Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday randomness

  • Have a vague feeling at the moment that I really want to get back to blogging regularly but don't really feel like I can be bothered putting the effort into composing posts. Which makes it sounds like I do put effort in normally, which isn't really the case. I normally just sit down and start typing. And while sometimes I do manage to take and post photos, not having any doesn't really ever hold me back either. I'm just in kind of a funny place as far as writing is concerned in general I think. Still toying with the idea of trying to write a romance novel, ideas of maybe digging out the chapters I wrote for the 3-day-novel contest a few years ago and working on that have started surfacing and I still think about actually trying to write properly researched essay-type things for the blog or just for myself sometimes. I think working in a college environment now is simultaneously inspiring and intimidating me, leading to a kind of paralysis. That's not the right word really, though. It's more like I feel somehow stifled. It's all a bit strange. 
  • After a week or two where it seemed like the weather was cooling down and I had started to look forward to long autumnal walks it has gotten hot again. Heading for 35 degrees every day over the last few days. So today I decided I wasn't even going to pretend that I'd do anything or go anywhere. I closed the shutter on the east side of my apartment this morning and have only just re-opened it. And then once the sun started making its way around to the other side I closed the windows and the shutters. I know it's worth it, even though it seems a pity to shut out the light. Just can't handle it at the moment. 
  • Having decided to not do anything at all today I did of cousre then get up and make myself a lovely brunch. Onions and tomatoes sauteed with a splash of balsamic vinegar, then a tin of tuna and three eggs added to make a very tasty omelette. Or at least it would have been an omelette if it hadn't all fallen apart. 
  • And then for good measure I actually cut up the beef I bought the other day and prepared the marinade for the stir-fry dish I saw on 59 pounds to go. At nearly 13 euro!!! for enough for two people (albeit generous portions), I'm reminded of why I really quite rarely buy meat. And that was the cheaper of the cuts. So yep, reminded again of why I don't buy a lot of meat and why most of what I do buy is cheaper cuts for slow-cooking. And particularly glad that I didn't end up wasting the beef just 'cos it got too hot for cooking again. It's marinating in the fridge now and if I don't do it this evening, it'll still be fine for tomorrow. I have frozen beans and broccoli so apart from chopping up a couple of carrots and some onion, it'll be a minimal effort meal. I'm not even going to bother making rice, it really is too hot so I'll just pile on the veggies and enjoy it like that. 
  • I've almost made it to the end of the month without spending a whole pile more than intended. Won't quite end the month without needing to pull a small amount from savings but that's because I forgot about the letter I know was going to arrive from the social welfare. Have to repay 320 euro from May (my last month of dole money) as I earned quite a bit in translation work that month. So if I don't spend anything for the next week I'll need to pull 60 from savings to pay that. It has left things tight the past week but I'm still glad I decided to just live with things being a bit tight for a week or two rather than pulling the whole lot from savings. I was paid for one big job I did at the end of June (new client and it took a while for me to be added to their database as a creditor) as well as a couple of other outstanding invoices and most of that money went straight to savings. I'm really trying to be conscientous about putting money aside for tax and will have a few more big annual bills to pay in September. And I'm trying to knock down the overdraft on my Irish account finally. Even if I only manage to pay 50 a month to that I really need to see it going down. 
  • July and August brought almost no translation work so I will need to be careful to take account of that in the coming years. There are some industries that basically go on holidays for those two months in summer and translations seems to be one of them. I was starting to get really worried as I don't have any other outstanding invoices (except one, which it looks like I'm going to have to start down the legal route to try and recover) and I wasn't sure how I was going to come up with the money I need on top of my day-job salary to cover my expenses. And then on Tuesday I had two separate queries from potential new clients. One, I am happy to say, confirmed on Thursday that I had gotten the job and it'll be enough to cover the gap between salary and expenses for two months so that creates a bit of breathing space. The other was for an agency that wasn't offering a lot of money and I was in two minds about it as it would be a guaranteed three-years of continuing jobs for one particular client so even at a very low rate, it might be just what I need to keep things going. However, after two emails they haven't responded to the rest of my questions so I think I'm going to take it as a sign that I may be better off without that agency. They've also been banned from one of the big translator websites, which probably isn't a good sign anyway. 
  • On the day-job front, there is a posting up for another half-day job in the university but it seems like it's for a permanent position. I'm in two minds as to whether to apply for it or not but I think I will go for it. If I did manage to get offered the position, I don't have to say yes. I don't really want to go back to working full time at the moment (full time and then some, if translating picks up again) but I think I would feel much better with the security of a permanent position. My boss is definitely working on trying to get our program funded long-term, bringing with it the possibility of a permanent or at least far longer contract than I have now but these things work very slowly. And of course he's on holidays at the moment so I can't even check in and find out how all of that is going. So I think I'll apply for it and then see what happens. It would scupper the possibility of increasing my hours to 75% at the current job, too, probably. Unless the new professor was willing to allow the 50% job to be shared among two. 
  • There was a bird on my balcony railing for more than two hours earlier. I was worried it was injured but it didn't seem to be. I put some water out but I don't think it touched it. It has gone now so I hope it is alright and just needed a long rest.
  • I've used the excuse of too much work and stress due to the summer school we held a week ago to eat far too many sweets and crisps. I think I've finished absolutely everything that's in the house now, though, so I may try the blood sugar diet again for a couple of weeks before going back to fasting properly. I've fasted for shorter periods on and off over the last few weeks of craziness and still find it remarkable how much better I feel when I manage to do it. I'm going to do a variation of the blood sugar diet though. Thinking about it I realised that one thing that kind of holds me back is using fats in cooking, or rather having to count the caloires of those fats. So, I think I'll do 800 calories plus oils/butter. I don't use a huge amont anyway and I think it's a restriction that was having more of an impact on my mind than I realised. Even if I'm going above 800 calories on most days, it will still be enough to be losing weight. 
  • For years and years, ever since blogger introduced stats as a standard thing for people to see, I've checked on mine on and off. And for years and years, it was pretty normal for this blog to receive about 50 hits a day. I think about 15 of these were actual regular readers and the rest mostly as a result of google searches. Haven't ever really tried to do anything to increase readership or stats in any way and am perfectly happy with that. It gave me a bit of a thrill in April 2013 when I participated in the A-Z of blogging and saw a spike in numbers for that month but not so much of a thrill that I'd ever really be bothered chasing them again if you know what I mean. Still, it wsa nice to know that someone was reading. Since May this year I think I've been found by some kind of bot though. I now have bewteen 500 and 1,000 hits every single day. For absolutely no reason. And with no-one new commmenting, I think my impression of "fake" hits probably isn't too far off. It's mildly irritating as it means my stats are now completely meaningless.

  • And finally, I bought a new red sheet a while ago and just before leaving for summer school I put it on the bed for the first time. Was worried about it looking a bit bordello-like but it's actually just really cheerful and I love it. Best impulse purchase for a long time.


Fiona said...

I think the more people who get back to regular blogging, the better (so many I was reading have just gone by the wayside over the years.) Stats or not...though that is really annoying. Would be good to know definitely what the reason is behind the spike.

Congratulations on the amount of translation work you have coming in. To me it seems like such a huge doubt with tonnes of hard work to reach such proficiency, but still - congratulations on getting it up and running so well.

Several days of 30+ is very draining indeed. Where we live is very changeable: if we have 30+ temperature we can often get a 20C drop in half an hour, so there is usually respite. It is exhausting when the nights don't drop much as well. I hope you get some respite soon!

Moonwaves said...

I still feel like a total fake really, I have to admit. But I'm also still trying the fake it till you make it strategy and hoping that one day I'll believe it as much as my customers seem to. :)

We should go down to about 26 degrees for most of the coming week, I think. I'm further away from water here, so have no river to go for a walk along or to sit beside just a ten-minute walk from my house. On the other hand, as we're not far from the hills, I think we often do get a bit more of a breeze. And I'm in a smaller town, which is always a bit cooler than a city anyway. Not to mention, have a balcony. I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. At the moment, if I finish lunch before half-one or so, I can be back inside before the sun comes right around to shine in on it. And if I eat late, I can be back out there to have dinner, too.