4 weeks to go

Mon 25 Feb – Sun 3 March 2019

A week of tension, egos, and weather variations

Early last week we had temperatures of 20 and 21 degrees. Beautiful but crazy numbers for February. It’s all about global warming and climate change – we are so screwed and no-one cares. Meanwhile the Brexit circus chugs on; postponement to sort out what the fuck is going to happen seems to be the only game in town. And also Trump vs King Jong Un, Stacey Dooley vs David Lammy, Chris Grayling vs Reality.

But also Soft Cell…

Marc on Gay Times

One of the highlights of the week was most definitely BBC4 on Fri evening – a documentary about Soft Cell including loads of interviews with Marc Almond and Dave Ball. A band I love and who really epitomised my teenage years. Great as well that it wasn’t just about Marc but also Dave Ball who I used to fancy the pants off. A great example in time healing all things – Marc and Dave ended up hating each other which led to the duo splitting and not speaking for years. 🙁

…and tech problems

Also memorable about last week strangely was me having tech problems. First, my website crashed completely on Sat morning after doing some plug-in updates. This has happened before so less panic this time. I simply got in touch with my domain host and and they disabled the plug-in. Website back up and running. 🙂 Sounds easy but it is one of those things that can shit you up.

Second, I had a problem with my phone’s docking point. The charger wouldn’t stay in and so it only charged intermittently. I suspected fluff was in there – this always happened with the jackpoint on my old beloved ipod.

Yep, it was fluff but the phone shop couldn’t get it out. Had to take it to a place that primarily repairs phone screens and they sorted it but at a cost of £10. 🙁

Health and Efficiency


Homer does doh

After the previous week’s really good time, this week was more ‘meh’. Just under an hour and 7 mins. A bit less than 4 mins behind last week; you can see all the times here. So much for my don’t drink alcohol the night before – I didn’t drink any on Wed, Thurs or Fri! 🙁 Only redeeming feature was under 7 mins on each kilometre stretch though on one it was razor-thin – 6.59!

Knackered me out though with a two and a half hour snooze on Sat afternoon. 🙂



funny feet

I think my walking and jog-runs have contributed to hard skin on my feet that was hurting a bit. So Thurs morning, off to the chiropodist to have it all cut off. Very nice guy and definitely felt better afterwards (cost £45) but didn’t do much to improve my jog-run time on Sat. 🙁


warfarin tablets

Fri morning off to the doc’s to check if my blood is clotting too much or too little. Life with blood clots and warfarin, a wonderful drug that needs constant checking and dosage altering. Good in that it was within range so next check is 10 beautiful weeks away.

However, the reading was very much at the lower end of the range meaning under current dosage it will probably be under at the next testing and so altered dosage leading to weekly checks for a while.

Books and Reading

‘Killing Commendatore’ by Haruki Murakami

This is the book I read last week. It’s really long (about 700 pages in the hardback version I had from the library) so took most of my time. Haruki is an author I adore. His books are completely engaging and totally wacky at times. I think of them as exactly like dreams – both the good and bad sides of dreams. The bad bit is that they wash over you and it’s hard to recall them sometimes.

Famous Japanese author

This particular book is a mix of individuals dealing with real life drama stirred up with a crazy supernatural, fantasy element. Indeed there are a mass of different threads that make up this novel. I’m really not sure what the final message of is. Perhaps it’s just things are fantastic journeys which we should simply enjoy and appreciate.

Read ‘Kafka on the Shore’

Killing Commendatore is a bit repetitive (perhaps for people who give up and skip ahead?) plus there’s some stuff on teenage sexual awareness that feels uncomfortable to read. But overall a decent book worth giving a week of your life to. I keep a list of books I have read and you can see there are a few Murakami ones – list is here. I enjoyed them all but the best and one that does sit in my memory is ‘Kafka on the shore’; that is the one to read above all others.

Innovation and Creativity

A wonderfully tense and busy week at work. Some interesting meetings around a variety of issues including social investing and setting up a new grants programme. Lots of prep work ongoing for the parliamentary reception we are running on 12th March at the House of Commons.


tech matters for Africa

Also interesting work discussions around UGC – user generated content. This is when you encourage people to put content online rather than do it for them. An example is people making and uploading their own films (often on their phones) rather than someone else sending in a film team.

Sabbatical – 4 weeks to go

Dave is back

Yes, 4 weeks to go! 🙂 I am excited and people at work keep asking me what I am going to do? Generally, they are quite enthusiastic when I tell them I am primarily going to focus on personal development stuff with a bit of travel.

Indeed, I’ve started to think that 4 months isn’t that long…

Be the new me (and do it better 🙂 )

My job is out for advert, closing date Wed 6th March if you fancy it – details here. There’s a fair bit of interest in it which is good. Indeed, a couple of external people have contacted me to find out more info. I never understand why people don’t do as much research as possible on a job if they are going to apply for it and really want it.

Fully utilising my non-work days

So twas my normal two days off work last week – Tues and Thurs. There is something very important about using non-work time as creatively as possible in order to survive working life.

Tues – Battersea, not been there for a while

Tues I went for a long walk which took me into Battersea, a nearby location but one I rarely go to. Headed off to a charity shop I know there and picked up the next volume I haven’t read in Christopher Fowler’s London detectives Bryant and May series.

walking feet

Thurs – long and purposeful walking

Thurs was also about a long walk, from Olympia to Pimlico then up to Piccadilly and back to Victoria. Unlike Tues, this was about practical stuff (chiropodist, buy book to read for Velvet Page book club, and meet someone interested in covering my sabbatical). Stuff to be done rather than nice, aimless wandering.

The Week Ahead

  • 3 normal work days and the usual 2 days off
  • Tues I am going over to East London to have a 1:1 yoga session – something I’ve wanted to do for ages 🙂
  • Thurs it’s the Digital Impact Awards again in East London. A great event to be inspired by Tech for Good and to do some useful networking (joke: What’s the difference between gossiping and networking? You get expenses for networking!)
  • Jog-run next weekend. News on my gym reopening will come one day…
  • Will try to keep emails under control and do a bit of language learning via Drops or Duolingo. Coding practice is really going to have to wait till the sabbatical (did I tell you there is only 4 weeks to go?)
  • Pancakes on Tues night (Easter is on the far horizon) and Velvet Page book club on Thurs – our book is ‘Disobedience’ by Naomi Alderman

And Finally…

Cock fight

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