How to let life wash over you

Mon 6 – Sun 12 Jan 2020

Trying to let work wash over you

Following on from last week’s blog about the positivity of a ‘Do Nothing’ philosophy, the first real week in Jan was all about letting things wash over me. It is so sad when the difference of the holiday period is lost. Hard to think where we were just a week ago. Work is back to normal with everybody in, and the tubes and buses are packed. πŸ™

Let life wash over you and enjoy it

But I am off to Gran Can at the end of next week so I am letting the pressure of work and life wash over me. It’s a positive thing like do nothing. Taking whatever is thrown at you and not getting upset by it. Life is a short thing and death is inevitable. So enjoy yourself and don’t get upset – or at least try not to. It’s hard with the crazy political time we live in but ‘this too shall pass’ as the famous saying goes.


There are lot of negatives about getting old; I see my mum living with chronic pain, so common for many older people. But if you avoid getting bitter by letting things wash over you then you can also put stuff in perspective. Always worth striving for a better world but accept that some of the things you wanted in life ain’t gonna happen.

Books and Reading

‘Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories’ by Audrey Niffenegger

A library book I’ve had for ages and needed to read it before it was due back. A collection of ghost stories put together by the author Audrey Niffenegger. Some classic ones by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Rudyard Kipling. But also very good modern ones including previously unpublished and one by Niffenegger herself.


There is a very witty story by P.G. Wodehouse and a sinister sci-fi one by Ray Bradbury (‘The Martian Chronicles’). Indeed, this is a strange collection with some stories much better than others. Some a bit dreary and I’m not sure what Audrey saw in them.

And most maybe ghost stories but their not horror. TBH, I don’t think any of them really frightened me and I quite like being frightened. Several stories that wash over as a good story more than anything really scary.

‘You Will Be Safe Here’ by Damian Barr

Author of the much lauded ‘Maggie and Me’ – a nostalgic Billy Elliot type memoir of a gay man growing up during the dreadful Thatcher era. I have definitely lived through too many dreadful political periods in my life and if I didn’t let them wash over me then I would not have survived.

Didn’t love ‘Maggie and Me’ as much as some did; too backward looking and introspective. But ‘Safe’ is a great novel. In fact, it is his first novel with ‘Maggie’ classed as biography. Damian has interwoven the worst of the 2nd Boer War alongside the worst of modern South African life. It’s a real left-sider as I don’t think he’s got much connection to that country or its history.

Not a blatantly gay book but one where issues of masculinity and the burdens of being a woman are analysed. I can’t deny I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend it.

Health and Efficiency



Slight improvement on last week, reduced time to just under 1 hour, 2 mins, 45 seconds. So down by about half a minute. Two bad km stretches: one just over 6 and a half mins and the penultimate km stretch getting up to just under 7 mins. πŸ™ However, amazing to check against jog-run times a year ago when I was doing times about 3 mins slower though over a stone heavier. πŸ™‚



4 lovely gym sessions. Love it when I am there; my relaxation hormones are flowing and good feelings wash over me. Deliberately didn’t go too mad doing about an hour plus each time. Not always doing all muscle groups, sometimes focusing on the ones that simply felt right for that day.


Fri and my community yoga group restarted after the holidays. It’s a friendly group and very mixed ability. Average age about 50 with men and women. So nice not to be in a group of stick insects as yoga can sometimes be. Yoga for fat blokes – yeah! And I love yoga with its emphasis on pushing and feeling your own stretch but also being aware of personal limits and not comparing yourself to others. And I incorporate yoga moves into everyday life and other exercise like at the gym.

Give a fuck - do yoga

Art and Culture

The Red Shoes

As London becomes more and more a theme park for tourists and ‘old’ London is lost (such as the wonderful cheap West End Stockpot restaurants), it is a joy to still have the independent Prince Charles Cinema by Leicester Square. Shame you have such an interesting cinema next to a tourist hellhole – there is nothing in Leicester Square, it’s a dump.

Me and Dave went to the Prince Charles on Sun to see the 1948 classic ‘The Red Shoes’. A strange film made by the same team who did the classic ‘Black Narcissus’. It really is one of the best British films ever from a time where we didn’t just make melodramatic kitchen sink dramas (I can’t stand Mike Leigh’s stuff).

It’s the story of a ballet company in which the lead dancer and composer fall in love. But the owner of the company loves the dancer as well. I’m not really into ballet but it’s a beautiful film of movement, music, and colour. Some parts of it are actually quite trippy. Plus there are some wonderful historic features like the fact everyone smokes. And the lead characters are old people playing young ones plus they are not what we would now call ‘fit’.

Personal Development

Got back to language learning on the apps. I love languages and the ability (or inability) of people to communicate with each other. Soon be in Spain but the common language will be English which is sad.

Swamped by paper

Meanwhile I let the new email onslaught wash over me. Simply a case of wading through and deleting straight away if unimportant (that’s 80%). I also set a time limit and delete if they aren’t dealt with by then. My brilliant and very much missed dead mate James (who had a very senior job) always said delete emails and people will re-contact if they are important – that’s when you act on them.

My other learning aim has been coding practice. That really hasn’t taken off and I need to think. I still want to do it but there is just not enough time. πŸ™

Gran Canaria

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming. 3 days at work next week and then me and Dave are off to our favourite island. We go every year about this time to help get through the shit of winter. Indeed, the coming holiday is likely to be very similar to last years as can be read in last year’s blogs here and here.

Diving in

The Week Ahead

  • At work before I go on holiday: type up 2 lots of supervision notes, my own supervision, risk group meeting, finalise audit report, and team meeting. Plenty to do!
  • Overnight in an airport hotel then off to Gran Canaria at the end of the week πŸ™‚
  • Annual meeting with my HIV consultant + blood tests before I go away. Should be OK though this is where I found out last year about my fatty liver. πŸ™
  • Got several books to start reading before I go away and then continue whilst on holiday (as well as my trusty kindle)
  • Gonna try to get 2 gym sessions in
  • Also got my monthly THT massage on Mon late afternoon πŸ™‚
  • Get as many emails deleted as possible before I go on holiday and carry on using the language apps

And Finally…

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