We make plans and God laughs

Mon 20 -Sun 26 Aug 2018

Stop pretending you are in control

Repeating the same mistakesOne of the most amazing things in life is just simple unpredictability. We think we know what is going to happen and that we are in control. Or we spend time working out what to do for every circumstance. But then the things that change our lives are the things that we couldn’t have expected.

We can base our lives on an aim, an ideology, a religion, the past, and all manner of things. But nothing can prepare us for the unforeseen future.

Dave got seriously ill

Surprised babyLast week was going fine till Tues evening when me and Dave were due to meet our friends Patrick and Stephen for dinner. Dave has had back ache for a while. Just before we were due to meet, he phoned to say he had pains in his groin and thigh that meant he couldn’t even stand up.

I went for dinner without him then travelled back to his flat afterwards to see how he was. He was clearly uncomfortable and decided to sleep on the sofa.


Surprised monkeyAbout 3am I was awoken by shouting. He was lying on the floor having tried to get up and collapsed. There was a lot of pain and he couldn’t move. We talked to 111 and they called an ambulance. He had to be put in a chair to be moved. Arrived at St Thomas’ A&E at 5.30am.

12 hours later, time for sleep

1.30pm on Wed afternoon after various tests and consultations, Dave was moved to a bed. Lots of possibilities were being considered: hernia, urinary tract infection, kidney stone, sciatica, etc. Nothing was definite so a treatment of antibiotics and lots of painkillers followed. Dave rested in bed and I went for some much needed sleep.

And the rest of the week did not go according to my plans

Surprised womanSo all my plans for Wed onwards went to pieces. I had loads of meetings set up at work but I couldn’t leave Dave plus I was absolutely exhausted. Dave was discharged late on Thurs and obviously my time has been taken up with getting him home and looking after him. Getting out of the hospital was a nightmare with Dave’s apparent success with crutches falling apart 10 feet outside the ward and him needing a wheelchair.

The things that change your life are the things you didn’t know were going to happen.

Since Fri, it’s been all about looking after Dave at his place. This is particularly pertinent at night with him often needing to get up because of the pain. But he is gradually getting better and I am looking forward to going home plus life getting back to some sort of normal. The big question now is if Dave will be well enough to go to Berlin in 2 weeks’ time for Folsom Europe?

Health and Efficiency

The return of my cold and sore throat

spreading diseaseMy planned jog-run for Sat was defeated by recurrence of the cold / sore throat I had previously. Due to a combination me thinks of stress linked to Dave and lack of sleep primarily from waiting in A&E. So I left it till Sun morning.

teddy is illSun morning came and I still felt rough after a bad night’s sleep. Ho hum, going to try it on Mon morning but whether that works out, who knows? [it didn’t] All very disappointing and another lesson in not expecting life to go as per plans.

No gym, no jog-run

Male body imageI still haven’t sorted out how to replace my gym closed for redevelopment. My ideas of a couple of 5Ks each week as well as my main jog-run have come to nought. Not least because last week was like someone picking it up in the air, shaking it about, and letting it fall all over the place. Coupled with the return of the cold and sore throat. All my great plans for a wonderful body don’t seem to be working. 🙁

Some weight loss

Weight scalesSome small success though. Keeping awake on Wed for a ridiculous amount of time and having no food has contributed to some weight loss! Every cloud eh?

Eyes and feet

Also picked up my new reading glasses which are much more powerful than the old ones, throwing me as soon as I put them on. And I treated myself to a chiropody session to deal with my hard skin and corns due to doing so much walking.

Innovation and Creativity

‘Quiet August’ is bollocks

I worked Mon & Tues last week with the grand plan to work Wed as well and even pop in for some meetings on Fri. Obviously Wed and Fri went to pot. Not much worth reporting here – lots of internal stuff.

Matt Haworth

rainbow reason digitalProbably the most interesting external event was my meeting with Matt Haworth from Reason Digital. Undoubtedly one of the leading tech for good / social tech developers in the UK. And so good to have a no agenda catch-up meeting because he was in London, friends meeting and chatting rather than doing business.

Funny incident in that I knocked the table and some tea went on his trousers. At the end of our meeting I apologised and Matt came out with the brilliant response:

‘Any meeting that ends with stains on your trousers must be a good one’.

Friends: Patrick and Stephen

restaurant interiorGreat to see Patrick & Stephen on Tues evening albeit without Dave and before everything kicked off. We went to Joe Allen’s, the theatrical restaurant. It opens late specifically for casts after their shows finish. And it would seem all the staff are budding actors & actresses.

Good fun and it will be great to go there again when Dave is properly well. He has a present for them so that will have to wait until next time.

Personal Development

I continue to plod on with language learning and coding practice. I suppose it’s a kind of hobby. Emails remain the bane of my life. Sort of under control. Work ones particularly went tits-up with me not being around whilst looking after Dave.

Books and Reading

‘City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir’

This book by Paul French kept me going over the last week. It’s the fascinating story of Shanghai in the late 20s through to it being occupied by the Japanese after Pearl Harbour. It was an international city which meant the Europeans ran it and fundamentally operated it as a centre for entertainment and crime. No doubt an amazingly creative place but also a centre for gangsters and dodgy dealings. Indeed, the focus of the book is the story of two top hoodlums and their plans for the city.

The unravelling of Shanghai as war approaches is like a story of a journey into hell. From crazy times to concentration camps. But what a melting pot for the world. The saddest thing is the Chinese people who are abused by both Europeans and Japanese with all their immense sufferings basically being summarised in footnotes.

The Week Ahead

Combined with the turmoil around Dave and the onset of a cold again, I really want next week to be easy and simple.

  • Bank holiday Monday is sad to me as I always think it represents the end of summer. A few more good days but, overall, the journey begins to cooler and darker weather with the next landmark being Christmas.
  • Mon is possibly the day I go for a jog-run, no promises. Perhaps just a 5K. And then I have an idea for Thurs to do another 5K with a ‘proper’ jog-run next weekend.
  • Main work days are Wed and Fri but I will go in on Tues afternoon for safeguarding training
  • Couple of health things: Tues morning to the hospital to collect 6 months more Anti-Retro Viral meds and Fri morning to get my INR checked i.e. the level of clotting of my blood
  • Thurs I have an idea to go to see the Picasso 1932 exhibition at Tate Modern. It closes the following week so I am going to have to make it happen soon.
  • And all the usual stuff around Duolingo, coding practice, emails, reading, and trying to make the world a better place.

And Finally…

Always cheers me up 🙂

Stunning half naked man - how could you not smile?


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