Tomorrow’s Wind Blows Tomorrow

Mon 20 – Sun 26 Sept 2021

A week of some very warm sunshine during the daytime. But it is definitely getting darker earlier. And when I go out for my morning coffee, I still sit outside but there’s a nip in the air. And then at the weekend the weather started to turn more cloudy. From tomorrow and into the new week, there are lower temperatures, on and off rain, as well as winds. Looks like Autumn has properly arrived.

Autumnal trees and leaves

The title of this blog is one of my favourite sayings. Apparently it is from Japan though whether that’s true or not, who knows. For me it says don’t worry about the future as we don’t know what things will be like tomorrow. It’s that thing I’ve written about before about being future-focused rather then dwelling on the past for fretting about the future. And that not worrying attitude is how I am trying to live my life.

Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life

Robin Sharma

A Massive Dose of Culture

Apparently Lenin once said that there can be decades where nothing happens then weeks when decades happen. Definitely true of me last week around art and culture. For weeks I’ve been bemoaning the dearth of culture in my life. Then two big cultural things happened.

The Testament of Yootha

With my Dave (who loves theatre) to see this one woman show on Fri evening at the ever-brilliant Waterloo East Theatre. Dinner beforehand at the Union Jack Club. The place for veterans and our very own ‘club’. Drinks and dinner in the bar and restaurant. Though quite busy.

This play is about the life of the 1970s TV superstar Yootha Joyce. She was like a megastar when I was a kid and a brilliant actress. But she died tragically early at only 53 years old with liver failure. Intense and dramatic, how else could it be when you try to distil someone’s life into an hour.

Image of Yootha Joyce from en.wikipedia.org

It’s an instructive thing to think what would feature if your life were condensed into a one hour play. The little stuff we worry about and that makes us fret about tomorrow would pale into insignificance. But how much regret would we also have for mistakes made and opportunities missed.

Yootha came from a poor background and achieved fame. She was loved by so many. And yet she had just one failed marriage and ultimately felt overwhelmed. She became an alcoholic apparently drinking up to a bottle of brandy per day for 10 years. Though, TBH, I don’t think that sounds excessive enough to kill you. But then what do I know.

Paula Rego

Then on Thurs to see this artist’s exhibition at Tate Britain. Only decided to go the day before, I suddenly realised there was nothing stopping me doing this tomorrow. Indeed, Thursday turned out to be a very non-routine day – the type of event I wrote about in my previous blog, ‘Routine and non-routine – both can be good and bad‘. And excellent to meet an old friend who was working at the Tate. I last met Marcus when we did a retreat together in Calpe in Spain probably about a decade ago.

A good exhibition about an artist I knew little about previously. Very much from a woman’s perspective but with huge nods to folk art and her Portuguese heritage. Her pictures are big, bold and colourful. But it was very busy and so many people in each room took some of the impact away for me. She has had a long life and a long career – I would have liked more context around that. May actually try to get to see the exhibition again before it ends.

Paula Rego picture in Leeds City Art Gallery. From Flickr.com

Sustainability – it’s all about caring for tomorrow

Not worrying about tomorrow does not equal don’t care about what you do now and the impact you make. We should all care about the planet we leave for tomorrow’s generation. And so I carry on:

  • Refusing to buy new wherever possible. Instead buying secondhand when I can – charity shops are great. Or not buying at all. Always ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’
  • Offloading stuff in my life. Either selling it or giving it away. Wanted to take a load of books to the Exchange last Tues but they had no buyer due to him being on jury duty.
  • Rescuing stuff from being thrown away in landfill. I always pick up rubber bands – you can put them into a post box for the Royal Mail to reuse. And on Sat I found a couple of DVDs and a cuddly toy on the street, I will take them to the charity shop.
  • Spending time in nature. Doesn’t always mean going to a park but sometimes just sitting outside to feel the fresh air on your skin. And, of course, being outside helps slow the spread of Covid.
  • Dave continues to give me plants he no longer thinks will survive from his balcony which I take back for my window ledge in the hope they can be nursed back to health.
Spider plant

Friends to the fore but family still matters

A week where I finally spent some time catching up with friends. Like culture, something I’ve been meaning to do more of for ages. I keep saying it will happen tomorrow and finally tomorrow has happened.

Matt, Zoe, Rob, and Philip

Non-routine Thursday included a face-to-face coffee with my old mate Matt. He lives in Manchester and co-runs the brilliant developer agency Reason Digital So nice to reflect on life post-pandemic especially going out and travelling. Plus general reflections on Tech For Good matters. I was amazed by the amount of volunteering and trusteeship he is doing. Puts my ‘I’m not in the mood’ into perspective LOL.

That Tech For Good reflection continued on Fri at a lunchtime zoom meeting with Zoe. She runs her own agency Zoe Amar Digital. Been about 3 or 4 years since we last caught up. It’s great in life to not worry about tomorrow so that it destroys today and it’s also great to catch up with old friends.

Meanwhile, a phone catch-up with my old Brighton mate Rob aka Swing It. He was actually in Spain. You know people are abroad by the ring tone. He is fine and we need to meet up soon. Either him coming to London or me going to the South Coast.

And a phone call with Philip on Thurs. He is back in Spain after his sojourn to the UK. I can’t wait to go out and spend time in Spain which inevitably include lots of hanging around with Phyllis. Not quite tomorrow but only a few more weeks to go.

Mum – joint flu jabs

Time spent with the old lady again. We love each other but have an amazing ability to antagonise each other. Perhaps that is true of all relationships with parents. Funny last week in that I got a text saying I should book my flu jab. Did that then phoned mum to tell her to book hers as well. Turned out we got put in time-slots next to each other so we attended the GP surgery together on Saturday.

‘The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said’

Peter Drucker

Work – doing the best you can

My thinking about worrying about tomorrow tomorrow also covers my attitude to work. I do my very best and when you do that then you can’t worry about what the future will hold. So last week was focused on getting things ready for the start of our 2 new pro-bono tech projects. We have our teams in place and it’s been about introducing them to each other and the organisations we will be working to help. It’s the beginning of that whole Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing process.

I also did the all-staff presentation I was nervous about when I wrote my previous blog. It went great. I set out why we do social change projects, what we learnt from running our Social Change Lab, and then who we will be working with. And I was joined by one of the organisations we will be working with to tell people more about them and their project.

Doing a good day's work

Weight and exercise – definitely tomorrow

My grand plan to lose a quarter or half pound each week has totally gone to pieces. Previously, through semi-starvation / calorie reduction and long walks, I had lost some weight. But over the last couple of weeks intermittent food blow-outs have negated that. Partly linked to my love of eating out.

Result is weight gain. – you can see the evidence here. But I am determined to get back on track. Tomorrow not as a means of postponing action till some future time. But tomorrow as time for action. Got to recreate some times when I intake far less calories and carry on finding lots of opportunities to do lots of long purposeful walks. And in the longer term, I aim to do more intense exercise like a return to jogging, swimming, and the gym.

Reading two very good books continues

Still plodding onwards with the books by Hilary Mantel and Ted Chiang I talked about in last week’s blog. But it’s a good plodding as I am enjoying them both so much. The court machinations of Thomas Cromwell as he seeks to survive in the court of Henry VIII are wonderful. His tomorrow is simply about surviving and staying. And not a million miles away from the small politics we all deal with everyday particularly in family situations and at work.

Chiang’s head is brimming with ideas and his stories primarily revolve around different forms of life beyond just flesh and blood human beings. Fascinating that I put on Twitter how much I am enjoying this book. And my friend and old colleague Amir came back to report that he is also reading this book at the moment. Nice coincidence.

Phobos

And personal development carries on

My beneficial routine continues of each morning doing a Duolingo lesson in German and Spanish – useful for tomorrow when I am back to travelling. As well as an accompanying daily morning Mimo lesson in coding. But did miss out doing all PD on Thursday. Another part of my non-routine day which included not looking at my work emails at all, treating it as a proper non-work and enjoy myself day.

The Week Ahead

  • Looking forward to getting the wax suctioned out of my ears on Monday – it’s something I have to have done fairly regularly. I have been putting it off till tomorrow but I am slowly going more and more deaf.
  • More and more prep to get ready for lift-off on the tech for good pro-bono projects. My experience of project management grows day by day.
  • Hopefully off to the Exchange on Tues to offload books
  • Will finish both Mantel and Chiang books. Look forward to telling you about my two new reading books next week.
  • FFS QPR pull yourselves together. Another defeat last week when you started off ahead.

And Finally…

There is always light

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