green Party, discussing Local Elections briefly (Thursday is Election Day; it is turn of BathNES, my (unitary) local authority, next year).

Worked on LFE. Returned phone call from EA after receiving notification of change to appointment.

Tea : black tea; shortbread. Lightheaded still.

Continued working as above.

Evening

Supper : bulgur wheat, onion, potato (forgot chick peas).

Returned to Waitrose, buying sticky toffee pudding.

Worked on TNS and LFE.

Supper : sticky toffee pudding.

Online until lights out. Felt unwell.

Tuesday 3rd May 2022

Morning

Up 08 00. Breakfast in bed : orange juice; coffee; granola.

Published TNS. Went to the bathroom and got dressed.

Elevenses : madeleines; coffee.

Attended Seetec Pluss Sector Insights session on digital technology (online). Had to install Microsoft Teams desktop application as in-browser option was not available. Perhaps a dozen of us on the call, with only convenor, myself, and one other electing to show their face. Session introduced sector with sections on occupations and roles, skills, model career progression, and training. Limited degree of interaction with people opting to use chat rather than speaking, and convenor giving little time for responses or sometimes unclear direction ([What to expect in digital technology] ‘Any ideas? Unmute or type.’) Young attendee at the end of the session said he had taught himself coding to an extent and had applied to 20 or 30 institutions, with 10 rejections and no other responses. Felt for him. Advice given was to offer to work for nothing for a while to acquire skills and experience.

Afternoon

Friend invited me to lunch. Noticed direct mail from Hello Fresh on way out; know from innumerable YouTube ads (I do not use the premium service).

Went to The Jolly Sailor in Saltford, eating by the lock on the river.

Lunch : fish and chips; cider (courtesy friend).

Visited Newton Farm Cafe in Newton St Loe for a coffee on way back.

Tea : coffee; carrot cake (courtesy friend).

Evening

Supper : lamb with herb crust; green beans; chocolate pudding.

Spoke to friend.

Online until lights out.

Monday 2nd May 2022

Morning

Up 07 30. Coffee in bed. Online.

Dressed and went round to friend’s apartment for breakfast before moving on to the canal.

Breakfast : coffee; scrambled eggs; toast (courtesy friend).

On the canal, helping friend move and clean narrowboat.

Elevenses : black tea with lemon (courtesy friend).

Finished cleaning front deck, bulkhead and cover. Returned home.

Afternoon

Lunch : sausages; mashed potatoes.

Went to Waitrose for food buying reduced lamb dish, green beans, and chocolate puddings (on offer).

Tea : black tea; shortbread.

Published TNS.

Evening

Supper : lamb with herb crust; green beans; chocolate pudding.

Spoke to friend.

Online until lights out.

Statement w/c 2nd May 2022

Health & Beauty

Male; 48 years old; (H) 1.90 m; (W) 97.5 kg. Possibly neurologically diverse (unassessed).

Moderate anxiety; moderate depression.

Monitoring possible digestive and urological issues following GP visit (not thought pathological); sundry other issues.

Home

Tenant (shorthold assured tenancy) of unfurnished 30m2 studio apartment in Bath (UK) at £19.83 per square meter.

Neither building nor studio well appointed or maintained.

Livelihood

Universal Credit claimant registered on RESTART programme with SEETEC PLUSS via DWP office in Bath as ‘ungainfully self-employed’ (journalism; media production; education).

Fellow of The Schumacher Institute.

Monthly disposable income : £919.84. Universal Credit : £919.84. Patreon : £0. Other : £0.

Current account balance : £768.96; Cash balance : £3.30; Savings : £01; Debt £0.

All balances shown as at 2nd May 2022; (1) Trivial holdings (< £5,000) in two private pension schemes not accessible before become eligible for retirement.

Politics

Member of Green Party of England and Wales.

Relations

Single.

Parents (West Midlands); godparents (South West England; France); brother, sister-in-law, niece (North West England).