FeaturesAlex Farnham's Soapbox

Alex Farnham’s Soapbox

Help. I have no internet. It’s day two of no internet and I’m going mad. I almost had to pick up a book the other day – desperate times! I mean, I still have 4G on my phone, but that’s not my favourite way to use the internet, and it’s like three whole seconds slower than my broadband, it’s no way for a man to live.

As I write this, not only am I unsure of how I’m going to email it to meet this month’s deadline, but I’m also feeling quite insignificant in a flat full of packed boxes and marks in the carpet where the furniture used to be. Yes, I’m moving. My girlfriend and I have bought a house, and are midway through the move. They say moving house is, according to psychologists, about 75% as emotionally distressing as losing a loved one. I’m not sure if I agree… we’ve all lost a loved one, and it’s not fun. I remember when my grandpa died, it was horrible, but we didn’t get another ‘two bedroom’ grandpa in Chichester to replace him.

I’d say all in all, the whole process has been exhausting but exhilarating. Sure, it hasn’t been without its problems, but then again life would be so boring if everything went as planned the whole time. The latest hurdle we’ve had to overcome is buying thresholds for the doors that match the wood. I spent half an hour in Homebase choosing, and came back with the wrong ones. The way I see it, they’re all pretty nice problems to have – frustrating, but nice. What’s worse, maybe, is that I may not have made the best first impression on the neighbourhood.

A friend of ours is decorating for us, and walking back from Homebase with the (wrong) thresholds in hand he spotted me through the window, and upon seeing him I did what any self respecting man would do and pretended they were my penis – I gesticulated accordingly, only to see two young teenage girls walking their dog across the road – so I messed up a bit there. How does one rectify that? There’s no right way to fix a situation by saying ‘it’s not what it looks like’.

Oh well, first impressions aren’t everything I suppose, and even if they are, I think I made a good one with our neighbour by remembering the names of his dogs. He takes them for gun dog training and I think they’re obedient to military standards, which I guess is reassuring – provided my dyspraxic cat, who’s probably ignorant enough to make friends with a moving car, doesn’t assume they want to be mates and decide to see if his head fits in their mouths.

Basically, I think moving in (which we will have done by the time you read this) is going to go as smoothly as expected. Charlie and I have spent the last week of evenings stripping wallpaper, which is both therapeutic and messy at the same time, and the rooms we’ve done look like a bomb site, but it’s better than the nicotine stained walls of the previous owners. No offence to them, it’s just that we personally prefer not… that.

Anyway, there’s no rush – it’s not going anywhere, and neither is the mortgage, so we’re doing it one room at a time and will just live around the mess for a bit. There’s also building going on at work, as we’re expanding and getting shiny new offices, so this has very much been a month of newness and exciting chaos. I’ve taken the day off today so I can take some more bits to the house, but so far I’m still in bed and have just watched an hour of pointless TV, a throwback to my student days if anything!

Seriously though, I’ve been so tired this week and for once it’s justified, I rarely do things… doing things isn’t really my style, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. It sure is taking its toll though – I guess there’s a lot to be said for being productive. My advice would be to try a few hours of being unproductive and lazy, so that when you are productive it feels more meaningful. It’s sort of like waiting until you’re really hungry to eat dinner, but less good because there’s no food involved. Better yet, be lazy whilst eating, and then be productive! I think, in last month’s article, my advice was to embrace 2016 as the year of the unexpected (which it has been for me, ranging from buying a house to receiving an anonymous Emoji ‘poo’ pillow in the post), but this month I think I want to stress the importance of a balanced lifestyle. Be productive, but don’t condemn laziness. Think how advanced we’d be today if nobody was lazy! Robots would have already enslaved humanity.

You’re welcome, world. Let’s raise a glass to putting your feet up. My advice going forward is to always make time for nothing… oh, and get on the property ladder – both of these things are slightly less devastating than losing a loved one.

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