Minor victories make life better

Mon 18 – Sun 24 Feb 2019

Let’s be honest, minor victories (or small wins) make life bearable. And last week I had some good personal minor victories:

  • A really good jog-run result
  • Another good massage
  • Some intense and interesting reading
  • A weekend to myself
  • Surviving and thriving at work during a difficult time
  • A fun night out with Julian Clary

And it started to get a bit sunnier and warmer. Though this unseasonable weather is probably due to global warming and we are all doomed, doomed, doomed. 🙁

Health and Efficiency

A very good jog-run


Top of the pack of minor victories last week was my jog-run on Sat morning. A great time of just over one hour, 4 mins, and 15 seconds. Indeed, looks like it was my fastest 10K since Aug last year when I about 4 or 5 pounds lighter. Compare and contrast previous results here. Nice pace of 6.25 mins per km and all kilometres were under 7 mins.

lady running in cold weather

And lesson learnt

This left me feeling good for the rest of the day – the impact of a good exercise session on your mind really is amazing. But I think the physical basis of this particular success was not drinking any alcohol the night before; lesson learnt for the future.

Massage time again

I treated myself to another massage last week. This time via the Terence Higgins Trust subsidised service for people with HIV. Although I work only part-time, I feel I am better off than many and so paid the full ask which was £25. Those paying in full subsidise those who can’t afford to pay.

My masseur was Rumi, wonderfully firm and happy to focus on my legs treating me like he would if massaging a runner. I wonder if that helped my jog-run? He also recommended some good websites to get exercises to stengthen knees and hip – GMB Fitness. So good I have booked up for another couple of sessions. 🙂

Books and Reading


One of my minor victories last week was definitely getting through this book by Anna Burns. It won the Man Booker Prize 2018 and so I was keen to see how good it was. Bloody hell, it’s a slog. Solid pages of words and paragraphs that go on forever. A very literary book to be admired rather than enjoyed me thinks.

Others agree it is hard work

I thought I was alone in my feelings but talking to colleagues at work and reading reviews on the internet, it seems others were also drawn into it but without being enamoured of it as were the Man Booker judges.

My current reading book: ‘Killing Commendatore’ by Haruki Murakami

Innovation and Creativity

Billy home alone

I love my partner Dave to pieces but I also like my own time. True also for my mum who I support. My brother and his son stayed with mum last week (half-term) so I spent the whole week with Dave. This was lovely but I also like my own space and so when he went off at the weekend to Antwerp, I rather enjoyed the chance to do whatever I wanted.

My lovely weekend including Haruki Marukami, whiskey and La-La Land

Not back at Dave’s till around 7pm on Friday after a very intense day at work. I crashed out in bed by 10. 🙁 Up early for my successful jog-run then spent Saturday chilling – working on the pooter and reading. Pretty much the same Sunday daytime.

I’m focused on Haruki Marukami’s latest ‘Killing Commendatore’. This is an author I love but this particular book is nearly 700 pages long. Indeed I spent a lot of time last week making my way through it over the weekend. On Sat night I drank whiskey and watched La-La Land, one of my all-time favourite films – a real bit of bliss. 🙂


It’s hard when everybody wants everything to be perfect

Work is not easy at the moment. The annual peak of our work and everybody doing their best to make it a success. People not intending to be difficult but concerns around things going wrong getting to people. It’s so easy and simplistic to say ‘hey, let’s be nice to each other’ but that’s ultimately what we’ve got to try to do. Great news that my boss got back from her break on Wed. 🙂

Good stuff happening at work

Dave is back
  • The first meeting of the group looking to give firmer policies and positions to our work around supporting Gender Justice
  • Significant movement on our internal policies to support social investment – this marks the move from being just a grant funder and looking at other options to financially support voluntary and community organisations
  • Getting things in place for our reception for MPs and Peers to take place at the House of Commons in a couple of weeks
  • A nice meeting of my own team. Great to see how the team is bonding, finding common areas to work on, and seeing how we can support each other. 🙂
  • Sorting out the replacement to be in post for when I am on sabbatical April – August
  • I continue to be thankful for my committed and hard working team dealing with whatever gets thrown at them 🙂

Sabbatical ahead

Only 5 weeks till my sabbatical starts. I am so excited. 🙂 All the things I am thinking about including going regularly to the gym, losing weight, improving my language skills, and doing more coding practice. I’ve also been thinking about doing some art. I was good at this at school and used to love it. It would be great to dabble again. But I also want to travel on my sabbatical so am I going to end up trying to do too much?

motivational picture

Gran Canaria, here we come

shot from space of gran canaria

I was also cheered by me and Dave booking our winter trip to Gran Canaria, middle of Jan 2020. Who knows what will have happened by then (fingers crossed for Brexit cancelled and Trump impeached). But it’s great to have something to look forward to and a year to pay for it. 🙂


Julian Clary

A brilliant night out last Thurs with me and Dave plus my mates Stephen, Dom and Clive. We saw Julian Clary at Zedel in Piccadilly. A sit down cabaret venue, we steered clear of the table at the front. Good choice as he did pick on it. A fun show – wonderfully gay and filthy at points. I do like a good bit of smut. 🙂 And great because it started around 7 and finished around 8.30. Fine because I was due at work and Dave was on an early morning coach.


I’ve continued with my intermittent boxset viewing. Finished ‘Britannia’ which was a mixture of historical and modernist drug-related drama. I think a new series is being made. Moved onto ‘Orville’ – highly recommended by other Star Trek fans. It’s entertaining but the humour angle feels a bit disrespectful to the genre (says the purist…)

The Week Ahead

  • My usual 3 days at work and a continued need to keep things positive and calm (focus on minor victories Billy!)
  • 2 non-work days on Tues and Thurs with nothing planned 🙂 Might spend some extra time with mum as I didn’t see her last week
  • Carry on reading Murakami then probably shift to the Velvet Page book to be read by 7th March
  • Hopefully another good jog-run next week – a new norm under an hour and 5 mins would be fantastic. 🙂
  • Please God let me hear this week about my gym reopening
  • Will continue to keep emails under control and dabble with languages

And Finally…

Homo sex is in

One thought on “Minor victories make life better

  1. Good luck with planning your “time out”. Still remember my gap year with much fondness. It was one of the best decisions I ever made…. I hope yours brings you the opportunities you want, and some recuperation time too.

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