‘The worst came first’ so might as well start with my diet disaster; weighed myself last Tuesday to find I was 13-9, which means I had put on about 4 pounds since I last weighed myself before I went to Sitges. Didn’t eat too awfully on holiday and lots of walking so I think it is linked to my very high alcohol intake whilst away – lots of red wine and cocktails. I am feeling especially sensitive around weight because I had to go to the hospital with mum about her knee problem most of which the orthopaedic doctor put down to weight (same for my knee and ankle/calf problems?). I am clearly part of the obese generation and this is going to impact on our health and lives big time unless we do something about it.
Health and efficiency
Gym three times last week: Sunday before car-boot then Thursday and Saturday mornings – not bad. And some long purposeful walks (like on Thursday when I did Victoria to Oxford Circus and onto the South Bank) but more could be done and my big problem is I like food and the wrong types – carbs, dairy, etc. I did make a health decision last week that I may come to regret. I decided to skip my flu-jab which I get for living with HIV. Inconvenient for me to get to the doctor’s plus I am reasonably well at the moment and I have had it several years running. In a strange way I quite like experimenting with myself, let’s just hope I don’t regret this in a few months.
Dave, family and friends
With mum to her long awaited orthopaedics hospital appointment last Monday afternoon and not the quick answer we hoped for. The appointment was as bureaucratic and frustrating as one would expect from the NHS. Sent off for another x-ray before the doctor would see her (though she had bought the disc with her MRI scan – incompatible digital systems presumably meaning it could not be sent and read directly). He was efficient and as pleasant as orthopaedic surgeons get (generally posh rugger bugger types) but he was adamant this was arthritis ‘curable’ by diet and exercise. The ‘torn’ cartilage he described as ‘frayed’ and indicated a normal part of ageing. Basically he said surgical knee replacement was not an option till four months of strict non-surgical intervention: weight loss, increased exercise especially cylcing, more physio (though it was the physio who referred to the hospital), steroid injection, and consumption of up to 8 paracetemol everyday – my family’s painkiller of choice as we are all on anti-coagulants. The doctor may well be doing the right thing and my knee got better (though never as good as previously) with exercise and physio rather than an operation but mum was very upset and there was little I could do apart from be more mindful of the ways I should be looking after my own body better.
With Dave both weekends at the beginning and end of this blog. The previous Sunday had been the last day of his three week holiday – he had not been looking forward to returning to work but then who in their right minds would be? We spent the day well each doing a different car boot. I went to the weekly Pimlico one and he did the monthly one in Chiswick. Mine was much better and he faced the usual problem of car boots in posh areas where people try to sell stuff too expensively. One woman gave him a laminated print off for the prices of her goods on ebay but as Dave said ‘this isn’t ebay’. I ended up with four bags of books, CDs, DVDs, t-shirts + other assorted crap most of which were presents for Dave – I really am too good a boyfriend. We did a drink in evening at the local trendy cinema before back to watch Antiques Roadshow – domesticated gay married bliss so different to the crazy addiction world of the past now thankfully over.
Also caught up with a couple of friends last week. Thursday evening and it was dinner with my old mate David affectionately known as Daisy. We checked out the refurbished Balans which is alright – bit samey and prices have gone up. Daisy was fine and regaled me with more genealogy tales (his hobby) plus news on our joint friend Peter who is in a home with dementia. Then Friday lunchtime I had a catch-up coffee with Jamie near his office. Our main conversation was around holidays (we both love them) plus good news that he has written a new play. Sad news last week that my long-term friends Emma and Trish have moved to Australia but Dave and I are planning to visit there in a few years and they will definitely be on our itinerary.
Most of my digital development last week was work-based although I did check in to do a session on the brilliant Code Academy. In the office Wednesday but utilising digital to do remote working every day last week at some point. Monday was our annual staff conference and on the theme of digital. Unfortunately I could only stay for the morning as I had to be with mum in the afternoon. A very entertaining and inspirational session from Mark Stevenson from which I took from the need to stay flexible
Oxford on Tuesday for a meeting with Nominet Trust and Wavemaker Stoke about the latter, a digital exploration centre particularly targeting Stoke’s young people and developing their employability skills. Really good meeting and well done to all the people at Wavemaker who are turning the idea into a solid physical reality.
Office on Wednesday and mainly digital stuff: a meeting to explore how we might do more tech for good work in an international setting, planning for the digital exploration day on abstinence-based recovery on 28th, and planning for work with a new corporate tech partner. Also team meeting to discuss our ongoing restructuring now with job details to be announced in January. Nothing else to do but put my head down and carry on regardless.
The only bit of domestic digital is really my fuffing around whether to upgrade my phone now my current contract has finished? Fancy a new phone but new contract would be more expensive.
Languages and the London Film Festival
Back to DuoLingo hitting it nearly every day. LFF started last week. I particularly attend Flare (London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) but also like seeing films in the ‘normal’ one (definitely not a description of the typical audience) particularly if the films have a gay orientation or are in languages I am trying to learn – both = bullseye. Three films seen last week:
Der Nachtmar – about a young woman in Germany into clubbing which in itself brought back lots of interesting memories with the club scenes and the loud dance music. The young woman has mental health problem but are these linked to the drugs? And indeed is she really imagining things or seeing the truth? A dark modern horror film.
The Club – dark like the previous day’s film but in the sense of the evil people do. Based in Chile and so in Spanish it is about a house for priests and a nun who in are disgrace including those who have sexually abused children. An abuse victim turns up completely traumatised and changes the comfy world that the priests have come to live in. A great reflection on how normality is easily and incorrectly created, plus looking at what repentance and paying penance for sin really means.
Departure – a film I saw at 9pm on Friday night totally going against my policy of bed and reading by 10. Set in France but about expats and so mostly in English it is the story of a failed marriage and a posh English boy falling in love with the local bit of French rough. Slightly pretentious but a decent enough film although did it really say anything I haven’t heard a million times before?
Only two books read last week. First was ‘Fiddle City’ by Dan Kavanagh which is the follow up to the book ‘Duffy’ I recently read about a bisexual private investigator operating in scummy early 80s London. Perfectly decent (though not as good as the first book) and the big news was finding out the author is actually Julian Barnes; indeed I thought the books were surprisingly well written for an unknown first author.
Other book was James Morrow’s ‘This is the Way the World Ends’. One of Gollancz sci-fi masterworks and what a great collection of books that is. Written in 1986 and a grim sci-fi/fantasy reflection on living through the threat of nuclear war and depending on deterrence. I can remember how we all thought nuclear war was almost inevitable and could happen at any moment. Thank God we didn’t have the internet then nor 24 hour TV news otherwise we would have all been complete nervous wrecks.
Only other thing to mention is that I finished listening to Shada on my i-pod and what great fun it was to discover a Dr Who story I had never read, heard or seen before.