Mum comes out of hospital

All slightly overwhelming last week, primarily concerned with mum coming out of hospital. Though also plenty going on at work that needed to be juggled. I’m left with a feeling of having survived it all and just about kept my head above water. Not helped by mixed-up routines particularly not being able to stay with Dave but instead staying at mum’s to keep an eye on her. Amazing how set ways of doing things give us a sense of comfort and stability. And the discomfort we feel when they are taken away.

The adventures of mum

Bank holiday Monday

chilling I love this day because it’s a holiday and everybody is chilled. However, I dislike it because to me it marks the beginning of the end of summer. I note already that it is starting to get darker earlier. Also it’s the final bank holiday with nearly four months to wait for the next one – Christmas. This year’s was a quiet one. Up and to the gym before back to spend the rest of the day chilling at Dave’s – reading, pooter, etc. No visiting mum in hospital as my brother was doing it and I would have to do a lot in the coming week.

Work during the day, hospital at night

Work all day on Tues and Wed then up in the evenings to the hospital to see mum. There was talk of her coming out on Wed (op was on Fri) but it was agreed on Wed night that she would come out the next day on Thurs. My role on Tues and Wed evening was primarily about bringing mum in a decent strong cup of tea from the coffee shop downstairs and tidying up the little space around her bed. We also went for very slow recovery walks with mum using a frame on wheels followed by a pair of crutches.

Departure day arrives

Thurs morning I went to the gym. Fortuitously I arrived back at mum’s flat just as she arrived via patient transport. She could have arrived at any time though I correctly assumed it would not be too early in the day. Mum was carried up the stairs by the ambulance men as there is no lift. I settled her in and we spent the rest of the day together. Work agreed I could work from home that afternoon.

Drama on Fri morning

I got up around 6.30 to go off to the gym and then to the office. My brother was coming over to take over keeping an eye on mum. But mum was sitting in the front room chair and was obviously upset. ‘It’s bleeding’; blood was coming out from her dressing and running down her leg if she stood up. Not masses but clearly something to be concerned about. I phoned the ward who said take her to A&E or her GP in the afternoon if it had not stopped. Fine but how to get down the stairs? Physio turned up at 10 as planned and got onto mum’s GP who agreed to come out and visit. I then went off to work as my brother had arrived.

Turned out all was OK and actually good news. Two GPs came out and replaced the dressing finding that the wound was healing very well and that the blood coming out was probably old blood amongst that crusting over the wound. So all OK and confirmation that the healing process was working. Fri evening Dave came round and we had some tea and fruit together before he went back to his place without me.


view of old compton stA mixture of looking after mum and trying to keep to what I normally do i.e. if I was staying over at Dave’s. Sat checked mum was comfortable then headed to the gym. Good workout then time in the coffee shop on the pooter before meeting Dave for lunch at Balans. Phoned mum, she was OK and my brother + kids were coming over. Me and Dave had nice seats outside to watch Old Compton St go past though it kept feeling like it might rain. Up to Paperchase (Dave’s favourite shop) then Habitat where I bought a lampshade in the sale that he didn’t like. My beloved has a problem with buying things not costing lots of money. Back to Dave’s where he fell asleep. I returned home catching brother and kids before they left (we all watched the Strictly launch) then spent the evening in with mum.

Sun up early and left mum comfortable again ready for the daily physio to come in. I went off to Dave’s and out for my jog-run. Went OK, details below. Helped Dave get his place tidy as his mum was coming to stay for a few days. Took some stuff to the charity shop, had lunch on my own then headed to mum’s to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with her.

Health and efficiency


barbell with weightsThree times – mornings of Mon, Thurs and Sat. Fri had been planned but did not happen because of issue around mum’s wound bleeding. All over work-outs on each day. Mon also did 18 mins on the rowing machine. Nothing like that on Thurs because I decided to do a long purposeful work afterwards that seemed to be so useful in the past in losing weight (see my One and Two Years Ago ‘review’ blogs). So after the gym walked home, from Oxford Circus to Olympia. Sat also did 22.30 mins on rowing maching = 5km covered.


Jog-run on Sun. Really not sure whether to do it or not and I think I made the right answer. Managed to cover longest ever distance (6.3km) and 467 cals burnt. But relatively slow: 40.47 mins & pace of 6.28km per min. Went off very slowly and gradually built up. For last kilometre and a half, left calf hurting but not with severe pain as when muscle is pulled. Indeed, wonder if it was cramp? Lots of stretching afterwards but left achilles tight and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. At least I will have two weeks off as I will not be going for a jog-run whilst I am in Berlin.


Really good news on Thurs that weight down to 13-9, one pound lost. Think week of distractions (primarily mum and work) have meant I’ve not been thinking about food and being hungry.


boy with tabletMy last week before Nissa my job-sharer returns from leave – hooray, it will be good to be working with her again. Ongoing sorting of application form, website text, and news story plus suitable images to use. Latter is difficult – how do you represent ‘Tech for Good’ beyond kids or old people with a laptop? Perhaps I should run a competition. We do look on course for launch of the new Tech for Good grants programme at the start of October.

Other stuff:

  • Catch up with Mark Walker around how we can work more closely with the Tech4Good Awards next year. We bounced some ideas around including running a conference / social event.
  • Meeting to talk about the future of a successful tech project. Despite its success things around it may well have to change to enable things to go forward. Success, particularly in tech, does not sit still – it needs to constantly develop.
  • Sorting out the briefing for research to be done on the state of play around Tech for Good in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Conversations around how we might match up Tech for Good with Sport for Change.
  • Discussion with another funder about ongoing funding of a project that needs more time to show its potential after our funding has finished.
  • Meeting some people with an idea for a new digital product that they needed advice on particularly around friendly tech development people to talk to.
  • Arranging for a video to be made of the achievements of the abstinence-based recovery projects we have been funding for two years using money raised by Russell Brand.

There was a Grants Directorate team meeting on Thurs. These are normally good with lots of energy and enthusiasm especially as we look to the future of what we are looking to fund next. Unfortunately, my time was taken up with looking after mum as that was the day she came out of hospital.

One of the main symptoms of dislocation this week was DuoLingo. Failed to do it on two days. Also no luck on watching YouTube. Did find an interesting site, librestock which provides different images under different themes all coming from free photo stock websites. Very useful to go along Optimizilla discovered last week.

Books and reading

glass roofVelvet Page book club on Thurs night but did not go because mum’s first night out of hospital. Sad not to see the other people. And I had read the book for that night, ‘The Glass Closet’ by John Browne. I really don’t like non-fiction and biography because you so often know what is going to happen. Fiction has that ability to surprise and create admiration by its twists and turns. John Browne used to be the CEO of BP. He was forced out of the closet and made to resign by a rent boy scandal. In this book he presents the argument that being LGBT-friendly is good for businesses. It’s really designed for straight people and didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know or expect to hear. Although I do take sympathy with Browne’s hints that progress in this area is not inevitable and things could go into reverse.

Doctor Who audio-books

Absolution (eighth Doctor Paul McGann + companions C’rizz and Charley)

The farewell adventure for C’rizz. A decent adventure where the Doctor and his companions access a planet where two sides are in battle with each other. Slightly religious / mystical but fun. Plenty of commentaries at the end by the actors which can be entertaining.

The Girl Who Never Was (eight Doctor + Charley)

The follow-on adventure from Absolution with a decidedly pragmatic Doctor dealing with C’rizz’s death leading to Charley deciding to leave. A strange little time travel adventure that involves the cybermen. I think I get the ending though not 100% sure.

The Nowhere Place (sixth Doctor Colin Baker + companion Evelyn Smythe)

Another curious story with the Doctor swapping between 1950s England and an Earth base by Pluto 250 years later. Doesn’t make total sense and the premise it is built on is incredibly grand – quite hard sci-fi for Dr Who. Still good fun and entertaining primarily because of its wackiness.


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