A New Kind of Patience – Lockdown, week 8

Sun 10 – Sat 16 May 2020

So here we are, at the first attempts to end lockdown and move onto the next phase which will be some sort of neo-normality. But it is clear that patience is needed as we try things to see if they work without boosting the spread of the virus. Clearly the world will move forward in some way or other – the key thing is to make sure an unnecessary number of deaths don’t happen to achieve that.

Agility and patience

In the modern world of work, we talk a lot about ‘agile’. The idea that we try something and if that doesn’t work then we do something differently. It’s based on the idea of not being tied to ideas and concepts. Plus it moves away from massively and doggedly relying on detailed pre-planned (‘waterfall’) schedules.

Clearly, we are in a huge real world agile exercise. We are observing what others are doing in other places and then trying things to see what happens. This requires patience – patience to see what happens when we do something and patience to be prepared to retreat down a path that we thought was going to lead us to where we wanted to be. It’s all about paths and patience. 🙂

Health and Efficiency


I’m still missing the gym. Patience is definitely in play here as gyms, spas and saunas will probably be some of the last places to open. 🙁 I’m trying to focus on getting 2 or 3 short jog-runs done each week. As opposed to a big (10K) weekly one that I used to do albeit combined with the gym and walking on other days.

pain from back problems

Two jog-runs managed last week. A 5K on Sun and a 4K on Thurs. As always, out early in the morning (c.7am) to try to avoid crowds; Sun mornings especially are wonderfully deserted. Both decent enough though not super-fast. I’m having problems with my joints (particularly knees) which I suspect may be due to lack of regular exercise as well as gradual weight gain. I’m also having some lower back ache which is probably related to my short hamstrings. Although a gentle jog-run seems to make it feel better.

General exercise increase

The slight lifting of government restrictions means that I am trying to get out more for longer walks. However, I always wear my mask when I am out and about – why more people don’t do this I just don’t understand. 🙁 I am also combining my everyday life with subtle yoga stretches.

Tech to the rescue again

Surprise on the phone

I did treat myself to a new watch that monitors your health as it was on special offer. It is largely there to replace the old time-piece I use to measure my jog-runs; the strap snapped ages ago so I just have the watch bit to hold in my hand as I am running.

I like my new gadget especially as it tells me generally how active I am (nudging me to move more when I have been still too long) and how many calories I am burning. I still need to work out how it will work for measuring my jog-runs as it’s a bit different to my old timer.


My worse fears are true and I am slowly putting on weight. 🙁 (details going back to 2015 can be found here). I suspect this is due simply to the fact that I am moving so much less during lockdown. Previously I did loads of walking. And I had a very good habit on skipping breakfast on mornings when I went to the gym. Currently, with breakfast each day, I am probably inputting an extra 1,500 calories per week whilst doing less exercise. 🙁

Books and Reading


Sadly I didn’t finish a book last week. 🙁 I am coming very close to the end of a big volume of modern ghost stories. ‘Modern’ meaning the start of the twentieth century onwards. A selection of very good stories, several by famous authors. But it’s a bit of a slog – enjoyable but it also needs patience to get through it.

My intriguing bookmark

One of the nice things about the ghost stories book is that I found a boarding card in it, presumably being used as a bookmark. That is what I use it for now. And it’s strange to think of the connection with the person it represents who was once on a flight from London to Chicago.

Personal Development

Patience is only part of the solution

Still making progress but not as much as I would like. It’s about more than just patience here though. Yep I need patience to make progress. But I also need to ramp up what I am doing. That’s the issue, how to find more capacity?

Limited progress

Still carrying on with my language learning. But I have failed to make progress on my coding learning. I tried to attend a big online learning event on Tues but it went on for two hours and I lost my concentration. Lesson is shorter is better in these times when we are all on so many zoom calls.

Family and Friends

Mum and thinking ahead

I am really missing mum (and Dave feels the same about his). 🙁 I know she needs to be kept safe and isolated – I simply need patience until I am able to go and stay with her again, hopefully within a couple of weeks. My brother continues to drive over and ensure she is OK with food. I’m not sure any of us thought the lockdown would have lasted this long.

If there is a second outbreak (totally possible – the Spanish Flu 1918-19 had three big mortality peaks) then I think I will have to stay with her rather than Dave my partner next time. This horrible virus forces so many of us into unwished for decisions to be made. I am clear that in the future I will do everything I can to avoid her going into a home.

We never thought we would be 50

No great contact with friends last week. Though I continue to communicate with people primarily by social media. Great to celebrate my old mate Colin reaching 50. We’ve known each other for nearly 35 years and both our journeys have had massive ups and downs. I think our younger versions would never have thought we would reach our fifties nor some of the things that would happen to us.

Art and Culture

Life without Eurovision 🙁

Mans Zelmerlow

The big cultural event that should have been. I love the whole thing – two semi-finals and Sat night itself. This year’s was due to take place in Rotterdam, the first time the Netherlands had held it since 1975. Watched some of the stand-in Eurovision stuff on Sat night – good but not the same. Strange to think a year ago I was watching Eurovision in Sitges whilst on my sabbatical. The difference a year makes…

‘The Way He Looks’

I have started watching a film on my BFI subscription, ‘The Way He Looks’. It’s a good film about a blind teenager falling in love with another man. Portuguese language – I think it’s set in Brazil.

Work Life Balance

I often put this theme higher up in the reading order of my blog. That probably gives it more emphasis than it should have. I don’t define myself solely by my employment and nobody should.

Short but still busy

It was another short week – another one of my attempts to give me breathing space from the busyness of work which has ramped up since the lockdown began. We had an organisation given day-off on Monday and I took a day off on Friday. So three busy days but two long weekends – as if that currently means anything.

Zoom meetings and looking after people

Work itself was mainly about zoom meetings. And getting next year’s budget sorted. I continue to do 1:1 meetings with the staff I manage and always take time after we meet to type up and send them notes on what we have discussed. So few people seem to do that any more (lack of time!) and yet it’s the foundation of a constructive working relationship.

The Week Ahead

  • Target is 2 or 3 jog-runs and a daily walk on the days I don’t run
  • Will use, and get used to, my new watch to measure my jog-runs
  • Must try to get my eating on a more healthy kilter
  • Finish my ghost stories book and start a new reading book
  • Similarly, finish ‘The Way He Looks’ and move onto a new film
  • A full working week with time on the pooter every day 🙁
  • I really want to make progress on personal development but with all the work commitments then I doubt that is likely 🙁
  • I’ve booked into a webinar on using WordPress better on Thurs 🙂

And Finally…

Disputing the obvious

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