Like banging your head against a brick wall

Sun 21 – Sat 27 June 2020

Like banging your head against a brick wall

Another climate change mini-heatwave and another week of busyness delaying personal progress. This is partly what I mean by ‘like banging your head against a brick wall’. I know the direction I want to go in. But all the things I keep highlighting in my blog, they just don’t happen. Changes are needed if I am do the exciting things I envisage.

Books and Reading

One of the things I do want to do in life is read, and read voraciously. I did manage to finish just one book last week.

‘Severed’ by Frances Larson

skull and crossbones

Sub-titled ‘A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found’, a fascinating history of severed heads – real life horror. And intriguing because I normally only read fiction. It covers a variety of different angles: shrunken heads, traitors’ heads stuck on posts for all to see, the guillotine, phrenology, and dissection amongst others.

Heads have power – they identify a person and it’s where the brain sits. It is fascinating to think about what they signify. We never think of being separated from our head (certain death) and they really do represent what we are in so many ways.

Health and Efficiency


Clearly an area where I feel I am banging my head against a brick wall. Regular blog readers know how much I miss the gym. I am trying to replace it with long walks and a once per week 5K jog-run. I want more activity in my life but how to get it when there are time and injury limitations?


Perfectly decent 5K jog-run on the previous Sunday. Slightly faster than the previous week which was pleasing. Though slightly strange that a faster time over the same distance used less calories. But it felt good as I ran, my mind going to other places. 🙂


In last week’s blog, I spoke about the need to get my ears cleared of wax as they were very blocked. And finally got it done on Friday. Expensive plus with both me and the clinician kitted out in PPE. But great after it was done – my ears felt clear and I could hear everything. 🙂

Work Life Balance

Issues that arise from being conscientious

depression or just work?

Another busy work week and difficult to keep to my part-time hours. Not least as work needs dealing with on and off throughout the day so clear half days of work/non-work are difficult. Big issue is that I am a very conscientious worker (probably too much) and always go the extra mile to get stuff done. Not totally sure I could work less even if I tried.

It’s good to be conscientious and work hard but that can crowd out personal time – for instance, at weekends. Plus this is not helped at the moment by my general tiredness caused by poor sleeping and very early waking – we’re talking 4 or 5 am! Not sure why this is happening. 🙁


I did tune into listen to a couple of webinars but basically got distracted whilst listening. First was a briefing on Wed about the Connection Coalition’s campaign ‘Community Makes Us’. Then on Thurs it was Charity Digital Leadership Day with a host of interesting presentations – more details on what went wrong here under ‘Mum’ (see below).

Family and Friends

My visit to mum became hard work

Spent time with mum on Thurs which was lovely but a bit like banging your head against a brick wall. My plan was to have time with her whilst dipping into the Charity Digital Leadership Day webinars. But mum’s internet connection went down. Panic ensued as the SIM card in her ’emergency mobile’ had also failed. Risk was that she could not contact anyone and no-one could contact her after I left.

woman using mobile

So I trudged out in the heat to get a new pay as you go SIM card and set it up for mum. Then a stream of questions about networks, phones, data, charges, etc. Meanwhile, I was also dealing with work related emails, calls and meetings via my own phone. Thurs was a very tiring day.

Art and Culture

Just Glastonbury

Every week I state how I want more art and culture in my life. And (nearly) every week I don’t achieve it. Definitely a ‘banging your head against a brick wall’ area. The only really cultural thing I did, apart from reading, was watching the highlights of Glastonbury on the TV – replacement for what should have been. Some fantastic music that brought back so many memories (good and bad) such as Oasis in 1994, Beyonce in 2011, and Adele in 2016

Personal Development

Bang, bang, bang – guess what that is the noise of? Another area where I want to make progress. I suppose I was good last week in keeping with the promise in my blog (can be read here) to stick with languages over tech skills.

Learning Latin

Theatre of Dionysus at the Acropolis in Athens

Particularly fun to start re-learning Latin on Duolingo. I had to study it at school and it really didn’t make sense then – mind you, neither did French that I also had to learn. But now, I totally get Latin. Not sure I will ever actually use what it, but I can clearly see how it is the basis of so many other southern European languages and that will help in learning those.

Delete, delete, delete

Only other success was my continued ruthlessness with emails. I don’t let them pile up. I die when I see other people’s accounts and they have literally thousands of unread messages. The delete button is one of my best friends. 🙂

The Week Ahead

At some point, my life will not always feel like banging my head against a brick wall – probably when I am dead LOL. I don’t think the breakthrough will be next week. It’s a bit of a manic one again.

  • Gonna be particularly busy with work including scoring applications to our new Tech for Good fund
  • Theoretically I will be listening to some more good webinars and theoretically I am also on TOIL on Fri but I’m not sure either will happen 🙁
  • Jog-run on Sun morning and then daily walks including some long ones
  • Repeat INR on Thurs, hopefully this time it will be in range so I can have a prolonged period before being retested
  • Weekly catch-up with mum to check she is OK
  • Finish reading the Velvet Page book by the time this book club meets on Thurs evening
  • Must make some progress on Art and Culture
  • Will keep on with my language learning and controlling emails. Don’t really expect to make much progress on Personal Development beyond that next week.

And Finally…

Mine and Dave’s favourite hotel in Gran Canaria. Wonder when we will ever get back there? 🙁

Gran Can hotel lit up

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