Piece by piece

Mon 22 – Sun 28 Oct 2018

I’ve become a sticker

I used to be very flighty when I was younger. Jobs and men came and went easily, there was always the potential for better. I suppose that optimism about the future being better than now still lives with me. But over the last few years, I’ve become much more of a sticker. I’ve been in my current job for nearly a decade whilst me and Dave have been together well over a decade. The job before this one was nearly for a decade and my previous long-term relationship in Brighton was 7 years.

Piece by piece, bit by bit

old elephantPart of my philosophy on life is to take things piece by piece as well as focusing on the future. So I try to deal with things piece by piece, little by little. How do you eat an elephant? Slowly! There’s nothing better than knocking out something, no matter how small, rather than doing nothing.

That’s how I try to deal with the pressure of work, relationship and family. Little and often. And that was what last week was about. Dealing with things bit by bit so de-escalating the stress and pressure I had been feeling the previous week.

The new flat

Big news last week that I went with mum to view the new flat. It’s perfectly decent and a standard newly developed property. Big corridors and doorways for wheelchairs with the standard hard-wearing, beige carpet throughout. There’s a specially adapted shower for mum – easy to get into with lots of grab rails. Overall, I think she’s happy though still fretting enormously about the logistics of the move. Me – I’m fine. I don’t feel great attachment to properties; they are somewhere to receive post, sleep and store books. 🙂

The future

The future - next exitCool to stay with Dave last week whilst my brother and his son were staying with mum for half-term. But I also like my own bit of space and staying with mum provides that (until she does my head in and then I can do an over-nighter at Dave’s for respite).

One day, me and Dave will live together but I think that will have to wait until mum’s gone. He’s also got the issue of his mum being far away but, as an only child, what will he do when she needs a higher level of care? Ah the joys of living longer though fuck knows who will give a toss about me when I’m old.

Health and Efficiency

A good jog-run

JoggingNo mini-runs planned for a weekday evening. Rather simply my big jog-run on a weekend morning. I used to do 10k but it was hard work so I scaled back to whatever I felt comfortable with. Last week, it was 8K which is the furthest distance I have run since Aug as you can see by looking at this page.

Jog-runUp early on Sat for coffee and a warm-up walk. Quite chilly, indeed good running weather. 8K which was very pleasing. Pace was interesting. Under 7 min per km until the final km when it went to pieces. So an overall pace of just over 6.40 mins per km.

I felt knacked but quite exhilarated. A jog-run that really fitted my mood. Piece by piece – one day I will be back to 10K again. 🙂

Fat bastard

The main way I fail in my piece by piece philosophy is in my weight. Theoretically, if I lose little and often then cumulatively I will see impressive overall weight loss. And that can be done by changing my eating habits piece by piece. A little bit less each time and a little bit more healthy.

But it doesn’t seem to work in this sphere and my weight is back over 14 stone. 🙁

Books and Reading

‘The Bleeding Heart’

Next in the adventure of Detectives Bryant and May as I work my way through them and try to catch up to the point when I am fully up to date. Adventure novels written by the brilliant Christopher Fowler. He is a contemporary author I have so much respect for. His writing is prolific and so good. I love the way he can constantly knock out good books (no writer’s block for him!) and the variety of stuff he writes. The fact he can write all these books and run a daily blog (christopherfowler.co.uk) – I’m in awe. 🙂

Our detectives are investigating a case involving dug-up corpses. Various mini-stories link-up to explain everything in the end. There’s a fair amount of cheesiness such as the bean-counting bureaucrat monitoring their dept. But the characters are great (people to fall in love with) and the sheer cleverness of it all forces you to smile. The good thing is that I’ve got several more to read before I have totally caught up! 🙂

The Exchange

So we are getting ready for the move to the new flat in a few weeks. Piece by piece and bit by bit, I continue to pack up my beloved books though with an awareness that my book hoarding is out of control. So I continue to sort through everything as I pack and put stuff aside to go up the exchange to cut down on the sheer amount of books that I have.

Sorting out and packing on my days off (Tues & Thurs) whilst up to the Exchange in Notting Hill last Thurs morning with 2 massive bags of books. I am becoming an expert in packing books! 🙂 £30 which is sad in terms of what I probably paid for them all but progress; cash in my pocket and less to move! 🙂

Personal Development

Managed to get some language learning done on Duolingo everyday bar Wed. Mid-week is always rubbish, it’s when I feel most knacked. Good news also that I feel on top of emails (for a while at least). Again the secret here is piece by piece, bit by bit. Always take the chance to knock a few out. 🙂

Innovation and Creativity

Lots of paper work in the office last week especially getting stuff ready for sign off by committee i.e. authorisation to give away and spend money! Most exciting thing though was meeting an MP on Tues afternoon, theoretically my day off but you grab opportunities like this when they came along.

David Lammy M.P.

geographical africa

This is who we met. He’s great on Twitter particularly around Brexit. But he has also been very critical of the way Africa in particular can be portrayed by charities. No-one would deny there are problems in the ‘developing South’, many linked to the colonial legacy.

But with people like Trump labelling countries ‘shitholes’, then portraying them like that is as much part of the problem.

Meeting power

Member of Parliament

It’s always fascinating to come face-to-face with power. The same feeling as when I have met other politicians, members of the royal family, and celebrities. You realise they are as human as yourself and, likewise, trying to make sense of a crazy world.

A very nice discussion with Mr Lammy and we didn’t feel rushed or patronised. But it’s not about being obsequious and rather recognising that there are different views.

Creating empathy and respect

HeroI share his view that you need to show progress as much as negativity. Though the danger with the former is that it lets people excuse themselves from donating or helping. With the latter reinforcing their prejudices, stereotypes, and emotions that it’s all a waste of time.


Fascinating stuff about how we create empathy rather than pity or detachment, and try to move towards a world that is truly fair and just with people genuinely and generously wanting to help.

Technology in AfricaUnderstanding the commonality of what being human is all about. That the pain and suffering someone else has is the same that I could be dealing with though perhaps on a more extreme level.

Not their personal fault but rather the situation they find themselves in as part of a very unfair world.

tech matters for Africa

The Week Ahead:

  • So Thurs I am off to Spain. I had planned 10 days away but then we got the move date so I’ve scaled it back to a long weekend.
  • I go to Torremolinos which is a place I like. I’ll catch up with friends David & Gordon (who live in Mijas) on Fri then my old work colleague Phyllis (Philip) is coming over on Sat for a big, messy night out! 🙂
  • Sun we go to his place in Andalucia and I fly back on Tues.
  • Work = Mon – Wed with Tues AM off as TOIL. That is the morning I will do some more packing and take stuff up the Exchange.
  • Lunch with my old colleague Rebecca on Mon and fellow tech enthusiast Matt Haikin on Wed
  • Gonna carry on pushing my language learning with Duolingo & watching videos. Wonder if I will get time to do some coding practice?
  • Will read at least one book next week, hopefully a couple 🙂
  • A small jog-run on Wed night is possible (but unlikely)


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