Wed 14 – Sun 18 Sept 2016
A good journey back to London from Berlin
No delays at Tegel which was good because it’s a nice little airport but its smallness makes it a deadly dull one to be stuck at. Flight arrived on time and we easily disembarked and collected our bags probably largely due to it being midday and mid-week. I have worked out this is a good time to arrive and leave from an airport. Then even the tube back into central London went smoothly.
Evening meal marks the end of the holiday
Me and Dave ate at a local bar on Wed evening. Pleasant food and drink plus we were able to sit outside as it was still hot weather. We started our holiday with a drink and dinner there and that is also how it ended.
A relatively easy afternoon at work on Thurs.
This started with a catch-up lunch with Nissa. Very exciting that all is on course for our new UK Tech for Good programme opening on 3 Oct. The rest of the afternoon was taken up with small catch-up meetings with colleagues. Unfortunately this did, in part, stop me from catching up on e-mails.
Drinks organised by Nominet Trust on Thur evening
This was an event for the judges of Nominet Trust 100 2016. This is an annual competition to identify the 100 best social tech / tech for good projects happening in the world. Details on previous winners and how to apply to be part of this year’s 100 are available here.
Catching up with mum
She has been OK whilst I’ve been away and coped with recuperating after her knee op. My brother has been keeping eye on her. The main problem remains getting up and down the stairs to her flat. She can only do this if someone is with her. Brother has been keeping eye on her.
Sheffield and James
Pouring rain when me and Nissa left St Pancras early on Fri morning. However a fine journey up so we could meet with tech advisor James Boardwell. Details on him and his company can be found here. Interesting that his work all comes via reputation and word of mouth to the extent that he does not see his website as that important and is not worried about always keeping it up to date. It was great to talk about the new Tech for Good programme including how we can choose projects most ready and willing to do digital innovation plus how best they can be supported during such transformation.
After seeing James, we had a nice catch-up with Sue Cook our advisor for Yorkshire and Humberside. Sue is a a bundle of energy and it was lovely to meet her at her co-working workspace at Union St. Good just to chew over what she is up to and update on what is happening back at head office.
An evening to myself in Sheffield
I decided to stay over so paid for a hotel room. Sometimes I like just being alone for a bit and I find long train / plane journeys there and back knacker me out (age & health conditions?). Ended up at the eat as much as you can Chinese buffet but didn’t go too mad. Then back to the hotel for a glass of wine and some reading but in bed by 11.
Good journey back to London
This was particularly because the wi-fi worked on the train so giving me the opportunity to catch up on home and work emails. I continued catching up on home and work emails once back in London. It is great not to feel overwhelmed by e-mails especially when you return from holiday.
A very chilled Sat evening
This was spent in with Dave and it was rubbish on TV so we had an early night. Thus by the time I awoke on Sun morning, I had had over 9 hours of sleep.
My brilliant jog-run (see below) was followed by a very nice day. My favourite charity shop, several coffees, lunch with Dave, catching up on the pooter, sorting the laundry, doing my meds for the week. One of the things I have been doing is deleting people I follow on Twitter simply so that there are less tweets to look through. My main focus has been deleting famous people as their tweets are often just anodyne PR. I prefer social media link-ups with ‘real people’.
One of my guilty pleasures. I love the stories attached to the objects. What I dislike is that the central feature is always how much the object would bring if it were sold at market. This is just pampering to people’s greed and telling us all that matters is financial value.
Health and efficiency
Sun did my jog-run so a fortnight’s gap. Plenty of time for my calves, achilles and knees to rest. And it went brilliantly. I did my best distance ever and the time was good. Also no injuries aggravated and legs feeling pretty good for the rest of the day. I am determined to try to get to 7 km next week (and 10 km by the end of the year?)
Best ever Jog-run and no injuries ! pic.twitter.com/TxPIal5IXY
— Billy Dann (@BillyDann1) September 18, 2016
Gym and weight
Gym session on Thursday morning, the first one since coming back from Berlin. Concentrated on achilles/calves using exercises given by physio long-time ago. Also I did all main upper body parts and 22 mins on the rowing machine (5 km). The main thing I missed during my Berlin holiday (not related to people) was going to the gym.
My weight was 13-10 on return so slightly up on before I went away. I’ve set myself the goal of getting to 13-9 by the end of Sept.
Books and reading
‘The Magician’s Wife’ by Brian Moore
Picked up for £1 at Paper and Cup before went to Berlin. Liked the story – magician and his wife travel to Algeria as part of Napoleon III’s attempt to conquer. Napoleon III is a fascinating historical figure – tried to be both modern and backward looking at the same time. The book reminded me a bit of The Sheltering Sky with its focus on desert. Sheltering Sky is a great book. This is a very good book and I loved the comparison of time at the Imperial court and then in Algeria. I didn’t really know the author but entry on wikipedia made me realise he was famous in his time and this was his last novel before he died in 1999. I will definitely read some of his other novels.
Dr Who audio book: ‘The Year of the Pig’ (sixth Doctor Colin Baker + companion Peri)
A strange but very entertaining story. No great aliens or struggles to save worlds. Really very much like a radio play. Doctor and Peri are in Belgium late nineteenth / early twentieth century. They are accompanied by a pig who behaves exactly like a human being. He is pursued by another human who actually turns out to be his porkine brother. Quietly understated with the ultimate finding that they are both artificially created but it is left a mystery by who or why. Amusing female characters and ongoing jokes about pigs ability and pleasure in eating anything. Overall a wonderfully whimsical and well-created adventure.