Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I seem to have set myself too many tasks to do at the moment, and this is not good for my head.

I have to write some new material for a course that is running next week.

I am trying to report a report for someone who works in another part of the office, but the only time I seem to have to do this at the moment is in the evening.

I need to do all my normal work, which includes catching up on various things I haven’t done because of being out of the office, and coming up with a way to summarise the last six months work.

I am still trying to read the Booker Prize shortlist before the winner is announced. I am currently on the fourth book. I think I will come close to finishing them all but not quite get there.

I am trying to watch some of the programmes on the Freeview box that are as yet unwatched. G and I have a target (who sets a target for things like this???) of getting it down to 95 programmes to watch by the weekend after next. This would be achievable if it were not for the fact that more programmes keep being recorded.

I am going to see my solicitor this morning to talk about the freeholder and then need to write to her to explain why the charges she has levied are unreasonable.

I want to get more than eight hours sleep per night, which seems to be a bit elusive at the moment.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was in Birmingham until yesterday. It isn’t a city I have ever spent much time in before, but it was nicer than expected. I was there on a course about Lean. I had mixed feelings about the course, not least because it is a bit like a cult with people unquestioningly accepting what they were told and being told how to pass the message on. Very bizarre. I managed to escape – a day earlier than everyone else too. I don’t think their brainwashing techniques worked on me.

On the train on the way home, I overheard a woman saying to her colleagues that she would really like to “know some general knowledge”. I think she has rather missed the point on that one. It’s not a specialist subject, the clue is in the word “general”. I can see she might want some more general knowledge etc, but she seemed to suggest that she currently has none. Perhaps between her ears there is just an empty space. I think she was training to be an accountant. This is why the nation’s finances are in the state they currently are.

G has gone to Scotland until Saturday, so I had to fend for myself when I got home. I had a letter from the freeholder demanding lots of money. I sent a polite, but rather direct letter back saying that I was currently seeking clarification from my solicitor on some of the matters. Although I didn’t explain this bit, primarily the hundreds of pounds she wants to charge for things that are not a collective responsibility for us to pay for. Call me picky, but I don’t like being asked to pay for things that are nothing to do with me. Fortunately, I also had a letter from my solicitor asking to see me, so I should be able to “clarify” things for the freeholder shortly.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


As things go, this is one of the stranger greetings I have overheard recently:

“Hi. It’s so unusual to see you not in spandex.”

I’m still considering whether to add that one to my repertoire.

Friday, September 17, 2010


It seems really busy at work at the moment. I was running a course for two days and that went pretty well, but now I want to rewrite various parts of it and make it much harder. I want to make sure that no-one can complain that they weren’t stretched by what was demanded of them! I also have various pieces of work from my team to deal with, my own work to do and I also need to write a major piece of work for someone else that I rather foolishly agree to do. But, I am out of the office Monday to Thursday of next week because I am on a course in Birmingham. I plan to take some of the work with me to write up there – but I also have to fit in reading the booker short list. So many things to do and so little time.

Spider season seems to have started. There was a massive spider in the bedroom a couple of nights ago. I managed to convince G to deal with it, but I think that was rather a challenge, as it was really, really big. G is away at the end of next week, so if one appears then, I might have to move out.

Two Booker books down and I am now on to the third...

Monday, September 13, 2010


It’s been a fairly busy few days. The most exciting thing that happened though was that G got me a signed copy of Tony Blair’s autobiography. I am not a massive fan of Blair, but I really wanted a signed copy because it seems to mark a point in history. I see that I could sell it on e-Bay for rather a tidy profit, but I do actually want the book. G queued up outside Waterstones, and as a result was rather late for work to get me a copy. I was very grateful though.

We went to the Thames Festival yesterday and that was pretty good. We went with my sister and nephew and my neighbour and her son. It was a lovely sunny day and we wandered through the huge crowds on the South Bank. We don’t often go right into the centre of London at the weekend any more – not least because we both work in the centre of London – but it was a pleasant day.

I am running a course at work for the next couple of days. It has been like pulling teeth to get people to attend the mandatory course. I have prepared al the material for it, but am not entirely sure how well I have prepared myself for it. I guess I’ll find out today.

I have almost finished the first Booker prize book and will then move on to the next one. I need to get going or else I am not going to have them all read before the winner is announced.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I haven’t been sleeping that well this week. Generally, it hasn’t been for any reason in particular, but it didn’t help getting woken up at 5.30am yesterday by the sound of a car smashing into a parked car over the road, and then a car alarm going off for about 10 minutes. I would imagine that the people whose cars were badly damaged were probably more miffed and inconvenienced than me, but it was not a pleasant way to be introduced to the day ahead.

For some reason I have yet to comprehend, I have agreed to join with a few people at work to try and read the six short listed Booker Prize books in advance of the winner being announced in five weeks time. As some of them are rather lengthy books, this might be rather a challenge.

I did try and get a couple of the books from the library to supplement the ones we are buying, but it was rather unsuccessful. I tried to get a non-Booker book out of one library, but when I tried to check it out it was reserved. Then later in the day I went to another library to get one of the Booker books. I took it off the shelf and went to check it out and that too was reserved. Then I went to another library and despite the book being listed in the catalogue as available, it was nowhere to be found. A librarian helped me to look for it but we gave up after a bit of a search about. I will try again today to see if I can track down any of the books. I did manage to find one and I have given that to someone at work who was going to start reading it on the way home. So I’m already off the pace.

Friday, September 03, 2010

It's too late...

I was talking to my sister about the argument I had with dad. We discussed a few things, including my nephew’s reaction to it all. Apparently he is fine about it all, but he just cannot understand why dad hasn’t apologised. My nephew thinks that if you are sorry about something or have done something that in hindsight you didn’t mean to then you should apologise for it. He just doesn’t get why dad hasn’t said sorry.

I rather like that as a view on life. To have a view of the world where everything can be made right if you’re willing to say you’re sorry. I think apologising has a bad reputation and is often seen as a sign of weakness. People rarely want to admit when they are wrong. Perhaps some of that is because we sometimes avoid looking at our actions to even consider that we might be wrong. But I think there is something very admirable about a sincere apology.

There is one instance in my life where I wonder if things would have been different if I had accepted an apology that was offered to me. But I refused the gesture – primarily because I felt the words were too little too late and that I didn’t believe the apology would make any difference in the long term. But refusing to accept it was a turning point in that relationship though.

Over the years I have learned that it is not worth holding grudges or resentments and that most things are forgivable, even if that does not always make things reconcilable with the other person. I could still be better at apologising though, although now I think about it, perhaps it would be better not to do things that subsequently require an apology.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I started reading a book called Blacklands. It is a story about a boy who corresponds with a serial killer to try and find out where his long-deceased uncle’s body is buried. I decided to stop reading it though. I found the subject too distasteful and life is too short to read books that you don’t want to – a philosophy I followed at school, so it is amazing that I got decent grades in both my English GCSE and A level. So it is one of those relatively rare occasions where I decided that a book was not for me.

I still have a huge pile of books to read and have moved on to other things now.