I really do appreciate Christmas more as I get older. I love the whole chill of it, people relaxed and cheerful unlike their normal frenetic state. It is strange how it seems so premature to start being advertised in November then it rushes up through December and the day itself whizzes by. And one of the strange things for last week has been trying to keep in mind which actual day of the week each day was.
Health and efficiency
No gym still largely because of lack of time. Weight on Tuesday, stayed the same 13-8. Decided to try to do a significant bit of exercise each day. Primarily walking and won’t really kick in until after Christmas-New Year when normality (unfortunately) starts again. Long walks on Thursday (Christmas Eve) and Saturday (Boxing Day) – respectively Victoria to Olympia, and Olympia to Piccadilly Circus then back again.
I’ve decided to try to go to the pictures more. Building on the success of seeing Chemsex (see last week’s blog), on the previous Sunday I went to see ‘Tangerine’ which was very gay and very fun. It is all about transgender prostitutes though I suspect their lives are really pretty grim. I had thought about going to a French film on Wednesday evening but at two and a half hours long that was too much for me, I can’t really do films longer than 100 mins – after that I start getting bored.
Mum, Dave, and Tyson Fury
Some quality time with Dave and mum last week. Previous Sunday me and Dave went for lunch and coffee in Soho before I went to the cinema and he to a church Christmas service he had been invited to. Typical Christmas TV – the final of Strictly on Saturday (Jay is very sexy), and BBC Sports Personality of the Year plus The Apprentice final on Sunday.
I feel strongly that it was wrong for Tyson Fury to be nominated for SPOTY. The BBC were at their worst being all high and mighty about the need not to ban but would he really have been nominated if he had spoken racism or anti-semitism? Hey but it’s OK if he just equates being gay with paedophilia. It’s all about sport so according to the BBC even Ched Evans could have been on the shortlist.
Monday was supposed to have been my day to visit James and Mark but instead I took mum to the laundry then spent the day sorting out financial stuff, drinking coffee, reading, and going for walks; a lovely day but I would loved to have been seeing James. Evening in with mum which we repeated on Tuesday and Christmas Eve (Thursday). With Dave on Wednesday night though he had a party to go to and wasn’t back till nearly 10. His mum came down on Christmas Eve and stayed with Dave until the day after Boxing Day so I stayed at mum’s.
Digital: The Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST)
Two days in the office and relatively chilled. Tuesday morning met at the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) with people from CAST (Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology) wearecast.org.uk about a new project we are running with them to train charity CEOs in digital and to create new not-for-profit services and products through the provision of high level expertise. Back into work and dealing with emails as usual. Did also respond to an internal email to say I would be a volunteer at Sport Relief in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday 20 March sportrelief.com
Also in work on Wednesday. Low key but nice to spend time with my excellent colleague Nissa talking digital (including how to boost donations). Did also write a paper for Grants Committee though it can’t be signed off until key people are back on 4 Jan. Nice thing is that I started on leave from the end of Wednesday and that goes right through until Tuesday 5 Jan. It will be busy that week with two assessments to do and write up by the following week but that is something to worry about in a fortnight’s time. .
Non-work digital stuff during last week included a session on DuoLingo and finally getting my phone and contract updated.
Christmas Eve (Thursday)
Pretty uneventful though nice for being that and I had no envy of those travelling to relatives and friends. I left Dave’s early morning so he could get everything ready for his mum coming. I walked, often in the rain, all the way from his to mine and then took some books up to the Notting Hill Exchange which I swapped for vouchers to get more stuff. I had my eyes on some audio books a couple of weeks previously but they had gone – c’est la vie. Back to mum’s to spend the evening in with her. We had won some pudding wine in a charity shop raffle so I had a glass of that before bed – tasted just like sherry, is that right?
Christmas Day (Friday)
Didn’t wake until 8.30 so about 10 hours sleep! Breakfast and presents, mum always buys little things like small bottles of wine, a toothbrush, hankerchiefs, etc. She went off with my brother for her Christmas dinner, and Dave picked me up in a Zipcar then collected his mum and we went off to the Union Jack Club ujclub.co.uk our regular Christmas lunch haunt. It’s for armed forces veterans and this year felt very full of older people – me and Dave were two of the youngest. Food is perfectly decent and it tries to be la-di-da but never quites succeeds. Think it has gone up in price but still good value not least for the comedy value of waiting staff wandering around with plates of food having no idea which tables they are for.
Back to Dave’s and I fell asleep on the sofa. Awoke in time to watch Dr Who which was OK for the Christmas afternoon slot. Dave dropped me back home while his mum feasted on Strictly and Midwife. Rest of the evening I was home alone as mum stayed over at my brother’s partner’s place. An evening diet for me of reading, Christmas soaps (+ Mrs Brown’s Boys), and chocolates.
Boxing Day (Saturday)
Awoke around 7.30 but think the rich food and alcohol affected me as I had some very strange dreams and had to get up three times to pee. Bath and out for a long walk to Piccadilly through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, and Green Park stopping for a coffee on the way, mild enough to sit outside. Read my book whilst walking in the parks and alternated with listening to my ipod when I was on busy streets. Met Dave and his mum before they went off to the cinema to see ‘The Lady in the Van’, definitely not on my list, indeed I can’t stand Alan Bennett. Walked back and spent the evening with mum plus planned out my lovely week off.
Books and reading
Terry Pratchett ‘Going Postal’ Back to the brilliant Terry Pratchett to read the next one in the DiscWorld series. This is a tale of the battle between old and new tech – post vs ‘clacks’ (emails in our world). As usual, a beautiful multi-layered satire including digs at ethics in big business (the main villain is based at Tump Tower…).
Sarah Waters ‘The Paying Guests’ Picked this up at the library and I have loved all her previous novels. Didn’t finish it by the end of the blog week but what a great read. Was going to recommend it to mum but the lesbian sex scenes are probably too much for her even though she’s fairly broad minded.