2020 Week 2

Sunday – Random symptoms: After last year’s pre-Christmas “non” appendicits, and the strange skin infection across my neck that followed a few days later, today I got another random pain, this time in my chest. Luckily not my heart, above that area, more in my chest, like I have burned my oesophagus. I hate taking medication (and I took A LOT of antibiotics last year) but this is enough to get me reaching for the paracetamol. (The mystery pain cleared up later in the week.)

Monday – Eye check up: my optometrist spotted something weird in my eye and referred me to a specialist for a closer examination in case it was something serious. (It wasn’t.) But it was 3 1/2 hours out of my day moving to and from Moorfields eye hospital and between nurse, doctor, scanning room and doctor again. I got back to the office feeling sick – I didn’t have much breakfast so I had a coffee while in the waiting room. Coffee on an empty stomach is bad for me. I should know this. I do know this. But I drank the coffee anyway.

Monday – No dancing: I got home aching all over like I was coming down with the flu. I got Husband to rub my back with Tiger Balm and went to bed early. Not following up on my fitness goals always irks me but it’s better to be well than fit. At least I got my appetite back for dinner.

Monday – my first book: I finished my first book of the year today, largely due to all the waiting around at the eye hospital on Monday. I always start the year with the latest Alexander McCall book from the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series (which I always get for Christmas). It’s a dark time of year here so it’s nice to read a book that is full of sunshine, open spaces, big skies.

Tuesday – Soup: My work cafeteria does two types of soup every day, which is great. But I often eat at my desk which means getting soup in a takeaway container, and even if the cafeteria has switched to compostable (not biodegradable! there is a difference!) containers, I hate using single-use containers, so today I put my tomato soup in a bowl and sat down in the eating area to eat it, figuring it’s good for me to not be at my desk for – oh, at least ten minutes of the day. I realise quickly that one good thing about the single-use container is that I can lift it up to my mouth and sip from it. For a bowl I have to use a spoon. And a spoon means drips. I guess I’m lucky I wasn’t wearing a white top today. I need to get one of those little soup flasks like I saw someone else using the other day.

Wednesday – Yoga: First yoga club session of the year. It’s always stressful getting to yoga class at lunchtime, which is kind of contraindicative to the whole point of relaxing meditativeness that yoga should have. But this first session is fine, kind of slow, to give us space to move and be in the new year. I come out of it feeling relaxed… and then come back to the office to a two-hour management meeting.

Thursday – another stabbing: I will start by saying I don’t live in a bad part of town, I really don’t. But we do have a problem with youth violence and stabbing. I don’t know what causes it but it’s always young men who are reported in the news when there’s a stabbing. This one happened on a bus and it meant I had to walk home from the station because roads were closed and buses were being diverted. When you compare waiting 18 minutes for a bus with walking home in 25… and I get to tick the exercise box as well. But no dancing tonight. According to the news the kid who was stabbed is still alive but fighting for his life.

Friday – photo competition: When I came into the building today I saw the notice that the results of the staff photo competition will be announced on the 23rd, and felt a little trill of excitement, although it was October last year I submitted my photos so I can’t even remember what photos they were. The best I’ve ever done in the competition is 3rd but I’m always hopeful and every year I get at least one of my photos on the wall with the “other pictures the judges liked”. This year I’m not going to feel angry or jealous of those who win, I really won’t, even if it seems like the same people win every year, and some of their winning photos are ugly to my eyes, and photos I would delete if I took them.

Friday – reporting: At the start of every year, my team start gathering information on what happened in our projects in the previous year in preparation for the annual reporting exercise. I like to try and get a jump on this by starting in the quiet times at the start of January. I may be crazy but I really like reporting. I like everything about it. I like putting the statistics together, I like thinking about achievements and conclusions, I like the case studies. Most people see reporting as a burden but I really do enjoy it and I lost several hours on Friday afternoon working non reporting. The bad thing about reporting is that I get so lost in what I’m doing I forget to move. And when I do need to move (to refill my water bottle or answer a call of nature), my hips feel like they have seized up and frozen in sitting position and I end up walking like an old woman. And that makes me feel like an old woman.

Saturday – down the market: My local market must be one of the last cash based economies in London. I had to go to the ATM and take out actual cash to buy things from the market stalls. While waiting to make a purchase at one of the stalls, I saw the stall holder take some clothes from his stall, put them into a bag and give them to a homeless man. He said something about ‘keeping you warm’. I was heartened by this. There are still kind people in the world.

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