They just make you worse

Yet another night with about 5 hours sleep, me signing myself up to be more busy (short course in social media management – useful for every venture, even if only to establish whether or not I get someone else to do it in future!). All weekend plans have changed. I was supposed to have 2 gigs this week, down in Sachsen. One got cancelled by the Ordnungsamt, the other a victim of regional holiday time – it has been postponed until October. I have therefore volunteered to help Friday tonight at the boat club…

My boyfriend’s mother broke her ankle in the night, so he has to go out there to look after her (huge) dog. And *her* 90+ mother is very ill in a care home, taken very much a turn for the worse this week.

Despite what the care home people seem to think, the old grandmother does still understand and know what’s going on – it’s just she is so weak that it takes an enormous effort to get any words out, and often that fails, leaving just noises… She was apparently a “difficult” person all her life, and the family suspect she’s been recently over-medicated in an attempt to make her easier to handle – a thing which is shockingly common. Or perhaps it’s no longer shocking, which is even grimmer. Got me thinking, maybe all the “drugs” that society lays on for us are to make us easier to handle – TV to numb our minds, consumerism to numb our souls, work to give us no time to think, alcohol to let us sleep, coffee to get us awake again, ready for another day as a busy worker/consumer, dutifully making the hyper-rich even richer…

On that note – today I have had the strongest urge for a real coffee that I have had since Xmas. But I didn’t! Got my assigned 2 tasks done for the week, wrote to the users, like I was asked to, to them it was all on the test website, and my boss knows what I’ve done and that I’ve already done a bit of next weeks work. She’s on holiday next week, dunno if that will make it quieter or busier!

Also been investigating RoboAdvisors… (Investment).

Still no Else Buddy – but I did sign up for Daliah’s Social Media Manager course (just to see if I like it), watched more of Lydia Lee’s video, and made a list of possible ways I could earn / ideas of what I could create (some location-independent, some not). I’ve got my Else folder and tablet packed for a weekend at the boat (when I’m not sailing or helping out with the dinghy regatta!). Tired to death from lack of sleep this week, but maybe I’ll sleep better on board!


Heavy Load


Back the gym today for the first time in 2 weeks. Normally if I have time off, my deadlift is unaffected, or I can even lift more – not this time. Oh well. I’m not thrilled to be back in hamster-wheel land (German classes, work), but just going to do the best job I can of it and be patient. Oh, my international sailing licence came in the post, so I’m all square if I meet the police again. Also, I got my flight refund and the bank details to pay for the damage to the other boat, which I’ll do today.

I felt close to tears again in the last phase of my workout, thoughts in the usual circle of feeling trapped by my own (past) choices and not being able to see how I can live the life I want, whilst providing value.

But I was full of energy with my new 90 day Roadmap challenge from Else Society – the only thing now is finding an accountability Buddy – we are all supposed to do this, but I have asked a few times, as have others, and very few seem to have actually managed to pair up – which I find a shame. I might have to be my own Buddy, or, since my BF wants to change his life (though he is not in any group/scheme), we can be each others. I just need the feeling that someone knows what I am doing to overhaul my life and cares – and to be that help and support for someone else. Don’t we all? I suspect I need a full-on Life Coach, I can’t expect the level of involvement and support across my whole life from anyone else. But that is quite a research task to find the right one…

Frantic Friday

So, today I dodged a scam bullet (what was I thinking? But did due diligence and came up sane, thankfully), spoke to some experts, who didn’t have to give me their time for free, but did, great conversation. As a result of that I got into action keeping my company open (it’s owed some money) and filing the proper paperwork, I’ve set up an address service for the company (why the hell I didn’t I do that last year?) and filled in the form to change the company address, so that I can then file the missing paperwork. The authorities were polite, prompt, and gave me 28 days to sort it (which they didn’t have to). A lot, for a company I plan to shut down as soon as I get back the money owed.

I’ve decided to get the refund on my cancelled flights, and confirmed that by email. Sad to not meet with my friends in Nashville, but maybe I can make a longer trip next year.

I also had the estimate for the repair of the other boat that I collided with last month – comes to about 2/3 of that flight refund. Guess I was right to take the refund!

I am at the stage where I have about 10k cash “burning a hole in my pocket” (even besides the stash set aside for lawyers!) so I am vaugely feeling around for 5 year-type investments. What I would like to do is the German version of Funding Circle, but without an auto portfolio manager (like the UK version has) it feels like too much work – manually setting up and managing 100+ small loans including reinvestment of repaid capital + interest). I am reluctant to increase my P2P lending as that would be too much in one basket and too tied to the economies of a few countries. I am not sure what else is on my radar … Not quite got enough to go for property (yet). Could do a “german small / med businesses fund” with the bank that looks like it has a solid track record… or a fund of the biggies… maybe a mix (REALLY shame I didn’t do that last year!!). I’m after a good mix of boring and decent profit. A property based fund was extremely dull in terms of performance low return (half of FC) – but totally linear over time. Super reliable.

Money eh? A nice problem to have, I used to say…not so sure now – but it is very useful – especially when used to buy training/expand knowledge…

Been browsing property in Spain (not yet found a good website with good places) and also summerhouses in Germany. One in Germany that attracts me seems to be in nature, no power, water only from the river :-). In the South East… Dirt cheap, but I’d need a vehicle to get there…. (Can hire, or get motorbike fixed or a new one).

I also phoned to confirm that my updated sailing licence is in the post, and phoned my mother to get my new telephone banking passcode. I got my 2 days holiday, so I’m off work (been going really well) till Wednesday! Whoo hoo!

A super busy day, but methodically sorting lots of my “problems”, and everything is rolling with me, the other people are all ( even the least likely), on my side, and I’m buzzing with possibilities. Thank you! Thank you!

Show me how to live

Right now, it all feels too much. A lack of sleep does not help, but I have issues with my ongoing investment saga, issue where either I or the accountant/investment managers forgot to do something really important, issues with online banking, a vauge bug description and no user reply. I am tired of thinking I will never get comfortable or confident enough in German to do what I do – any of what I do. Of feeling that I am not doing well enough for anyone. Ever.

I am tired of dealing with money, tired of having to know when to trust, and I am tired of working. “everybody has to work” but I am tired of it all. Of doing what other people want, of not having any idea what I would do if no-one was telling me what to do – not that makes any money, anyway. Of feeling inadequate because I cannot see how to turn the things I do want to do into money – I don’t want to do the writing about it, or dreaming up some course based on what I am doing, or some coaching, or teaching or any of that- and most definitely not the marketing, the chasing business. I want to do something I can *definitely* do. I want to be one of those people who does something(s) so well, they don’t have to look for work, it comes to them .- and they can do as little or as much of it as they like.

I am tired of sounding like a whiner.

But there is some fundamental problem with me, has always been there. I can bury it, and play along with the world, sometimes for long periods. But I have never solved this issue. I escaped, but could not stay escaped. And after that, the moment I had enough funds to maybe break it again – I got too greedy-lazy and wanted to pay someone else to do the work of making it earn for me – which is not working out as expected/hoped.

How do I live? Live, not chase money, not chase approval, not worry about what I can do, but live, just live…

Or do none of us get to do that? Are we unlike every other living thing on this planet? If so, why?

P.S. by the end of the day, problems were at least further forward, and I felt a bit more hope and light. Let’s see how it all turns out.

Round and round

Round The Island, rainy start, scorching finish. A holiday long weekend on someone else’s boat. Back on the sea, even if it’s only the Solent. Connected to the wide ocean, the routes to everywhere laid out before me. The lake at home seems even smaller, constricting. Boats are small, the possibilities huge. All the sky and sea.

Feeling trapped again on that bus to wherever, the one we’re all on, that doesn’t stop until it gets to the terminus. Staring out the window, at the other passengers, distracting themselves with the games on their phones, knowing those would never satisfy me. Just passing time, no aim, no meaning, just waiting, waiting to get off at the end.


This morning was the 2nd time in a row that I ended up crying in the gym. Not from a hard workout – just like last week, when the same thing happened, it was on my bodyweight-only day. I’m not sure what sets it off.

Memories of Dutch fishing boats in the sun, a misty dawn at Brunsbüttel, waiting for the canal to open. Surely that’s my real life? What’s this I find myself in here and now?

Or is it my one-legged Russian deadlifts really hammering home how damaged my body is, how slow and uncertain my efforts towards recovery are? My right hip, hamstring and calf are slack and weak (except the external rotator), and have always been prone to hideous cramp unless I’m careful. My left side is strong (except the external rotator) but stiff. If it’s getting better, it’s extremely slowly.

How did I let myself get into this state? Maybe that’s the common factor. Grief over all that I want to have again. Mind, body – a life lived free.

Whatever sets it off, there I am, lying on my mat in the corner, tears running secretly into my hair, or onto my towel, as I lie face down to do extension work. Fortunately, I am out of direct sight of anyone else, because what on earth do you DO when someone is crying in a public space – I would not want to inflict that dilemma on anyone. Or maybe I fear trying to explain, even to sympathetic ears, what I don’t myself understand.

Yesterday, I got up at 6, went to the gym (squat day), ate breakfast on the tram (flat peaches, plums, mixed nuts), read a technical book in German on the train (HTML/CSS/JS), walked past the big lake to work, where I got a self contained piece of work done and out to the test server, with a little help from my colleague’s deep knowledge of our data, ticking the “interact with colleagues and demonstrate that I value their skills and knowledge” box that is my refinement of the management’s wishes – as well as updating my documentation (tick another box). Ate well (leftover white bean Thai curry, and then later, kidney bean salad). Came home (reading fiction/bit of email/facebook), cooked and ate dinner (melon, then mixed veg stir fry with sprouted lentils), did a pile of dishes, put on a washing, did my Business German homework ready for class tomorrow night, checked in and downloaded my boarding passes for my trip to the UK on Thursday (Round The Island boat race), set up another washing, talked with my boyfriend when he got back about 9:45, fell asleep to an old episode of Game of Thrones – and woke up to hang up the 2nd washing (with help) then go to bed…

I can’t fault the day, I can’t fault my efforts. I would not say I’m unhappy, in general. So why the tears?

At least it’s feeling something, I suppose there’s that.

Sunday Grumpy Sunday

What’s the point of a transport app, the official transport app of the BVG, mind, if it doesn’t tell you about disruptions? Or the tram driver suddenly announcing “we aren’t going to Köpenick” just before the last stop to get off and take a bus that only goes every 20 minutes, but not even telling you that, or where the damned tram IS going? Got off 3 stops later and walked back to Schöneweide, in the rain. At least I got to pee behind a bush. I’m only on the tram because the trains are fucked (l for the last month, and God knows how long).

I needed to go to the boat to pick up my jacket, boots and harness to take to England on Thursday for the Round The Island race, which I’m doing with some ex clubmates on their 28 fter. And to dispose of the probably mouldy peaches I forgot to bring back with me last week….

Finally got to the sailing club after close to 2 hours in transit. Could almost have made the coast in that! Of course the jobs I want to do are outdoor jobs that need it to be dry, and to stay dry whilst things dry. I did take advantage of a half hour window to slap some clear lacquer on the hole in the solar panel membrane. Actually it was nail varnish top coat, tough as all hell, totally clear and in a handy small bottle with brush. Various forms of outdoor clear tape have not been 100% successful.

I have also had to take a lot of water out of one cockpit locker – the drain pipe seems to be partly blocked :-(. Can’t get the damned pipe off the fitting to try to clear it, and can’t resign myself to rigging the tarp over the cockpit to help stop the rain getting that far. I wonder how much use a plunger would be… Or skooshing water under pressure through it? I hate leaking lockers, and they always do, somehow. I need to butch up and install a bilge pump with two pipes – one in each locker because though they link round the stern, the low point is at the for’ard end. Then at least I could get the water out fast. I’m still thinking like a sea sailor here, we don’t get waves over the deck or stern in the river, not even with the most inconsiderately fast, big-wash-making powerboats! Though my wee boat copes fine with the waves we do get, bobbing nicely round it rather than slamming, so one good point for performing above expectations!

But it won’t stop raining! I can’t get any of my top priority jobs done. (Properly seal the hole in the solar panel covering, attach wood plate to stern cockpit coaming, so I can hinge and secure the engine cover box – and cut a hole to give access to the starter pull cord, something that will let me sit on the box more securely, and start the engine quicker, if necessary). Small indoor jobs need power tools and something to hold the wood. I keep forgetting the things I don’t have any more. 😦 I used to have a folding workbench and tons of clamps…

I’m torn on how much work to do on this boat. She’s not really a sea boat. I could beef a few things up so she might be OK in moderate weather and moderate waves – if we ever get to the sea. I’m not sure what will leak or fail in anything heavier, or how foolish it would be to find out.

The decks need painting. The roller furling needs either mended, or replaced with roller reefing, or a stay and a large hanked jib with at least one reef. The rub rail needs sorted or removed entirely. I need to build a new anchor locker cover as the old one is delaminating. All the “outside” bilges need painted, the fuel tank platform needs to be secured, the camping cooker needs to be fixed down. Even then, I’m not 100% sure on the deck / house GRP – it’s 46 years old, there are a few possible osmosis bubbles, and I know the hull was epoxied because it needed it. I need a Rocna anchor and some chain. I need to build some fiddles inside. The portapotti toilet needs probably replaced as the last time I picked it up to empty it, it leaked (yuck!). It certainly needs fixed down. I need to finish the 12V/USB socket panel, fix down the inverter, secure the mains battery charger and find a tidy secure solution for the shore power line. I need to finish the small stowable table.

I’ve deprioritised almost all of that in favour of actually sailing. After 2 years with the old boat, 100% work, 0% sailing, I figured I deserved it. And it’s been good, I’ve been pretty ok at sailing on my own, quite enjoy it, which was a surprise. But now, after last week’s incident, I can’t sail until I get the ICC conversion of my license through from the RYA !! Thankfully the logon for the online CEVNI (inland waterways rules) test that I need to sit in order to get the ICC came through today, so I can do that later, and hopefully have documentation that the Water Police here recognise before the weekend after next.

The sailing area is not big enough for me here, I need more adventure, I need somewhere to go. But it will do to practice, whilst I decide what really happens next.

At least the peaches were ok, no smell, no ooze – and 2 or 3 even still edible. It’s the small things…