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On what life has to offer (and other things)

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Hi, how are you?

Late last night, having been dozy all day, laying in bed, and having eaten a fifteen inch vegetarian hot stuffed crust, I realised on the cusp of sleep, that I rarely stop thinking about the Samantha Fox calendar day in the year. Who knows what the actual day itself could be, perhaps sometime in January, or even later on in summer, but it rarely leaves my thoughts. 

And later on, as I slept, I found myself on a holiday camping trip in Samoa, and had figured out a way that I might communicate telepathically with my sister, who was back in London, as I lay in my holiday bed by the beach, trying to avoid the lions. 

And later on, I was entertaining my old childhood friends, Helen and Jenny, and Scott, by playing them some electric guitar, particularly a tune by Pearl Jam, and Rob was there, and showed me how to play it right. 

But having slept most of the day yesterday, and also most of the night, and also being tired nevertheless, and it being a full and necessary sleep, I found myself questioning the possibilities that life at the moment has to offer. I mulled this question and found that, at the moment, life has little to offer anybody! That is, we cannot look forward to trips away, to holidays to Japan or America, or anything else like that, and, confined mainly to our homes, we cannot look forward to festivals or nights out... or barely even a coffee at the shop with our friends. It needn't be said too much that, at the moment, life has little to offer. 

However, I propose some solutions. This situation, whether we like it or not, of having to deal with the coronavirus and covid-19, is like unto the time of the world wars, and yet, perhaps not as bad as even that. Life had little to offer in those days, yet people pulled together, and they got through (after so many years). So what we must do, today, is pull together in a manner of "content-creation". 

Now, I find social media to be necessarily base by definition, so perhaps the legacy of the three-second clip put out on Tik Tok is not immediately the thing I mean, but, in the manner of The Diary of Anne Frank, we should pool our resources to create works like unto such as that. 

Education is going through a crisis, it needn't be said. Yet we know it, and it has begun to be a worry. Perhaps in our hearts we have this forward looking crisis, in which we all feel the limitations of the opportunities of life, and perhaps that is a factor. But now is the time to be creative, and keep up the spirits of our fellow citizens, and moreover we must keep up the hopes of our youth, and do so by the conviction that their education is worth pursuit. We must always look towards the future in which we have returned to a state of "normality", in which the fruits of our efforts can come to fruition. For example, we need people to write books, hence we need people to take creative writing courses. We need people to develop games, hence we need people to take computer coding courses. We need better technological advances, hence we need people to do science courses. We shouldn't let the darkness of the day blight our notions of a brighter future. 

When day to day living is as bleak as it is right now, we can also recognise that, if we wish to explore our sexuality, then that is also fine. It might even answer some questions, to decide that one is homosexual. For in this day and age, the legacy of "coming out" is never as concrete as it has been hitherto!! So come out! Do it for a laugh!

But in short, it is important to maintain a hopeful outlook. So work! Continue to make inroads into doing all the things you always dreamed of doing. Because we will work this out, and if we prepare for it, the future could be everything we prepared for! 

Good luck

Daniel

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Saint Lucia

A general overview.

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Greeting to you, 

And again I start aimlessly, but with a general view to outline some situations; there I begin, but whence do I continue on? 

The work, I maintain, is something on top of which I am, I believe. Yet it occurs to me that I have discovered a downside to my academic activities as well. That is, I have limits. It seems that I fail to fully engage myself in each and every exercise with which I am faced. In fact, it is true, I rarely complete the exercises. Nevertheless, my system, of writing down the main ideas (notation, formulas and derivations), and a few examples, seems to suffice. I then can come to the end part of the particular unit material on which I have worked, and, in effect, I complete the notetaking part of all units relevant to the given TMA, and then I have no choice but to pursue work with the TMA, and that involves the actual practice of mathematics!! I have nearly completed the notetaking part of the final unit related to this endeavour, and will have done so by the end of tomorrow. So all is well. Yet, on the issue to do with my limitations, I find this very irritating. It is true that you tend, as your studies progress, to further employ the tools of your prior investigations - that is, for example, I once struggled with many differential calculus topics, and many algebra topics. But, the occasional identity law, such as for sines and cosines, notwithstanding (and these are easy to look up when necessary), this is no longer a great hindrance. I have some knowledge about mathematics, having studied for as long as I have, and I imagine that you only increase that knowledge as you progress. That latter observation seems at times the strangest of anomalies and, although some say they have ceased their learning career, I believe I am only at the beginning of mine, at any given moment. 

I have letters after my name! I may now refer to myself as Daniel Frederick Best, Cert HE (Open). That is, I have completed no less than one year at higher education, and have the certificate to prove this. And very soon, within the next few months, I hope I will be able to boast a Diploma of higher education, too! I await confirmation of this recent achievement, for which I am in communication with the university to have my middle name printed on the physical credential. 

Today, a Saturday, I woke after a long Saturday lie-in, and had a shower, and looked at the internet. A facebook acquaintance's father had died, so it was all about him today. In fact I avoided the website, so as to pay my respects. Poor Neil. But soon I resolved to walk to the shops, to purchase some stationery, and drink a coffee with a friend, Charlie. He arrived, and we had coffee, and then I saw Tamsin. Since Charlie had to run some errands, it was meet to talk to Tamsin alone, and I interviewed her. "Tamsin," I said. "Have you ever been in love?" 

"Love is an illusion," she replied. 

"Have you ever loved anyone?" I said. I asked this as a psychological test, because I know she doesn't really love me. Tamsin doesn't love me. "I think you pity me," I propositioned. "You pity me, don't you?" 

She said she doesn't. 

"Sometimes, you talk as if you pity me," I said. It is true. Oftentimes, whenever I talk to her, I tell the good things, and I tell her the bad things, and she adopts this tone of voice like the bad things might be the end of my world. 

She said she doesn't pity me, but went on with a diatribe about how she imagines it must be a hard slog, all this work I'm doing. But I still can't get through to her. She's impenetrable. I have found some women all but too easy to understand, but Tamsin, I do not understand. 

"At least you love your mother," I said. 

"She drives me crackers," she said. 

"Good thing you like crackers," I joked. And then she had to go. 


I want to change my life. I really want to sort my life out. 

Sometime ago, I lost a lot of weight. I was, at my heaviest, over twenty four stone. And at my lightest I went down to seventeen stone. Since the first March lockdown, I have gone back up to perhaps nineteen and a half. I want to regain control of my weight, and that means re-joining the gym, which I will do in the new year. 

And I think my life would be a great deal better were it possible for me to stop smoking. I spend at least fifty pounds a week on roll-up tobacco, and I often fantasise the life I would have without the little bitches. I have quit before, you see, back in my college days, and I stopped for at least six months. Then, on a whim, I decided that quitting had proved to be the easiest thing to do, and I started again, and found I was unable to stop. Then they increased the price of tobacco, and stopped us being able to smoke indoors at bars and coffee shops. It's an idea I'm toying with, but at heart, I know I'd be so proud if the little bitches left my life, I say. There is one glaring drawback, and it pains me to admit but, seemingly due to the nature of my illness, when I go without tobacco for several hours, I literally begin to trip out! That is, I get high!! In fact, you would think this is a good thing, and perhaps the anomalous situation could be controlled with a nicotine chewing gum, or patch. It's one of those things you couldn't understand unless you had walked a mile in my moccasins, but it's absolutely true. I begin to hallucinate without tobacco; that is, tobacco brings me down from this high state. Nevertheless, I think it would be a fine thing, the life I would have without being a tobacco smoker. 

And the final issue, that could change my life, would be if I could sort the flat out. The kitchen is in constant need of cleaning, and I rarely do the bathroom chores. I do, however, make sure I'm on top of everything else, like the washing, and feeding the cats, and, now I have an electric toothbrush, cleaning my teeth more regularly. But what I'm thinking of doing now is borrowing a hammer and bolster from my father, and starting work on the things I want to do within the apartment. I want to make a start with taking out the mantlepiece. And my dad himself has suggested that, when he has a little free time, we can begin working at putting down wooden flooring here. I have told him I would like to pay him - but maybe he will see it as a project. 

I had a dream that I was back in construction. It was such a lovely dream, and I worked with familiar workmates on a room in a house, that needed rendering work and carpentry, and I was able to solve many evident problems. And yet, what made this dream so lovely was the fact that I seemed to resolve some issues I had back in the day, when I was in construction. And I woke, and wished I was a builder. 

Building is a job that is a far distant memory now. I was talking to Eugene, and I said, "I'm doing all this hard mathematics, and I know I used to be in the game, but nowadays, I could never do what you do." I think this was typical of the kind of flattery I like to impress upon people, which is perhaps false, and dishonest, but nevertheless I do it. And the funny thing is, people can be so narcissistic! Eugene said he would have liked to have done engineering. I said, "You have plenty of time." He said, "I know, I know." So why wouldn't he do engineering? Is it because, when all is said and done, he can't? Study is not easy, but everyone thinks they can do it. It belittles your efforts. I'm in mathematics and physics because that's what I've done. If it was so easy, why don't you do it? Anyway, in short, people are narcissists. 

And on that lovely note, I leave you! 

I'd better not. 

I'm going to play some guitar now. Then, after an hour or so, I shall play some game or other on Nintendo Switch, and then I shall go to bed, and it will be another day, although it will be the same day, and I will live it again and again, and I think that is rather lovely. 

Regards, 

Daniel

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Saint Lucia

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Hello, hello and hello. 

Yesterday, and from a little, tiny, kind of huge pig out the day before, I woke up and got straight out and went for a long walk around my town, that lasted for over an hour. It felt great, and by the end of it, as I neared my little area, I noticed that I was high as a mother, from the exercise and endorphins I had experienced. Then the day went on, and I was able to take a small rest in the mid-morning, and it was a fine nap from which I was awoken by a knock at the door, which was an Amazon delivery woman whom I mistook for a man, by calling her "Bro!" (this sort of felt good, for some unknown reason), and she had delivered an HDMI cable that I ordered so that I could connect up my SNES mini to the new box that I received from my neighbour. In fact, my neighbour was drunk in the afternoon, and making a nuisance of himself, by his own choice in the forecourt of my (relatively small) estate, and began the endeavour by picking on two council workers with a ladder, and they seemed to take this action with the correct amount of skepticism, and did their best to ignore his drunken japes. John is a great bloke. I have called the police on him twice. Once when he was insulting me in my apartment, the second when I opened my front door and he drunkenly barged in. We've had our ups and downs, but we can see eye to eye on most things and, in fact, despite his misgivings and the fact he has spent time as a prison inmate, John is harmless, and a lovely bloke. I don't even believe he is an alcoholic; he just likes a drink. What's the harm in that? In any case, I have some footage of his conduct, and it gives me a great deal of amusement to watch him in action. We are all slightly bored in this quarantine situation (which might I add is an unbelievable construct in an otherwise relatively boring life, and I think God must be a wonderful story teller to have written all this. Amen. ) 

But today, I went for no long walk around Mill Hill. However, I was awake at an early hour and chose to sign straight in on the PC to check emails and do some preliminary administerial work, and then immediately after got down to study. The day's engagements in this endeavour began with an attempt to compose myself in the manner of finishing off section 4 of Unit 22 - Bose gas and crystal structure. The entire lockdown and quarantine situation has seemed to have given us a chance to organise ourselves (at least it has done for myself) in our daily lives, and also given us a nice break from the rat-race that was becoming a terrible drain, you must surely admit. I found, in my endeavour to study, that I do tend to get distracted quite easily. I have, in this matter, a series of goals such as a long-term goal (attain a professional degree in my best subjects), an even longer-term goal (to gain a masters or yet higher level credential in my best subjects), and these finicky little short-term annoyances, that I find I must immediately attend to the very second they arise. They can become quite bothersome, but in fact they are quite necessary and, in fact, once they are done they are done and out of the way. These are menial tasks such as might be tending to a small piece of litter on the floor, or something similar, or brushing debris off the table, or making roll ups, or a cup of coffee. But once they are done, they are done, and there it is, and there you have it. However, such tasks as these are also invasive in the process of the course of my study. So the short-term goal of finishing to understand a paragraph from the university website, today, was inundated with all manner of distractions, in the manner of turning to Wikipedia to crystallise a concept, and then finding another concept and searching that one, and then another concept and then another. In the end the culmination was a web-browser complimented with a number of Wikipedia tabs connecting to a vast array of subjects and, in short, the endeavour was dappled with an intensity of learning which I found most illuminating and was both surprised and grateful at the things I was discovering. 

At around midday, having recently realised that my local hardware store was remaining open (we all love hardware stores), and wanting to replace a watch battery in my best watch that had recently run down, I chose to go to the local town to amend the situation, and went there, and by walking. I fixed the watch (it cost £6.99), and I went about to different stores -  the local Turkish one (bought vegetables for lunch - genius!) and the local Iceland (for rice and Chinese sauce, and also a box of mini savoury eggs for the local tramps lunch). As I sat waiting for a bus, I met a lovely man, an acquaintance who frequented the once-open coffee shops around Mill Hill reading books, and he sat at my bench and we were able to engage in a polite conversation. I realised afterwards how pleasant it was to finally talk to someone with a human face, which I did with relative alacrity, having not done so for over a month. Yes, I was most surprised to hear myself discussing the topics of my studies in quantum mechanics, and it was a great feeling - one that gave me a great deal of satisfaction and complacence in myself and things I have learned. Sometimes everything comes out. But then I did get a bus and went back hoe, and was pleased to continue the distracted work I was doing. But it was alright. 

I went out later, too. I went up to meet my parents at around six o'clock at their home, and spent some time in the garden talking to each of them. It was very lovely - my mum had borrowed a blood pressure measurement device from her auntie, which I needed to take note of my blood pressure, due to a recent change in medication. I spoke to my dadsie - he was talking about a science show he'd seen on box - and we were having a nice discussion. It's nice when you can get along with your folks. I'm so glad I'm in a continual state of awakening, in which I'm always and every time appreciative of their state of being still alive. They are still relatively young, and you hear of such terrible things when they eventually pass. I feel fortunate to still have them around; to still have the opportunity to get to know them better, and to share everything with them that goes on. So much happens. So much goes on. 

I walked home - it was slightly chilly. I jogged part of the way and, not wearing my glasses for whatever reasons, began to feel self conscious about my beard. When I was arrived back at home I was recipient to a call from Tamsin, the girl I claim is my girlfriend. She likes my beard apparently, but when we got off the line, I shaved it off. 

Anyway, there it is, and there you have it. 

Best wishes all, 

Dan


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