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  1. Something difficult

    16 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it

    This is another difficult topic for me, and I’m late starting this post because I haven’t known what to write all day. To be honest, I have a very fortunate life, so finding something to complain about regarding my ‘lot’ isn’t easy. Yes, I have various annoyances and things that stress me out sometimes. But generally I live a secure, comfortable life that would be the envy of many. I’m in a long term relationship with someone I love very much; I have a nice home in a nice town; I have a secure job doing something I quite good at; I’m fairly healthy, minor ailments aside; I have enough money to do pretty much what I  want and I never have to worry about how to pay bills or putting food on the table. It’s a lucky life really.

    Well, not lucky as such, because I have worked quite hard to get a good education, and I’ve always been prudent with money. So some of it is luck and some of it is hard work and being sensible. But whatever.

    There are only two things that I can think of that I suppose I wish were slightly better in my life.

    One is that I struggle a lot with anxiety issues. It’s not all the time, but whenever things go out of my control or I’m in a new situation, I find it very hard. It seems to have got worse in the last ten years or so, possibly because as an adult those occasions come up less frequently and so are felt more acutely. When you’re starting a new school or college or university every few years, you’re used to that change in your life happening, and it’s unavoidable because it’s a part of growing up. You just expect it. Once you’re an adult though, starting a new job or moving house is something you have to decide to do – and that’s where I fall down a bit. Making it my choice means I’m responsible if I get it wrong or make a bad decision, and so I get much more stressed by it. I really don’t like that about myself.

    I’ve got a book on overcoming anxiety which I’ve read and thought was quite useful. It doesn’t really change much though – I just forget it all when I get stressed. I think I’m a bit better for knowing I get anxious – because I’ve also learnt from experience that it will pass, and that an initial freakout I may experience is just that, and it’s not the end of the world.

    But yes, I do wish I wasn’t so anxious. So that’s one thing.

    The second is that I wish my Mum and Chris liked each other more. They get on fine, and they’re perfectly nice to each other, but they wouldn’t seek each other’s company or anything, and if you said to them they could never see each other again I don’t think either would be sorry.

    I do know why they don’t really like each other. With Mum, it’s because she doesn’t really like anyone apart from me, and any partner that I have will be someone who takes my attention away from her. With Chris, it’s because Mum is hard work and not easy company and doesn’t really give very much back. He also doesn’t like that she monopolises my time and has in the past put strain upon our relationship.

    So that’s why, and I get it, and it’s not going to change. But I wish the two of them were more like me and Chris’ Mum. I love Chris’ Mum, and she thinks of me like her own son. I could spend a day on my own with Chris’ Mum just fine. I think she’d probably love that actually. So it’s easy for me to be around her, and to be at her house, and Chris doesn’t have to worry about keeping everyone happy and civil because it just happens on its own. I feel like… I’m papering over the cracks all the time. Or trying to hold loads of barrels together with a bit of rope and they keep threatening to burst out and roll away. 

    So yeah. I’m not doing anything about overcoming this, because I can’t really. People are people, and I’m not the first boy in the world to have a slightly fraught mother/partner relationship. But this and the anxiety thing, they’re both things that I wish were a bit better in my life.

  2. A day in the life

    15 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – A day in the life

    It is suggested that you do this topic by taking a photo every hour in your day and uploading it. Well it’s 4.20pm when I’m starting this and I haven’t taken any photos yet and the camera on my phone is shit, so I’m not doing that. You’re getting good old fashioned text instead and you can be grateful.

    Essential background to this post – Mum and Dad have been visiting again, staying in the flat upstairs. They arrived on Sunday afternoon and are leaving today. I was feeling ready for them to go around lunchtime yesterday and I’m mentally exhausted.

    OK? So here’s my day.

    Hear Chris’ alarm clock. Wake up. Realise I don’t have to get up. Snuggle down smugly. Remember Mum and Dad are here. Snuggle down less smugly.

    Get up an hour later. Have an hour left until I’m required to report upstairs for Diligent Son Duty. Wash, dress, drink tea. Savour the peace.

    Go up to see Mum and Dad. Help them pack up their things before their check out time at 11. Mum goes for a rest.

    Check weather forecast. Windy and showers. Mull over what to do.

    Take Mum and Dad to Brighton Garden Centre, because it’s the only indoor thing I can think of. Wander around looking for anything with a cat on that Mum can buy. Check out the cafe to see if they want to have a cup of tea there. It has people in it and is noisy. Mum does not approve, so we don’t stay.

    Drive to Brighton seafront. Visit JAG Art Gallery. Mum makes assistant man get out eight different stained glass trinket things so she can find the colour she likes best. Doesn’t buy one. Says she’ll ‘come back’. She won’t come back.

    Go into main part of gallery. Heart Radio is playing through speakers. Some artists are talking and laughing in the corner. “Why do people always have to make noise?” Mum laments. “I don’t know, because they’re normal?” I think but do not say. We buy a £6 print of a painting of some poppies for Mum.

    Go outside to ‘look at the sea’. It is windy and cold. Look at some dubious cafés for possible lunch. They all have music on but Mum wants to go to one anyway. I know she won’t like it and my patience is wearing a little thin, so I discourage her and we return home.

    Buy baguettes from the Real Patisserie. Eat them at home in my quiet flat. It’s not very exciting but it’s just easier.

    Mum and Dad start dithering about whether to drive home at 2.30pm (YES YES YES) or 7pm. These are the only available options to avoid the traffic, apparently. I subtly steer them towards 2.30pm, because it’s cold and wet outside and I can’t think of anything else to do that’s indoors, quiet and not too energetic. Mum goes for a lie down. I fall asleep on the sofa. Something about having them around makes me want to sleep. It’s like a sleepfield.

    They decide to go at 2.30pm, Mum somewhat reluctantly. I see them off with a cheery wave, then do a little dance in the kitchen, put on music really loudly and clatter about with crockery in celebration of all the things I’m allowed to do again.

    Potter about in my living room. Wait for Chris to come home. Renew our car insurance for something to do. Save us £180 by shopping around, snaps to me. Start writing this blog post.

    Chris comes home and we have Raspberry Martinis with fresh raspberries floating in them. I get a text from Mum saying they’re back safely and shall we speak at 7 on the phone. “YOU JUST LEFT! WHAT HAVE WE GOT TO SAY?” I think.

    Chris and I have dinner – Dr Oetker pizza with potato waffles and some salad stuff he obliges me to have so my diet is marginally more balanced – and we watch an episode of Men Behaving Badly from our DVD box set. Gary is concerned he’s only slept with three women and Tony throws up over the edge of a diving board.

    Play Tomb Raider for half an hour. It’s the new one and it’s really good. I’ve done 98% of it now, just need to find some stupid necklace things to get the last 2%. Might play it through from the start again when I’m finished now I know how to play it without being inept and getting eaten by wolves.

    Speak to Mum on the phone. They had a good journey back and can I look at what dates are available in the flat upstairs in September. THAT’S JUST FOUR MONTHS AWAY. I agree to look but consider saying it’s fully booked.

    Watch Chris play Dragon Age Origins for a bit. His character is in mouse form for a large part of it. I’m not sure why.

    Watch the Apprentice. They make some appalling furniture and don’t deserve to be alive. They should bury them in that stupid box they invented.

    Try to stream an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race but fail due to rubbish internetness, so have to forgo my fix of drag queens.

    Put my stuff out for the morning. Wonder how I’m going to do my formerly full-time job in just one day this week, because of the days off I’ve taken to entertain Mum.

    Read a bit of A Caribbean Mystery in bed. Decide I’d quite like to be Miss Marple.


  3. Ten things that make me happy

    14 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – Ten things that make you really happy

    1) Cocktails



    I do love a nice cocktail. It’s a real treat to have one when you get home from work. Or when it gets to cocktail hour at the weekend. Or before you go out. Or if you go into the kitchen and forget what you went in for so you just make a cocktail because that’s as good a reason as any.

    2) Cocktail sausages


    Thinking about cocktails has reminded me that I also LOVE cocktail sausages. I have a real problem with them. I could just eat and eat and eat them until I’m sick and I’d still want to eat more. I love them when they’re really cold, and when they don’t taste too much like real sausages but more like artificial bread and meat confections. They don’t have to have sticks in them; in fact they’re better without as they just slow you down. Oh god I love them. I just want to cram more and more of them into my face until the tears start to flow down my cheeks except it’s not tears it’s sausage grease.

    3) The opening bars of Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx

    This song never fails to make me happy. The beat just makes me want to dance, and when I hear the first couple of bars in a club bitches better make way because the dancefloor is MINE. It was also our first dance at our wedding, so hearing it will always bring back lots of happy memories.

    4) A nice cup of tea

    Cup of tea with a biscuit

    I do regard having a cup of tea as a bit of a treat. It’s just so warm and cosy and it makes me feel good inside. What? That’s not weird. Go away and leave me alone with my tea, you.

    5) A jacket potato with baked beans and cheese



    Speaking of things which are all warm and make me feel good inside, few meals are as satisfying as a nice jacket potato. It’s like a beansy, cheesey, potato hug. I love it.

    6) Grey joggers

    Grey joggers

    Speaking further of things which make me feel warm inside, PRAISE THE LORD for grey joggers. They’re just so clingy and indiscreet, and they have livened up many a walk on the beach for me. They make me very happy indeed.

    7) Waking up without a hangover on a Sunday


    Having a hangover on Sundays probably shouldn’t be the norm in my life, but let’s face it, it totally is. It happens so often that on the weekends where I don’t have a hangover I wake up and think ‘Oh. Well this is pleasant.’ You can actually just… do stuff on a Sunday, before 3pm, without having a headache, or feeling sick, or wanting to die. It’s marvellous.

    8) Adding my savings up


    I’ve always liked counting my money. As a child I had a locking savings box in the shape of a pirate’s treasure chest. It even had a secret drawer in the bottom for putting EXTRA SECRET savings in. I loved it, and I loved getting all the money out and counting it up. What’s the point in saving if you’re not going to count it in little piles like a Victorian workhouse owner? And then when you’ve finished counting it you put it back in the treasure chest where it belongs.

    9) Putting things in alphabetical order


    On a similar note, I love putting things in alphabetical order. It’s so satisfying. Chris asked me to do him a favour and put the 100 references at the end of his masters dissertation into alphabetical order for him, and he said ‘Sorry, I know it’s boring, but you’re quicker at it than me’. Little did he know, I LOVED IT and quite wanted him to muddle them all up again afterwards so I could do it again.

    10) Being praised


    I love getting praised and I’ll fish for it shamelessly like a whoreish pomeranian. Sometimes when I’m halfway through something at work but it isn’t quite finished yet, I’ll take it to show my boss so they can praise me and tell me how good it is so far, because then I know they’ll have to do it again when it’s finished, so I get double. I like everyone to realise how clever I am and then say so repeatedly. One of the things I miss most about being in education is submitting something to be marked and the feeling of validation you get when it comes back with a good grade on it. I just want to be told I’m a good boy and have chocolate buttons thrown into my mouth.


  4. A public apology

    13 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – Issue a public apology

    This is a tricky one. I don’t apologise to people lightly, normally because they don’t deserve it and if anything they should be apologising to ME. But the topic is the topic, so I shall have to make an exception.

    I wish to apologise to Center Parcs. Center Parcs, I am sorry. I stole. I stole from you and I am sorry.

    Specifically, I stole this:


    Yes, to my shame it is true, and it is the only time I have ever shoplifted anything. I coveted the Donald Duck badges they had in their gift shop, and even though it only cost about 99p and I was on holiday and had been a very good boy, my Mum refused to buy it for me. I must have been about 7 at the time.

    I’m not sure what caused the impulse to seize me, but after my Mum had denied me the badge, she left the shop and went to a café over the road where my Dad was waiting. I was left alone, staring longingly at the tray of around a hundred of these badges which I now could not have. And a little voice whispered into my head ‘If you were just to pick up one of the badges for a moment, then put your hand into your pocket rather than back into the tray, no one would see you and no one would ever know. It would be so easy.’

    It was rather unlike me. I’m not one to break rules really, even if I don’t agree with them, and I take a dim view of theft. But I REALLY wanted that badge.

    So I took it. With my heart pounding in my chest, I walked past the counter and out of the shop. I got outside and realised no one had even looked at me, let alone challenged me. But I then realised I either had to hide the badge forever or somehow explain my possession of it to my mother.

    Mum waved to me from over the road (it wasn’t really a road – they don’t have many roads at Center Parcs – but it was like a pathway cycle lane thing). Inspiration struck, and with some theatricality I effected a surprised face and stooped to pick up something I had noticed on the ground. OR HAD I?

    ‘Look Mum! I found this on the floor just over there!’

    This was the same badge I had minutes earlier been denied with some degree of whining and pouting on my part. In what world did I think this deeply implausible story was going to be believed?


    ‘Oh that’s lucky,’ my Mum said absently.

    And that was it! Grand theft in a matter of moments, and no investigation or repercussions. I couldn’t believe my luck. All those years of being a good boy paid off right there, when it couldn’t even enter my mother’s head that I might have stolen the badge.

    But I look back with shame on my brief foray into the criminal underworld. I am lucky that my success didn’t give me a taste for it. That badge was not mine to take, it belonged to Center Parcs.

    So Center Parcs, I am sorry.

    I hope this blog post does not come back to haunt me, and preclude me from high office if I am ever vetted for a job.

    I still have the badge somewhere. It’s in a box at my parents’ house. Perhaps it is possessed of some evil energy that causes small boys to commit crimes. Perhaps a forgotten box is the best place for it.

    And the saddest part of the whole episode? I don’t even care for Donald Duck.

  5. I miss my Mum

    12 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – What do you miss? 

    I’m not going to make this a particularly long post, because I already go on about my Mum far too much on here. But one of the main things that I miss in my life is my Mum before she got ill.

    I still have my mother around of course, as you no doubt know. But in many ways, and I don’t think she’d disagree with me on this, she’s a different person now to who she was before she got ill in about 2001. And I miss the old Mum, as trying as she could sometimes (often) be, and she misses her too.

    Mum used to be quite an active woman. She swam several times a week and used to enjoy riding about on this hideously womany folding bicycle thing she bought. She was also strong of character, confident and strong willed, and used to spend quite a lot of time making complaints to companies and shops and anybody who disagreed with her.

    The vestiges of my Mum’s personality are still there, but she’s no longer really like that. She’s no longer physically active (although she has started swimming a little bit again this year, which is good). And her lack of energy and state of constant tiredness and irritability mean she doesn’t have the inclination to try to change things that she’s cross about any more. She just feels stressed and anxious about them instead. I feel like her will has been broken and ground down over her years of disability and she doesn’t have any of the confidence she once had. If something unexpected happens, she can’t cope any more and needs someone else to prop her up, and that contrast with her former self makes me sad.

    So that’s it really. I miss my Mum.

  6. Me in 10 words (9 actually)

    11 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – Sell yourself in 10 words or less

    Intelligent, loving, careful boy who won’t let you down.

    That’s pretty much it. I can explain the deeper meaning of each of the parts I selected to make up that description, but, y’know, it said 10 words or less, not 10 words plus an extended essay on the subject.

  7. My most embarrassing moment

    10 May 2013 by superlative

    My most embarrassing moment (or at least one of them) happened a few years ago. Just thinking about it now still gives me a sick feeling in my stomach actually.

    We have a friend called Zac who Chris used to work with. He lives in New Zealand now so we don’t see him much any more, but we used to go to the pub with him and his girlfriend and some other friends quite a lot. I used to have something of a crush on Zac. He’s attractive and very charismatic, quite flirtatious, and I didn’t let the fact that he’s straight and unattainable put me off – that just made it more exciting.

    One day a group of us played cricket in Brunswick Square and then went for some drinks afterwards. Chris and I had been clubbing a few nights before, and I was telling people how they’d had a face painter lady there who painted little motifs on our faces for us. I’d been particularly impressed with Sarah’s, and happened to have taken a photo of it on my phone, so while I was describing it I passed my phone around.

    This is Sarah with her fairy motif thing on her face:


    The phone reached our friend Rob (also straight and a friend of Zac’s), who said “Oh yeah, that’s nice.”

    And then he did something which you should never, ever do on a person’s phone. He swiped to the next picture. And got this.


    “Oh!” he said. “And a rather nice pic of Zac’s arse.” Which he then passed to Zac.


    You do not swipe on another person’s phone! You do not! You might find anything!

    It all went very quiet.

    Zac had been bending over during the cricket, looking particularly pert, and Chris had taken a photo on his phone and sent it to me to amuse me. It was just a bit of fun, you know, I wasn’t going to crack one off over it or anything.

    “I er…. I didn’t take that picture…” I stammered.


    I didn’t manage to infer that from the glare, so I just faltered a little bit more and snatched my phone back.

    Zac laughed and changed the subject, and the women in the group exchanged a few ‘Is this… OK? Is this normal behaviour?’ glances. I just kept my head down until we went home, but I was absolutely MORTIFIED and decided they must think I’m some sort of sex offender. If you switch the situation round so one of the men in the group had taken a picture of a different guy’s girlfriend bending over, it would be really bad, wouldn’t it? That wouldn’t be an OK thing to do? But it’s different with boys and gay guys I think – it’s not threatening to them, especially if they flirt and like the attention. Zac could beat me up if he wanted, so he’s not going to be that bothered by me thinking he’s fit – it’s only really likely to make him feel attractive. Isn’t it? (Actually I’d quite like him to beat me up, that would be hot. Wait, unread that, I’m making myself sound worse.)

    With the benefit of hindsight and a few years’ distance, I realise that I could have handled the situation a lot better. I could, of course, not have had a picture of Zac bending over on my phone, but let’s be realistic, that was inevitable. No, what I should have done was brazen it out and said something like “Yeah, well look at him bending over in those shorts like a slut, he was screaming for it,” and acted like I wasn’t bothered and changed the subject. By being visibly horrified I made it much worse and drew attention to how embarrassing it was.

    I’ve still got the photo, as you can see, so I obviously wasn’t bothered enough to delete it (I’m not giving up gold like that), but I can’t think about that day without wanting to pull my jumper up over my head and never speak to anyone ever again.

  8. A moment in my day

    9 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – A moment in your day

    I didn’t manage to write this first thing when I took the photo like I planned to – work got in the way – but the moment from my day that I have chosen is this one.

    My office

    This is what I see when I arrive at work every day, and sometimes my heart sinks a little bit. The amount of time I have spent sat at this desk doing pretty much nothing is terrifying. I have been in this job since November 2007 I think, and I’ve had this office for almost all of that. That’s more than five years sat on this chair, staring at these computer screens. I haven’t even got a proper window, just a window into the atrium with a view of a wall. It’s like a mock window, the sort of window that crushes your spirit even more than no window at all.

    And the worst part of my view when I arrive in the mornings is this:

    The horror

    That’s the lighter coloured circle of carpet where my chair goes, that has been worn down by five years of gentle trundling around on it. That’s pretty much the most important thing I’ve produced in this room.

    Sometimes my job has been very busy. But often it isn’t really, and I dread to think of the amount of time I’ve spent either doing a piece of work extremely slowly to make it last longer or just fucking about on the internet. If I think about it too hard, it gets a bit distressing, because I think bloody hell…  I’ve expended LIFE in this chair. Precious, limited, not going to get it back, life.

    And it’s not just me, I’m sure. It seems to be a symptom of lots of office work. Office work is just boring, and much of it is futile, and much of it doesn’t really require the full faculties of a human being. They should just breed meatsack clones or something and replace most office workers with them. I’m sure a sack of meat could stare at these computer screens just as well as I can, and no one would even notice the difference.

    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” they ask when you’re small. “A pointless sack of meat” is not what you’re taught to say. But it would be more realistic.

  9. Start now

    8 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

    I’m going to put down two pieces of advice I think, because they can both fall under the same ‘Start now’ heading. They also both fit in with my desire to prepare for things, or at least to feel like I’ve done what I can to prepare for them.

    Piece of advice 1 – Save for when you’re old
    Lots of young people don’t do this. They don’t have a pension, they don’t put any savings away, they don’t think about where they’re going to live when they’re old or how they’ll pay their mortgage or rent. It’s not surprising – it feels like it’s a long way away, and it’s not particularly exciting, and preparing for when you’re old can mean giving up some things when you’re young. You can’t start a pension, for example, without giving up some of your salary every month. Salary which could be spent on trainers and gadgets and shots.

    However, the reason my advice is to start now is because it’s much, much easier to save up a lot of money if you save a little bit, regularly, over a longer period of time. This is due to the wonder of compound interest. Compound interest is your friend, and it means putting away even just £20 a month over 20 years can give you vastly more money at the end than putting away £100 every month but only for the last four years of that period. Both of them mean saving £4,800 of capital, but the end result is quite different.

    £20 a month over the longer period, at an arbitrary interest rate of say 3%, will give you £6,582.46 at the end. That’s £1,782.46 of interest.

    £100 a month for four years results in £5,105.85, including £305.85 of interest. That means you’ve missed out on £1,400 of FREE MONEY. And what did you have instead? £20 extra each month, which doesn’t really buy a lot.

    Those are quite small amounts when you’re talking about saving for your retirement, but in reality you could have much longer than 20 years to save and you could save more. You could possibly get a better return than 3%, and if it’s a pension you’re talking about you can get additional benefits – you don’t pay tax on money you put into a pension, and if you’re lucky enough to have a pension fund where your employer also makes a contribution (like I do) when you pay money in, it bumps it up enormously. I think I pay something like 6.5% of my salary every month into my pension, and in return my employer puts in a further 13% on top. That’s LOADS. I also started my pension when I was 25, giving it 40-odd years to build up and mature.

    You can see a little graphical illustration of why you should save early on the BBC News website.

    I know this is quite a dry piece of advice, but I really do think it’s worth it. I want to be comfortable and live a fun life when I’m old. I don’t want to be poor. And it doesn’t mean giving up all your money when you’re young – it can just mean giving up a little bit of it.

    The only real pisser will be if I get hit by a bus when I’m in my late 50s and all this saving ends up being for nothing. But if I DON’T get splatted all over a windscreen, I’ll be laughing.

    Piece of advice 2 – Moisturise
    I saw someone in their 40s or 50s give this piece of advice in a magazine or on television or I don’t remember where. They looked quite good for their age, and when asked if they had any tips it was this: ‘It doesn’t matter how old you are, start moisturising now. You’ll be grateful for it later. I wish I’d started earlier.’ You can see how this is related to the saving for when you’re old thing – moisturising now when you’re young costs you very little, but you’ll be pleased you did when you’re old.

    So please, follow my advice. Save a bit of money and buy some face cream. Then come join me in 2045 and we’ll be loaded and gorgeous together.

  10. Fear

    7 May 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – The thing(s) you’re most afraid of

    Isn’t everyone terrified of cancer? I’m scared of getting cancer or my loved ones getting cancer much more than I am of other diseases. I’m not scared I’ll have a heart attack or a stroke. There’s something about the fact that cancer is long and lingering, that it sucks the life out of you, and that, even if you get over it, it might decide to come back at any moment. And although you can do your best to minimise the chance of you getting cancer, by eating well and not smoking and a million other things, sometimes you just get it anyway. That doesn’t seem very fair to me at all.

    I think about death far too much. I am scared of dying and of losing people, and even though it’s not healthy to think about it and upset yourself, and worrying about it doesn’t even DO anything to prevent it, I still do it. I hate the fact that there is a day at some point in the future on which I will die. There is a last thing that I’ll eat. There is a last thing I’ll say. And I particularly hate that there are loads of interesting things, technological developments and stuff like that, that I’ll never see. Because I’ll be dead. In many ways I hope there isn’t an afterlife, because at least I know then that once I’m dead I won’t be aware of anything. I won’t miss anything or anyone or wonder about anything. I’ll just have stopped. Mark Twain once said (maybe I should have put this on the favourite quotes post) “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it,” and I take some comfort from that. I wish I could think in those terms, and just make the most of the time I’m alive instead of wondering about the time that I’m dead.

    Erm… I don’t know that I’m seriously afraid of much else. Most other things I think I can either avoid or outsmart or prepare for. I suppose at its core it all comes down to the same thing – I’m scared of things I can’t control. That’s why I research things so thoroughly before I do them. I like to feel that I’m prepared and have a response in place for any eventuality. It’s a bit of a vain hope though; you can’t prepare for everything. But I don’t like the idea of being swept away by a current and having things just HAPPEN to me without the possibility of changing them.