Categories
Pondering

High Rise Living

Sorry, this is a quite a conceptual post this week. I’ll try to be more interesting next time.

I was lying in bed the other night and I realised that I lived in a block of flats. That’s not a new thing and something I was already aware of – I’ve lived in several flats since I moved to London. What I realised though was that the flat above me and the flat below me have the same room layout. And the ones the other side of them do too. That means that there’s several bedrooms directly above and below mine. If my neighbours have their beds in the same positions as me, there are several people all sleeping in a parallel orientation, separated only by a couple of metres and a solid concrete floor. In mathematical terms, we’re at the same x and y coordinates, but differing in the z-axis.

Additionally, I have neighbours on either side of me. And although one is two kitchens away, the nearest is only the other side of a concrete wall. Possibly even closer than the two metres recommended for social distancing.

But what’s happening in their parallel flats? Do they have the same internal room layouts? What decorations do they have? What do they get up to in their flats? What are their lives like?

I live in London so of course I don’t actually know any of my neighbours. I think the new couple downstairs have young children, possibly including a new baby. And the people upstairs may also have a young baby. But who knows? I’ve never met any of them other than in passing.

The other day I received this letter (and I’m assuming all my neighbours did too):

I don’t normally hear my neighbours, although I do often have music playing or the TV on. I’ve never noticed a noisy neighbour. Does that mean that I’m the problem? I feel like my volumes are kept at a “moderate level”, plus I’m normally in bed between 10pm and 7am. And is it saying that they’ve had *complaints* from a number of flats, or that they’ve had *noise disturbances* from a number of flats?

Either way, it has made me wonder what my neighbours can hear of me. I can sometimes hear their activities but can never make out anything distinctively. So can my neighbours hear me? Maybe sometimes, but probably nothing significant. But Alexa, she hears everything.

Categories
Pondering

Back in the olden days

Over 4 years ago, I wrote a blog post speculating what people did before they had mobile phones. Well, this week I’ve been finding out…

On Sunday evening, my phone had an argument with the floor and it came out of the fight looking like this:
IMG_2004_crop
(Don’t worry, the floor came out undamaged.)

I’ve been without a mobile phone for 5 days now whilst it’s off being fixed, and here are the things I would normally have done using my phone:

Phone calls/text messages This is obviously the main one. I’m not a prolific caller/texter but it is a problem when I can’t. Alternative: None (excluding using the phone at work)

Emails Although I can still read emails on my laptop, I have to go get them, rather than have them delivered to me. Alternative: Computer

Social networking Again, it can be done on a laptop, but not as convenient or accessible on the move. Alternative: Computer

Mapping It’s much easier to find a location when you check where you are and where you’re trying to get to. Not as big a problem in central London but it is more annoying in the suburbs. Alternative: Planning ahead and reading directions/signs (where available)

Bus/train times I often use my phone to tell me when the next bus is due to arrive at a bus stop or to let me know if there is any disruption on the trains. Alternative: Waiting around for ages at the bus stop/station

Alarm clock This was the hardest one to find a substitute for as I couldn’t think of anything that would do this, and obviously I need to be up in time for work. Eventually I remembered my fitbit one has built in alarm functionality. Alternative: My fitbit

Random searching/thoughts Those random thoughts/questions that just pop into your head that you have to look up or you’ll forget them. Probably not the most essential of missing items. Alternative: None

Shopping list I often make notes on my phone of what I need to buy when I head to the supermarket. Alternative: Pen and paper

Weather Do I need to take a raincoat to work or not? Alternative: Paying attention to the weather section on TV

Games I like to play Sudoku on my phone before bed. Just one of those things I like to do. Alternative: None (without buying a puzzle book)

I’m sure there are lots of other things I use my phone for, but ironically without my phone I’m unable to check. Most of the activities do have alternatives, but it is more the convenience of accessing things when I need to that is the most annoying factor, and the thing I miss most. Hopefully it’ll be back soon.

Have I missed anything? I’ve definitely not included taking photos, but mainly because I don’t often do that on my phone.

Categories
Pondering

Working on Saturdays

For the last few months, I’ve spent my Saturdays in the office due to high workloads. Now we’re in August, the workload has reduced, so no more working on Saturdays.

Since I’ve had today free, I thought I would detail some of the pros and cons of working on Saturdays. Some of them are interlinked, and some of them are just as easily put on either side of the list.

ProsCons
Additional pay1-day long weekend
Only person in the officeNo-one to run thoughts past
No distractions
(No emails/telephone calls/questions)
No distractions (All day is spent staring at the screen/working)
More productive daysDays are more intense and mentally draining
More relaxed than weekdays
(Getting in at 11am is much nicer)
Working later than normal to make up for late start
Cake/biscuits (The agreed morale booster for working on Saturdays)Eating too much cake

In low quantities, I don’t mind working on Saturdays but it’s nice to have longer weekends again. What should I do with them? Suggestions please, or otherwise I’ll just keep blogging about not doing stuff.

Categories
Pondering

Supermarket savings

I recently got a loyalty card for my local supermarket. As a reward, they sent me some vouchers off either shopping or petrol (on alternate weeks) if I spent £20 per week over 4 consecutive weeks. If I spent all 4 vouchers, there would even be some bonus points.

Having used some of these vouchers, they then sent me some more vouchers if I spent £30 per week over the next 6 weeks. This felt like a very sneaky way to get me to spend more money. Were they trying to get more money out of me? Would spending more money actually result in bigger savings? I decided to try and find out…