Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Getting Things Done

Yesterday was a day for getting things done -- ticking items off my mental list, you might say.

First, I communicated with the travel agency handling our trip to South America next summer. I had to give them passport information, and Dave (who is 6'3") wanted to know whether we could get the equivalent of premium economy seats on our flights, so we're not squeezed into the smallest space available all the way across the planet. I'm still awaiting an answer on that second question.

Then I walked to the bank to deposit my £2 worth of pennies. I felt I had to walk, even though the closest branch of our bank is in St. John's Wood, because if I took the tube I'd spend more than I was depositing to get there. Plus I figured the walk would do me some good. I walked half an hour each way, waited in line about 20 minutes and all in all, it was the least efficient use of my time I could possibly have imagined, financially speaking. But at least those pennies are out of my life.

While in St. John's Wood I noticed that a huge area of land off Queen's Terrace has been cleared of buildings. Past the shopfronts where they filmed the TV show "Pistol" a few years ago, there was a long brick building that used to be military barracks. (You can see it in some of the photos in that linked post, as well as here on Google Street View.) All of that is gone, and this massive development is going to be rising in its place.

I was glad to see the Knights of St. John's Tavern has been preserved. You can see it behind that yellow crane (or whatever it is). I think this little row of shops, along with the pub, is historically protected.

I had to buy some light bulbs, and a card for our dog-walker. Then, when I got home, I had to install said light bulbs, and now there's enough light in the hallway for the cleaners to see whatever mythical dust they need to clean when they arrive tomorrow night.

Finally, I sat down and made our annual charitable donations to the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Planned Parenthood.

I think that was almost everything on my list. I'm more or less caught up on life!

(Top photo: In Hampstead Cemetery on Sunday. Bottom photos: Leaves found on my walk along Finchley Road yesterday.)


Moving with Mitchell said...

A very productive day. I would have enjoyed it had I made a list to tick off as I went along. I might even had made a list after the fact. Glad that row of buildings survived the wrecking ball. I remember the knight from your earlier post.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The helmeted workers near to the red cherry picker appear to be carol singing:-
Ding Dong! merrily on high
In heav’n the bells are ringing
Ding, dong! verily the sky
Is riv’n with angel singing
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis.

(Don't forget to extend "Gloria" when you sing along with Dave)

Andrew said...

I am the type of person who pay the Oyster fare above the penny return and feel very happy with cashing in the coins.

South America...Brazil to start? Is there a direct flight or via somewhere?

Andrew said...

I meant to add will there be a long flight?

Bob said...

The organized part of me loves making and list and getting it all checked off.

It's nice that the older buildings and store fronts will be preserved; new is nice but please don't toss out the history.

Ms. Moon said...

You're right- that was not a great use of your time BUT, you had a goal and you achieved it. Pennies out of your life!
You are a good man, Steve Reed. Truly you are.

The Bug said...

Go you! I'm not making a list because I'll just get disappointed in myself when I don't get everything done. (Just kidding - of course I have a mental list & I'm doing the things - I'm not just being very organized about it.)

Michael said...

Where are you going in South America? Sounds like an exciting trip. I went to Peru in 2018 for about two weeks and I loved it.

Boud said...

You're going down fighting over the cleaners, I see -- imaginary dust! Not bitter, noo.

You're the family travel agent, too? Always good to have a member who's good at that.

Ellen D. said...

You sound so organized and I am impressed that you got all of your errands done. I am so good at wasting time!
You are ready for your holiday getaway!

ellen abbott said...

I collect change, have a big jar I put it in and when it gets full I used to let the grandkids divvy it up when they were still kids. now I take it to the coin counting machine at the grocery store and get it converted into paper money.

I have so many small tasks that aren't getting done.

Ed said...

During Lent every year, the Catholic church raises money for their CRS charity using what are called "rice bowls". We always fill our rice bowl with all our accumulated spare change which is enough to keep it in equilibrium so I am not forced with trying to deposit it in a bank.

If those were on this side of the pond, I would call them Sweet Gum leaves.

Debby said...

You are hysterical, Boud. Well done on the box ticking Steve. I actually prefer a mental checklist. Far less likely to misplace it. Furthermore, the things on the list seem to be immediate. The long range stuff is not staring up at me and guilting me out.

Sharon said...

That little ornament in the top photo looks like it's been hanging outside for a long time. I love the colorful leaves.

Allison said...

I missed your post yesterday, not sure why. The Christmas lights are wonderful, the lights moving up and down on the tall tree foreground, and then the lights on the one in the back, just magical. Someone spent some time programming that display. South America? Really? Here's hoping for internet while you're there. Can you afford business class? Last trip to France we decided to spend the money, and it was wonderful - there was actual sleeping to be had in the flat beds.

Margaret said...

I didn't realize that Dave was so tall! I imagine it would be miserable for him to travel in "steerage." I love to walk places; of course I don't really have the luxury of public transportation where I live, although I do own a car. :)

Kelly said...

Well done! I love ticking things off a list, imaginary or otherwise.

Much like flowers, I never grow tired of seeing pretty leaves.

The Padre said...

Dig The Ring


sparklingmerlot said...

It appears the mythical dust has got right up your nose!! Hopefully it will be cleared away and everyone will be happier.

Susan said...

Your day followed a nice leisurely pace while completing tasks of your choice. The new building looks quite luxurious; is it housing on the upper floors?

River said...

I would walk to the bank if I had one close enough, but many small branches have been closed, so I wait until I have an amount of coins worth taking then catch a bus, which used to stop right outside my bank in the city but then the stops got changed around and now it stops one block past or two blocks before my bank.
That's a pretty cemetery angel, though she could use a bit of paint.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: Ticking off a mental list is just as satisfying as a physical one!

YP: Well, now I'll be singing THAT all day.

Andrew: Direct to Buenos Aires, and then home from Rio via Madrid, with some stuff in between!

Bob: England is very good about preserving historical structures.

Ms Moon: I'm not sure I'm "good" -- maybe just crazy!

Bug: I'm sure you're more organized than you give yourself credit for being!

Michael: We'll be in the other coast -- Brazil and Argentina in July.

Boud: You caught that, huh? I thought I was being subtle. :)

Ellen D: We're pretty much ready, or as ready as we can be this far out.

Ellen: I have never seen those coin machines here, which I don't understand.

Ed: I think they are gum leaves, yes. Always very colorful!

Debby: Hysterical but correct!

Sharon: Just one of the many things I've never noticed at the cemetery before. It's amazing how every time I go there I find something new.

Allison: I certainly hope we have Internet! As for Business Class, I'm not that extravagant, but I'd pay premium economy.

Margaret: Well I'm over 6 feet too, so it's no fun for either of us, but he suffers with it more than I do.

Kelly: I agree. I can take leaf pictures forever.

Padre: Thanks! One of my Morocco rings, which I've only recently started wearing again.

Caro: Ha! It has infected my BRAIN!

Susan: Yeah, the new buildings will be housing, supposedly something like 40 percent "affordable." Of course, what they consider affordable might be crazy expensive to me!

River: I like her "weathered" look! Yes, our local bank branches have closed, too -- which is why I had to go all the way to St. John's Wood.

Jeanie said...

What a productive day! I need to do something about the bad light in my kitchen. All the bulbs are dim! And too tall for me to get up there and change them so I need Rick to help. Well, after Christmas, when things calm down.

It looks like a good day for a walk. Merry!

Bohemian said...

Catching up on my Blog Reads... how exciting to be planning a South American Trip? Are you going on a Jungle Adventure? Visiting the Amazon would be awesome yet somewhat scary... but, I'd be Down for it... just to say I could cross it off the Bucket List... the Natural Wonders of the World appeal to me strongly.