My siblings and I have been using Signal for group chats of late, often about the aged parents. Over the last few days the topic of Dad’s cognitive state has been top of the list, wondering if there is confusion and such starting to show. A few days ago my brother reported a conversation that was markedly scrambled.

For the Bank Holiday weekend we had planned something relaxing. A slow Saturday, meeting up with friends tomorrow, and maybe a day of catching up on some jobs on Monday.

That all went out the window pretty early this morning. Messages came down the line; Dad ill in the night, losing consciousness, paramedics called out, ECG tests, taken to hospital, by mid-afternoon an asymptomatic heart attack diagnosed, a stent fitted and he is back on the ward.

Might explain the confusion.

One of those days that has gone by in a blur.

Grateful for the NHS. Can’t see Dad due to Coronavirus. Off to check in with Mum on Monday.

Given that everyone in the UK has decided to go camping this year, we are making the most of it and selling surplus camping/van gear on eBay.

It’s a few years since I last sold anything on eBay and I had forgotten about all the emails asking questions …

Can I collect? No, it’s delivery only, like it says in the listing

Can you post it? No, it’s collect only, like it says in the listing

Can I pay cash? No, PayPal only, like its says….

Have you got a Buy It Now price? No, it’s auction only, like…

Just managed to get a peep at comet Neowise. The sky is still rather light in the NE but Neowise looked good through the binoculars. What is more impressive is Jupiter to the SE. Very bright and visible as a disc through the binoculars and 4 of its moons very clear as well. Blows the mind.

I’ve just come out of a particularly long rabbit hole. Have spent the last 10 days or so obsessively learning more about automation and scripting in the context of task managers, URL schemes, Drafts and Shortcuts.

One of those occasions where the enjoyment of discovery meant other things didn’t get my attention, like reading and blogging.

I think my efforts have paid off. I have to get on now and use what I’ve learnt and not just continue trying out more ideas.

Oh, but the tinkering…

The other day, our old boy bumped into a lamp post. His vision is not so good now, as he has cataracts. Along with prodigious eyebrows, as is befitting a dog of his breed and age.

I have a theory that the cataracts diffuse direct sunlight, such that it blurs his vision beyond that which the cataracts do. I once mentioned this to a human who had cataracts (but not prodigious eyebrows) and she bore out my theory.

It’s hard watching his world shrink, but he is still happy, playful, and enjoying life.

Have been looking at new bikes. I don’t need one. And frankly, finding one I’d want at the moment is not that easy.

My son and I have been cycling more of late. He is on a bigger bike now and is far more capable so that opens up many new possibilities.

I bought my bike secondhand some years ago. It’s a mish-mash of components, some good, some not so good. The previous owner used it as a kind of mobile graveyard for components no longer needed when upgrading his other bikes. A mongrel bike of indeterminate provenance.

But it’s fine. I actually like it.

I was recently listening to a podcast that touched on consumerism amongst other things. The challenge was posed to ask yourself this question when considering making a purchase ; what problem does this solve?

This got me thinking. We have had lots of discussions as a family over the past year or so about waste, plastic, recycling and the environment. Along with many others, it has made us think more about how we spend our money and the impact on the world that can have.

So, back to the question; what problem would a new bike solve?

Erm, well, it would have a more up to date frame and geometry. Better shocks. Better brakes.

Yes, but what problem would that solve?

It would go better…?

What? What does that mean? My existing bike ‘goes’ just fine.

Face it, my bike does the job. Does it pretty well in fact. Ok, it could benefit from better brakes. And yes, it does have a problem changing up from one particular gear. But surely that doesn’t justify a new bike.

And to flip the earlier question on it’s head; what problem would buying a new bike create? I would need to sell my current one or it would just sit around taking up space.

So, I’ve talked myself out of buying a new one. Which is ok. It makes me feel more invested in the one I have – I want to spend time keeping it maintained and in good order.

I will index the gears and see if I can sort the problem out with the gear change. I will keep it oiled and such on a more regular basis.

I will see if I can improve the action of the brakes. No, hang on a minute – I’ve tried that before. And it didn’t work. They really aren’t that great. Be honest. A set of new brakes is no where near the cost of a new bike. Wouldn’t that be a happy compromise?

I could live with that.