Coming out again – I am a Liberal Democrat

Sun 3 May – Saturday 9 May

birthday-cake-757103__180Wow, what a weird week. My birthday and the general election repeat from 1992. Then my Tech for Good programme closed with 247 applications to be read plus a bank holiday which left everyone wondering what day they were in throughout the rest of the week.

 

So why the blog title?
It is dreadfully unfashionable but I need to be honest and tell people what my political colours are. LD-logoI still believe in the importance of politics and the need to change the world. After the carnage of the Liberal Democrat MPs on Thursday, I think it is important for the party to rebuild and come back for the good of the UK. History always shows that strong centre parties lead to political and economic growth and stability.

The Liberal Democrat party I want in the future
I am pleased Clegg has gone, nice chap (probably too nice) but he should have resigned last Autumn (as should have Miliband). And going further back, we were wrong to go into the coalition with the Tories – they shat all over us and we should have known that. The Lib Dems are much better off sticking with fighting for what they believe in and not taking government posts. Our value is as an anti-establishment party that should use parliamentary opportunities to achieve our vision without chasing office. After 2010 we should have let the Tories run a minority govt and supported individual laws when it could be clearly identified what we were getting in return and really nasty things (i.e. the bedroom tax and increased VAT) we should just not have supported at all. This must be our model for the future. And, of course, we should never have increased tuition fees after saying we were going to abolish them.

Moving on
Good to see Miliband go as well – another Labour leader who really shouldn’t have got elected; Labour loves to elect ‘good socialists’ rather than who people will vote for. It is amazing how the Tories can get rid of deadwood leaders such as IDS but Labour and the Lib Dems valiantly but stupidly fight on with leaders who are clearly as popular as scabies. I used to belong to the Labour party but left due to Iraq, the too-powerful unions (who wants to be controlled by Len McCluskey?), and the fact I believe more in the individual and liberty rather than socialism, state control, and collectivism. images (1)I do get so annoyed with people who say Ed Miliband was not socialist enough – grow up (and they always seem to have not-for-real public sector jobs and nice homes in nice areas). Lots of glumness on Friday morning but it’s just life and we need to get on with whatever shit is thrown at us. Life is short and I lived through Thatcherism + AIDS; Cameron is no way as evil as she and her cohorts were. .

Apart from the election, last week was my birthday week
Not a half century yet but over halfway through my life and promortality-401222_1280bably with the best bits gone. I am not a great one for my own birthday (I prefer other people’s) and spent it pottering. I stayed over with mum so I could see her on my birthday itself, she likes sentimental things like that. I worked at home before going off to hospital for my six monthly HIV health check. I had forgotten to get my bloods done in advance but that turned out to not be a problem; they were done there and then plus other checks. Overall a good NHS experience apart from shitty pharmacist who made me take my prescription back to the doctor because he had not completed it correctly – yep let’s punish the patient to get at your fellow medic. More work stuff then out with Dave for a posh Turkish meal followed by ice cream and birthday cake at his place. Me and Dave also caught up with my friend Dom (we share the same birthday) and some other friends on Saturday night for a nice meal at the trendy Austrian restaurant Fischer’s in Marylebone High St.

I <3 bank holidays
The bank holiday was great – I adore May for the two Mondays off. I had a decent day of going to the gym then meeting Dave for lunch at the 5th floor restaurant of Waterstones. I had a lovely Sour Apple Martini cocktail and burger with chips. An evening in front of the TV like on the Sunday night before followed with an early night in bed with my books.

Work stuff
Work last week was all day-day Tuesday plus Thursday and Friday afternoons. Before I got into work on Tuesday I managed to knock my coffee over at the crazy Italian gay cafe I go to for breakfast and I think I walked all the way to work with my flies open. Work last week was largely about signing off assessments and dealing with Tech for Good queries – apple-28848__180why do people always leave things till the last couple of days? There is clearly something in human psyche that we get strange comfort in leaving things to the last minute. Wonderfully I managed to miss the fire alarm and building evacuation at lunchtime then got home to find my lovely new ipod had arrived to replace my old one that had stopped working.

The new Tech for Good grants programme closed at 3pm on Friday. My colleagues were wonderful in getting the applications sorted so me and Nissa could start reading them and deleting inappropriate, ineligible and poor quality ones. In total about 250 applications, basically double what I was expecting and planning for. Well we can safely say there is proof of demand for such a grants programme for not-for-profit organisations. Me and Nissa eventually left work on Friday at 6.45 and I went home to chill by going through the work emails I had no time to deal with during my office hours. I had lunch with a colleague on Friday who is looking forward to retiring within a year, I am quite envious.

My friend with dementia is in a good way
I had a very interesting and eye-opening experience on Saturday. I went to visit another old friend Peter who is 80. He has dementia and has been moved permanently into a residential home in Southall. I was worried about seeing him and it was a shock to see how old he looks from the last time we met. But we had a good chat and, though he didn’t always know who I was, he did know my mate David who I went with. We actually had a witty and pleasant afternoon with Peter verbally drifting in a way that was pleasant to him and OK to listen to. We are not clear who is paying for him to be in the home (clean with reasonable other people to live with) as we are not his family but he is clearly in a nice place both physically  and particularly in his own head.

Exercise and health
weight-plates-299528_640So last week I managed to do the gym four times – twice doing two consecutive days. Gym on the previous Sunday morning with a slight ache in my achilles from the jog-run the day before. Then gym again on Monday before work rudely interrupted this nice routine and I managed to get back to the gym on Thursday and Friday mornings. Jog-run on Saturday morning (see results on separate page). I ran to distance instead of time (5km) but not quite as good as previously; I suspect this was due to a busy stressful week and the ‘relaxing’ wine on Friday night to welcome the weekend. I weighed myself on Wednesday, not too bad – my new norm of 13-7. The hospital doctor suggested I try to lose 9kgs which is about a stone and a half, that feels like one hell of a task that will only happen if I do something drastically different in my lifestyle.

Personal development
I am still trying to do a bit of Duolingo every day to improve my language skills. The election result makes it more likely I will want to go and live in Spain in the future at least for part of the year. I keep testing myself on my current skills as good way to remind me of what I should have already learnt. In digital terms, I finished watching the brilliant Tyler Moore video tutorial on YouTube about improving my WordPress website.

Reading
ides-255Surprisingly little time last week to read but I did get through Lindsey Davis ‘Ides of April’. She is a writer I really enjoy so it was a nice return to an old favourite author. But her new books are about a new generation – Flavia Alba, female private investigator in Ancient Rome and adopted daughter (from Britain) of Marcus Didius Falco also a PI but now retired. Good fun and actually felt a bit more gritty than Davis’ previous work especially homing in on the everyday sexism the main female character faced. However, the plot got a bit silly – would there really have been female private investigators then and would elected officials really have carried on the way Davis portrayed?

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