Is this really the end of the world?

Sun 23 – Sat 29 Feb 2020

Reasons why it might be the end of the world

  • Covid-19 (Coronavirus)
  • Stock market crash – my pension fund is currently fucked
  • Neo-fascists in charge across the world
  • Cold, wet, grey weather
  • Floods
  • Climate Change
silver pines against the night sky

I am probably being over pessimistic – that is one of my weaknesses. Joke: what is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist? Answer – nothing, one just has more fun. So let’s say things will probably get better. But I always think Jan/Feb is an awful time of year and this Feb really has been one of the worst.

Books and Reading

If it is the end of the world then I’m gonna throw myself into my beloved books. Two completed last week and they are two very different books. Don’t forget I keep details on all the books I have read here as much for my own benefit as anyone else’s. 🙂

‘A perfectly good man’ by Patrick Gale

Gale is an author I find a bit twee and middle class. His characters are always given pompous names and, in this case, it’s Barnaby. Having said that, I find his books reassuring not least in the way they are so well written. This is a really good book looking at the long story from the perspective of different characters at different ages.

‘All systems red’ by Martha Wells

Phobos

Very different book to Gale’s. Actually a novella rather than novel and the start of a saga: the Murderbot Diaries. The main character is a human-robot creation gone bad. This one has killed humans but since that has developed a conscience and now uses his skills to save humans. It’s quite reminiscent of Robocop (great film) but still a pleasant, well-written, easy sci-fi read.

Health and Efficiency

The recuperative power of sleep

spreading disease

I’m definitely carrying some sort of bug; I have been for a couple of weeks now. Typical flu-type symptoms including tiredness, temperature, and sore throat. It isn’t Covid 19 as I haven’t travelled. But just shows how flu-type diseases linger at this time of year.

Really hit me on Sat when I decided to take an unscheduled rest day from exercise. An early night on Fri and no alarm set to wake me up. But then back to bed for 3 hours in the afternoon because I felt so tired. Plus my glands felt enlarged and a bit painful. 🙁 All topped off by another early night on Sat night. But clear that lots of sleep was making me and my body feel better. 🙂

Gym

Gym

Another way of dealing with the possible end of the world is to throw myself into the gym, while we are still allowed to gather in places. Hit the gym 3 times last week: mornings of Sun, Tues, and Thurs. Focused on only doing some body parts at each session and trying to be there for 60 mins max. Love doing leg exercises but they generally play havoc with my knees. 🙁

Rest days, planned and unplanned

In previous blogs, I have had days where I am just too knacked to do anything and been forced into (pleasant) days off from exercise. Deliberately put some days off exercise into last week – Wed and Fri. Wed afternoon I was in work so just spent the morning chilling. Fri morning I was in work but had the afternoon off. Did a long purposeful walk from Vauxhall to Chelsea in the wet and cold. Sat was also an unusual and unplanned day-off primarily due to feeling ill and tired.

No jog-run

My weekly 10K jog-run nearly always takes place on Sat mornings. The weather on Sat was end of the world stuff: grey, cold, pouring rain. Plus I felt ill. So took the morning off to stare out into the rain. My intention is to do the 10K on Sun morning which may mean next week me writing about two 10Ks in one blog next week: Sun morning and the following Sat morning.

No yoga (again)

My dramatically distorted work days for last week (see below) meant again that I missed the community yoga class on Fri morning; 4 weeks in a row now. I am really going to try to get there next week.

Work Life Balance

Reasons why I had a good week at work

Externally it may have felt like the end of the world, however I had a very good week at work. This was despite doing totally different days to my normal working week: all day Mon then afternoons of Tues, Wed, Thurs and morning of Fri. So why did I feel good about work last week?

  • Refreshing in a way to do different days. It’s that old thing about a change being as good as a rest. 🙂
  • Mon morning at the London Funders networking event. Part of my plan to be out of the office more and make contacts. Great to see some old friends and make some new ones to follow-up on.
  • 2 internal events where I was presenting our Influence Strategy. I enjoy doing presentations when it is something I believe in and feel passionately about.
  • Work meeting with my old friend Stephen Twigg, the now ‘retired’ MP
  • Chaired and enjoyed a key internal meeting as well as actively taking part in a learning workshop
  • Generally, I love solving problems and sorting things out. Often there are tensions but it is about trying to overcome these to get to a point where everything is not finished (it never is) but clear progress is being made.

Brilliant colleagues

And I am blessed to work with some great colleagues. The people in my team are so committed and hard-working. 🙂 Also I’m still getting people involved in fun fundraising against the dismal general end of the world outlook. A great celebrity desert challenge completed last week – details here.

Friends and Family

Unfortunately no great Art or Culture last week. But some good stuff with friends and family.

Patrick and Stephen

So nice on Tues night to see mine and Dave’s old friends, Patrick and Stephen. We went to the traditional restaurant in Covent Garden where we often meet. So pleasantly chilled and we were able to hear each other speak clearly.

Wine

They are a great couple particularly with their histories. Indeed, their joint knowledge of the London theatre world is amazing. Great to see that their health has both improved although one is now awaiting an operation to deal with cataracts. Thankfully a very easy and quick operation these days.

Mum: aches, pains, and pancakes

So mum continues to deal with a long-term flu (we’ve probably got the same bugs) plus various aches and pains. Though on Wed my brother took her for an MRI scan. Hopefully this will give some answers particularly to the pains in her legs. She was quite stressed about the scan. I pointed out all she had to do was lie down, that didn’t go down well. 🙁

As me and Dave met Patrick and Stephen on Shrove Tuesday, mum had us round for pancakes on Sunday. Mum cooks a wicked, thick pancake. Indeed, old-fashioned carb & fat dense cooking is one of her ways of showing love. She hobbled round the kitchen and moaned but secretly enjoyed it.

Personal Development

I continue my new found process of speed reading emails and deleting those I don’t have time to deal with. Highly recommended. Plus I’m still doing the language apps before I go to sleep. Doesn’t always work out if I am too tired but it’s a good thing to aspire to. 🙂

The Week Ahead

  • Suspect the worry and gloom around Covid-19 will get worse before it gets better 🙁 Weather also looks to continue to be pretty shit.
  • Normal work pattern next week (hooray!) – nice to have some normality to accommodate the end of the world 🙂
  • Aim is 3 gym sessions, yoga on Fri morning (at last), and a jog-run though could be 2 jog-runs
  • Will finish my current reading book (an OK fantasy, ‘Vicious’ by V.E.Schwab) and move onto something more substantial
  • Velvet Page on Thurs night but might give it a miss as it’s a book I read a while ago and can’t remember too much about
  • Might get to do some Art and Culture, I’m noting the British Museum exhibition on Troy ends 8 March but it’s £20 a ticket 🙁
  • Carry on with my personal development – hitting that delete button on emails and trying to speak more than just English. Latter seems to be a useful thing to do as the end of the world becomes nigh. 🙂

And Finally

Stunning half naked man - how could you not smile?

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