Another busy week with the usual that work seemed to permeate, dominate and overshadow everything else. Why does my life so often feel like it’s all about my paid work to the exclusion of other good things? Redeeming points were some good health stuff, time with Dave and mum (even though both can drive me to distraction), some useful developmental stuff going on around digital, and my beloved books.
Health and efficiency
Good news of one pound lost and so down to 13-9. Gym on Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings – cardio (cycling and rowing machine) plus weights. Lot of exercises about raising and lowering my heels slowly in order to build my calf muscles and repair my damaged achilles. Friday back to see the physio about this. Things are a bit better with my injured lower legs aching less first thing in the morning when I get up. Physio was pleased but said I needed to increase the weight I am lifting and still too early to go back to jogging. Some long purposeful walks plus decided not to buy an exercise bike to lose weight and instead try every so often skip food – linked to my idea of losing weight being a hobby. And then on Saturday afternoon I treated myself to a 60 minute full-body sport massage. We have a health scheme at work that pays for certain things (up to a low limit) and one of those is a therapeutic massage if the masseur has the right qualification. I have never taken advantage of this though it can be claimed for once each year – why the hell have I not? Really good though almost agony when the therapist was working on my legs with all their problems. Felt fantastic afterwards and had a coffee chill at Starbucks including an interesting chat with a guy who had been clubbing and was absolutely flying – typical Vauxhall in a way.
He had a stressful week at work but I was glad that he started back swimming by me getting him up and out at the weekends when I go out to the gym – about 8am. Previous Sunday we popped to the local car boot to get the usual assortment of books, CDs, DVDs, and clothes. Lunch out and Sunday evening in together watching Countryfile, Strictly, and Antiques Roadshow though he was moaning at me as usual for simultaneously being on my pooter; there is a dangerous anti-tech streak in my boyfriend / partner / husband (latter does not mean I am the wife). We saw each other again on Wednesday night though late as we had both been busy at work. Met for dinner at Pizza Express around 9pm but didn’t eat too big a meal and it was great to simply have relaxing catch up time. And another catch up meal on Saturday just gone, this time at the Union Jack Club in Waterloo for veterans – trying to be la-di-da but not really making it, still aspirational fun though.
She was disappointed because her weight stayed the same after the two pounds lost last week. We did her laundry on Monday morning and I collected some parcels from the local sorting office. With mum on Monday and Tuesday evenings though she was a bit negative on the latter. We had tea together on both nights and watched the soaps. I was also with her on Thursday night but didn’t get in till 8.30pm after the Tech for Good networking day and a little pub drink after to be friendly. I was knackered and basically went straight to bed. Mum’s comment was I was probably tired because I had been drinking though my suspicion is that it is more likely due to me working my bollocks off.
The previous Sunday afternoon was spent clearing emails which always makes my life feel better. I have decided one of my key life aims is to get my work (and personal) inbox down to a minimum amount. I find it inspirational to go through and delete old emails though it is a daily and never-ending process. I genuinely think the paperless office can lessen stress as does clearing out crap sitting in cyberspace. We clearly live in an information society but the danger is that we simply let ourselves be overwhelmed by it.
Digital stuff at work last week including hosting a gathering of our Tech for Good projects as well as preparing for a digital exploration day the next week. I also spent time looking at how to enhance inter-organisational working around digital and planning a potential new digital grants programme. There are also my ‘normal’ duties to get on with including three project assessments I will be doing (though two are about digital services). Indeed, I did my first assessment last Friday. A non-digital organisation proposing a new digital service; key issues – do they have the right experience and can they deliver? I think this is worth taking a chance on not least because of their enthusiasm to learn how to do this well and we must give people leeway to try and fail – digital breakthroughs are also going to come from people who take risks. One of problems I think may be that they are developing the digital service based on existing an offline service and trying to create the digital service in its offline image.
Tuesday night I was supposed to go to Word Press User Group London but I was too knackered after a full day at work. I did make up for it by doing a long session on Code Academy including an intro to Bootstrap. However messages next day on social media suggested it had been a really good session about website accessibility. So actually up my street and I was annoyed I had missed it.
Friday I was not supposed to be working but got caught up in internal sign-off discussions on the wording to be used in communication with a major external partner – ah the joy of joint branding.
Languages and Books
‘Languages’ doesn’t warrant its own section for last week as unfortunately all I managed was a few DuoLingo sessions.
Last Monday I went to the wonderfully wacky Comic and Book Exchange in Notting Hill to do an exchange on some books I had finished with, getting vouchers in return. The 50p basement was shut but I still managed to spend the £14 worth of vouchers and another £11 cash on top for a pile of books found in the ‘normal’ part of the shop. Spent that afternoon and evening tidying up my bookshelves which always makes me happy, the orderliness of much loved publications in correct alphabetical order.
Being busy last week I only managed to get through one book, ‘Whispers Under Ground’ by Ben Aaronovitch. Another series of books that I dip into every so often picking up after the last one I finished reading previously. This is book three and a fun story centred on a young police constable involved in the Metropolitan Police unit dealing with magical crimes. Indeed he himself is becoming a magician. Well-written, silly, escapist fun.
And finally…QPR won 3-0 at home against MK Dons, yaay!