In this month’s issue of Keeping Up With the Erikssons: I’m forced to get a new phone, attend the 43rd Cambridge Beer Festival, sign up for my first 5K run and completely fail my monthly challenge.

Melancholic May, Issue 05/16

1055 words about life — 12:00 · 5th Jun 2016

Before I can say, “Sorry, excuse me, sorry,” as I rush into people sprinting to catch my morning train, it’s time for another issue of the critically acclaimed and much-beloved—my mom really likes it, okay?—Keeping Up With the Erikssons.

After almost two years of faithful service my not-first choice LG G3 decided that it had had enough of my pocket abuse—wait, no I didn’t mean it like that—and began to reboot, repeatedly. For no apparent reason.

My contract was ending in June/July so I figured I might as well get an early upgrade and change my phone now.

Heading to the nearest O2 during my lunch break I had decided that I wanted to leave the store with a new phone. Which of course limited my selection to whatever they had in stock.

Last time, when I ended up buying the LG G3 I had actually wanted to get a Nexus 5.

This time, I had my heart set on a Nexus 6.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

But clearly I’m never going to experience the sweet touch of a Nexus phone because they didn’t have any in the store.

Instead my options pretty much consisted of iPhones, LGs and Sonys.

And for the first time I found myself not really caring what phone I have.

Yeah, I said I wanted a Nexus 6 but I could have ordered that I had really wanted it. Just like I could have ordered the Nexus 5 last time as well. But I didn’t then and I didn’t now.

As long as my phone does phone-y things, like allows me to talk and write to people and browse websites, I’m good.

So with that in mind I quickly browsed their selection and picked a phone that looked like it could do the job, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.

I’ve heard some good things from friends who have Sony smartphones so I’m sure it will work just fine for the two years I’ll have it before it breaks down like all the other ones.

The 43rd Cambridge Beer Festival

The Cambridge Beer Festival held in the summer, is the longest running CAMRA beer festival in the UK. Starting in 1974 it’s been growing in strength and size ever since.

It’s now the second largest in country, only surpassed by the number of visitors to the Great British Beer Festival—a festival I’m going to have to visit.

I, along with a few co-workers, got to leave work early to beat the queues and enjoy some of the massive selection of ales available.

In one year the festival hosted over 170 real ales, 50 ciders and perries as well as a large range of foreign beers and country wines.

Enjoying a dark ale from the commemorative 43rd glass design.
Enjoying the Black Mule from Hopshackle Brewery.

This year’s 43rd festival was a record year with around 41,000 visitors drinking 86,000 pints of beer, 13,000 pints of cider, 9,300 pints of foreign beer and 1,600 bottles of wine and mead.

I’d like to think I did my part by contributing to that consumption even though I couldn’t stay for long before I had to, literally, run to catch my train home.

And speaking of running—I’m sure you can see where this is going.

Cambridge Colour Dash

Yeah, I know.

I will stop mocking people who run for fun.

I have now joined you, despite not being chased anything or chasing anything. I am now one of you.

One of us, one of us, one of us…

I’m sorry for the previous mocking.

Along with a few co-workers at Studio 24 I’ve signed up for the Cambridge Colour Dash, a 5K run, taking place later this year in August.

Two normal photos of me followed by one where I'm a terrifying zombie holding a bloody brain.
A previous Colour Dash event. Photo courtesy of Jean-Jacques Halans.

I’ve managed to find an easy enough guide called Couch to 5K, a running plan for beginners and well, despite my commuting sprints I still consider myself a beginner so that’s where I’ll start.

It’s still possible that I don’t like running but I won’t know until I try.

And even if it turns out that I don’t like running, I promise not to make fun of those who do. Any more.

Monthly challenge

I feel like the enthusiasm for my monthly challenges has been in a steady decline since March.

What started out as excitement for doing something new has gone sour and begun to feel like a chore—with my commuting, everything which isn’t sleeping feels like a chore.

It should come as no surprise that I completely failed this month’s challenge.

I took photos for the first week and then I just lost momentum. And never got it back.

I’m not even going to publish the photos I did take because that would be admitting defeat—as opposed to what you just did?—and instead leave this challenge for later. I will revisit it later this year, complete it and then also publish the photos from the first attempt.

The challenge for June was originally going to be learning to play the Harmonica.

But somehow I can’t imagine my fellow train passengers would appreciate someone learning the Harmonica every morning—convenient excuse, isn’t it?

Convenient excuses aside the truth is that I don’t have the time or energy to complete these challenges right now. Back when I had the idea I had both of those things, now I have neither.

So I’m going to give myself just a little more room to breath by taking a break from my monthly challenges.

And that’s it for this month.

You’ve just read Melancholic May, Issue 05/16.

In which, 6 years ago, I wrote 1055 words about life and I covered topics, such as: keeping up with the erikssons, smartphones, sony xperia z5 compact, exercise, running, and colour dash.