The big move

Mon 12 – Sun 18 Nov

The big news of last week (apart from Brexit crap) was me and mum moving from the old flat to the new one. Spent much of the previous week moving stuff and the same last Mon. Big move day was Tues. And when the removal men came in the afternoon we were ready with everything boxed up. They were really great. Somewhere from East Europe – polite, hard-working, and a couple of them were quite hot. 🙂 Very useful to have my brother and his partner around to help as well. 

Deliveries and utilities

Thurs was about deliveries – mum’s new electric cooker (she’s only ever used gas before) and her new bed. I was also forced into liaising with Royal Mail who had fucked up the re-direction (sloppiness on their part 🙁 ). Also BT are being a bloody nightmare. All supposed to be changed over on Thurs but turns out flat is wired for another supplier and BT reckon it could be months before they are able to connect us. 🙁 Not happy. 

Pipes through which utilities flow. A reference to the big move and getting everything re-connected.

Innovation & Creativity

Leave from work on Mon afternoon to sort the move; thus in work on Mon morning then all day Wed and Fri last week. Meetings, meetings, meetings… All important but part of me aches to get out of the building and build external relationships rather than continually look after the internal machine. 

A big pile of multi-coloured paper-clips - a typical site in many offices.

My brilliant colleagues

Twas good to have a meeting of the team I manage. They are such a great group of people – hard-working and making sense of things in uncertain times. I really do appreciate their enthusiasm and hard work. Doesn’t mean we always agree on everything but I’m hopeful our debates from different viewpoints are constructive rather than destructive. And sad to see the departure of long-term colleague and all round data expert Anna-Marie, I will miss her. 🙁

Struggle and team work represented by a rugby scrum
Team work

Our quiz night fun

We had a quiz night on Wed evening to raise money for a colleague who has leukemia and has a set up a fund to raise money for the cancer unit where he is being treated. Scott is our in-house expert quizmaster. Great fun and our team (‘I thought we were speed-dating’ – the other team members refused my suggestion of ‘Dr Shipman can see you now’) came 4th. Not sure I can ever forgive the fact I said the answer was Coldplay but they all said it was Radiohead and I was right!

A pop concert with lights and people going crazy

Books and Reading

‘Acceptance’

The final part in the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer. I really wondered at times if the 3 books were worth continuing with but I’m very glad I did. The final book brought things together (though not completely). And basically it’s as the title suggests, acceptance that the alien infestation in Area X has won and cannot be contained.

With this book we find out lots more about the mysterious Area X such as that it operates outside normal time. It also appears that the alien in this environment has the ability to duplicate people and send such duplicates back out into the ‘real’ world without them knowing they are duplicates (note the old sci-fi theme of creating replicas of people). And the alien even has the ability to convert people in Area X into animals or new creatures.

An alien that is a real alien

Ultimately I think (and I could be wrong) that this is the story of a stranded ultra-advanced alien that is simply existing and its very existence does the ‘damage’. Indeed it would appear to see human beings as irrelevant much as we view rats, mice, cockroaches or ants. But perhaps it is also trying to communicate but not with the means of communication or for purposes that we can comprehend.

Sci-fi alien head and body
Actually, a very human looking alien

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run

Only once last week because of crowding out any more with stuff around the move and dealing with work. But it was back to doing a 10K! Shit time and pace (1 hour, 8 & a half mins; 6.52 mins per km) but the key thing was that I did a full 10K for the first time since Aug and felt relatively OK afterwards. 🙂 Details on runs (and weight 🙁 ) can be found here

Lady running in cold weather
Me on my jog-run

INR 

To the doc’s on Fri morning for my regular blood test to check its clotting level. Excellent news – reading of 2.8 which is perfect. And computer says I don’t need to go back for next check till after Christmas. 🙂 

A pile of different coloured pills in their pop-out foil trays

Personal Development

An all round bad week in every PD area:

  • Duolingo – 1/5 So little action because tiredness at night and so I’m not getting my ‘before bed’ sessions done
  • Coding practice – 0/5 Absolute zilch achieved, not worth discussing
  • Emails – 1.5/5 Went nuts during the week especially at work – 300 at one point. Not having internet connection (thanks BT) means it is hard to get stuff done at home unless I use data on my phone. Weekend was very much about trying to get on top of emails. 

The Week Ahead:

  • Continue to settle mum into the new flat (main aim is to get her comfortable using the heating plus electric cooker, and sort out phone/broadband) then set up my space. Lots of unpacking of books still to be done
  • Big senior management all-day meeting on Thurs that I got volunteered to help organise – hope it works!
  • Next weekend to myself as Dave’s going off to Antwerp 🙁
  • Seeing Phyllis for coffee on Fri afternoon as he’s flown from Andalusia for a week in cold & grey London (why?)
  • Seeing my old mate Tim on Fri evening to hand over a Xmas pud from Fortnum & Mason. Received last year but still good for another one – like me. 🙂
  • Going to the celebration of NESTA being 20 years old on Wed – be nice to have an update on what they are up to
  • Really hoping for news about my gym re-opening soon. Meanwhile jog-run next weekend and possibly (how many times have I said that?) one during the week. 
  • Carry on with my latest reading book, ‘The World Goes On’ by Laszlo Krasznahorkai – he’s Hungarian. It’s very literary i.e. dense with words. Still deciding if I like it or not. 
  • There will be Personal Development progress!

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