Running up that hill

Mon 31 July  – Sun 6 Aug 2017

A promo pic from Aussie Bum. I found it on Facebook with the caption ‘No pain, no gain! How’s the week treating you?’ Personally I find this very inspirational 🙂

Health and Efficiency


Did my jog-run on Sat morning and no delays due to external events like the previous week’s Ride London. The Athletic World Championships are on but no marathon till tomorrow and their course does not clash with the one I use for my 10K. Although next week the walking events may be a problem but I think it’s only on Sunday.

Video report on my running can be seen here Not bad at all but it could have been so much better (improved on last week though). Details on all jog-run results can be found on this page of my site. 5K was fast – 30.15 mins. But then a real slowdown on the 7th km. I made some time up on the 8th and 9th but not enough to get near one hour exactly nor my best time of just under 1 hour 1 min. I was able to do my normal slightly hilly course. I’m pretty sure this speeds things up as I put in energy to run up, and then run fast as I come down.

Must admit I love doing my weekend morning running, it’s one of the highlights of my week.

Weight and INR

Weight still 13-13. But I am continuing to try to skip breakfast before going to the gym – easy to forget my hunger if I am busy. Also trimmed my alcohol intake last week.

INR done on Wed and 2.0 which just within range. If anything, heading towards the risk of clotting. Computer says I don’t have to go back for a month – hooray.


Went again to the Sun morning ‘gentle yoga’ class and a lot quieter than the previous week. Some really good work especially on my back.


Twice again last week, Mon and Thurs morning. Both about pushing heavy weights rather than cardio. And hard but fulfilling workouts on both days.


Treated myself to a 45 min massage at the Yoga studio on Mon. Specially discounted because I bought a block of 5 yoga sessions to be used in one month. There was a question, ‘Do you mind a female masseur?’ The answer of course was ‘no’ so long as she can do a good massage. And it was good especially on my neck and shoulders which have been giving me some problems recently.

Tech for Good

A much less intense week than the previous one which you can read all about in my previous blog ‘Building the Tech for Good ecosystem‘. The really exciting thing is that we are already planning for the next Tech for Good programme, hopefully later this year 🙂 I am pursuing a really interesting idea around full video applications.


Had our panel to decide which projects to give a small grant to and they then have to match via crowdfunding within a 6-8 week period. A good panel and discussion around whether to choose projects we think are best or the ones most likely to raise the money. Mixture of both. Indeed this is a pilot programme so we need to learn from it. 16 grants recommended. Following this, I have been working with colleagues to plan a workshop for the projects to make and use better videos.

Other TfG bits and pieces:

  • Finishing assessments for projects seeking to use tech to tackle HIV issues in the UK. Also planning how to best support the projects chosen for funding.
  • Doing the assessment for a new Tech for Good initiative in Northern Ireland with the Building Change Trust
  • Catching up on what is happening with the e-mentoring project we are funding at the Albert Kennedy Trust (‘Inter-AKT’)
  • Some good speculative coffee meets and phonecalls. I love talking Tech for Good with new people and planting seeds that you don’t know if they will grow or not. Great to chew the cud with Peter from The Royal Foundation as well as Penny from Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Personal Development

Languages and emails

Duolingo was a problem last week. Missed out completely on 3 days – Tues, Thurs, Sat. I have been busy getting assessments done for work and trying to get emails under control. That sort of explains why I’ve missed out doing my language practice. Discipline sometimes eludes me – perhaps I give myself too many tasks. And disappointing news that I did not manage to get any coding practice done.


Some excellent news that I am getting a sabbatical from work 1st Jan through to start of May. How cool is that? I’ve been in my job for quite a few years and I feel that I need to refresh myself. I am going to do some travelling – I like the idea of being a digital nomad, someone who works remotely (via digital) without having a fixed base. At its most extreme, you see people travelling around the world and carrying on doing their job. Though not sure I want to spend the whole 4 months just travelling.


Thurs lunchtime I met up with my old work colleague Philip (Phyllis) who now lives in Andalucia. Great to see him looking so well and healthy for his age. Amazing how we sit having coffee on Old Compton St and the men are attracted to him like bees to honey (or flies to shit). We had a great meal and coffee. He is loving being retired and living in Spain. I envy him. Though his dad is not well and there is some uncertainty with bloody Brexit. They have had some amazing temperatures in Spain recently; it reached 47 degrees in Cordoba a few weeks ago.


Been there only once, it was OK. I prefer other bits of Spain. But the weekend just gone was the Radio One Ibiza weekend. People think I’m too old for Radio 1. Sometimes it gets on my nerves (the sheer inanity) but other times I love it. And I adored listening to and watching on the TV the DJ sessions from this Mediterranean island. Sun night was lovely playing on the pooter and watching people chill and dancin. Reminds me of the good bits of my long-gone druggie dance club days.

Books and Reading

‘Clinch’ by Martin Holmen

Cover of book 'Clinch' by Martin HolmenRead this book for the Velvet Page Book Club that met on Thurs night. A book that caused a lot of discussion. I actually really enjoyed it and sort of sped read it as I found it very engaging. The weakness is the story. It’s a typical over complicated thriller. Too much clumsy deus ex machina. But it is very well written being set in early 30s Stockholm. The descriptions are almost Dickensian portraying extreme poverty. The ‘hero’ is a bisexual psychopath who likes violent sex. But it would be crazy to expect to find a happy homosexual in this setting. Other people at Velvet Page hated him and the book. Fundamentally we all agreed it was a book that intrigued us particularly as it is the first part of a trilogy.

Dr Who audio adventures

Not much activity on this last week. Indeed I spent a lot more time just listening to music. However I did try listening to ‘Nightshade’ (seventh Doctor + companion Ace) again – I reviewed it in last week’s blog. Some audio adventures improve with a second listen but not this one I’m afraid. The story still felt over simplified and too brief.

Looking Ahead

My diary for the week ahead is not totally chocca – the supposed August holiday effect? So I am pulling back on my targets:

  • Getting on top of my assessments and emails so work does not feel overwhelming (I think I’ve also got to write my annual review as well)
  • Tech for Good conversations and coffees with internal and external people
  • 2-3 gym sessions plus a jog-run and a yoga session
  • Going to see at least one film at the cinema
  • Meeting up with my old mate Paul Fitz on Tues night
  • Finishing both of the books I am currently reading and a couple more Dr Who audio adventures
  • Duolingo every day and some coding practice

And finally…

The inspirational words of the Irish Prime Minister spoken in Northern Ireland and showing what true leadership is about.

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