It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Mon 2 – Sun 8 Dec 2019

glitter christmas

That time of year when you think ‘I’ve got ages till Christmas’. Then you realise Christmas is round the corner and there’s still loads of stuff to sort. We’ve got to get this wretched election out of the way. Mon morning I did more delivering. Stopped me going to the gym but good exercise going up and down steps to put letters through doors.

Books and Reading

‘The Consuming Fire’ by John Scalzi

Only one book read and its the second book of the Interdependency series. It’s the story of a humanoid empire that is collapsing as the means of inter-stellar travel starts to fall apart. I think it is an allegory for the climate emergency we are starting to go through and the impact of that. There are also lots of corrupt families that rule everything – surely an analogy for today’s corrupt politicians and their families such as the Trumps.


John Scalzi is a famous sci-fi writer having written the classic ‘Old Man’s War’. The Interdependency series are his latest novels and they are good but slightly trashy. Bit like a business soap opera set in space – think of Dallas and Dynasty. And strange the way so many female characters are having sexual relationships but there are no gay male relationships. 🙁

Velvet Page Book Club

Velvet page book club

To Waterstones in Piccadilly for the Christmas meeting of my LGBT book club. An excellent turnout of about 15 people, lots of newbies. 🙂 We time our Christmas Velvet Page meeting so it matches Christmas night in the shop. Thus we can have mulled wine and mince pies. And at this meeting we always agree not to have a specific book, rather we can talk about anything.

Great, fun meeting particularly with one long-time attendee holding court and telling us his adventures on the cruise ships. Whilst our joint-organisers are also very funny with their stories and trying to keep control of the group.

Book for next Velvet Page meeting (Thurs 2nd Jan) is an absolute gay classic – Andrew Holleran’s ‘Dancer from the Dance’. Written in 1978, it’s a story of the wonderful time before AIDS.

‘The Master and Margarita’

arch enemy of liberalism

The classic novel by Mikhail Bulgakov written during, and censored by, Stalin’s Russia. I did not read the proper novel but rather a graphic novel. It is renowned as very complex and I thought the graphic version would give me a heads-up. It was definitely interesting but I can see why people say it’s a challenging novel. I do not know how well written it is but the plot is seriously weird. Set in twentieth century Russia and Palestine during the crucifixion whilst featuring characters including Pontus Pilate and the Devil.

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run (and weight)

lady going for jog-run in cold weather

Regular blog readers will know I love my weekly 10K. It is one of the main ways in which I keep my weight under control. Indeed, it’s pretty good at the mo coming in around 13-4. 🙂 Unfortunately running wise I’m not as fast as I once was – in my twenties, I could do a 10K in about 45 mins.

But Sat morning’s run was a good one plus my knees did not play-up. I managed to do just under an hour and 2 minutes. Indeed, one hour two minutes is pretty much my new norm. And no single km stretch more than 6 and a half minutes. Would love to get under an hour but that will be hard work. Fortunately the weather has been reasonable. Be interesting to see if that deteriorates after Christmas.

Details on all previous jog-runs (and weight) can be viewed here.


Only twice to the gym last week due to my re-arranged work days. 🙁 But both good, long sessions where I varied my exercises to match different parts of my body.


woman doing tree pose

Fri was a no work day (see below). Awoke slightly hung over following drinks the previous evening after the work away day and the Velvet Page Christmas meeting. A nice long walk from Victoria to Kings Cross and my community yoga group. Good stretching and a nice bit of spiritual focus. Below is the thoughts we used as we meditated.

  • I am grateful for today
  • I will not worry today
  • I will not anger today
  • I will be kind and compassionate to myself and others
  • I will be honest in my dealings with people
  • I will not judge anything or anybody
  • I will not take anything personally as I always do my best

Work Life Balance

Tombola prizes

Been very busy week and my job-share has been unwell. 🙂 I’ve agreed to cover the Christmas holiday period so my colleagues with children and family can have the time off. Meanwhile I am collecting donations for prizes for our Christmas tombola where we raise money for other charities.

My days last week were altered in that I worked all day Thurs. This was so I could attend our dept away day. All went well though I have been to so many of these over the years. Indeed, 7 of us were awarded prizes for long service (10 years+) and I was one of them. As I pointed out, official recognition for being an old fart. 🙂 This did mean I had Fri off all day which was lovely.

Friends and Family


So my wonderful no-work Fri (including the fun of the Velvet Page book club the night before) consisting of a nice walk and yoga in the morning then continued with seeing my mate Jamie. We had not seen each other for a couple of months and had lots to talk about. Jamie’s had a great outing for his monologues ‘Museum Pieces’. And he’s currently working on 2 new plays whilst continuing with his full-time paid accountancy job.


Mum’s bad leg continues and her mobility is still very limited. 🙁 Doing stuff for her and spending time with her. I really wonder if it is going to get better. Christmas is arranged. My mum is with my brother and his kids at his girlfriend’s place. Dave’s mum is down from the North and I am out for Christmas dinner with both of them.

The Week Ahead

  • Taken Thurs and Fri off work so I can help out on election day, watch the results come in, and then have a lay-in 🙂
  • Work department Christmas lunch on Monday. About 40 of us so sorting the bill out should be fun.
  • Exercise: hopefully 4 gym sessions and a 10K jog-run. Whether I make it to yoga on Fri morning probably depends how late I stay up on Thurs night.
  • Massage on Fri afternoon!
  • Should get through my current reading book (‘The Fire Court’ by Andrew Taylor) and start a new one 🙂
  • Personal Development: keeping on top of personal emails (saving sorting work emails till the quiet Christmas-New Year period) and continuing to use the language-learning apps

And Finally…


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