Mon 23 – Sun 28 Jan 2017
Last week was dominated by getting my Tech for Good assessments done and written up. Plus it was a typical Jan week weather-wise of greyness, cold, and occasional rain. There was dreadful news from America as Trump’s fascism kicked in and Theresa May went to hold his hand (I wonder if he grabbed her pussy?). Thank God we had eight years of Obama to be clear what an honourable presidency should be like. In light of all this, I’ve decided to do a different blog to usual and identify 20 good things about last week. Remember, it is better to light a candle that just criticise the darkness.
1. Good gym session last Mon morning. Followed on from the day before’s good jog-run so I didn’t go too heavy on my legs. I did do 10 mins on the bike plus upper body weights and leg stretching exercises.
2. Also last Mon morning, I had to take my i-pod to the Apple store as it would not charge. The problem was instantly sorted by a member of staff who used a pin to get fluff out of slot where the charger plugs into. Apparently it’s an occupational hazard (design fault) that fluff gets in and stops the charger connecting. I wonder if this has been the problem with my other i-pods in the past?
3. Mon afternoon, I made a trip to the record and video exchange in Notting Hill. I took some watched DVDs and CDs, obtained exchange vouchers, and got some new Dr Who CDs as well as some old mega cheap (50p and £1) music ones. A fulfilling exchange.
3. Previous Mon afternoon I also did a long purposeful walk across a cold Hyde Park. Ultimate the journey took me from Notting Hill to Victoria. Whilst walking I joined the fortnightly skype catch-up with M-ITI regarding the research they have been commissioned to do on Social Tech Eco-systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Phone call also included my colleague Annie at Nominet Trust.
4. All this activity last Mon was possible because I didn’t have to do mum’s washing. My brother did it instead. Thanks bros!
5. Really pleased to report that over last week (and as planned) I managed to type up about eight TfG assessments. Slowly but surely I am getting them done and I am confident I will meet my deadline.Though it has meant working on my days off…
6. Evenings with Dave are always fun and I managed to stay over at his place a few times last week. When I stay at his place I often go to bed by 9 so I can read for an hour and a half. Dave will often simultaneously stay up and watch crap TV. We don’t need to be together in the same room, we just like the fact of knowing that we are both in the flat together.
7. Couple of useful catch ups last Tues. First, with the guys at Accenture Development Partners doing some general research on Tech for Good / Social Tech in the UK. Second, with my colleague Faye who is Head of Product in our Digital Team. We talked about her being on the 7 Feb panel to decide which projects are recommended for a Tech for Good grant and how members of her team might want to help mentor the funded projects. In the afternoon, I got another assessment interview done (on a youth volunteering tech project). That leaves me just two more to do next week then write them up.
8. I had a meeting with my friend Dave on Tues evening. We knew each other from Brighton, having met about 12 or 13 years ago. He now lives in Taiwan and was doing a quick tour around the UK seeing friends and family. I had a drink with him in Soho and it was unfortunate I couldn’t stay longer but I was tired after a full day in the office. I tire so easily these days.
9. Wed all day I was at the Grants Directorate away day. It was an intense but good catch up with my immediate team colleagues and a good way to identify what we are all up to. It’s busy, busy, busy!
10. Wed evening I attended the Tech for Good meet-up on the theme of International Tech for Good. I gave a heads-up on the sub-Saharan Africa research. It was also good to catch up face to face with my Nominet Trust colleagues as well as some funding tech for good in Ireland. It would be great with the latter if we could investigate further the possibility of working together perhaps incentivising TfG projects in Northern Ireland? Wed was a long day and I was knacked going straight to bed when I got home around 10.30 (I had been up and out since 7am). But it felt good to have had a day so unusual to my normal ones.
11. Thurs morning, I did my second gym session of the week. A quick one because I needed to be in work by 11.30. 10 mins on the bike and another 10 on the treadmill. In-between exercises on chest, shoulders, and back as well as activity to strengthen calves/achilles and lots of leg stretching.
12. Thurs afternoon I had a good catch up on the support to be offered to the Tech for Good projects including the infamous boot camp. Attended by Nissa as well as our external tech adviser James (Rattle Central) and Dan from CAST – Centre for the Acceleration of Social Tech.
13. Thurs evening was a nice one in with mum, brother, and the beloved dog. Wish he would stop trying to mount my leg. It’s only me he does it to! (I’m talking about the dog).
14. Fri morning swim. 30 lengths though it may have been 33 as I lost count as usual. I always do that when I swim. Done in 3 length chunks of front crawl, breast stroke, and back stroke. Slowly but surely getting better at front crawl. Still hard work but I don’t feel quite so much like I’m drowning.
15. Bit of DuoLingo done every day. Not always all four languages but there were no days when I did none at all unlike some other weeks recently.
16. Finished reading Sarah Perry’s ‘The Essex Serpent’ on my kindle. What an excellent book this is. A piece of fiction set in Victorian England. There are a lot of characters and I was worried at points that I couldn’t recall them all. But in the end, the various strands all came together and we were left knowing how they had all fared. Not all happy endings and, indeed, you can see the stories of some still need to progress. But a wonderful Victorian-type epic of people’s lives though not all as grim as we so easily imagine nineteenth century lives were like. And over-hanging everything is the mysterious serpent.
17. ‘Enemy of the Daleks’ (seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy and companions Hex + Ace) A decent Dr Who audio adventure. The Doctor and companions find them on a science base under attack by the Daleks. The Doctor knows it as the site of a historical massacre. But who actually is massacred eventually? We have the arrival of a new anti-Dalek species that could also be a threat to more than just Daleks. A decent story though it did remind me a lot of ‘Alien’.
18. A lazy Sat just gone. I wasn’t in the mood for exercise and had loads of pooter work to do (assessments, etc). It is good to not keep to routine and have a change every so often (same for the format of my blog?). But not sure it set me up well to do my jog-run the next day.
19. Jog-run went OK on Sun morning. Not as good as I was hoping or expecting but not too bad. Perhaps I should just be glad that the rain held off till later in the day. Looking forward to next week’s one already.
OK time but I thought I could have done better pic.twitter.com/fbREMU8k7T
— Billy Dann (@BillyDann1) January 29, 2017
20. My beloved boyfriend is managing to survive a bout of man-flu. I love him to pieces but he’s not very good with illness. Also I think I may have picked it up…
Things to look forward to this coming week
- Jan is over! We’ve survived and we move onto Feb. The green valley of Spring are not far off, we just need to get over these ice-covered mountains (watch the film ‘Alive’ to know what I’m on about).
- Two more assessment interviews to be done and then all the assessments to be written up so that the panel papers can go out as planned on Fri 3 Feb. My life will be empty without these bloody assessments – not!
- Interim M-ITI report to arrive on Thurs
- Evenings with Dave (if he lives) and catching up with mum at some point.
- Either two gym sessions or one gym session and a swim. Also a jog-run next weekend – weather permitting.
- A do-nothing weekend with no assessments to be written up. I might even get to the cinema or learn to do coding.
- Keeping on top of work and personal emails.
- DuoLingo everyday
- A couple of books to be read (as opposed to just one) and at least a couple of Dr Who audio books listened to.
- Velvet Page Book Club on Thurs night. We will be discussing ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe’.