From the Dunes to everyday life in London

Sun 31 Jan – Sat 6 Feb 2015

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One of those dreary weeks where you start on holiday Dunes lizardand end up back in normal life. Still in Gran Canaria until returned to London last Wednesday. Sunny weather of the previous week continued on Sunday though hazy sunshine on Monday and then cloud cover on Tuesday. So sun lounger by the pool until Tuesday and then I went for a long walk around the Dunes. These really are amazing, like walking across the Sahara though with patches of vegetation sometimes containing birds and lizards (and domestic cats though I’m sure they shouldn’t be there).

The Way Back

Travelling back day was a hassle as it always is. Up and packed before off to get bus connection. There was confusion between where we normally got picked up and the instructions I had been sent by the company. Our pick-up time came and went so I started to get concerned and kept going between the two sites to make sure we hadn’t missed the connection. Head injuryAt one point I was distracted by trying to contact the company on my phone and walked into a metal post – bang! My bloody head hurt and I felt a bit dizzy / starry (just like in a cartoon) but had to try to act normal in front of everyone so I didn’t look like a complete twat. Minibus eventually arrived about 20 mins late and was packed such that I had to sit next to the grumpy driver.

Actually from then on things went pretty well. Checked in straight away at airport and spent time on  my pooter waiting to board. Boarding was slightly chaotic with a speedy boarding dominatrix making sure that all speedy boarders got on before even considering letting normal people on including those in wheelchairs – overall result that we left late. Packed but OK flight but then train problems at Gatwick (naturally). Eventually arrived at Dave’s around 7pm having started our journey back at 9.15am. Basically if someone wants to help humanity they should work out how to make returns from holiday a more enjoyable experience.

Health and Efficiency

Eating patterns on holiday were weird. Definitely too much rich food and alcohol but a regular routine of eating just breakfast then an evening meal and skipping lunch. Can’t think there will be anything except weight gain when I do a weigh-in next week.

Lots of walking to, around, and back from the Dunes on Tuesday but that really was about it on holiday. Only time for one gym session on Saturday morning and it was nice to be back as always. Still trying to restrict myself to no more than 30 mins in the gym so I don’t end up feeling knacked and hungry.

Worth noting that I have recovered from walking into a metal post on the last day of our holidays. My head has been bloody hurting but I woke up on Thursday morning and my first thought was ‘I’m alive therefore it can’t be too much of a bad head injury’.

Back to Work, Back to Digital

Only one day in the office last week and that was Thursday. Basically emailageddon despite trying to keep on top of things whilst away. Left early to travel to the Olympic Park for the presentation of the latest lot of apps developed by the schools that won the most recent Apps for Good Awards. Some great ideas including the ability to connect up phones to create an instant PA system (Sound Clash), a plant identification app (GardenKing), and another that connects people to let them know what they are each reading (BOOKd). apps for goodAlso a celebration of the work Apps for Good has been doing in schools for the last five years. Great to see the young people’s enthusiasm and interesting to meet up with teachers and pupils from my old school. Though I am pretty sure I am one of the alumni they want to forget after announcing I was gay at school in the sixth form.

Books and Reading

Two main books read last week:

Jo Walton’s Half A Crown This finishes the Small Change Trilogy (also called Still Life with Fascists). Good wrapping up though interesting Jo says at the start that the trilogy is about optimism – it’s a pretty grim read showing how it is all too easy for people to find others to blame for their problems. And how little incremental steps can lead to fascism and authoritarianism. Feels very relevant to the now.

Then Isaac Asimov’s Foundation First in a trilogy of novels. Pretty amazing to read at the start of the book the main points in Asimov’s life matched against other key books published and major world events. An extremely wide ranging and grandiose book about the collapse and survival of galactic civilisation. Very similar to Gibbon’s ‘Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.’ But some prescient ideas ahead of their time (book was written late 40s/early 50s) including data-mining and machine-based learning to make predictions, the importance of trade to link people and stop them fighting, plus the power of religion as an ideology to control things.

book exchangeCouple of other book related events last week as well. Firstly, on Friday took a load of read books up to the Notting Hill Comic and Book Exchange and did a nice exchange getting a load more books including some comic books / graphic novels, a genre I have never really been into but I think you should be up for giving everything a go. And unfortunately missed the Velvet Page Book Club on Thursday discussing ‘Carol’ but for a good reason as I was at the Apps for Good Event.

And Finally…

Very sad news about the death of Sir Terry Wogan. As someone said, every great entertainer these days is either dying or being announced as a paedophile. Will severly miss his (pissed) acerbic commentary on the ever-wonderful Eurovision song contest.

But QPR won 1-0 against Ipswich – a last minute goal which seems to be our story this season.

qpr

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