That was a heatwave (we’re all screwed)

Mon 23 – Sun 29 July 2018

Sustainability

We’re doomed

I think we can all agree that last week was dominated by the heatwave. In London we reached temperatures nudging towards the mid-30s. The scientific evidence clearly tells us global warming is making this happen and climate change is a real thing. Every year it is getting hotter overall so crazy weather is going to be a feature of the future.

hot hot hotWe’ve fucked the planet and I don’t see any major change to stop this never mind reverse it. I think we’ve still got to hit the crisis point before real behaviour change happens. Something like mass flooding due to sea levels rising. But then do we care if thousands die so long as we are not one of them?

Should I stop eating meat?

A horrible incident on Sun afternoon when me and Dave saw a duck and her ducklings lost on the road. I tried to shoo them back to safety, other people just took photos. Also some kids were upsetting the animals so words were exchanged. πŸ™ Apart from reinforcing my opinion that some people are scum, it made me think about stopping eating meat. If I care about the safety of these animals, why do I eat others? Also eating less meat is better for the environment.

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run

Jog-runSuch a good jog-run on Sat morning. I crashed out early on Fri, around 9.30. Up at 6.30am for a coffee at Starbucks and then out. The heatwave had sort of broken the day before with showers and thunder. Indeed, it was remarkably cooler than expected.

I had trepidation because it’s the big cycling weekend in London. I think it’s great to give the roads over to bikes. But putting up barriers and marquees everywhere creates a new inconvenience equal to too many bloody cars. As expected, bits of my normal jog-run route were barriered off.

But I adapted and made good time. I actually thought it would have been faster at one stage but the last 3 kms were slower than expected. Just under an hour and 3 mins. I think I also benefited by not going to the gym on Fri morning and easing up generally on cardio work there.

Gym

World's Strongest ManHit it on the usual mornings: Tues, Thurs, Sun. Even with the heatwave I love going to the gym. And it is only going to be open for a few more days before the redevelopment starts.

I have eased up on the cardio stuff on the days when I walk to and from the gym. Instead then I just focus on the weights.

INR

BloodHad this checked on Fri morning. 2.9 which is good – no blood clots and blood not thin so I might bleed to death. No change in warfarin levels and back in a month – hooray. πŸ™‚

Culture

Film:Β ‘Hereditary’

One of my favourite ways of dealing with a heatwave is to bugger off to the dark and cool of the cinema. This film has had generally good reviews being modern horror. It is dark and complex. It’s certainly not a modern slasher or zombie movie. Indeed it reminded me of Donnie Darko and The Shining though both of those are better films. Dave hated Hereditary because he loves musicals and feel good films. I thought it was intriguing and I often think back on it. But it’s neither easy nor very accessible.

Night Music

tunes in darknessOne of the things I’ve always liked the idea of but never been able to do, is to fall asleep listening to music. I’ve tried leaving the radio on low but the pop music annoys the hell out of me as I drift into oblivion.

However recently I’ve tried listening to random classical music. Not my normal listening at all but the unexpected, non-vocal music played at a gentle volume is making me feel good as I fall asleep. It’s a bit like the sensation that used to come on drugs, that sense of crazy confusion – your mind in another place. All the nice feelings but with no drugs. πŸ™‚

Personal Development

innovation labs

Languages and coding

Progress on Duolingo and my coding apps. Though it all paused a bit Thurs and Fri simply because I was knacked. I do find the mid-week period tires me out (weekend break is well over and next one still to come, the danger of equi-distance). Fri nights are always a write-off.

Fucking emails

Emails are awry again. There is a part of me that is tired of trying to keep them under control. A sort of ‘fuck it, leave them and see what happens’ attitude. This will pass (as does everything) and I need to ride this unproductive and irrational feeling to a logical end-point.

Friends, Anniversaries, and Family

David & Gordon

Great to meet up with our pals David and Gordon on Thurs after the gym. We met at the wonderful Maison Bertaux in Soho. A wonderfully old-fashioned French patisserie run by the lovely and slightly crazy Michelle. They live in Spain and we visit them. But they were in London for David’s birthday / their anniversary.

Me & Dave

Similarly, me and Dave had our civil partnership anniversary last week. We haven’t ‘upgraded’ it yet to a marriage as there is something about civil partnership we both like. It’s a nod to the world saying we are committed for the rest of our lives but our relationship might not be conventional. We are 2 separate people but stronger together. There are so many aspects of ‘marriage’ I don’t like such as the idea you have to live together, that you will have kids, etc.

My brother’s new partner

Really nice to meet my brother’s new partner on Thurs evening. We both agreed that we really like her. And she is a trained chef who makes fantastic cakes. She brought over a coffee & walnut cake and a victoria sponge – both delicious.

Dave is back

Innovation and Creativity

Social investment

Lots of activity around social investment last week. The idea that you financially invest in something that does good for society but without it simply being a grant. Geetha from Big Society Capital came to do an explanation presentation to anyone at work who was interested – c.50 people turned up!

The difficulty of being a charity trustee

Image of networkingI presented social investment funding cases to our Trustees on Wed evening. Always slightly scary to present to; a range of clever people who do their job of interrogating before deciding.

It is hard being a charity trustee. You need to trust your staff but be prepared to carry the can if the shit hits. You are expected to be involved and provide leadership but without taking control of things and being too hands-on.

Creating democracy and inclusiveness

One of the most exciting things that is happening at work is that I am helping to arrange a day where we get staff from across the org to meet and look at the projects we fund with an intention of trying to agree on the ones we should be pushing in our publicity. This is an attempt to be both democratic and inclusive in showing our face to the world. I love things like this, particularly when you can get people excited who wouldn’t normally be involved.

Books and Reading

‘Elmet’Β by Fiona Mozley

This is a widely applauded first novel. To describe it as a modern Yorkshire Grimm’s Fairy Tale is pretty accurate. The story of a dysfunctional family unit of dad and 2 kids living on the land. Some might say feral or people on the margins. Indeed, there is an element of this that is poverty porn, feeling like a middle class safari visit into the territory of people living shit lives. It’s a bit like a book version of ‘Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away’ which seems permanently on a loop on Channel 5.

However, having said all that it must be a good book as bits of it keep drifting back into my mind and I still think about the characters she created. Short and worth a read.

‘Nyctophobia’ by Christopher Fowler

This is a lovely, dark novel set in Andalucia in Spain (nyctophobia – fear of the dark). It’s classic horror in the sense of being about a ghost house though never being clear whether the ghosts are real or in someone’s imagination. Is this actually a story about someone with mental health problems who is hallucinating? The ending clears it up (or does it?) but then leaves a delicious cliffhanger.

Christopher Fowler is definitely one of my favourite contemporary authors. He writes across several genres including sci-fi, fantasy, crime, and horror. And his output is prodigious. No writer’s block for him. And his daily blog at christopherfowler.co.ukΒ is a little treat.

Dr Who audio adventures

Listened to another Iris Wildthyme adventure. Great, silly fun. This time it was about her being regenerated as a man. And one her companion Panda really doesn’t like as he is anti-alcohol!

The Week Ahead

  • Down to Brighton on Thurs for the scattering of Brian’s ashes with his cousin. That really is the end point. Though the solicitors to whom I signed over the executorship are still sorting out his estate which all goes to charity.
  • Work days on the usual Mon, Wed, Fri but with a meeting on Tues afternoon as no other time that worked for the other participants.
  • Some interesting meetings coming up including Emma who now runs Young Minds, people from the Global Goals Accelerator, and Rachel from Global Giving.
  • Possibly my last week at the gym for a few months. Hopefully I will make it 3 times before it closes.
  • Jog-run on Sat
  • Keep on with the language learning and coding practice, try to re-find my ‘love’ for dealing with emails.
  • Velvet Page on Thurs night and I will have read Haruki Murakami’s ‘Sputnik Sweetheart’ by then. He is another one of my favourite authors.
  • Carry on listening to Dr Who

And Finally…

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