Everything changed and nothing changed

Mon 9 – Sun 15 Dec 2019

Reflections on the Election

Why the surprise?

And so the election is finally over. I am surprised lots of people didn’t expect that result, rather anticipating things would have changed in a different direction. But the big Tory election victory was what all the opinion polls were pointing to. And when I did phone canvassing, one of the clear things that came through was how much people were looking to vote Tory or Lib Dem because they did not want Jeremy Corbyn to win.

Working together would have achieved so much more

Lots of recriminations and tears on Fri morning. Recriminations were fair in that a proper ‘Remain alliance’ with Labour included would have meant significantly less Tory MPs; things would have changed. But Labour had said no. πŸ™ So lots of near misses with split anti-Tory votes, Kensington and Wimbledon being prime examples. If we want things changed then politics should be as much about working together to find solutions as about fighting each other.

Politicians ain’t magicians

Tears I have less time for. I have lived through big Tory election wins (and Labour landslides). This election is very reminiscent of 1983 and 1987. Life goes on whoever wins. Yep it’s not what you want but life is about reconciling what you want with what you get. Plus people really should not put all their trust in politicians. They are not magicians. Ultimately, through doings and thoughts we create our own Heaven or Hell.

Proportional representation and sexism

Two other takes from the election. First, the desperate need for proportional representation. The unfairness of our electoral system is legendary. And discourages politicians from working together whilst encouraging animosity. What will ever really be changed without electoral reform?

Second, I felt so sorry for Jo Swinson. Beautiful words about when you break the glass ceiling then pieces of glass come down on you. The sexist attitudes to women, especially young ones, in politics is horrible. Looking back I think Theresa May suffered from it as well. Indeed, the Johnson deal that will go through unchanged is very little different to hers and may actually be worse.

Election Day

If you’ve never done an election then you may not realise what hard work it is. And election day itself is one of the most intensive things you can ever experience. I was just helping out so I decided not to commit the whole day. Gym in the morning then over to Paddington to do a couple hours of telling at an election polling station to try to help Chuka get elected.

Followed by a tube journey and 20 minute walk to get to the Chelsea and Fulham election HQ. Pouring with rain by then. Out for knocking up. Checking on people who haven’t voted and seeing if they will vote for us. Done with a really nice chap called Martin. But we were both drenched through by the end. And my back and knees were hurting going up and down stairs so much. Afterwards, to Dave’s to await the results.

Health and Efficiency

Gym

A real achievement last week – 4 times at the gym. πŸ™‚ Mornings of Mon, Tues, Thurs and Sun. Mon was a personal conflict between gym or election delivery in Chelsea and Fulham. Choose the former and my failure to deliver would have changed nothing in the election result as it turned out. So nothing to feel guilty about. Four great sessions. I just love the gym. πŸ™‚

Jog-run – 1 hour and 2 minutes, the new normal

animation of a fat man running

Out in the dark and cold on Sat morning for my weekly 10K. Next Sat will be the shortest day me thinks. A decent result, almost exactly the same as the week before. Pace was the same (6.12 mins per km) with the overall time being just slightly slower than the week before – 1 hour, 2 mins, 4 seconds; just 10 seconds slower.

Massage but no yoga

I didn’t stay up late on Thurs night for the election coverage as it was clear what was going to happen. Did awake around 4am and got up to watch TV for about an hour to see what had changed then back to bed. But decided to skip the community yoga group primarily because all the work on election day meant my knees were aching a bit.

Massage

And on Fri afternoon I had the joy of my monthly massage with Adrian at THT. He worked on my lower back and legs as requested. Really deep tissue / sports massage – felt great afterwards and it didn’t impact negatively on my jog-run the next day. πŸ™‚

Books and Reading

‘The Fire Court’ by Andrew Taylor

Only one book read last week. This is the second in a series that centres on two characters in a Restoration London murder mystery. The plot was a wee bit clumsy and over-constructed. But the evocation of the period and the attention to detail was great. Some historical novels are written from a totally modern perspective and lack authenticity, not this one.

Art and Culture

lights on the tree

A topic I haven’t covered for a while. Must do more on this in the New Year. And it was a bit low brow culture in that post-election Dave dragged me to see two very very Christmasy films at the wonderfully independent and eclectic Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square at the weekend.

‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’

This on Sat. Who doesn’t love the muppets? They’ve not really changed since they were invented in the 1970s. Genius creation by Jim Henson who died so prematurely and is much missed. This is a real feel good film and surprisingly close to the actual ‘ A Christmas Carol’ novella by Charles Dickens. Pretty busy audience comprised of a few kids but lots of young people in their 20s and 30s.

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

Pumpkin head

Then on Sun to see probably my favourite Christmas film. A brilliant idea (Halloween takes over Christmas) and wonderful animation. You are glued to the screen. Also a great soundtrack and some wonderful individual scenes like the weird snake creature eating a Christmas tree as well as the ghoulish inhabitants of Halloween Town.

Friends

Work Christmas events

Two work Christmas events last week. First, Mon to Pizza Express for the departmental lunch – about 60 of us! All went well even sorting out the bill at the end (no subsidy as we are a charity πŸ™ ). Then on Wed it was my team’s lunch. We ended up at Nando’s which was a lot better than I expected. This is what I love about Christmas, the way people are changed and generally quite chilled.

Phyllis

Yep, she’s back. My mate (and former work colleague) Philip was over from Andalucia visiting London. We met up on Fri for lunch in Soho, before I went to my massage in KX. He was on good form and let out that the basement room I stayed in at his place in Spain had changed a bit suffering both cockroaches and rats recently. πŸ™

The Week Ahead

  • Election is over and it’s the last full week of work before the welcome disruption of Christmas and New Year. And normal work days next week.
  • Big thing will be our Christmas Fair on Thurs when I run my tombola to raise money for other charities
  • Two meetings with friends: Daisy on Mon night and Pete (old school friend) on Wed night
  • Possibility of a Christmas carol service on Thurs night, I do enjoy these
  • Exercise aim is 4 gym sessions again, 10K weekend jog-run, and Yoga on Fri morning
  • Hopefully I will be able to do more language learning, get work emails in particular more under control, and do some more art and culture
  • Should finish the book I am reading on the kindle (apocalyptic sci-fi again) and move onto a new one or two

And Finally…

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