Jul 12

2015 Week Notes 20

17-23 May

Doing

  • Nothing, absolutely nothing. Dairy says nothing, photos says nothing. This was a very quiet week. A week filled with lots of work and then lots of housework.

Reading

  • Only the one book read. Finishing off the Outlander Series. Not sure I want to see it on TV, but will keep an eye out for it.

Running

  • Just the one run, a little 5k on the Saturday.
May 31

2015 Week Notes 19

10-16th May 2015

Doing

  • I started the week running Hackney Half Marathon. A closed road course in its second year, it has had a lot of publicity locally. There were some organisational issues in the 1st year, but it looks like they had definitely learnt from them, as I found the organisation of the day of a very high quality. Great runner village, great course and good support around Hackney all lead to me having a great day. I as really happy having a steady half run, with no walk breaks and feeling in control all way round.

    Hackney Half

  • On Monday, my parents came down for a few days visit, partly to see me for my birthday. I took the Monday off and we went to Greenwich for the afternoon, spending much of it wandering round the Greenwich Observatory. Lots of good science there and a chance for me to see one of of my favourite pieces – the Harrison Clocks.

    Greenwich

    Greenwich

  • On Wednesday, I was invited to a Zomato blogger evening that took place in the Andaz Hotel. An excellent evening in 3 of their venues – write up to follow!

    Zomato Blogger Visit: Andaz Hotel

  • The final activity of the week was a trip to the cinema to see Avengers:Age of Ultron. Overall, a good film, a lot of fun, but Stark is becoming a cliche and they seem to ignore some basic physics (yes, silly statement in a superhero movie, but I still think the ending was just ridiculous..I’m pretty sure to do real damage a hunk of rock would need to be far, far higher.). As it was a nice day, after a good lunch at the Duke, I came home via a stroll round Key Gardens and a couple of hours watching cricket on Kew Green, just a lovely relaxed day.

    Kew Gardens

    Kew Cricket

Reading

  • Just the one book finished, I’m reading longer ones at the moment and they are taking time.
  • Marketing Crack – Kicking the Habit an article about capitalism and one of the things that I never understand, how the requirements (often legal) to maximise shareholder value leads to short term, thinking and behaviours that are often antagonistic to long term survival in a changing world.

Running

  • the Hackney Half Marathon on the Sunday
  • Only 1 other run this week, Tuesday morning run club, a full team made their way out for the early start.
  • The rest of the week was a right off, a head cold moved into the chest, taking me out for a week with coughing
May 11

2015 Week Notes 17

London Marathon 2015

Doing

  • A spent all of Sunday marshalling at the London Marathon. and I wrote all about it at that link. A very good day and well worht volunteering if you ever get the opportunity.
    London Marathon 2015
  • Another trip to the theatre, this time with Wine Club, to see American Buffalo, by David Mamet, with Damian Lewis, John Goodman and Tom Sturridge. As with my previous visit (to see The Ruling Class), this was a revival of a play, this from 1975. It wasn’t quite as set in its age as the frist one, although it was staged as set in that time. The cast was good, but I think all of us were a little disappointed, with sections of it not keeping our attentions.
  • A last minute decision was made to go somewhere for the Bank Holiday weekend so a trip to Gloucester was booked. traveled there on the Friday – it was only just over 2 hours by train – and then took a trip up to Worcester on the Saturday first. A tour round the cathedral, A Tudor House and the town museum followed. There’s a fuller write up over in this post on the Worcester visit. Worcester cathedral is the burial place of King John, a good place to visit in the 800th anniversary year of Magna Carta.

    Worcester Cathedral

Reading

Only 1 book read and no articles saved. Mmm, better do something about that.

Running

Still nothing. I’ll get round to it soon.

May 09

2015 Week Notes 16

Doing

Thames Towpath 10

  • I had a physio appointment and a fracture clinic appointment, for the consultant to take a look at my finger. She wasn’t too happy and started talking about joint replacements – in, what appeared to me at least, a slighly gleeful as was she discussed a new type of joint she could try. Next appointment made for June, so we’ll see what my progress is by then.
  • Drinks out with the team and with clients. Over some red wine, we discussed running and marathons, leading to 4 of them deciding to sign up to the Brighton marathon next year and nominating me as ‘coach’. they followed through the next day and we now have Tuesday morning running club 🙂
  • Went to watch the new Avengers film. I did enjoy it, but still think the first one has the edge. Also, even though I can suspend my belief to go with superheroes with special powers, some of the silly things they did with straightforward physical rules were annoying.
  • I marshalled at my local club run, spending the morning handing out numbers and then clipping off timing chips. A good day

Reading

Just the one book read

  • What we can learn about runners from public data. It’s marathon season, it was interesting to read this analysis about runners who post information (often from apps) to public social media channels – with a focus on those who started running in Jan 2014 as their New Year change. Apparently, sales marketing and PR (that would be my profession then) is over indexing amongst runners. And keys to success (ie keeping running)? Maintaining regularity and going out on weekday mornings apparently
  • What the West can learn from Japan’s ‘lost decades’. Continuous growth is supposed to be the key to success. But a look at Japan’s economy takes the stance that not doing that is not that bad.

Running

None, absolutely none. But a pleasant few hours planning training and races for the rest of the year

May 05

2015 Week Notes 15

Marathoners at Arc de Triomphe

Doing

A marathon was done. And a very slow trip home was made. Well, Eurostar was fast, my legs weren’t. They didn’t feel too bad, so no need to walk down stair backwards!

My agency ran an event this week, field.work, lots of different views on data. I spoke on the first panel of the day, about readiness of business for the world of big data but couldn’t stay for the rest of the day with workload, but by all accounts, it was very successful and had a lot of great press, including a mention of me on Contagious. It looks like we may be running more

I had a lovely dinner with a friend at Helene Darroze at the Connaught, a lovely 2 star Michelin experience. Write up will follow. But I did love the menu, you had to take a look at the list and decide what you wanted using the game.

DSC_1155

Reading

3 books read, lots of train travel!

  • A look at why Millennials are moving away from traditional banks by the co-founder of LinkedIn Max Levchin. An interesting take, although it does not make it clear what they are after, just something different. I don’t have issues with my bank, so maybe this is just a US perspective.
  • Running

    i ran a marathon, I think that’s enough. I also did a full write up.

May 04

2015 Week Notes 14

This was a pretty quiet week.

Doing

A relatively quiet week, with a lot of work to get in to the 3 days in the office. On Thursday, I went along to a London launch party by Datasift, a company I’d watch Nik Halstead grow for years out of the early London start up scene. The party was held in canary Wharf, which had a wonderful view

Sunset over the city

It was wonderful to meat up with so many people from those days, many of whom I’d not caught up for years. I ended up going to dinner at the end of the night with Nik, Suzanna and a few others, which was a great. definitely not an early night, but didn’t need it to be as the only thing planned on the Friday was a trip to Paris.

DSC_1132

It was a smooth trip over, then I dropped the bags and made my way to the expo to pick up my number. And that was it for the Friday, apart from starting the carb load. On the Saturday, I took a trip to Notre Dame to take a wander around that cathedral to add to the list. Magnificent building. Then back to hotel again for more leg resting.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Reading

Only the 2 booked, one of the Outlander series and also the new book by Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer. The latter is one of the authors I buy the physical book instead of the digial version. And I managed to make it last 2 days 🙂

Running

Nothing happening – it’s all about saving the legs

Apr 18

2015 Week Notes 13

Head of the River Race 2015

Doing

  • After an early wake up to watch the F1, headed to the river to watch the men’s Head of the river race. The weather was a little rough and cold but the race went ahead. Caught up with friends from the Army rowing.
    Head of the River Race 2015
  • Had dinner with friend at Hawksmoor, definitely my favourite steak house. We went to the Knightsbridge branch, which I’d never been too. Raw sliced sea bass, huge steak and this ‘Ambassador’s Reception’ dessert :-). Monday’s are bring your own wine night, for just £5 corkage.
    Hawksmoor: a tribute to the Ambassador
  • Visited the parents for Easter Weekend, which had one day working, one day visiting Tatton Court up towards Manchester, a couple of meals out and all the family around for Sunday dinner. A really good weekend!
    Tatton Court

    Tatton Court

Reading
3 books read this week, the advantage of some train travel. Still working through Outlander. No articles recorded!

Running

Just the one short 5miles today, leg wrapped up. Went well.

Apr 18

2015 Weeks Notes 12

Catching up on weeknotes!

Olympic Park

Doing

  • Went to watch The Ruling Class at the Trafalgar Theatre, with James McAvoy. A revival of a 1968 play by Peter Barnes, I really enjoyed it, even though it was a definite result of the time it was written. What is better, a hippy (insane) duke or a ‘cured’ one who exhibits all the conservatism of the hang and flog em variety of aristocracy? Also. what is better to view, McAvoy shirtless or McAvoy in tails?
  • Took a walk around the Olympic Park. Not the best of days, but it was nice to be back there and see how it’s slowly being developed. I was over that side of town to stay for the evening as I was out at birthday party.
    Olympic Park
  • Went to the aforesaid birthday party, which was a lovely sit down meal by the team behind Grub London in the view Tube overlooking Olympic Park. Chilled almond soup and leg of lamb made for a lovely dinner. I’d also treated myself to a hotel for the night near to the venue (so I could get up early in the morning to watch the F1!)
    Lamb

Reading

  • Just a couple of books read this week, they’re long ones. I’ve started the Outlander series (as seen on Amazon, and they’re pretty easy reading.
  • Top Things I learnt from TED, bu Bill Gross. Interesting bits of information and links to interesting talks.
  • A Richter Scale of Outages by Matt Webb. A thought piece on how different net/web services can be scaled

Running

I managed a 17 miler this week, slow and steady over Richmond Park, I tried out my run/walk method to see how that could be done for Paris and was happy that if the leg injury settled, then I would be able to make it round.

Mar 21

2015 Week Notes 11

Doing

  • I won, via Twitter, a place at a wine tasting at Sam’s Brasserie. Well, I won 2 places but getting people to come out to Chiswick at the last minutes is not always easy! It was a superb evening, with the hosts taking us through a range of pairs of wines, comparing old and new world styles. We tried champagne, 2 red pairs, 2 white pair and a dessert wine pair. (if you’re counting, that’s a lot of wine even in tasting serving!). I had a great evening, sharing a table between a couple of old friends (althogh not convinced their driving to a wine tasting was a good idea, even if most of the wine ended up in the spittoon) and a couple on their first date – I was asked my opinion on the fellow, gave a positive review :-). Fully recommend going to one of these evenings if you get the chance.

    Wine tasting

  • There was a quiz at work on Thursday, with a St Patrick’s day theme. My team did not win, but I did get a couple of good points by guessing the thing from the 1st 3 words of a clue – ‘Founded in 1759’. Yes, working for Diageo/Guinness does give you some information
  • Friday was a disappointment, London was completely overcast and there was no eclipse visble. Instead, just watched the TV feed.
  • Went out for dinner Friday, another one off my Michelin list. This was the one-star Quilon, an Indian restaurant near Victoria. Liked most of the meal – review to follow.
    Quilon: Poppadoms
  • Reading

    • only the 2 books read this week (although I may finish another before the end of the day)
    • Harry Potter and the 12 year Boyhood. Interesting read about the practicalities of filming over a long period of time. Boyhood was a single film produced over the 12 years as the cast aged. The Harry Potter series had the difficulty of filming 8 films with the same cast. There are good questions raised about points when the child stars of the Harry Potter films may have sensibly been replaced but for a variety of reasons, they stuck with the same crew all the way through.
    • These Urban farmers want to feed the whole neighbourhood. There’s a lot of talk about a sharing economy, but a lot of the companies covered when discussing this are definitely not into sharing, they’re into making profits. so Uber, where anyone can apply to drive, is all about maximising the margins for the company using minimally paid, zero-contract like workers. This initiative is a sharing economy. A piece of land granted by the city, a group of people who work to cultivate the fruit and vegetables and a mission to get people involved.
    • Geena Davis is still locked and loaded A look at Geena Davis and her various initiatives to make people notice gender imbalance in films and tv.

    Running

    Training this week was a mixture of cross-training on the bike and just the one run attempted. Leg is still not right, but I’m pushing on with my run-walk training. It’s 3 weeks to go until Paris, 3 weeks to make a decision.

Mar 21

2015 Week Notes 10

Doing

  • Drinks with friend from work, where we decided we needed to get out of the office and go and have a good chat about none office things! We ended up going to Opera Tavern for some of their tapas and a good evening was had. We even managed to be home at a reasonable time.
  • Thursday was night out with wine club. We were trying to eat at Bubbledogs but there was a 90min wait so we retired to the Charlotte St Hotelfor some celebratory champagne for an engagement. The hotel were nice enough to send out a little cake to share. Another night I returned home at a reasonably decent hour, before they got to the food.
    Engagement congratulations
  • And the reason for an early leavetaking? The F1 started for the year, with the Australian GP. A 1am start for practice meant I needed to get some sleep, as the next 2 days with 4 session to watch in the middle of the night takes some effort!
  • Another trip to the fracture clinic this week, with more xrays to check healing. The finger has now been freed from being tied to the one next to it and the focus now on is getting some movement, as its bending capability is quite restricted. I got given some silly putty to use to practice my squeezing on. Next sugeon appointment in 6 weeks, next physio in 2 weeks.
  • Saturday was another evening out, meeting up with Suw who was over from the US. A great evening of chat and catching up!

Reading

  • No none fiction books again (I’ll get there eventually) but just the 3 other books.
  • Customer Service in a social media age A story in the Independent about how social media, especially Twitter, has changed how companies need to think about customer service. Not just the crisis management moment, but the day by day grind and complaints that come their way,
  • Everything is problematic Fascinating piece about being an activist, how it narrows your thinking and your attitudes and how the author matured out if it. Is activism a youth phenomenon, as the brain is wired to be that passionate and focused on things before maturity brings a wider and more pragmatic outlook?

Running

A quiet week for most of it, just doing some cross training. On Saturday, ran the Thames Meander half marathon, which went from Kingston to Kew and back. It’s the first of 3 of these events, which are a joint half and full marathon (the full one runs to Putney and back). I’ve entered the full series as targets for the year. A well organised event, along the river towpath, so nice and flat. I went into it not knowing if I’d be able to finish, but kept it slow and steady and got to the end eventually. My slowest half yet, but given my fitness state, happy with it.

DSC_1090

Mar 08

2015 Week Notes 9

We’re officially into spring (well, according to the meteorologists) and the days are getting longer, with more daylight to do things. I just need to do more things.

Doing

  • I took a trip round Key Gardens on Sunday, taking advantage of a sunny day to go look at crocuses, orchids and the Palm House
    Kew Mar 1 2015

    Kew Mar 1 2015

    Kew Mar 1 2015

  • The only outing in the week was to the running Club social night, where they awarded a couple of prizes for the Winter training handicap.
  • I finished the week doing another section of the London LOOP, a 13m section from Moor Park to Elstree. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was out and it was really trying to be warm. A good day for a long walk.
    Walk the LOOP - Moor Park to Elstree

    Walk the LOOP - Moor Park to Elstree

    Reading

    • I’ve read 3 fantasy books this week, with my ongoing books still ongoing. I can read this genre very quickly, everything else takes a lot longer.
    • What Millennials want from work It’s too easy to assign what you know about Millennials in your country, o at least the stereotype of them, to all members of that age group. Here’s some global research that delves a little deeper.
    • How Brands must be social. If you’ve been working seriously in social media for any length of time, nothing in this list will surprise you. But it’s still worth stating as so many people don’t understand.
    • The new Nostalgia trend: it’s all in the reference. When information moves so fast a trend is over before it has chance to take real root into culture, one way to have trends is to use things that are heavily embedded.
    • The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings this is the paper behind a piece in the New York Times and many other newspapers. Can a series of increasingly intimate and revelatory questions can increase your chances of falling in love. The answer is yes.

    Running

    Nothing. Just some cross training. After the half marathon, a spot on the leg flared up and left me in pain for the week. Icing, anti-inflamatories and no running was the diagnosis. The long walk on Saturday was a test of it and so far it’s not too bad, but still tender. Will try some treadmill running tomorrow.

    The odds of me running the Paris marathon are now very low. I an re-adjusting the plan and considering a run-walk approach, which is still going to be a hard slog given the lack of miles in the legs. Everything is paid for so I’m going anyway and will keep plugging away at the training and see how it goes.

Mar 03

2015 Week Notes 8

Doing

  • Lots of work in the first part of the week, with a Book Club evening on the Tuesday for a good chat and a glass of wine.
  • The second half of the week was spent in Spain, watching formula 1 testing. I stayed in a town near to the circuit instead of in Barcelona this year, but despite it being a cheap hotel and easy to get to the circuit, I think that in future I my consider going back to Barcelona. I like the food experience too much! All my photos can be found here: day 1 and day 2

    Barcelana Test 3 Day 2

    Barcelana Test 3 Day 2

    Barcelana Test 3 Day 2

  • Normally I’d stay for all the days of the test, but because of the last minute booking I had things to do at the weekend. So flew home Friday to be ready for the half-marathon on Saturday.

Reading

  • I did not save many articles this week. I did read 3 books though, 3 fantasy books.
  • I also managed to mistime the reading of the book club book, for some reason, I thought it was the following week. We were reading The Lie by Helen Dunsmore. Although the reviews from the book club cloud was not too complimentary, so I proably won’t be reading it

Running

  • I started the week well, with a good run around Richmond Park.
  • The week itself did not bring any runs – not able to run before work and then a few days holiday
  • finished the week with a half marathon. This was at Dorney, running round the lake, a race I did last year. Although this year, with the lack of training, was slower. I deliberately ran at a slower pace. So overall time was 12mins slower than last year, but overall, happy with how the plan was executed.

DSC_1079

Mar 01

2015 Week Notes 7

Doing

  • It was a pretty quiet week, the only night out was a leaving do for a oolleague at work
  • I had 2 hospital appointments this week, one with the hand physio and one with the consultant, where had an xray to check how things are going. You can see that there is just the one nail in there. things seem to be going well.

    Finger Xray

  • Went for a good meal at Antidote, just for a Saturday lunch. Pretty good restaurant just off Carnaby St, where one of my favourite chefs from Hedone acts as consultant, which you can tell from the food.

    Antidote
    Reading

Running

Just the one run, a parkrun with a few miles there and back. Still trying to fix legs and make sure there is time to get out but not working well. I am going to have to change my training plan.

Feb 15

2015 Week Notes 6

Activities

  • Two sets of drinks out this week. The first was with my current team, a post meeting big group drinks. It’s good to connect with the team I’m going to be working with for the next 10 months or so in a more social setting. The second is with my old team, a good catch up to see where everyone’s careers have got too and what else they are up to.
  • A trip to get my dressing changed on my finger. It’s the first time I’d seen it post operations and they’d definitely just peeled the finger open like an orange. The picture is over on Flickr.
  • A last minute dinner at Hakkasan Mayfair, another one of the Michelin list. Took advantage of their ‘pre-theatre’ offer for early dinner. The place was packed even at that time.
  • Peking style duck with chilli, leek, onion

Reading

  • STILL no book finished. At least I didn’t start another though, Still only the 4 on the go.
  • The ‘Undue Weight’ of Truth on Wikipedia. Why even experts in their field can’t get things on the site. It ‘s looking like wikipedia is getting to the point it needs to take a step back and take a good look at its policies, I’m reading too many things like this.
  • How to fix a bank in 100 days I’ll be honest, never really had too many issues with my bank, but I don’t use them for much – I have a current, savings and mortgage account. There service has been great whenever I’ve needed it. But with all the horror stories I read, I think that’s quite lucky. it’s also on the personal level, as the bigger picture of banks is horrendous, when i someone going to have to face responsibility for the recession? I do like this focus on how banks need to change, because they do. Although I have a feeling that if mine did, I probably wouldn’t like it that much.
  • William Shatner: My problem with verified accounts. Just a little reading about how Shatner thinks about verified accounts. I see his point, that they should have a strong reason associated with impersonation, not just for doing a job.
  • 64 Ways to think about a news home pageHow many different ways can a cross-expertise group come up with about how a news page can be presented.
  • the 10 most innovative companies in advertising in 2015. A string mix of agencies and brands. I find adding the agencies strange, as their clients are the ones who say yes. There may be far more innovative agencies out there but working with clients who say no
  • I’m Brianna Wu and I’m risking my life standing up to Gamergate. Read it. Read about the hatred that exists out there and why calling it out when you can is important.
  • How a Great American Theatrical Family produced the 19th centuries most notorious assassin. Extract from a history of John Wilkes Booth

Running

  • I managed 1 run at the end of the week. That’s it. Work and had pain all got in the way. Not good at all. Well, mind is more important, I could have squeezed more in, but having to get myself back in the mood!
Feb 08

2015 Week Notes 5

Activities

  • The focus of the week was the operation to get my finger pinned. I fully expected it to be done under a local anaesthetic, but the consultant was amazed it had even been considered. Full general it was, which made it a little difficult to get out as I then needed to find someone to come and pick me up. Thank’s to Sofia for stepping in at the last minute. No idea what they ended up doing, as post-op conversation seemed to be lacking, but I should be back in this week to have it unwrapped. I just know it hurts. I have painkillers and I have not been running, as it hurts!
  • I was out with a Dining Club on Wednesday, to get out and do something social. As part of the same social group, I did a historical/pub walk around Marylebone on Saturday, a group of about 20 of us learning about the area. Good fun despite the cold
  • Went out for Saturday lunch at Texture, one michelin star, Scandanavian inspired and very good. Review will follow.
    DSC_0996
  • Got my doctor’s cert for the Paris Marathon. Not covered as part of the NHS (unlike all the op stuff) so £35 for a few questions, a blood pressure check and the all important stamp on the certificate. On the medical front. also picked up my new glasses, which are taking some getting used to

Reading

  • I’m reading 4 books and have not finished anything this week. maybe I should concentrate on just the one?
  • One Man’s Quest to Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake. lovely story about devotion to Wikipedia and providing value back to the commons. I tend to go through bursts of edits every couple of years but it’s not something I do a lot of. My area of focus tends to be minor Middle Age noblemen.
  • Big Data and Bacteria – mapping the NY Subway. How a group of scientists took samples across all the NY Subway stations and sequenced the DNA, running it through databases to understand what was out there. The headlines seems to be all around how half of it was unidentified. I prefer to look at the other way. half of it WAS identified. Given the history of DNA sequencing and identification, how much it used to cost, the fact that half of it was from species that had been sequenced I think is pretty amazing!
  • I’m autistic and believe me, it’s better than measles. The anti-vax movement is scary with massive public health impact that is being seen in many countries, with the US, an areas with a highly public anti-vax movement, now subject to a lot of publicity about a measles epidemic, one of the preventable diseases that is making a come-back now herd immunity has decreased. I’m not vaccinated, but maybe I should be? (well, actually, not sure if I ever was) That’s because I grew up before it was widespread. But I did have measles and was lucky to survive that unscathed, but many aren’t. This article about autism pokes at the assumptions made by the various parties.
  • The internet is full of men who hate feminism. here’s what they are like in person . Investigative report into what someone, when stripped of internet anonymity is like. And the answer is surprisingly personable, well, until they start talking about feminism and men’s rights and then my logic circuits start to trip as I don’t recognise their world. then again, I don’t recognise the world of some of the extreme feminists either. I’m a feminist, but I don’t play one on the internet, so never really come across this online world.

Running

  • not a good week at all. Hospital and recovery stopped it all. So nothing after Sunday run this weel
  • However, I did manage the Wonter 10k run on Sunday, extremely well organised 10k on closed roads in central London, along the Embankment and around St Pauls. Did not push too hard, but completed at a faster pace than my 5k runs so far this training plan. The reason for not pushing? The additonal run home I added onto the day, although I did only manage 9m, jumping on the bis for a couple of miles.

Winter Run 10k

Feb 02

2015 Week Notes 4

Activities

  • A big company meeting on Tuesday, with the announcement we’re now a new company (well, sort of). A new name, new partners in the network. Instead of Havas EHS, we’re now Havas Helia. This was followed by a few drinks in the pub for the agency.
  • Instead of sticking around for what I heard was a good night, I wandered off to my new book club, where a samll group of us dissected the story of a Quaker Girl in 1850 Ohio. And drank wine.
  • Thursday morning was supposed to be a quick checkup at the fracture clinic, instead it ended up being a 4 hour trip around the various departments – doctor, therapist, X-ray before the conclusion was reached that I need an operation to put my finger back together properly. A&E had missed a fracture and the sprint had not held it properly. So I’m back there on Tuesday. I did get to take a picture of the x-ray though.
    DSC_0942
  • Had my eyes tested for new glasses, as finally been discharged from the care of the team that looked after my detached retina. They take digital images of the retina and it was fascinating to see the difference between the two, where the left eye you can see all the various veins etc and the right eye has a big blurry bit where it was fixed. distance vision has definitely gone in the right eye, but close up is fine. New glasses ordered (and paid for!)
  • More money spent on plumber. Appointment set for 8am and depsite me telling them what the problem was, what I had done and what i think needed to be done, Pimlico Plumbers failed to bring the right equiment 9as well as being 40mins late). So they came back in the afternoon and used plungers and hoovers and a big flailing metal rope thing on a drill. That finally got it sorted – when they got the right man for the job, it was sorted quickly. By the end of the day I think I’ve spent enough for a week’s holiday! 🙁

Reading

  • Why I’m not a maker. With tech and geek culture groiwng, it is often expected that you ‘make’ things, as though that is the only activity that has worth. I like to experience, the author likes to educate, the premise of a maker community is that those that don’t are less. We need to avoid the rush into another binary.
  • Downtown is for People. a classic article from 1958 by Jane Jacobs. Why the rush to rebuild town centres was forgetting it was about the people who lived there not about the architects who built them
  • The story behind the King’s Cross Christmas problems. How a crisis can creep up on you even if each decision on the way seems sensible. A tight plan of railway engineering works failed over Christmas, this is a fascinating insight into why.
  • Only one book finished, this was The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory. She’s made a speciality of writing about the lesser known women of the Plantagenet’s and this is her take on Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and her life in Tudor times. Daughter of the Duke of Clarence, she grew up during the Wars of the Roses as the neice of Edward IV. Another perspective on that time, especially with the new TV series of Wolf Hall focusing on Cromwell, who appears throughout this book as a villain.

Running

  • A first outing with my new running club, an evening social run. It was supposed to be slow, but my slow is definitely not their slow. Only managed the one run into work, with meetings and hospital appointments complicating things. But I’ve managed 103 miles over the month.
  • DSC_0938

Jan 24

2015 week notes 3

Activities

  • I had nothing planned for this week (well, I was supposed to be on holiday), so it was a quiet week apart from work and running. So today I went for lunch at La Trompette, a local restaurant, for a little treat.
  • DSC_0932

Reading

  • Although I seem to be reading 4 books concurrently, I’ve only finished one and that was read just today. The Last Runaway, by Tracy Chevalier would not be my usual choice but is one I need to read for book club. And I’m happy to have done so. It’s a story of a Quaker girl emigrating to Ohio in 1850 and her involvement with runaway slaves. There’s no doubt Chevalier can write and this kept me involved all the way through (hence being able to read in half a day)
  • Of Smell Tests and Sanity Checks. Thoughts by JP Rangaswami on how all senses come into play, even when not expected.
  • Why Japanese don’t use LinkedIn An exploration by James Riney on the cultural reasons why LinkedIn is not used much in Japan. Business and social is far more mixed, so Facebook (or equivalent) is used more – and using LinkedIn is a sort of statement that you are looking for a new job, which would be disloyal to your current employer.

Running

  • I hate winter, even worse, I hate winter and travelling on public transport, where the germs float around and it’s too easy to catch a cold. Couldn’t manage the long run last Sunday, but got into gym on Monday, then run to work Wednesday and Friday, with treadmill and weights Thursday. Got out of the train at Putney and Friday and discovered Wandsworth Park has no lights at all, so progress was slow, hoping I didn’t hit ice or run into a bench!. But early mornings do give you wonderful sunrises.

Sunrise over Battersea Park

Jan 18

2015 Week Notes 2

Activities

  • A birthday lunch started the week, the buffet brunch at Flesh and Buns is a brilliant value for money deal that they handle very well. A good catch up with Wine Club 😉
  • Monday was marked by the arrival of new mattress. Considering the previous one was about 20 years old, I was amazed at how much material science had changed the mattress industry. One big question was why are they all now white? My old one had that classic blue stripe on it and there is nothing like that now. Anyway, one week sleeping and a weekend of lie-ins and the new one is definitely a hit.
  • I was supposed to have been flying out to San Francisco on Thursday, but due to work had to cancel. Not that happy, but it’s done. So onwards!
  • But because there was no holiday, I did get to go the the F1 Zoom Auction, which was a lovely evening bidding for photos taken by various F1 personalities. I bought one of them again….

Zoom Auction

Reading

  • A slow week this week, illness and too much work restricted reading time. I did finally read this – You’re 16, a paedophile, You don’t want to hurt anyone, what do you do. A hard and uncomfortable read, illustrating that more support is needed on early prevention, not just punishment.
  • Only 1 book completed, but a classic one. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman, published in 1974, is a reflection on the futility of war (in the context of Vietnam) when the cause is pointless. It considers what happens to the people who would fight an interstellar war when subject to relativity and how they could cope with home that is never the same. Most scifi – especially the visual media – never considers this, assuming somehow that FTL will make relativity irrelevant.

Running

  • A mixed week of running. Sunday was a planned 14m run, with 6-7 miles at marathon pace – so working hard for this stage of training. The Mp went well, but on the cool down, tired, caught my foot and down I went. SPLAT! Glasses bent, cuts on face, pouring blood and a very sore finger. Thanks to the nice man who picked me up and did his best to help me! I ended up jogging the rest of the way home (just over 2 miles) and after the birthday lunch spent the rest of the afternoon at A&E getting x-rayed and sorted out. One dislocated little finger was put back in place and strapped up for the next 4 weeks.
  • Managed another 7 miles on Tuesday, and then another thing in my bad week – a cold. Full aches and pains and then cough, cough, cough. So nothing happenning! It’s 12 weeks to the run, and there are plenty of 12 week training plans, so I’ll keep telling myself it’s still OK, despite the setbacks.

DSC_0910

Jan 10

2015 Week Notes 1

Shall we try these week notes again? Let’s see how far into the year we get 🙂

Activities

  • Had the final checkup at the eye hospital following the detached retina last year. Discharged from there, although with warnings that because I now have a high probability of cataracts, I need to have regular opticians checkups. At least I can now get some new glasses!
  • I was supposed to go on a treasure hunt this week, but it got cancelled due to work issues, we’re now trying to get it rearranged. There was no easy first week back, we were hard at it, as the big project that I’ve been working towards for the past year finally kicked off. So expecting a lot of hours to be put in!

Reading

  • Only 1 article of note this week. Boing Boing’s How image board culture shaped Gamergate. Fascinating read about how a niche culture, where argument is currency, does not translate into mainstream where people don’t always care to argue.
  • Only 3 books finished this week, all fiction, all thrillers.

Running

  • 30 miles managed this week, still not quite up to the miles I need to have in my plan but slowly getting there. Not having much luck getting up and going running to work, it’s just too dark!
Jan 01

A review of 2014

Before I look ahead, surely it’s time to take a quick look back, even if just for a reminder for myself. For the first time in a few years, I did not set any new year ambitions for 2014. I’d been made redundant and really, was not in the mood! I was focusing on finding a new role, not thinking beyond that. So I can’t do a review and see if I achieved them. However, they would have been the usual – fitness and expriences. it’s all about that. So what did I get up to? Time to take a look at the photos.

January was a quiet month – it was looking for jobs and going for interviews. But I did take advantage of a sunny day to visit Kew Gardens for the first time in the year. I go there quite a bit, as I have bought membership – definitely worth looking at if you live in the area and want to support plant research (you know, the stuff that may keep us fed as the climate changes)

Kew January 2014

Once I’d got myself sorted, I too advantage of the opportunity to take a long weekend and popped over to Naples, primarily to see Pompeii. Having read reviews about visiting the preserved city in the summer, with the crowds and the heat, I was quite happy to have a dry winter weekend and the place almost to myself.

Pompeii

Pompeii

I got a couple of F1 events in during the early part of the year. First, the Zoom auction, which sells off signed photos from F1 stars to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. There’s another one this January and you can buy some from the online store. I also went along to watch a filming of the Sky F1 show, something I did a couple of times. It’s always fun watching TV being made. Finally, the Not a FOTA Forum, an event run for fans by the ex-Secretary of the FOTA org, who got along some F1 insiders to talk and entertain.

Zoom Auction

the F1 Show

Not A FOTA Forum

Running went well in the first part of the year. I completed a couple of half marathons and then the big one – the London Marathon. I was very happy to get round in 4:30. No entry for me in 2015, but I’ve decided to run the Paris Marathon, so training is full speed ahead for that

London Marathon

The week after the marathon, I got the chance to go skiing, through a friend. Last time I tried skiing was when I worked in Scotland and dry slope lessons were part of the social club activities, but I’d never tried on snow. I think that’ll be my last skiing holiday though. It turns out I don’t do the mix of mountains and skis very well, or rather skis and edges. I’m not afraid of much, but I experienced physical terror on a couple of occasions. I did not like it!

Val d'Isere

June brought a trip to the Canadian Grand Prix, via a few days in New York and then Toronto to see old friends. Loved this trip, good catchups, good food and a great time in Montreal, which has to be one of the best places to hold F1, with the circuit right near the city with plenty of public transport.

Canada GP 2014 Friday

The summer had a few of my regular events. I officiated at the Joint Services Regatta again, went to Kew fete and visited Goodwood and the British GP – it was a bit rainy for the latter, but the sun was out for everything else

JSR 2014

Goodwood 2014

Silverstone Saturday 2014

In July, I ended up in hospital having emergency surgery for a detached retina, followed by 2 weeks bed rest before slowly getting back into things. All my running got put on hold and the autumn plan of 3 half marathons in 3 weeks did not happen, but I did manage to squeeze in a local 10k and half marathon in September,before heading up to Birmingham to run the Great Birmingham run, another half, with my sister. With minimal trianing over the summer, I was quite happy just to get round!

A few local events in the autumn, with the Tall Ships Festival visting Greenwich and the amazing installation Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red at the Tower of London. I went fairly early in the process of building this and it was relatively quiet, but I’m not surprised at the corwds that developed over the weeks, via word of mouth as it was just an amazing site. I bought a poppy too. I managed to get to watch the Lord Mayor’s show for the first time (the problem with living in London is doing London events!). And I won the Army Rowing Club Player of the Year cup, for all my help over the past 19 (?) years

Tall Ships Festival, Greenwich

Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red

Lord Mayor's Show 2014

Player of the Year award

The year ended with a bit more F1, with a trip to Abu Dhabi GP (having won tickets at Silverstone) and also a prize trip to take a tour around the Mercedes F1 factory. I always say that if you never enter competitions, you’ll never win, so you always have to take a chance!

Sunday Abu Dhabi 2014

Mercedes F1 Factory Tour

That’s it! A pretty full and fun year. I’m already got my plans for 2015 for holidays, but it’s the bits between them as well that make the year interesting.