Sun 24 – Sat 30 May
Well another busy week over. A blessed bank holiday but work dominating everything as usual. I am only paid to work three and a half days each week. But it’s indicative that I could only make the gym twice when in theory with my rota I should have been able to get there four times plus a jog-run. So many people share the same feeling, that work is our life instead of just being part of it. Always annoys me when highly paid people say how hard they work; everybody works hard now just some people ain’t paid so much.
My blog week started badly with the news that my brother was very ill. He had to go to A+E and ended up in the resus room but eventually got released; he has since recovered thankfully. He had a very serious skin infection on his leg that was spreading to the rest of his body. A great example of the sort of diseases that could become more frequent and more deadly if we don’t sort out the situation of over-prescribing antibiotics so making them drug resistant. Obviously this really upset mum.
The rest of Sunday was pretty quiet with me catching up with work and personal stuff on the pooter and then the wonderful ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ on the TV in the evening. Crap news that QPR capitulated 5-1 at Leicester to end the season at the bottom of the Premiership – a fitting end really to a dreadful period, glad to see some of the crud have already been released. I really wonder if football is going into a self-inflicted decline based on its over commercialisation, the scandal that is FIFA, and the crazy salaries being paid to some pretty obnoxious people – players and bureaucrats.
Blessed Bank Holiday Monday
This really was my relaxation highlight of last week. Dave wanted ‘to do something’, I just wanted to chill. Our relationship is good and strong because we like knowing each other is there but are really happy for each one to do their own thing. A great example of a proper relationship built on trust and allowing each other to reach their full potential without being taken the piss out of. After the gym I pottered around town having several coffees and reading my book as well as checking out HMV and Waterstones. I went back to Dave’s, he had gone for a wander along the South Bank but we spent the evening in watching the soaps and Springwatch – I’m so bored of Britain’s Got Talent. Bed by 10 and reading.
That lovely back to work feeling
Office days last week were Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday was very much about catching up on a number of things. Last week we decided which Tech for Good projects should be funded but there were other aspects of my job to deal with as well – unfortunately it is too easy to be distracted by the bits you like the best. I am an early morning person and my performance declines through the day so I managed to get in early both days (8am) and managed to leave at 4.30 on Tuesday though Wednesday I got bogged down in getting stuff done to deadline before I travelled to Scotland and so left around 6.30. Part of my problem is that I am too committed and work too hard; I really am a wage-slave. A big meeting on Wed agreed six Tech for Good projects to be funded. Four people in room and two on conference call – this worked but was difficult with dodgy wi-fi connections. Brilliant news that a meeting got cancelled on Wednesday afternoon – meant I could get on with real work.
Tues night was spent with mum. She is OK though still in pain and immobile with her leg problems. I spent time updating my ipod not least with some of the best Eurovision songs and new Dr Who stories. We watched Springwatch together which showed how vicious nature can be with the badger went along eating all these chicks and eggs in a series of nests (it consumed 5,000 calories in one go). The programme makers put up a fence to stop him doing it again and you should have seen the aggression with which he (unsuccessfully) tried to get through.
I expected better from Coronation St
We also watched Coronation St together which is going through one of its very dramatic storylines – fire, revenge, lives at risk, etc; silly but fun drama. However I am concerned by the crap storyline where Jenny Bradley has suddenly become crazed with trying to abduct a child – I would have expected better than creating another ‘mad woman’ character.
Back to Glorious Glasgow
Then back again on Thursday for the meeting that had been re-scheduled from a couple of weeks previously. I had an 8.55am flight so left Dave’s around 6am. All went well though the flight was packed. I got into Glasgow around lunchtime and had some chill time exploring the city centre especially the charity shops. Found a book by Ursula Le Guin (great sci-fi writer) and a couple of t-shirts. Checked into my hotel and ended up going for a special offer ‘pre-theatre’ meal at a very nice Indian restaurant which I think was called the Kama Sutra! Then an evening with a drink in the bar before an early bed.
Up around 7, checked out and into town. Spoke with my colleague in Northern Ireland to have a catch-up as several of my projects are based there. Then onto the monitoring meeting for SeeMe – the mental health stigma and discrimination campaign for Scotland. All good and nice to meet Jenny my new fellow funding manager from the Scottish Government. Back on the bus to the airport and another packed flight to London. Turned out I was sitting next to a bride and groom who had just got married. He and lots of the other men were in traditional Scottish kit – nice legs. Went to see Dave but he had a headache and had gone to bed. Surfaced just as Coronation St was ending at 9.30 and I was off to bed.
Dominating work crowded out much of my own personal development space so no real progress on enhancing my digital skills though some interesting ideas coming through the Tech for Good selection process and a good report delivered by Julie Dodd which I was interviewed for http://thenewreality.info Monday afternoon I did a mega-session on Duolingo trying to improve my Spanish, French and German. And on Saturday I took time out after my jog-run to go to the cinema to see ‘Mommy’ – a French-Canadian film about a mother dealing with a violent son with ADHD. A bit long though I think me and the other person in the cinema appreciated it. Fascinating how Quebecois French seems to have developed to sound quite different to European French. The rest of Saturday was dominated by my regular actions – having a shave, putting away the laundry, and sorting out my meds for the coming week. Saturday night on TV was absolutely crap.
Exercise and health
Only got to the gym twice last week – previous Sunday and bank holiday Monday. For the former I concentrated on fewer sets but a higher level of weights to build muscle. Then on Monday it was cardio with 15 minutes on the rowing machine (usually I do about 12) and then a high number of reps on lower weights. Jog-run on Saturday which I felt really good about so I pushed it to the longest distance done since I have been taking it seriously again. The preparations are going on for Trooping the Colour in three weeks time so lots of coppers and soldiers around but thankfully this didn’t affect me too much; I had to change just a little bit of my course because it was blocked off. I ran to 5.5km and all was good – see the separate results page. No shift in weight again.
Finished reading The Siege and have done a separate mini-blog about it, highly recommended. I moved onto a gay sci-fi novel written in 1978, ‘Chrome’ by George Nader. A little piece of gay cultural history but not the easiest read. It combines three strands. First, gay stuff including some sex scenes but I certainly wouldn’t class this as a ‘wank book’; it shows how at that time to get published it needed spice so people would read it. Second, it is very much of its time being reminiscent of seventies sci-fi aka Logan’s Run with people running about in white robes (camp at times). And finally it is actually quite a challenging novel being of the ‘hard’ sci-fi genre where there is little to relate to the present day. It is a strange story about a man who falls in love with a robot without arms but then finds he is the robot. And then it moves onto an inter-galactic struggle partly linked to the fact that the robots can now breed. All very strange and including a prophetic crashing of an air vehicle into a building. The story of the author George Nader is also strange – Wikipedia tells us he was an established actor in the 50s and 60s who turned to writing due to eyesight problems.