Why so tired these days?

Mon 25 – Sun 31 July

Key thing about last week was that it felt like a quiet one. That probably simply meant that I wasn’t charging about so much. But it was also quiet because I seemed to be so tired and spend a lot more time sleeping than normal.

Early nights and siestas

Tired lionMy last bit of leave to use up meant I took Tuesday off and so had only a two day week (Wed all day + Thurs & Fri afternoons). But inspite of this I still felt so tired. Friday night I was knacked and in bed by 9pm. The sad thing is that this is totally normal. Indeed, the weekend I had early nights on Sat and Sun as well. And Thurs was another early night. Also afternoon sleeps for a couple of hours on Tues and Sat.

Has being tired always been there?

It is interesting to note the same feelings of being overworked and tired in my blog of one year and two years ago. I am trying to make this review something I publish midweek every week. The last one can be found here and being tired (perhaps even a bit emotional) was something then and now. But I do wonder if it is getting worse?

Part of growing old?

I am very aware that part of growing old is feeling tired and worn-out. Indeed part of the problem is being able to remember back to days when I used to party all night and go to work the next morning without sleep. No way in the world I could do that now. The whole idea of clubbing feels too intimidating in terms of energy commitment apart from once or twice a year in special circumstances such as visits to Berlin. Even then 2am or 3am is my limit. No question of going through to 6am and breakfast clubs. I suppose dealing with this problem of being tired is all linked to that $64,000 question of how to reverse ageing?


V&A galleryNot as much art this week as the previous one. Mon afternoon I did make it to the Victoria & Albert museum to look around the new European Galleries covering the period 1600-1800. These have just opened after a two year refit. They are also the reason for the V&A winning UK Museum of the Year. A bit unfair because it is such a big and rich institution. The  £100,000 prize and publicity would have been far more useful to a smaller, regional operation. The galleries themselves are very well presented if in a quite traditional way. But a pleasure to wander around nevertheless and recommended to visit.

Tired man asleep I had planned to go to a museum or art gallery on Tues afternoon. Perhaps the Saatchi Gallery or the Wallace Collection. But being tired overtook me and I just went back to Dave’s to sleep.

Friends, mum and Dave

Lots of time last week with mum and Dave. I stayed with mum on Mon and Wed night managing to avoid arguing too much. Also I saw her on Fri morning to do the laundry. With Dave on Tues and Thurs night plus the weekend. Thurs we met up at the Union Jack Club (Veterans’ club) in Waterloo for dinner. This was in recognition of the anniversary of our civil partnership. A nice celebration meal though back to Dave’s after and straight to sleep.

Tim and Jamie

Mon I had a catch-up with my old friend Tim. He works at the V&A and we went for a nice pasta lunch. He’s well and doing heroically coping with his mum. Another friend dealing with a very ill parent. Then on Tues (after the gym and before going back to sleep) I had a lunchtime coffee with my mate Jamies. He was on very good lively form. Nearly finished his latest play and going off to Gran Canaria in October.


Most of my digital energy last week went on dealing with issues related to our new Tech for Good grants programme hopefully launching later this year. Also a number of other things:

  • A very interesting session from Loren Triesman of the Indigo Trust detailing their support to tech hubs in Africa
  • A briefing on how to shortlist applications for the Queen’s Young Leaders programme
  • A session on Smartsheet – the project management software we are supposed to be using www.smartsheet.com
  • Meeting with co-funders of an international research initiative to get this moving
  • Agreeing objectives with my line manager for the coming year

Thurs had a catch-up, team-building lunch with the other people in my immediate team. Really nice to have some time together and find out a little bit more about each other. Went to Vauxhall Street Food Garden. Well worth a check-out, nice food stalls and plenty of space to chill out in. Look at the website here.

Also continued to watch YouTube vids re JavaScript and still trying to do DuoLingo regularly each day.

Health and efficiency


Four times last week: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sun. All mornings because basically I am a morning person and at my best then. I wilt as the day passes. Note the way I siesta or have early nights, lay-ins in the morning just don’t work for me. All body parts workouts apart from Sunday when I focused on legs, chest and shoulders. I am trying to add 10 mins on the rowing machine to all my workouts. I was also being more aware of leg exercises that put lots of pressure on my knees and concentrated on these on Thurs so as not to aggravate my joints before my jog-run.


This took place on Saturday and was one of my big disappointments (in addition to being so tired generally). Bit of a disaster all round. And a real shame because I had been looking forward to it. Big problem were the roads closed around Dave’s way for the bloody London Bike Ride. Now I know cycling is a good thing but

(a) I resent not being able to move easily around my own city

(b) Why can’t they do it somewhere less disruptive or shut down a motorway to do it?

(c) Most of the people cycling don’t live locally.

I was unable to follow my normal route by not being allowed to cross the Mall to get to get to Green Park. And this problem was compounded by GPS on my watch not working. So I couldn’t do a different route but over the same distance. The result being that I was restricted to two laps of St James’ Park and only a time, no other details. Time itself was 26 mins 24 secs.


Came in at 13-12. I am still coming to terms with the fact I found out from doing my one/two year blog review that I was half a stone lighter a year ago and doing less exercise. If you want to see the pattern of my weight and jog-run results then there is a separate page all about it on my website here. Really need to work out what is different. I’m sure it must be my calorie intake.

Books and reading

‘Glow’ by Ned Beauman

pillsAn up and coming young author I like. One of the Granta 20 best young British novelists identified in 2013 – an exercise they do every ten years. Interesting to look at the list of authors here on Wikipedia who have received this honour and consider if they lived up to their potential / hype. ‘Glow’ did not work for me as well as Beauman’s other two books. His modernity, writing style and sprinkling of fantasy reminds me of David Mitchell (author not comedian or friend in Taiwan) but he is not as good yet.

Main problem with this book is the classic problem with books written about drugs. Being on drugs is an amazing experience for good and bad reasons. However, writing about it is dull. Amusing that it cottons onto the obsession with the science of it all that some druggies are into. And a nice thriller idea. Though ultimately as time passed it hit a common problem of thrillers whereby it became very clever and convoluted. Indeed too clever for its own good so that I sort of lost the plot of what was happening in places.

‘As I Lay Dying’ by William Faulkner

This is a book I was recommended after reading another one. Problem being that I can’t remember which book that was which would help me appreciate better why I wanted to read this. Written in 1935, ultimately Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for Literature. And this book is really hard core ‘literature’. It follows the adventures of a family taking their mother to be buried where she wished to be interned which is a fair distance from their home. Difficult to start with, eventually it makes some sense. And ultimately it is a description of a dysfunctional family filled with secrets. Does feel much older than 1935. Indeed feels more like a wild west story with mules, horses and wagons.

Doctor Who audio-books

‘Singularity’ (Fifth Doctor Peter Davidson + Turlough)

One of the key things I get on listening to these audio-books is the memory of which doctors and companions I found most infuriating. Turlough is definitely one. A humanoid alien who is very similar to the worst type of private school sixth former. He and the Doctor go to Moscow. Not Soviet Russia – modern but the story was written before the rise of Putin’s neo-fascist state. The aliens at work there under cover of a religious organisation turn out to be the last humans returned to change history. Good framework but the story doesn’t quite hold together and indeed is ultimately quite forgettable.

‘The Next Life’ (Eighth Doctor Paul McGann + Charley and C’rizz)

Doctor Who's TardisI have tried to follow the sequence of audio-books where there is a definite series. However it still doesn’t always work out that I understand what completely is going on. This is the last adventure of a series that sees the Doctor in an alternative universe. I think this began with the story ‘Zagreus’ which didn’t have a good impact on me. Must listen to it again. In the final adventure in this other universe, the Doctor comes face to face with Rassilon – the creator of the Tardis and the founding father of the Time Lords. He is not as nice as expected and the Doctor overcomes him. Unfortunately not a classic.

‘Terror Firma’ (Eighth Doctor + Charley and C’rizz)

Much more fun and the follow on adventure from ‘The Next Life’. Doctor and his companions return to an Earth dominated by the Daleks. They in turn are controlled by a schizophrenic Davros who needs the Doctor’s help not least to stop him becoming completely Dalek and totally insane. Fun that we find out about two companions never heard of before and who are abducted to use as bait by the Daleks.

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