A crash and burn week

Sun 16 – Sat 22 Feb 2020

Health and Efficiency

Midweek crash and burn

The big thing about last week was simply that I had a crash and burn about half way through. All week I had been fighting a niggling little cold / chill thing. But on Thurs I had to give up. I think I am trying to do too much each week and it simply led to an inevitable plummet to earth. Undermining my health to the point where I had to take a break.

February is a month I loath generally. For me, it’s simply about getting through it till the days are longer and warmer. And it’s the time of year when I am at my lowest and things seem to be most likely to go wrong.

Thurs morning came and I awoke at 6.15 to get up to go to the gym and then go into work. But I felt exhausted. So back to sleep and up around 9. Out for coffee and I felt so cold – right through to my bones. It’s that thing about a cold being called so because you feel so bloody cold. So I didn’t go into work but rather went to bed with a hot water bottle and slept through the afternoon.

The healing power of sleep

when only bed can help

I am a massive proponent of the ability of sleep to help people heal. If you are ill, simply go to bed and sleep for as long as you need to. That is what I did on Thurs and then on Fri morning I was supposed to go to yoga before work. I awoke at 6.15 again and was still too tired. So back to sleep and up around 8.30.

Going forward

Pretty sure I am going to have to change my rota to make sure I don’t crash and burn again. Think I’m going to have to alter my exercise routine so that I have a day off between each session. Try to build at least one day a week when I can have a lay-in. I enjoy getting up early and getting on with things. But I genuinely think an extra couple of hours in bed each week is one of the best ways to stay health.

Gym and yoga

dumbells in the gym

So pleased with myself that I did 3 gym mornings in a row: Sun, Mon, Tues. But actually knackered me and, with busy at work, culminated in crashing as detailed above. Indeed, I was supposed to be at the gym on Thurs when I awoke to feel so tired and cold that I couldn’t do anything that day.

And that carried through to Friday when I knew I needed more sleep and so skipped yoga before going into work. Haven’t been for the last couple of weeks and probably won’t go next week. πŸ™ The people there will think I’ve given up on them which is not true. I simply need to work out how to build Friday yoga into my weekly routine

Jog-run – another crash and burn

man jogging

Sat I went out for my jog-run and it turned into a bit of a disaster. Not 100% whether to do it with the chill I may have still been carrying. But went for it and reconciled myself to just a 5K if necessary as it was also very windy. All OK (slow time) till around 8.6 km when my watch-timer lost connection with the satellite – probably a Chinese one shot down by the Americans. So I don’t know what my 10K time was this week – around 1 hour 3 mins? πŸ™ Video about my crash and burn jog-run here.


man being pummelled

One of the things that saved last week from being a total crash and burn disaster was me getting my monthly low cost massage at THT for people with HIV. The masseur knows to go in really hard on the bits of my body that give me most problems – lower back, glutes and legs.

Work Life Balance

Learn to take time out when you need to

So I was back to my normal work routine last week – every afternoon plus all day Wed. I wrote about my ridiculously strong work ethic in last week’s blog; that I hadn’t had a sick day for over 5 years. πŸ™ This is not healthy and the sort of thing that will inevitably lead to a crash and burn.

Wed was a very long day at work then a meeting with friends afterwards. So when I awoke the next day feeling exhausted and ‘coldy’, I knew I had to change my ethic and accept the need to rest.

Ultimately surviving and thriving is about knowing when you need to retreat and refresh rather than just giving up completely.

Putting fun back into work

Work can’t always be fun but it should be fun some of the time. Particularly working in the public or voluntary sectors, we can become so worthy that fun goes out of the window. I expect similarly if your job is just about making money. It is vital that we see the world outside work, have fun, and do practical stuff to encourage this.

Tombola prizes

So last week at work I led on getting people excited about Sport Relief and donating money. It was also great on Wed to have a picnic team lunch where we all had to contribute. Ostensibly for a new team member, it was a lovely chance for us to just chill and find out more about each other. πŸ™‚

Books and Reading

Strangely (and sadly) I didn’t manage to get through a whole book last week. Nearly finished the latest one by Patrick Gale – an author I like but he can be so middle class. Still, a beautifully constructed book.

Art and Culture

face of james baldwin

Two bits of culture last week that both represented the power of art to make a statement and challenge – as is its point. If art simply reassures us everything is OK as it is then it really isn’t fulfilling it’s role.

Jo Jo Rabbit

A quite strange film. The subject matter is of a 10 year old boy in the Hitler Youth at the end of the war. He is haunted by Hitler himself who gives him advice. It’s a wee bit saccharine but there’s also a dark side to it that is slightly under-played. However, a great example of how fascism warps ‘normal’ thinking and the power of humour to undermine ideology. Recommended.

London Philharmonic Orchestra

The inside of the Royal Festival Hall

Brilliantly lucky to get reduced tickets for the LPO performance at the Royal Festival Hall on Sat evening. Details about the LPO here. Me and Dave had a nice meal at the Union Jack Club. Then onto an 80% full hall to listen to ‘Fantasy and Revolution’. With music from 2003 (JΓΆrg Widmann), 1903 (Ravel), and 1803 (musical revolutionary: Beethoven). The latter’s ‘Symphony No. 3Β (Eroica)’ was particularly wonderful though Widmann’s ‘Lied for Orchestra’ was also very good.

Personal Development


Two big things. One, I am keeping work and personal emails under control by hitting the delete button. Very empowering. What could be lost? Who knows, who cares! It’s about avoiding crash and burn. Second, I continue to use apps, especially Duolingo, to dabble with languages. Really enjoy it and have set a regular time to do them just before I go to sleep. πŸ™‚

Friends and Family

Dom and Richard on Wed night

After a busy day at work, Wed night it was out to meet my old friends Richard and Dom. Really nice to catch up with them. We went to ‘Grumbles’ in Pimlico, a restaurant that’s been around since the 60s – the Beatles used to go there. And it felt like stepping back in time. Surprisingly busy but a classic example of a bistro (think lots of dark wood). Food was OK but not cheap. A nice experience but we agreed we wouldn’t rush back. I left there and felt absolutely knackered which led onto my crash and burn the next day.

Family illness

Brother continues his slow recovery. Meanwhile mum has come down with a severe cold / possible flu. Also my dad’s asked me to take on Power of Attorney for him should he become incapable and his wife is gone. Does all beg the question – who is going to look after people like me in the future with no kids? πŸ™

The Week Ahead

  • Gonna be messy in terms of work days. Hoped to be at an external event all day Mon but may have to cut short to be back in the office for the afternoon. Then in most of Tues plus Wed and Thurs afternoons. Theoretically should have Fri off but I think I am going to have to go in for a morning meeting. πŸ™
  • Knock-on effect of messy work days is that it hits my exercise routine. Will hit gym on Sun and possible I could do Tues, Wed, and Thurs morning. But does this all create the same pressure that made me crash last week?
  • Yoga on Fri morning looks unlikely – perhaps a swim on Fri afternoon instead? And hopefully timer-watch (and weather) won’t mean my 10K weekend jog-run doing a crash and burn again. πŸ™
  • Public booking for Flare (London LGBT Film Festival) opens on Thurs. If they haven’t sold out then there should be some good films to go to although for much of the festival period I will be in Berlin.
  • Me and Dave are meeting with our old friends Patrick and Stephen on Tues night which will be brilliant. πŸ™‚
  • Looking forward to starting my new reading book ‘All Systems Red’. A much lauded sci-fi novella. Should be a quick read so I can also move onto something else. πŸ™‚
  • Gonna carry on hitting that delete button on emails and doing languages on the apps. πŸ™‚

And Finally…

There are some very sick people out there – take care.

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